My story

Food allergies and intolerances are becoming more and more common in todays society. Not often do you speak with someone who doesn’t have a family member or a friend with a food related health issue.

For what reason all of this is happening, I am unsure. Have food allergies and intolerances always been so common, or were we just not aware or medically advanced enough to do all the testing? Or is it that over the last 20 years or more we are increasingly filling our bodies with unnecessary chemicals and our bodies are fighting back and the signs of this are starting to show. I don’t know. I don’t believe I am meant to know the answer. I am not a doctor or a medical profession of any kind. I am simply a person, a wife, daughter and mother who has been told by her body that “enough is enough”.

I recall getting what I call “bowel attacks“ from about 13 years old. I would have on average, about one per year. A “bowel attack” hit me suddenly and nearly always of a night. I had major IBS symptoms and I would often throw up, pass out and just cry & scream as the pain was so intolerable. The longest bowel attack lasted for 8 long hours, and after having four babies naturally, I can honestly say the pains, spasms and cramps compare with those of late stage labour pains.

My attacks started getting more frequent. One every 6 months, 3 months, monthly and in my late 20’s, every 2nd night.

I couldn’t stand to live like this anymore, so my casual journey of seeking an answer suddenly turned serious.

I went to a bowel specialist who did every test possible, including one where I had to drink a McDonalds thickshake to see if I was dairy intolerant! He ended up telling me I was “just constipated”and nothing was wrong with me as I “looked fine”.

“My attacks started getting more frequent. One every 6 months, 3 months, monthly and in my late 20’s, every 2nd night. I couldn’t stand to live like this anymore, so my casual journey of seeking an answer suddenly turned serious.”

I spent days in hospital to have many more tests done only to be sent home with chemical filled laxatives. No one seemed to be listening. I knew that I wasn’t “just constipated”. I then went to an allergist who told me that I had the coeliac gene so went on to a Gastroenterologist for further testing to diagnose 100% Coeliac disease.  I was also diagnosed with a large amount of varying food allergies (through skin prick tests). Through the allergist, I did a typical Elimination diet. The diet was meant to take 1 month. It took 4. I lost 18kg. On a positive note, I was no longer having “bowel attacks” but I was constantly tired and felt run down and didn’t feel even the slightest bit healthy. My diet consisted of chicken (no skin), white fish, pears, apples (no skin), potato, cabbage, rice, rice milk and rice bubbles. Oh, and 4 white jelly beans and white marshmallows a day! Was there any wonder after eating this way for 7 months that I still felt like crap!

I had been told of a Naturopath who was a fertility specialist. I made an appointment thinking if she can make babies, then surely she can help my bowel! Her reaction on my initial consultation was pure shock of what I had been eating; my reaction was a mass of tears and relief when she told me she could help me.

She started by putting me onto a Blood group diet (except for the foods that I would majorly react to) as well as some herb tonics. Within 2 weeks of seeing her I felt amazing and healthy. My body was finally alive for the first time in so long.

She then sent me off to the Blue Mountains for 3 colonic irrigations. As crazy as it sounds this is when I decided to write this book. The lady doing the procedure told me something during one of my treatments that literally changed my way of thinking and my life. It is something that I will always remember.

“In life we are all dealt obstacles; strong people see the obstacles and somehow manage to get over them. Most, simply stop there. What you have to do Collette is do something with the knowledge you have gained whilst getting over your obstacle, then run with it, it will change your life”

My immediate and not so confidant answer to her was “well maybe I could write a recipe book” (!!)

And here I am. For the last 7+ years I have committed myself to creating these recipe books. It has been a long journey with ups and downs, laughter and tears, and cooking successes and some horrible failures! I am so excited to be able to share these beautiful recipes with you.

I can only hope that cooking my recipes will bring true happiness in your life and that your body stops fighting with you and loves you for it.