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 Issue 86, December 2016

Hello <<First Name>>,  

Christmas season tends to toss up some tricky diet challenges, particularly if you are looking after a specific health concern. So, how do you keep your diet in check over Christmas while keeping symptoms under control? This month, we tell you how to keep your gut in good health; a delicious way to go low-GI; and we share a tasty Christmas recipe (that’s too good to save for just the festive season!). We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy 2017.

It’s a Holly Jolly (Low FODMAP) Christmas

Following a low FODMAP diet can be challenging at the best of times. But when celebrations are in season, the dietary restrictions can feel impossible.

Never fear; we are here to spread the word on festive foods that will not cause you to double over with cramping pains or send you running for the bathroom.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the low FODMAP diet, it is an elimination diet which helps those suffering with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including bloating, cramping, diarrhoea or constipation, reflux and nausea. FODMAPs are a large group of dietary sugars found in a range of foods. FODMAP is an acronym which stands for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides (fructans and galactans), Di-saccharides (lactose), Monosaccharides (fructose) and Polyols (mannitol and sorbitol). These sugars are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and lead to an excess of water in the bowel resulting in diarrhoea and/or excess production of gas leading to pain, wind and bloating.

All humans lack the enzymes required to break down fructans and galactans, therefore these FODMAPs are malabsorbed in everybody. However, people with an irritable bowel are more sensitive and experience mild to severe symptoms as a result.

The diet eliminates all FODMAP sugars before introducing challenges to determine your individual food intolerances. It is a diet best followed by the guidance of a dietitian. The common foods which are avoided in the strict phase of the diet include wheat, dairy, legumes, onion and garlic as well as certain fruits and vegetables.

The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) reports around one in five Australians experiences the unpleasant symptoms of IBS at some time.

It is by no means a lifelong diet, and there is actually evidence that suggests long-term avoidance of FODMAP foods can be more harmful to the gut. Nevertheless, the strict elimination phase can be tough. And when occasions of social eating pop up, it can get even tougher!

Here are some easy low FODMAP options for Christmas time that can help you to better handle your symptoms:

Jack Frost Nibbles

  • Low FODMAP fruit platter, including fresh strawberries, blueberries, grapes, passionfruit and banana
  • Make your own dairy-free/garlic-free hommus and serve with gluten-free wholegrain crackers (e.g. Goodies rice crackers or Mary’s Gone Crackers) and veggie sticks
  • Vietnamese rice paper rolls or sushi pieces

Merry Mains

  • Enjoy salads with low FODMAP vegetables e.g. spinach/lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, eggplant. Dress with a vingarette-style dressing e.g. olive oil and lemon juice
  • Avoid processed meats, eggs and creamy pastas – instead choose fresh seafood (more anti-inflammatory omega 3s)
  • Look for salads with gluten-free wholegrains for fibre e.g. quinoa salads

Yuletide Desserts

  • Stick to low FODMAP fruits or fruit salads
  • Make your own or bring a dish you know is FODMAP friendly, such as *Sweet Treat Nut Squares or *Chia Seed Pudding

Seasonal Sips

  • Limit alcohol as it can irritate a sensitive gut. Especially avoid beer and sweet wines as these contain FODMAP sugars
  • Sip on some sparkling mineral water but dazzle it up with some lemon slices or mint with pomegranate seeds (Christmas colours)

Party foods to enjoy - peanuts, hard yellow cheeses, olives, rice crackers, sushi, rice paper rolls, smoked salmon, fresh seafood, plain barbequed or roast lean meats, roast vegetables and greens, onion-free salads and fresh berries.
Sourced from: Monash University (

A few other tips to have you walking in a winter wonderland...

