A Tale of Rainbows and Other Mystical, Almost Unreal Things that are Actually Entirely Possible.

In September 2010, I went off to uni.

It could have been great! The city (Worcester) is beautiful; I had a job at a gorgeous, cosy café – the type of place I’d always wanted to work; a rather attractive and intelligent man who worked there had his eye on me, and he wasn’t the only one!

But it didn’t pan out the way you’d expect.

I’d never wanted to go to uni, although I did want to teach. I went because it was what was expected (from everyone it seemed, including myself).

I lived in halls with 2 Romanian girls and 3 party-mad boys. I’m sure they were all lovely, but I felt so isolated.I didn’t want to socialise, I wanted to be with my family. I didn’t want to entertain strange boys! I wanted the one I loved back home. I didn’t want to play drinking games, I wanted to be left alone to talk to those people who I missed painfully, who lived back in the place I physically needed to be.

It didn’t seem like it was happening for quite a while, but this was the third and final time; the perfect opportunity for my eating disorder to strike again.

For over 7 years of my life I struggled with eating disorders, and I never thought I would beat it. Those of you reading who have or have had the same problems will understand when I say that a lot of the time, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to or not. This type of illness is a safe haven; a get out clause. Well, it certainly got me out of uni in the end.


OF COURSE you want to beat it! It’s a terrifying, hard, mean thing to do to yourself. But the results? A life like you would never have imagined possible.

In my experience, the instant I stopped eating was the instant I became obsessed and enthralled by food, cooking, chefs, recipes, reading, writing, researching everything sustaining and absolutely fundamental to life (your body is a clever thing – far more so than your brain at the best of times). I remember one highly significant night (the first night I had managed to go 24 hours without any form of nutrition). Nigella Lawson was on the telly hosting Nigella Express. Oh my God o.o! I had never seen or heard of such a woman before then! I was intoxicated by her beauty, confidence and unapologetic pleasure in, well… pleasure! She made THE chocolate peanut butter fudge sundae, and my eyes were glued to the screen. I waited nearly 6 years from that moment until I felt comfortable to make this myself, because with the unwavering support of the ones who matter, and the help of an incredible woman, I slowly made it through.

So it was when I left uni that I was the sickest I’ve ever been. It had got to the point where if I even tried my very best to eat ANYTHING, my stomach would hurt for the rest of the day. Not helpful for making progress. I was at a loss. Panic attacks left, right and centre; bones and joints making life difficult as if I was an 80 year old woman; constant daydreams about exactly what I would eat if I could control unlimited variables… Clearly, I was miserable.

But here we get to <THE POINT>!!!

I felt it was necessary to outline my past in order to explain the purpose of my blog, which is to express the pure excellence of life with food as your friend.

Many people are not as fortunate as I am, and I am aware that this blog will not change that. My aim is simply to inspire people in some way, whether that is to encourage them to experiment with ingredients, or to help them achieve a positive outlook or body image. I am not here to dictate how others should live their lives, but I am here to stress my intense wish that however they do choose to live it, it had better make them happy!


I would also like to add that yes, my eating disorder has gone. I am the happiest I have ever been and feel freer than a bird. However, my obsession with food is here to stay. It excites me to hear of new ingredients or techniques that I haven’t heard of before. Now that I’m well, I want to experience it all. Make up for lost time by including as much variety into my food life as I can! This means that the recipes I post on here are likely to use some “hard-to-find” ingredients at times, but I will always tell you where I got it and how much it cost 🙂

Cooking is my passion, so there’s no quibble for me if I want to make something that takes a bit of extra time or effort. I know some people don’t have the same inclination, but that’s okay – the amount I cook there’s bound to be something for everyone!

Thanks for reading :*


43 Responses to “About”

  1. laurasmess June 12, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Aw, thanks for sharing your story beautiful. I have a very similar one, as a battled with anorexia for over ten years…. I haven’t included that information on my blog though, as I no longer want to be defined as a ‘recovered (or recovering) anorexic. That part of my life is gone; it’s a sealed chapter that I still remember and learn from, however it doesn’t define me. SO glad that you’re now healthy, happy and enjoying food. Freedom should be treasured! Sending you a hug xx

    • shikoomkoom June 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 I’m so glad to hear that you’ve recovered too, and to the extent that you can set it aside as a thing of the past! I agree with everything you have said and you have a beautiful blog! Your hug is very much reciprocated 😛 xx

  2. srijana kattel April 1, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    what a sad experience and what an awesome thought to share with every body so sincerely …

  3. Ankit March 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Congratulations, I have nominated you for the ‘Sunshine Award’
    Claim it here-> http://gypsyfoods.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/happy-birthday-celebrating-with-awards/

    Keep up the blogging,
    Good Luck

    • shikoomkoom March 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you so much! This is my very first nomination 😀 I must admit I have no idea what to do but it has made me very happy 🙂 🙂

      • Ankit March 24, 2013 at 4:08 am #

        the first nomination is always a fun one
        and your blog will earn many more, i am sure of that

      • shikoomkoom March 24, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        Aww thank you 🙂 I am now going to attempt to follow the instructions you set out!

