Cooking with Kirstie

Cooking with Kirstie

I am rather new to the blogging world, although I do feel that I have quite a lot of knowledge to impart to you, both from a culinary perspective and a healthy life-style guru approach.

It’s probably best for you to learn a bit about my background, so that you can trust that the information on the blogs is coming from a genuine source of knowledge and enthusiasm.

I have been a chef for longer than I really care to think about. Cooking for me, started as with most chefs, baking cakes from a young age with the matriarchal figures of the family. The love of baking then turned into the love of cooking things other than soft, airy sponges and crispy, chewy meringues, to anything that could be cooked.

At 17, I found myself working along side some of the en-vogue celebrity chefs of the time. From these masters I learnt my trade and my passion for cooking seemed to know no limits. Every book I read was threaded with a similar culinary theme. The London restaurant scene was exciting but demanded so much from young chefs. I raced up the ladder and by 21 years old I was head chef. After a stint of running the kitchen in a busy local restaurant, I quit the pressures that came with the restaurant scene, to tour the world as a rock n roll chef, cooking for some of the biggest artists in the worlds of rock and pop at that time.

It was an adventure for many reasons, not only are you given an “access all area back stage pass” - to an unfamiliar world where you had the best seats in the house, you also were paid to travel to places that ordinarily would have been out of my geographical and financial reach. As seductive as it was, the hours were long and the life-style could often be debouched, which eventually played havoc on my general sense of well-being. I knew that I had to make some rather radical life changes in my habits because I wasn’t feeling great. I was constantly tired, craving the highs and slumping from the down turn peaks. My mind was as confused as the British weather sometimes; I had a sunny disposition and other times I felt the internal greyness of a sullen sky. My physical body was aching, swollen and sneezing out for help.

During this time of unhealthy surrender, I had, as some would say, a spiritual culinary epiphany, which changed the way I saw, ate and prepared food. I became vegetarian over-night, choosing to eat foods that were organically grown, eliminating wheat from my diet, discovering juicing, whole grains and a more zen way of living.

I had morphed myself into a smokey champagne pringle. With this knew discovered inspiration I signed up for a nutrition course and quit the rock and roll life style habits. I found a rare daytime cooking job in a private members bar, which gave me the time to study and enjoy a more balanced life style.

Whilst learning about “western style” nutrition, I began to practice yoga, which then sparked my curiosity towards the eastern way of eating. Those from Indian and Asian cultures ate in accordance to their physical form to promote an overall sense of well-being. The principles behind Ayurveda and Macrobiotic are to encourage balance in life by eating in accordance to your body’s constitution. Our body’s constitution is defined by our shape, skin type and build. (This is a very lengthy subject so I will stop now and come back to it in later posts). I eventually travelled to India where I lived in an ashram. Mealtimes had a spiritual significance, from the way food was prepared, served and eaten. There was devotion in every step.

Since my epiphany, I was covered in a blanket of holistic common sense. The sort of sense that if taught at a young age would make healthy choices instinctive. The sad truth is that we live in a world where the buck talks and the buck chooses to advertise the crud of the bounty of foods that are available to us. In many ways, we are being programmed to make bad health choices from the subliminal messages we are exposed to as children. Luckily on the flip side we are being bombarded with research, knowledge and healthy inspiration, enabling us to reclaim our power to make healthy choices. Ultimately, we want to thrive and feel vital, so that we have the energy to live life to its’ fullest potential. To do so is not rocket science, as it simply starts with what we ingest. Although, it’s not always easy with a devil on one shoulder pushing you towards the high-energy high calorie foods, to give you that instant feeling of gratification.

Once again I have completely gone off piste, so back to my introductory story. In recent years I have been a personal chef to a high-flying mogul of media, whose dietary demands were following the current healthy trends and whose meals had to be highly nutritious to enable him to cope with his demanding lifestyle. It was then that I walked through the door marked “superfoods” and began to subtly squeeze them into his diet.

I do not by any means pretend to be an expert of superfoods though, they are so super that teams of scientist are constantly researching them.

From personal experience, these super edibles are really needed to help maintain mental and physical balance and to assist us through the daily demands and stresses of our modern day life style. Superfoods are not new ingredients, they have been around for thousands upon thousands of years, growing in India, South America’s and Africa, they have been used in their cultures forever. Yet they have only recently been brought to the west and are slowly filtering their way into the mainstream consciousness.

As well as blogging I am going to be writing recipes to help you to produce easy and tasty ways to include these highly nutritious foods into your diet. These foods are not just super though, they are also so interesting once you study up on them. The benefits are amazing and I feel excited to be a “superfood” messenger.

I will be drawing on the knowledge from the lovely team here at Naturya to bring you up to date with the benefits of superfoods; current healthy life style trends and I will throw in some of my own inspiration in the hope of helping you on your journey to health.