Living with food allergies and falling back in love with food

When Michelle was first diagnosed with coeliac disease, she dreamt of the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread and bakery food.

All of her favourite childhood memories and family gatherings revolved around food – food she could no longer eat.

Michelle was in her early 20s, living on instant meals and protein shakes. She had no cooking skills, an unhealthy obsession with calorie counting, and she was sick – malnourished and in crippling pain every time she ate. But she’d grown up thinking that was normal.

Fast forward to today, and Michelle is one half of The Real Foodies along with her husband Jahmin. These newlyweds met five years ago, followed their hearts from Victoria to the tropics of Far North Queensland and discovered their shared love of real food and the healing power of nutrition.

They started their blog sharing Michelle’s journey with coeliac disease and lactose intolerance, and their trials, and errors, in the kitchen. To their surprise, their allergy-free recipes soon captured the attention of thousands of followers from throughout Australia and across the globe.

The Real Foodies recipes are often inspired by old childhood favourites and their grandmothers’ specialities – from jelly slice to fish and chips – fun, tasty and decadent dishes recreated without gluten, grain, dairy or refined sugar. Perhaps most importantly, the recipes are designed to be simple and easy enough for anyone to follow. Their cookbook ‘Real Food for Real People’ sums it up perfectly.

You don’t need to be a celebrity chef to recreate their meals. Michelle is a writer and Jahmin runs a pub. Neither of them have any formal cooking training, and just a few years ago Michelle wasn’t sure how to boil an egg! The Real Foodies are all about keeping it real. For them, eating this way is not a passing trend and selfies really aren’t their thing. They’re just on a very real journey and sharing it in the hope of helping others through the often challenging experience of living with food allergies.

Although Jahmin didn’t have the same dietary requirements, he also embraced real food, noticing improvements in his own health and providing vital support to Michelle’s health recovery. He is passionate about helping the families and loved ones of people with food allergies realise the benefits and enjoyment that can come from embracing real food.

Never one to do things in halves, Michelle is taking that help a step further by qualifying as a Nutritionist. The Real Foodies will start offering personalised meal plans and nutritional consultations in 2018, providing guidance for people living with coeliac disease and food allergies.

Join Jahmin and Michelle at Bloom – Celebrating the healing power of real food in coeliac disease and food allergies. Whether you’re living with coeliac disease and food allergies or simply choosing a more nutrient dense diet, The Real Foodies recipes, nutritional information and personal healing journey will help you rediscover the enjoyment of real food.