Chemo Aftercare

As you get over your battle with the big C, you may be concerned about the possible side effects of chemotherapy; you are not alone. Many people worry about how chemotherapy will affect their bodies, but there are things you can do to stay healthy and reduce these issues.

Ensure you get all the vitamins, minerals and nutritional goodness from your food with a balanced diet

Ensure you get all the vitamins, minerals and nutritional goodness from your food with a balanced diet

Chemotherapy can change the way your body uses food. Eating well can make you feel better and keep you strong for the remainder of your treatments. Different types of nutrition can help with various parts of chemotherapy.

As a food consultant specialising in plant based diets working across the UK and around the globe (mainly the USA, Europe and UAE), I am here to help you on your road to recovery through the right types of food.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, feel free to get in touch, I’m here to help. In the meantime, feel free to take a look at how each type of food can help you stay healthy.

Proteins help repair your body tissues and keep your immune system strong. As such, protein is especially important for those who are battling cancer. With this in mind, it is important to improve your protein intake to better meet the increased demands that your body requires while on chemo, radiation and/or immuno-therapies.

Here I advocate for a plant-based diet. This does not necessarily mean vegetarian, but it does reduce our reliance on meat and animal based products. The reason is because large intakes of animal products and red meat may result in elevations in a hormone, called IGF-1 that leads to inflammation.

Vegetarian proteins are hands-down the healthiest and least expensive sources. of protein.

Beans and lentils- Legumes are powerhouses of nutrition, indeed that we simply just do not eat enough of! They're healthy for our guts, reduce risk of chronic disease, promote healthy weight, maintain energy and heart health. 

Nuts and seeds- Nuts and seeds are not only healthy sources of good protein, but they're also loaded with essential minerals and healthy fats. Don’t forget because they are so nutrient-dense, you only need a small portion. Loaded with fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals, nuts and seeds are so simple to add to every day dishes. But that’s not it, they can help to reduce heart disease risk and also reduce inflammation too!

Meat- For those meat lovers out there, when purchasing meat, try to find ethically-sourced, humanely-raised, 100 percent grass-fed or at least pasture-raised beef. Also, be conscious of portion size. If you are struggling, talk to your local butchers; what animals eat affect the quality of their meat.  Alternatively, get in touch and I’ll be happy to offer a personal chef service to suit your individual needs.

Also, processed meats should be avoided as much as possible since they have been announced to be carcinogenic per the World Health Organisation.  What’s more, they are loaded with preservatives which are not necessary to your diet so steer clear of these!

Other sources include dairy products as well as fish. Fish and seafood are good sources of protein and are typically low in fat. While slightly higher in fat than other varieties, salmon packs in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce joint stiffness and inflammation.

Eating during treatment can be incredibly difficult. Some cancer patients suffer from taste changes, food aversions, nausea and odour sensitivities. If it's hard to eat natural sources of protein, you may opt for protein powders. This is fine to help supplement the diet. Here I generally recommend protein powders that do not have a lot of added ingredients. You don't need lots of added vitamins, minerals and amino acids. You don't need anything marketed to body-builders either.

Opt for vegan protein sources, like pea or hemp protein, or try whey protein, which is usually also lactose-free. Go for unflavored powders or try a bone broth. While not loaded with protein necessarily, one client of mine claimed my homemade broths had super-healing properties like collagen. Bone broth can also be hydrating and tasty so what’s there not to love?

Healthy fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, help you keep up your energy levels.

Water is the body’s natural first aid. It keeps all of your vital vitamins and minerals in balance, and it keeps every cell in your body functioning properly.

Vitamins and minerals are found in many healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. If your food intake has been altered, get in touch to discuss ways to get a balanced diet back.

Got a question or need some help in creating nutritional yet tasty post cancer treatment dishes? Get in touch to find out more. Alternatively, if you are interested in following a plant based diet and would like to explore this more, feel free to pop me an email and I’ll be in touch very soon!



Delicious activated charcoal croissants are ideal for vegans

Delicious activated charcoal croissants are ideal for vegans

In the vegan world, activated charcoal has become the latest addition to the growing list of foods made with the unusual ingredient. If you've been online recently, you'll have seen the growing trend in activated charcoal croissants but don't be put off by their appearance, they really do taste much better than they look.

