Happy & Fructose Free

Spreading Hope for Anyone Affected by Fructose Malabsorption

Holiday Food Adventures – Merriment With Minimal Bloating

What is scarier than eating at a restaurant?  Eating at the home of a loved one that doesn’t ACTUALLY understand fructose malabsorption and your other dietary needs, but sure tries.

They don’t put french fried onions on top of the green bean casserole just for you, but they forgot about the half onion they cooked in the dish.  You plate up a bunch only to find little the little tummy bloating pieces three bites in… you know if you eat any more you will get very sick, but if you don’t clean your plate you  may hurt some feelings.  It is a Lose-Lose Situation, but with a few techniques you can avoid these awkward moments and save your gut.

Plan Ahead: Start The Food Conversation Early

Know your schedule and know your tummy.  Initiate conversations about what is on the menu with the host(s) several weeks in advance, and offer to bring items that are often contaminated with onions, garlic, tomatoes and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  My key targets:  

  • Anything that is creamy and sweet likely has Cool Whip, which ALWAYS has HFCS,
  • Casseroles & Soups usually contain onions and crushed tomatoes
  • Bread items like dressing/stuffing or dinner roles that are purchased.  HFCS lurks in many commercially baked goods.

Starting the food conversation weeks in advance allows you to help your hosts think through the menu, and educate them where excess fructose likes to hide.

Plan Ahead: Build Up Your Fructose Enzymes & Pack Dextrose Candies (Like Smarties)

Remember, it isn’t about avoiding fructose entirely (that would be impossible).  Making smart food choices on the few days before and on the holiday, and spreading your fructose items through the day, will make all the difference to your tummy during the holidays.

So, you know you have a big Thanksgiving holiday looming, and you’d really like a single piece of pumpkin pie with Reddi Whip (not Cool Whip/HFCS) and a serving of your favorite veggie casserole.  The good news is that if you only have fructose malabsorption you CAN likely have the items you love, and all you need to do is plan ahead and eat smart on that day.  Make sure your body has all of its fructose enzymes built up over a few days to take on the excess fructose on the holiday, plus don’t forget to pack some dextrose candies for just before and just after the meal (Smarties are my favorite because they come in small packages and are easy to eat discreetly).

Since Fructose Intolerance is a type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, one of the best things we Fructose Folks can do for ourselves is…. are you ready for it?

–> Do Not Over Eat!!! <–

Overeating overwhelms our already sensitive gut, so eat smaller meals more often.  Have one scoop of your favorite veggie casserole with cornflake topping (High Fructose Tally Item) with your potatoes and turkey (Low Fructose Tally Items) first.  Then snack on a crescent roll (Medium  Fructose Tally Item) with butter while everyone is finishing their giant plates of food and waiting for dessert.  If you tummy is already gurgling at you then get your piece of pie to go and save it for later… like when you get home.  Or if you are feeling good, then go for a small piece and see how your tummy reacts.

Everyone’s fructose tolerance is different, but you can help your body digest these troublesome foods better so they don’t case so much bloating.

Plan Ahead: Don’t Arrive Hungry

See the previous note.  Overeating is setting your tummy up for failure, and you will pay the price.  Trust me… I have done this more than a handful of times (not happy).  Arriving partially full is critically important and means that the deliciously dangerous foods around you won’t look so appealing and “worth the risk.”  The frosted sugar cookies may be delicious, but they will also max out your fructose allotment for the meal and make your sick when you eat that piece of pumpkin pie.

This Fructose Aware Lifestyle is all about trade offs.  For this meal will you choose…

  • High Fructose Tally Item #1: Frosted Sugar Cookie
  • High Fructose Tally Item #2: Favorite Veggie Casserole
  • High Fructose Tally Item #3: Slice of Pumpkin Pie

I choose, for dinner the veggie casserole, and for a late dessert the pumpkin pie OR the cookie.  Take the third home to eat tomorrow.  

Easy as… Pumpkin Pie 🙂

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to tweak recipes, so please share with me the foods you are craving for the holidays but are afraid to tackle.  I am always happy to help!

Email me anytime at HappyAndFructoseFree@Gmail.com

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