Hi, I’m Shelley…………….wife, mother, professional, closet diva, food enthusiast, straight-talker, life coach, Christian and dreamer! Some days confident, others a hot mess 🙂 I look back on my life so far and realise that I have in fact packed quite a bit in and done many jobs, (not all of which I was cut out for) and made many great connections, learnt a lot and talked a good talk on occasions – one thing has remained constant – my love of FOOD! I have always had a dream, a fantasy that always revolved around the same topic………Food & cooking. Owning a cafe, writing about food, helping others to discover the joy of home-cooked, healthy food. I have at times in my life severely deprived myself of food, to try and look skinny and swan about looking sophisticated and glamorous. (At times I have been really slim but never cracked the sophisticated bit!) I have been overweight and blamed the food, I have dieted, overeaten, reset – repeat.
About 27 years ago whilst living in Greece I became vegetarian – for all sorts of weird reasons I cut out meat completely from my diet. People have a strange perception that if you are a vegetarian you will be walking around like a twiglet in a dress! Skinny and vaguely ill-looking. Err, no! Crisps, peanuts, cheese darling….bread, butter, pies! So, I didn’t drop a million dress sizes but I did start to feel better and started to notice that I didn’t get sick as often, fewer colds, flu and general unwellness.
Fast forward twenty-something years – I made a major life decision to stop trying to diet and just concentrate on being healthy and using food in the way God intended – as the staff of life and as a medicine for the body. I also was hurtling towards fifty (Well, that’s been and gone – officially now middle-aged!) and being an older mum wanted to make sure that I stayed as fit and healthy as possible for my boys. I began to become more and more interested in people who lived long and healthily, staying mobile and alert and what they ate and the lifestyles they led. I also started to explore plant-based diets and their benefits.
My husband had a health scare a couple of years ago – he was on a slippery path to diabetes and kidney problems. He made a major decision to cut out sugar from his diet and for his own reasons to stop eating meat. (He is of Caribbean descent and meat was a major part of his life) The transformation was pretty incredible – he dropped around 2 stone quite quickly and his skin looked amazing. His digestive problems and lethargy began to fade and a new love for vegetables, pulses and fruit emerged. (KFC was a staple when I first met him!)
My boys hardly noticed some of the changes I made, swaps to wholewheat pasta, wraps and bread. Let’s be real, some of the stuff we eat they would rather starve than try! But it’s just gently introducing swaps a little at a time that have been successful.
My mission now is to share what I have learnt over the years with other women (who may be the main cook for the home) and men, who work, juggle and are busy but want to live a long and healthy life and nourish their bodies. Whether you are a professional or not, a mother or not, a wife or not – you need to put the best in to get the best out………………….
I want to acknowledge my good friend Tracey Fenner from Broomfield, Essex who is the person who really inspired my love of cooking – it was Tracey who showed me what it was to make amazing, rustic homemade food and always has something tasty on the hob when you visit 🙂 She showed me how to make food from scratch and what was seasonal and cheap and how to live the good life!