W&W Woman - The interview series featuring Sarah Brittain...successful kiwi blogger, The FODMAP Free Life
Sarah shares with us her ongoing health journey and insights on good food, good health and a good life.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your health journey?
I’m Sarah, a qualified accountant who moved back to Auckland this year after living overseas for 11 years (Australia and London). I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome, an autoimmune disease, when I was 8 years old. After more stomach issues about 7 years ago I began my low FODMAP diet after many tests and advice from my gastroenterologist and have since further focussed on consuming more foods closer to their natural/unprocessed state.
This was a real turning point for me and my health, and it further ignited my passion for cooking and creating ‘Sarah friendly’ options and sharing these with others.
My blog and Instagram page is a place where I can post about my ongoing health journey and I hope to inspire others by showing how living with health issues doesn’t have to be a limit on life and eating well!
How can a low FODMAP diet help those in need and what is your advice for those considering a low FODMAP diet?
A low FODMAP diet can help manage the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you believe you might have IBS I would advise seeing a doctor to help determine what is going on with you and if you are advised to follow a low FODMAP diet work closely with a dietician who specialises in gastrointestinal nutrition.
What does a day on your plate generally look like?
Breaky: Gluten free toast with peanut butter and banana
Lunch: A colourful salad with greens, slaw, some sort of carb (brown rice, pumpkin, sweet potato or quinoa), protein (usually salmon or tuna), avocado, goats feta, drizzled with olive oil and a big squeeze of lemon
Dinner: Teriyaki salmon with broccoli and sweet potato or a vegetarian curry or bun-less burgers
Snack: fruit and yoghurt, bliss balls, dark chocolate with peanut butter or some sort of baking (banana bread is my favourite).
Outside of diet what other lifestyle choices do you think are important for optimal health?
Movement and mindfulness. I’ve always been active and was into sports when I was at school but this year I’ve had to make adjustments to my exercise routine. I’ve moved towards gentler, lower impact exercise - walks, pilates, barre and I started doing yoga. I also try and meditate with the Calm app for at least 10 minutes a day.
There are so many opinions regarding diet and lifestyle choices and they constantly making headlines in the media…how do you deal with the critics and any backlash?
I try and not get caught up with it and try to remember I’m on my own health journey and trying to figure out what works for my optimal health. I’m trying to eat in a way I know works for me and my stomach. When I do get criticism or backlash I just try to respond with my reasoning but not let it get to me.
Are you a Supermarket or Farmers Market girl?
I love a farmers market... but don’t get to them enough! I do my fruit, veggie and meat shop at Farro and the supermarket for everything else.
Kombucha, Cocktails or Coffee?!
Kombucha, coffee... and wine!
If you could invite any 3 people over for dinner (dead or alive) who would they be and what would you cook for them?
Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Oprah
A Mexican feast with vegetarian options.
You are based in Auckland, New Zealand - where are you top 3 places for brunch?
2. Odettes Eatery
3. Dear Jervois