Dorset food blogger James Wythe, known as Healthy Living James, has become a social media sensation with around 45,000 followers.

The 29-year-old health coach based in Ashley Cross, Poole, specialises in creating simple, healthy, gluten, wheat, dairy, egg and refined sugar free recipes - which also taste absolutely delicious.

But only eight years ago, James became so unwell that he was bedbound, and so weak he could hardly speak.

Life had been going well for James until December 2010. He had just completed his sports science degree at Bournemouth University and he was an accomplished golfer who played for the uni and also the Dorset County first team.

One morning he woke up feeling sick and dizzy. At first he thought it was just a touch of food poisoning, but he became so ill that he was later rushed into hospital for a suspected brain tumour.

“I had several brain scans but I was so weak at that point having lost nearly three stone in weight that I couldn’t eat, drink or even stand up,” says James.

“After multiple attempts to get help from the doctors they finally, after nearly six months, diagnosed me with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) also known as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I was told there was no cure and all I could do was rest and wait.”

As part of his long road to recovery, James started to see a nutritionist.

“The nutritionist I was seeing at that time had also suffered from M.E many years earlier and therefore could relate to my story.

“She told me to immediately cut gluten and dairy from my diet. I’d always had a pretty balanced diet and never feasted on typical takeaway food but we hadn’t considered looking more carefully at what I was really eating.

“That was the first step into changing my diet and nutrition along with taking supplements, some of which came from America specifically designed for M.E sufferers.

“At first this was a major change from eating a normal balanced diet to really having to think about exactly what to eat and what that food actually contained.

“Now, I am at a stage where I can look back and see what a huge impact food has had in my recovery, the more I clean up my diet the better my energy levels become.

“I keep discovering more and more ways to eat healthily but without making it super complicated.”

James adds: “I’m not unique and there are many people that have suffered or are suffering from similar health problems.

“Healthy living is one of the ways I have found that works and I hope that sharing my experiences through my blog may offer a way forward.

“My aim is to inspire and motivate people to make better food choices and to improve their overall lifestyle.

“Many believe that cooking healthy recipes is expensive and time consuming and I want to change that. With a few tweaks to what you store and use in your kitchen, you too can live a healthier more balanced life.”

But you don’t have to have food intolerances to benefit from his recipes.

“I enjoy experimenting with different foods and flavours - most of my recipes are quite seasonal but I always test a recipe at least three to five times. I want people to know that they can trust me.”

(I’ve tried both his Peanut Butter Granola and his Spinach and Chickpea Curry (I added chicken to mine) and they are now firm favourites. Try his recipes here and see for yourself).


“Extremely simple and delicious gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free granola that you can easily make at home with a few quick steps,” says James.

“It’s crunchy, so easy to make and can be used in lots of different ways.

“And of course if you don’t like or have an allergy to peanut butter this recipe works with any nut butter you choose.

“It only uses these seven ingredients that you will most likely already have in your kitchen at home.


2 cups gluten free oats

200g 1 cup almonds

150g 1 cup pecans

150g 1 cup ground almonds

100g 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

6 tbsp maple syrup

4 tbsp peanut butter


Pre-heat your oven to 160C

In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix well

Line a baking tray with baking paper and add the granola, making sure to evenly spread it across the tray so that it cooks evenly

Place in the oven at 160C for 25 minutes (or until lightly golden brown)

Remove from the oven and either eat warm or allow to cool


This will last in a sealed container for a while so make a big batch


“A really simple and tasty curry that can be made in one pot in just ten minutes,” says James.

“You will definitely be surprised how much flavour this packs in from cooking for such little time.”


2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red onion, roughly diced

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground coriander

Pinch of chilli flakes

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 cans chickpeas 400g x2

200 ml veg stock

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup ground almonds

60g 200 g spinach


Heat a large pot on a medium heat with olive oil/coconut oil and crushed garlic

Meanwhile roughly dice the red onion and add to the pot to cook down for a minute

Add all the spices and tomato puree and stir

Now add the chickpeas, coconut milk, veg stock and cook on a medium/high heat for 5 minutes, making sure to stir.

Add the ground almonds and stir. Allow to cook down for a further 2-3 minutes

Finally take off the heat and stir through the spinach until wilted

Tips: Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa.


“These mini bounty bars are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free with only 5 easily sourced ingredients compared to the 12 in the original bar,” says James.

“They are so simple yet great fun to make so if you have kids then get them to make them, they will absolutely love it! They will easily last in the fridge for a few days.”


Portion: 8 bars

1/2 cup desiccated coconut (50g)

1/2 cup coconut flour (50g)

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Ingredients for the chocolate:

4 tbsp cacao powder (25g)

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp maple syrup


Add the desiccated coconut and coconut flour into a large mixing bowl and hand whisk, making sure there are no lumps

Now add the maple syrup and melted coconut oil and mix well

In your hands, form bar shapes with the mix (this doesn’t need to be perfect, I prefer mine more rustic with random shapes)

Now place onto a plate and put them into the fridge for 10-15 mins to harden

When there is 5 minutes left on the timer, add the melted coconut oil and maple syrup over a bain marie and stir

Now add the cacao powder and mix in well making sure there are no lumps.

Remove the coconut bars from the fridge and simply dunk into the chocolate mixture, making sure to cover evenly.

Place the bars onto a cooling rack or baking paper and place back into the fridge for 1 hour to harden (you can add to the freezer if you want to speed up the process). Just before serving I like to drizzle the leftover chocolate mixture over the top along with some desiccated coconut.