2018: New Year, New blog!

Finally I’ve moved to a self-hosted website! 🙂 I have imported all the previous posts from wordpress.com so you can see all the recipes on here now instead.

So, I still follow a plant-based diet 🙂 Although this was primarily for health reasons the more I learn, the more this is increasingly for environmental and ethical reasons too. The recipes on here are all plant based, all gluten free, all refined-sugar free and unless otherwise stated, all invented, created, tested and tweaked in the Life Diet Health kitchen.

We love hearing what you think, so please take a minute to leave comments, like, save, follow and share (using @LifeDietHealth or #LifeDietHealth ).

Have a look around, enjoy and chat soon!  😀


update: 1st Bloggiversary: 6th January 2016

So a year has passed and I have survived my first year as a food blogger! I have created 161 posts and made lots of friends along the way. I have now been following a vegan diet for a whole year along with trying to keep wheat free (and mainly gluten free), avoiding refined and processed foods and more recently reducing my sugar intake. I’ve had a whole year of drinking green tea and herbal tea without one drop of coffee. I’ve gone from craving chocolate and cheese, drooling over cakes, salivating at fresh bread and cookie smells to eating just what my body needs when I need it. I have made healthier versions of cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits and chocolate and although I have not restricted my calorie or fat intake this year, I have lost 10kg somewhere along the way! 😀

My health is slowly improving. I have tons more energy than I had previously – although that doesn’t stop me from overdoing things and then feeling wiped out! (I might learn pacing skills one day)! My aches and pains still come and go but my body is now able to deal with them in a much better manner. I finished my nutritional dissertation this year as well as completing a plant based cookery course which has taught me some great techniques which I wasn’t aware of.

You would think after a year I would have got my head around WordPress but it still puzzles me how to put things where I want and how to like a comment from my phone! Hopefully this year I’ll make a few changes (I did change the theme) and make the blog more user friendly!

Thank you to everyone for reading, liking, commenting and following, and if you haven’t or you’re not… come on! We’re all friends! 🙂

1st Bloggiversary!!! Colourful Vegetable Quad Bake

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

New Blog: 6th January 2015

The short version…

I am a Nutritional Therapist with a love of cooking and baking. I live in England with my wonderful husband and football crazy son. My health is not great as I suffer with several chronic illnesses which I am steadily trying to improve through my diet. Please be patient if I don’t blog for a few days as I’m probably in the middle of a fantastic new recipe! 🙂 Thank you!

The more detailed version…

I decided to start this blog at the beginning of 2015 as writing is something I always do, just never remember where! I have worked in catering for numerous years holding almost every position imaginable including a short stint as Head Chef and I have recipes stashed away everywhere. A food blog therefore seemed the ideal place to start! 🙂

In 2010 I was working several jobs, every hour possible with never a minute to breathe and then my health took a beating! Suddenly I was incapable of doing the most basic of tasks including getting out of bed and eating! I was lethargic, fatigued, had blurry vision, fell over if I stood up too long, I couldn’t walk in a straight line without using a wall to lean into and I found myself having to crawl on hands and knees just to get from the sofa to the bathroom! My whole body was a constant ache and certain parts of my body when touched made me reel in pain as if I’d been branded with a hot iron. I saw Doctors, had x-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, nerve conduction studies, lung tests and blood tests. Once I collapsed outright and spent the whole day admitted on a hospital ward but they told me I was a “mystery” and it must be because of my “Lupus”.

I’d got off lightly with my lupus previously (suspected since 2005) nothing much to worry about apart from frequent mouth ulcers, needing the odd wrist splint occasionally and a butterfly rash across my face which just looked like I’d caught the sun (even in winter)! I developed more symptoms, pins and needles in my arm, severe stomach cramps, losing vision on my left side, light sensitivity, heightened smell awareness, intolerance to noise, painful gums, semi-conscious episodes and a reaction to sudden temperature change. So the next four years were spent regularly visiting the hospital particularly to see rheumatology, pain management, ophthalmology and neurology. I was given medicine after medicine, some gave me more frequent migraines, some made me hallucinate, some made me sick, but nothing would take away the pain and the fatigue.

