- Importance of Nutrition in GI Conditions
Two weeks ago I attended the conference Food: The Main Course to Digestive Health where I had the opportunity to get the latest from national medical and nutrition experts in the field of GI Health and Nutrition. It was a great time to hear the latest research and nutritional recommendations.
All summer I had the post card about the conference on my desk to remind me to see if there was any way that I could get there for the September 20-22 for the conference. I really wanted be there but I felt that I had so many personal obstacles to prevent me from getting there which included helping my mom who lives over 800 miles away off and on this past summer and I had a bad case of the shingles all August. I was also filling in as a care provider for my grandchildren when needed and trying to get some work in with Vine Ripe Nutrition. As time got closer, I had resigned to the fact that I would not attend a conference but then I received a few encouraging texts from a dietitian friend, Carol asking me if I would like to attend the conference with her.
Sometimes, it takes just a few encouraging words from someone else to move mountains! So I got on the stick to get my reservations and made it!
Importance of Nutrition in GI Conditions
I am so glad that I got to attend the GI nutrition conference which included both lecture series and panel discussions. We heard from national experts in the field of IBS including William Chey MD Professor of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan and Emily Haller. In addition, we had the chance to hear about the latest nutrition therapy for IBD from GI Nutrition expert Patsy Castos. The conference highlighted nutrition in the management of pancreatitis, celiac disease, short gut syndrome, food allergies and achalasia.
We enjoyed learning about complementary and behavioral therapies for GI health from Kate Scarlata, GI Pychologist Megan Riehl and the role of the pelvic floor and GI Disorders from physical therapist, Jen Shifferd.
One of the most intriguing topics for me at the conference was about Mast Cell Activation presented by Kate Scarlata where she gave us a great review of histamine intolerance and discussed mastocytosis and mass cell activation disease.
Foods for Gut Health
There were also several nutrition companies who showed us some valuable food products that people who have digestive health conditions can use to minimize their symptoms. These can be great tools for them to be able to continue to eat some of the foods that they love.
Fody has a large selection of gluten free and low fodmap foods. Some of my favorites of their products include an onion free, gluten free taco seasoning, salsa and taco sauce and pasta sauce. I also love their delicious chocolate almond energy bar, it is so decadent!
Enjoy Life not only offers gluten free and low fodmap products but also has one of the largest selections of foods that are free from the most common food allergens so it is a great resource to provide clients with food allergies.
Schar specializes in gluten free foods. It originally started in Europe but now available worldwide specializes in baked goods, pastry dough and pasta.
Rachel Pauls Food is best known for her Happy Bars but also has soup bases, baking mixes, spices and jerky that are low in fodmaps.
GI Support and Information
Two non-profit groups at the conference are a great resource for GI health and they include the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders and Fodmap Friendly. Here is a little bit about eat of them.
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders is a non-profit organization who’s goal is to share extensive and solid information on gastrointestinal conditions to consumers and health providers. With many questionable resources online about GI health and nutrition, it is great to know that there is a site with great resources for clients to have for on additional reading that is based on scientific information.
Fodmap Friendly is a international trademark for certified low fodmap foods. It is nice to be able to see the emblem on the food and know that it has been tested to not have food products that contain high fodmaps and may trigger IBS symptoms.
Meal Delivery to Your Home for Gut Health
Some people don’t like to cook or feel that they don’t have the time. Others may like to cook but may feel overwhelmed during the low fodmap elimination phase. I always chuckle when some of my clients have said that they wish that I would just come over to their house and make all of their meals. And there are now two home delivery companies out there that will do just that! The first company is Modify Health which is under the close direction of low fodmap nutrition expert, Patsy Castos using recipes developed by award winning chefs.
Another new meal service that delivers both gluten free and low fodmap meals is Epicured as of this blog post they are currently delivering from Boston to Washington DC but plan on expanding their service area soon.
I enjoyed learning more about the latest on GI health to help my clients live healthier and happier lives. Having IBS myself, I also personally benefit from the information!
In addition to sharing this GI Nutrition Update with you, I am also reminded how powerful it is when someone encourages someone else. If my friend had not contacted me and encouraged me to come, I might not every had made it to the conference. Sometimes all of us just needs a little nudge. Here is a picture of Carol and I at the conference. Thank you for encouraging me to come with you!