  4. Teresa March 3, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    I’ve recently switched my food blog over to be self-hosted which I hope will make it more user-friendly in the future. As a result, if you were following Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen via email, WordPress, or using RSS feeds through Google Reader or some other way, you are no longer subscribed. If you wish to continue receiving future posts from my blog you will need to re-subscribe. Sorry for the inconvenience, Teresa.

    • shikoomkoom March 3, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks for letting me know 🙂 good luck with your new blog!

  5. waitarethosecookies January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    or email?! We could email instead 🙂 I was in Europe at 11 and 13 years old, Germany/Austria/Switzerland the first time, and Italy the second. Obviously I didn’t get enough, I want to travel again so badly!!

    • shikoomkoom January 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Ooh nice! I’d love to go to Italy. I went to Germany on a school trip which was fantastic 🙂 Email is great yeah! Mine is anna.ant_x@hotmail.com

  6. waitarethosecookies January 13, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    mmm yes I only mention them because they’re British and fabulous, ahha! Okay so new goal: one day I will travel to the UK (I’ve been to Europe already so that shouldn’t be too hard) and I’ll come visit and you can show me what’s up! If you’re ever on the west coast let me know, I can show you San Francisco 🙂 And yes, every so often you have to spring for packaged things! And can I just say that I’m loving having a new blog friend??! We should connect on facebook, that would make chatting easier! Do you have one?

    • shikoomkoom January 13, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Haha, okay 🙂 and if that ever happens I will make sure I have a good stock of them in the biscuit tin 😛 Where did you come to in Europe? I have been to America before but never San Francisco. I have no idea what it is like over there to be honest! I’m loving having a new blog friend too! 😛 I do have facebook – I rarely use it but I will make an exception here 😉

  7. annesturetucker January 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    So happy for you!!! Thank you for sharing your journey 🙂

    • shikoomkoom January 13, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Naaw thank you very much 🙂 I think it’s important to be honest about these things 🙂

      • annesturetucker January 14, 2013 at 12:25 am #

        So true, that’s how we heal 🙂

  8. waitarethosecookies January 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    ooooh so Lafayette is sooo not glamourous hahah!!! It’s tiny. But at least I’m close to Berkeley and San Francisco, that’s a plus. I’ve always wanted to visit the UK! Maybe someday and then now I’ll know someone over there who can show me what’s up 🙂 I have to say, I LOVE digestive biscuits, like more than anything. Weird, I know considering my usual disdain for processed things, hehe… but seriously. They’re amazing!!

    • shikoomkoom January 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Well, the closest place of recognition near us is Birmingham, and that is possibly the very opposite of glamorous, lol. Good for shops but I am a rubbish shopper! Yeah that would be super cool! 🙂 I love that you’ve started talking about digestive biscuits out of nowhere 😛 is that cos’ they’re British? (I’ll feel stupid if they’re not actually British). Hey, I love home-made and everything but some things that come out of a packet are just manufactured perfection! Kit Kat chunkies for example… and skittles…

  9. ohiocook January 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and now following it!

  10. waitarethosecookies January 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    We’re so similar! I dealt with disordered eating all through my 4 years of undergrad, and it took me nearly that long to beat it. But we both got there, in the end! You learn quite a bit about yourself when you go through something like this. I started my blog as as way to hold myself accountable and keep my diet interesting, and I’m happy to say that it totally worked and is still going strong 🙂 Funny how smart your body is—mine did exactly the same thing to me: as soon I started having issues, I fell in love with food/cooking/baking/nutrition. Go figure. I’m glad we found each other as blog friends!

    • shikoomkoom January 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Thank you for this! 🙂 it made me feel a little teary :’) I am so glad that you’re healthy now. It shines through your blog that you are happy with yourself 🙂 You are absolutely right – thankfully we get to keep those passions when we are well enough to put them to good use! I’m glad too 🙂 <—- look at all those smiley faces! xx

      • waitarethosecookies January 12, 2013 at 12:37 am #

        So many smiley faces!! I love it. Yayyyy for new blog friends with shared experiences! I live in Lafayette, California… where do you hail from?