Finally I was diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Osteoarthritis and possibly POTS… to go alongside my Lupus (SLE), Raynaud’s Syndrome and Freiberg’s Disease. All this time my husband and my son had been looking after me, cooking, cleaning, dealing with the everyday stuff and even feeding me when I was unable to even drink from a glass or hold a spoon. My pilates, my swimming, my gym visits, the exercise classes… everything had stopped. My friends… that’s when you know you have “real” friends! I couldn’t go out but they would visit or send flowers or make nice gestures which real friends do. 🙂

Cut to the here, the now… 2015! I still have my health problems. Most are classed as chronic illnesses which won’t go away but there are things we have learnt along the way which make things easier. For instance, I have learnt (not very well) to pace myself and stop when I need a break, I can talk into my laptop and it types for me 🙂 a massive plus! My laptop can also read to me so I can see what you’re all posting! 🙂

I have been studying nutrition for numerous years but my latest qualification requires a dissertation and my subject is how food affects our health. I have been a vegetarian (and/or pescetarian) for over 25 years but this year I am trying something new 🙂 This new way of eating started out for research purposes but is proving so beneficial that I will aim to continue. As you will see from my posts they are all vegetarian, however as I am dairy intolerant I had already switched to using dairy free products (except chocolate during my weak moments)! However, now I am totally dairy free and egg free too 🙂 which with ditching the fish would class me as a vegan for diet purposes. However, not content with that I am testing a wholefood diet free from refined sugar, processed foods and also free from wheat and yeast. Already in this short period, my energy levels are gradually increasing, my pain levels are reducing and I no longer constantly think about food because what I am eating actually satiates me and is full of nutrition rather than empty calories! You’ll find on my blog recipes which follow these principles, many cooked by my husband, some cooked by (or with) friends, some even cooked by my son. My intention is to post daily (not necessarily at the weekends) and to give you the chance to benefit from some of delicious meals, snacks and cake which are helping me in my journey. 🙂 If you have read all the way to here thank you 🙂 I am pleased to share my story with you. Please feel free to ask any questions or make any comments and I will try to respond as soon as possible.


  • Susan Reno, In Twine: Eat, Play, Grow, Make 30th January 2015 at 20:24

    Wow, lots of great looking recipes! Glad I found your blog, I’m always on the lookout for new gluten-free recipes to try. Thanks for the follow!

  • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
    Laurena@LifeDietHealth 1st February 2015 at 23:33

    Hello Susan, let me know if you try any of the recipes 🙂 I love your butternut squash soup recipe and the gorgeous photo on your blog but I couldn’t find a like button?

  • anapparentmind 12th February 2015 at 18:09

    Hi – I nominated you for a Liebster award
    have a look here https://onevegandayatatime.wordpress.com
    enjoying your posts
    thank you

  • Susan Reno, In Twine: Eat, Play, Grow, Make 17th February 2015 at 18:42

    Sorry for not responding sooner, I just saw your reply today. I think you will find a ‘like’ button if you click on the post and scroll to the bottom, versus just reading the post on my home page. Not sure why that is, but I think that’s the case. Thanks!

  • Catherine 24th February 2015 at 14:27

    So happy you visited my blog which brought me back to yours! You and your family are true inspirations while managing health issues and concerns! Instant smiles right here! I was excited to read about the benefits you’ve noticed with healthier choices of food. One site that amazed, alarmed while educating me was foodbabe.com. I think you’ll value this too. Excited to view more of your recipes! Wishing you blessings and continued improvement through food! 🙂

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 24th February 2015 at 15:28

      Catherine thanks for visiting! 🙂 Checking out Foodbabe now… Vani’s story is great and it is wonderful to see that others are realising that it is commercial food which is causing lots of illness! Hoping that you don’t get many more ‘Many Surprises’ and that you find some useful recipes on here! 🙂

      • Catherine 24th February 2015 at 18:12

        Education is so important! I was shocked, sickened, all of the above. No doubt, commercial food is such a contributing factor! You are so sweet with your comment for “Many Surprises”! I’m looking so forward to your recipes! Enjoy your day! 🙂

  • Tony 24th February 2015 at 14:29

    HI. Thanks for stopping by and liking something. I am enjoying my visit to your little corner of the blogosphere. Cool recipes!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 24th February 2015 at 15:31

      Thanks Tony! I love the coconut oil article on your blog… many (most!) of my recipes include coconut oil 🙂 such an amazing product wouldn’t you agree!

      • Tony 24th February 2015 at 15:42

        I absolutely agree. I use it in most of my cooking. Pasta with coconut oil and parmesan cheese is delicious and so easy to fix.

  • ohiocook 24th February 2015 at 17:09

    Thank you for following my blog!

