a-free-from-lifeSevenoaks mum, Nicola Young has been nominated in the UK Allergy Blog Awards 2017 for her blog dedicated to all things ‘free-from’.

Placed in the category for providing nutritional advice for excluding certain food groups and/or catering for food allergies, the public vote is now open.

With a young son who is dairy and gluten intolerant, Nicola found it was easier, cheaper and healthier to make her own food. Converting recipes to make them suitable for the whole family to enjoy, rather than cooking separately for her son, she decided to record her successes to share with others who were in a similar position. Her blog, ‘A ‘Free-From’ Life’ was born.

Nicola understands how difficult it can be to eat out when you have multiple food intolerances.

“I do a lot of research before we go anywhere, looking for restaurants and hotels that cater for my son’s needs. If I don’t, it can be a nightmare. People don’t always understand. They think you’re being fussy. It may not be life threatening for him, but it can be very uncomfortable and distressing if he eats something he shouldn’t by accident.

nicola-young-sevenoaksAs a nutrition graduate, Nicola spent time working for the Food Standards Agency involved in policy-making and research regarding food allergies and intolerances. She appreciates the frustrations food allergy sufferers go through when trying to make food choices.

“Things have moved on a lot since I first worked in this area. Now restaurants have to label all their food and there is a much better understanding of special dietary needs. The trend towards gluten free living has helped, but we often find something may be gluten free, but not dairy free as well, which means we have to be really careful.”

In addition to recipes, ‘A ‘Free-From’ Life’ contains health information, as well as advice for cooking and baking gluten and dairy free. There are also reviews of products, restaurants and hotels, from wherever the family have travelled.

“Sometimes I get frustrated on my son’s behalf and use my blog as a way of venting that frustration. Take the time he was sick on a flight to America. There’s nothing you can do when you’re stuck thousands of miles up in the air. You are at the mercy of the airline and if they don’t look after you properly, what can you do? It’s hard to be a mum when you know you can’t control everything.”

Nicola is honoured that her blog has been nominated for a UK Allergy Blog Award 2017. Voting is open until 30th November 2016, after which time the top five blogs from each category will go before an expert judging panel. Find ‘A ‘Free-From’ Life’ in the Nutrition Advice (excluding certain food groups/catering for food allergies) category. You can vote for Nicola by following this link.


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