Happy & Fructose Free

Spreading Hope for Anyone Affected by Fructose Malabsorption

Fructose Free Staples: Part V

Daily Multivitamin & Probiotic Dietary Supplement

When many fruits & veggies go off the menu permanently it should be no surprise that you absolutely need to take a multivitamin & probiotic to maintain your health. The challenge is finding safe products and remembering to take them everyday.

Vitafusion is an allergy-friendly brand in general (all of their gummy vitamins are completely free of wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts & soy) and their daily multivitamins are made with sugar so I these fit right into a Fructose Malabsorber’s lifestyle.

Did I mention that they are gummies?  Healthy, chewy, and sweet, these vitamins take me back to my childhood and make this daily necessity something to look forward to 🙂

Culturelle makes a number of great probiotics that are fantastic for everybody, since, let’s be honest, we all could use a little help maintaining the bacteria balance in our digestive systems.

On top of that, there is a capsule made specifically for those of us with some common dietary needs!  Look for the little banner at the top of the box that says “Dairy and Gluten Free.”  No yogurt needed, and we still get all of the benefits.  Hooray!

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Fructose Free Staples: Part IV

Mouthwash

We Fructose Free Folks may not be able to eat garlic or onions, but food breath is food breath and it is a social necessity to be fresh.

I was completely addicted to gum, but after I got diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption I flipped over every pack of gum I could get my hands on… every brand and every flavor out of dozens of gums, all of them had sorbitol and nearly all of them had sucralose~The key to success is always learning~  Check out my update at the end of this post 🙂

~ My beloved lunch “dessert” was making me just as sick as my lunch! ~

Mouthwash is the best replacement for gum that I’ve found… but we still have to be on the lookout for sneaky sucralose and sorbitol solutionsOur mouths are very absorbent, so putting a fructose ingredient under your tongue may or may not affect your tummy, but why risk it?

I’m certain there additional brands and flavors out there, but here are a few mouth rinses that you won’t have to worry about.

Scope Outlast is my choice for mouthwashes with alcohol since it contains no fructose ingredients.

Crest Pro Health Complete is my choice for alcohol free rinses if you are OK with added coloring.  It also contains no fructose.

Crest Pro Health Multi-Protection – Clear Mint is my choice for alcohol free and dye free mouthwashes.

This one lists sucralose as the third-to-last inactive ingredient, and since this is my personal rinse of choice, I can say that this minimal amount of sucralose has not caused any bubbles for me.

Feel confident in the world without gum, and be

Happy Minty Fresh! 🙂

~The key to success is always learning~ Update Added 1/09/12

I have some happy news!!!  THERE IS GUM out there if you can tolerate some corn syrup (not the High Fructose kind, of course). 

These are not gums that 4 out 5 dentists would approve of, though.  Alas… none of the  teeth-friendly sugar free gums will work since they all have “-tols”/sugar alcohols like xylitol or mannitol, but the old-school gums like Big Red, Double Mint and Juicy Fruit that are sweetened with real sugar are certainly an option when used with caution… caution for your tummy, certainly, but also for your teeth!  They do cause quite a bit of added plaque, so you can still enjoy a half piece of Spearmint gum when you are on the go and need a breath pick-me-up, but also make sure to floss 🙂

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Fructose Free Staples: Part III

It is wonderful to make everything from scratch, but having convenient fructose free pantry staples are important to maintaining your health and your sanity on those crazy-busy days.

Here is another installment of the Fructose Free Staples that keep me Happy 🙂

Cereal

 

~The key to success is always learning~ Please check out the updates at the end of this post 🙂

I have been addicted to cereal for as long as I can remember.  Going though each level of my dietary-needs evolution I lost more and more of my beloved breakfast options every time.  Fructose malabsorption is doubly tricky in the morning because even the cereals that are organic, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free often times use honey, molasses, or fruit to sweeten them.

