Making your own homemade SIBO freezer meals is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to managing SIBO and IBS with diet.
Let’s face it- making all of your meals from scratch every day is not realistic. Especially when you work full time (or even part-time!), aren’t comfortable in the kitchen, or have health problems that fill up your schedule (doctor’s appointments, self-care, etc.).
I understand the struggle because I have been there. I rarely have the time on weeknights to cook myself dinner and thus rely on meals that I have already prepped and frozen in advance.
I like to serve these turkey burgers alongside steamed vegetables such as carrots and green beans (stem and chop them on the weekend for speedy weekday prep).
One of my other go-to SIBO freezer meals is Indian Butter Chicken & Vegetable Curry.
I wanted to take a minute to talk about protein needs. Way too frequently, I find that people with SIBO either don’t eat enough protein (especially those who are/were vegan/vegetarian) or they eat way too much (the “I’m reacting to almost everything I eat except meat” crowd). Both have unfortunate health consequences.
Inadequate protein intake can contribute to muscle loss, growth failure, weakness, poor immune function, kidney issues, and heart problems . It can also be a cause of severe diarrhea.
Excessive protein intake can put strain on the kidneys, promote inflammation (since excess protein is immediately oxidized), and may contribute to osteoporosis and excessive levels of calcium in the urine . I have seen abnormalities on SIBO patients’ comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) results when they are consuming excessive protein.
Back to Biology 101- protein is made up of amino acids. Our bodies use amino acids to build and maintain muscle, bone, enzymes, and red blood cells .
There are 20 different amino acids- nine of which are essential.
Essential amino acids must be obtained through your diet because your body cannot produce them. Protein-containing foods that are balanced in regard to their amino acid composition are considered “high quality” proteins .
High quality sources of protein include animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese. Some amino acids (lysine, methionine, cysteine, threonine ) can be challenging to obtain from plant-based protein sources alone. That’s partly why those following vegan diets or diets low in animal protein, must be much more cognizant about their protein intake.
The following recommendations are general guidelines for adults and are not a substitute for personalized recommendations from a healthcare provider.
Certain circumstances, such as childhood, illness, physical activity level, and other factors can contribute to increased requirements.
Minimum: Your body weight (in lbs) x 0.45 x 0.80 = ___ grams protein
- This calculation is based on the RDA in the US and Canada .
Maximum: Your body weight (in lbs) x 0.45 x 1.20 = ___ grams protein
- For healthy adults, research indicates that excess of this amount may not get absorbed .
Example: if you weigh 150 pounds, you need approximately 54 to 81 grams of protein per day to maintain optimal health. If you are obtaining protein entirely from plant sources, you may need closer to the upper end of that range as your minimum because it is more challenging to absorb protein from plant sources.
How this might look in a day:
- 1.5 tablespoon pumpkin seed protein powder in a smoothie= 10 grams
- 4 ounces chicken breast (approximately 1/2 boneless skinless breast)= 36 grams
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter= 3-4 grams
- 4 ounces salmon= 25 grams
- TOTAL = 74-75 grams
Low FODMAP Protein Sources
The following are a variety of low FODMAP foods and the amount of protein they contain per serving (data to create charts obtained from the USDA Food Database and the Monash University Low FODMAP App).
What you may notice from looking at the following charts is that it is much more challenging to meet protein requirements by eating only plant-based low FODMAP protein sources.
|Animal Food||Serving Size||Protein (grams)|
|Sardines (canned)||2 ounces||12|
|Pork (ground)||4 ounces||19|
|Beef (ground, 85% lean)||4 ounces||29|
|Steak (flank, fat trimmed)||4 ounces||24|
|Turkey (ground, dark meat)||4 ounces||19|
|Chicken (breast)||4 ounces||36|
|Eggs (large)||1 egg||6|
|Lactose-free yogurt||1 cup||13|
|Parmesan cheese (grated)||2 tablespoons||3|
|Lactose-free milk||1 cup||8|
|Plant Food||Serving Size||Protein (grams)|
|Garbanzo beans (canned)||¼ cup||3|
|Lentils (cooked)||¼ cup||5|
|Tofu (extra firm)||3 ounces||9|
|Pumpkin seed protein powder||1.5 tablespoons||10|
|Quinoa (cooked)||¾ cup||6|
|Kale (raw, loosely packed)||3 cups||2|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 tablespoon||2|
|Sunflower seeds||1 tablespoon||2|
|Flax seed meal||1 tablespoon||2|
|Hemp seeds||1 tablespoon||3|
|Chia seeds||1 tablespoon||3|
|Almond butter||1 tablespoon||3|
|Peanut butter||1 tablespoon||4|
|Spirulina (dried)||1 tablespoon||4|
|Nutritional yeast||1 tablespoon||3|
- 1 bunch green onion (green part only for low FODMAP)
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 T garlic-infused olive oil or regular olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups (about 3 leaves) finely chopped destemmed kale (my preference is curly kale)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground turkey white meat
- 2 lb ground turkey dark meat
- Avocado oil for frying (or more olive oil)
- ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 3 T finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Chop all your veggies very finely.
- In a large saute pan, add olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil and bring to medium heat. Saute green onion and carrot for a few minutes.
- Add bell pepper and saute another minute. Add kale and saute until wilted.
- Transfer sauteed veggies to a large bowl. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Mix with a large spoon or your hands until evenly incorporated.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a nonstick skillet (such as cast iron) over medium heat and grease with avocado oil or olive oil.
- Form turkey into ½ inch thick palm-sized patties. Brown both sides in preheated skillet (approximately 3-5 minutes per side), then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 5-10 minutes or until interal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Store in fridge, or, if making freezer burgers, cool and store wrapped in parchment paper and plastic wrap (see pictures in post).
 Brown J, Isaacs J, Krinke B et al. Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. Cengage Learning; 2013.
 Phillips SM, Chevalier S, Leidy HJ. Protein “requirements” beyond the RDA: implications for optimizing health. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016;41(5):565-72.
 Poortmans JR, Carpentier A, Pereira-lancha LO, Lancha jr A. Protein turnover, amino acid requirements and recommendations for athletes and active populations. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2012;45(10):875-90.