The blackened, plant-based pastry provide a unique yet delicious taste. But what are the so-called health benefits to these croissants? Let us explain a little more...

Firstly, the vegan croissants helps flush out toxins thanks to the alkaline properties of charcoal in the croissant. This helps to detoxify any poisons in the body by neutralising excess stomach acids. As such, this makes charcoal croissants a great breakfast choice for anyone, especially if you've had a heavy night the night before. What's more, the active ingredient can even reduce bloating. So, if you are trying to slim down for the summer and get your beach ready body, activated charcoal croissants could be just the ticket! Who thought that could happen after eating a croissant!? 

Fancy trying them for yourself? As an experimental food developer, private chef and personal chef, I've made these beauties myself and found a gorgeous recipe for you to try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Activated Charcoal Croissants


Recipe (inspired by The Rose & Bean recipe)

  • 260ml water
  • 14g fast-action yeast (2 sachets)
  • 500g plain flour
  • 10g salt
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 360g vegan butter 
  • Splash of non-dairy milk
  • Activated charcoal


  • In a large bowl, put your water, sugar and yeast and stir together
  • Add your flour, salt and 100g of vegan butter, the activated charcoal and knead until it all comes together (mix it in the bowl first before tipping out and kneading). If you have an electric whisk with a dough hook, you can use this
  • Cover the dough with cling film, place in the fridge, and leave for 8 hours or overnight
  • Once you’ve placed your dough in the fridge, take the remaining 260g of vegan butter and place between two pieces of parchment paper or into a sandwich bag
  • With a rolling pin, flatten the butter until it becomes a square shape that is roughly 7×7 inch (ideally, measure it with a tape measure to be sure). Wrap in cling film and place back in the fridge and leave until your dough is ready (you need to be working with the butter cold but not rock solid, so ensure it stays in the fridge until needed, and then work quickly)
  • Once your dough has been left for at least 8 hours, remove from the fridge and place on a lightly floured worktop
  • With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle that is 14×7 inches in size
  • Take your slab of butter and place it in the middle of your dough
  • Fold the two ends of the dough to meet in the middle over the butter slab, and make sure the butter is sealed by pushing the dough together all around the edges
  • Turn the dough so that the join is now straight in front of you, not lengthways. Starting from the middle, roll your pastry out into a long rectangle, till it’s roughly 22×7 inches in size (do not roll back on yourself, always come back to the middle and roll out towards the edges)
  • Now it’s time for your first fold. Take one end of your dough and fold about two thirds of the way down, then take the other end, and fold it on top, so that you’ve folded the dough into thirds and you’re left with a rough square shape
  • Wrap your dough into cling film (make sure it’s well wrapped as this stops it from drying out) and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Remove from the fridge and place it so that the folded end of your dough (the part like the binding of a book) is on your left
  • Roll your dough again until it’s 22×7 inches (step 10), then repeat step 11 (the fold), wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Repeat this again (make sure fold is on left, roll and fold), wrap in cling film, but this time place in the fridge for 60 minutes
  • After your dough has been in the fridge for its third and final time, remove from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to about 24×8 inches
  • Next, create yourself a template. Cut a piece of card or paper into a triangle shape. The base should be 4 inches wide and it should be 8 inches high
  • Place your template onto your dough and cut around it (use something sharp like a pizza cutter) to create 9 triangle shapes
  • Take a piece of dough and make a small slit in the middle of the base of your triangle with a knife
  • Roll your dough from the base to the end using your finger and thumb, turning by the corners so as to not crush the layers
  • Repeat for all pieces of dough
  • Place on a baking sheet with the pointed end at the bottom, then brush each croissant lightly with some non-dairy milk
  • Cover lightly with parchment paper and leave to rise for 1 hour. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan. Once heated, place in the oven for 20 minutes. If they look like they’re browning too quickly, cover with tin foil
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  • Serve and enjoy!

