About Me

About-me-photoWelcome to ‘The Fructose Friendly Chef’ blog written by me, Melissa! I wanted to let you know a bit more about myself and my journey to becoming ‘The Fructose Friendly Chef’ so here we go…

All of my life I have LOVED food and when I was younger I was lucky enough to have no intolerances. I enjoyed trying new flavours and cooking with my Mum from quite a young age, especially baking! Growing up in Country Victoria I was surrounded by farming and plenty of local produce, something which I have become quite passionate about. In my cooking today I love to source fresh local produce and support the agricultural industry in which I work today as an Account Manager.

My Fructose Malabsorption went unidentified for nearly two years. It started with bloating, bowel irregularities and constant stomach pains, eventuating into days when I felt so unwell that I couldn’t even go to work. I tried every diet under the sun in an attempt to work out what was making me feel so unwell. Finally after much investigation I was diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I started following a strict FODMAP (Fructose and Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) free diet and really started to notice improvements.

When I was first diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) I found it overwhelming trying to remember which foods I could and could not eat, finding a recipe that would suit my dietary needs without compromising flavour and, of course, eating out. How do you find a restaurant who a) is aware of Fructose Malabsorption and b) Will actually take your request of “No onion or garlic please” seriously and not just assume that you’re a fussy eater.

So, using my culinary skills as a qualified chef and my knowledge of food and flavours, I started experimenting in my own kitchen, finding and creating recipes that suited me but were not so bland that my family and friends couldn’t share the same meal.

Three years on I have refined my diet and whilst I still always stick to Fructose free or friendly meals, I do not necessarily have a strict FODMAP free diet. It has taken me quite some time, however I have been able to work out which FODMAP foods I can and cannot eat, therefore giving myself some extra freedom with ingredients.

I am a fully qualified chef, completing both a commercial cookery and patisserie qualifications and I have a passion for ALL things food. I love watching cooking shows, reading Delicious. magazine and recipe books for inspiration and following countless food bloggers and stylists on Instagram. I also love travelling and experiencing different cultures and cuisines, with my travels thus far including Europe, South East Asia and the U.K.

I must bring to light that I am not a qualified doctor, nutritionist or dietician. I’m just a passionate foodie who knew there were plenty of people like me who would be experiencing the same challenges, so I decided to share my knowledge and love for good food in an attempt to help my fellow FM’ers.

The blog is an easy way to access recipes, meal ideas, recommended products and places to eat for Fructose Malabsorption sufferers or FODMAP diet followers. I hope you find it to be a useful resource and would love any feedback or to hear your experiences.

Happy reading!

 

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AKA (The Fructose Friendly Chef)

10 Comments

  • Reply Millie March 31, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Melissa
    I just wanted to say that I came across your Instagram page & website and I am so thankful that I did! In January after doing tests I found out that I have Fructose Malabsorption. For the last 3 or 4 years I did not know what was going on with my digestive system and why I was experiencing such bad symptoms. I am now working with a dietician to work out what foods I can and can not tolerate and in what amounts. Just wondering if you know what may have caused your fructose malabsorption? A few years back I had a parasite and my symptoms seemed to start soon after that. The dietician said that can often happen with intolerances & said I would benefit from taking probiotics. I would be interested to hear a bit more about your experience with it? Thanks for a great website! I will be trying some of your recipes soon!
    Kind regards
    Millie

    • Reply Melissa March 31, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      Hi Millie! Thanks for your lovely comment, I’m really glad you have found the website too as providing support and a discussion place for others with FM is exactly what I wanted to do. I often think about if I can pinpoint a trigger for my FM but I can’t be exactly sure. I remember having a bad virus that I couldn’t shake and sometimes I wonder if this may have been the trigger or maybe it was that I was quite stressed around the time it developed. Hopefully in the near future the cause of FM will be researched further. I think awareness of the fructose free diet is becoming more and more well known, even in the few years since I was diagnosed. Hopefully soon awareness will be at the same level gluten free is at now! I’d love to hear more from you about what you’d like to see on the website! Thanks again! Melissa :)

  • Reply Jane MacCallum May 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Melissa,
    I’ve just found your website & thrilled that I’ve found some inspiration for recipes I can cook for my family. I’m now in my 60s and have been struggling with IBS & FM for fifteen years after undergoing a hysterectomy. I remember being ravenous before the operation and have had lack of real appetite ever since. A holistic doctor sent me for breath test and found I was lactose intolerant and had fructose malabsorption. I was fine up until this time and would use onion most nights in our meals while our kids were little.
    Despite being very careful with my diet, I still find that I get caught out, on occasions, especially when eating out and pay for it with a sore tummy for a few days afterwards.
    Thanks for all your input and recipes. I’m lucky to have found recipes from a chef who understands IBS and FM. Yes, it will be interesting to understand more about this condition after all the research that is currently being done.
    Jane.

    • Reply Melissa May 25, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Hi Jane, thanks for taking the time to write such kind words! Sharing my recipes with people in a similar situation is exactly why I started the blog!

  • Reply sue June 12, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I have endeavoured to subscribe to your newsletter. However, your website won’t allow me to ” message received is ” Oops there is something wrong”.

    Please advise

    • Reply Melissa June 23, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Hi Sue, thanks for letting me know and apologies in the delay, it’s taken us a while to figure it out! The function should now be back up a ruining. Thanks for subscribing!

  • Reply Helen October 23, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hi Melissa, I have just found your site and it is so great to have found an Ausy site. My daughter was diagnosed with fructose intolerance about 12 months ago and she has been suffering badly, we think it was stress that bought on her condition however reading here it may have been a illness my daughter had that could have seen to the onset. I have just started reading your words and am excited to get to know where we can go out to eat and learn some new recipes. I will most definitely get my daughter to read and follow your site too, to give her the knowledge that she is not alone in her plight to have a better gut. Thanks, Helen.

    • Reply Melissa January 1, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Helen, it’s been great for me to be able to share my journey with others. I hope you both find it useful!

  • Reply Brigid Patterson February 7, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Just started the low fodmap – and LOVE food also!! Happy to have found this and look forward to your updates.

    • Reply Melissa October 18, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks Brigid!! Food…. Mmmmmmm!

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