Thankfully, I already had Gluten Free Rice Krispies in my pantry after I got my Fructose Malabsorption diagnosis, and I stumbled upon the toasted oats cereal by Full Circle when I had to ditch my Rice and Corn Chex.  Both are crispy, light and perfectly satisfying with milk or on their own as a late morning snack.

Hooray for Fructose Free Breakfast!

Instant Rice

Yes, a rice cooker and good ol’ fashioned long grain rice is delicious, but there are (many) days that I simply don’t have that kinda time to wait around.

In addition to their instant rice, Minute Brand now has super convenient single portion cups that only take a minute in the microwave and they come in an array of flavors.  We fructose free folks are best to stick with the plain white and brown rice versions.  Quick note, the Ready to Serve Cups do contain soy.

Peanut Butter

I know… PEANUTS are not PISTACHIOS (the only nut that is OK’d for people living a fructose free lifestyle), but transitioning from a vegetarian lifestyle I absolutely cannot live without peanut butter.  Small steps…

This particular natural peanut butter from Skippy only uses sugar to sweeten, and it doesn’t require stirring.  Easy, delicious, and affordable!

If you have access to freshly made nut butters, go for it!  They are awesome and are certainly the healthiest option, but I find that this peanut butter is a “Happy (Fructose Free) Medium.”

Please remember to test your tolerance with peanuts before diving in, and always Enjoy in Moderation 🙂

~The key to success is always learning~ Updated 10/14/12

Over the past few months I realized that I don’t digest brown rice very well.  Luckily I can still work with normal wheat flour.  Here are a few more cereals that are free of honey, brown sugar/molasses, and dried fruits.

My new favorite cereal is Special K – Original.  The first ingredient is rice, and it has lots of added vitamins and minerals (including iron which I am having a tough time getting enough of right now), plus fiber which all Fructose Malabsorbers need.  ~This cereal contains wheat and milk products~

Here are a couple sweetened cereals that I have found to be safe for my tummy.  *As always, please test your tolerance first and enjoy in moderation*

Craving Chocolate?  Bear River Valley – All Natural Cereals makes an excellent version of Cocoa Pebbles called “Choco Chomp.”  The name might be a little silly sounding, but this delightful cereal soothes my chocolate urges frequently and has earned a permanent spot in my kitchen.  I love it!  To keep my portions under control I often add a 1/4 cup to a bowl of Special K.  Plus you still get some yummy chocolate milk afterwards a without a ton of extra sugar.  Oh happiness! 🙂 ~This cereal does contain wheat~

Craving Cinnamon?  Cascadian Farm Organics makes a convincing version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, called “Cinnamon Crunch” that uses whole grain wheat and only sugar with dextrose (which is our friend) to sweeten.  Amazing!  I find these make perfect portable snacks, but it is sooo hard to stop eating them.   I would recommend getting some snack-sized zip-top bags to avoid any self-control related sickness (Been there, done that.  Totally worth it, but now I try to prevent it :)).  ~This cereal contains both wheat and soy~

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Fructose Free Staples: Part II

Convenience items are worth their weight in gold when you are Fructose Free.

Here are some more items I cannot live without:

Canola Mayonnaise

I owe this Fructose Free discovery to my husband, Micah, 100%. Newly diagnosed, I was wandering aimlessly up and down every isle of the grocery store when I stumbled upon the wall-o-mayonnaise. I knew you could make your own fructose free mayo, so I began to dig…

Jar after jar and bottle after bottle… Lots of mayo, but not a single one to eat.  As I was storming off in frustration, Micah hollered at me. He found this awesome canola-based mayo from Hellmann’s and it is now has a permanent spot in our fridge.  Its “staple” status is only reinforced by the fact is both yummy and only 4 grams of fat per serving!

No High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and the new formula does not contain soy, but it does contain corn starch.  Some Fructose Free Folks have to watch their corn starch more closely than others, and if cornstarch sends your tummy into bubbles it is super easy to make your own.  Check out  this link!

