My second guest post is from Sarah who runs the blog ‘Appy Tato’. I am so pleased that Sarah wanted to write a post for Nutritiously Naughty as I want to share the views and experiences of others who also live with Coeliac Disease. Please read below to learn more about her journey and don’t forget to check out her amazing recipes. I will definitely be giving the Ginger-cake Traybake a go soon!
Tell us a little about yourself & your blog:
My name is Sarah, I’m 27, originally a Northern girl but now living in the Midlands with my husband Andy. I work part time as a health blogger and recipe developer on my blog ‘Appy Tato’ and part time in a primary school. I was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition Coeliac disease 7 years ago and since then have been on my long and winding journey back to health!
What is Coeliac Disease and how were you diagnosed?
Coeliac disease at its most basic is an autoimmune reaction to the protein gluten. I discovered I had it whilst at Uni when I went through a period of two months where I became sicker and sicker and couldn’t keep food in my body! It lead to fatigue, weight loss, anaemia, horrendously dry skin and catching every bug going. I got tested quickly as both my parents have coeliac disease and went straight on to a gluten free diet. This made a huge difference at first but as time went on I knew I wasn’t back to full health and a lot of the problems I’d had returned, including recurrent anaemia, terrible fatigue and running for the loo many times in a day! Over the past few years of researching and learning about nutrition I have discovered how important gut health is for general health, especially those already with autoimmune diseases and realised that I had never truly healed my gut from all the damage it had received. Healing my gut through nutrition (and some supplements with the help of a functional medicine practitioner) has and is helping me get to a much healthier place and means I can enjoy food again and have energy (mostly!) to do the things I love (which usually includes long walks, kitchen experimenting and eating dark chocolate and peanut butter!)
What inspired you to start a healthy eating blog?
My journey to health has taken a long time and the information I was given when diagnosed was minimal at best. I wanted to start my blog to share some of the gems I’ve discovered along the way to help other people regain their health too. I think there’s a stigma that eating for health is boring, restrictive and complicated but I’ve discovered ways to make it exciting, freeing and easy – it’s about real people finding ways to eat well amongst the business of life. My partner in crime, Andy, is a Clinical Psychologist and is great at unpicking the reasons why we do and think things the way we do which is so important when it comes to our relationship with food and health.
How has healthy eating changed your life?
There were times when it was a struggle to feel awake at any point in my day, I couldn’t walk through my house without struggling for breath from the anaemia and needed to know there was always a bathroom nearby in case I needed to make a dash for it. I don’t struggle with those things now and life looks very different. I still have to be so careful about keeping my gut health in tip top shape otherwise I can feel the symptoms coming back again and also need to have a good handle on my stress and sleep for the same reason. We’re all different but in my own experiments I found that as well as cutting out gluten that dairy, certain grains and added sugars don’t help me to function well, so I’ve created recipes around these nuances. I continue to love learning about the ways our bodies respond and interact with the food we eat – experimenting and discovering what works for me has made all the difference.
Can you give us an example of what you eat in a day/ What are your favourite free-from recipes you have created?
Breakfast is usually porridge made with buckwheat flakes as I can’t eat oats, with added protein powder and topped with fruit, nuts and cinnamon.
Lunch – I normally have a big batch of veggies made in the fridge that I can add some protein (eggs , chicken or tinned mackerel are my favourites!) and extra salad or leftovers to. I have enjoyed adding in quinoa or sweet potatoes over the winter months.
Dinner – we have plenty of variety but some of my favourite meals are salmon with sweet potato wedges and my homemade crunchy ‘coleslaw with a twist‘ or a giant frittata with all the leftover bits from the week thrown in with some basil pesto. And always dessert, like my ‘ginger cake traybake‘ or even just some of my favourite 85% cocoa chocolate.
To read more about Sarah and her blog click HERE
Check out her social media profiles: