POOLE food blogger James Wythe, known as Healthy Living James, has achieved one of his ‘biggest dreams’ after releasing a chart-topping cookbook.
The health coach from Parkstone fell seriously ill out of the blue 10 years ago with his illness leaving him bedbound for two years and housebound for the next four.
Diagnosed with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) also known as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), James started seeing a nutritionist who immediately told him to cut gluten and dairy from his diet.
From there he started his long road to recovery, unearthing a passion for cooking that led him to starting his food blog in 2016.
“Writing my book has been something that’s been a dream for five years since starting the blog,” said 32-year-old James.
“I tried four years ago but got turned down by publishers – they said they loved the story and the content but I wasn’t ready and at the time I disagreed with them.
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“But now I look back and see I definitely wasn’t ready, there’s a lot of demand to it.
“It’s been a big dream of mine to achieve so I’m really pleased about it.”
Healthy Living James
Now, much further along in his recovery, James said he’s got a lot more energy, more experience creating his own recipes and he has a better understanding of what people want.
Spontaneous with his recipes, often creating dishes he simply fancies of craves, James’ meals are tailored for all and designed to be quick and easy to make.
“I’ve written it because this is what I was looking for during my housebound stage.
“I’ve tried to make recipes for people that struggle the same as me but also for people who can eat whatever they want but are looking for something quick, healthy and affordable.
“I’ve tried to not discriminate or eliminate people from the recipes – if you can eat everything that’s fine as well, you can make the adjusted swaps that suit you.”
After getting his publishing deal in March last year, James was straight to work creating recipes and writing his book.
Released earlier this month his debut book ‘Healthy Living James’ shot straight to the top of book charts and was seventh in the Amazon chart this week.
“It’s been amazing,” he said.
“People are picking out on the photos, the ease of the recipes and how inclusive they are for everyone so people are really getting what I wanted to put across and they’re writing that in their reviews which is amazing.
‘Totally nailed it’
“I feel like I’ve totally nailed it with this book – setting the scene, getting people to know my story and why I’m here and my style of content.
“I’m just trying to get as many people in the kitchen as possible, that’s my goal.”
Not stopping here, James hopes to write a second book in the not so distant future, building upon the success of his debut.
He said: “I’d love to write another one, I set this book up as the first one to get everyone to know my story and why I’m here and how authentic it is that I am here.
“I’d love to carry it on, that’s what I see myself going – writing a few more books, it’s been a tiring process but it’s been really fun and I’ve learnt a lot.”