One vegan, one gluten & dairy intolerant, one picky voracious meat eater & one wannabe gastronome...

Welcome to my family and the trials and tribulations of what, why, can, I possibly feed them, keeping them nourished and contented and my sanity in check!

Now I must make clear first of all, we all love food in my family, even the fussy one of us, he just loves specific foods and isn't keen on trying new ones!

Feeding a family can always get mundane, however much you love cooking, and I do - most of the time. I also know what, ideally, we should all be eating to keep us in good health, but recently I've had a few new challenges to keep me on my toes.

Two months ago I decided to do a food intolerance test, partly for research for a job I was working on, but mostly because I was intrigued to know more about how my body reacts to different foods. Now I wouldn't say I've ever suffered from any of the usual symptoms of a food intolerance, no bloating, pains or discomfort, so I was quietly confident that I wouldn't get many, if any, foods flagged as an issue. So it was much to my horror when I discovered that not only was I gluten intolerant but dairy, peas, various nuts, kidney beans... Who'd have thought it? Certainly not me. But if my nutritional training has taught me anything then it's time for me to take control of my health, heal my gut and reduce any inflammation I can. So I'd say with only one more month to go on my three month abstinence, I'm fairly settled into my new dietary regime. It hasn't been without it's ups and downs and I still go all dreamy and look longingly when I bring back fresh sourdough for the rest of my clan, but I'm hoping there will be light at the end of my three month tunnel.

So that's me, the gluten & dairy (and the rest of it), intolerant one . As for the vegan, well that's my daughter. She's never been a huge meater, purely because she doesn't like the taste and texture, but I have to admit I wasn't expecting her to turn around after Christmas and announce she wanted to be vegan - vegetarian maybe, vegan - no. And nope she'd never heard of Veganuary. After an intial gulp (and thinking in the back of my head, she'll never keep this up) , in for a penny in for a pound, if I'm not eating dairy, what's a bit of meat and fish, I agreed to support her. One month in and Veganuary gone "Love are you sure you want to keep going and not just be vegetarian?" she's still vegan (and a strong minded individual, even at eleven).

The fussy one, male and teenage, not that I want to stereotype. Funnily enough he seems to eat the majority of his school dinners, except for cheese - no way is he going to eat cheese (he even takes it off pizzas, that's how much he won't eat cheese). But I guess home is where you can be picky. A steak or pie and chips would be his ideal meal and he'll even eat vegetables with them. Preferably with a side of steaming hot gravy. Ooh and maybe finished with crumble and custard.

And the wannabe gastronome, you probably guessed is my husband. Now it's not his fault his job takes him to Italy, France, London, Switzerland....but sometimes it's hard to bear the grievances of his hard week away alongside tales (and often photos) of his gastronomic, sorry 'working' trip. But at least he'll happily eat anything I produce and boy do I need someone in the family with no 'special' requests.

So that's us. I do love a challenge though, especially a healthy culinary one which allows me to try out lots of new recipes - as long as they get eaten!

If you'd like to follow our culinary journey and watch my sanity ebb and flow, then follow my blog here and on my twitter page @charleston_jo

#wellbeing #nutrition #healthyliving

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