Do you FODMAP every day? I do. That’s why I was so excited to talk to Dédé Wilson and Robin Jaffin, co-creators of FODMAP Everyday®. You should be excited too since these lovely ladies are like FODMAP fairy godmothers. Check out these fun facts to help you get to know them and their brand a little better.
Meet FODMAP Everyday®
FODMAP Everyday® launched in 2017 with one specific goal in mind: Helping people with IBS thrive on the Low FODMAP Diet.
That’s a pretty big goal! So I asked Dédé and Robin to describe how their brand can help you and me thrive, specifically. The first thing you should know about FODMAP Everyday® is that they’re currently the only brand worldwide to offer Monash University certified recipes for free.
So far FODMAP Everyday® has 450+ recipes on their website, 50 of which are certified by Monash University. When I asked Robin and Dédé why they chose to launch their website with certified recipes, they explained:
“We are not registered dietitians and it was very important to us to build a reputable resource. We reached out to Monash early on, as we were using their resource as our touchstone, since they are the developers of the diet. They told us that they were about to debut a Recipe Certification and we immediately knew that we wanted to have that stamp of approval. We were the first to complete the program and enjoy a close and strong relationship with the FODMAP Monash Team.”
Dédé and Robin’s dedication to providing accurate information to their readers have helped the FODMAP Everyday® brand develop strong relationships with low FODMAP experts worldwide. In fact, the larger FODMAP Everyday® “success team” includes low FODMAP trained dietitians and health practitioners, each of which has their own specialty. These range from pregnancy, veganism, and sports nutrition to areas of advanced training like the therapeutic use of CBD oil.
Another way Dédé and Robin hope to help you and me thrive is to help us shift our mindset about the Low FODMAP Diet. They believe “when one is open to change – to shifting – in one’s life in appropriate ways that incredible growth can happen.”
As a member of the IBS community, Dédé knows first-hand that IBS can drastically change a person’s relationship with food. She said, “for those who are suffering from their IBS – who are in pain every day – who feel like they have lost their lives to their broken relationship with food…we want you to know that you cannot only be pain-free but that you can thrive!”
They believe working with a registered dietitian and using reliable resources like FODMAP Everyday® can help you get your life back again. They reiterated, “we want IBS sufferers to have a full, healthy, happy life – filled with delectable food.” If you take a peek at their recipe section, you’ll see they’re not taking that goal lightly.
Filling the Gaps
As part of my interview, I asked Robin and Dédé what gaps in care they see for people with IBS; and how FODMAP Everyday® hopes to fill them. They were quick to say one big gap is a general awareness of the Low FODMAP Diet. While the Low FODMAP Diet is well known in areas like Australia and New Zealand (check out this list of low FODMAP restaurants in Melbourne!), it’s still a bit of a secret in North America. So, the FODMAP Everyday® team is working hard to promote low FODMAP awareness in a way readers can easily understand.
Part of raising awareness about the Low FODMAP Diet is helping people understand the program is more than the “elimination phase.” This is an important issue in the IBS community, as following the elimination diet long-term can create even more complications. You can read more about the second and third phase of the low FODMAP Diet here.
Miscommunication about the structure and rules of the low FODMAP program is one of the reasons Robin and Dédé strongly recommend the diet be completed with the help of a registered dietitian. Specifically, a dietitian trained by Monash if you can find one. If you need help finding a Monash trained dietitian, you can check out the global directory on the FODMAP Everyday® website here.
Even though they stand by this recommendation, Robin and Dédé know depending on a variety of circumstances, some people do try to complete the Low FODMAP Diet on their own. In this case, they recommend making sure you use reputable sources for your information. Like the resources available at FODMAP Everyday®.
They expanded on this, saying:
“It is so very easy for IBS sufferers to Google “the low FODMAP diet” or “low FODMAP recipes” but just because something pops up on the first page doesn’t mean that the information is trustworthy. You might make a recipe online that says it is “low FODMAP” or follow a food list of high and low FODMAP foods and not feel any better – or even feel worse. And then you might give up and decide the diet doesn’t work. The thing is, you didn’t actually follow the diet! If you are working with a trained dietitian, you will be helped along the way with proper guidance and avoid these pitfalls.”
