Today I have the pleasure of introducing a truly talented individual to you, Chloe McLeod. Chloe is not only an Accredited Dietitian, but is also the Director of The FODMAP Challenge, a coaching program for beginners to the diet. Specialising in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the FODMAP approach and food intolerance, Chloe has kindly shared her story with us and answered of few burning questions of mine!
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you do as a job and in your spare time?
I’ve been working as a dietitian for nearly 8 years, with IBS being one of the key areas I work in. I started The FODMAP Challenge in mid 2016 when I saw a gap for an online program to help individuals determine their triggers of IBS.
When I’m not working, I love cooking and developing recipes (though you could argue that has turned into work!), going out for meals, and of course, spending time with my loved ones.
|Chloe McLeod, Accredited Practicing Dietitian & Director of The FODMAP Challenge|
What role does food play in your life?
My partner often says to me that my day is always planned around food… so yes, I guess you could say it plays a major role in all facets of my life.
What’s your typical meal for…
Breakfast: Banana and peanut butter porridge, or homemade muesli with soy milk and fruit
Lunch: Either leftovers, or a salad with canned tuna or salmon, or tofu
Dinner: Usually based around fish and vegetables, and I include chickpeas and lentils a few times per week as well
Snacks: Soy flat white, raw nuts, carrot and cucumber sticks. Fruit and yoghurt for dessert.
|A typical dinner for Chloe of Baked Ocean Trout with Orange, Fennel & Coriander Seed, yum!|
As a Dietician (and fellow food intolerance sufferer), what advice do you give to new starters on the low FODMAP diet?
Be kind to yourself – it doesn’t matter if you are not perfect, it’s all about doing the best you can. If you accidentally ‘fodmap yourself’ as a client of mine calls it, so be it! These things happen, and whilst it is unfortunate, it’s bound to happen sometimes. This is why determining your individual triggers is so important, as it makes it much easier for you to make well informed decisions around what you choose to eat. Knowledge is power; if you had to choose, I think knowing you may have a reaction if you eat something you’re sensitive to is better than eating it not knowing, then being surprised and wondering why you feel terrible.
I’ve been following the low FODMAP diet for 5 years, and I often get asked whether the low FODMAP diet is a forever diet. Could you share your expertise on this one?
Such a common misconception! Whilst everyone has different levels of sensitivity, research indicates that most people are able to re-introduce high FODMAP foods and maintain good symptom control. This means it is easier to make informed choices when not in control of food choices, and better management of symptoms on a daily basis. It also means a less restrictive diet, and likely better variety of prebiotic foods, which provide food for the healthy bacteria that are found in your gut. Research indicates that long term avoidance of these may affect the health of your microbiome.
Can you share with us your favourite resources you turn to for advice and inspiration?
I love the Monash Low FODMAP App, and the FODMAP Friendly App, they both provide great up to date information about what is low and what is high. I love instagram as well for recipe inspiration and beautiful pictures – there are so many creative people out there!