SOME Foods started in mid 2013 by co-founders Martine and Ronnie Banks.
We have always loved food and eating well. Our idea of a great night out or holiday typically revolves around food. There were many times over the years however when we had to cancel our food adventures because Ronnie was doubled over with pain in his abdomen. This ongoing problem, that at worst would see him bedridden for days at a time, was eventually diagnosed by his doctor as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). He had numerous tests; tubes down, tubes up (multiple times), and naturopathic blood testing, to try and determine the cause of the symptoms.
After Ronnie’s last attack in January 2013 saw him bedridden at a work conference, a colleague who similarly suffered from IBS suggested looking at the low FODMAP diet.
In consultation with a dietitian we started eating a low FODMAP diet and within a week or two the usual IBS symptoms were gone.
Eating a low FODMAP diet isn’t always easy – it takes commitment. Once you’ve understood which of the short chain sugars cause your symptoms, you need to know precisely the foods to avoid and studiously study food labels for “no go” ingredients. As this applies to many prepared foods, instead you restock your pantry with low FODMAP core ingredients and use established resources as a source of base recipes, and then start to create your own recipes for meals you enjoy.
Cooking from scratch is great – it’s something we love to do together. It’s particularly great when your husband is an adventurous cook, who’s always watching cooking shows to get inspiration, and thinks nothing of throwing together the meal “I saw Jamie/Maggie/Simon/Gordon… cook on their show the other day”.
Not everyone feels confident cooking though, or sometimes you just can’t be bothered, and want the convenience of prepared foods, and during one of our weekend cooking sessions we both voiced this thought. We had yet to find an Italian sauce or Thai and Indian curry sauces without “no go” ingredients. That is also a common complaint of low FODMAP advocates and bloggers the internet over, who instead focus on sharing their own recipes.
That conversation inspired us to produce a range of convenience foods, focusing initially on some cooking sauces, that are low in FODMAPs so that people like us could enjoy tasty but convenient food that supports their dietary restrictions and leaves them feeling good.
Coming up with the sauce recipes has been fun. The process has been a good blend of Ronnie’s “throw anything in the pot” creativity and my penchant for strict adherence to a defined recipe. Our goal has been to create sauces that taste authentic and have a home-made quality.
Our family and friends have been a great taste-testing panel – some of whom are following a low FODMAP diet to manage their own IBS symptoms, others who are foodies but with no issues of their own – providing honest feedback that helped us to develop the final set of recipes for our first range of products.
We already have lots of ideas for new products, however we’re going to actively engage others who follow a low FODMAP diet to help us shape our product ranges. We’re keen to know what products they need to make their lives easier and do what we can to fill those needs.
Maybe our food will also encourage those finding it too difficult to stick to the diet to be more disciplined because SOME Foods are convenient and tasty.
When you're following a low FODMAP diet to help manage the symptoms of IBS, there are many foods you can't eat - but you can eat SOME.