My first guest blog post is from the lovely James of Healthy Living James. Like myself, he loves to create deliciously healthy free-from recipes to make life with an autoimmune disorder more manageable. James is living with ME and has found that healthy eating has aided his recovery and energy levels so much. Please read below to learn about his inspiring story!
Tell us a little about yourself & your blog:
My name is James Wythe, I’m 27 and currently living in the Bournemouth area. I have developed a passion for healthy living and cooking, focusing on gluten, wheat, dairy, egg and refined sugar free foods. Most of my time is spent in the kitchen creating quick and healthy allergy free meals or thinking about new dishes I can make. A few friends have asked for recipes and help so I decided why not share my healthy living journey with everyone so I have started my blog Healthy Living James.
What is ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and how were you diagnosed?
It all started when I fell ill in December 2010 just after completing my sports science BSc Degree at Bournemouth University (where I was playing golf for the university and also the Dorset County 1st team). I thought my illness was just a touch of food poisoning but for some reason I didn’t recover and the symptoms just seemed to get worse and worse. I tried to push through this but reached a point where I had to be rushed into hospital for a suspected brain tumour. I had several brain scans but I was so weak at that point after having lost nearly 3 stone. I couldn’t eat, drink or even stand up!
After multiple attempts to get help from doctors they finally, after nearly 6 months, diagnosed me with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) also known as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I was told that there was no cure and all I could do was rest and wait.
It’s fairly unclear what M.E. actually is. I personally believe it’s an autoimmune issue/gut related issue.
What inspired you to start a healthy eating blog?
As I spent so much time in the kitchen creating allergy free meals for Luise (my fiance) and myself I thought why not share everything I do with others. I wanted to try and help others who have either suffered from a long term illness like myself or people who also suffer from food allergies. I have such a big passion for food so I thought it was the perfect journey for me to take.
How has healthy eating changed your life?
I cut out gluten and dairy from my diet roughly 5 years ago, I was eating fairly well but still not what I class as optimal. I started to see a local nutritionist around 3 years ago who really helped me to clean up my diet and to cut out processed sugars a much as possible. Now, I am at a stage where I can look back and see what a huge impact food has had in my recovery. The more I clean up my diet the better my energy levels become. I keep discovering more and more ways to eat healthily but without making it super-complicated and Luise still supports me with this all the time even though I leave the kitchen in a mess nearly every day!
Can you give us an example of what you eat in a day?
A typical day for me usually starts with either a smoothie I randomly create or some sort of porridge recipe.
Lunchtime is normally where I start getting creative for the day and where I start testing out recipes. At this time of year it would usually be some sort of soup or a buddha or hippie bowl. I really enjoy creating bowls of food out of the dinner recipe I had the night before and changing it.
Dinner is tough to answer, I rarely seem to ever eat the same meal on a regular basis. I really enjoy comfort type foods so a homemade curry or stew is my favourite.
What are your favourite free-from recipes you have created?
I would have to say I have 2 favourite recipes so far, one is my Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry and the second is my Crispy Chickpea Pizza. The curry is amazing for sharing with friends and family around the table as it’s comforting and delicious. The pizza is something I make most weekends, the base is by far the best gluten free pizza base I have tried even better than any from pizza chains. It also allows you to get really creative and top with everything you like.
Read more about James’ inspiring story HERE
and check out his social media profiles: