About The Spunky Coconut
Hi! I’m Kelly, and my study of nutrition began in 2004 when my oldest girls were very young. Ashley was a baby and Zoe was a toddler at that time. Both girls were not well. My nutritionist worked with me to radically improve their diet by removing gluten, casein, and refined sugar. My husband and I soon realized that our own health problems could be resolved through food as well. How cool is that?!
After years of research and experimentation, I now create gluten-free and Paleo dishes so similar to conventional wheat/dairy/refined sugar recipes that no one feels deprived. Together, through diet and biomedical treatments, our family is overcoming celiac disease (that’s me), endometriosis (me again), gluten-intolerance, ADD, and autism with great success. I’ve been blogging at TheSpunkyCoconut.com since 2008, and I published several cookbooks.
My recipes and photography have been featured on Buzzfeed.com, The Huffington Post, Driscoll’s.com, Redbook magazine, Living Without magazine, Paleo Magazine, and more. My books are recommended by GenerationRescue.org.
I believe in eating healthy real food. I know that chocolate and dessert can be as nutrient-dense as pot roast. Most of all I hope you enjoy these recipes that have changed my family’s life!
10 Not So Random Facts About Me
I never met a vegetable I didn’t like. I LOVE vegetables. And fat. Fat is my favorite. Like coconut. And I love pizza. Oh, and dark chocolate. Yes. Basically I love food. Real food. Healthy food.
Spreading awareness about child slavery on cacao (chocolate) plantations in Africa is important to me. I talk about it in my chocolate cookbook. Eat fair trade chocolate, and help me inform others.
I gained 80 pounds with each of my first two pregnancies. I didn’t know I had celiac disease at that time, and I think I was starving. Not starving from lack of food, but starving of nutrition. Whatever nutrition I might have had was going to growing a baby, and I was left feeling like I was dying of hunger, despite packing on pounds. People who eat food can be malnourished too. Like when you have celiac disease and you don’t know it, or when you eat processed frankenfood that shouldn’t even be called food. Or both.
Before I had my last baby (Ginger) I didn’t eat beef for nearly a year. Then when I was about 4 months pregnant I drove by a field of angus, and I literally salivated at the sight of them. I went straight to the closest burger place (Larkburger, in Boulder, CO) that I knew was safe (since I have celiac disease) and proceeded to eat two burgers. I kept eating them as often as I needed.
I had been aware of my celiac disease for many years before having Ginger. Unlike the pregnancies of my unhealthy early twenties, I got pregnant with Ginger instantly, and I gained half as much weight. I lost most of the weight soon after she was born.
I have always struggled to maintain my weight. As an adult I have been almost 100 pounds, and I have been over 200 pounds. It’s very frustrating. Nowadays I try to focus on being healthy instead of my weight. I no longer own a scale. Being healthy is the most important thing to me. I love walking. Walking is my Prozac.
We moved from Annapolis, Maryland to near Boulder, Colorado in 2007. It was a total leap of faith. We sold one of our cars and most of our possessions to pay for the move (over half way across the country), where we didn’t know anyone or have any jobs waiting for us. Basically, we were miserable in Maryland, and we wanted to be happy. So we moved. And living in Colorado was awesome.
Our middle daughter has special needs, and I nearly stopped believing that she would ever potty train. Then, when she was 10-years-old, she finally did. I still pinch myself every day. It’s a dream come true.
After six years in Colorado we moved even further west, to Southern California. The weather here is how I imagine the weather in heaven to be. Every place we’ve lived has had its perks. Here are some of the perks of where we live now: There is a lemon tree that grows over my fence, and I make fresh pressed lemon juice for months. I feel like I’m on vacation in my backyard. Every month we drive (an hour) to the ocean. We’ve been to so many different beaches, I’ve lost track. Sun and blue skies almost every day. Yes.
I believe in faith and grace. It took me a while to find them. I’m so grateful for both. What do they mean to me? They mean that everything is going to be okay. How will it be okay? I have no idea, that’s not important. All that matters is to believe. And to listen to your passions and instincts. Doing what makes you happy is really hard and scary. So just do it, and don’t think about it. That’s my motto. And treat others the way you want to be treated. Love.