Helen-Paul-Monty

About me…well…us!

We are a family of 3 humans and 3 animals. Actually, I’m genuinely not sure if fish count as animals. Paul, my husband, our son, Monty, and me, Helen. Oh, and the cat, Pudding, and two fish – Tiddler and Goldie. We live in a small village in the charmingly bucolic Surrey Hills with two semi-tame young buck deer who delight in eating anything I plant in our garden.

Monty was born in September 2013 by emergency C-section (that’s a story in itself), and we were lucky that our experience as new parents was a very happy and ‘easy’ one. We were simply overjoyed to have brought this wonderful little human being into the world and felt very clever indeed!

By the time Monty was 8 weeks old I realised that the small patches of red, irritated skin that had started to develop were not just that sort of new baby skin that seems to always have bumps, or redness or something that comes and goes very quickly but something more sinister. By the middle of January we were in dire straits. His entire body was covered with oozing welts and sores. His face looked as though he had a kettle of boiling water poured over it. Neither he nor I had slept for more than 20 minutes straight in over 2 weeks. All that helped him was to continually suckle.

This was the start of a very tough couple of years for Monty and of course for us and our families. But through the terrifying asthma attacks, the blood soaked sheets, the hospital stays, the never ending itching, the food allergy diagnoses etc etc we had to carry on living. We had to (wanted to!) spend time with friends and family. We had to work. We had to learn to parent. We had to do all the normal things that new parents have to do. And we had to wean this baby and get him onto solids!!

Our journey has been a holistic one; it has ranged from conventional medicine and the NHS to kinesiology, homeopathy and osteopathy among many other things. We have ruled nothing out (in the research phase at least!) in terms of seeking help and relief for our son.

But what was non-negotiable was that we had to feed him and that he had been diagnosed with severe food allergies – dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts, soya, fish, sesame, shellfish. I began to research everything I could about the link between food, food allergies and atopic illnesses. I am not a scientist, I am not medically qualified. I am a Mummy with gut instinct (read more about instinct and guts here) and a passion for food. I’m also a woman and a wife who loves her life, her friends and family, food, wine, socialising, eating out, entertaining and experiences. Getting out there and seeing the world. Which means that whilst feeding Monty the most nutritious, healing, immune supporting foods became the biggest focus of my life, doing so in a way that meant we could live our lives was the driving force. My recipes, feeding ideas and food plans are all designed to be easy, quick, realistic and not scary! They are for parents on the go with busy lives.

This journey has been one of the toughest; so, so challenging and heartbreaking at times but also life affirming and full of incredible people who give their time and share their journeys, insight and experiences on blogs, forums and social media and have consequently given me so much support, whether they know it or not (I should tell them more often!!)

I have set up this blog with the humble hope to do the same thing. To give families struggling with the same challenges a place to access resources, hear someone else’s journey, feel solidarity in dark times, feel that it is not “just you” and that you are not alone.

My aim is to do that through recipes. Through the ways that I have found to make life easy and nutritious even when it seems like ‘well what on earth can he eat?!’ Not being able to or not choosing to eat certain foods should not define us, it is just another of all the amazing choices that we are blessed to be able to make. We try not to let food allergies dominate our lives, what can’t be/mustn’t be eaten as opposed to all these incredible, nutritious foods we can eat!

I hope these recipes help you, inspire you, support you and make life feel manageable!

Love,

Helen xx