Emma Hatcher has suffered from a sensitive gut for as long as she can remember. After years of horrible symptoms and endless frustration she came across the Low FODMAP Diet and has never looked back. Determined to share her story and help others in the same position, she set up her hugely popular food and lifestyle blog She Can’t Eat What?! Her first book publishes next year.
I’ve always been quite good at getting up early (though it might take a few presses of the ‘snooze’ button to make the initial move out of bed). I think it’s really important to start the day with a healthy, happy gut so I try to drink a big mug of warm water with lemon first thing. For breakfast I love oats; in the winter that might be a creamy bowl of porridge and in the summer, overnight bircher with fresh fruit and seeds. Smoothies are great when you’re strapped for time too.
I live in South London with two of my friends and am really lucky in that I can commute to my job in just forty minutes. I’ll catch up with emails or listen to a podcast on the journey in (Radio 4 Desert Island Discs and the Food Programme are current faves). I’ll arrive at work at 9.30am.
My first big corporate job after leaving univerity was in communications and social media, at a technology and engineering company. Although I learnt a lot and loved my team, I had no passion for the industry. I knew I could make more impact elsewhere, so I worked hard on my blog at every opportunity I got outside of work. Thankfully that paid off and alongside building an audience I got the opportunity to write a cookbook and found my current job in Borough Market communications team! The most useful advice I’ve ever received is to do something you love and care about. You spend so much time at work – life really is far too short to be in a job that makes you miserable! If you’re passionate about something, it shines through in the work that you do too. Play up your own interests and strengths and don’t compare yourself to others (I am often guilty of this myself).
The nature of my job means that each day can be very different, so lunch time could be anywhere between 12 and 3pm. I’d be lying if I didn’t say you’ll find me eating lunch at my desk most often, in between covering an event or cooking demo for social media. Finding FODMAP friendly food on-the-go is still pretty difficult so I try to make sure I prep meals on a Sunday for lunches and keep snacks in my bag such as nuts and oatcakes – my bag is never minus crumbs for long. My favourite part of my job at Borough Market (besides the incredible food) is being around people who are so knowledgeable about the food industry and passionate about what they do. It makes you feel like you’re part of something really innovative and exciting. My favourite part of running my blog is the people too – the fellow FODMAPers I meet from around the globe. The community is so powerful, hilarious and genuine, it’s a real support network. My least favourite part of work is finding a balance between blogging and my job. I wish I had an infinite amount of time to do everything!
If I’m not working at an event in the evening I try to finish work no later than 6pm. One of things I love most about living in London is being able to meet friends for drinks or dinner so easily. I don’t have a workout routine as such at the moment – working, running my blog and writing my cookbook have taken over! I ran a half marathon this summer though, there’s nothing better than a morning run with loud music to let off some steam. I try to fit in yoga or pilates when I can, they’re great for de-stressing and improving digestion too. During the week I might make a stir-fry or lentil dahl, freezing extra for those nights when I can’t be bothered to cook but still want something nutritious and FODMAP friendly.
I’ve always loved writing, but as an alternative career I’d love to run my own bakery and café, making and decorating beautiful intolerance-friendly cakes. I’ve always been quite creative and love a challenge, so I think that would marry my passions well.
My top 3 online recommendations are:
The FODMAP Friendly app – So great for having that list of FODMAP friendly foods and info with you on the go (has saved me spending hours in the supermarket many a time).
Bloglovin – Getting lost in the beautiful food posts for hours is becoming a habit…
The Pool – I’ve recently been introduced to the site and I’m hooked – it’s a really refreshing approach to content and a site where I always want to read every article.