Hello and welcome to Tastes Like Green Spirit!
I’m Antonia, a freelance translator, fitness addict and cat mom, living in the beautiful city of Düsseldorf, Germany. Apart from working with foreign languages, cooking and enjoying tasty food are the passions of my life. On Tastes Like Green Spirit I want to share my collection of paleo recipes with you that has been growing for the last couple of years, exchange ideas with you, and show you that it is absolutely possible to integrate a healthy cooking routine with lots of green vegetables and tasty self-made dishes into your everyday life.
How did I find Paleo?
That’s a fairly long story. As many others, for years, I used to be convinced that I was eating healthy (this “healthy“ lifestyle included the daily sandwich made of full grain wheat flour topped with butter and cheese, spaghetti napoli for lunch and a cinnamon roll with sugar frosting for desert „doesn’t do any harm, if you had something healthy before“). So far so good. Maybe this wouldn’t have been much of a problem (that’s at least what I used to think back then).
However, when I was thirteen, I first got migraine with aura. For those of you, who are lucky enough not to know it – my aura is always accompanied by visual disturbances and a bright flickering in the field of vision, lasting for at least half an hour. The pounding headache following the visual disturbances during the two days afterwards is still the more pleasant part. Luckily, these seizures did not hit me every week. Despite this, I was constantly living with the fear “What if the blurred vision does not go away this time? Could that be possible after all?”, Or as soon as I saw a flash of light or was somewhere, where vision problems would have been absolutely inappropriate, such as when driving a car or on a hiking tour in the mountains, I was in constant panic, that it could start again. Over time, I became more or less accustomed to this affliction, as well as to other annoying ailments such as constant indigestion, stomach cramps that suddenly began at night without rhyme or reason, sweating, recurring colds, sinus and laryngitis, rashes, and many more. You Name it – I possibly had it. Over the years, I have never, never ever thought, that I had the choice to improve my health. Especially not through a change in diet.
Until I came to Thailand.
In 2012, I did a two-month backpacking tour through Thailand with my then boyfriend. It was an amazing time full of incredible impressions and experiences that continue to have an impact ot my life to this day. Especially in Thailand, of course, it was not difficult for me to do without our “Western Food”, and I spent two months enjoying delicious Thai Food on food stalls, restaurants, juice bars and small beach bars with their own barbecue. As a side note, I didn’t have any digestive problems with contaminated or too spicy food at all.
As we got off our trip, euphoric but tired and exhausted from the long flight, my first thought was: pizza. I finally want to eat a pizza again. Eventually, that became my personal disaster. Only I did not suspect that at this time. I enjoyed my much-anticipated pizza Prosciutto e Funghi with lots of garlic and oregano and in the days after that of course our delicious buns and sandwiches that I had missed so much, lasagna and a lots of cake.. And got flatulence, indigestion, stomach cramps. I felt like I had a bag of boulders in my stomach. Somehow this feeling seemed familiar but at the same time unusual. And then I suddenly realized: I had not had it in Thailand. And even worse: before, I Always used to live like that. It just felt normal.
In the following weeks and months, I read a lot, first on the Internet (including Deliciously Ella, Eat Train Love and The Paleo Mom), and a lot of scientific articles and came across terms such as gluten and lactose intolerance, leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth in the gut and what diets exist to combat these illnesses. I tried a lot of Methods. First, I replaced products, containing gluten by gluten-free, industrially produced products, which many supermarkets offer nowadays, and after which I still felt heavy, bloated and somehow uncomfortable. For six weeks, I strictly followed the anti-candida diet and still felt no real improvement. When I was almost confused by all sorts of nutritional theories, and was almost ready to give up, I stumbled upon an article on urgeschmack.de, which finally brought me to paleo360.de (only available in German).
I had found what I needed, I knew that immediately. Natural Nutrition, only “real Food”, no processed products, fruits, vegetables and animal (high quality) products are allowed, legumes, cereals and dairy products are to be avoided. Because I had found out during my months-long odyssey of self-experimentation: not only gluten-containing food caused me complaints, but also dairy products and legumes.
What really convinces me about Paleo is that this is not a diet that should be kept for a while, but a lifestyle that does the body good and whose positive effect is based on scientific evidence. I do not believe in dieting, especially if certain foods have been proven to cause discomfort. So I decided to try paleo. It was a long changeover process. In the beginning, I had literally withdrawal Symptoms, and now and then I couldn’t help but Eating a piece of nougat cake at Starbucks or when I was invited, for example bread, which I had not been eating at home for a long while. By the time, I learned to understand my body and could eventually set the clock, when a migraine attack was imminent, the joints hurt or the digestion went crazy, namely, just when I had stuffed too much “junk food” into me again. Whenever I deviated from paleo for a few weeks, some of the old ailments reappeared and that realization led me to no longer have any need for the usual treats. Meanwhile, I eat exclusively paleo and my migriane visits me no more than once a year. The abdominal pain and bloating are completely gone, colds have become a rarity and laryngitis and sinusitis are a thing of the past. I have a lot more energy than before, feel light and above all know that the food I give my body is nutritious, as natural as possible, and above all fresh and unprocessed.
It is possible make a change! This is the message that is very dear to me and that I want to share with everyone who reads my blog. I want to show you that even without our typical Western diet, it is possible to enjoy, and to feel physically more comfortable. On this blog you will find recipes for every day. Since I’m not a trained chef, you can count on the fact that all the recipes on Tastes Like Green Spirit are one hundred percent simple! If something does not work, write me anytime and we will find a solution.
Have fun cooking, reading and enjoying 🙂