I had the privilege of talking to the lovely Alana Scott from A Little Bit Yummy. She was the most positive person I’ve ever met and you would never know that she has a multitude of chronic conditions that can require an emergency hospital admission. I’ve been following A Little Bit Yummy for a while so I’m super excited for you all to have a read of her answers. Enjoy!
Firstly, congratulations on receiving the Good Sorts award and appearing on TV!
What sparked your interest in health and wellness?
I’ve had a difficult heath journey over the past 14 years. When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and was so unwell I couldn’t attend high school. From there my health deteriorated further and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, coeliac disease, POTs and IBS. Managing all these conditions is tough, so I do all I can to nurture my body and make sure that I am proactive about my health. Part of that is looking after my diet.
How did you turn your love of food and health into a successful career?
This is still a work in progress! When I was put on the low FODMAP and gluten free diets I realised how restrictive it was and the emotional toll this had on my mental health. I decided that I was going to make food fun (no matter the food intolerance or restriction). I created alittlebityummy.com and started blogging about my journey and sharing recipes. From there it has grown into a low FODMAP meal planning service, an ambassadorship role with FODMAPPED For You and consulting and recipe development for Healthy Food Guide NZ.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day varies a bit depending on what I’ve got going on. Usually I’m up early and have breakfast before answering enquires and questions about the low FODMAP diet via email and social media. Next I move on to recipe write up and then my afternoons are spent creating new recipes, photographing food, or writing articles. Sometimes I even fit in a nap if my body needs it.
What is it like to live in Hamilton (NZ) for healthy, low FODMAP food?
I think it’s pretty easy to find low FODMAP food in Hamilton, especially when you can cook at home. The local supermarkets stock lots of low FODMAP fruit and vegetable options and you always have access to potatoes and rice, as well as fresh herbs and spices.
I also find that the local cafes are pretty accommodating and can always do me eggs on gluten free toast if I can’t find something else to suit my needs.
Where do you get your inspiration from to come up with so many delicious recipes?
Lots of my inspiration comes from my friends, family and the food that I just love to eat. Once I’ve had a recipe idea I do a bit of research to make sure the flavour combos I want to use are on track, and then I get into the kitchen and cook.
You seem to have become pretty famous in the FODMAP/ IBS world, where do you think it all started?
Haha I’m honoured you think that! I don’t think I’m famous just yet… I do think that my followers really appreciate all the hard work that I put into alittlebityummy.com especially making sure all the resources are dietitian approved. This peace of mind combined with delicious foods really makes their lives easier and I’m honoured I can be part of that.
What’s the hardest part about running multiple social media sites?
Social media is super time consuming so I’ve had to pick the platforms I focus on. You will find I am most active on Facebook and then do a bit of posting on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too. As alittlebityummy.com grows I am hoping we will be able to be more interactive across the other channels – I just don’t have enough time at the moment.
Where do you see A Little Bit Yummy in 5 years?
Over the next five years I plan to grow A Little Bit Yummy into a global online platform that helps people with gastrointestinal issues manage their symptoms through extensive meal plan services, e-courses, online dietitian support, symptoms tracking and much much more!
What are your favourite things to eat when you are super busy?
When I’m super busy I tend to go to low FODMAP smoothies (I love strawberry), 2 minute microwave eggs with chives on toast, and low FODMAP sweet red pepper soup (I batch cook it and keep it in the freezer for emergencies).
What’s your typical…
Breakfast: My current ‘go to’ is gluten free Weet-bix with coconut yoghurt and strawberries.
Lunch: Leftovers, Moroccan chicken salad, or omelette
Dinner: This changes most nights depending on what recipes are in development. If I’m stuck and don’t know what to cook then my back up plan is chicken wings in sweet orange sauce.
Snack: Piece of low FODMAP fruit, a smoothie, or sunflower seed butter on toast
Dessert: Low FODMAP chocolate and raspberry brownie with So Good Soy Vanilla ice cream.
What advice would you give to someone who has just started out on a low FODMAP diet?
Don’t panic. There are lots of ways to make yummy low FODMAP food.
Here are my four key tips:
- Get yourself an up-to-date food list by grabbing the Monash Low FODMAP App and the FODMAP Friendly Apps. These apps also have lists of certified low FODMAP foods.
- Take some time to make a low FODMAP meal plan and then do your weekly shop.
- Grab a cup of tea and explore alittlebityummy.com recipe section and blog area for lots of tips and recipe inspiration.
Also remember the low FODMAP diet isn’t a forever diet. You only need to be as strict as needed to control symptoms.
Thanks so much!