This month we are sharing with you a few of our bloggers from the That Protein & HBC Health Blog Awards.  We are starting with some of our shortlisted from Free From & Illness Recovery Blog and New Blog. You can get your tickets for the awards here.

Free-From & Illness Recovery Blog

Vicky from Flourishing Pantry

The Flourishing Pantry is a blog for people wanting to find a healthier way to nourish themselves. Following years of IBS symptoms, I changed my diet in 2016. Since then I have been on a journey learning from an incredible online food-loving community.

I’m not an expert. I’m a regular girl: trying to make sense of the information out there and eat well for life.

The Flourishing Pantry is for people who are confused about clean eating, curious about gut health and want great food inspiration and science-backed nutrition advice from someone like them.

I think I’m most suitable to win because my blog has something for everyone and is a real place for sharing and discovery.

I talk honestly about my experiences and sometimes change my opinion on what I’m doing, eating and feeling which is important to share in a world that’s become increasingly shouty and judgmental about what to eat and who to believe.

I hope my blog is relatable, informative and most of all inspiring.

I would say Rachel from Healthy & Psyched is definitely up there in my inspiration, her blog is just brilliantly written and insightful and makes me want to come back for more. When I first hit Instagram to get inspiration Niki from Rebel Recipes was right up there and someone’s website who I go back to time and time again for ideas.

I’m also in a tough category with two other fabulous bloggers who are really inspiring – Healthy Living James and Kate from Dairy Free Diet are both amazing too; glad I’m not on the judging panel!

My biggest struggle was after almost a year of blogging, coming to terms and admitting to readers that I had got sucked in to believing in an anti-candida diet when really there is very little scientific evidence for it. 

It felt really embarrassing and crushing to give up this strict list and clear definition of what my diet was. But it was a really important step and has helped me connect more with food, my body and where to turn for reliable advice to tackle IBS or intolerances.

I got incredible support for sharing my confessional from people like The Rooted Project, Angry Chef and Laura Thomas PhD which was amazing and helped spread the message and I think it’s made me a better blogger as a result. 

Don’t blog if you don’t want to be sociable! I think when I started I thought I could keep my blog in a little corner of the internet and not interact. 

The absolute joy and privilege of blogging is connecting with other people and you should do that in abundance. For everyone that comes to my blog or social media I go and see what they’re about too. Be curious, get involved, comment and share and try other people’s tips and recipes. There’s an incredible community out there, embrace it!

I would love my dream career to involve writing, organising (I’m a massive organizational geek!), research, bringing people together, maybe some travel and always time to cook.

If someone can tell me what the career is, answer on a postcard, please.

Credits: The Flourishing Pantry

Kate from Dairy Free Diet

Dairy Free Diet started out as my quest to cut dairy out of my diet after I discovered I was intolerant to it. It has evolved into a tool where I can help other people to recognise any symptoms of an intolerance and thus, do something about them. Through this, I have discovered just how many people suffer from some kind of digestive problem but, like me 6 months ago, aren’t doing anything about it. The objective of my blog is to motivate those who are suffering from uncomfortable symptoms to do something about them.

My blog spans both ‘Free From’ and ‘Illness Recovery’ so this category fits with my objectives.

Although my ‘illness’ may not be as chronic as others, it is chronic in the sense that a huge number of the population suffer without doing anything about it and I think there’s a very strong link between digestive issues and mental health which I would like to explore further.

Although my blog is the least established of the blogs shortlisted in this category, I believe it delivers something different which I hope people will think makes it a worthy candidate. 

From feedback, I believe my blog relates to a very wide audience as the number of people suffering from digestive problems (such as severe bloating like me) are vast and very few do something about it. Those who do seek help, often get lumped with the catch-all term ‘IBS’ because doctors are not specifically trained in nutrition and it is very hard / takes a long time to get a referral.

For a long time, I put up with my symptoms but found they had a huge impact on my mental well-being (never mind my wardrobe which was gradually being filled with baggy clothes!). But I eventually decided to do something about it. I’m not 100% yet but I am much better than I was six months ago and I, therefore, want to try to inspire and motivate others who suffer from similar symptoms to me to do something about it and not be too downhearted when the doctors give them a dead end.

I think my blog is the most suitable to win this category as it is still in its infancy and I am determined to grow the awareness of this issue in order to help others. With the amount of unnatural, processed food available on the increase, this issue is only going to get bigger and now is the time we need to do something about it in order to reduce (and hopefully eventually prevent) the number of people who suffer with mental health issues as a result of what they put into their body.

As I mentioned, my blog is still very new and it would be very easy to throw the towel in when you see others who have been doing this for years and are very established. 

I admit I have always had a fear of failure but I think because I’m in control of this, it is okay. It’s just making sure I keep up the momentum and stay motivated by thinking of the people I could help.

Have an objective and pick a niche you’re passionate about.

Passion really comes across in writing. And if people can’t feel your passion, why would they want to read what you’re writing?

James from Healthy Living James

My name is James Wythe and I’m from Healthy Living James where I specialise in gluten, wheat, dairy, egg and refined sugar-free recipes! I started my blog in August 2016 as a way of sharing my recovery from a long term illness. I was bed bound for the first 2 years then house bound for the next 3-4 years where I taught myself how to cook quick, healthy allergy free meals on limited energy!

My dietary lifestyle

Gluten, wheat, dairy, egg and refined sugar-free… and mostly plant based!

Credits: Healthy Living James

Best New Blog

Sophie from Oat so Delicious

Oat So Delicious focuses on healthy, gluten free recipes for the modern day Coeliac. I’ve only been blogging for 4 months and would love to be recognised for what I’ve done so far.

I think my blog has developed a lot since I started, especially in my photography and content. There’s still lots that I would love to achieve in my first year of blogging and winning this award will allow me to grow my blog further.

Deliciously Ella is my inspiration – before she opened the deli’s and started her own product line, her blogs and youtube videos were a highlight for me. They featured such inspiring and amazing recipes! I’ve followed her journey for many years and I’m so inspired by how far she’s come.

Finding my own style and tone of voice was a struggle at the beginning.

It’s so easy to get caught up in beautiful blogs and Instagram feeds but you don’t want to replicate someone else’s vision. At the end of the day readers click on my blog to read about my experience and journey; not someone else’s.

Be consistent – if you say you will post 8pm on Sunday night, make sure you do!

Readers like to know when your next post is coming, so show a few sneak previews on your IG feed or IG stories, but make sure you always post on time.

These are shortlisted from Free-From / Illness Recovery blog and New Blog.

To know more about the winners you can get your tickets for the awards below.