Monk Fruit Sweeteners

Monk Fruit Sweetened Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies (see recipe below)  

Monk Fruit Sweetened Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies (see recipe below) 

Monk Fruit Sweeteners as a sugar replacement

Maybe you are diabetic? Or maybe you just want to follow a no refined sugar diet? Monk Fruit Sweeteners could well the answer to all of your prayers! A new trend on the market for sugar replacement, Monk Fruit is a natural, no calorie sweetener which is becoming more and more widely available. And it’s set to make a big impact in the coming months!

What is Monk Fruit?

While some may think of it as another trendy sugar alternative, Monk Fruit is a great new replacement for sugar which is here to stay for a long while yet. As you’ve no doubt read and heard over and over again in recent times, refined and processed sugar is bad for us. Linked to obesity, heart disease, poor functioning liver and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, amongst other traits such as some types of cancer, mood swings, and anxiety, sugar really is a vice for many but something that needs reigning in.

With no nutritional benefits and empty calories, sugar is also seriously addictive and like a drug to many. While honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar taste delicious they are still sugar. With this in mind, it’s now time for Monk Fruit to take a stand as it steps up to the challenge of a delicious sugar replacement.

Monk Fruit is otherwise known as Buddha fruit or longevity fruit, this delicious sugar replacement is a natural sweetener that has 100-250 times the sweetness of white sugar, but with no calories, carbohydrates, and no negative effects on blood sugar. Sound too good to be true? No, it really is the truth.

So you believe it, I’ve found out a gorgeous Monk Fruit Sweetened Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies recipe for you to try! (Courtesy of

If you’re looking for a monk fruit cookie recipe – or even an almond flour cookie recipe, you’re in the luck. Not only are these chocolate chip cookies gluten-free, 100% grain-free but they are also sugar-free (except for the chocolate chips). The heavenly combination of Monk Fruit sweetener and Almond Flour ticks all the boxes when it comes to soft baked cookies that taste incredible.

Before I go on to describe the recipe, a little about the almond flour. Low sugar, low carbohydrates but high in protein and fat, almond flour has a low GI (glycemic index) ranking so it’s great for diabetics or others who need or want to watch their sugar intake.

What’s more, with Monk Fruit Sweetener there’s no gritty sugar taste like some other imitation sugars and in this recipe it helps to create sweet, moist and soft chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Sweetened with Monk Fruit

These cookies contain no gluten, no grains and no sugar (except in the chocolate chips). It's the perfect way to enjoy a sweet, soft cookie without all the guilt!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Makes: 12-14 cookies


  • 2 cups of Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup ZenSweet Monk Fruit Sweetener
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup softened (not melted) butter (equivalent to 1 stick)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Blend almond flour, Monk Fruit sweetener, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Add to dry ingredients stick of butter.  Using your hands (I recommend gloves), combine the butter and dry ingredients.
  • Add egg and vanilla to mixture and continue to blend by hands. The mixture will be wet. Add chocolate chips.
  • Roll 1 inch dough balls by hand and place on baking sheet. Do not flatten the cookie - they will bake up really soft in the middle if you leave them in the rounded shape. You'll have enough dough to make about 14-16 cookies.
  • Cook in oven for about 12-13 minutes until top of cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before removing from the tray and diving in!
  • Store cookies in an airtight bag for up to 3-4 days.


AIP Diet Recipes

               AIP friendly recipes*

               AIP friendly recipes*

Happy New Year to you all! Here's hoping 2018 is a brilliant one. As we know, the new year can be an exciting time, brimming with the promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s also an opportunity to recommit to your health and well-being. So, whether the new year has you feeling totally inspired or a tad overwhelmed, we've found some delicious recipes which are AIP friendly, ideal for anyone following an Autoimmune (Paleo) Protocol diet.

As an experienced food consultant and food development expert operating across Leicester and the whole of the UK, I'm here to help you on your journey to a happier, healthier you.

So what is an AIP diet?

In a nutshell, the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is a diet that helps heal the immune system and gut. As such, it makes it a fantastic choice for anyone with an inflammatory disease. In essence, all autoimmune diseases have one main thing in common- tissue self-attacking in places like the thyroid gland, brain tissue or salivary glands, to name a few. For months and maybe even years, this self-tissue attack can occur silently until full blown autoimmune disease develops. 

