I am a naturopath , (ex) scientist and mum with a food intolerance to dairy and I have 2 children also with a food intolerance to dairy (with a couple of other odd reactions in the mix). In addition we’ve eaten a mostly plant-based diet as a family for almost 3 years.
Since I wasn’t born a naturopath and I wasn’t aware I had an issue with dairy until I was 14 (I was born into a big Italian family with a mum who is a great cook), I had the opportunity to develop a taste for some foods which aren’t really so healthy. I also had some health issues (like discovering endometriosis and ovarian cysts, migraines and eczema) which led me to experiment with different dietary options and which led me to leave medical research to pursue naturopathy (find out about my education here if you’re interested). So when my daughter was diagnosed with being dairy and soy allergic as an infant, I was probably more prepared than the average parent is when they come out of the hospital at 2 am, yet I was still overwhelmed because for one thing, infants eat different foods to adults, and my daughter was allergic, not intolerant, so I had to be more careful with the foods she was given. Also, she was fussy with textures. So when my son came along and he also had a dairy sensitivity I had even more motivation to make this work for us.
Around the same time I’d graduated and began practicing in my own clinic, I was attracting people with various and usually combinations of food sensitivities (and they were coming after seeing doctors , specialists, and or dieticians). They were coming mostly for ideas, for the how. “How do I live my everyday life with these dietary ‘restrictions?’” was the unasked question. And so I began making more recipes and trying to give them more options. Because I realised that at the end of the day, my ability to really help someone improve and maintain their health depends on my ability to help them with the “how” of health.
In terms of general habits and new skills, there isn’t a lot of difference between changing your diet for a food intolerance, your health, or because you care about animals or the environment. Basically your new diet now lacks foods the old one included. One person isn’t eating cheese because of the food intolerance to dairy, another isn’t eating cheese because of high cholesterol, and another isn’t eating cheese because of the way cows are treated. They all aren’t eating cheese and need to learn how to get by without it.
So I thought I’d start with some basic recipes in my ebook Everyday foods ideas for Everyday and then offer the next best thing to a guided supermarket tour by sharing the top tips on how to healthily stock your pantry. This isn’t about fancy biochemistry, there really are no shortcuts to changing your life style and following a healthy diet for the long term.
Achieving health is one thing, but maintaining it over the long term, every day, for your whole life, after the novelty wears off, is a whole different matter. This isn’t a sprint to the finish. Health is a life long journey.
My mission is to help people like myself who have food intolerances, who eat a plant based diet, or who are just genuinely trying to be healthier and to feed their families healthier foods, or trying to give their chidren healthier options to find a way to do this everyday for the rest of their life.
So if you’re looking for some company for this lifelong health journey, you’ve found the right place.