General News

17 June, 2022

Mum’s quirky cooking heals many

PUTTING quirky into her cooking to heal the gut, mind and soul is Malanda local Jo Whitton, helping families across the world change up their diet for the better – without replacing every meal with kale.

By Ellie Fink

Malanda mum Jo Whitton has taken her “Quirky Cooking” and used it to help heal the gut and mind of her family and followers across the world.
Malanda mum Jo Whitton has taken her “Quirky Cooking” and used it to help heal the gut and mind of her family and followers across the world.

Her gut healing journey began 10 years ago, when Jo’s son Isaac was diagnosed with severe OCD, anxiety and depression and she knew she had to find ways to help him. 

Already researching diets due to her allergies, Jo dug deeper into the net trying to find ways to ease his mental health with everything leading back to gut health. 

“It just kept coming back to the importance of gut health, for good mental health and so we started the deep dive into that health around 2014,” she said. 

“Working out what to do to help my son, ended up being so beneficial for the whole family. 

“We ended up going on a gut healing protocol and working on really easy to digest whole foods that are very healing.” 

A year after Isaacs diagnosis and a few changes to what he was eating, his condition began to improve, and he was able to come off prescription medications. 

Jo became invested in the idea of gutting healing and knew she had to learn more and help others on their dietary journey. 

Her research helped her find the answers to the big questions in life like “what is good for me? What is healthy?” and soon learned the simplicity of the answer. 

“It came back to the fact that for thousands of years, humans have known how to eat and what to eat to heal and it’s only been in the last few generations that there has been a massive confusion over food and diets,” she said. 

“So, we went back to the basics of meats, veggies, fish, nuts, seed and eggs as well as learning to ferment and trying to find foods that are as close to nature as possible.” 

The Whitton family became happier, healthier and stronger with the recipes Jo would put together and friends began to ask her “when are you releasing a cookbook?”. 

Overwhelmed by the idea of creating a cookbook, Jo brushed the idea and kept to her private blog “Quirky Cooking”, where she shared what people called “very quirky cooking”. 

Then after striking a deal with popular brand Thermomix, that all changed. 

“I hadn’t really hit mainstream yet and I was working with Thermomix at the time in about 2014 and they decided they’d publish a cookbook for me,” she said. 

“Because a lot of my followers were using Thermomixers at the time, I had a lot of recipes using one. 

So, my first cookbook is essentially just a lot of Thermomix healthy recipes. “It ended up being an overnight bestseller selling over 100,000 copies to date.” 

And that’s when Jo accidentally created her humble business from her home in Malanda. 

“Quirky Cooking” became seminars, cooking classes, workshops, health events, business deals and became a staple in many households across the world. 

Jo described the journey as a massive one but a great one and reminds anyone who is going through a dietary change that it takes time, there will be challenges but your health will truly benefit. 

“People don’t change overnight and the small steps you take really add up,” she said.

“Swapping foods little by little is important and keeping the mindset of ‘if it isn’t from nature, it isn’t meant for my body to eat’. 

“Any little change can feel overwhelming, and I really love helping people figure out those simple steps that they can take to get the ball rolling – slowly and gently without all the guilt of missing out on the foods they love.” 

Now, Jo has released her third and favourite book so far “Simple, Healing Food” which focuses on meals that follow the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) protocol in a simple and inclusive way. 

Expressing her pride for new book, she hopes it can help families from all corners of life find ways to heal their gut and live a happier and more fulfilling life whilst not restricting themselves from life’s delicacies. 

To follow Jo’s health journey and to purchase her new book, visit


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