Many of my clients are businessmen and women who travel frequently for their work and one of the questions I get a lot is about how to eat low Fodmap at a catered conference where the food is presented to you and you have little to no say in your choices. This video gives you five tips to manoeuvre your way through each of the meals and to stay pain and bloat-free.
5 Tips for eating Low Fodmap at a Conference
Welcome to this video. Today I want to talk to you about how to eat at a conference. So you’ve been invited to a work conference or you’ve decided to go by yourself to a conference on something that interests you but how are you going to eat low Fodmap there when everything is catered for and kind of presented to you already done?
Well, I’ve got a few tips to help you with that.
- So the first thing is to make sure that you choose a room with a refrigerator. Most hotels room these days have at least got a refrigerator where you can keep some basics – it would be very unusual for it not to have that. If you got a little kitchenette that would be even better, but let’s suppose that you don’t have the kitchenette. Normally conferences are at a hotel so ring up the hotel and ask to talk to the person in charge of supplying the food for that particular conference and have a conversation with them. You might not get anywhere but you might as well. I’ve heard both sides of the coin where they refuse to take you into consideration and I’ve also heard of times when they were very, very accommodating and made sure that that person was taken care of at every meal.
- That’s your first step but let’s say that that doesn’t work so well. So, when you go to breakfast, there for sure will be something that you can eat there because they won’t put y high Fodmap things in everything. You can get some oats (porridge) or you can get some cornflakes. For sure they’ll have some lactose free milk because it’s really, really common now for people to need lactose free milk, and they could possibly even be some lactose free yogurt, so get your cereal, preferably oats because it’s the least processed, and then find some fruit that’s low Fodmap. They’ll have a choice of fruits, so put that on top of the cereal and put some yogurt on if you can find the lactose free type and some lactose free milk and that will be enough to keep you going until your morning snack.
- What I do when I am staying at a hotel where the breakfast is included is I take with me – and I take them all the way from New Zealand if I’m overseas – little squares of tinfoil. I take several of those and I keep them in my purse so at breakfast I look around and I choose what I could have for a morning snack and I’ve always managed to find something and then I wrap it up in the tinfoil and keep it in my purse. Sometimes I also take a little Tupperware container with a really secured lid that will fit inside my bag and in there you can put even wetter types of foods, maybe some scrambled eggs etc. Breakfast is a fairly good place to find low Fodmap food.
- Other meals will probably be catered for. If you have a buffet, you’re going to have to ask the staff behind the buffet a lot of questions about it. Obviously we know that protein meats are the safest thing for us to have but you do have to ask if they’ve been marinated in garlic and onions. Avoid all sauces. Usually salad items are completely clean of dressing and the dressing is beside them and maybe several different dressings. You just take the salad items and leave off the dressing. There may be some boiled potatoes, which would be a good choice. There is usually something that you can find that’s low Fodmap to keep you going until your next snack when hopefully you’ve got something in your purse. But what I do is make sure that I always take some low Fodmap snack bars with me and in particular I use Fody snack bars, which have a wonderful one that I always choose, which is the chocolate sea salt one and it does not give me a bellyache and it’s completely low Fodmap and made especially for us so I always keep those in my purse and that takes care of afternoon tea or the afternoon snack.
- For dinner, the first time, you’re going to have to see what is available. Use the same methods as for lunch but if it is too difficult, I would suggest that you don’t eat there for dinner, that you go out to a restaurant because then you can do your homework and make sure that you’re eating low Fodmap. So you look up the restaurants nearby on the internet, find the one that seems the most likely, look up their menu, choose a few items that seem possible and ring up the restaurant and talk to them. Most restaurants and I would say 99% of them ought to accommodate you and your needs because they want your business so they will even perhaps suggest a meal that they make themselves specially for you. I have never had a bad experience with ringing a restaurant before and when you arrive they already know who you are and they take care of you. So if you feel that it’s too risky to eat from the dinner buffet eat out and I know financially that doesn’t make a lot of sense but what’s more important, your pocket from the point of view of money or your gut from the point of view that you’re going to suffer big time if you eat the wrong food?
So those are my tips for having a nice, comfortable conference so you can sit in the room without any bloating or gas or pain and actually be able to concentrate on what the speakers are telling you. Thank you for watching and good bye.