I have so much gratitude for being introduced to Dr. Sushovan Guha at Memorial Herman who then introduced me to Gabriela Gardner, RD. This was the first time in all my years of seeing different gastrologists that I was told my symptoms are real and not just IBS. I even had one specialist tell me to stop eating all fruits and vegetables. When I asked him what I should eat he looked at my like I was the crazy one. Can you believe that?!? Dr. Guha wanted me to work with Gaby on the Fodmap diet to see if my stomach issues would resolve with a change of diet. Surely enough almost all of my symptoms subsided and I was able to get through a day without the terrible trapped air pain and bloating that I was used to. Gaby is a wonderful resource to work with as her patience and understanding goes a long way! Below you will find her contact information, interview and Popsicle recipe.
Gabriela’s Contact Information:
Email: [email protected]
What made you want to start your own practice?
“There are very few dietitians who dive into Fodmaps. I wanted to be available to help more people in the Houston area.” (PS I was one of Gaby’s first Fodmap successes!)
What do you focus on?
“I focus on all digestive disorders including Fodmap (IBS), Celiac, gluten sensitivity, and other food sensitivities (elimination diets). I also focus on nutrition support (people who can’t eat by mouth).”
How were you introduced to the fodmap diet?
“I taught myself about the diet by reading from fellow Doctors and dietitians such as Dr. Sue Shepherd, Kate Scarlta RD, and medical journal articles.”
What resources are you hoping to provide?
“I will be able to provide resources such as grocery guides, eating out guides, recipes, plus much more. When I first started learning about the Fodmap diet it was very limited but now I can really tailor it to the person.
Sometimes there is skepticism that food may be the problem. My role is to guide my patients through the process and to make it easier and doable.
The Fodmap diet isn’t the easy route but it’s cheaper, no medication needed, no side effects, rewarding and gives you your life back”
Do you have stomach issues yourself?
“Yes, I have to follow a very strict gluten-free diet and lifestyle. After seeing multiple doctors without any luck, I was fortunate to be in the nutrition field and able to help myself. I found a GI doctor that I currently work with, who supports my philosophy, “Food is Medicine.” (and Hippocrates too!)
What are the biggest tips for people on this diet who get frustrated with the process?
“Get help from a dietitian that can help you identify hidden sources of Fodmaps. The Fodmap diet is a two step process: elimination and challenges. People don’t challenge certain foods because they think they will react and don’t want to feel sick after getting some symptom improvement while on the elimination. Also join support groups like Instagram, Monash App to stay on top of new updates.”
When do you recommend a patient on the Fodmap diet to start challenging food again?
“It depends on what kind of IBS the patient has. IBS-D you will see improvements much sooner and can start challenging as soon as four weeks.
I see a lot of anxiety associated with foods. I take a holistic approach slowly reintroducing foods with patients. Food should be your friend, not your enemy.
It is important to try to reintroduce as the elimination diet is extremely restricted and can be unbalanced. For example, almond milk is low in protein compared to cows milk and the patient could not be getting enough protein throughout the day.”
How do you know what a patient is lacking?
“It is important for the patient to keep a food diary in order for me to make recommendations on quantity on food. It can be hard for some patients to get enough fiber on this diet; as well as variety of fruits and vegetables that are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals”
Gaby's Pineapple Mint PopsiclesPrint Recipe
- 8oz Light Coconut Milk
- 2 Cups of Pineapple
- 2 Tbsp of Fresh Mint Leaves
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix it all together
Spread mixture evenly into popsicles molds, remember it's all about portion control
Place in the freezer and wait until cold temperatures work its magic.
Voila! Enjoy these refreshing FODMAP friendly popsicles