This is where the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet works so well. It works to reduce inflammation in the intestines. Many elimination diets are not complete enough and often do not remove immune triggers that promote inflammation in the gut. AIP works to calm inflammation in the gut and also calm inflammation in the body overall. Here we explore just a couple of delicious recipes which we think are delicious and also great for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease or inflammatory disease.

First up is: Loaded Baked Sweet Potato with Bacon Guac and Lime-Coconut Cream.  Not only does it look fantastic, it tastes fantastic too!

Try this Mexican-inspired take on a loaded baked potato for a yummy AIP friendly recipe! Tantalize your taste buds and kick your hunger pangs for good with this hearty, nutritious dish.

*Credits to Autoimmune Wellness for images and recipes (they're delicious!)

*Credits to Autoimmune Wellness for images and recipes (they're delicious!)

Recipe and Instructions

AIP Taco Meat


Serves: 3-4 servings


  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Place the beef in the bottom of a skillet, break up into large clumps, and turn on the heat to medium. Cook the meat for 10-15 minutes, stirring and breaking up clumps occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed, the meat is fully cooked, and slightly browned.
  2. Add the water and spices to the meat, and stir to combine. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about a minute or two, turn off heat, and set aside to cool.

Lime-Coconut Cream



  • 65g coconut concentrate
  • 120ml cup water, warm
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon honey, optional
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Add the coconut concentrate, warm water, lime juice, honey, and sea salt to a blender and blend until fully mixed.
  2. Set aside at room temperature until using (mixture will thicken as it cools).


Coconut concentrate is also known as coconut butter, coconut manna, or coconut cream. It is usually sold in a glass jar and is solid at room temperature. It is not the top of a can of coconut milk!

Bacon Guac


Serves: 3-4 servings


  • 4 slices uncured bacon
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ bunch cilantro/ Chinese parsley, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sea salt, to taste


  1. Place the bacon in the bottom of a skillet and turn on the heat to medium. Cook, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 minutes. Place the bacon on a plate and the leftover grease in a small container to cool.
  2. Add the avocados, cilantro/Chinese parsley, lime juice, onion, and garlic to a medium bowl and stir to combine. When the bacon grease is no longer hot, add it to the avocado mixture. Taste and salt if needed.
  3. When the bacon is cool, crumble or chop with a knife and add to the guacamole. Set aside.


Loaded Baked Sweet Potato with Bacon Guac and Lime-Coconut Cream


Serves: 4 servings


  • 3 large or 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb AIP Beef Taco Meat (see recipe above)
  • 2 cups Bacon Guac (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup Lime-Coconut Cream (see recipe above)
  • Green onions and additional cilantro/Chinese Parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wrap the sweet potatoes individually in aluminum foil, place in a large baking dish, and cook for at least 1 hour, possibly up to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. They are finished when a fork is easily inserted into the flesh of the sweet potato.
  3. Place each sweet potato on a plate, and cut one slice into them longwise. Add a serving of taco meat, a serving of guac, and lastly drizzle with lime-coconut cream and sprinkle with green onions and cilantro.

And now for dessert....a real treat!
Spiced English Pear Trifle!

Now it's true- this trifle does takes a little longer than most of my recipes but the end result is totally worth it. With so many different textures and flavours, we think this recipe will be a firm favourite once you've tried and tested it for yourself!

*Credits to Autoimmune Wellness for images and recipes (once again, a winning recipe!)

*Credits to Autoimmune Wellness for images and recipes (once again, a winning recipe!)