  • Sophie33 25th February 2015 at 07:28

    Nice to meet you! I have chronic pain since 2006! It is in my both arms & right leg. I don’t work anymore but do 8h/week voluntary work. Since then, I started to eat more healthy but it didn’t change my chronic pain. So, you have a lot of diseases together,…Hang in there,…I will be thinking of you!

    Thanks for following & commenting on my blog, Sophies Foodie Files so that lead me to your lovely blog here! 🙂

    Many greetings from a foodie from Belgium! xxxx

  • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
    Laurena@LifeDietHealth 25th February 2015 at 08:54

    Hello Sophie 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and for the comment(s) 🙂 Can I ask what your current diet is (you can email me at Laurena@LifeDietHealth.com) as if I could try to help you with your chronic pain in any way that’d be great 🙂

  • icecreammagazine 3rd March 2015 at 16:35

    ….of course I do! xxxx

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 3rd March 2015 at 23:16

      🙂 Lol.. Thank you Panz! I’ll be back to see what you’re up to again soon!

  • Guidance Fitness Personal Training 16th March 2015 at 14:30

    Congratulations on your dietary success and thank you for following my blog. You should check out the book, Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford. It is very informative. I wish you well and continued success.

  • Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus 28th March 2015 at 23:46

    Thank you for joining up with us Life Diet Health, I hope you will be blessed by what we share, my Lupus disappeared recently, it was diagnosed 15 years ago and confirmed over the years and yes I had some of the Symptoms you shared about. I still have another disability but give thanks to God for His many interventions in my life and for saving it more than once.

    I will look forward to your yummy food.

    Blessings – Anne

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 29th March 2015 at 19:46

      Hello Anne and thanks for visiting my blog. That’s amazing that your Lupus has disappeared! 🙂 One less thing to worry about and yes, God’s interventions are many and great 🙂

  • bobleponge216 14th April 2015 at 05:59

    Any blog that I open up and see doughnuts, chocolate and buns staring at me is one I should visit more often.
    Thanks for stopping by and reading mine as this led me to yours.

  • apsara 3rd May 2015 at 03:02

    Glad I came to your blog. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m also on a GF, vegan path. Will learn a lot from your site!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th May 2015 at 14:31

      Welcome to Life Diet Health Apsara 🙂 I’m sure we will both learn from each other! 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

  • Pamplemousse 3rd July 2015 at 07:18

    Wow! What a journey you are on! Way to keep at it and remain positive despite all your health challenges! What an inspiration! I look forward to perusing your blog ?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th July 2015 at 01:15

      Welcome to Life Diet Health Pamplemousse. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂 I’ve just had a quick look at your blog and when I get back to having spare time I am definitely checking it out again! I think I might have your tea mocha for breakfast tomorrow… how ingenious! 🙂

  • Tony 15th August 2015 at 16:34

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking something. I am very impressed with your perseverance at overcoming your health handicaps. Keep up the good work!

  • Elaine @ foodbod 28th August 2015 at 15:23

    Nice to meet you, and interesting to read your story, I think you and I could definitely share some experiences, AND some food 🙂 I look forward to reading more xx

  • amnestymontreal 10th January 2016 at 15:03

    Hello old friend, about time I wrote a comment ! Will check out some of your suggestions as per our enjoyable phone call today 🙂

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 10th January 2016 at 17:30

      Hello and Welcome! 🙂 Old indeed… almost half of my life! 😛 Make sure to keep checking back – you’ve given me some ideas for more vegan experimenting! 🙂 x x x

  • PantryPortfolio 2nd May 2016 at 04:11

    SO looking forward to following your blog and seeing what you create. You have such a powerful story that highlights the importance of food and how what we eat impacts how we feel. Looking forward to reading more and more of your posts. 🙂 –Deb

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th May 2016 at 11:01

      Thank you Deb 🙂 I love your blog name as I am fortunate enough to have a pantry (much to the envy of many)! I really like your ‘experiment’ section on your blog…my whole blog would have to go in that section though! :p

      • PantryPortfolio 5th May 2016 at 02:26

        Oh wow – thank you. That means so much! I am currently house hunting and the first place I go is to investigate the pantry that hopefully exists. And I do love experimenting as well! So many recipes to learn and try! Looking forward to connecting more.

        • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
          Laurena@LifeDietHealth 5th May 2016 at 17:58

          Hope you find somewhere soon with a great pantry and a big garden 🙂 Keep in touch x

  • CHCooks 20th May 2016 at 06:37

    You have a lovely blog and I am glad to have found it, thanks for visiting my blog too! 🙂


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.