Living fast and coping with busy schedules, we often end up eating more of what’s convenient, rather than what's good for our bodies. We crave to please our taste buds, yet remain unaware of the health hazards that this style of eating might give us.
''The best diet is the one that combines two attributes: foods which contain all nutrients essential for our body functions and the ones that boost our mood.''
It is of most importance to practice balanced diet, to stay hydrated and reach for the right nutrients in order to stay healthy and full of energy. And our culinary expert Ayatana is now sharing her story on how she started her journey to healthy dining and revealing her tips to a balanced diet.
Meet Aleksandra, the founder of Ayatana
Your interest in health goes back to your roots. When did you realize you want to become a gourmet expert and why?
It came naturally and it wasn't strategically planned per se. I've always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, either cooking or baking. Some of my first memories from the time I was very young are actually from the kitchen and I suppose I've been always interested in food. I started discovering plant-based food when I was faced with my health problems in my mid-twenties. This was a breaking point and from there onwards, everything changed in my life. I started focusing more on food in sense not just as something we eat but also as something that really fulfills our bodies. I decided to learn from the best, did my first online course and later onsite experience with Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy team and got a license from this amazing culinary school. Then I combined this with my love for cooking and voila, it happened.
What do you want to communicate with the chosen branch of culinary?
My intentions are not transforming people into vegans or trying to convince them that only plant-based lifestyle is the one that matters. I’d really like to introduce a plant-based food and a plant-based lifestyle as something interesting, different and really tasteful. I strongly believe that my role is in teaching people how to prepare nutritious, colorful, simple and fast plan-based plates. I thrive when I can show people how to add more vegetables and fruits in their diets. If someone decides to go vegan, great, if not that's ok too. Of course, I think as a society we have to pay more attention to the environment and protect animals. I guess once you start paying more attention to how and what you eat, this sensitivity organically enters your life without you even noticing it sometimes.
For me, a balanced diet is definitely structured from all the nutrients our bodies need to function well: proteins, vegetables, fruit, carbs, and fat. Among these, I always tend to choose wholesome ingredients which fill my body with vitamins, minerals, fibers & everything my body needs to stay strong and alive. I strongly believe the best diet is the one that combines two parts: getting all the needed nutrients in our bodies and the one that makes us feel good. This is why I never feel bad or guilty after eating a plant-based cake or some comfort food.
How do you integrate drinking water into your daily routine?
I find summer time much easier to drink water or rather I get reminded to drink more water due to higher temperatures. Drinking enough did not come naturally for me to be honest, I had to learn how to "track" thirstiness. What really helped me was the moment I started adding "extras" to my warm water, like lemon, ginger, turmeric, different herbs, and spices. Especially now in winter months. Besides, I always make sure I have my favorite Mismatch Graphite bottle with me all the time. Yes, I have more than one, but I keep this one at the hand's reach always :)