• Optimal Lifestyle

My cooking journey so far...

I’ve always enjoyed food. In fact as a child whenever I walked in the kitchen my mother would greet me with the phrase “hungry again, baby bird?”

Cooking was a far later, although (on the whole) equally joyous discovery!

I turned vegetarian as an awkward teen, threatening to for a few years and being told I could cook for myself if I did..... I ultimately timed it for lent in the year of my A levels figuring my religious mother would neither argue nor insist I did the cooking as I needed no more distractions from my studies...... so a lot of nut roast was consumed!

Fast forward a few years and the first time I really cooked was living with my then Italian boyfriend (poor thing!) and my stubbornness to prove myself kicked in. I took to Italian cookery well, vegetarian options were plentiful (although I was eating some meat again by then) and the generally straightforward recipes with few but delicious, fresh ingredients were, and still are, a pleasure to prepare and share.

I’ve been fortunate to have lived in Germany, Italy and China for a total of 5 years, experiencing a variety of cultures and cuisines. I’ve never been shy to try something new and was brought up to eat what was put in front of me and never to take it for granted. As a result I hope you find an interesting variety of recipes included here.... something to please everyone hopefully.

Food is ultimately our fuel. Day to day life demands a lot from our bodies, so I believe it is important to listen to them, to eat and drink what they need to perform and recover.

Preparing food and eating should be an enjoyable experience. Eating freshly prepared and locally sourced food as much as possible is obviously most beneficial to our bodies and our environments....but sometimes we all grab the nearest sweet treat or fast food option, we are all human after all! Don’t beat yourself up about it. I remember a time when I was training as a teacher and my boys were about 18 months old.... Dylan decided to do an impression of me preparing dinner - he grabbed a Tupperware from the cupboard, pretended to stab it with a fork and place it in an imaginary microwave.... the shame. That moment made me redefine my priorities anyway!

I’m going to be uploading some of mine and my boys’ favourite meals and snack options and the odd idea for our canine friends. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to comment and share.

Here’s to some homemade plates of happiness 😊

Buon appetito 👩‍🍳

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