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colorful dragon fruit

Beyond the Banana

In a fruit rut?

Do the same fruits wind up in your grocery cart every week?  Perhaps you might give dragon fruit a try.  Check out this gorgeous fruit!colorful dragon fruitFriedas.com contacted me to see if I would like some of their delicious dragon fruit and of course, I said, “YES!”  Friedas has a nutrition campaign called, “fear no fruit”, in an effort to help consumers try new and unusual produce! I love this concept.  Check out more here!

Russ and I purchase a big bowl of pre-cut fruit at Whole Foods just about every week.  I know I would save a few bucks if I did the dicing myself…but the reality is…I definitely eat more fruit when I leave that job to somebody else. :)  So for us, it’s worth the extra money. Fortunately, so many fruits are allowed on the low FODMAP diet…just don’t eat a fruit salad the size of your head! One serving per sitting!

whole food fruit bowl

I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to buying fruit, how about you?   I do, however,  LOVE trying new produce when I find it… and dragon fruit is one of those fruits that lured me in!

Dragon fruit is a low FODMAP fruit option (yay!) and has a mild but tasty flavor.

Want to learn more about dragon fruit? Check out my colleague and fellow dietitian, Monica Lebre’s informative post here!

Whether it be fruit or even life…it’s easy to get in a rut.  Try to step outside your typical fruit bowl…and explore and enjoy new tastes, flavors and life experiences.

3 for cereal

Traveling Tip

Hello from Nantucket.

Today I wanted to share a little travel tip with you.  One of my favorite take along foods on the road is a mixture of oats, walnuts and chia seeds.3 for cereal

I simply add hot water via my coffee maker in my hotel or hot water in a large coffee cup to go at a take out restaurant on the road.

Just add 1/4 cup dry quick cooking oats, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1-2 tsp. chia seeds in small individual bags to go.oats to go!

I sneak off to Nantucket every August for a week to enjoy some family time. We leave our car on the mainland and bike to a new beach every day. nantucket biking It’s a tough life…but someone has to do it!  So…you won’t be hearing too much from me this week.  Time to relax and enjoy some down time!sandy road to beachEnjoy your week ahead.

gum image

Freshen Up! Low FODMAP style.

Clients ask me all the time about what gum or breath mints to choose while on the low FODMAP diet so I thought this might be a good Tuesday Tip post.

I certainly don’t want your dentist running after me… so just be fair warned that mints and gum made with sugar are not the best for your dental health. :)  Be sure to brush your teeth often and not go over board with sugar-y treats.

What makes a suitable low FODMAP gum or mint?  I tend to go with a product sweetened with sugar and dextrose (glucose) and as little as possible of other ingredients.

You definitely want to avoid sugar alcohol sweetened gum and mints full of mannitol and sorbitol–two FODMAP polyol sources. And of course, avoid high fructose corn syrup too.  

Here’s a few examples that appear suitable to me:gum imageNot all Altoids products are suitable for the low FODMAP diet (some contain sugar alcohols)–but the items shown above looks a-okay to me. It’s funny though –on the back side of the package of Altoids it says, “So go ahead and load up on the onions and garlic…you’re covered”.   Uh hem…maybe not! :)

Summer Squash Salad

Typically, I enjoy summer squash (zucchini and summer squash) grilled or sautéed in a skillet, but last night we enjoyed the squash uncooked in a salad.  zucchini saladThis is a quick fix side dish when you don’t feel like heating up the grill or stovetop. Simply cut (washed) zucchini and summer squash into very thin diagonal slices.  Toss with a lemon and mustard dressing. Top with feta, pine nuts (these 2 ingredients make everything taste special) and garnish with fresh herbs (mint, basil and/or parsley).

zucchini salad with fetaAlternatively, you can sauté the squash in a skillet with olive oil and top with dressing, feta, pine nuts and herbs after.

I hope all is well with you! This past weekend, I visited Old Saybrook, CT (the home of Katherine Hepburn) with my sister’s and Mom for a girl’s weekend away.  What a cute little town! It was so nice to relax with my sister’s & mom -shop, run, relax.  All good! Life is so busy…it is so important to take a little break!

