My name is Valeria, I was born and raised in Russia. When I moved to the States 15 years ago I was enamored by the supermarkets and the bounty of colorful things they contained, crunchy, sweet, ready from frozen in three minutes and under one roof. I had never seen fruit that bright and bread that stayed fresh for weeks.. That was so cool for a girl that had to go to several places to get a dinner ready – meat market, bread store, vegetable market. With no fast food whatsoever, if we wanted to eat – we had to cook.
What a difference – now I could spend no time on meals and be able to just sit around and snack from all the pretty boxes I could get my hands on… So why after a few years didn’t it feel right? Something always hurt and this tiredness would not go away. Why would I feel anything but great if my mid twenties and why was my cholesterol so high? I started reading all the ‘healthy’ stuff out there and following the experts’ advice about limiting fat intake and increasing whole grains. In three month on low fat/high grain diet my cholesterol skyrocketed so that I was put on statin. Always tired, plus bad migraines.
I stopped statin after getting married. After my second daughter was born, I came across Dr. Davis’ book ‘The Wheat Belly‘ and decided to try going wheat free for a bit. In three months, my cholesterol went down to an in-range value, and migraines gone, which made me question every health advice I got to that point. I didn’t enjoy some of the effects that wheat-free diet brought on, even with all the positives. So I decided to eat what feels right to me, using ingredients that don’t come with labels, not follow any diets and put behind the American ‘always in a hurry, whip up something quick’ mantra. I started cooking, every single day, preparing foods the way my grandma and her grandma did, and enjoying everything in moderation. I eat grains, soaked, fermented and sprouted, that I prepare at home. I choose organic any time possible, but think that’s not a good way to gauge the quality of food because the organic industry is not properly regulated to keep away those who want to profit from the trusting consumers. I prefer small local farmers who really care about food they grow.
In my posts, I often reference scientific studies and research, but my position is that most of the food related science is controversial because it comes from a socio-cultural vacuum. There are always agendas, ulterior motives and potential influences that a mindful reader should be aware of, from large corporate interests in food processing to so called natural manufacturers. My point here is: don’t trust everything you read, on this blog or anywhere else; if something is advertised to be a miracle cure – it definitely isn’t. Trust your common sense, make good food from real ingredients that don’t have labels telling you that they are healthy.
I started this blog to share my experience and my recipes, a lot of which draw from my Russian heritage. Hope you enjoy it!