Nutrition Habits to Adopt this New Year with GERD and IBS

Nutrition Habits to Adopt this New Year with GERD and IBS

Published on Thursday, December 29, 2022 by Author Name

It’s that time of year again, the holidays are in full swing, and hopefully not your IBS/GERD flare-ups. 

Whether you have had success or not, the New Year is coming and everyone around you is talking about their resolutions. Instead of a resolution, where you are taking something away, have you thought about how you are maintaining your current lifestyle? 

You may have seen the recent article written by our wellness guru, where she encourages one to “Set Intentions Not Resolutions.” You can do this same practice with your nutrition habits.

Looking over the current season I am sure you can recount the many parties, dinners, obligations, family dynamics, and/or travel that you have and will be participating in. With all of that along with the plethora of food and drinks, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed and anxious. This can lead you to emotional eating and ignoring what you know about your GI condition. 

One must try not to just throw caution to the wind, especially if you have not had any recent flare-ups. 

By now you have most likely discovered your trigger foods and hopefully, you have been successful at limiting or avoiding these when at events. After a while, it can get frustrating not being in your normal environment or a typical routine. This is a great example of how setting some intentions with eating and drinking habits can really help you. 

Start with having a plan. According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)- “The unpredictability of IBS can make it difficult to manage some of the demands of the holiday season. Having a well-thought-out plan for handling whatever scenario arises can significantly reduce your stress level.“ 

Understanding and acknowledging the foods and beverages that can trigger or provoke your IBS or GERD symptoms is a great place to start when setting intentions. Start with having the plan to ask questions, know where the bathrooms are located, and bring items that you know are safe if needed. 

Alcohol:

Perhaps you know if you drink too much alcohol you will end up having a long and unpleasant session in the bathroom. If you know your limit then stick to that, if you don’t want to feel left out then bring your own safe beverage. You can get some juice and mix it with sparkling water and drink from a wine glass, or add some limes to your club soda and drink from a rocks glass. If you can tolerate Kombucha then maybe you can mix in some Hard Kombucha with a lower alcohol content. You can also infuse water with Low FODMAP fruits and drink it from a martini glass. (If you are feeling inspired to create your own juice blend follow this link to a great recipe for Carrot and Ginger Juice.

Fatty Foods:

Rich, high-fat foods are very common this time of year and can wreak havoc on an already sensitive GI tract. Avoiding foods such as gravy, green bean casserole, cheese logs, Prime rib, charcuterie, or cream-based dishes. Instead, stick with foods that are not combined with a lot of sauces and cheese. Choose lean meats such as turkey, filet, fish, or chicken. Instead of putting butter on your roll make an oil and balsamic dip using herbs for additional flavor. Vegetables are always a safe side dish as long as they are lightly seasoned and not dripping in butter and oil. You can also try making a Maple Glazed Turkey Breast as the main entrée to bring or to serve if you are hosting. 

High FODMAP foods:

Many dishes are made with onions and garlic, gluten, lactose, and other varieties of High FODMAP foods. If any of these are triggers for you to have an IBS flare-up then you should avoid any dishes that contain these items. If you feel comfortable enough to tell the host about your IBS they can help point out the dishes that contain ingredients that you are trying to avoid. Choose foods with single ingredients, or bring foods you know are safe for you to eat. Generally, the protein dishes are safe as well, but if you want a side dish that you can enjoy Carrots and Parsnips in a Dijon Butter pair great with any entrée.

This information should not only get you through the holiday season but also set you up for a great transition into the New Year. When you follow a plan and maintain a gut-healthy lifestyle you remain intentional with your dietary pattern. This eliminates the need to feel like you have to “reset” or “resolve” to change once January hits. Instead of giving things up, you can maintain your healthy lifestyle with more confidence. 


  1. Irritable bowel syndrome and a healthy holiday season. About IBS. (2022, May 25). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://aboutibs.org/living-with-ibs/ibs-and-holidays/  
  2. Carrot and Ginger Juice. For Our Members. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.theibsnetwork.org/news/recipes/drinks/carrotandgingerjuice/ 
  3. Sadie, Rachel Pauls Food, & Caitlin. (2020, April 16). Low-FODMAP maple turkey breast; gluten-free, dairy-free. Rachel Pauls Food. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.rachelpaulsfood.com/low-fodmap-maple-glazed-turkey-breast-gluten-free-dairy-free/  
  4. Wilson, A. D. (2020, December 2). Low Fodmap Carrots & Parsnips with Dijon Butter. FODMAP Everyday. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.fodmapeveryday.com/recipes/low-fodmap-carrots-parsnips-with-dijon-butter/