Jo Whitton, Quirky Cooking

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Here’s a little bit about me, and why I started on my ‘quirky cooking’ journey.

My mum taught me to cook from a very young age, using basic, fresh ingredients, and cooking ‘from scratch’.  I developed an interest in healthy eating as I grew up, and when I got married and we started our own family, I worked hard to cook wholesome, delicious meals.

I studied up on healthy foods. I ground my own grains, baked my own breads, cakes and biscuits, cooked with fresh fruit and veges, and tried to avoid junk food. But despite my efforts to keep us all healthy, I was constantly fighting exhaustion, headaches, recurring colds, tummy upsets, low blood pressure, and low weight problems. My children also began to have health issues, and it all seemed to point to food reactions and gut issues.

With the help of a naturopath, I worked out which foods were causing the problems, and learnt to replace them with alternatives that our bodies were more easily able to cope with. We began to eat a more wholefood diet, cutting out dairy, wheat, sugar, and over-processed and refined foods as much as possible. We were also more careful to avoid additives, colours and preservatives, and tried to buy mostly organic or pesticide free.

I began to grind my own grains and make all sorts of wheat free, gluten free and grain free breads; I milled nuts and seeds and made dairy free milks, creams and custards; I blended up juices and fresh fruit ice-creams and sorbets; I baked cakes and desserts with wholesome ingredients and natural sweeteners; I made my own nut butters, sauces and spreads from natural ingredients, without additives; and I stopped using any packets or jars to make quick meals, focusing on quick wholefood recipes instead.

Changing to a wholefood diet built on natural, fresh ingredients has made a major difference to our family’s health. After eating this way for a couple of years, I decided I really wanted to help others learn to cook healthy food for their families. Many people I talked to were struggling with allergies, intolerances and health issues, and they found the idea of changing their diet overwhelming. Or they thought healthy food was bland and boring. As a busy, homeschooling mum, I couldn’t go and study to become a naturopath or nutritionist, and help people that way (which I would have loved to do), so in 2008 I decided to start a blog to share my recipes, tips and meal plans with others. I wanted to encourage people to get creative with their cooking, using wholesome ingredients to make delicious food that would suit their family’s needs.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Food intolerances and allergies don’t have to make life difficult. My hope is that ‘Quirky Cooking’ will help to open people’s eyes to the possibility of wholesome food that tastes great, is easy and fun to make, and meets the needs of those with diet challenges.

Read about the way our diet has changed over the years here: The Way We Eat

I hope you enjoy the recipes I’ve developed for my family, and that my blog will be an encouragement to you in your journey to good health. As you join in our quirky cooking community, please feel free to share photos of what you’ve been cooking – we’d love to see them. You can share your photos and recipe reviews or questions in my Quirky Cooking Chat Group and join in the conversations there – we have a lot of fun! If you’re on Instagram, you can find me there as jowhitton, and feel free to tag my recipes with #quirkycooking if you don’t mind them being shared. We also have anInstagram page especially for our cookbook Life-Changing Food, if you’d like to join us there, and tag those recipes #lifechangingfood!

All the best in your healthy eating journey,

Happy cooking,

Jo Whitton

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