If you know what FODMAPS are, you might be interested in this...

Where do dietitians go to meet? To a specialist tea house for have Matcha lattes- obviously! If you can get more antioxidants into one room, I'd like to know where this place is. We dietitians just can't resist the lure of Epigallocatechin gallate...We're funny right? 

Dietitians stereotypes aside, over the weekend, I had the pleasure of chatting to FODMAP specialist dietitian Chloe McCleod about her upcoming venture- The FODMAP Challenge


By way of background, I met Chloe 2 years ago, bonding over pinching fat at the ISAK level 1 anthropometry course in Brisbane. I'll tell you, there is nothing like being pinched in a partial state of undress when laying the foundations of a lasting friendship- right? (just say yes...)

Fast forward 2 years and we were sitting in an uber trendy cafe in a unassuming cafe the Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar, deliberating whether to have the the Green Apple Sencha Sour, or the Berry Bomb Latte. For the record, decisional fatigue got the better of me and I went for what I was familiar with- a Matcha latte (my first one-would try again). 

The purpose of our chat was for me to find out all about an online challenge I have been seeing pop up everywhere, including a recent feature in Sports Luxe. 

The long story short- Chloe is the brain and expertise behind an online diet challenge which is unlike the one that has probably sprung to your mind. The FODMAP Challenge is a 12 week guided elimination diet designed for anyone experiencing IBS symptoms, to help identify the trigger foods, through the removal and re-introduction of the groups of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. 

The concept is genius, as for anyone who has ever had to try this process, it can be confusing, arduous and requires a lot of hand holding from a dietitian who is very familiar in the process which may get costly. Enter The FODMAP CHALLENGE! 

The program runs for 13 weeks, with week 1-4 as the elimination phase, recipes and all! Then week 5-13 are all about adding in groups one at a time, to hone in one which ones give you symptoms. And Chloe was really excited to be offering a wide range of meals and snacks, to ensure variety and maximum deliciousness (that is a word- surely).

Short story long? FODMAP's (Fermentable Oligosaccharise, Disacharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are a cluster of carbohydrates found in a variety of foods we eat, which are poorly digested by some people, and cause Irritable Bowel Symptoms which include bloating, constipation, diarrhea and gas, to name a few. The symptoms are not life threatening...well if you are left in the room with someone who has them you might beg to differ... but they can really get in the way of life, so finding out which foods in particular, because it won't necessarily be all of the, are the culprit, so they can be avoided or eaten in a reduced portion size. 

Do you need to be low FODMAP for ever? Here's what the website has to say: 

Research indicates that most people do not react to all the high FODMAP groups of foods. Identifying these means that we can re-introduce the groups of foods you didn’t react to, then determine how much of those you did react to you are able to tolerate. Long term, your life will be easier for the following reasons:

Most people with IBS 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.
Avoidance of unnecessary restrictions and to help ensure that your diet meets your nutritional needs.
Many high FODMAP foods are also high in prebiotics; compounds 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 bacteria, and your gut.

Chloe has a really solid background working with her clients one-on-one in nutrition treatment for conditions such as arthritis, food intolerance's and sports nutrition. This new project will see her skills broadcasted to a much larger audience, which is great news! 

I was very curious what lead Chloe to undertake such a big task. Antone who has embarked on an online project will know the time and attention to detail required to get off the ground, not to mention the IT nous! 

“I was inspired to create The FODMAP Challenge to help individuals determine the triggers of their IBS after recognising just how many people are suffering from IBS, and require better support in this; many people don’t have time/desire to go in to a clinic and see a dietitian, especially with so much information readily available online. However, I noticed lots of people wanting to try the diet, but not actually determining which FODMAPs they might be reacting to. Research indicates that most people do not react to all the high FODMAP groups of foods. Identifying these means that we can re-introduce the groups of foods you didn’t react to, then determine how much of those you did react to you are able to tolerate. Hence, the purpose of The FODMAP Challenge!

Throughout the 13 weeks, we take you through elimination, challenge and reintroduction phases, and help make the process as easy as possible through meal plans, recipes, videos, Q&As and a bunch of other things!


Brilliant! A short term, expert lead program that can assist in reducing symptoms and restriction on your diet- where do I sign up? 

Good question! If you have struggled with IBS and are interested in taking part, the next Challenge starts on July 27th for only $149. That to me sounds like a dream. To sign up head to the website here, which also houses some really good information to help out if you are just curious. 

Meanwhile I will be over here placing bets on which antioxidant rich food will be next to hit the big time, drinking a matcha latte. 



Harriet WalkerComment