So I’ve had a brief hiatus from blogging (life got in the way, as usual) but I aim to post as often as I have a recipe worth sharing.
Today’s post isn’t about a recipe, though; I’m writing to introduce you to a new, American-based company that has begun producing low FODMAP products! I’m so pleased that people are catching up with a medically prescribed eating protocol that has helped so many control their IBS symptoms. Studies show that 75% of participants experience improved symptoms following a low FODMAP diet, so the more resources out there for FODMAPers, the merrier our guts will be!
This exciting new brand is called Rachel Pauls Food and the first product for sale is called the Happy Bar. I was lucky enough to get a sample to try and, long story short, they were pretty delicious, just as good as – or maybe better than – any comparable higher FODMAP product you’d find in your supermarket.
More information about Dr. Rachel Pauls and Rachel Pauls Food will follow after a review of the Happy Bars. Skip to the end for the contact details.
The Happy Bars
Each Happy Bar is designed to be nutritious (yet delicious) and contains:
- Less than 0.5 g of total FODMAPs per serving.
- No gluten! They are certified gluten free.
- A minimal ingredients list.
- No preservatives, for those who are sensitive.
- 8-10 g of protein and 3 g of low FODMAP fibre.
- Healthy fats from peanuts or almonds.
- 210-215 calories per bar.
- The bars may contain traces of certain allergens, so please check the nutritional information available on the website to ascertain whether they are the right product for your needs.
I love the variety of flavours on offer. You have a choice between:
- Chocolate Chip Delight – a classic flavour, you can’t go wrong.
- Orange Chocolate Ecstasy – I’ve personally loved the chocolate orange flavour combination for years and, for reasons unknown to me, this is the first time I’ve seen it in bar-form.
- Peanut Chocolate Euphoria – another great flavour mix, think crunchy peanut butter with just enough chocolate inside.
- Peanut Maple Pleasure – Crunchy peanuts combined with rich notes of maple syrup, delicious.
While I enjoyed each flavour, my personal favourite was the Peanut Maple Pleasure – I can’t go past that flavour combination if it’s on offer and the bar was just sweet enough with chunks of peanut inside that gave it a satisfying crunch.
Happy Bars, like many healthier/higher protein bars on the market, will not taste like the sugar-laden muesli bars of your childhood. The flavours are much more refined, with just enough sweetness present to make it feel like a sweet treat without the urge to consume ALLTHESUGAR after you’ve finished eating, which, for me, is very important. Often (who am I kidding, nearly always) I’ll crave a snack when I finish my run but I’m too impatient to wait for an egg to boil and don’t want to have anything too sweet, or I’ll end up bingeing and negating the workout – these bars are perfect for those times.
Even more important (for me) was the lack of IBS symptoms post consumption! After testing out three of the flavours with no reaction, I decided to take the final bar as a snack on my trip from Seattle to Melbourne – and thank goodness I did, because it saved me from having to hunt down a suitable late night snack in LAX after I’d developed blisters on the hike between the domestic and international terminals. Sometimes baby carrots (my other go-to travel snack) just don’t cut it. The chocolate chip Happy Bar had spent around 2 days in my bag by this stage, so it help up well to the rigors of travel.
All in all, I’d say these Happy Bars are worth a try if you’re in the market for a low FODMAP snack that is suitable for an on-the-go lifestyle or post-exercise treat.
As far as I know, the Happy Bars are currently only available for postage within the USA. I will update this information when I hear back from Rachel Pauls Food.
Interview with Dr. Rachel Pauls
1. Who is Dr. Rachel Pauls? Are there any other team members?
I’m a board-certified specialist in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, an award-winning educator of residents and fellows, an internationally renowned medical researcher and speaker, and a mother of three wonderful children!
I also personally experience IBS, and have been following a low-FODMAP food plan for 4 years. It has been so successful for me, and my patients, that I want to share this information with others! We offer delicious, healthy, natural low-FODMAP foods to all those who experience digestive discomfort.
There are currently more than 20 people working to bring our yummy low-FODMAP products to market including those involved in recipe development, manufacturing, marketing, order fulfillment and laboratory analysis.
2. How did you hear about the low FODMAP diet?
I began having IBS symptoms about 5 years ago and was thrilled when I reviewed the medical research and learned about the low-FODMAP diet. It massively improved my symptoms, making me feel healthy and happy again.
3. Why did you decide to create a low FODMAP bar?
My inspiration for Happy Bars came after a long search for a great tasting, low-FODMAP energy bar. Since I couldn’t find any, I decided to make my own. In the kitchen, I utilized my baking skills to create delicious, healthy recipes. I loved them so much, I had to share them! Then in the lab, I applied my medical and research expertise to help design a validated process to analyze food for FODMAP content. The result is Happy Bars, delicious low-FODMAP energy bars.
4. Do you have any plans for to make other food products later on?
We currently have several other low-FODMAP products under development. We launched the low-FODMAP energy bars first because it was the product that I craved most as an IBS sufferer and working mom for the convenience of a grab-and-go meal or snack.
5. What can people discover on your website?
Informative videos, such as one coming shortly on the best food choices to make on Thanksgiving Day, yummy recipes, frequently asked questions, and information on the latest FODMAP medical research.
6. The Happy Bars are currently available on your website – do you aim to eventually sell them in stores?
We are very careful about the process by which Happy Bars get from the kitchen to your door in terms of storing and shipping them. Selling anywhere else right now would affect us being able to keep those high standards.
7. How long do the Happy Bars last and what it the best method of storage?
Happy Bars are happiest when stored on any counter or shelf along with other similar food items. They are best if eaten prior to the date indicated on the wrapper.
8. The Happy Bars have the “Dr. Rachel Pauls Low FODMAP Seal of Approval,” what is this and can buyers be confident that this rating is in alignment with those of Monash University or Dr. Sue Shepherd’s FODMAP Friendly company?
When we decided to create Rachel Pauls Food, we looked for a laboratory test that would scientifically analyze food for FODMAP content. We discovered that there was no lab in the U.S. currently doing this type of testing. Following an extensive review of FODMAP research from independent scientific journals, we decided to work with a well-respected, FDA-registered, Accredited food-testing laboratory and developed a validated process to analyze food for FODMAPs. Our laboratory is the only known U.S. facility testing for FODMAPs and verifies that our food is low FODMAP.
When you see the Dr. Rachel Pauls Seal of Approval, it means that I have assured through rigorous testing that the product has been scientifically analyzed and verified as low FODMAP and contains less than 0.5 g of total FODMAPs per serving.
9. You mention that your aim is to be able to test foods for FODMAP content in the US. I think that it’s great that the US will have their own, dedicated, FODMAP testing centre. When do you hope to have this up and running?
Anyone interested in obtaining the Dr. Rachel Pauls’ Seal of Approval for a low-FODMAP food product, can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Seal will only be granted to products that we have verified as meeting our criteria, including having less than 0.5g of total FODMAPs per serving.
10. Following on from the last question, how will you distinguish yourselves from Monash University/FODMAP Friendly with your testing methods?
Our process of analyzing food was developed following an extensive review of relevant research from around the globe and is conducted under the supervision of a United States based FDA registered, Accredited independent food laboratory. We are currently the only lab providing a precise specification about level of FODMAPS in tested products. However, with the advancements being made in the study of FODMAPs, it is likely only a matter of time before many labs across the globe offer similar services.
11. Finally, any tips for those following a low FODMAP diet?
Prior to starting any food plan or diet we recommend first consulting your doctor, dietician or other appropriate health care professional. As well, check out our blog as well as the FODMAP tab on our website.
Rachel Pauls Food contact details