My name is Jessica Norton and I am the creator of Eat Safe Live Well.
I started up Eat Safe Live Well as I suffer from several food allergies and dietary conditions myself, these include; Coeliac disease, a severe allergy to egg and a strong sensitivity to dairy products.
The idea behind Eat Safe Live Well is not only to educate people (both businesses and the individuals) and create awareness, but also to get the message out there, that food still CAN BE FUN…. I can’t stress this point enough!
I have always had a passion for food and cooking. I began cooking with my Nan when I was about 7, on days after school whilst I awaited my parent’s return from work. We used to make Rock Cakes, (a scone like cake with sultana), fresh bread and many other interesting after school snacks.
As I grew, so did my love of cooking. I received the cooking award numerous times in high school and sold one of my chocolate cakes at a school cake Auction for $ 64.50. These are just some fond memories of my success in the kitchen.
It wasn’t until I was 14 whilst at a friends Halloween party, that I discovered I had a pretty serious allergy to eggs. My Friends mum had made little meringues, in the shape of ghosts. Ironic now, as that day will always haunt my memory.
Learning to live with an egg allergy was tricky at first, but not impossible. After several months, it just became habit and I didn’t think twice.
Growing up, I suffered from severe eczema and constant tummy aches. I saw numerous doctors and specialists, all of who told me it was a phase and that I would not doubt grow out of it, just give it time.
It was quiet sometime after, years to be exact April 24th 2011; the day I found out I had coeliac disease. I only remember that date as I remember spending all of the next Anzac day crying because at the time I thought it was the end of the world. With some helpful advice from my doctor and some love and reassurance from my parents, I finally began to deal with it. However it wasn’t over just yet.
It was the first time in a awhile that I hadn’t had terrible stomach pain. I began to released cutting out gluten, was in fact actually a really good thing. Cutting out wheat was a little harder to get used to than eggs, as gluten seemed to be in absolutely everything.
Life was good, my stomach pains went away, I felt fresher, I had much more energy and the world hadn’t ended. However I just couldn’t get rid of my eczema.
It wasn’t until another doctor told me to cut diary from my diet, that I got frustrated with food. I began to think food hated me. This is when it got slightly tricky.
Being the creative individual that I am, I have always loved creating exciting dishes, exploring new foods, tastes and textures. So for me having three different allergies/ sensitive’s proved rather tricky for a while there. I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy at first, and it was sort of depressing. I lost the desire to cook. My meals became plain and boring. It wasn’t until I saw a cooking show on television and realised all the yummy things they were making, with fresh ingredients. I decided to make food fun again.
I don’t think I fully realised how many alternatives and recipes their where out there. Food was always FUN, I just lacked the motivation and vision.
I haven’t shared my story with you because I want to hold a pity party for myself or make people feel sorry for me. Really it’s the total opposite! I want to share my knowledge of allergies, my experiences, recipes, favourite restaurant’s, funky cafes, and ideas. I created Eat Safe Live Well to bring people and families with food allergies together and to encourage a holistic lifestyle. I aim to educate people, to make eating that little bit easier, not just for people with allergies, but also for everyone.
Wether you suffer from allergies yourself, or know someone that does, or you simply want more information holistic living. I want you to see that no matter what you can and can’t have, food is fun and it can be a totally amazing journey and experience if you let.
So what are you waiting for? Start eating.