Friday Night In with Irena from Eat Drink Paleo
I've been quite a big fan of Irena for a while now. Beyond the label of paleo if that's not quite your thing, Irena offers up a delicious array of nourishing recipes, and support for living a wholefood, sustainable lifestyle. You don't need to eat paleo to enjoy her site, in fact, her whole aim is to show how the paleo way of eating and living can work for everyone! Irena is roughly 80/20 paleo so you won't find her scolding you for eating a piece of sushi, or telling you you're going to get cancer for eat yoghurt - its a much more flexible approach which really resonates with me, as I am always promoting individualised eating.
I am so excited to welcome the lovely Irena to my site for tonight's rainy Friday Night In post, and I know you'll love getting to know her a little better. Once you're done reading, make sure to browse her site - you'll be wondering which recipe to cook first!
If you love a good hard copy cookbook like I do, you can also find out how to get a copy of her cookbook below as well!
Happy Friday Night In,
Please share a little about yourself
I am a passionate foodie and I’ve always been interested in healthy eating and holistic living. I discovered paleo diet and lifestyle a few years ago and fell in love with its philosophy and principles after giving it a go for a few months. Now I write cookbooks and publish a website all about it. I am a bit of a nomad and at the moment I divide my time between London and Sydney.
How did Eat Drink Paleo come about?
I think it all started after I turned 30 and was looking for a way to optimize my own diet and lifestyle to promote wellbeing and longevity. I discovered paleo through friends and as I was transitioning to this new way of eating and living, this would have been in 2011, I was struggling to find local resources and websites. I am quite creative and I love to cook so I decided to document my own journey through recipes and paleo know-how on a blog and started my website Eat Drink Paleo. It has since grown to become an internationally known paleo site and turned into a full time job. It’s been amazing to have my passion take on such a cool adventure.
The most rewarding part of your job?
People, cooking and sharing my recipes, and knowing that I am helping them on their health and wellness journey.
What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
Work with kids and teach them to love good food and cooking. Also, I would love to have my own big garden with vegetables and fruit trees. I’ve had a few balcony pots and my mum has an amazing garden but I haven’t built and grown one myself yet. Having my own cooking show would be fun. Maybe I can combine all three one day ;)
Favourite place in the world?
There are so many! In Australia, I love Sydney and Brunswick Heads up in the northern NSW. I also love Tonsai in Thailand for adventure, Tuscany in Italy for food, and Tokyo for all its craziness.
If you were a spice, which would you be?
Maybe cumin…it’s versatile, a little spicy but not too much, multicultural, warm and earthy.
5 things you can’t live without?
I’d probably survive without these things but life wouldn’t be as much fun without a sandy white beach, mangos, polka dot, travel and my iPhone.
If you could choose to eat anything in the world for your next meal, what would it be?
Green papaya salad and oysters to start with, grass-fed fillet steak with wild mushroom sauce and shaved truffles (I am obsessed with truffles) served with beautifully cooked broccolini and asparagus for my main, and to finish off I would have a hazelnut gelato. And a nice glass of bubbles, of course.
What was for breakfast?
I had a café breaky today so I had poached eggs with a salad of hot smoked ocean trout, radish, pink grapefruit and watercress and an iced long black coffee.
How would you classify your eating style?
Sensory & sensible
Your favourite way to stay active?
I like to go rock climbing or bouldering a few times a week and I will usually go for a run or a yoga class somewhere in between. That’s more of a typical weekly routine. When I travel, I love hiking and getting in the water, and I always bring my running shoes as I like to explore local running routes.
What are your top 2 favourite recipes from your cookbook?
Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook has so many good ones so it’s hard to pick just two but I would have to say the cauliflower couscous with pomegranate and pistachios is brilliant and so easy to make, and for something heavier I’d have to pick my pasta free lasagna.
Your best advice for eating well?
Don’t overthink it and don’t get too obsessed as that can develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Simply focus on all the beautiful, wholesome food you can eat rather than fretting about all the things you can’t or shouldn’t. Cook at home often and start with good quality ingredients and produce.
What is next for Eat drink Paleo?
I’d like to keep spreading the message of healthy eating and providing people with resources and inspiration to help them with their own wellness journey, doesn’t matter if they are into paleo or not. I simply love cooking beautiful, healthy food and I want to share it with people. So there is definitely another cookbook on the horizon, and I will continue with the free content and recipes on Eat Drink Paleo website and also with more holistic living and nutritional inspiration on my co-authored site Rejuvenated For Life.
How can readers find you?
For paleo recipes and cooking, check out Eat Drink Paleo website and subscribe to updates. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And for more interesting natural living and nutritional know-how, check out Rejuvenated For Life, which I run with a nutritional medicine practitioner Claire Yates. It’s harder not to find me ;)