As an only daughter, I was born and raised in the countryside of SP, in Limeira. Most of my childhood was spent playing around in the farm my family had, always in contact with animals and with nature. I spent countless hours exploring, moving, walking barefoot, climbing trees, eating oranges directly from the tree and chewing on sugar cane; I particularly loved to harvest corn and mounting horses, which were my greatest passion!
That was my life until I was 15, half urban and half rural. I also used to have a lot of family time; I just loved spending time with my parents, cousins and uncles. As your typical Italian family we would have lots of (and loud!) conversation, food and fun (at least for the kids)! As I got older, and mostly throughout my teen years and early adulthood, I mostly shifted towards a more urban life.
My first experience abroad came when I was 16, which was when I lived in a university in Canada for about a month to do an English course. The following year I moved to São Paulo, where I graduated in Business Administration – my first opportunity to discover a new place (something that would happen again and again in my life). At the same time it happened that I had my first panic attack, something that would haunt me for about 12 years.
I did my first Yoga class at age 18, and the philosophy of it motivated me to stop consuming red meat and chicken – I would later discover the great gift that this was for my health. However, given that I still didn’t have the amount of information on health and nutrition that I currently have, I ended up compensating this with the increased consumption of gluten, dairy products and processed foods in general; this ended up bringing effects that I would feel later on in life.
My real journey with food and health began in 2014, when I started to suffer from colitis and severe intestinal pain, which I later discovered was due to being intolerant of milk and dairy products. I consider this discovery the second gift I received, because it was from then on that I decided to really change and start looking for alternatives to my health!
My plan at the time was to start with developing a physical exercise routine and creating better eating habits; so I hired a personal trainer, started running and cycling (which eventually became a great passion of mine!). At the same time, I began consulting with a nutritionist who helped me reverse a scenario of excess fat, lack of energy and poor eating habits.
For nearly two years I maintained a fairly balanced diet, having eliminated milk, gluten, processed food, refined sugar, and fast food entirely from my life. Once I overcame my cravings for these kinds of foods I was able to never again consume any of them and, as a result, I saw my health take a huge leap !!
In 2015 there were several important changes in my life: I left my job, got married and moved to Colombia, making a life in Bogotá; and the latter was a life-changing event to me. In 2016 I was certified as a Health Coach with an American institute called IIN; at the time, it had been about two years that I had been eating much better, creating a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, but I was still suffering from panic and anxiety attacks, a great sense of immediacy, and a belief that things had to happen in my own way..
I went through many years demonstrating this kind of behavior (basically throughout my whole life!), but after 1. getting married, 2. changing countries, and 3. living in a reality which was totally different from the one in which I was raised, it was no longer sustainable and acceptable to lead my life in that way.
At the end of 2016 we moved again, this time to Singapore, on the other side of the world! When we arrived we were scared! We were surrounded by a culture and people that were totally different from what we had experienced so far in our lives; and the process of adapting to all this, together with its ups and downs, took little over a year. If anything, my time in Asia taught me that barriers and preconceptions only exist in our mind, we are all one people. Yes, we may have different customs and ways of living and experiencing life, but this is the beauty about it!
Not just focused in food, my journey was also a mental and spiritual one. It was in Singapore that I threw myself headlong into yoga, started practicing daily many of the modalities that exist, until I discovered the Ashtanga method. It is, without room for doubt, the one which fascinates me the most for the physical and mental challenges that come with its practice, and for the discipline it instills.
Furthermore, Singapore was also where I made the decision to stop taking the same panic attack medicine that followed me for so many years, and it was where I looked for newer ways to clean up my diet even more (I had not eaten meat for more than 10 years, I had removed gluten, lactose, refined and flours, but I still felt that my body was not responding at its most natural and healthy state).
After my certification as a Health Coaching, I ventured into a raw food course in Bali (at a school called The Seeds of Life). I grew up in a family that always enjoyed cooking, but my cooking practice started when I moved out of Brazil. Taking this course changed the direction of my life, it was so much more than learning how to handle raw food, it was a lesson in life, and a new world opened up for me!
Coming back from the course, my diet was still packed with a lot of animal foods (eggs, fish and seafood), and I made the decision, to stop and try to experience a really clean diet, fully plant based and without any animal-derived products; which basically meant consuming natural, living foods, increasing my intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, good fats and some grains.
My journey carried on throughout this year as well (2018 – as I am 31 years old) when, with the objective of healing my thyroid (I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 25 years old), I went through a very intense detoxification process that lasted 5 months, in which my food intake was basically restricted to fruits and vegetables (no nuts, seeds and grains). It was a process that took me out of the comfort zone, and opened me to understand the real power of foods; nowadays, different from what all doctors had told me was possible, my thyroid is working again without the help of medicine.
This journey in food and in search of a better lifestyle has opened the doors for me to listen to my body, for self-knowledge, for spirituality and even for finding my purpose. It helped me to get in touch with what is really essential, it taught me to be present, to reduce my level of expectations towards things, and to look for ways I could really contribute.
My desire is to share this knowledge onwards, and to encourage people from all over to enter in this journey so that they can understand that the way we eat can change our lives and the way we behave but, even more importantly, it can change the whole world.
I am very happy with your visit here on the blog! I hope I can contribute in some way to your food, wellness and mental / spiritual journey!