I was born and raised in the UK to Egyptian parents. In our household, food was always a big feature – Egyptians love food and love to feed their loved ones! As a family, we travelled extensively and my interest in food was nurtured from a very young age. The smell of cooking permanently wafted through our house with traditional, delicious and flavoursome meals always on offer in huge portions! The downside to this rich heritage was that, as a child and teenager, I was overweight and embarked on a series of terrible fad diets consisting of mounds of lettuce leaves, processed meats and salad cream with tasteless crispbreads. Needless to say, with little support, limited knowledge and minimal success, I was overweight during my adolescent years and always looking for the next quick fix.
Once I “left the nest”…
….I had control over my meals and eating habits. I didn’t cook much whilst living at home but I watched as many a meal was created, seemingly effortlessly. Emulating my home experience, I experimented with new recipes, ingredients and combinations – they weren’t always healthy but certainly, with youthful enthusiasm – they were inspired!
Cooking from scratch helped me to develop my skills and more importantly, my confidence in the kitchen.
I read more to understand the reasons for my lack of weight management success. I realised exercise was a key part of a healthy lifestyle and took up Aerobics (all the rage in the early 90s!) and loved it so much that I trained as an Aerobics instructor. Soon I was teaching classes early morning and evenings alongside a full-time City job, in investment management marketing. Focused on my health goals, I continued to cook from scratch, ate smaller meals, avoided snacking and did eventually lose the excess weight.
My weight management journey continued through marriage, 3 children (gaining 3 stone with each pregnancy!), new lifestyles and various business enterprises; creating easy, healthy and tasty meals for my family and friends. My passion for food and its influence on our health and wellbeing grew into a decision to delve deeper into the world of nutrition. I am fascinated with the human body and its ability to heal itself, as well as steer how we feel and behave. Food is a major part of this and my passion is now in sharing this knowledge to help support you to truly thrive in your everyday life.
Since qualifying with my Masters in Personalised Nutrition in 2014 from Middlesex university, I’ve seen hundreds of clients on a one-to-one basis or through my live cooking demos or educational workshops. I am constantly learning; researching new topics, health conditions or foods and regularly attend professional seminars and conferences to ensure I stay up to date with the latest nutrition research and evidence.
I understand how the body works and I know it works best when we keep things simple. With my down-to-earth approach, you won’t find me discussing the latest fads or extreme diets; my focus is always realistic and practical and it can work for YOU.
I don’t eliminate food groups and indeed eat everything. I never diet but eat a consistently good diet, full of a variety of vegetables, great protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, including some grains as well as beans/pulses. I always cook from scratch, creating meals that are always nutritious, colourful, flavoursome and more often than not “accidentally vegan”!!
I do not set myself up on a pedestal or present some overblown backstory; I’m a real woman speaking to real people!