      • shikoomkoom January 12, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        A little place called Tamworth in England! Sounds so small and unglamorous compared to Lafayette, California! I bet we live such different lives despite having things in common…

  11. Karista January 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    What a story you have! I was nearly in tears while reading. I’m so happy you’ve come to truly love good food. Food can either keep you healthy and happy, or it can be poison. It’s the kind of food we choose that’s important. And learning to cook is key! You’re many steps ahead of others and I commend you for your courage! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to all your delicious posts my dear. 🙂 Hugs, Karista

    • shikoomkoom January 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      Thank you so much! I can’t believe I made you emotional :$ this is such a lovely comment 🙂 xx

  12. christina @ smallkitchenchronicles December 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    You are truly an inspiration, shikoomkoom. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for choosing such a wonderful aim — just having people like you in it makes the world a better place. I look forward to many more future posts and just delighted to be part of a community filled with such people as you.

    Warmest wishes! =)


    • shikoomkoom December 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Thank you so much! 🙂
      I had a quick look at your blog earlier and knew instantly that I had to follow. You seem like such a lovely person 🙂
      Happy new year!

  13. photographymemoirs December 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I absolutely love your sincerity and talking straight from the heart. This is beautiful to behold. I hope that all goes well for you in the UK. I lived and worked there for five lovely long years, made some special friends and have many beautiful memories.
    God bless

    • shikoomkoom December 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

      Thank you so much 🙂 what a lovely thing to say. I hope you have a fantastic start to the new year xx

      • photographymemoirs December 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        My pleasure indeed. Be true to yourself, this takes courage and is the only true way to find joy and peace within. I’m sure there is more strength in you then meets the eye. Sincerely wishing you a Happy New Year and I hope that God blesses you in every way. 🙂

      • shikoomkoom December 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

        I don’t know what to say apart from that you have a beautiful and generous way with words 🙂 xx

      • photographymemoirs December 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

        Thank you kindly once again. I always try and see good in the people around me. I have found that culminating purity of heart and trying to help out through kind words or actions as “an act of Love”, is a simple but beautiful way in which to live. It makes perfect sense, and is what is best observed in children who are so pure and gorgeous to behold 🙂

  14. iwouldratherbewriting December 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    What delicious blog! I am so glad to have stumbled upon your blog 🙂 I am sure to try out a couple of recipes in the days to come

    • shikoomkoom December 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      Thank you! 🙂 I really hope you do x

  15. ChgoJohn December 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Thank you for visiting my blog and I’m very happy to read of your success in battling an eating disorder. Good for you! You will help more people than you’ll ever know by being so honest about your struggles.

    • shikoomkoom December 6, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      This is the most special message I’ve ever received about my story. Thank you so much 🙂 My biggest hope is that being open about everything will help at least 1 person.

  16. musingmar December 3, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Thank you for following Life Through the Kitchen Window. I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and it’s been a very satisfying adventure. It was inspiring to read about how you conquered your eating disorder, and how your new-found passion for food has brought you such pleasure. I’m looking forward to following your adventures in the kitchen!

    • shikoomkoom December 3, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Thank you very much 🙂 I think your blog is beautiful and you post all the sorts of things that are on my list to make. I look at your blog and think *ouch*! I still have a looong way to go! xx

      • musingmar December 4, 2012 at 3:05 am #

        What a wonderful comment, thank you so much. I know exactly how you feel though … when I was starting out I would look at some other blogs that were so beautifully done. It was such a thrill when some of the people I looked up to started to follow me! Just to name a few, Chicago John of From the Bartolini Kitchens, Spree from Cooking-Spree and Barb from Just a Smidgen. If you haven’t seen these blogs already, do check them out!

        I noticed in one of your posts you made a comment about your photography. First of all, I think your photos are lovely. When I look back at my early posts, I cringe at my indoor photography. I’ve learned so much about taking photos of food, and have discovered that in addition to cooking and writing, food photography is now on my list of things I love to do!

        I also didn’t expect the sense of community that would come from this blogging experience. I’ve connected with many talented and kind people with a shared interest (like you!), and I’ve never learned so much about food as I have in the year or so that I’ve been blogging.

        I’m looking forward to following your blog! Mar

      • shikoomkoom December 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

        Well I have to say that your follow is one of the first thrills I can relate to 🙂 now stop being so nice 😛 I completely agree about the sense of community. I find it very hard to socialise and meet like-minded people in ‘real life’, but there are so many lovely people around and this is a great way of proving that to yourself! And hey! I just looked through some of your first posts and I don’t think your photos have ever been cringe-worthy 🙂 Finally, you are right about those blogs you mentioned. They are lovely xxx

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