My name is Annie.
I love good food and believe that eating healthy does not have to come at the expense of eating well.
I grew up in Bulgaria, at a time before capitalism filled the store shelves with an overwhelming variety of exotic foods and brands. Back in communist Eastern Europe, the concept of dieting and vegetarianism was little known. People seldom worried about eating healthy as they simply lacked the healthy alternatives that are the pride of contemporary Western supermarkets. The staple food of Bulgarian cuisine is white bread – a no-no for anyone on a diet; the most popular meat is the least healthy one – pork. Yet Bulgaria is anything but a nation of unhealthy obese people. In fact, until recently Bulgarians had one of the longest life expectancies in the world.
One of the reasons to start this blog is to explore the ways in which we can stay trim while staying “at one” with nature without subjecting ourselves to stringent dieting – a kind of natural diet, much like the way people used to eat in communist Bulgaria. Bulgarian diet was naturally healthy as we ate with the seasons – in summer we ate fresh organically grown fruit and vegetables and in winter we ate pickles and fruit compotes and jams prepared in the summer and conserved. Food not only tasted great but was 100% organic which balanced out the lack of variety. Today you can find any food in any season (at a price) but this overwhelming diversity comes at a price – foods can be packed with nitrates, growth hormones, genetically modified organisms, you name it!
While eating organic food and following a natural diet is important, likewise learning from the eating habits of foreign nations can be equally beneficial. I travelled and lived in many different countries around the world since the age of 16, which provided an inspiration behind this blog. Nine years in Japan taught me the benefits of eating plain rice, mineral-rich seaweed and copious amounts of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids – all of which lacked almost completely from the Bulgarian diet. A year in America taught me that, even in small amounts, over-processed and excessively fatty foods may still swing your weight significantly. Five years in the UK, where I now live and seem to have found the right balance, have taught me the benefits of trying different ethnic cuisines.
There were periods in my life when I struggled to stay fit as my weight spiraled out of control, in particular during a year I spent in the States. That was one of the reasons that prompted me to look into ways to stay fit without limiting the quality or quantity of food I normally eat. This blog will hopefully shed some light based on my very personal experience and I welcome any suggestions and ideas you may wish to share.