- Changing your diet is a difficult challenge. Did you manage to give up meat from day one or was it a long process?
I haven’t liked meat since teenage years. My loved ones considered it a “youthful rebellion”. However, I felt inside that I don’t need meat. I left it from day to day and went on to vegetarianism. I did not feel the lack of meat, although sometimes I came back to it. Mainly for social reasons, which play quite an important role during growing up. 15 years ago, not eating meat was not fashionable and was often misunderstood. Every return to the old way of eating made me think more and more that eating meat is not my story. The body simply didn’t need it and felt that it did not serve it well.
- What made you decide to go to the plant-based kitchen?
It was initiated by my partner, who at the time was a typical meat eater. I have long felt the desire to move to the “green side “, but I knew that this means a revolution not only in my life, but also in the life of my other half. However, when our loved ones became seriously ill and we lost a few, we started asking ourselves “why?”. After reading a few books, Marek stated that he was also ready to go on a plant diet, and his determination was even greater than mine. With such support I could not fail.
- How has your life changed with new habits?
All in all, I live a new, better life now. Vegetable diet has great power. The appearance of the complexion and hair improves, the energy is lifted, the eyes become brighter, the sleep improves, you lose unwanted kilograms, your taste buds clear, thanks to which you can feel the flavors better and stronger, and the rainbow lands on your plate every day. If I could turn back time, I would decide to go on a plant diet much earlier.
- What was the most difficult in this change?
Saying goodbye to dairy. At that time, I would do anything for a piece of New York cheesecake. And that I am modest (: P) I will tell you that I was very good at making it! I turned it into tofurniki, cheesecakes with millet groats and chickpeas, trying to make their unique taste outshine the familiar classic. It worked!
- What inspired you to share your ideas with others, including writing the book “The Taste Hunters”?
I guess the smiles of those who ate my dishes and their faces of surprise when they found out what they were made of. Most of them seemed amazed that health can have such a unique taste, and the plant diet does not have to be monotonous and boring. Seeing that the food I create has a positive effect on everything around me, I had the idea of sharing this with others. The unexpected success of the blog and the warm comments of the readers were naturally followed by the book idea. The book “The Taste Hunters” would not have been written without the support of the readers of the blog.
- How to change the way of thinking into a less conventional one so that an idea for a sweet cake made of bean or millet is born?
I think the only way is to try such healthy sweetness. I know from experience that people are afraid of such culinary experiments. And what if it fails? You get disappointed, you loose time and ingredients. It’s better not to risk and choose a chocolate bar or an old, known, grandmother’s recipe instead. I always say that when looking at how much we can gain (enjoying sweets without sacrifices!), the risk is quite small. If we do not have the courage to grasp such a recipe and try it at home, the best option is attending culinary workshops, and I invite you to join such. We make about eight “abstract” healthy sweets during such workshops, so the participant has the opportunity to try and see which one tastes best. Such workshops open our minds to all new things, give us courage and confidence in the kitchen. Because it turns out that, despite appearances, making of healthy sweetness is much easier than it seems and most importantly – it does not take a lot of time. It’s wonderful to watch my students getting hooked on this new concept, and gradually modifying my recipes, creating new, own, sweet variations.
- What cocktail would you recommend to our readers that will go nicely with our formulas?
I really like the combination of banana, almond butter and maca, which is the ingredient of one of your formulas – The Sexy Formula. I often make a cocktail with those ingredients, which I often have for breakfast or as a lunch snack. Just blend a ripe banana with 200 ml almond milk (but you can use oat or rice), 2 tablespoons of almond butter, 1 tablespoon of oatmeal, a large pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of Zojo formula (you can use any of them). Such a cocktail is a shot of positive energy for the whole day!
- What does yoga introduce to your everyday life?
I could give endless examples. Yoga has taught me and still does (because I still have worse and better moments) respect for myself and others, acceptance of my own body, my own weaknesses and imperfections, humbleness, mindfulness, forgiveness or patience… And the most important – self love. The last one is probably the most difficult one.
- Is the spiritual aspect of yoga equally important to you?
It started with the physical aspect. The pain in my spine prompted me to join a yoga school, obviously thinking that I would only stay here for a moment, because at the time I was really in love with power training. It turned out that yoga, more precisely ashtanga yoga, is more demanding than it seems, and since I like challenges, I went to the second class, then the next one and the next one and four years have passed since… I have never appreciated yoga only for its spiritual aspect, although it changed my whole life. If you are practicing yoga, the physical and spiritual aspects go hand in hand. Yoga is a lifestyle. It distinguishes it from just stretching. In yoga, the most important thing is not the visual effect or the appearance of asana, but its function.
Ina’s new book is coming out on November 13, 2018. Full of plant-based, non-gluten and no-sugar recipes, it will be available in major bookstores, including Empik.