When I was 18 months old I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. This is a condition where the gluten in wheat attacks your gut - gluten is insidious in a modern diet and is often used in the most obscure prepared foods.
My parents have told me that I was very poorly back then and it took some time to diagnose what was wrong.
What I have learnt from being coeliac is a better understanding of the importance of the quality of diet, not just for me but for all of us.
I believe that eating natural, unprocessed foods makes us healthier from the inside out.
In our quest for a balanced diet, there seemed to be a missing part to the jigsaw for healthy oils and fats. This changed in 2007 when my family was fortunate enough to be introduced to coconut oil by a good friend Indra, from Hong Kong, who gave us the book 'The Coconut Oil Miracle' by Bruce Fife and a jar of organic coconut oil to accompany it. Finally, we had found a really healthy fat.
All processed oils and fats have gone from the cupboards in our house and now coconut oil is used for almost everything from frying eggs, adding to homemade bread, roasting potatoes and making cakes. I love using it as a natural beauty product on my skin and hair and my dad's even been known to use it to oil the garden shears!
Our original coconut oil was sourced in the Philippines and we've since added our Solomon Islands oil and more recently, coconut oil from Sri Lanka – all are unrefined, extra virgin, Fair Trade, organic and raw with the Sri Lankan oil having a lighter aroma and flavour than the Philippine and Solomon Islands oil, both of which have a richer aroma. We never blend our coconut oils and the country of origin is stated on the label for ease of reference.
Our Lucy Bee family of store cupboard staples has recently grown and I'm excited to now be able to share with you our Cacao (also sold as Drinking Chocolate in Morrisons), Cinnamon, Turmeric, Maca and Lucuma powders, Whole Black Peppercorns and Coconut Flour, all of which are Fair Trade.
For your beauty regime we now have Epsom Salts, Dead Sea Salts and Himalayan Salt to pamper and relax tired bodies. With my background as a beauty therapist, these are a particular passion of mine!
Key to our ethos is sourcing Fair Trade products that can be enjoyed every day.
Fair Trade means that the farmers get a fairer price for their product as well as funding sustainable community projects that are carried out for people much worse off than us. Our Fair Trade certification also means all workers get contracts, so they are not exploited, plus it ensures no child labour or animal cruelty.
In our quest to bring you ingredients of the highest quality, we have searched the world and developed relationships with suppliers who can meet our requirements and, also, support our Fair Trade policy.
With our Bath Salts range, we're unbale to buy these Fair Trade so instead, we donate 15p per tub sold, to the charity Love Support Unite, to support their incredible projects in Malawi (see 'Charity at No Cost' below for how you can support this, too).
Lucy Bee ingredients are imported to the UK and packaged in BRC Grade A plants in the North West and South East of England.
We insist on recyclable packaging and our coconut oil is bottled in glass jars with easy peel labels to make them easier to reuse and recycle.
Have you heard about our 'Charity at No Cost' scheme? Basically, it's an affiliate scheme we've set up through Amazon whereby anything you purchase via our 'Charity at No Cost' page, Amazon pays us 5% commission. We will then donate this entire commission amount to a chosen charity – obviously all charities are worthy but we try to support the smaller ones that can often go unnoticed, so do let me know if you have a favourite that you'd like us to support.
There's absolutely no extra cost to you when you buy through our link to Amazon and it applies to anything that you buy from Amazon - it doesn't have to be anything to do with Lucy Bee (just use our link here!).
At Lucy Bee we are concerned with Fair Trade, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health. We aim to reflect this in all that we do and like nothing more than discussing this with you through our social media sites, emails and in our blog.
Each Month Lucy and the team produce a unique newsletter focusing on healthy eating and fitness for her followers.
The very best beauty tips including exclusive ideas from Lucy Bee herself...
Don't skip breakfast! It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to be alert and awake throughout the day. It also helps regulate your blood sugar levels, so make sure to have a wholesome and nutritious breakfast each and every day!
Visit the Lucy Bee fitness pages for inspiration from top athletes in a variety of sports. Learn how the very best sportsmen and women train.
Want to know all about coconut oil? The 'Lucy Bee Definitive Guide to Coconut Oil' explores all the benefits and uses and how to incorporate it into your daily life.
The charity that we're supporting at the moment is 'Love Support Unite Africa'. You can support this when you buy ANYTHING from Amazon via our link, at no extra cost to you. Let us know if you have a favourite charity that you’d like us to support in this way.