My Story

Photography by  Cassandra Fallon-Taylor

I used to be able to eat just about anything I wanted, not gain too much weight, and feel pretty decent most of the time.

Although I did try to eat in a way which I considered to be healthy enough, I certainly had no desire to hop on the trendy health food bandwagon, because I got the impression that “healthy” food never looked or tasted as good as “normal” food!

Just a few years ago, I noticed that gluten and dairy were starting to upset my stomach, so I tried to eat slightly less bread, and I switched to almond milk.

Considering that I already tried to eat some veggies, fruits, and some sort of protein each day, now that I had also reduced my gluten and dairy intake, I was feeling pretty impressed with myself!

Then in January of 2016, the “mysterious illness” began.

It started out with dizzy spells - often so severe that I felt nauseous and could only lie on the couch with my eyes shut, praying for it to go away! Even reading a book would make me feel worse, much less getting up and driving to work (back before I worked from home).

I visited a number of doctors who all told me more or less the same thing: it was probably just low blood pressure; I would feel better after drinking some Gatorade or eating some extra salty fries from McDonald’s.

Those temporary, albeit very unhealthy, solutions seemed to help at first.

But over the next few months, my illness migrated from my head down into my stomach. It felt like I had a new type of stomach ache every single day! Sometimes it was nausea, sometimes indigestion and bloating, sometimes it just felt like someone dropped a brick of lead right into the pit of my stomach.

Doctors had no answers for me. I even went to see a Naturopath, which was helpful for a time (more on that in a sec).

In the end, I owe the best explanation of my sickness to the excellent researching skills and health knowledge of my mother. Basically, my husband and I had been living in an apartment infested with mould that we did not realize was dangerous. My symptoms matched what happens when mould gets into your gut and hinders your body’s ability to digest food properly.

So how was my Naturopath helpful? She had me do a number of tests, including a blood test to determine which foods my body could or could not currently tolerate. I got the results in June of 2016.

Some of the results of my food test were quite shocking! I was not surprised to see dairy at the top of the do-not-eat list, but very surprised to see egg whites high up there as well. I was dismayed to see that I had become intolerant to most beans and nuts, including almonds - goodbye to my favourite milk-substitute!

Also on the “naughty” list were things such as gluten, soy and mustard - these are in so many ingredient lists of pre-packaged foods that they can seem nearly impossible to avoid!

Basically, my new diet would have to consist mainly of vegetables (excluding green peas - what?!), fruits, meats, and fish. Potatoes and rice were right on the borderline, so I continued to include those in my diet as well, with some very slight attempt to “not overdo it.” Ha ha.

Okay, that list of can-eat foods might not seem too limiting on paper. But when you add that I’ve never really liked most meat or fish, I despise coconut (the extremely popular allergy-friendly substitute for dairy), and my favourite food in the world is pizza...following this new diet was extremely difficult at first!

How about you??

Maybe you’ve just found out you’re allergic to one or more of your favourite foods. Or maybe a family member or friend has allergies, and it’s just so difficult to find accommodating recipes for them.

Or maybe you often feel tired or bloated and just thought it was a normal part of life? (Hint: it doesn’t have to be!)

If so, then Sprightly Spoon is for you! :)

Over the past few years, I’ve learned how to substitute ingredients in many recipes (including figuring out which pre-packaged grocery store foods I can still buy), and started creating my own deliciously uncomplicated recipes as well.

I’m so excited to share all of this goodness with you to help make your food journey easier!

I’m also sharing some of my favourite home remedies, including an amazing list of stomach-ache remedies which I still use, although thankfully I don’t need them quite as often anymore! (Gut healing takes a very long time, my friend.)

Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram @sprightlyspoon so you won’t miss a post. :)

Here’s to easy and fun cooking, truly tasty food, and feeling well!

From my home to yours,