Try out this FODMAP-friendly Spaghetti Bolognese recipe (IBS Awareness Month)

Irritable bowel syndrom (IBS) is a disorder of the function of the bowel. It is a very common condition that can affect anyone, although women are twice as likely as men to suffer. In her book, Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBSDr Dawn Harper says that IBS ‘affects as many as one in five of us and can occur at any age, but most people first notice symptoms in their twenties or thirties and often people find that symptoms improve in later life.’ 

To mark IBS Awareness Month this April we’re sharing one of the recipes by dietitian Azmina Govindji from Dr Dawn’s book since knowing what to eat can be a real struggle for people with IBS. Filled with effective tips and suggestions, Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS can help you to enjoy your food again if you are affected by IBS. 

We hope you enjoy this family- and FODMAP-friendly recipe.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Prep 10 mins. Cook 35 mins. Serves 4

  • 1½ tbsp of garlic-infused oil
  • 1 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 500 g of lean minced beef, lamb or
  • 1 Maggi beef stock pot or Knorr
  • Mixed Herbs Flavour Pot (see Box,
    page 45)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1–2 tsp of herbs of choice e.g.
  • dried oregano, mixed herbs or
  • 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 25 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 300 g dried ‘free from’
  • Bacon rashers, finely sliced

Heat 1½ tbsp of garlic-infused oil and if you wish, add 1 tsp asafoetida powder along with 500 g of lean minced beef, lamb or turkey. Brown the mince over a low heat for 3–4 minutes. Add the stock or Flavour Pot, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, 1 large finely chopped carrot and 2 sticks of finely chopped celery. Stir-fry to blend the ingredients together. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and a teaspoon of herbs of your choice e.g. dried oregano, mixed herbs or basil. Stir for a few minutes on a medium heat. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes with the juices. Season, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the ‘free from’ spaghetti until al dente. Serve the cooked Bolognese mince on top of a bed of spaghetti and sprinkle with a handful of grated Parmesan. For an enhanced meat flavour, you could also add a couple of finely sliced bacon rashers while the mince is browning.


dr dawn's guide to healthy eating for IBS FC

Cover: Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS

Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS is now available


Eating Disorders Awareness Week: The importance of early intervention

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week (27 February–5 March 2017). To help raise awareness of these mental illnesses, forthcoming author Emma Woolf explores this year’s key theme, Early Intervention.

 One of the single most important aspects of the treatment of eating disorders is early intervention. It is clear that the sooner one intervenes to tackle disordered eating, the more effectively it can be treated. This is simply because disordered eating becomes habitual – and human beings are creatures of habit. The spiral of self-starving or binge-purging can be hard to escape.

‘One of the single most important aspects of the treatment of eating disorders is early intervention.’

Early intervention is also essential from a health perspective: while early-onset eating disorders (i.e. before puberty) are relatively rare, the number of children developing them does appear to be increasing. The damage of a childhood eating disorder, in physical, social, educational and emotional terms, can be even more severe than eating disorders in adolescents and adults as it occurs at a time of crucial development, and could lead to delayed maturation and stunted growth, among other things.

‘The number of children developing [eating disorders] does appear to be increasing.’

Socially, individuals with eating disorders also suffer isolation and depression, which in turn affects their education, work and family lives. Physical, social and emotional problems tend to intensify the longer the illness goes on, and the illness becomes more difficult (and expensive) to treat.

‘Early intervention is essential from a health perspective.’

For all these reasons, spotting the warning signs and understanding the symptoms is imperative for effective mental health treatment. Early intervention is essential in this process.

Emma Woolf is a writer and journalist. Born and brought up in London, she studied English at Oxford University. She worked in publishing for ten years before going freelance and now writes for The Times, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia, Red, Psychologies and Top Sante, among others. Her media appearances include Newsnight, and Woman’s Hour and she was a co-presenter on Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny.

Emma is the great-niece of Virginia Woolf and her previous books include bestselling An Apple a Day (2012), The Ministry of Thin (2013), Letting Go (2015), and Positively Primal (2016.)

Emma recently talked about the importance of healthy role models and going back to basics with exercise and diet regimes at Food Matters Live. You can still catch up here.

A-Z of Eating Disorders.jpg This is an edited extract from Emma’s forthcoming book, The A-Z of Eating Disorders out this September.

