A Sheffield Hallam student and champion athlete who took control of her serious food allergies by radically changing her diet has set up a cake business to make life sweeter for allergy-sufferers, diabetics and vegans.
As a champion swimmer battling with Coeliac’s Disease and allergies to dairy, soy and gluten products, Charleh Dickinson turned to the Paleo Diet, known globally as the Caveman Diet because of its reliance on raw, natural foods.
“For years I competed in swimming, modern pentathlon, gymnastics and athletics. Diet was so important to my performance but my allergies restricted what I could eat,” said Charleh.
“On the Paleo diet all my symptoms disappeared and I could train harder, faster and longer. I really missed sweet things though, so I spent years researching and experimenting with cakes only containing naturally-occurring sugars and nothing artificial and began posting recipes on social media,” explained Charleh, 19.
“I gained a following, realised there was a gap in the food market for people like me and on starting my Food Marketing Management course at university I set up Designed2Eat and launched my first range of cakes that are free of dairy, wheat, gluten, egg, soy, and corn-at Doncaster Food Festival in March.”
Her cakes, sold online at www.designed2eat.co.u,k are Paleo, vegan, Coeliac and diabetics friendly and come in £1.70 snack size, £7 family size and a £4.60 assortment box. She is planning to make nine-inch celebration cakes.
“I eat all my own products. I now compete at skiing with SHUSnow, Sheffield Hallam’s ski/snowboard team, so I need to keep my energy levels up. I have my banana bread for breakfast, sweet coconut cake pre-workouts and my fudge brownies after meals as dessert. I have been making them myself but am moving production to a bakery in Sandbach from October so I can focus on uni.”