The FODMAP Talk In Depth: Q&A with the leading food writer Dédé Wilson
- Tell us about your journey with IBS and the Low FODMAP diet
I had been suffering with IBS for over 25 years when I was introduced to the diet. I had been hospitalized with extreme abdominal pain and the Dr. on call scribbled down “FODMAP” on a little slip of paper. He said that after we got my acute situation under control that we should try this diet. I basically went from having 3 to 4 bouts of IBS a week to none as soon as I started the diet!
For me, it was that dramatic. I was very strict though and monitored myself quite intently. As a food writer and recipe developer I immediately became excited about the prospects of creating recipes and tools for others who were suffering.
I reached out to Kate Scarlata to suggest that we write a book together. I had found Kate online as I did my FODMAP research and I thought she would be the perfect co-author for my book idea. By the way, I am almost 3 years out and am still symptom free!
- You are a popular food writer with years of foodie experience. Was it different writing a book about FODMAP?
Very much so! Luckily my doctor had told me that there was a lot of misinformation out there and to focus on the research from Monash University, which I did. Their smart phone app became my best friend - and still is! I had developed recipes for the American Heart Association, but that had been limited in scope.
Here the idea was to develop over 120 recipes following the Monash guidelines. Accompanying this, it was always my intent to start my own brand in the low FODMAP space, which became FODMAP Everyday®, that I co-founded with my business partner Robin Jaffin.
I threw myself at the recipe development with a passion. It is one of the things I am best at - and enjoy the most! I knew I could make a difference in this low FODMAP world by bringing delicious recipes to life, that follow Monash protocol.
I think my strength is being able to look at allowable ingredients and come up with innovative recipe ideas. I have always been this way with recipe development. I literally dream about potential combinations! Especially 2 1/2 years ago, there were not a lot of inspirational low FODMAP recipes. Now many people are getting their creative juices flowing!
- If you could pick one favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe from your latest book "The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step" - what would they be?
Breakfast? I love the Huevos Rancheros. I am a big egg fan and savory for breakfast is underrated in my opinion!
For lunch I really like a basic tuna salad. I use bok choy for crunch instead of celery and like to eat it in a bowl with carrots and gluten-free pretzels as dippers.
Dinner is a hard one as there are so many but I think the One-Pot, One-Dish Meals Chapter will be very helpful to all the busy FODMAPers out there and I really do make the Roasted Chicken Thighs with Smoked Paprika, Lemon & Herbs,Carrots & Potatoes every week.
I love it that night and using the extra cooked chicken as leftovers for salads and tacos.
- What are your words of advise for someone who is just starting to follow the Low FODMAP Diet?
Do not underestimate what this diet can do. I went from being in so much pain that even intravenous morphine was of no help to being symptom and pain free in a matter of a couple of days after starting the diet. It can be that dramatic. What do you have to lose? Give yourself 1 week. 1 week! Promise yourself that you will try the Elimination diet - with the help of a knowledgable GI doc or RD - and stick to it for 1 week. That way it doesn’t seem like such a huge under-taking.
I will tell you this, though. After that 1 week, if the diet is going to work for you, you will be feeling so great that continuing with the full Elimination phase time will be no problem - and there are tons of supportive resources for you, like my book, The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step, and our community at FODMAP Everyday®, to help you with meal preparation and recipe ideas.
Our motto is that we want to help you THRIVE on the low FODMAP diet. This isn’t about just getting by. This is about taking your life back again.
Dédé Wilson is the co-author of the new book "The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step". Wilson “has been a recipe developer for 30 years, has worked as a television and radio host, and has written 14 cookbooks. A contributing editor to Bon Appétit from 1999 to 2014, Dédé was featured as on-air talent in over 100 national television appearances for herself and Bon Appétit on all major networks: TODAY Show, CBS Early Show, Dr. Oz, The View, and more.”
Visit Dede's website FODMAP Everyday.