Recipe and Instructions


Serves: 6


Pear and jelly

  • 700ml filtered water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 fairly firm red pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peeled rind and juice of a medium orange
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp gelatin

  • 125g shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 6 large dates, chopped
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • Pinch sea salt

  • 2 cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight


  1. Put the water and honey into a large low sauté pan and heat until the honey has melted. Add the pears and cinnamon stick, together with the orange rind and juice. Bring up to a very gentle simmer. Add a cartouche (watch this informative video instruction) and cook gently for around 20 minutes until the pears are tender. You will end up with around 1 pint of liquid.
  2. Remove the pears and allow to cool down on a large plate. Bring the liquid up to the boil and reduce until you have ½ pint (this may take around 6-8 minutes. Don't worry if you have a bit less than ½ pint, just add some water to bring it up to the mark. Now discard the cinnamon stick and orange rind. Pour the liquid into bowl, add the orange blossom water and gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Set aside and allow it to cool. Now place in the fridge and give it a stir once in a while.
  3. Meanwhile put all the crumble ingredients into a food processor and process for 2 minutes until the mixture is well combined. Spread the mixture out onto a parchment lined tray and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F until lightly browned, moving around every once in a while to prevent it from burning. The crumbs will still be soft, they will harden on cooling.
  4. For the cream: Drain the water from the cream and transfer the cream to a mixing bowl. Whisk on high for 2-3 minutes until it forms soft peaks.
  5. Assemble the trifle: Cut the quartered pears into two or three slices lengthwise, depending on their size. Put a couple of heaped tablespoons of the crumble onto a separate plate and set aside. Give the jelly a good stir. Now divide half the quantity of pear slices between your serving bowl(s). Top with half the quantity of crumble, then half the jelly and half the cream. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and finish by sprinkling over the reserved crumble.


A Vegan Christmas

This festive period, we've found some delicious Vegan friendly recipes for you to try out at home- enjoy!


Whether you’re catering for a crowd of hungry vegans or determined to wow your meat-eating family members with delicious plant-based food, Christmas is a time to go all-out with your cooking.

As an experienced food consultant and private chef operating across Leicester and the wider Midlands region including Birmingham, Loughborough, 
Northampton, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Rugby, Nuneaton, Burton, Redditch and Edgbaston and beyond, when it comes to designing a festive vegan menu, there are no limits to how creative you can be.

As the big day is fast approaching, we thought we’d give you a couple of delicious recipes for cooking up some Christmas treats with the key difference. Absolutely no animal based products will be used!

First up we’re showcasing a gorgeous vegan alternative to traditional Christmas puddings. Oh so light but equally sumptuous, this little delights will have your taste buds tingling with joy this festive period!

Take your pick and make them with dark or white chocolate- the choice is yours! What’s more, for advance preparation, these puddings can be frozen so you can make them in advance and worry no more about Christmas day which is fast approaching!

White Chocolate, Orange, and Pistachio Vegan Puddings

Serves 6 – makes 1 large pudding or 6 individual puddings


  • 100g vegan margarine
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 150ml dairy free yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • Zest and juice of ½ an orange
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau or orange brandy
  • ½ tsp cider vinegar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Grating of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100g white or dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Extra pistachios and maple syrup for decoration


  1. Grease 6 individual pudding tins or 1 large pudding bowl, and line with a thin strip of baking parchment.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 5
  3. Mix the dairy free yoghurt with the ground flax seeds, orange juice and zest and cider vinegar. Leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flax seeds to activate.
  4. Cream the margarine sugar and maple syrup together for a minute until light.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and pinch of salt.
  6. Whisk the yoghurt mixture in with the creamed margarine and sugar.
  7. Whisk in the sifted flour mixture until smooth, like a pancake batter.
  8. Fold in the breadcrumbs, ground almonds, pistachios and white or dark chocolate.
  9. Mix quickly until smooth then spoon the mixture into the pudding tins.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until puffed up and firm to the touch.
  11. Turn out and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, orange cream and a sprinkling of pistachios.

Vegan Sausage Rolls

Now to something savoury! It is true- some foods are just super fun to eat and some just scream comfort food. Well in this recipe, you get the best of both worlds.

The ‘sausage’ in this Vegan Christmas menu is made from raw nuts and seitan meat, providing a great meaty and cheesy texture and taste. Wrapped in puffed pastry, this Vegan sausage rolls get you in the spirit of Christmas if nothing else! Finger food at its best, we’d say.

