Three things which have helped me get a handle on this whole whattheheck is a FODMAP and Fructose Malabsorption thing is the Monash University app, tracking my diet with Fat Secret, and some meal planning.
The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App
The app helped me whether I was at home or grocery shopping. I could look up what was and was not safe or which FODMAP it was high in. Make sure to tap the food for more info as sometimes something that was green might have a note at the bottom for those who malabsorb fructose. As a newcomer to all of this I find it worth the $9 price. The app is available in both the Apple and Google Play stores.
Read Monash FODMAP’S Facebook post on the Low FODMAP diet app here.
Tracking My Diet
Tracking your diet is essential with the Low FODMAP diet as you may eat something, but it won’t “get you” for 2-to-4 days and if you’re like me you won’t always remember everything you’ve eaten from day to day much less last week. I used Fat Secret’s page because I like the interface (the usability and navigation, etc) and ability to have a private blog (to make notes about my symptoms) better than other diet sites like LoseIt!, My FitnessPal, etc. It’s just a personal preference really. It isn’t about the calories unless you have a weight gain or loss goal to go with your GI issues. Tracking the foods eaten along with making notes about how you feel helps you figure out what food or combination of foods you ate when you experienced a symptom so you learn your tolerance levels whether it be don’t eat these two things together or eat this food every few days not every day or that was too high of a FODMAP load overall.
* Note that with FatSecret though they have both a website and app you can use if you use both your entries from one method will overwrite those made with the other (i.e. posts from the app are overwritten/erased when you post by web then sync and vice versa) in Android so stick with one method. I find the website the easiest.
I personally hate meal planning. I am a super picky eater and someone who could shove just about anything in my mouth until about a year ago so it takes me forever, but it did help me a lot in the strictest part in the beginning. The point of meal planning for me with the low FODMAP diet was to make a list of the foods ALLOWED and show myself what I could eat versus what I could not eat. It makes things seem that much less limited.