Get into the festive spirit with this diabetes-friendly dessert

Managing your diabetes can feel hard at the best of times but the festive season makes all those delicious, indulgent treats even more desirable. This Christmas you don’t have to miss out though as we have the perfect, diabetes-friendly Hot Chocolate and Chestnut Soufflés courtesy of Channel 4’s Dr Dawn Harper and dietician Azmina Govindji which are quick and easy to make.

Hot Chocolate and Chestnut Soufflés

If Eve had got her eye on these little mini-soufflés, I doubt she’d have bothered with the apple, for they are almost sinfully indulgent, but oh-so-delicious! They have to be served in the little pots in which they are cooked, otherwise they will collapse, but there’s no reason why on a special occasion you shouldn’t go the whole hog and have a scoop of reduced fat ice-cream on the side.

Prep 10 mins. Cook 15–20 mins. Serves 4
55 g / 2 oz 70 per cent cocoa chocolate
115 g / 4 oz / 8 level tbsps unsweetened chestnut purée
15 ml / ½ oz / 1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Butter or margarine to grease
four ramekins

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200 °C / 400 °F. Put the chocolate into a small pan with 15 ml / 1 tbsp water and heat very gently until the chocolate has completely melted. Add the chestnut purée and caster sugar and cook, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk, mixing thoroughly. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites using a large metal spoon, and transfer the mixture to four lightly greased ramekins. Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin with enough hot water to come halfway
up their sides, and bake in the centre of the oven for 15–20 mins until risen and set.


As Dr Dawn says, ‘. . . “delicious” rather than “deprivation” is the keynote to healthy diabetes management!’

Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for Diabetes is available now via Amazon or all good bookstores.

Enjoy making and eating FODMAP-friendly recipes with Dr Dawn Harper and Azmina Govindji

What to eat can be a struggle for people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) but changes to diet can really help to ease symptoms.

dr dawn's guide to healthy eating for IBS FCDr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS presents effective tips and suggestions to help you enjoy your food again.

To celebrate the launch of this wonderful guide, we’re releasing a FODMAP-friendly recipe from the duo.

If you think leading a low-FODMAP lifestyle means the end to flavoursome food, then think again!

Coriander tuna steak and salad

Prep 5 mins. Cook 5 mins. Serves 1

Fresh tuna steak, 150g

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

Handful of fresh coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped

Green chilli, finely chopped and deseeded if desired

Season the tuna steak and drizzle with olive oil. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Rub the tuna with the lime juice, finely chopped coriander and chilli before cooking for 1 minute each side for rare, and 2 minutes for medium. Baste with the marinade as it cooks. Serve with FODMAP-friendly side salad of your choice and baked potato or basmati rice.



Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS is out 17 March.



Living with diabetes? You don’t have to deprive yourself of delicious food!

Popular media doctor, Dr Dawn Harper, is back with two new books on healthy eating, having partnered with award-winning dietician Azmina Govindji (as seen on The One Show, The Wright Stuff and This Morning).

To celebrate the release of Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for Diabetes we want to share one of the fabulous recipes from the book with you.

dr dawn's guide to healthy eating for diabetes FC

Together the pair show that ‘”delicious” rather than “deprivation” is the keynote to healthy diabetes management!’

Grilled pineapple meringues

When using canned pineapple slices you may wish to double up the rings to make them thicker, but if using fresh pineapple cut the slices to about 2 cm thick instead. The meringue can be piped for a more professional finish and decorated with toasted almonds if desired. Although meringue is made from eggs, it is low in fat as you only use the egg white. Other fruits could also be used, such as peaches or fresh pears, or you could try mini meringues with apricot halves.

Prep 5 mins. Cook 5 mins. Serves 4

1 large egg white

56 g/ 2oz/ 1/4 cup caster sugar

A pinch of cornflour

1 can (432 g/ 15 oz/ 2 cups) pineapple slices in natural juice, drained

Heat the grill to a high temperature. Make the meringue, by whisking the egg white in a dry bowl until soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar mixed with the cornflour and continue whisking until well blended. Place the drained pineapple rings on a grill tray and cook for 2 mins, turning once. Spoon meringue mixture on top of each pineapple slice and put back under the grill. Cook for approx 1–2 mins until the meringue is golden and then serve.