Robin and Dédé hope that as the low FODMAP program becomes more well-known and understood, people will start to look for something more than just the basics. This is why the FODMAP Everyday® team works hard to help you get back to living your fullest life. While they can definitely help you find something to eat for breakfast, they also have a ton of ideas from lunches on the go to hosting your next holiday bash. So, you don’t have to choose between feeling better and feeling like yourself.
“Our name FODMAP Everyday® is really about your everyday….We looked beyond the initial phases of the diet and saw that there was an opportunity to teach people who have struggled with food to learn to love food again – and also give them the ongoing inspiration to keep trying new things. Using our recipe filter and reading our articles will keep our readers fed physically and spiritually.”
If you think that sounds great, go poke around the FODMAP Everyday® website! They encourage questions, so check out a few of their articles or recipes and make sure to leave a comment!
Meet Dédé Wilson
The story of how FODMAP Everyday® began is similar to many stories in the IBS community. After suffering from IBS for 25 years, Dédé had a flare-up so intense she was hospitalized for 5 days. While you and I can empathize, Dédé feels it was a bit of a blessing in disguise.
During her stay, the on-call gastroenterologist told Dédé about the Low FODMAP Diet. “He made a point of telling me that there was a lot of misinformation online and to only pay attention to the info coming from Monash University.”
Dédé describes her experience with the Low FODMAP Diet as a “revelation.” She explained she had positive results immediately and feels as though the diet saved her life.
“Sure, IBS is a “functional” GI disorder in the sense that it is not life-threatening, but when you have chronic, long-term IBS symptoms, you do not have much of a quality of life and the diet gave me a pain-free life back – which I hadn’t had in decades! So it was dramatic.”
With 30 years experience as a professional recipe developer, Dédé could immediately see all the things that could be eaten on the Low FODMAP Diet. While she was dreaming up all the tasty things you see on the FODMAP Everyday® website, she had her first vision of the FODMAP Everyday® brand. Dédé described,
“I knew I would be able to create recipes and other supportive content for IBS sufferers that would make their life easier, more understandable – and more delicious!…the kind of brand I wanted to create – was about everyday needs, hence the brand name – FODMAP Everyday®.”
Dédé is a woman after my own heart. At the same time she was nurturing the FODMAP Everyday brand, Dédé decided to write her 17th cookbook. The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step was co-written by Dédé and Registered Dietitian and FODMAP expert Kate Scarlata. If you want a copy, you can grab one on the FODMAP Everyday® website.
I also asked Dédé how a resource like FODMAP Everyday® would have helped her when she started the low FODMAP program. She said while she didn’t need any help finding low FODMAP recipes, “to be able to have articles written about all manner of topics by a team of Monash University trained registered dietitians, each with their own points of view and special focus, would have been a godsend.”
She explained that the low FODMAP landscape was a little “skimpier” in 2015. Most information available online was either academic or a little dry. “This is a diet. A diet is focused on food! No one was owning the luscious, sexy, delicious food space in-regards to the low FODMAP diet in the way that I could envision it.”
Dédé and Robin have definitely worked hard to bring a little sexy back to the Low FODMAP Diet. Dédé signed off by saying “I know what it is like to be in excruciating pain. The diet saved me and I knew I could help others learn how to eat well again – or maybe for the first time!”
Meet Robin Jaffin
Robin believes taking care of our bodies and ourselves is a skill we develop through practice and intention. This view has thoroughly influenced her lifelong relationship with health and wellness. It also shines through in the articles and resources she provides on the FODMAP Everyday® website.
Having had had her own brush with stress-induced IBS in college, and later experiencing the chronic impact of Lyme Disease, Robin knows first-hand how important it is to have access to reputable resources and experts. Robin recounted her experience saying, “being chronically ill is isolating, exhausting and scary – and it can be made far worse when important information, access to health care and medicine or good quality nutrition is limited or unavailable.”
