About YVONNE McCLAREN
Here’s what I am all about.
PEG FEEDING HELP & OTHER REAL FOOD STORIES
Hello. Thanks for stopping by. Yvonne here, yogi, foodie & intrepid traveller from Adelaide, South Australia. You might know me as the founder of The Food Manifesto, an online culinary membership for like-minded foodies.
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions?
- What foods can I prepare for loss of appetite & nausea?
- Am I ever going to be able to eat my favourite food again?
- How do I get off my feeding tube?
- What can I do about trismus & other side effects that impair my ability to eat?
If so, then you are in the right place! Whether you are about to undergo treatment for HNC or you are a year since treatment or longer. I can help you.
Motor bikes & ignoring a constant sore throat
3 years ago I moved back to Australia from Vietnam. I had a very sore throat and was limping through on strong painkillers and Nasal Spray. Despite a check-up by an ENT surgeon and an endoscopy later, they could not find anything wrong. I thought I better go home to Australia to get it checked out.
I had stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma on my left tonsil. I lost both tonsils to surgery, 1/3rd of my tongue and 30 lymph nodes. I had 35 sessions of radio/chemotherapy. I had a PEG tube placed in my stomach and THAT was about when I hit rock bottom. I had not eaten anything orally for over a year. I was isolated, alone, and depressed.
I didn’t want my PEG tube feeder, it restricted me physically and psychologically. I worried about if I was ever going to get back to some “normality”.
Who I was. Can you Relate?
- Not joining in with social gatherings
- Lacked confidence to try different food & textures
- Lost all connection with food & people
- Scared, uncertain, pissed off
- My social life was non-existent
Exasperated and at a point where nothing was changing I cried & cried and then nothing. I was suddenly aware that I was still alive. I was breathing. That was the turning point for me.
The Realisation that I was Still Breathing
That’s when I knew the power to change my outlook & life lay within.
All I had to do was take full responsibility for my situation & make a start.
I had the life & career skills to create a simple plan & program to get to where I wanted to be.
A vision for what I wanted my life to look like.
The decision to stop feeling sorry for myself, embrace the change & challenges opened up possibilities. I stopped reading & reacting to everyone else’s journey and focused on mine.
Studying training & coaching, reading & cooking to create the food I wanted. Pouring over nutrition books to create food I didn’t throw away!
I HELPED MYSELF SO THAT ULTIMATELY I COULD HELP OTHER PEOPLE
I wrote and self-published a book to cement my thinking, to record & share my progress, and to share food that I had cooked and swallowed whilst recovering.
I created the no feeding tubes movement for likeminded people who were also not willing to settle for a life with a feeding tube. Or a life eating only baby food for that matter. PEG tube or not.
NOW – MY BEST FOOD LIFE!
- I have no feeding tube and nor have to use bottled plastic / premix food
- I eat nutritious varied food
- I eat chilli, spice and flavourful food
- I don’t just eat custard, ice cream and soup
- I can enjoy social gatherings with family & friends
- I have the confidence to try all sorts of food even when out in public
- I am fitter, stronger and healthier than I have ever been
- I go to food markets and buy fresh food
- I have reconnected with food
- I now plan meals and create fresh food shopping lists
- I can travel without worrying about if I can eat or not – there are ways around this
- I look at food in a very different way but can still participate with others
I struggled with my PEG tube feeder and dysphagia. I didn’t know how to transition back to oral eating, heal and keep my weight at a healthy level. I was told I might have my PEG forever. I had faith that I could eat again (even in a different format) and I went ALL IN on changing my life. As Tony Robbins says “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped” I would love for you to be able to experience the joy and connection of eating food again and all its social implications.
This is about a commitment to creating a change in your life at a very primal level. It’s about choosing to sit at the table again.
Together let’s discover your BEST food life!
Let me share with you all I have learnt over the years of being a foodie and what I have learnt over the past 3 years in transitioning back to real food. It has taken me a few years to get back to my BEST food life, but it need not take you that long with what I can show and teach you here.
In fact, I want to help you right now, here you will find a free series on Facebook that I did about the pain points to food transitioning. Here’s my FREE Guide to how I transitioned back to real food. The 4 Step Transition Process here: or If you’d like to jump straight into my Mind Food Body program apply here
People diagnosed with Head & Neck Cancer in Australia in 2020.
Head and Neck Cancer in Australia statistics- Data source: AIHW Cancer Data in Australia 2020
Are caused by HPV
Men are three times more likely to be diagnosed than women.
eSTIMATED % OF ALL NEW CANCER CASES DIAGNOSED IN 2020
“social isolation, loneliness & reduced quality of life”
Meet the people who make it all possible
It’s my mission to help more people around the world discover a new path to life without their feeding tube. This program shares the exact journey I took to transitioning back to swallowing food again.
I enlisted many auxiliary people to help me on my transition journey.
Massage, physiotherapy, special dental, dry needling & acupuncture, naturopathy and personal fitness trainers.
Each had their own speciality and each, supported, encouraged and helped me move through the stages of my treatment.