Eat Well – its not as hard as you think is my first cookbook I have written and published and i’m hoping to follow with another cookbook soon.
I thought I would share a little about who I am and why I wanted to publish this cookbook.
Im married, work full time and also teach Zumba and Konga dance classes 6 times a week.
Ive always enjoyed cooking – everything from a roast chicken, biscuits and slices, breads and of course desserts. I had a massive cookbook collection that had it all – slow cooking to sweets and everything in between.
In Mid 2014 my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with blood glucose levels in the mid-high 20’s (normal ranging between 4 and 8)
We were a little taken back by this and shocked as we thought we weren’t eating “too bad” – the food packets said all the right things– 99% fat free, low fat, no added sugar – the packet options were quick and easy for a busy lifestyle.
After visiting a few specialists and diabetes care workers, we often left appointments feeling like the only thing we could eat was lettuce and carrot and a side of salsa.
I knew that there had to be alternatives, after many hours of online research, I decided a drastic change was needed to cut out refined sugars, lower our carb intake in order to reduce blood glucose levels to what is considered normal and healthy.
I cleaned out the fridge and pantry and took out everything that was processed – packet sauces, marinades, packet pasta and pre-packed meals. I took out any refined sugars, flours and dry ingredients.
I even cleaned out my recipe books which didn’t leave me with much.
My cupboards were bare – after a lengthy trip to the shops – we were re-stocked with healthier choices – raw foods, fresh produce, herbs and spices.
Within a few weeks of cleaner and healthier eating we saw my husband’s blood glucose levels reduce to normal range, we had brighter skin, more energy, weight loss and we were feeling pretty good inside and out.
A few months later we were seeing some amazing results – I had lost some weight and had even more energy and my husband had lost over 10kg and had reduced his diabetes medication by ½ as well as maintaining healthy glucose levels.
I was keen to learn more, understand more and learn more so I could share with others how eating healthier didn’t have to be so hard and expensive… so I decided to further my knowledge and complete my Certificate 4 in Food Coaching. This allowed me to become a nutritionist and start sharing my knowledge and experiences with others.
After completing my certificate 4 I decided implement some of my recipes and meal plans into my Health and fitness challenges I had been running through my dance classes. I was educating the challenge entrants about healthy ingredients, healthy cooking, reading labels, how to make better choices for their selves and their families. I have so many success stories from my classes – people losing weight, changing their eating habits, changing the way their whole family eats, trying new foods, learning about food products and also teaching their families.
Early 2015 after many friends, family and participants in my challenges had suggested I should create a book. So I did!
I started experimenting with some of my old favourite recipes such as banana muffins, sticky ribs, orange cake and chocolate slice, It took many unsuccessful dishes, a little frustration and a lot of research to make sure the ingredients I was using were as raw and healthy as possible and each recipe had no compromise on flavour, taste and texture.
I wanted to show people that eating healthy didn’t have to be hard or expensive – you didn’t have to miss out on sweets and it wasn’t all about green salads and plain meals.
The collection in Eat Well took over 2 years to put together. All the recipes have all been made by myself many times and I use many of the recipes from the book I use in my day to day cooking at home for dinners, lunches and snacks.
All the photos in Eat Well are photographed by myself with no trick photography.
Its been a long labour of love but i’m happy to have my book published and available to everyone now to show you that you too can eat well.
-Michelle Shea – Author of ‘Eat Well’.
You can catch Michelle at her ‘Eat Well’ book launch in the Wellwood Health Cabin Hall on April 22nd. Click the link below for all the info.