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An Interview with Bay Burdett - Founder and CEO of Bay's Kitchen... The UK's No.1 Low FODMAP approved brand!!

Written by Jo Cooke-Best


Posted on June 18 2020

Interview with Bay Burdett - owner of Bay’s Kitchen - The UK’s No.1 FODMAP Approved Food Brand. 
Is the FODMAP diet something you are aware of? Have you ever heard of it? Have you seen me advertising products with a weird tag saying 'low FODMAP'? If you haven’t, we’re here to enlighten you, bringing you the facts and details from an expert. 
Bay launched her range of Low FODMAP cooking sauces after a long and personal struggle with IBS, digestive tract issues and other non-delightful side effects of having tummy issues. During this time she realised that it wasn’t just her suffering, it was the thousands of other IBS and digestive tract sufferers too. Not everyone wants to cook a meal from scratch everyday and she realised there was no quick, free-from, FODMAP friendly solution to dinners on the market.
Bay’s Kitchen was born in 2016, and launched the first sauces in 2018 after 18 months of development - they are a quick and great tasting solution to quality convenience meals. The sauces are all certified low FODMAP, certified gluten free and are suitable for vegans & vegetarians - they have won Silver at the Free From Food awards 2020 and also Gold & Silver at the Free From Food Awards 2019 too! The initial range was 3 sauces and a Low FODMAP food & symptom diary. In October 2019, the range expanded to 6 sauces and this month they have increased yet further to 10 sauces!
I am excited to be ‘in the know’, and know of some exciting new products in the pipeline! We have new flavours launched in store today, you can buy them here. For further news... Watch this space.
Over to the interview! 