Robin describes her experience with Lyme Disease as “terrifyingly debilitating,” which is something many IBS patients can relate to. Though her journey back to wellness has been very successful, Robin describes it as an important lesson in self-care.
“Lyme never goes away so I do deal with “flare-ups” – which require I pay attention to what might trigger them – similar to what IBS sufferers need to learn. Learning how to make good choices moment by moment leads to a longer-term sense of well-being. I understand the challenge and reward of making those choices.”
Fuelled by their unique personal experiences Robin and Dédé have dedicated themselves to providing excellent information, resources, and a supportive community for as free or as affordable as they can. “We think that self-care is an essential element of being healthy,” said Robin. “And good self-care depends on excellent tools and resources.”
I asked Robin how her perspective as someone outside the IBS community gives her a unique view on the low FODMAP program. She said as someone who remembers what a “normal” cookie tastes like, she’s able to provide honest feedback on Dédé’s creations. She can also look over articles created by the FODMAP Everyday® team from the perspective of someone approaching the diet for the first time. This allows her to offer edits that may clarify important points for their readers.
“It’s a terribly difficult job to eat all that delicious food,” Robin joked. “But I will soldier on to ensure that our readers’ palates are protected. That’s how dedicated I am.”
Before founding FODMAP Everyday®, Robin worked for over 20 years in the human rights and supply chain sector. I asked Robin how her past experience in this field has influenced the business practices of FODMAP Everyday®. Robin responded: “I have a very nuanced understanding of exactly what a company can and cannot do – there is no silver bullet – or one certification that can promise a clean supply chain. So we make our choices based on various criteria.”
This criterion includes partnering with people and brands who share similar ideals and can show a positive impact through their business practices.
“We are always balancing our multiple goals – meeting the needs of our readers, keeping cash flowing so we can continue to bring resources and information to our readers, and working with businesses who are able to demonstrate that the impact of their business is as positive up and down the supply chain as is possible for the role they play within that supply chain.”
Robin expanded on this saying: “We are both seeking to live out our personal standards in our business dealings – which has meant that we have turned down or away from opportunities because they just didn’t feel right and have measured the value of an engagement based on more than whether it made us an income.”
This strict set of values hasn’t slowed Robin and Dédé down. Their website is packed with expert knowledge and resources to help you thrive on the Low FODMAP Diet.
“Thankfully this community has been very generous to us and we are deeply grateful to all of the exceptional RDNs and low FODMAP experts and businesses that have welcomed us and given us a chance to join the effort to provide great services and resources to IBS sufferers.”
Robin reiterated that she and Dédé more than welcome your questions and feedback. So, if you have a chance to head over to the FODMAP Everyday® website, make sure you leave them a comment. “We read everything you send us and do our best to meet your needs,” Robin said. “We’re excited to see what our second year will bring. We hope you’ll join us!”
These two FODMAP fairy godmothers are working hard to build a brand that will help you thrive on the Low FODMAP Diet. Even though Dédé and Robin are nearing their 60’s, they want you to know they’re not slowing down any time soon. In fact, they’re just getting started. So head on over to the FODMAP Everyday® website and check out what they have to offer!
Did you like this article? Don’t forget to share it! Together we’ll get the Low FODMAP Diet down to a science!
P.S. Want access to bonus content, VIP discounts, and some fabulous freebies? Sign up for my mailing list below and you’ll get all these goodies and more sent directly to your inbox!
© 2018 Amy Agur – The FODMAP Formula
You might also like one of these:
What Is FODMAP Stacking? Have you been experiencing IBS symptoms even though you’ve been sticking to greenlight foods? FODMAP stacking might be the culprit!
What Is Neurogastroenterology? Have you heard of Nero gastroenterology? If you suffer from IBS or IBD you want to know about this exciting new field of research! Check out this article for everything you need to know.
When Should You Start the Low FODMAP Diet? So you’ve been diagnosed with IBS. Does that mean you need to start the Low FODMAP Diet? Not necessarily! Check out this article for some things you should try first.