My Story

I love food. Ask any of my friends—it’s basically all I talk about. I love to cook, I love discovering new restaurants, and I even spent a few years as a food critic, visiting and writing about restaurants in my city. (Best job I ever had!)

But food doesn’t always love me. Even as I was dining and carousing around town, I was suffering. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, you’re probably all-too-familiar with my symptoms—the discomfort, the pain, the embarrassment. It’s not really something you brag about on a first date. I saw countless doctors, whose treatments were often not very effective, if at all. And for years I was resigned to my symptoms—they were just a part of my life, for better or worse (mostly the latter).

Finally, I started seeing a doctor who took a more integrated and holistic approach to my problem. He suggested I try an “elimination diet,” which involved paring my eating down to some very basic essentials—no dairy, no corn, no wheat, no soy, basically nothing that might possibly cause a reaction.

And for the first time in years, I started to feel better—not totally fine, but better.

As I was eliminating, I was also reading voraciously about food intolerances, and the subject of FODMAPs kept coming up. One study in particular, by researchers at Monash University, kept coming up. Their patients were reporting huge improvements in their symptoms, and their results seemed to be repeated in other studies around the world. I decided to try it, and I found myself feeling much better.

The low-FODMAP lifestyle isn’t easy at first. You have to cut out a lot, and I struggled with it. No onions? No garlic? How could I possibly live without those things, let alone pasta and dairy? (My favorite meal of all time is a big plate of garlic-stinking spaghetti and meatballs, so this felt especially cruel.) Living without FODMAPs felt like doing all the specialty diets at the same time.

When I started to cut out FODMAPs, I found there were very few resources for people like me. Monash’s site is great, and there are few others, but mostly I found they just mirrored the Monash researcher’s advice. I felt like there needed to be more out there, a resource where people living without FODMAPs could find recipes, advice, links to the latest news, and maybe most importantly, a supportive community. And that’s why I started The Low-FODMAP Life.

My journey (and I suspect yours, if you’re reading this) is just beginning. I’d love to have you along for the ride.

Feel free to contact me at any time, either in the comments or at info@thelowfodmaplife.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Noah Nyan

PS: I must disclaim that I am not a doctor or a registered dietitian. Everything you read on this site is my opinion and based solely on my own experiences. If you are having dietary issues I strongly recommend you see a physician first, to eliminate celiac disease (which does not respond to the low-FODMAP lifestyle) or other serious problems. Stay healthy.