Meet Bay.
"I’m Bay, I’m 32 years old and I live in Gloucestershire where I was born and raised. I am very close to my family, who all live in Cheltenham too, so I get to see my nieces and nephew a lot! I studied Creative Advertising at the University of Gloucestershire and went on to work in many different sales and marketing roles. My IBS symptoms began about half way through 2012 and I just covered them up and dealt with them for over 3 years! (It’s an average of 6.6 years before people go and get diagnosed!)". 
"When I was on holiday in Cyprus with my family in late 2015, my mum, sister and nieces were all playing in the sea (which I love to do!), yet I was lying on the beach in absolute agony. It was then I realised enough was enough, that this wasn’t right and it was actually ruining my life, so I made a doctor’s appointment for when I returned home. I went along and they ran the usual tests (for coeliac disease etc) and discussed my symptoms, to rule out other conditions. After that I was diagnosed with IBS and I breathed a sigh of relief! That may sound odd, but for one I was glad it wasn’t a life threatening condition, but more than that I was just happy I knew what the problem was and so now I could go about trying to stop my symptoms flaring up." 
My GP told me about the Low FODMAP Diet, and said to go and try it (luckily in 5 years we have come a long way and they now shouldn’t recommend you just go off an try it but instead help you through it or refer you to a dietician). I found all the foods to avoid and those which were ok (it was a lot more black and white then which wasn’t good, whereas now with the Monash app you can find low fodmap portion sizes of foods I thought you had to avoid completely). I would then go shopping and spend hours looking at labels and packaging and being thoroughly disappointed that anything remotely convenient or tasty had high FODMAP ingredients in." 
"I was living on my own, working very long hours at a marketing agency and so cooking from scratch every night just wasn’t feasible. I had done so much research on IBS and the Low FODMAP diet that I had already found out that IBS affected around 15% of the population (it’s now over 20%) and so I knew there must be millions of people struggling like I was to follow this diet (which I had found worked really well for me). Having made lots of things from scratch, including pasta sauces, I had found that foods were actually more tasty, when they weren’t just full of onion and garlic! And this was where the idea came, to make my own Low FODMAP, convenient, tasty foods and sell them…. And Bay’s Kitchen was born!"
For those that don’t know, or would like a clearer insight into FODMAP. Can you explain to us what the Low FODMAP diet is? 
"FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols which can be found naturally in foods, as well as in additives and preservatives. The body struggles to digest FODMAPs and so they sit in your gut and ferment, which is what causes the lovely symptoms of IBs – the gas, bloating, cramps, back pain, constipation and/or diarrhea. Researchers at the Monash University in Melbourne have scientifically proven that reducing the amount of FODMAPs you eat (i.e. following a Low FODMAP Diet) reduces, and in some cases can even eliminate IBS symptoms for over 75% of those who try it."
Who should consider this diet? 
"The diet should only be started if you have been recommended to do so by your GP or Registered Dietician. Whilst it does work for over 75% of those who suffer with IBS, as well as some of those who suffer with other digestive conditions like Crohns, Colitis, SIBO and endometriosis, it still isn’t suitable to follow for some people. If you have currently or previously had an eating disorder or a bad relationship with food, the diet is unlikely to be recommended to you. It is very restrictive to start with and requires a lot of control, so it is not suitable to follow for those who have suffered with any form of eating disorder."
Is the FODMAP a long term diet? How long would you recommend that someone tries the diet for? 
"If your not comfortable advising this in-depth I am happy to discuss the 3 phases and that it is not a long term diet. 
Not as such! So there are three stages to the diet and the first two should take a maximum of 12 weeks.
Elimination Stage – This is the first stage and should last for no more than 4-6weeks. This stage is where you do avoid high FODMAP ingredients completely. If you see a big improvement in symptoms in this stage then the diet is working for you and you should move straight to the next stage of the diet – Reintroduction. If you still have a lot of symptoms after the first two weeks or so of the Elimination Stage then perhaps the Low FODMAP Diet isn’t right for you and you should consult with your GP and/or Dietician about next steps.
Reintroduction Stage – this is where you try to reintroduce some high FODMAP foods to your diet. You should only do one at a time, and ideally, using a food which is only high in one FODMAP (lactose, fructose, fructans or oligosaccharides). Therefore if you have symptoms then you know it’s that FODMAP you struggle with. You would test different portion sizes of that food over a few days – only eating what you normally would of it (don’t go and try and eat a whole clove of garlic when you wouldn’t normally do this!). Then go back to no high FODMAP foods for a few days and see what your symptoms are like. Even if you feel ok, you should still remove this food from your diet until you have tried all the different FODMAPs. At the end you should have a list of foods you feel comfortable to reintroduce to your diet. This then forms the third and final stage – Personalisation or Continuation.
Personalisation Stage – this is where you now have your own Perosnalised FODMAP Diet to maintain. You enjoy all the Low FODMAP foods as before and you can also add in the high FODMAP foods you found you could tolerate. It’s important to keep testing different portion sizes of high fodmap foods, as over time you may find your body can tolerate a bit more, even if you failed to reintroduce it the first time around."
Can I undertake this diet on my own?
"NOTE: The FODMAP diet should not be undertaken without seeking advice from a medical nutritionist and consulting your doctor. 
Whilst you can, this is certainly not advisable. You should always be recommended the diet by a GP, medical professional or Registered Dietician and then you should use their help throughout the diet." 
"The Low FODMAP Diet is very restrictive throughout the first two stages (12 weeks), so it is very important you consult with your GP or Dietician to ensure you still maintain a balanced diet and get all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need. Over a long period of time restrictive diets will alter your gut microbiome, so not following this properly and staying on the first two stages for two long could have a more negative impact on your gut health."
Are there any mobile apps that you recommend?
"I will add on the Monash University FODMAP app - it’s been a godsend! 
There are a few different apps out there, but the one I have used by far the most is the Monash University Fodmap App. I would highly recommend this app. Personally I haven’t used all the features on it, but I think it’s more than worth the money (about £7.99 as a one-off fee to download) just for the Food List. Monash University are constantly testing different portion levels of foods and adding new foods to the app all the time. They have a very simple ‘traffic light system’ to show if a food is high, moderate or low in FODMAPs, but what I love more is that they show different portion sizes. So whilst a large portion of avocado is high FODMAP, there is a smaller portion which is low FOMDAP. This makes it easier to keep a more varied diet, just by watching the portion sizes of certain ingredients."
"The FODMAP Friendly app is also quite good, they have lots more certified products, which are all listed in the app by country."
Do you have any other wise words of advice for our viewers? 
"My top tips would be – don’t go it alone, get the help of your GP or a Registered Dietician. Talk to your friends and family – believe me that they will be understanding and most of the people you speak to will either suffer themselves with IBS or know someone who does and it really is a problem shared, a problem halved! Keep trying to reintroduce foods, even in really small portions. It seems so unnatural to eat something you think will make you ill, but overtime you will become more tolerant to foods, so you need to try them. And lastly, don’t forget that managing your IBS symptoms isn’t all about food. Your quality and amount of sleep, your stress levels, your medication, your mood, will all have an effect on your symptoms, along with the food you eat."

Bay - Thank you!

Whilst this concudes today's interview, I predict this isn't the end of our journey working with Bay and Bay's Kitchen. We are really happy to be launching the 3 new flavours this week and can't wait to share the other exciting new products once they are launched later in the year. 

You are welcome to share your recipies & cooks with us and Bay's Kitchen. You can tag both of us using @ecofootprintsuk and @bayskitchenuk. 

If you have any questions please pop them below. 

Take care. Jojo xXx 


About the author

Jo is an entrepreneur, writer, and investigator for all things healthy for the mind, body, soul, and planet. And, not to dismiss, a long-term collector of allergies, intolerances, and chronic illnesses! In early 2020, after a stark realisation that her health was being impacted by her current direction in business, she redirected her career, using years of personal research and development to launch Ecological Footprints. A lifestyle brand for the whole family (furry kids included), selling a wonderful selection of plastic free, biodegradable daily living products, a food shop full of gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan foods, and a safe place for us all to explore her blog - her journey into eco-friendly sustainability, clean living to maintain health & chronic illnesses and yummy free-from recipies for all the family. When she's not working you can find her spending time with her family, enjoying the countryside or in her little organic veggie garden! 









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