Hi, I’m Julie

As you might have noticed, I’m pretty mad about fruit & vegetables.

Where did it start?

In short, with me feeling pretty unwell, for an extended period of time. For several years, I suffered badly with chronic pain and joint issues. I’d gone through all the types of common treatments, painkillers, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatories, steroid injections into my joints (this was the least fun option).

Most of the treatments had no real impact, and I felt completely debilitated by the pain on a daily basis. I’d lie in bed at night, with such serve pain in my hips that I could barely sleep. Desperate to find some type of relief, I started to research online for any nutritional or dietary advice that might help.

What did I find?

A common theme I was finding was the relationship between certain foods and inflammation in the body. Namely dairy products and processed foods. Studies had found that certain substances in these foods caused an inflammatory response in the body when eaten, basically causing the body’s cells to start attacking themselves.

Willing to give anything a try, in the summer of 2018 I decided to cut out all animal products to see if there was any difference. Having basically cut out meat about 6 months before, it meant finally saying goodbye to milk and cheese, two items which I was very attached to… but the potential pay off seemed worth it. So, I made the switch and started eating a more plant-based diet, with less processed foods and less refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread.

The results?

Within a month or so, the impacts I was feeling were remarkable. The pain and swelling in my hips had reduced significantly. I could move more, get out more and had less reliance on painkillers to get me through the day. But what was even more surprising was the other positive side effects I was experiencing. I was having fewer migraines, less painful periods and just generally had more energy and mental clarity when I woke up. Plus, I lost about half a stone in weight in the first month or two, completely unintentionally.

The more research I read about plant-based whole food diets, the more links I found between Western, highly processed diets and many of the common health conditions that we’re all suffering from. Chronic pain, asthma, eczema, heart diseases, diabetes, fatigue. The list goes on and on and on. Dr Michael Gregor has dedicated his career to compiling this research, which you can read in his book ‘How Not To Die‘ or find at https://nutritionfacts.org/.

This inspired me to completely change both how I eat, and how I look at food. A lot of people feel very put off by plant-based diets, mainly because they feel it’s a real compromise in taste and pleasure. As a former chicken and cheese enthusiast, I can say that your palette quickly adapts. Just as the body would adjust to quitting smoking or starting to run, it adapts to a less refined, processed and animal-based diet. If you know how to season your food well and be creative with fresh ingredients, eating plant-based is incredibly tasty. Plus, the physical benefits I have experienced far outweigh what you feel you might be missing.

Of course, I still enjoy treats. I’m only human. Eating should be joyful, you shouldn’t punish yourself or set yourself overly harsh rules and limits that make you miserable. It’s all about finding a balance and being kind to yourself.

Health is one of the most important things a person can have, and I want to share what I can to help other people have a good quality of life. A lot of ‘plant-based’ ‘vegan’ blogs are filled with overly complicated, time-consuming recipes. They’re often made by people who don’t feel like real people. I work a full-time job, I feel tired after work and don’t want to spend my evenings slaving in the kitchen. Good food should be healthy, tasty and accessible, everything I make is created with these intentions in mind.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and hope you enjoy my recipes. I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.

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