28 Day Clean Eating Challenge

Week 4: End of Challenge & Food Intolerance Revelations

We are into February already, can you believe it? February is my least favourite month. The excitement of Christmas has long gone, the motivation of January has started to wane, and the days feel long and grey. To combat the chill of the year, I’m making lots of warming and hearty stews and soups, there are plenty of them going up on the website so do take a look!

The January Clean Eating Challenge has ended and I’m so proud of everyone who took part. One of our Club members lost a stone in weight in just 28 days, that is such an amazing achievement!

The last week of the challenge was a stressful one for me. We travelled to Sevenoaks a few weeks ago to visit the amazing Nutritional Therapist, Caroline Gilmartin, from Nutraclin. Caroline was personally recommended to us and so MrN, MissN and myself all went for consultations regarding our various digestive issues.

We finally had MrN and MissN tested for food intolerances, and the results were very revealing. MrN has a wheat, gluten and yeast intolerance, while MissN is dairy, gluten and wheat intolerant. So, now we know.

It is a relief to finally know that MissN is intolerant. She has been seen by NHS nutritionists, doctors and paediatric consultants, while suffering from intermittent bowel pain, chronic constipation and spontaneous vomiting. My feeling has always been that she has food intolerances, but sadly, like many before us, I felt that my concerns were dismissed. I always had the impression that the doctors felt that I’d done too much reading on Google and needed to leave the diagnostics to them!

Anyway, now we know. Between their food intolerances and my dietary attempts to control my vitiligo and rosacea, it doesn’t feel like we have a lot left to eat. Although as I write this I immediately know this isn’t true. We’ll eat even more fresh produce, meat, fish and wholegrains. And I can now be even more confident that we will all feel better for it.

I have always maintained that you do not need to cut out food groups from the diet unless you have food intolerances. It just happens that half of my family now has food intolerances, so while there will still be recipes containing gluten and dairy on the website, you can expect to see the vast majority of new recipes being gluten and dairy-free. I can’t afford to cook meals and snacks just for me, so everything I make needs to be suitable for the whole family. This is necessary not just for our purse strings, but for my waistline too!

Thankfully, the intolerance-friendly recipes are proving to be popular. I made a batch of gluten and dairy-free Almond Macaroons at the weekend (made with almond flour, beaten egg whites and coconut sugar) and they had been eaten within 10 minutes. Even the little N’s loved them! They were delicious so make sure you try them for yourselves!

Have a healthy, happy week,

Sonia Nicholas

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