How food 'healed' Natasha Diddee, the blogger who lost her stomach to a tumour

Natasha Diddee calls herself The Gutless Foodie on Instagram as she lost her stomach to tumour and bleeding ulcers but her love for food never died. Read her inspiring story.

“Food can heal,” says chef, food blogger and author Natasha Diddee, who lost her stomach to a tumour. “Life is not easy without a stomach and Natasha’s diet is monitored by her doctor. She eats approximately 6-7 meals a day” she told in an interview to a website. The Gutless Foodie, which is where you need to head because Natasha posts healthy and easy to make recipes along with truly gorgeous pictures, which are nothing short of a gastronomical delight. Her account has more than 48.3K followers and once you see it, we are sure you’ll be tempted (by her food photography) to follow it too. We got in touch with Natasha to ask about her journey, and here are some excerpts from the interview:

1. You call yourself the ‘Gutless Foodie’. Do tell our readers a little about your personal health journey.

Due to stress and over-medication by negligent doctors, I lost my entire stomach to two bleeding ulcers and a tumor growing around my stomach. It was only because of Dr Suryabhan Bhalerao that I got diagnosed correctly, and he saved my life by performing surgery. I saw my parents and partner age 10 years in a matter of two months (while she was sick) and it was then that I decided that even though I will die one day, I will not let this take me. I willed myself to get better. I’ve stopped wishing and started willing.

Natasha with Dr Suryabhan Bhalerao (Photo Credit: Natasha Diddee)

2. When did you discover your love for food? Who is your inspiration? 

I guess my father Dr Ravindra Diddee is to blame for my complete obsession with food. My mother Neelam, however, was instrumental in getting me interested in the cooking aspect. She urged me to become a trained chef and I cannot thank her enough. I am inspired by creativity.

That Throwback Celebratory Thali Lunch – Done My papa @ravindradiddee had a birthday. We spoil him rotten at every chance we get but that day, we decided to spoil him rottener Whilst I’m enjoying Santorini, I’m missing spending the festive season with my parents & was remembering this beautiful day & food. Cherish EVERY moment. Happy Diwali to all celebrating Clockwise: 1. Those Whole wheat pooris /deep fried flatbreads 2. Those Rassewaale Aloo/Potato Curry We tempered oil with cumin seeds, ginger-garlic pastes & onions. We added in tomato puree, red chilli powder, turmeric powder & that garam masala powder that my mamma @neelamdiddee makes. We added in boiled, coarsely mashed potatoes & fresh coriander. Once mixed well, we added in lots of hot water & simmered on low flame till the curry got a little thickish. 3. That Dal Makhani /Black gram I had made this a couple days ago & he saw it on Instagram. He then insisted I make it for his birthday thali. 4. That Aamras /Mango Pulp Made from our farm’s mangoes 5. That Salad : Farm cucumbers with salt, chilli powder & lime 6. That Sevaiyan / Brown Vermicelli @neelamdiddee made this as it’s my papa’s favourite & we were spoiling him She fried pre-roasted brown vermicelli in ghee. She poured in a thin sugar syrup into it and cooked till the water dried up. She added in a mix of vanilla essence, rose water and powdered green cardamom. She topped with fried almonds and raisins. I’m telling you we were like beached whales in a food coma . . #festivefood #indianfestival #indianfeast #realindianfood #indiancurry #indiancuisine #gharkakhana #spicyfood #fullmeal #cookedwithlove #easyrecipe #recipeoftheday #easycooking #connectedtoroots #homecooking #indianmeal #homechef #simplefood #cookingwithlove #poori #indianthali #dal #daal #thali #kitchenstories #desiblogger #cookingfromscratch #thursdaymorning #thursdaymotivation #thursdaymood

A post shared by Natasha Diddee © (@thegutlessfoodie) on

3) Your Instagram account looks picture perfect. Are you invested in this full-time?

 Thank you but no. There’s so much more to life than social media. I started Instagramming to spread awareness of food and how it can heal us. My feed @thegutlessfoodie is only about food I cook and eat or feed my family and friends with. It’s just everyday food made interesting.
I have another feed called @thegutlessfoodieeatsout – that’s for when I eat out at restaurants or meet fellow Instagrammers, when I travel. 

That Egg Masala – Done I love it when @beingbengt asks specifically for something. He is running the half marathon tomorrow & has been wanting to eat high protein meals . It’s been a crazy day because I found out that @crunchinthemunch is just lifting my posts & passing them off as their own. To make things worse, @instagram is asking ME to prove I have a copyright on these images & content I was in no mood to cook something elaborate, so I just egg curry’d up! I hard boiled eggs, but I shelled & halved. I tempered coconut oil with ginger-garlic pastes, onions, tomatoes & an egg curry spice mix (Brand: BON). Once cool, I ground into a super fine paste. I tempered coconut oil with mustard seeds & lots of curry leaves (reserved a few crisp curry leaves for garnish) & added in the smooth paste along with coconut milk & simmered. I topped the thick gravy with boiled egg halves & crispy curry leaves. So so yummy with freshly made whole wheat parathas. Best part, is that he said it was the perfect pre-run dinner. Ended my otherwise horrid day so beautifully #saturdaylove #indianfoodie #everydayfood #khaana #desi #creativefood #incredibleindia #comfortfoods #realfood #onmyplate #dailyfood #zomato #anda #indianfoodlovers #quickcooking #fortheloveoffood #londonfood #chefstable @netflix_in #indianfoodbloggers #shotononeplus @oneplus_india #masterchef #foodforthoughts #southindianfood #foodiesofinstagram #foodiesofindia #onepot #boiledeggs #eggsnthings #eggstravaganza #eggcellent

A post shared by Natasha Diddee © (@thegutlessfoodie) on

4) How have your past health issues changed your perspective towards food?

Five years ago, even when I was at my sickest, my partner Bengt insisted I cook. It bothered my parents and me at times because we thought he was being insensitive. Actually he realised way before us that when I cook, I’m so engrossed that I forgot the pain I was in and therefore didn’t take any painkillers!


Post surgery I had that A-Ha! moment. I realized that to me, cooking is akin to prayer. When I take off my footwear to pray or when I touch an ingredient, I arrest the sense of touch. When I look at the deity or at the ingredient, I arrest (capture) the sense of sight. When I smell the incense burning or the smell of my food cooking, I arrest the sense of smell. When I hear prayers being chanted or when I hear the sound of food cooking, I arrest the sense of sound. And lastly when I eat the prasaad or the food I have cooked, I arrest the sense of taste. If all my five senses are arrested, isn’t that the highest form of prayer? That is why I cook.

From Left: Natasha, her partner Bengt, and her parents (Photo Credit: Natasha Diddee)


 5) What are your future plans?

Well everyone who knows me or knows of me expected me to write a cookbook. That was predictable. I decided why not do something different… so I did that, I wrote a fiction novel! It’s currently being edited and I hope to publish before Christmas!

Photo Credit: Natasha Diddee

In case anyone needs the obvious to be pointed out – guts isn’t what this fiercely self-sufficient lady lacks at all.

You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.