My mum taught me to cook from a very young age, using basic ingredients, and cooking ‘from scratch’. We gathered food from the markets, our backyard garden, and local producers, and cooked mostly with what was in season and locally grown. We still used some refined ingredients and sugars in our homemade baking (and ate way too much of them!) but I learnt a lot about cooking with whole foods, and am thankful for all mum taught me in my early years.
When I grew up and started my own family, I worked hard to cook healthy, delicious meals – although I didn’t quite understand at first that healthy eating is more than just ‘homemade’. I ground my own grains, baked my own breads, cakes and biscuits, cooked with fresh veggies, and tried to avoid junk food – but my cooking still included plenty of sugar and refined oils and flours, and I didn’t realise this was damaging our health.
Despite my best efforts at healthy eating, I always seemed to be fighting exhaustion, headaches, food reactions, recurring colds, tummy upsets, skin issues and low weight problems. My kids had similar health issues, and my last two babies struggled with breastfeeding and cried constantly. I eventually decided it was food intolerances that were the problem.
My first attempt to ‘fix’ things was to cut out the foods that didn’t agree with us.
We got rid of dairy, wheat, sugar, and refined foods as much as possible. This seemed to help, and we saw improvements in our health. After eating this way for a couple of years I really wanted to share what I was learning, so I decided to start a blog. Quirky Cooking was born in December 2008 and quickly grew into a ‘go-to’ site for allergy-friendly, healthy recipes, tips and meal plans.
In May 2014 I released my first cookbook, Quirky Cooking, which helped many people with cooking for allergies and intolerances, and taught how to substitute ingredients to suit their individual diets. It became a best-seller, and is still a great favourite with Thermomix cooks!
Disclaimer: Gifts are available at the discretion of the guest speaker.