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Gastronomy and Wellbeing

September 5, 2011
September Official Month of wellbeing
September, at The Power Yoga Company, is the official month of Wellbeing. During this month we are interviewing professionals of the wellbeing industry; Are you into wellbeing? We want to hear from you!
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Maria Linares Freelance Passionate Chef
Our interviewee today is Maria Linares, a creative and passionate chef and mother of one. Former owner and head chef of Solea in Fulham Road for seven years she then embarked on a freelance journey. San Miguel, Seat, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Create, Tapas in a box and Formosina are one of the few companies she worked for and she experimented with different cuisines: from British to Asian, French to more tropical gastronomies. Her emphasis is to work with people and organisations that give extra emphasis on fresh ingredients.
In your personal blog you state that your aim is to keep gastronomy, art and wellbeing together. How do you achieve that?
Food has, undoubtedly, an effect in our behaviour. It has impact in our mood and concentration. Some food is good for the skin, the eyes, muscles and brain development and generally different food help in specific areas. The way we mix food along with the calorie intake affects our mood and the way we look in different ways.
I was a creative practitioner for the Royal Opera House. There were kids with social, physical or mental difficulties. We started teaching them about healthy eating habits, playing games and cooking dishes focusing on super foods and brain foods like mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli and citrus. The course had an effect on their behaviour and approach to different foods in the long term. If you combine such foods it will affect your mood, both physically and mentally.
Embracing healthy eating habits is important for your wellbeing: If you eat junk food you don’t feel good with yourself and neither does your skin or general mood. If you are eating healthy then you lose that extra weight, your hair, your skin improves and this has a significant impact in your general mood. And healthy food is not expensive; you can buy apples, tomatoes, eggs and not spend a lot. And, you need to remember not to overcook food; otherwise you lose part of its goodness.
Would you like to share a few tips and some advice to people in cooking towards a healthier and wellbeing way?
1 . The most basic and untreated ingredients are the best for the body. These involve: apples, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, broccoli and oranges. They are really affordable and easy to prepare too.
2 . Olive oil is super good for the skin.
3 . Eat at home and don’t buy ready-cook meals.
4 . Eat simple, basic products and you will look and feel fantastic
You don’t need to be a chef to cook nice food at home; experimenting in the kitchen is so much fun and so relaxing too.
How does power yoga compliment in your wellbeing
Because of the nature of my job I stand for long hours, my back is aching and I’m under stress. Yoga is like a clinic to me and it is so relaxing. Since i started to practice Power Yoga my back is feeling so much better and from the moment I get on my mat I forget everything and I just concentrate on having balance and trying to relax. You don’t have that unless you do Power Yoga, It is the only time that I get to focus on myself.
After a session I am always exhausted but I feel more energised and better with myself.
I have never done any other form of exercise before and my impression of yoga was that it was too slow and maybe even boring for me. This perception was gone after my first power yoga session; I found it really challenging and hard and it helped me towards having a more subtly body and a bit more time to spend on myself.
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