Interview with Emma Hatcher

Thrilled to be able to interview Emma Hatcher, author of "The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen" and creator of "She Can't Eat What? 

THE FODMAP FRIENDLY KITCHEN by Emma Hatcher (Yellow Kite, £20)

THE FODMAP FRIENDLY KITCHEN by Emma Hatcher (Yellow Kite, £20)

Emma Hatcher has suffered from a sensitive gut for as long as she can remember. After years of horrible symptoms and endless frustration trying different diets and cutting out various foods, her doctor recommended the Low FODMAP Diet. It changed Emma's life and she has never looked back since.

Emma's book, based on her hugely popular food and lifestyle blog She Can't Eat What?! hopes to take the frustration out of living with IBS and help those suffering from Crohn's disease, coeliac's disease, food intolerances and many other digestive disorders. Backed by the official FODMAP Friendly team and with more than 100 quick, easy and modern recipes, diet information and personal stories for those that have run out of answers and feel 'they can't eat anything', Emma shows you how to create delicious meals and look after your gut in today's stress-filled, modern lifestyle.

How did you first learn about the Low-FODMAP diet? 

After suffering from horrible stomach pains and never-ending bloating, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at 14. Years followed of working with my doctor to cut out wheat, gluten, lactose and other common triggers – but nothing seemed to work long term. It wasn’t until I was in my second year of university that a dietician suggested following a Low FODMAP Diet. As cheesy as it sounds, it was a light-bulb moment. The diet didn’t only decrease my symptoms, but completely changed my life.

 

What is the most challenging thing about explaining the low-FODMAP diet to others?  

Other than the very un-sexy FODMAP acronym…! I think the fact that it’s not a one-size-fits-all diet. Food tolerance levels differ from person to person, and stress and anxiety can play a factor too. It’s getting that awareness across that it’s not complicated or too exhausting to understand, it’s just takes a bit of time and is worth it for those with an unhappy gut!

 

What is your go-to low-FODMAP breakfast?

Oh that’s a tough one. At the moment it’s banana pancakes. Made with banana, eggs, a couple of tablespoons of oats and a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Really easy to whip up, super-speedy to cook and just delicious.

 

Do you think it is important for a person to work with a dietitian when they start the low-FODMAP diet? 

It’s really important for people to work with a dietician – especially through the Elimination and Reintroduction phases of the diet, as they’re quite complex. I really appreciated having somebody there face-to-face to explain it all to me, answer any questions I had and to guide me through the process. A dietician can also make sure that if you’re cutting out a food high in FODMAPs, you’re subbing in something low in FODMAPs that’s nutritionally similar.

 

What is a myth you would like to clear up about FODMAPs? 

That they’re scary and should be avoided forever, at all costs! I’m really keen to get the message across that it’s not about being really restrictive long term. The ultimate goal is to eat and live as freely as possible with the least restrictions you can get away with. In my book, I really wanted to emphasise that readers should adapt and amend recipes to suit their own tolerances. If you can tolerate sweet potato in large amounts, why not add it into the green coconut curry – or if apple is OK, try it grated it on top of the tropical overnight bircher. The more FODMAPs you can return to your diet, without triggering symptoms, the happier (and healthier) your gut is likely to be! 

You should follow Emma too!

On Instagram @shecanteatwhat

On Twitter @shecanteatwhat

And you can buy her book HERE with free shipping in the US.