This Wednesday night, I am speaking about the low FODMAP diet at the CCFA-Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Boston Support Group at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Here are the details/directions.  The low FODMAP diet can be helpful in managing symptoms in those who have inflammatory bowel disease that also suffer with IBS symptoms.  Tomorrow, I will also be touring a garlic oil manufacturing plant to learn more about commercial products that are suitable for FODMAPers. And, of course,  I continue to work diligently on my slides for various upcoming talks. :)

On another side note, I finally, updated my subscriber list…so those of you having trouble getting my posts should be getting them now.  It will be easier to subscribe and easy to unsubscribe per your preference.

And now…for the recipe of the day!

This recipe is inspired from a Blue Apron recipe. A fabulous home delivery meal service. Recipes are NOT all low FODMAP but many are easy to tweak.  I imagine that a low FODMAP menu option will be available at some point! At least, I hope so!  

Summer Squash Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini squash (washed, trimmed)
  • 1 small summer squash (washed, trimmed)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil OR garlic infused oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (FODMAPers choose one without onion)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, mint, basil as desired
  • (I used 1 TB fresh chopped mint and parsley)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl, combine zucchini and summer squash.
  2. Whisk together in small bowl lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper, to taste
  3. Drizzle dressing over squash.
  4. Toss in feta, pine nuts and herbs, as desired.
  5. Serve immediately.
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Unplugging

Hey FODMAPers…and friends… I am heading out to Paris (Yay!) for a well needed vacation with the love of my life.

I am unplugging from my blog and all of my work for 2 weeks.

We all need to take a back seat and float downstream to re-charge…it’s an important part of living a well-balanced life.

Starting now…I am unplugged.  Catch up with you in a couple. Hope you too can take some time to …

Unknown-22too!

 

And the winners are….

First and foremost….thanks for all the fabulous, generous, kind and wonderful comments you left on the blog since my last post.  It’s so nice to know that SO many of you out there are on your way to a happy and healthy digestive tract.

I have been working on some behind the scenes blog stuff.  Getting ready to launch my new site {Yay!} and hoping that it will be easier to navigate.  Working on the ‘back end’ of the blog is just busy work but it will help the blog be more organized–and that has been an ongoing goal of mine.

I having also been testing some recipes that I will be sharing with you soon enough. Today, I created a FODMAP friendly version of my friend, Meg’s delicious biscotti recipe.  Super yummy!  You will love this little sweet treat.  I might even post it tomorrow if I get my act together!

So…the winner’s of my 21 Day Tummy and 21 Day Tummy cookbook are….Kristin, Melissa and Ashley.  Congrats ladies! The winners have been notified via email….and the books will be shipped out soon!

But no worries…YOU still have a chance…I have more books and will be doing another give-a-way soon…promise!

Going Nuts! Give-A-Way!

I was recently asked to participate in a cookbook project created by the National Peanut Board. I submitted one of my favorite peanut based recipes….Of course, I chose my fabulous peanut butter granola bar recipe.  And today, I received the finished cookbook!  It is SO darn cute and is LOADED with delicious peanut-y recipes.cookbook

I feel serious love for peanuts, do you? Mmmmmm good!

peanuts

Here’s a few interesting peanut facts:

1.  Peanuts have more protein than any nut, with more than 7g per ounce.

2.  The fat in peanuts is mostly good fat, the heart-healthy kind we should eat more often.

3.  With 30 essential vitamins and nutrients, peanuts are a Superfood!

I love peanuts and they are a great low FODMAP nut choice, in fact, the peanut butter cut off is about 4 Tablespoons per serving which is a pretty hefty portion!

Here’s my post in the book. Yay!kates recipe

Would you like a chance to win this cookbook AND all these great give aways from the National Peanut Board?give a way

Well, just leave a comment and let me know how you incorporate peanuts into your diet…and you may just be the lucky winner.  And, I know you will LOVE this great new cookbook!

