HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The Full Story
Ever since I was little I have been passionate about cooking – actually, allow me to re-phrase. Ever since I was little I have been passionate about eating! I have loved food for as long as I can remember. My mother, however, was not passionate about cooking or being in the kitchen at all really and so it was me, who at a very young age donned the apron and got cooking!
Now, this was looong before the internet, so my inspiration came from a variety of sources. My Dad predominantly, who, despite amazing natural cooking talent, rarely made an appearance in the home kitchen - mostly due to being busy with clever things like opening delicatessens, cafes, restaurants and the like. When dad got cooking he would concoct dishes out of seemingly nothing to create the most memorable dishes. (Ironically, he usually couldn’t remember what he put in those dishes and so I don’t think any one of these amazing dishes were never made more than once!) My other sources of inspiration were my Greek relatives on Dad’s side of the family, his sister Alex especially, who remains a constant source of culinary inspiration to this day. And cookbooks. So. Many. Cookbooks! When other kids were coming home from the library with Dr. Suess and Mem Fox, I was bringing home big heavy Margaret Fulton’s and lovely glossy Women’s Weekly cookbooks. My favourite to this day still being the children’s party cake book. To me that was better than any colourful kid’s storybook!
Being a kid it was sweets that were usually in favour. I still remember seeing a photo of a chocolate éclair and being completely in awe. I made them the very next day. I think I was nine! Fast forward to my teens and all this sweet stuff was starting to have an effect on my erm… shape. It suddenly became apparent as my teen years began that I was going to have to change the way I ate – and therefore cooked. And I did. Dramatically.
My the time I was 15 I was living on raw vegetables and little else. A series of eating disorders followed which not only killed my love of food. They had put me at war with food. Actually I was at war with myself. The cookbooks had been replaced with weight loss guides. I carried my calorie counter handbook with me everywhere. I was angry. I was depressed. And was actually scared of food!
I (very) slowly was able to turn this around my educating myself better and still remember telling my careers counsellor that; I just wanted to help girls with eating disorders get better.” (It never occurred to me that this could happen to boys too!) And so the quest for knowledge about proper healthy eating began… I studied at Consumer Science at uni … which was certainly helpful from a technical perspective but it wasn’t until I started to travel that I really started to see the light… My travels began in London, where things weren’t that difference to home. Media portraying painfully thin models whilst pedalling “diet this” and “99% fat free” that. But it wasn’t until I reached southern Eurpoe that I started to notice a difference in attitudes… And in myself.
My travels took me pretty far south, From Italy, to Greece, to Egypt and onto India. .. and then back to the less travelled Aegean Islands of Greece. Places where I was no longer have these body images thrust in front of me. Places where people ate food from the land, from local sources. Places where “Supermarkets” and therefore processed packaged food hardly existed. It was during the last couple of years of my travels through these so called “uncivilised” places that I found inner peace that I had never known before. I was truly happy. I ate when I was hungry, I drank what I wanted when I felt like it. And I was in the best shape of my life! I found a photo of myself, standing in the vegetable garden of a house I was staying at in Ikaria, Greece. I’m pretty sure that’s the closest I have ever been to looking like a supermodel and SO healthy. In my mind, body and soul. J
Sure coming back to reality after a long trip away like was a bit of a shock. I found myself shaking my head constantly during supermarket visits and often biting my tounge to stop myself yelling at people with their trolleys full of Diet packaged foods, Lemon Detox Kits, etc etc. Instead Ichose to get my apron back on and get cooking. And use this wonderful thing called the interent to spread my message to anyone who wants to listen.
We don’t have to be at war with ourselves anymore. Food is a beautiful thing. We just need to go back to basics. We don’t necessarily need to “Go Paleo” or “Go Vegan”. It is my belief that we just need to be sensible. I read this quote the other day and it really resonated with me:
Just love your body by nurturing it with great food and will nurture you right back!
This collection of recipes has been developed with all of this in mind. They are a combination of my passion for great flavours (first and foremost!) as well as this focus on giving our bodies what it needs to nuture it, protect it from disease, and keep you feeling balanced and happy.
It’s time to stop the deprivation and enjoy the celebration that is food!
It’s time to start living delicious!~