That our kids deserve to thrive. That cooking yummy, healthy food should NOT be crazy stressful or time consuming. That having food allergies isn’t a prison sentence. That motherhood is meant to be enjoyable and fulfilling. And that a healthy, happy family starts in the kitchen.
Hi! I’m Sharon Selby. I’m a certified health coach, speaker, wellness blogger, recipe creator and relentlessly passionate advocate for women’s and children’s health… and I’m so glad you’re here. Those things up there that I believe in? They’re the driving factors behind my work, and are why I created this online space. Basically, I’m all about taking the stress out of healthy cooking and the guess work out of allergies, so that your kids can start thriving, life can feel more spacious, and you can really enjoy being a mum.
So if helping your family get happier and healthier sounds like your cup of tea, you’ve definitely come to the right place!
Before we go any further, let me just say: this wasn’t the path that I expected to end up on!
Not so long ago, I had a successful career I loved, I bagged the guy of my dreams, and I had an amazing close-knit group of friends. I had cracked it and I was on top of the world.
But after the birth of my first child, Jake, things quickly spiraled out of control. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression, and had constant fatigue, weekly headaches and big time digestive and thyroid issues. I also developed year-round allergies and asthma, and was on prescribed daily medication. Life seemed to be one big struggle on repeat.
The whole experience shook me to my core…
I thought I’d be a great mum. That I’d love it. So I was completely taken aback when that wasn’t the case and I couldn’t cope.
To make matters worse, I was constantly looking for ‘my happy’ in all the wrong places, and junk food became my go-to coping mechanism. As soon as my son would go to bed, out came the biscuits and chocolates and I’d stuff myself silly while watching one reality show after another.
Of course, carrying around a few extra kilos (and always wearing the same baggy clothes) meant my confidence was shot. I started feeling jealous and envious of everyone, and my husband became the enemy. In short, I was out of shape, unhappy, and felt like my life was falling apart.
Then one day something happened…
Maybe it was a need for control, or a desperate last-ditch effort. But one spring morning, as I sat on the couch dreading the day ahead, I suddenly got it in my head that I needed to make a change.
I got up and started frantically rummaging through the kitchen, with my husband looking on nervously. Until… “Found it!” There she was – my brand new blender – still in her packaging from a year ago and ready to roll. Dusting off the box, I ditched my toast and made a fruit-and-veggie smoothie with whatever I could find in the fridge… Little did I know, but that tiny action was my first step out of the pain and depression, and back towards my old self.
Except the truth was, I wasn’t my old self; I became a brand new person.
Eating wholefoods completely transformed my body and most importantly my mental state. I felt healthier and more energized than ever, I had clarity for the first time in ages, I lost the baby weight and then some, my health issues cleared up, the prescribed medications were no longer needed, and I didn’t feel like wolfing down a packet of Tim Tams at 3 p.m. every day.
I know it sounds ridiculous to say that wholefoods transformed my life (“Really? Eating a couple of carrots changed your life? You need to get out more!”)… but it was 100% true. So I knew I wanted to go deeper into this wonderful ‘new’ world of wellness.
The nutshell version of my story is that from there, I trained to become a nutrition health coach, so that I could help other mums experience the kind of transformation that I’d gone through, and not only start to feel human again, but feel better than they had in decades…
Within a year, I’d completed my training, started working with clients, and was loving how much of an impact I was able to make in their lives.
And that might have been where my story ended… if my second son, Cooper, didn’t have multiple food allergies and sensitivities.
He was only a few weeks old when he started displaying the telltale symptoms of being an ‘Allergy Baby’ – including reflux, eczema, crazy nappies, tummy cramps, poor sleep and of course vomiting on most foods.
It was a tough time. He wasn’t on form, his poor little immune system was in overdrive (as were my stress levels!), the most random things would trigger a a chain-reaction of symptoms, and our whole household felt like we were walking on eggshells (which, incidentally, also triggered his allergies!).
The hardest part of all was figuring out what to feed everyone. Actually it was ALL I thought about. Sleep deprivation didn’t exhaust me, meal planning did!