 

Philadelphia and FNCE 2012

This weekend, I headed to Philadelphia to meet up with about 10, 000 registered dietitians for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting, AKA #FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo).

Not the place you’d want to be caught eating twinkies and drinking soda…Ha!

I will tell you it is a BIG conference with many talks about health and nutrition–a bit overwhelming at times–too much to see and do all in just a few days.

But I focused on 2 subjects–digestive health and blogging.

I attended a talk on fructose but it was sponsored by Coca-Cola so I  knew full well that it might be just a bit biased. :( I always circle the talks I am interested in going to in my program book as there is so many to choose from and it keeps me focused!

I did learn a bit about how much of this stuff [fructose] we consume as a nation– especially in our teenage population. And yes, it’s crazy too much. The average fructose intake in the US is about 49 grams per day per person.

If  this was all from table sugar, which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose,  that would translate to about 25 teaspoons of sugar!!

Ten percent of males ages 15-50 and ten percent of females ages 19-22 consume greater than 100 grams of fructose or about the equivalent of 50 teaspoons of sugar per day if it all came from table sugar.  YIKES. And no surprise here, yes, the majority of fructose in the US diet comes from added sugar NOT fruits and vegetables. [SAD] :(  High amounts of fructose in the diet in this range are associated with adverse health risks.

As a reference, the American Heart Association recommends sugar consumption be limited to 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons of sugar for men per day.  Learn more from the American Heart Association here!

I always attend any lecture that involves celiac disease and gluten expert, Alessio Fasano.   Dr. Fasano is a world renown researcher and pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland specializing in the role of gluten in celiac disease and  other disorders including autism. While many people believe that celiac disease causes digestive symptoms (and it can) the most common symptoms are fatigue and anemia. Carren Sellers, MMSc, RD also spoke at this session highlighting some of the challenges of following the gluten free diet.  She reminded us that hidden gluten can be found in lipstick (especially the long-lasting), flavored coffees, imitation seafood and even French fries so education and vigilance with the diet is key.

I also attended an informative blogging session, moderated by Rebecca Scritchfield and 2 Food Network bloggers and registered dietitians., Dana Angelo White and Toby Amidor. This session provided key strategies to make your nutrition blog better.

But was so humbling and extremely exciting for me was that my blog was featured as one of the moderator’s favorites. {I had NO idea prior to the session}  So while I was sitting listening intently for more blogging tips…low and behold a picture of my blog pops up on the big screen.  Wow. Amazing.  

The moderator spoke a bit about my blog and my focus on #FODMAPs.  She also mentioned that I include my dog, Lucy in occasional posts.  Wow….Lucy is now famous! Ha! :)

Here is my girl, very happy to see her Mama who was away for a few days!

Another interesting talk was titled, Beyond Belly Aches: Identifying and Differentiating Between Allergies and Intolerances.  I was unfortunately unable to attend this talk but was able to download the power point presentation so thought I would share a few points with you.

Food Hypersensitivity is an umbrella term that includes food allergy symptoms and food intolerance symptoms.

Food allergy symptoms are immune system mediated and can include: allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), asthma, diarrhea, stomach cramping, vomiting, anaphylaxis, itchiness, uticaria (hives) and conjunctivitis.

Food Intolerance symptoms are non-immune system reactions include: migraines, headaches, joint pains, stomach aches, constipation, intestinal problems (diarrhea), hyperactivity, aggression, temper tantrums, sound sensitivity, fatigue and depression.

It is amazing how food intolerances can impact so many different parts of the body adversely for some individuals.  It’s so important to find the right diet for YOUR body. 

I have been to Philadelphia many times but this visit with Russ in tow, we sampled food from every corner of the city.

Breakfast-Always oats, nuts, strawberries  and a hint of brown sugar.  No need to get my sensitive stomach in an uproar first thing.

A 30 minute work out in the hotel gym always energizes me.

Since Russ and I hit quite a few restaurants, I wanted to share our favorites!  Zavino Wine Bar and Pizzeria, Amis and Barbuzzo.

