I (very recently) began this blog in order to have a creative outlet to authentically reflect not only how I like to cook, what I like to eat and where I enjoy traveling, but also to give me the space to continue to learn, evolve and adapt physically, mentally and spiritually to all of life’s exciting experiences.
I believe myself to be a compassionate, spiritual person. I am adventurous and love to explore and try new things, and travel as often as I can. I am curious about how different foods’ flavors and textures fit together, as well as being open to discovering what may help to increase my overall health and longevity.
I’ve never been keen to put a label on my ‘diet’. I am a huge lover of veggies, and strive to get as many different types of fruit and veg on my plate as possible over the course of the week – hence the name, Veggie Mental! I’m not a vegetarian – I eat fish. Although I don’t drink milk, I love cheese and making yogurt. I adore exploring and playing with different nut milks, juices, smoothies, raw, vegan and vegetarian food. I find the flavors, textures and colors of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian foods hypnotizing. I cannot live without Japanese food apparently. I love to develop recipes and blend those different flavors and textures – even if they would not usually be put together. Why not? Be bold, and have fun with your food experiments!
I have a few interesting health challenges, and I do my best to support myself naturally. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease, and take small amounts of Synthroid to help stimulate the thyroid. On having routine blood work done, it was also discovered I have a wheat allergy (discovered through blood antibody testing). Therefore, all the recipes on this blog are wheat-free. Avoiding wheat helps keep overall inflammation lower, and as a bonus, I also no longer suffer from digestive issues, and amazingly, my thyroid medication dose has been cut by more than half. I also have a rare skin condition, Brachioradial Pruritus – a neurogenic itch syndrome of the upper extremities, caused in my case, by cervical root nerve damage. This is a condition where the arm – often both arms – itch and prickle intensely – although it is not really an itch, but a confused pain signal from the brain. The brain interprets the pain as ‘itch’. I have had no success with any topical cream, which makes sense, since it is actually not a dermatitis-type condition. I have, though, had considerable success using Acupuncture. Again, though, avoiding foods known to cause inflammation is also helping – yet another reason to be obsessed with veggies!
I have found when researching, that there is so much information out there, it can become very confusing; what to accept, and what to pass on? Eat this, drink that … well, although I prefer to see the science behind the many changing theories on what works and what doesn’t, a mainly plant-based diet is what works for me, and that’s what I know for sure. Oh – and I’ve been an avid juicer for over 25 years, way before it became hip.
Outside of blogging, having recently given up my Orthopedic and Medical Massage practice, I enjoy trail running, hiking and riding my street bike. I have always been attracted to how the body moves and was an exercise instructor and personal trainer for many years. I am inquisitive by nature and see how the use of language can really affect your perspective on life. This is what initially led me to study Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) back in the 1990s, and to then continue my training to become an NLP Practitioner and Hypnotherapist back in 2010.
I admit to being a bit of a perfectionist – and am currently studying photography, with a view to, over time, improving the look of my recipes on screen! So, be curious and pop back from time to time to see how that is developing!
I have traveled to Jamaica, both the British and American Virgin Islands, Belize, Israel and Morocco, various countries in the Mediterranean, China, Singapore and India, as well as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, America and all over Europe. I was born in England, spent some of my childhood in Texas, moved back to the UK (living in both England and Wales) and have been living in Northern California for the past 18 years. You will no doubt see these many ethnic influences popping up throughout my recipes!
I cannot get enough of local foods when I travel, and if you are anything like me, when at home or abroad, you seek out different markets and ethnic stores and are happiest when you discover an ingredient you haven’t used before! I find it meditative and relaxing to create something interesting to eat, and I hope you do too! So – please stick around and enjoy your time in the kitchen!