Cooper couldn’t have dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, and most fruit and vegetables, due to being sensitive to natural occurring chemicals called salicylates and aimines. I was still breastfeeding, which meant I couldn’t eat them either. And of course, I still had my other son and a husband to consider as well!
So once again, I found myself obsessed with food – although for different reasons now. My brain was constantly worrying about what on earth I’d cook next, and meal times took up a crazy amount of time and energy. (Honestly, if I didn’t have a background in nutrition, I don’t know what I would have done.)
Finding decent recipes for ‘allergy’ babies was a constant battle, many recipes wouldn’t trigger a reaction, but they weren’t exactly healthy. So I spent most of my time in the kitchen developing and creating new nourishing meals that would heal and strengthen my young son. Eating at friends’ houses or restaurants or going to the playground was hardly worth the stress, as one stray error (or one well-meaning mouthful offered to Coops) would set us back for days. And on top of all that, it sucked feeling so deprived and restricted in what we could eat.
The thought that my son might have to eat this way for years broke my heart. And the thought that Id have to manage it 24/7…terrified me!
So like any mum who wants the best for her child and her family, I began searching for answers… only to come up short.
I got tired of all the usual responses – some people thought my son’s symptoms were just a ‘normal’ part of childhood, others told me to ‘suck it up’ (“It’s only a rash – just relax!”), and the conflicting advice from various health professionals just left me so confused, isolated and alone . I just needed the right guidance and support.
To me, it always seemed so obvious:
Shouldn’t we be looking deeper – to what was causing his allergies in the first place?
Shouldn’t we be trying everything possible to help him thrive, not just survive?
And shouldn’t we be exploring non-invasive options first – the #1 example being food?
As a health coach, I’d already witnessed the incredible healing power of nutrition, so I used that knowledge to help my son.
Over the next few months, that’s exactly what we did, and as a result, Coops was growing from strength to strength. The rashes started to disappear, the nappies became normal, the tummy pains stopped, the crazy spit up reduced and his sleep finally got better.
By using what I like to call my “Identify, Eliminate, Heal” method, my moody, clingy, colicky baby transformed into a cheery, cheeky, energetic little boy who is HAPPY and THRIVING. He hits his milestones with ease, and is growing at a rate of knots, reaching the top of the growth charts (in height and weight). Did I mention he’s been dairy-free all his life?
Even more impressively, after a year of him eating the strictest elimination diet imaginable (the poor tyke had pear for breakfast for 6 months straight!), he’s now able to eat a wonderfully varied diet. At 16 months he was able to tolerate eggs (something that once made him vomit and come out in a full body rash just months before).
The change in him has been so profound, I knew I had to get this information into as many hands (and tummies!) as possible – for the sake of our little ones, our families, and our sanity!
So that’s why I created this here corner of the interwebs!
My commitment is to bring you the very best of what I’ve learned about wholefoods, allergies and motherhood, while always keeping it real and honest. I’m definitely not perfect (my husband will attest to that!), so you won’t find any strict rules, ‘my way or the highway’ stuff or ‘mum guilt’ here.
What will you find? Thought-provoking ideas, timeless wisdom, some silly antics and an unwavering devotion to help you live a life of fulfillment and joy… after all, isn’t that why we became parents in the first place?
I created this site for you, so please feel free to pour yourself a cuppa, settle in, and join the conversation.
If your family is struggling with allergies and food intolerances and you want to feel empowered and change the course of your child’s health, jump on board my signature program – Raising Babies With Allergies, check out the recipes that healed my son here and on social media, and sign up to my newsletter below for exclusive recipes, VIP offers and allergy-friendly wellness tips.
Thank you once again for being here,
READY TO DIVE IN DEEPER?
If you’re new round these parts, I recommend checking out these popular blog posts first:
Allergy Friendly Recipes:
- Delicious Allergy Friendly Chocolate Cake
- Simply Delicious Mini Burgers
- Chicken with Carrots & Peas
- Allergy Friendly Banana Bread
- Why go dairy, gluten and sugar free (if you don’t have to)?
- Super simple allergy friendly party recipes and tips
- Sugar swaps – cheat sheet
- My 5 helpful ways to deal with opinionated people
- Practical money saving tips for eating healthy on a budget
- How to read labels – the simple way!