What’s my story and how did I get here?
I have always had a curiosity and passion for food and healthy living. I grew up in London amongst a family of Cypriot restaurateurs and was therefore exposed to delicious, wholesome meals for as long as I can remember. Being active as a kid was also heavily on my agenda as there wasn’t a sports team at school I wasn’t involved in. Contact rugby aged eight being one of my highlights!
But as the age of adolescence came about my healthy and active lifestyle began to fade, as typically boozing and fast food was much more appealing. And so since then (about aged fifteen) my journey has been a long one, full of confusion, frustrations, surprises, and lots of trial and error that eventually led to trial and success! Success being that I finally connected all the dots throughout this journey, where today, I confidently live a healthy lifestyle that suits me best, where I continue to feel nourished, happy and balanced from the inside out, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
During those ten years prior to now, I found myself sick multiple times a year, unhappy with my body image, full of acne, suffering digestive issues and fatigue, and later in my twenties crippled with anxiety and mild forms of depression. As a teenager I was reassured by others that these fluctuating health problems in both mind and body were totally “natural” due to the changes in hormones, but as I surpassed this phase of my life and stepped into my twenties I was baffled and extremely frustrated that these issues still existed. My dissappointment motivated me further in finding the answers to these questions I was determined couldn’t be THAT hard to find!
Fast forward five years.
For five years I very actively pursued a health journey which included many trips to various nutritionists, allergy tests, excessive gym workouts, radical dieting and eventually lots of research! This journey has been a process and I am thankful for it, because it somehow led me to where I am today. I was edging closer to working out a sustainable and healthy relationship with food, but the penultimate moment was when my sister passed on a very small paragraph of information to me which she summarized from the work of nutritionist Kymberly Snyder who advocates a holistic approach to health and specifically food. Her philosophy is about adopting only natural, whole-foods which are predominantly derived from plants in order to nourish yourself fully.
With some simple, stripped back instructions I trialed this approach to eating for six weeks and haven’t looked back since! This was a profound light bulb moment where for the first time in twenty-five years I felt totally in tune with myself, without deprivation or feeling anxious about my next meal. All those problems I had long been dealing with vanished, just like that. It was almost too good to be true, but still today I live and breath this lifestyle and in the two years since I adopted this way of eating I haven’t fallen sick once.
What became intrinsically clear to me was how I had to un-condition my mind and my body to eat and live in a totally different way to what I was taught growing up, but that un-like a fad diet, my body embraced this immediately and it was a fairly effortless process! It was as if my body had been starved of proper nutrients and nourishment for so long, that it was now clinging on for dear life because it was finally getting the treatment it deserved. I had and still have never felt so good in all my life!
From this point forward, all I knew was that I had to tell more people about my experience, and about what I had come to discover after so many years of confusion and trial and error! I thought, in six weeks here I have my answer I was long searching for. What if I could make other people’s lives better by giving them this information in the hope to end their conflicting relationships with food and dieting too!
Since that moment two years ago, I changed my career direction from freelance photojournalism to everything to do with health and wellness. It's been a process of finding my feet and being sure of the direction I want to take it, has been a journey in itself. I launched the blog nine months ago where it was all about food and sharing healthy recipes, which then inspired me to start the angel's belly brunch clubs in Spain and London. However, during this time my own life circumstances have impacted my understanding of health and whereas before I was most interested in the food and nutrition aspect, my perspective has evolved into considering everything, from food and nutrition, to fitness, yoga, positive thinking, relationships and spirituality.
I now view health from a holistic perspective, because my own experiences from things like following my gut and packing up my life to move to Spain to going through a break-up after a five year relationship, have dramatically influenced my outlook on life and how we should value our health. Although the health industry is heavily focused on nutrition and fitness, I realise that this is only half of the picture, and that to reach our best selves we need to nurture EVERY aspect of us!
So this is the next phase of the angel's belly journey and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you! I have so many exciting things in store which I will be able to reveal really soon, so stay tuned.
Love Steph x