I believe that taking a conscious approach to eating is crucial in today's crazy food world. Becoming what I call a Conscious Eater begins with a change in mindset. Eating consciously doesn’t mean to count calories or to dwell on proteins, carbs and fats, it simply means to eat with awareness, knowing what we are eating, why we are eating it, where it comes from and more importantly how it will make us feel.
Since we can't rely on the government and food companies to provide the safest and cleanest food possible, becoming a conscious eater requires us to stop eating unconsciously whatever is given to us, and to start questioning the source and quality of the food we choose to put in our body.
The basic strategy of my approach to nutrition is to take on a plant-powered foodstyle. This means consuming primarily unprocessed whole-foods that come from nature, not a factory. It focuses mostly on plants, including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, superfoods, and healthy fats; includes some grains and legumes, and may include some clean animal protein, if any.
What follows is that conscious eating is very much about quality; choosing organic produce and grass-fed or pasture-raised meats is essential to get the cleanest food possible and avoid harmful substances such as genetically modified organisms, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and food additives.
Basically, it boils down to avoiding processed, industrialised and chemicalised fake-foods in favour of the foods that we humans have been eating for a very long time in their most natural state: real food, mostly plants.
Being a conscious eater is not about being a health purist, it isn’t a fad diet, it isn’t about deprivation or starvation, it's instead a way of life where every food choice is made with mindful awareness. Eating consciously allows us to establish the right balance of healthy to unhealthy food, and flexibility to adapt, both crucial to maintain our sanity. Overtime, it creates a deeper understanding of one's body, where eating becomes intuitive and we eat according to our body's needs.
Personally, I eat mostly from the plant world, both raw and cooked, with occasional clean and happy meat or fish. Eating healthy doesn't mean no fun, I eat whatever I want as long as it comes from mother nature. After experimenting with raw foodism and vegetarianism I found that this way of eating is what works best for me. Overtime, I have found my own healthy balance, so having the occasional unhealthy food doesn’t hurt me. After all, it's not what we eat some of the time that makes us healthy, its what we eat most of the time.
Since all foods have a specific function which can be medicine or poison, what we eat really matters because it has the power to hinder or heal our body. What we eat has a direct impact in how we look and feel. While processed foods make us fat, sick and tired, whole plant foods nourish and nurture us, providing our body the essential nutrients and minerals that are so critical to good health, making us look and feel at our best.
We can benefit from this goodness by embracing all the foods nature has to offer by using them to make nutritious smoothies, decadent desserts, tasty treats, and hearty meals. As eating is very individualistic and each person has his own dietary preference, I teach omnivores, vegetarians and vegans to apply a conscious plant-powered diet to their own unique nutritional style. My mission is to share how fun, easy and delicious healthy food is.
Cooking is such a multi-sensorial experience that I have come to think of it as the ultimate form of art. My kitchen is like an artist studio, filled with tools and materials. Only my materials are ingredients that I experiment with through colour, texture, smell, sound and taste; oh, and I use knives instead of brushes. Everything then comes together through the fascinating alchemy of cooking and ultimately ends in a tasty and nourishing meal.
Cooking is the most precious resource. Learn how to cook and you will be able to nourish yourself, and your loved ones, for a lifetime.
Cooking can be daunting at first, but I assure you that practice and persistence will get you there. When I started I had no idea what I was doing, but eventually I got better and better. I am not a trained chef and everything I know I learnt by myself after many culinary experiments and surely many failed attempts.
I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen, alter the recipes to suit your taste and experiment with different recipes until you are comfortable cooking without them. Remember that it's not about perfection, it's about creation and progress. Get messy and have fun with it.
I believe that healthy food should nourish the body but also be great-tasting and very enjoyable. My recipes are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, simple to make, nutritious and delicious. They are free of gluten, refined sugar, flour and processed ingredients. I often design my recipes with a purpose and name them after the main function they fulfil.
Since eating is very personal thing, there is a wide variety of recipes that will suit different speciality diets, omnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike; and they can easily be adapted to your preferences. You will find recipes inspired by different cuisines, and specially influenced by my Spanish and Persian roots. I use a variety of vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, spices and fresh herbs for their healing properties and to add depth and flavour to the simplest of recipes.
Being healthy goes way beyond the plate. Food is the nourishment for the body, which is a secondary source of energy. Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity and spiritual awareness are essential pieces of the health puzzle. These non-food sources of nourishment are what really feed your soul. When all these areas of your life are in balance, they contribute to a deeper sense of nourishment and fulfilment.
Having a positive attitude fosters a healthy life and it will naturally attract more positive energy around you. Recharging your mind and body through meditation, exercise and sleep are other important pieces of the puzzle. Getting adequate sleep and physical activity will keep you active, energised, slim and lean.
Quieting the mind through meditation cultivates a greater appreciation for life, a deeper sense of inner happiness, and will boost your brain power. In today’s stressed out and digitally-dependant life, it is important to cultivate meditation and mindfulness as a way to stay present and enjoy every moment of your life.
Self Care is about prioritising your wellbeing. It is crucial to understand that you must make time for yourself, to do more of the things you love, things that make you feel good. Taking time to do this for yourself will make you feel great and will boost your natural energy so you can feel more confident and perform better in your daily life, while doing more for those around you.
Remember that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first, just as the security tape on flights reminds us “Put your own oxygen mask on, then assist others”.