If there’s one thing that Hayley Burdett is out to prove, it’s that FODMAP friendly food doesn’t have to be boring, bland, or hard to come by. She’s recently launched Bay’s Kitchen, with a range of stir-in cooking sauces made from the finest ingredients, perfect for those who are following the Low FODMAP Diet (as well as those who just enjoy good food).
This month is IBS Awareness Month and I’m joining the campaign to help get the word out there. As well as posting recipes, I’ll also be posting a interview series with some of the women out there changing the game. It’s time to get the world talking about gut health.
Hayley decided to leave the world of advertising to develop Bay’s Kitchen and to help others like herself struggling to find fast, easy and delicious FODMAP friendly food. Living with IBS, she also believes it’s her mission to increase awareness of the condition and remove the ‘taboo’ that surrounds it, empowering more people to talk about their lives with IBS and to offer support and advice to one-another.
We had the chance to go for dinner together last month and over delicious food we got chatting about myths, the importance of branding and not having to compromise.
FODMAP’s are a collection of poorly absorbed sugars that are found in a wide range of foods, and have been found to trigger symptoms for those who suffer with IBS. When did you first come across the Low FODMAP Diet?
I came across the Low FODMAP Diet in November 2015, when I was diagnosed with IBS. I had been suffering with symptoms for many years prior, however like many of us do, I just ignored it and dealt with the symptoms as best I could. There came a point in October 2015 when I was on holiday and I couldn’t deal with the pain, cramping and other symptoms anymore, so I went I booked an appointment with the doctors as soon as I was home. My GP recommended some medication to try to help ease the pain and cramps, but also suggested to try the Low FODMAP Diet. I had never heard of it before, so I left the doctors and did what we all do… I ‘Googled’ it!
What do you find the most challenging when explaining it to others?
I think the most challenging thing to explain to others is the diet as a whole! It’s quite a complex plan which is unique to everyone. Portion sizes have an effect on the level of FODMAPS while some food such as onions are high FODMAP and technically should be a no-go, but some people have success reintroducing them. Then there’s the enormous list of high and moderately high FODMAP foods verses the low FODMAP foods and then the different stages – elimination, reintroduction and continuation/modification.
What myth/s would you like to clear up about FODMAPs?
- The Low FODMAP Diet is boring/bland in taste.
This is a huge myth! OK so most of us can’t tolerate onion and garlic, but there are great substitutes for both, like infused oils. Most other herbs and spices are also low FODMAP. With a bit of thought and experimentation, all dishes can still be very tasty.
- You have to exclude all gluten and dairy
This is simply not true! Unless you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease or lactose intolerance for example, then you can still have some dairy and gluten in your diet. Search the Monash app to find breads, cheeses and more that are certified low FODMAP (at certain portion sizes), and remember following elimination you should keep trying to reintroduce foods higher in FODMAPs as well.
What is Bay’s Kitchen all about? Where will we be able to buy the products from?
When I learnt about the Low FODMAP Diet, I immediately started looking for convenient, low FODMAP food products. I lived on my own and worked long hours; starting a meal from scratch each night wasn’t ideal and I wanted something easier to make. I started searching, but I couldn’t find anything that was certified low FODMAP and widely available in the UK. With 1 in 5 of us suffering from IBS, I knew I couldn’t be the only one searching for these products, so I decided to start Bay’s Kitchen.
We will be producing a range of stir-in sauces, as well as soups – and we have a few other ideas up our sleeves to expand the range further! The sauces will be available from July 2017, on our website and Amazon, and then hopefully soon after through some of the mainstream retailers (watch this space!)
What would you like people to feel when eating one of the Bay’s Kitchen product range?
Like they aren’t missing out or compromising. To start, we are creating a range of popular sauces, but without the high FODMAPs. They have been developed to be extremely tasty – just because those of us on the diet can’t have certain ingredients, why should our food be boring and bland? As well as taste, we also focus strongly on brand, as we want our customers to enjoy our products from the moment they see it on a shelf, to the last mouthful!
What’s your favourite FODMAP friendly dish to cook?
I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but I love it the most when it’s for a special occasion and you really put some thought into it and go for the full three courses! Italian food has always been a favourite choice of mine, but I couldn’t say which is my favourite to cook out of a gluten free mini pizza and my tomato and chargrilled veg pasta!
IBS can be a nightmare. What would you like to tell anybody suffering from IBS this awareness month?
You’re not alone!! IBS can be quite an embarrassing condition to live with – especially when you’re in the company of others and your bowels decide not to play ball! I tried to mask my symptoms for such a long time, but after being diagnosed and finding out nearly 1 in 5 have IBS, I started to talk about it more and it helped me enormously. I have found so many friends and partners or family members of my friends suffer with IBS and so they all completely understand. It makes you feel at ease, which helps reduce stress and so reduces IBS flare-ups! So my best piece of advice is to be open and talk about it (maybe not in graphic detail!), because it will more than likely feel like a big weight off your shoulders.
Any top IBS tips?
- Where comfortable clothing as much as possible! I learnt the hard way that just because you wake up without a bloated stomach, you’ll likely soon regret putting on your tightest pair of jeans!
- Always carry tissues with you – in that awful moment you might be lucky enough to find a toilet in time, but what if there’s no toilet roll!
- Keep experimenting and trying to reintroduce with the Low FODMAP Diet. I am a big fan of bread (especially a crusty white baguette!) and so I kept testing my tolerance for wheat/gluten and found that whilst at first I could barely tolerate it at all, I can now eat a crusty white roll without any issues (though I have to be careful not to have much other gluten/wheat that day too). Just because the first time you try to reintroduce something your body reacts, doesn’t mean it will always continue to. It’s also worth trying different portion sizes to see if you can tolerate some.
Where can people find you on social?
At Bay’s Kitchen we try to be very social and love interacting with our customers. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using @bayskitchenuk