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Low-FODMAP and Vegan
What to Eat When You Can't Eat Anything
by Jo Stepaniak
review by Marla Rose
A unique book from the Book Publishing Company was released this year and I am happy to finally have had a chance to review it. Low-FODMAP and Vegan: What to Eat When You Can’t Eat Anything by acclaimed author Jo Stepaniak
is a book that was written to speak to a sizable – but often kind of
invisible – segment of the population that lives with the frustrating,
painful, and, let’s be honest, often embarrassing disorder known as
Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In the book, Jo addresses the question
considered heretical in many vegan circles: What if you are not
physically thriving as a vegan? What if you’ve tried it all – raw,
oil-free, gluten-free, high-carb, juicing and on and on – and you still
don’t feel great? What if eating high-fiber is kind of torturous for
your poor gut? What if the “healthier” you eat, the worse you feel? For
10 – 15 percent of the population in the United States, the mysterious
IBS disorder is a reality and that number includes vegans.
First, let’s get this out of the way: FODMAP is a helpful acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
According to the author, this group of naturally occurring sugars are
difficult to absorb and digest by the general population but people
with IBS experience the worst symptoms: cramping, bloating, abdominal
distension, nausea and more. What makes it worse for herbivores is that
all FODMAPs are carbohydrates, which explains why many people with
digestive problems do not have it eased by a vegan diet and, in fact,
find their condition worsening. FODMAPs are found in everything from
dates to cauliflower, cashews to hummus. OH MY GOD, HUMMUS?! What is a
vegan to do?
Jo Stepaniak is here to the rescue with her Low-FODMAP book. As someone
who has had her own struggle with IBS and a longtime vegan, she is the
perfect guide to have written this important book. As a skilled
researcher, clear and thoughtful writer and talented recipe developer,
vegans with IBS (and, really, anyone with digestive disorders) now have
a wonderful ally and resource in their corner. With the book broken up
into 10 chapters, the first half dedicated to educating about IBS and
FODMAPs and the second half full of vegan Low-FODMAP recipes, this book
is full of very helpful information (yay, colorful charts!), gorgeous
food photography and is perfectly organized in its flow. Written with
clarity, compassion and understanding, Low-FODMAP and Vegan
is perfect for anyone who is struggling to feel well as a vegan with a
digestive disorder. It turns out you don’t have to suffer through your
veganism or give it up: you can have your vegan Low-FODMAP cake (or
more accurately in this case, a fabulous-looking Pumpkin Pie Mousse) and eat it, too.
I heartily recommend Low-FODMAP and Vegan.
I should also disclose that Jo Stepaniak is a personal friend but I
still think I am being impartial when I say that this is a fantastic
resource and to anyone struggling with IBS or other gastro-intestinal
conditions or even just a delicate tummy, this is the book for you.
2013-2016, Vegan Street