One of the hardest factors to cater for with an allergy or intolerance is understanding what food or ingredient swaps will help with health and performance. To discern between the two, allergies elicit an immune response from the body usually within 30 minutes of exposure to the allergen, such as peanuts, whereas intolerances are usually dose-dependent with more varied symptoms such as bloating, cramps or diarrhoea.


Below is an outline of some of the most common allergies and intolerances and what swaps can be made so you can fuel and recover for the F45 challenge.


Gluten-free Swaps

Having coeliac disease means that exposure to the protein ‘gluten’ found in wheat, rye, barley and oats triggers an immune response and requires a gluten-free diet as management. A lot of foods, however, are naturally gluten-free such as meat/fish/poultry/eggs/legumes (which is awesome for your protein distribution throughout the day) and also fruit/vegetables/nuts/seeds (providing a powerhouse of micronutrients to support recovery).


  • At breakfast, swap out breakfast cereals containing gluten for gluten-free muesli, buckwheat or quinoa flakes, or even get creative by soaking them overnight in your favourite milk.
  • Lunchtime could be some sushi or rice paper rolls, or even preparing your favourite gluten-free wraps at home before work.
  • Buy gluten-free pasta or pizza bases
  • Try baking with almond or buckwheat flour.

For a more comprehensive list of foods and ingredients, download the Coeliac Australia app.

It’s important to remember that unless you have coeliac disease, complete avoidance of gluten is usually unnecessary. If you’re unsure, have a chat with your GP or dietitian.


Dairy-Free Swaps

A dairy allergy is an allergic response to cows milk protein that is more common in children than it is in adults. This isn’t to be confused with lactose intolerance, although the treatment and management has similar principles, either avoiding or knowing your lactose threshold.


When swapping out dairy for a plant-based alternative, it is recommended to choose a product that contains at least 100mg/100ml of calcium, and the highest protein content. Of all the plant-based milk on the market, soy milks have a higher protein content than others, and some are even fortified with B12 and calcium too! For those with lactose intolerance, trying a Greek yoghurt could still fly under the lactose radar and deliver a punch of protein and calcium.


Low FODMAP Swaps

Following a low FODMAP diet helps manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which may produce symptoms of bloating, wind, pain or diarrhoea. Although everyone will have a different threshold and/or trigger foods, here are some swap suggestions to help you feel your best both on and off the challenge.


  • As garlic and onions are staples in many recipes, to go without them seems almost criminal. Swap out onions for scallion tips and swap out garlic for garlic-infused olive oil.
  • Mix up your smoothie options with lactose-free milk, low FODMAP fruit such as blueberries or an unripe banana.
  • Sweeten an overnight oats recipe with maple syrup instead of honey
  • Throw some eggs and veggies onto a slice of wheat-free bread, or cook up some quinoa and use that instead.

For a thorough list of foods for the low FODMAP diet, download the Monash Uni low FODMAP app.


Working with allergies and intolerances is a very specialised field of nutrition, therefore it is recommended to consult with an Accredited Practising Dietitian to provide the necessary education and food recommendations for your situation, and to ensure you aren’t excluding foods unnecessarily.



F45 Challenge Team