Gourmet You- Origin story
Well, I thought today I would share what ignited my interest in gut health, nutrition and food intolerances, and share a bit about myself.
It started around 8 years ago, when I got a call from mum while I was at work. My 22 year old sister Aleesha had been taken to hospital for an emergency surgery to remove part of her bowel. We found out that day she had Crohns' Disease, which had caused major damage to her intestines, resulting in 2 emergency surgeries and a month-long hospital stay. That was just the beginning.
My other sister and I had similar symptoms, and were soon diagnosed with another form of bowel disease and several food intolerances; which you can imagine was a big shock for our family with the three of us under the age of 30.
Getting a diagnosis was a relief, but also a huge frustration, as it took such a significant event in our life for our symptoms to be taken seriously. So began the journey of frequent colonoscopies, bowel preparations and bouts of sickness for my sisters and I.
During this time I had 3 beautiful kids, but soon the younger two showed signs of bowel disease. Just imagine our life - I had an 18 month old daughter who did not speak, was exhausted and in pain constantly. She would break out in angry, itchy rashes (eczema) so badly that her face and bottom would bleed, while producing 10+ nappies a day of chronic diarrhoea. The only thing her bloods showed was iron deficiency, otherwise there was nothing apparently wrong with her.
It broke my heart watching my baby suffer every day, nothing seemed to help. Tired of helplessly watching her suffer, I decided it was up to me and did some research. We trialled her on an elimination diet, which unveiled multiple intolerances to dairy, soy and FODMAPs (natural sugars found in a large variety of foods). Our little girl slowly began to heal, grow, speak, laugh and play. She's unstoppable now.
Heading out one day to a food festival, we hit another obstacle - my kids couldn't eat anything there! As with the food at birthday parties, Christmases and play dates, they missed out again.
Gourmet You was born that day after the festival after realising how frequently food intolerances interrupt our ability to enjoy things most people take for granted; like enjoying new or foreign foods, tasty meals and special treats with friends and family.
Now, I invest my time and energy into making sure every family can enjoy food without boundaries. With my passion for food and health background, I decided that I could help other families navigate more of the unknown in the world of food intolerance, providing products, education and coaching to ensure everyone can enjoy food, feel healthy and avoid the same journey we had.