Love Food, Live Healthy is a healthy cookbook ideal for those of us who really enjoy our food and want to eat consciously without compromising on flavour. It contains over 100 recipes, is packed with lots of practical cooking and healthy eating tips and is designed for cooks of all skill levels.
Why I wrote Love Food, Live Healthy
I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I’ve been on a diet most of my life and have been fat, really fat, thin and too thin. I know what it’s like to be bombarded with all kinds of well intended advice, expert or otherwise from people who haven’t been there. I have been there, and my book contains all the lessons I learnt and recipes for food I ate on my journey to losing 45 kilos and keeping it off.
Through my own experience of failed dieting and fad eating I have learnt that good health, reaching and keeping a stable weight all begins with (re)learning to cook. Re-learning all the things our grandparents knew about food and eating, and took for granted. Appreciating ingredients, learning how to mix them and how they complement each other. I believe that it’s about going back to basics, making contact again with our food environment, listening to, and understanding what our body is, and always has been telling us.
Whether you want to lose 3 or 30kgs this book can help. If it’s just a little help organizing your kitchen you need or some ideas to build in healthy eating to your daily routine, my book is a helpful source of practical tips. If it’s recipes you need, my book is packed with them. Recipes which have been tried and tested, not only by me, but by my clients over the years who I have taught to cook.
My struggle with weight and love/hate relationship with food began as a young child. Little did I know that an innocent attempt to join in with my mum on one of her diets would be the start of the most difficult journey of my life.
Through childhood the weight crept on, as a teenager and at university I really got into dieting and became an expert in the latest ‘healthy’ eating fad, I was all eager to believe the unrealistic weight loss claims.
After graduation I went to Portugal and then London where I worked in marketing for 4 and 5 star hotels. Almost every day I ate lavish lunches, went to cocktail parties and dined out on the best food – it was my job after all. At home I’d secretly binge on trashy take-out food.
I was in my mid twenties and shopping for clothes in plus size stores while my friends went to trendy boutiques. I was always on a diet, but kept putting on weight. I was desperate. It was then a work colleague told me about diet pills, which were actually amphetamines, prescribed by a “doctor” in a private clinic. They worked, I lost weight, 45kgs in fact. The sleepless nights, extreme irritability, heart palpitations, panic attacks were worth it.
It was 1997, I’d reached my goal weight and was ready to start my new life in Amsterdam. Only problem was I didn’t have my pills and had no idea how to stay thin, so, the weight came back, all of it, and more.
When I had my delicatessen I was surrounded every day with some of the best food the world has to offer, and I went home at night and ate some of the worst, in excess, and in secret. It was becoming weirder, somewhere along the line my relationship with food had developed a dark side and it scared me.
My rock bottom, that every addict talks about, hit me in January 2003, I was 120kgs and I couldn’t face another diet, mentally or physically. Enough was enough. I needed help.
Diagnosed with a binge eating disorder (B.E.D), I worked throuth the reasons I turned to food to deal with my emotions. After about 2 years of therapy I was able to safely lose and maintain my weight for the first time, and my weight has been more or less stable since 2005.
I no longer diet, I am no longer hungry, I enjoy my food and have developed a lifestyle including meals and recipes to keep myself healthy, happy and living the best life I can.