The day I arrived into this world through my mothers womb I was concerned about two things, and two things only.
1 – How do you make these lung things work?
2 – Where’s the food at?
I have been in love with food since I can remember.
It was a slow and beautiful love, starting with milk, oh milk! and my hunger was insatiable. As I grew I wanted more – hello solids – and soon enough Mum was feeding me nasty looking, gooey green stuff.
“Anabela, I know what a plane is, you’re fooling no one but yourself”
I was raised in a family who believed that food was the spine of our daily structure. It wasn’t just this thing you “had to do”, it was revered and sacred. My mum would always remind us of how lucky we were to have food on our table and its importance was one to never mess with. And believe me, if you tried, the faithful wooden spoon would make an appearance.
By the age of 4 1/2 I started school, and hey, look at that, something else constructed around taking time out to eat. Mind you I loved learning, but let’s be real, I spent most of my classes dreaming about little lunch and big lunch (recess and lunch, whatever floats your boat) I learnt that other people have different types of food in their homes (sushi?! what is this sorcery?!) and soon enough, I was introduced to my first example of currency (I’ll give you my packet of chips for your roll-up?) Time passed and now I was in High School and the making of food was left up to me. I am proud to say I learnt how to make 3 things by the age of 11!
2 minute noodles (just add water!)
2 minute pizza (add it to the microwave!)
and a meat pie (microwave you legend)
What a chef in the kitchen I was!!! (My love for cooking grew soon after these days!)
The rest of my life proceeded very much like this. I would design my days around my meals and what I wanted to eat and I would go out of my way to try certain cafe’s and foods I had seen online – regardless of whether it was deemed “healthy” or not, but I managed to find a “balance” (Acai bowls one day, Nutella doughnuts the next) People who found out I was a dancer would assume that I didn’t eat much and I dared them to take me out for a meal.
I’ve never been concerned at all about any particular diets (I still am not). Besides now being strictly gluten and dairy (wahh) free I love trying everything from vegan meals, vegetarian meals, paleo based meals, plant-based meals and all types of cuisine from around the world. I LOVE food and food loves me back and I genuinely get excited when I go to sleep and think about what I am going to eat the following day.
I started this blog because I am so passionate about the link between food and well-being. I am also passionate about joy and the joy that food can bring! Like the happiness and laughter that comes when you go out to dinner with friends. Or when you enjoy a night at home and order some Thai and watch Netflix. Or what about when you’re “SO full” but can still always make room for dessert, like a warm chocolate brownie that melts in your mouth. Or when you can Instagram a good old Seafood platter by the beach.
… honestly, if your mouth is not watering then who even are you?
What changed my understanding on food and eating truly healthy* food (*food that makes YOUR individual body feel strong, nourished and happy) was when I started to feel weak and un-well due to eating the gluten and dairy that un-aware to me, I shouldn’t have been eating. It was a shock to me, food who had always been my best friend was now acting all shady and stressing a sister out. Food is fuel and without it wouldn’t be able to be the best version of myself that can work (and physically survive) in the dance industry. I like feeling strong and powerful and not getting dizzy after one move. And don’t get me wrong, I also look after my external body too. I have nothing against someone wanting to lose a little bit of weight and tone up and build muscle. But if you want to lose weight, do it right and go to the gym, take up boxing, join a Pilates class etc! And ask yourself, do I really need to be losing weight? or is it my perception of what is deemed “beautiful” that is making me think so? All I can say is thank the heavens that Instagram wasn’t around when Marilyn Monroe was kicking it in the 50’s.
As someone who blogs about food that nourishes your mind and spirit and keeps your gut nice and happy you would think that I would believe that the worst thing ever would be to eat junk/overly processed food!
You want to know what the worst thing is?
Not eating at all.
I truly believe that if you lose your appetite for food, then a part of you, has inadvertently, lost its appetite for life. A certain kind of sadness must be present in your heart, one that revolves around not accepting yourself for who you truly are and disliking of the self, the beautiful and perfect divine gift of self that you are. And oh my god, you are PERFECT, every little inch of you is a miracle because there is literally no one like you in this world!! Can you truly absorb that knowing? That you are the rarest thing that exists? How can you possibly believe something is wrong with you if you are literally one of a kind?
I worry when I see young girls rapidly dropping weight. When you’re not eating, you don’t look skinny. I know plenty of skinny girls who eat loads and keep the weight off because it’s their natural body build. No, it’s not skinny – it’s heart breakingly unwell.
Imagine your body as a car that you need to get from A to B.
When you eat healthy your car is serviced, clean on the inside, washed on the outside & smelling good.
When you eat junk food your car is low on petrol, there’s empty bottles of water everywhere and you’ve been driving with your engine light on for 6 months. Not to mention someone wrote “wash me” on your back window. But hey, it’s still going!
But when you don’t eat? Eventually there’s no car left to drive.
I really love food, and every day I wake up excited to see what I will get to create or taste that day. If you are reading this, it’s because you resonate with me and what I believe in. Either that, or something much bigger than you, me… all of us, has guided you to this page for a reason. I hope your life is filled with so many memories that involve laughing, surrounded by friends and family at the dinner table eating and sharing in the most mouth-watering and exquisite food. Having a meal cooked for you by someone you love and doing it in return for them. Going to the farmers markets, smelling the fruit and vegetables and falling in love with food all over again.
You know that saying “Nothing tastes better than feeling skinny” ? Well I call Bull Shit.
Whoever made that up has clearly never had Pizza for breakfast.