Barbuzzo has the most amazing salad with Tuscan kale, pistachio pesto, grapefruit and roasted beets.  It was the best salad I have ever tasted.  Is it low in FODMAPs? NO! But it was worth it. :)

We also enjoy Mercato…and were lucky to meet up with my nephew Brent and his fiancé Jen.  A wonderful way to end my FNCE experience.

I have to say I was EXTREMELY impressed with the food and atmosphere  at the restaurants….delicious and very hip and cozy.

Well, I am happy to be back home.  And ready to get cooking again.  So stay tuned for some recipes and thanks again for all your great recipe inspirations.

What’s your favorite snack on the run?  Leave a comment for a chance to win a low FODMAP booklet–the latest from Monash-3rd edition! 

Latest on FODMAPs

I know all of you that follow my blog are not ‘all about FODMAPs’ so bear with me while I just provide some well-needed updates to my FODMAP peeps.

Last week, I was BEYOND excited when I found a little brown envelope addressed to me…all the way from Australia!

Last September I was very fortunate to travel to Melbourne, Australia and meet Jane Muir, the head of  FODMAP research at Central Clinical School, Monash University.  Jane was SO kind to send me the 3rd edition of the low FODMAP diet booklet.  This book provides all the FODMAP basics and the latest in foods that are allowed or not allowed on the diet. To me, this booklet is like GOLD!  I love learning more and more about FODMAPs.

Here I am with Jane (second on the left) in the laboratory where many of the FODMAP analysis was done.  Their lab recently moved which has put some of the testing at a standstill.  Yes, we are still waiting on chocolate and coffee.

I highly recommend that all FODMAP dietitians and followers purchase this little booklet. Why?  For one, the proceeds are used to fund more research and there is plenty more foods to be analyzed, including foods from around the world.

Secondly, you will have all the latest info. in one little handy booklet.

The latest booklet provides a few tips for the vegetarian FODMAP follower.  And just to provide a few new kids on the block: nori seaweed and tempeh made the low FODMAP diet for vegetarians.  Another new tip included in the booklet– Soy milks made from ‘soy protein’ tend to be lower in GOS than those made with ‘whole soybeans’.   BUT there is a bunch more…so BUY the booklet!  Here is the link!

It’s not cheap to send the booklet across the globe, so for those of us in the US there is a price to pay to get the booklet to you.  BUT, I think it’s worth it.

My other lastest project is to compile a list of brand name product labels to help my clients find appropriate foods. It’s quite cute, don’t’ you think?    If you have found a FODMAP friendly product that you JUST LOVE…please, please share…and leave a comment on the blog.

I hope to get a few of the new Aussie low FODMAP booklets as give-a-ways on the blog…so check on back if you’d like a chance to win!

Until later…bye!

UPDATE!!! I reached out to Jane Muir and we have some GREAT news! Reduced postage rates to order the new booklet!  FODMAP Booklet—3rd Edition Order Form

And the new composition info due out in September is slated to be downloadable!

 

Weigh to GO! Nutrition Services

Who wouldn’t want 2 registered dietitians to come into their home and teach you how to cook a wonderfully healthy family meal?

Meet Liz and Jeanne…of  Weigh to Go! Nutrition Services.  Weigh to Go, a Massachusetts area service, offers in home cooking classes- teaching basic cooking skills or menu planning for someone with a specialized dietary requirements, think…allergies or celiac disease or perhaps just an family that wants to eat healthier.  Not only do these two enthusiastic culinary talents provide personalized cooking instruction in your own home, they also take the show on the road and provide corporate workshops as well. Check out this deelish dish…

Have a few girlfriends interested in learning how to cook a healthy meal, invite Weigh to Go and have a cooking party!

For more info, contact Liz and Jeanne at info@weightogons.com or check out there site here!  Fees vary so best to consult with them directly to design your personalized menu.

And FODMAP followers, this crew can help you cook up some tasty belly friendly dishes too!