I am so very often asked how I got into all this healthy stuff and I must say it was a natural inclination from the very first time I sprinkled a bowl of brown rice with gomashio! My sister-in-law took me to the first macrobiotic restaurant in Croatia, many years ago, 1992 to be precise. For the first time ever I had tofu, algaes, soya sauce and the aforementioned gomashio. I was especially taken by the dessert that followed – even though it was not the best tasting thing I had ever had – because considering where I come from, to hear that a cake was made without eggs, sugar or butter… I was like ‘Whaaaat?!”
I did find the whole concept mesmerising! I was destined to go back to it at some point in my life.
I moved to London in 1992 and my diet was in the form of cans of Diet Coke and extra large Snickers bars. Shocking I know, for the Miss Love you know now! Well, pennies were super tight and I ate the cheapest, most calorific things ever on many occasions as I only had one pound to have lunch with. I would also go for those ridiculously thick pizza slices that you can still see around London these days. I used to hang out on weekend s with a friend, and we would have five pounds to spend on a day out to central London, on our day off from being au pairs. We would buy travel cards, stop by Waitrose to buy a can of Diet Coke (it used to be only 19 cents!), head to Picadilly Circus, buy a one pound pizza slice and sit by Eros watching the world go by, thinking we have the best life ever!
Well, when you come from a shattered country and the small city you grew up in was the size of Picadilly, you can kind of understand why we felt like this.
But as time went on and my living standards increased, every time I would hear about a veggie place or be able to eat something that was labelled as healthy I was naturally drawn to it. When I saw the first juice bar in London I tripped! It was like a light bulb went on in my head, even though I was not totally aware of it at the time, that juicing and healthy eating would be my calling.
The main reason I first got into Ayurveda, then macrobiotics, then vegetarian, vegan and ultimately raw foods was the problems I started to have with my digestion.
Snickers and Diet Coke, plus low-fat, sugar loaded blueberry muffins, maple pecan pastries and Starbucks large lattes did their damage in combination with the post traumatic stress (you can read about this my war story!) I was suffering from, but never wanted to admit or dwell on.
I started to burp, badly (sorry for too much information!). At the tiniest amount of stress I would feel like someone had punched me to stomach. Something just didn’t feel right. And I’m proud to say that even though it was so many years ago and I would, like the majority of people, go to the doctor I discovered Ayurveda and something spoke to me about looking into foods to heal myself.
And this is how it all started. I read Ayurvedic books, had a practitioner that I went to see once a month and even though I was not cured – still to this day I suffer with the slowest digestion known to mankind and all kinds of discomfort if I eat something I shouldn’t – I was on the path to discovering many things.
I did cooking macrobiotic courses in Zagreb, I was cooking many Ayurvedic dishes and making my own ghee, all the way to self-learning the principles of raw food. After running my juice bars for almost 15 years now I wouldn’t say I have mastered anything but I have come a long, long way from Snickers and co!
Health, happiness, avocados and coconuts!