Traveler forced to go vegan after coconut leaves her with a bacterial infection launches restaurant

An Australian woman who was stricken with a bacterial infection after drinking a coconut on her honeymoon and being told to follow a plant-based diet to heal her gut has opened a whole-food restaurant in Bondi.

Samantha Cook, 34, married husband Stuart on November 7, 2015, before the couple took a year-long holiday together to celebrate and toured Europe and South America.

Midway through the exotic adventure, the couple booked themselves for a health retreat in Costa Rica, enjoying time by the pool, yoga, boot camps, and beach walks.

“Coincidentally, on my way home from one of our workouts, I decided to get a fresh coconut from a street vendor to cool me down,” Samantha told FEMAIL.

“This was the one thing I ate that day that was different from everyone else because we all had the same plans. I remember thinking it tasted a little funky, but not enough to keep my thirst from being quenched. After that I thought nothing of it until I ended up in the hospital.’

Samantha Cook, 34, married husband Stuart on November 7, 2015, before the couple took a year-long holiday together to celebrate, touring Europe and South America

Midway through the exotic adventure, the couple booked themselves for a health retreat in Costa Rica, enjoying time by the pool, yoga, boot camps and beach walks.

Midway through the exotic adventure, the couple booked themselves for a health retreat in Costa Rica, enjoying time by the pool, yoga, boot camps and beach walks.

The funky-tasting coconut was the likely cause of the infection she developed hours later, requiring urgent medical attention.

Samantha developed secondary complications with the muscles around her heart, and she was closely monitored by doctors at Clinica Biblica Hospital in San Jose for seven days.

But as the infection subsided a week later, the two powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics she was given cleared Samantha’s delicate stomach microbiome, making her very sensitive to different foods.

The funky-tasting coconut was the likely cause of the infection she developed hours later, requiring urgent medical attention

The funky-tasting coconut was the likely cause of the infection she developed hours later, requiring urgent medical attention

Samantha developed secondary complications with the muscles around her heart and she was closely monitored by doctors at Clinica Biblica Hospital in San Jose for seven days.

Samantha developed secondary complications with the muscles around her heart and she was closely monitored by doctors at Clinica Biblica Hospital in San Jose for seven days.

But as the infection subsided a week later, the two powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics she was given cleared Samantha's delicate stomach microbiome, making her very sensitive to different foods.

Samantha on a helicopter to be transported to the hospital

But as the infection subsided a week later, the two powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics she was given cleared Samantha’s delicate stomach microbiome, making her very sensitive to different foods.

“The doctor recommended that I go on a plant-based diet for the first month, then slowly start incorporating other foods into my diet by going vegetarian, and so on,” she said.

“Animal products require the stomach to work much harder and this wouldn’t help my stomach given the recent trauma it had just undergone.”

A side effect of the new diet — which Stuart also followed — was more energy, clear skin and no more bloating, something the couple could figure out.

A side effect of the new diet - which Stuart also followed - was more energy, clear skin and no more bloating, something the couple could find out.

A side effect of the new diet – which Stuart also followed – was more energy, clear skin and no more bloating, something the couple could find out.

Flave enabled customers to order boxes of fresh meals delivered to their door, all designed to be flavorful full-fledged products

Flave enabled customers to order boxes of fresh meals delivered to their door, all designed to be flavorful full-fledged products

“The idea for Flave was born out of frustration. We wanted great food that was good for the body and the planet,” she said of their ensuing business venture.

“This is our legacy game – we’re committed to our mission to bring billions of delicious plant-based foods.”

flavi hoped to launch its plant-based restaurant before Covid, but the pandemic forced it to flip and create a vegan meal delivery service instead.

With lockdowns and restrictions being eased, the Flave restaurant will finally open its doors on December 7 with all meals developed by celebrity chef Scott Findlay, taught under the vigilant guise of Gordon Ramsay and the chef for seven years. personal cook of Sir Paul McCartney.

Scott has also collaborated with everyone from Beyonce to Elton John, Madonna and Pink.

They were developed by renowned chef Scott Findlay (pictured left), who was taught under the watchful guise of Gordon Ramsay and was Sir Paul McCartney's personal cook for seven years.

They were developed by renowned chef Scott Findlay (pictured left), who was taught under the watchful guise of Gordon Ramsay and was Sir Paul McCartney’s personal cook for seven years.

“In these uncertain times, people wanted restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of their own homes.  So we switched to meal plan and ready meals and here we are today,

“In these uncertain times, people wanted restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of their own homes. So we switched to meal plan and ready meals and here we are today,” she said

But starting Tuesday, customers can try everything from the Spicy American Cauli Burger to the Italian Not-Meatball Salad, in person and on one of Bondi Beach's busiest streets.

But starting Tuesday, customers can try everything from the Spicy American Cauli Burger to the Italian Not-Meatball Salad, in person and on one of Bondi Beach’s busiest streets.

‘Flave was originally set up as a fast-casual restaurant, consisting of burgers and bowls. We had completed some branding workshops and developed a great menu – then the unexpected happened – a global health pandemic,” said Samantha.

“In these uncertain times, people wanted restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of their own homes. So we switched to meal plan and ready meals and here we are today.”

But starting Tuesday, customers can try everything from the Spicy American Cauli Burger to the Italian Not-Meatball Salad, in person and on one of Bondi Beach’s busiest streets.

Customers can learn more about the Flave dishes on their website.

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