Fructose Free Mayonnaise Recipe

Armed with this Fructose Free Staple you have lots of potato salads, tuna salads, and CHICKEN SALADS available for your happy eating 🙂

Canned Chicken

Speaking of chicken salad, canned chicken breast makes short work of a healthy meal on the go.  After reading dozens of labels on different brands of canned chicken breast,  I finally found one without corn starch! 

This particular brand comes in bulk (at Sam’s Club), and is tasty to boot, so it is a great choice for those living with and without cornstarch!

My Chicken Salad Recipe

~ 1 can of Member’s Mark All Natural Chicken Breast ~ 2-3 Tbsp. of mayonnaise, depending on how creamy you like your chicken salads ~ 1 stalk celery chopped finely ~ 1 Tbsp. Heinz Yellow Mustard (which doesn’t contain garlic powder like most other brands) ~ 1 Tbsp. dried chives (splurge on the vibrant green ones in glass jars, not the off brands that look (and taste) like onion soaked paper.  Totally worth it!) ~ 1 tsp. paprika (if tolerated) ~ salt and pepper to taste ~

Stir to combine, then dive in with your favorite fructose free potato chips or toasted bread!  Or refrigerate so everything is ready to go for lunch tomorrow.  Your choice…  I would also recommend making a double batch… it tends to disappear around here very very quickly.

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Fructose Free Staples: Part I

We all have busy lives. It is a known fact, and when fructose malabsoption is also a fact of life… convenience flies out the window. But there is no reason you have to go hungry!

Check out these quick, easy, healthy kitchen staples that make my life loads easier.  I absolutely cannot live without….

Tortillas

These tortillas made their way into my home after ridding my house of gluten, and they have remained after three more more dietary needs were added. These are a winner! This particular brand of tortilla hides in the freezer section of my local health foods store.

It is not necessary to purchase the expensive tortillas. If you can tolerate a certain brand of flour tortillas, go for it!

~The key to success is always learning~ Please check out the updates at the end of this post 🙂

The best thing about tortillas is they are a blank canvas. If I need a filling dinner to-go, I snag a tortilla from the fridge with some precooked lentils or beans, whatever seasonings I feel like that day, some baby spinach, and some cheese (I use Daiya Brand since it is dairy and soy free… its not the same as real cheese, but as far as I’m concerned the people who came up with it are magicians).

Pop it open faced in the microwave for 1 minute, and roll it up so the melty cheese seals it at the top. Done! 🙂

Box Potatoes

Rarely a day goes by where I do not have a serving of this fast, warm, carb-y deliciousness.  It is a great post-11-hour-work-day snack so I can think rationally about dinner instead of giving into the fructose loaded salsa and corn chips that are lurking around the corner.

As a bonus, if you use water instead of milk and olive oil instead of butter it is very low in calories and fat, and you can jazz it up with some onion or garlic water (instructions coming soon), homemade veggie stock, or any number of herbs and spices.

If you are also lactose intolerant, beware of other instant potato brands as I have found several that contain milk and butter in dried form.

More staples to come 🙂

~The key to success is always learning~ Update Added 10/13/12

Since I posted these first staples I have learned that I, personally, cannot digest brown rice very well but I seem to handle standard wheat flour, white rice, and quinoa okay.  Always listen to your tummy when finding your own happy foods list. Keeping a food journal is very helpful in determining patterns since often the symptoms won’t show up for a day or two.  

Transitioning away from vegetarian lifestyle continues to be the hardest part of living with Fructose Intolerance for me, personally.  Previously I note lentils and beans as suitable options, however my body does much better with shredded chicken as the protein (I would recommend poaching some chicken breast, shredding it, and freezing it in individual portions).  The problem with lentils, beans and chick peas is they are Galactans, which contain multiple chains of sugars that all people have trouble breaking down into digestible components.  Anyone with a digestive disorder and associated gastrointestinal upset will be better served by staying away from these vegetarian staples. 

If you are/were a vegetarian and live with Fructose Malabsorption I would love to hear from you so we can share techniques of sneaking more meat onto our plates.  Please email me at happyfructosefree@gmail.com

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