  • Plan for recovery phases – having one party after another will not give your tummy any time to rest. Stress and anxiety (which most people experience to a certain degree in social environments) are also gut irritants. Don’t over-commit this Christmas. Get some early nights, return to a strict low FODMAP diet in between events, drink plenty of water and get some good sleep.
  • Eat balanced meals and snacks and fill up before hand – eating good (and safe) food before you go to a party will help to limit overeating. If you are starving and there are only high FODMAP options, you will be in strife! A bit of prep goes a long way.
  • Bring a dish – where you can, it always helps to bring a dish that will provide you with at least one low FODMAP option.
*Recipes available from 'Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health' by Sue Radd


“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments and know everything happens for a reason.” -  Albert Schweitzer

What’s Cooking? – Simple Summer Meal & Snack Ideas to Make Low-GI Eating Delicious

Have you been avoiding carbs to try and shift weight or lower your blood sugar?

Not all carbs are created equal. Research shows wholegrain, low-GI carbs can actually help you better sustain your weight loss for the long term, feel more satisfied and regulate blood sugar levels – all without having to starve yourself!

They also reduce inflammation in your body and help protect against cancers and heart disease!

Learn how to use the Glycaemic Index (GI) in your kitchen to create delicious meals with superstar carbs. Become enlightened by new research that shows some starchy foods (previously called “complex carbohydrates”) are just as bad (or even worse) for your body than sugar! Discover nifty seasoning and portioning tricks to lower the blood sugar raising effect of an entire meal.

Perfect if you or your loved one has diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS, fatty liver or is struggling to keep that weight off!

Join us to become a mini-carb connoisseur and share your learnings from this cookshop with your family and friends.

When: Tuesday, 7th February 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, Castle Hill (Sydney)

Learn more about our cookshops

Enjoy a delicious tasting menu throughout the evening and take home recipes and handouts!

This event could change your life and your love/hate relationship with food!

Eventbrite - Simple Summer Meal Ideas to Make Low GI Eating Delicious


Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place as this event is very popular. Bring your partner!

Food Matters with Sue Radd – Smart Beach Eating

You’ve worked hard for months to get summer-ready but don’t want to blow it once you get to the beach by giving in to greasy takeaway meals, sugary drinks and ice-creams. Research tells us that it’s easy to put back those lost kilos, especially on holidays, so we’ve put together 7 great tips to help you plan ahead.

Recipe – Chocolate Truffle Cakes with Raspberries

Want a sure thing to impress your family and friends at the Christmas table this year that is healthy but indulgent?  These super delicious truffle cakes use only wholefoods and no cooking is required! Check out the recipe from Sue Radd's new book "Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health".

Food InFocus – Sprouts, Glorious Sprouts

Hear Sue Radd talk about the nutrient-boosting power of sprouts – and it isn’t just your typical boxed varieties that have everybody talking. From sprouted broccoli to sprouted nuts, there are plenty of healthy reasons to get munching.

Product Review – The Happy Snack Company: Roasted Chic Peas & Fava Beans

What are they?

These are a healthy snack for the whole family. They are roasted chic peas and fava beans that have been lightly salted for flavour. But the best news is that the kids can take them to school because they are completely nut-free.

Where do you get them?

Available at your local supermarkets. Look for a pack in the health food aisle.

How do you eat them?

Roasted chic peas and fava beans come in pre-portioned packs within each box, making it a perfect on-the-go snack. They are also nice as croutons tossed into a salad. For the kids, you can even purchase flavoured varieties for lunchboxes, including salt n vinegar, BBQ and pizza.


Per serve (25g packet)


420 kJ (100 Cal)


4.5 g

Fat total

2.9 g


<1 g


12.3 g


1.1 g

Dietary fibre

3.2 g


65 mg

Why we like them?

  • Good for portion controlled snacking.
  • Crunchy and salty for chip lovers, but significantly more filling.
  • Quick, easy and convenient snack.
  • Great one for the kids and safe for school.
  • Legumes (chic peas and fava beans) are low GI, anti-inflammatory and a good source of protein. They also have a source of fibre.
  • Perfect for people with diabetes, heart disease or gut issues. But also just for those looking to get healthy or lose a bit of weight!

Our Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Happy Snack Company does use some refined canola oil to roast, which is not the healthiest fat. However, this is a snack you can easily whip up at home. Just roast some chic peas in the oven with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and then add your own herbs and spices.

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