AWC graduate Jill Keyte releases new cookbook

Congratulations to Jill Keyte on the release of The Happy Hormone Cookbook, published by New Holland. Jill has done a few courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre and we’re thrilled for her! Meet Jill …

Why did you want to write this book?
I’m passionate about health, eating locally grown, fresh food and staying well naturally. I wanted to inform women how, by changing their diet, cooking fresh food, relieving stress and exercising, they can feel and look good and stay well. It was a journey I had been on and I wanted to share it.

What is the book about?
The book is fundamentally a cookbook – food secrets for a balanced life. It describes female hormone imbalance and provides tips on how to keep hormones in balance through food and lifestyle choices. It has over 80 recipes – from breakfast to dinner with snacks in between – how to make some of the ingredients, where to shop and lots of words of wisdom.

You’ve co-written the book; how did you divide up your co-author responsibilities?
I wrote the book with Nutritionist Chef, Emma Ellice-Flint. She provided the recipes. I tested many of them, provided some of my own recipes and edited all of them. We agreed the words of wisdom sections and shared the writing of these. I wrote the Introduction with her and made sure the whole book made sense adding additional information along the way and making sure all the nutrition information was easily understood.

What was the most challenging thing about writing the book?
The most challenging aspect was delivering it within the publisher’s timeframe of four months. There was a lot of work in choosing and testing the recipes before we determined what we would and wouldn’t include in the book.

What was the most rewarding thing?
The most rewarding aspect was the harmonious working relationship I had with Emma. We thought the same way, were usually on the same page and had a lot of fun cooking all the recipes for the photo shoot. It was a really creative experience.

How did you get your publishing deal?
Eighteen months ago I had started a business, The Vital You Australia, giving healthy cooking workshops and weekend retreats for wellness. I wanted to write a lifestyle e-book with Emma, to support our programmes and had started planning it.

The Manly Daily did a story on one of the workshops, Happy Hormones. A New Holland publisher read it, thought it would be a great idea for a book and approached me. I asked Emma if she was interested and the rest was history!

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