We truly are an international team here at The Healthy Gut, and on International Women’s Day I wanted to celebrate a group of women from all over the world who are helping me to shape and influence the SIBO community.
When I launched The Healthy Gut in 2015, I didn't purposefully set out to create an all-women dream team. Instead, I went out looking for people who had the best possible skills who could help me achieve my dreams. Today, I am incredibly proud of the amazing women who have helped me build an amazing community of resources for people with SIBO.
When I was diagnosed with SIBO, I felt incredibly alone and isolated. No one I knew had SIBO and none of my friends or family had heard of it. I felt like I was constantly telling people about this unknown, yet common condition. I realised how powerful being part of a community can be on your health, and how damaging not being part of one can be. Knowing that there are people out there just like you, who totally get what you're going through, is incredibly comforting.
It was with that in mind that I set out to create helpful resources for people going through their SIBO journey. I am one of those women who can achieve anything when I set my mind to it, but also recognise when I need help from others with skills I don't have.
I also hold some pretty firm views on how life should be for women. I am a passionate advocate for equality and believe that women offer enormous value to businesses and communities. Without women, the world would be a very dry and boring place. Yet for so many women, equality is a distant dream.
When I launched The Healthy Gut, I made a promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to support all of the women whom work with me by any means possible. Today, I collaborate with an amazing team of women from all over the world, who are able to live life on their terms, raise families, have freedom and most importantly enjoy what they do.
Although we don’t sit together every day and we work across many time zones, we are a tight knit team and the wonders of the digital world keep us all in contact. We are proof that today it’s possible to work from anywhere at any time and still make a valuable contribution to the world of work. We are strong, independent, intelligent, caring women carving out careers that fulfil us.
I would like to take a moment on this special day to say a big heart-felt thank you to this incredible bunch. Thanks for everything ladies. I couldn't have done it without you.
Yedah was the first person I worked with. Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was kismet that brought us together. I needed the skills of a graphic designer to create my first book, the SIBO Summer eCookbook, and Yedah fit the bill. Little did I realise that she herself had SIBO and had long experienced the painful symptoms of a disordered digestive system. In a country like Spain where gluten-intolerance isn't even commonplace, a condition like SIBO can be very isolating. Yedah has worked her magic on all of my cookbooks and makes everything I do look beautiful. Next time you are salivating over one of the recipes in my cookbook, you have her to thank for that.
Like the song says, sisters are doing it for themselves! My little sis Belinda is the most incredibly talented music composer and producer, so it was a match made in heaven when we started collaborating on my SIBO Cooking Show and later The Healthy Gut Podcast. Whenever you hear a piece of music from The Healthy Gut, my sister has created it from scratch. It's not often that you get to work with your sister, but we've had lots of fun together these past 18-months. I'm so proud of her for following her dreams and the world will be a better place with her beautiful music in it.
Next came Niki, a whiz with all things practical and operational. Niki helps me with the behind-the-scenes things that aren't often sexy but are oh-so important. Niki has a young family and recently set off on an adventure to be a digital nomad, working and travelling at the same time. I love supporting these pursuits of other women, changing the way we do business with each other. The 9 to 5 model doesn't work well for most working mums, with many women having to step out of the workforce to have kids. I say bollocks to that and know that there are amazing women out there, just like Niki, who have incredible skills that businesses like mine value. And because I believe in being flexible and looking at the outcome, not the hours you have clocked on for, Niki is able to live life on her terms while still being a valuable asset to The Healthy Gut team.
I met Cressida after sitting next to her mother at an event, swapping tales about poor gut health. Her mum asked if I would meet her for a coffee, and the rest, as they say, is history. Cressida and I have very similar health histories, both ending up very unwell with SIBO. After taking time out of a successful corporate career to focus on regaining her health, Cressida started collaborating with me to support the development of the SIBO Coaching Program. In recent weeks she has given birth to a gorgeous little boy, her second child. She knows exactly what it's like to experience SIBO; the highs and the lows this chronic condition brings, along with the added complications pregnancy throws into the mix. She is just as passionate and driven as I am to change the face of our current healthcare system and is such a gorgeous person who brings such warmth and positive energy to the team.
There are some people in life who are true angels, and Aliki is one of them. A photographer extraordinaire, she has been one of the biggest supporters of The Healthy Gut in all ways possible. She coached and mentored me during the production of the SIBO Summer Cookbook, guiding me how to take beautiful food photos. She then took the reins for the SIBO Family Favourites Cookbook and SIBO Christmas Cookbook, making every dish pop from the page. With Greek heritage, Aliki can cook. Oh wow can she cook! We have so much fun eating each other's food, and have dreams of touring around Europe, creating SIBO Cookbooks and new SIBO Cooking Shows that focus on French, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and British cuisines. Who's up for that?!?
Aramenta is the woman responsible for taking the Australian editions of my cookbooks and making them suitable for my lovely US and Canadian SIBOers. In this world where we feel so connected because of the internet, we sometimes forget how different the English language can be. The one thing I am determined to do is make the SIBO journey as easy as possible, and if that means re-writing my books so they are using the correct names of ingredients and the appropriate weights and measurements for my North American peeps, then so be it! Based in Canada, Aramenta brings a wonderful professionalism to the sometimes tedious task of editing and proof reading the hundreds of pages in my cookbooks. This is no mean feat!
Last but not least from my team is the lovely Kate. Kate is my ‘girl Friday’; she works on keeping me organised and dealing with our social media and marketing. We met in 2002 when we worked together at a UK fashion company just outside of London. We bonded over a mutual love of food and travel, and formed a friendship that we’ve kept going across the oceans. Kate is like me and can’t sit still. After leaving the corporate world having had her second child, she pulled together a portfolio career that enables her to spend time with her family and feel fulfilled through work. And amongst other things, she’s also a rugby coach! Kate understands how debilitating poor health can be, having had chronic hormone issues throughout her 30’s, which she has healed through diet. She is a passionate advocate of food as medicine and is a great friend.