“Last week, I found out my husband had a secret Instagram account.”
Rachael Sullivan began a now-viral TikTok video with this phrase, after Instagram suggested she follow her husband, Tom Sullivan, on the app.
“It was on the ‘people you may know’ section,” Rachael told TODAY Food. “It said ‘Tom Sullivan @MealsSheEats,’ and I was like, ‘Who is this ‘she’?'”
When she clicked on photos in the account, Rachael said she was touched. Each image in Tom’s feed contained photos and recipes of food he’s been cooking her for the last year to help regulate her hormones.
“I went to the doctor for a checkup and my hormone levels came back all whacked out and I had cysts near my ovaries,” Rachael explained. “That’s when I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. They recommend you do a gluten- and dairy-free diet, and Tom just went full force into it.”
Tom, who has been an enthusiastic home cook for the last 11 years, said he started his Instagram account as a way to save a record of the recipes he cooks, since often he reads through a few different recipes then combines them with his own cooking style to create the final dish.
“I have all these recipes everywhere,” said Tom. “An Instagram page just seemed like an easy place to organize them. It was for when Rachael would say, ‘Hey, what was that meal you made here,’ or when friends would ask what Rachael posted on her Instagram and ask for the recipe.”
Tom’s recipes all take inspiration from the book “Woman Code” by Alyssa Viti, which contains a list of foods women should eat during each part of their menstrual cycle to naturally regulate their hormones. Whether it’s black-eyed peas during the luteal phase or lamb while ovulating, Tom follows the list of foods and cooks meals designed to help Rachael feel her best.
“Tom knows more about menstrual cycles than most women do,” Rachael joked. “And, I’m six months regulated right now, which is super exciting.”
The Sullivans, who moved from Chicago, Illinois to North Carolina last year, say they’re hoping to improve their chances of conceiving, and joked that if Rachael becomes pregnant, Tom will most likely find a book about the best foods for pregnant women and adjust his cooking style accordingly.
In the meantime, Tom’s sweet way of caring for his wife of four years has also gone viral. His Instagram account went from 69 followers to over 6,000 in the days after Rachael shared her story on TikTok.
For now, the couple said they will continue eating “Woman Code”-style meals, focusing on seasonal foods from their local farmers market and making go-to dishes like roasted sheet pan vegetables and “bowls” filled with whatever ingredients Viti recommends for Rachael’s particular phase in her cycle.
“I literally love this man so much,” Rachael says at the end of her TikTok. “And there’s nothing I want more in life than to just have his babies.”