If you’re like many of my nutrition clients, you’ve gotten off your routine over the summer. Honestly, it’s harder to stay on track during the summer months. And that includes sticking to a therapeutic diet designed to address your IBS symptoms. Let’s face it. Summer can be super fun. But it can also make it harder to follow through with even the best laid plans. School is out, vacations disrupt the normal routine, and in some places it just feels too hot to cook.
But we’re winding down and heading full speed toward fall. Soon the kids will be back in school, and it’ll likely get easier to stick to your plans and food routines. But getting back into the groove can feel challenging — even overwhelming. So for the month of August, I’m going to help. I’ll be sharing some of my best tips and resources for getting (and staying) on track with the low FODMAP diet.
We all know that the healthiest meals are the ones you cook at home. But we also live in a fast-paced and exhausting world where whipping up a home cooked dinner every night isn’t always realistic. Fast food happens. But there’s no reason you can’t stick to your low FODMAP diet even if you’re hitting the drive-thru or grabbing takeout.
And to make things even easier, I’m sharing my free IBS Resource Guide. Here you’ll find the apps, supplements, and even packaged foods that can make sticking to low FODMAP easier.
Let’s dive in and look at some family-friendly fast food options where you can stick with your low FODMAP diet. And I’ll even guide you on what to order.
Yes, you can eat low FODMAP even at the drive thru. You just have to be smart about it. Here are some of my favorite options.
When you need dinner NOW and on a budget, you may opt for the Wendy’s drive thru. And while Wendy’s may not make my healthy restaurant top 10 list, there are things you can order there that can provide nutrition and help you stick to your low FODMAP diet.
Grilled chicken and a bacon and cheese potato with shredded cheese
One nice thing about Wendy’s is that they offer baked potatoes — which are low FODMAP. Hooray! So as long as you’re careful with your toppings, a baked potato is a good choice.
Chicken is also a safe food on the low FODMAP diet. The seasonings, marinades, and sauces can get you. But at Wendy’s you can safely order the grilled chicken.
Grilled chicken and a baked potato will fill you up, give you a good dose of protein, and even provide some of those vitamins and minerals your body needs — all without going over your FODMAP total.
Artisan egg sandwich without bun or hollandaise sauce
Eggs are another lifesaver on the low FODMAP diet. And Wendy’s has you covered. While you do need to skip the bread, the egg salad itself will provide you with protein and nutrients, without the FODMAPs. Pair it with a lettuce salad topped with tomato, cucumber, and cheese.
You’ll want to stay away from their packaged dressings though. But if you plan ahead a bit, you can bring your own. Or if you’re bringing your takeout home, just make sure to keep some low FODMAP dressing options on hand. Fody Foods has good low FODMAP salad dressings — and they’re even available in handy on-the-go containers.
Hamburger with lettuce and tomato, without bun, with French fries
Sometimes you just need a burger. And as long as you go bunless, you can grab one at Wendy’s. Add some lettuce and tomato if you like. And you can even have it with fries. But be careful about ketchup. Sadly, it is high in Oligos-fructans — which are FODMAPs.
At Jack & the Box, you can opt for chicken or a burger.
Try their Chicken Club Salad (grilled) or Grilled Chicken Salad — just make sure to skip the croutons. This is a good option if you don’t have your own dressing because the balsamic dressing at Jack & the Box is low FODMAP.
At Jack & the Box you can order a double Jack as long as you skip the onions and bun. You can top your burger with mustard, and even order a side of French fries.
It is possible to eat takeout pizza on the low FODMAP diet. The first thing you want to do is find a place with a gluten-free crust. No, gluten doesn’t contain FODMAPs. But wheat flour does. And gluten-free crusts are made without wheat flour. Sometimes they’re cauliflower-based. Or restaurants may use gluten free flour options.
I can’t speak for all pizza places. There are FODMAPs hiding in spices and seasonings. But I have a couple you can trust.
Mod Pizza is kind of like the Subway of pizza places. You can choose as many toppings as you want and they build your pizza on the spot. So it’s fairly easy to skip the high FODMAP toppings.
If you’re eating low FODMAP at Mod, go for a gluten free crust. You’ll have to skip the tomato sauce. But you can have it topped with olive oil, diced tomatoes, cheese, Canadian bacon, and low FODMAP veggies like olives and green bell peppers.
Go for a gluten free pizza with no sauce. But you can top it with plain olive oil, light cheese, and low FODMAP toppings like peppers, tomato, pineapple, etc.
If you’re making your own pizza, you have more choice of the brands you choose for toppings. It’s possible to have traditionally higher FODMAP toppings if you’re careful. Here’s a great article about low FODMAP pizza toppings.
The nice thing about going to a sub sandwich place is that you have lots of control over exactly what you get. And many places offer a lot of options.
If you’re hitting a Subway, you have a couple choices. And no, neither one is a sandwich.
When you order a custom salad at Subway, it can be, well… customized. As long as you go in with your low FODMAP app or a good working knowledge of low FODMAP ingredients, you can build a nice salad. Just make sure to opt for either plain oil & vinegar or bring your own dressing.
No, Subway doesn’t advertise omelets. But if you order the Egg & Cheese Flatbread and get it without the flatbread, that’s basically what you’ll have.
At Jimmy John’s you can order an Unwich. This is more than just a breadless sandwich. They’ll wrap your sandwich ingredients in lettuce (and paper) so you can hold it and eat it like a sandwich instead of having to opt for a fork. Again, just be mindful of choosing low FODMAP toppings and sticking with oil and vinegar as a sauce.
Yes, the low FODMAP diet helps with IBS symptoms. And I use it in my nutrition practice all the time. But eating low FODMAP doesn’t solve the underlying problem that’s causing your symptoms in the first place. And the low FODMAP diet isn’t a good long-term option. You miss out on lots of important nutrients when you eliminate or severely limit FODMAPs from your diet.
It is possible to feel better and eat a wider variety of food, even if you’ve been diagnosed with IBS. If you’re looking for some personalized help to identify and address the root cause of your IBS symptoms, let’s chat. You can book a free 15 minute strategy session.
Or maybe you need a community of other people who understand what you’re going through. The Healthy Gut Solutions Group is a supportive online community where you can chat with others who understand what it’s like to navigate IBS. And yes, I’ll be there too!