Hello! Welcome to The Whole Food Rainbow (formerly Lemon and Coconut). I’m Amy, a life-long vegetarian and vegan raised in the Cambridgeshire Fens, then long-time city slicker Mancunian/ Salfordian, now living life in the Dark Peak, with my husband Dan and our rescued ex-alleycat Tiger (now country bumpkin long-grass lounger), and loving it!
My passions are for good nurturing food, nature and all creatures, colour, texture, patterns, creativity and honest expression. I buy as much as I can second-hand and locally, and try to be an ethical consumer. I want to live compassionately, to be mindful in all I do and learn to nurture myself and others as best I can. I’m interested in how we tick, and how we can use positive, realistic thinking, knowledge and the wisdom that is rich around us to grow strong, get the most out of this life and prepare us for the future. (That should keep me busy for the next… millennia… where’s that
elixir green juice?!).
My blog posts and recipes share my journey to improve my health and eat mindfully, my thoughts and experiences, photographs, the beautiful landscape of the Peak District and the organic fruit and vegetables I have fallen completely in love with, and most of all my passion for cooking delicious wholesome food, and its importance to our health and happiness.
treat yourself well and strive to be happy, healthy and stress-free.
Over the past decade I developed multiple chronic health conditions, mostly autoimmune, a hand disability and other connected issues. I live with the support of my husband, Dan, and with his practical help I share my passion for whole foods and my culinary journey. I want to share this experience with the world, to share my story, highs, lows, and laughs along the way, and what I have learned and am learning about food and heath. The more we all know and understand the better for everyone. My health has given me a real insight into many aspects of life’s challenges, and coping, that I would like to share in order to help others get the most out of their lives, which, when you are living with health conditions, or when you are in perfect health, is not easy, but so important!
My recipes share the anti-inflammatory diet that improves my health, avoiding the foods that make me unwell. All my recipes are vegan, whole food, low-processed, low GI/ GL, and free of gluten, deadly-nightshade family plants, grains (except pseudo-grains), soya and refined sugar. And though I do not recommend following such a strict diet if you don’t need to (I say keep it simple and embrace a whole food diet high in fruit and veg), the recipes I share create energising, super-healthy food conducive to optimal health for everyone.
I started as Lemon and Coconut. Lemons and coconuts have been two of the greatest food allies on my culinary journey and create such wonderful, rewarding food that they just had to take a starring role! They allow me to make food I love, and to never feel deprived. But The Whole Food Rainbow just plates up exactly what I’m about.
I have always loved cooking, so much. I love to nurture, to share and to be creative. I love food. But most of the things I loved to cook I’m intolerant to now, and so I have had to do a lot of adapting! It’s been a long, hard road over the past decade and more, and I so wish I’d had a resource to show me that what seemed nearly impossible, wasn’t at all, as more and more foods became out of bounds, some finitely and super-strictly, such as gluten and lactose, others because I feel worse and/ or have way more pain if I eat them, such as nightshade-family plants, soya and grains. I had to work this out myself, following elimination diets and as I have so many symptoms it took me a while. Facing making big changes to the way you eat, losing your culinary landscape is tough. I struggled with my weight and my relationship to food for years, sustainable weight loss is achievable, but it can be so complex and so hard to make happen alone. I want to share that what you perceive as difficult can be achieved, and can enrich your life so much, you are stronger than you could ever know, whatever your needs you can change your habits and associations and embrace new ones in time. I am learning to cook the foods that make me well, and that has opened up a whole new world to me, a far more balanced and mindful relationship with food that gives me a chance at happiness in my life, and I eat so many more beautiful, interesting and nurturing things now.
even with a diet that seems restricted, the variety is HUGE!
The anti-inflammatory diet I eat has really improved my quality of life. I so much want to help others do the same, to benefit from my experience. Through The Whole Food Rainbow I want to provide a place rich in self-expression, honesty, clear information and advice, support, motivation and nourishment for that journey. Feel free to leave a comment anywhere, to share what you have to say, in fact I would LOVE you to do so! Let’s share our experiences, what we think and what we feel. Follow the links on this page and from my blog posts to explore different topics and resources, which are also available on the resources section of the main menu. I want to show how I enjoy and use food, and the information I have found along the way, creating a practical and usable springboard for future research and a holistic understanding of food, health and wellness.
the satisfaction you can get from simple natural foods is fantastic! and making changes to the way we eat is not as daunting as it may seem.
My advice is don’t over-complicate things, avoid what you need to for health reasons, and generally embrace and trust in natural whole foods and a plant-based high in fresh fruit and veg diet as much as you can. It’s about nurturing yourself, not stressing yourself out when you have a piece of cake or a pudding (and if you can’t eat grains or gluten or sugar, there is still cake out there, delicious cake, healthy cake! It’s true! And such wonderful puddings and sweets that you could only dream of, that make you feel good and nurture you, and taste wonderful!). I say enjoy life, and make the decisions that enable you to do that, which includes having a positive relationship with yourself and avoiding stress. Stress is the most unhealthy thing of all.
the important thing I have found is that you must enjoy your food, before, during and after you eat.
If you are not, something is wrong. Food should make you feel good, energised and strong, when you cook it, when you eat it and after you eat. Listen to your body and what it needs, and doesn’t need, and be patient with yourself. Our relationship to food is complex, we are complex, but with time it can become so easy and such a simple pleasure. Who wants to be a slave to old habits anyway? So whether you are looking for a new dish to try, are already following a plant-based diet or need support in following a specialist diet for health reasons or to lose weight, eat at least one nutritious and healing dish a day, or more! Why deprive yourself? The more wholesome foods you eat, the more energy you will have, the better your body will perform, and the more your taste buds will come alive. Food will taste better, your health will improve, and you will be a better version of yourself. What’s not to like?