Serves: 4


  • 150g cup raw almonds, soaked
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 150g raw walnuts
  • 125g cup breadcrumbs or stale bread
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoons vegan beef stock powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 140g cup finely chopped seitan
  • Frozen puff pastry squares or sheets
  • Non-dairy milk, for brushing
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Take the puff pastry out of freezer and let defrost in the fridge overnight.
  2. Blend the first 6 ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Add the walnuts and pulse until they are chopped (not totally smooth).
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. I like to leave some texture, but the consistency is up to you. Set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Remove your puff pastry from the fridge and roll out into a rectangle, cut in half so you have two triangles.
  7. Spoon the filling lengthwise down the long side of the puff pastry triangle; lightly brush the border with the milk.
  8. Roll the dough over the ‘sausage meat’ and secure with milk as glue.
  9. Brush the top of the roll with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or

the FODMAP diet-A way to cope with IBS

Spicy meatballs and Butternut Squash Spaghetti

Spicy meatballs and Butternut Squash Spaghetti

Exploring the FODMAP diet concept

As a food consultant working across Leicester and the whole of the United Kingdom, I am always interested in staying at the fore of all things new and exciting, especially in regards to any developments in the food industry.

Recently I’ve heard more and more about the FODMAP diet as a way of helping to control IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and I thought it would be a good idea to explore this concept in a little more detail and share my findings with you.

But first things first, what exactly does FODMAP stand for?

In recent times, research has shown that certain carbohydrates can contribute to symptoms of IBS sufferers and these carbohydrates are:

Fermentable – sources include the obvious sugary treats including cookies, cakes, and soft drinks, but they also include less obvious food such as bread, crackers and breakfast cereals.

Oligo-saccharides- sources include wheat, beans, peas and pulses, some vegetables- particularly onion and sweeteners including processed food additives

Di-saccharides- animal milk such as cow and goats milk

Mono-saccharides- sources include apples, honey, sugar snap peas and fructose

Polyols- sources include peaches, plums, mushrooms, cauliflower and sugar free sweets.

As you may or may not already be aware of, carbohydrates can be present in different forms in foods, ranging from long-chain carbohydrates (such as starch) to simple sugars (such as glucose) that are well-digested and absorbed to produce energy. Resistant starch and fibre are long-chain carbohydrates resistant to digestion and are essential in normal bowel function.

Through extensive research an Australian group have produced fantastic evidence to demonstrate that a group of short-chain carbohydrates, named FODMAPs are problematic to those suffering with IBS. These short chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut. It is the production of gas by these bacteria which is a major contributor to the array of unpleasant symptoms.

Ask anyone suffering with IBS and the majority will confirm that their symptoms are related to the consumption of certain foods. With this in mind, adopting a low FODMAP diet may well help sufferers to reduce the severity of their symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life all round.

How can FODMAP help IBS sufferers?

IBS is a debilitating condition that can reduce the quality of life due to an array of unpleasant symptoms including abdominal pain, intestinal gas, bloating and altered bowel habits spanning all extremes, and so eating yourself well is a important aspect of living with the condition.

In recent times, a wide range of therapies have been tried and tested to control the unpleasant symptoms of IBS including bulking agents, laxatives and various medications, as well as a myriad of lifestyle changes. But rather than popping oodles of pills, day in, day out it seems that following a low FODMAP could be a fantastic alternative.

Tailoring the diet to meet your individual lifestyle and preferences, the low FODMAP diet allows for successful drug-free management of symptoms through diet in many patients but will unfortunately not cure IBS entirely. That said, adopting this diet has been proven to improve the symptoms of IBS amongst sufferers which can only be a positive thing and isn’t restricted to just this condition.

Other clinical studies have confirmed that the application of the low FODMAP diet has also improved gut symptoms in more than 50% of people with inflammatory bowel disease and has also helped those with no colon whatsoever.

Here to help

So, the verdict is out, the low FODMAP diet seems to be a no brainer when it comes to tackling the symptoms of IBS. If you would like to discuss your own individual requirements, get in touch- I’ll be happy to discuss how I can help you in your quest to live with the condition.

As a personal and private chef, I am available throughout Leicester and the wider surrounding areas (as well as across the United Kingdom) to develop diet plans, bespoke meals and also come into your home to cook for you in line with your requirements to ensure you feel fighting fit from here on in!

Why not check out this delicious low FODMAP meal and discover how following such concepts could help control the symptoms of this condition for you.