A few years back, I discovered Korina’s blog, The Saucha Life and her healthy recipes. We tried some of them, loved them and kept checking back for more. Then, a while back, her post on social media to join her while doing a “Sugar-free February” was the motivation I needed to try it out and see what happens (you can read more about my experience on this blog post).
Recently, Korina launched her own nutritional therapy coaching sessions and I could not resist: I signed up! On my journey to a healthier lifestyle, she helps me determine what I can do better to use food as my medicine. After so many years of thinking about it, I finally decided to prepare my own granola at home, as a result of our first session.
Korina has a very interesting story to share about how she became interested in healthy food, lifestyle and nutritional therapy so if you are eager to know more grab a cup of tea or your smoothie and keep on reading:
Would you suggest a song to hear while reading your interview?
How would you introduce yourself in a paragraph?
Certified Nutritional Therapist with a passion for yoga, travelling and cooking in a mission to help people add more life in their years.
Nutritional therapy and tips for staying healthy
When and why did you start being interested in naturopathy and nutritional therapy?
The sprout was seeded by a nutritional allergy I had in 2013 in Lagos, Nigeria that made me think twice about the role of food in our bodies, it was further nourished with all the positive words and feedback I was hearing from people who changed their diet as a result of my blog www.thesauchalife.com and it was finally sealed and locked when I was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2016 and was seeing the positive impact of a holistic approach to cancer in my own health journey. So you could say I had various “callings” in the last years. At some point, I felt that was not by chance and I couldn’t ignore them so I had to listen to my inner voice and do something nutritional related, which gave birth to my nutrition clinic www.kknutrition.co.uk
How would you define naturopathy and nutritional therapy? Who is it for?
Naturopathy is an ancient scientific discipline that looks at the human being as a holistic system (body, mind, soul) and health as a balance between those three aspects. Naturopathy believes in the healing powers of nature and when the body is given everything it needs to flourish (fresh air, deep breathing, good sleep, exercise, clean water and nutritious food) it has the inherent ability to return to balance “homeostasis” and cure disease. As with all great school of thoughts it spans across geographies, so similar disciplines were also found in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayuverda in India, the Hippocrates school of medicine in ancient Greece and more. Nutritional therapy is the discipline of using the therapeutic power of food & nutrition in health and is particularly useful for all chronic health issues where the root cause of the disease is multifactorial.
What do you love most about your work/practice?
What I most love is being a “health detective” ie trying to interrogate the interconnections between the different systems of our bodies and present symptoms, to identify the root cause of disease. I am very results-oriented so nothing beats the feeling of receiving a positive email from my clients telling me how I helped them solve their symptoms and feel at their best!
We are now experiencing a challenging period with the COVID19 pandemic affecting every single human on earth. Could you share with us a few tips (and perhaps recipes from your blog) that anyone could use to boost their immune system and stay healthy?
Rania, though as a cancer patient supporting the immune system is something I am really passionate about, I went through an internal debate when the pandemic started on whether I should be writing posts on my blog on immune support. The reason why I haven’t done it, and therefore I am reluctant to give some easy tips, is because I feel that the world does not need another online opinion on how to support oneself during covid but rather a unified voice from the scientific community on what we know is working against this disease: which is washing your hands thoroughly and wearing a mask. Honestly, the easy thing for me would be to give you tips, recipes and supplements but that wouldn’t protect anyone who went out and about without a mask and didn’t wash their hands well.
Would you like to share with us your experience with cancer? What were the key takeaways for you from this huge challenge? What would you say to anyone who is going through the same challenge at this moment?
Well, you open a big chapter of my life here. Cancer is a life-changing experience and I feel blessed now, having managed not only to survive but also thrive despite the strong treatments I had. My key piece of advice is to never underestimate the power of mind over body, and for any cancer patient to use the wide range of toolkits available to them including nutrition, psychological support and relaxation techniques, together with their traditional therapy. Unfortunately, our healthcare practitioners are not fully aware and supportive of the options available outside traditional therapies, so the patient himself has to do all the research of the other important tools on top of chemotherapy & radiotherapy. And when you get the diagnosis you are in such a shock that you rarely have the mind space to investigate other options… Chemotherapy & radiotherapy are important tools but not the only ones, and if you don’t treat the root cause of your disease then simply getting rid of the symptom (which is what radiotherapy & chemotherapy do) will most likely lead to a relapse. I keep using this analogy: it’s like your house is flooding and you try to get rid of the issue by using a bucket to throw the water out, if you don’t find where the leak in the pumping is, you will never get rid of the issue.
Due to your recent health challenge which has resulted in a compromised immune system, you are within the high-risk persons during this pandemic period, if I am not mistaken. What would you say to those underestimating this situation and resist implementing all the necessary precautions such as social distancing?
That was my first question to my doctor who reassured me that luckily, I didn’t fall into the ‘high-risk groups” as my immune system had recovered two years after my treatments. Covid was scary as a healthy individual anyway and I can only imagine the extra stress any immune-compromised patient would be in. I was super upset with all the irresponsible ‘covidiots’ who selfishly ignored the rules not thinking that they put other people at risk. There was a point in time when I felt that this is Darwinian, and it would do the world good to get rid of all the idiots who ignore the rules… ok it’s not that simple as they put more under risk, but I did feel that the world needed to do a cleanse and get rid of those irresponsible beings who ignore the scientific evidence and don’t think anyone other than themselves.
Life in London, travel & inspiration
How is everyday life in London? What does a typical day of yours look like?
I have to say I am enjoying life in London especially the long walks to the park with my dog. My day pretty much starts & finishes at the park, which is for me my opportunity to feel in touch with nature, breathe deeply, clear my mind and feel connected. Other than that, I go to work in the morning and then do some exercise in the afternoon, going for a kundalini yoga class or some personal training.
Could you share with us some of your favourite addresses in London (with a focus on healthy food/lifestyle)? Where do you take your guests when visiting you?
I take most of my visitors to Farmacy at Westbourne grove, which has delicious plant-based food that everyone, even not vegetarians, falls in love with. This place has an amazing ambience and decoration too. My other go-to is a really nice bistrot in my neighborhood Bocca Cha Cha which is super nice, pet friendly and a 10mins walk from home.
What does travel mean to you?
Travel for me is freedom & discovery, is when I feel more alive and stimulated. Fun fact: my first attempt to blogging was a travelling page called thelemonbicycle where I provided top5 tips to do in some of the places I ‘ve visited. I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to travel a lot and actually quite a few of my career choices were driven by the amount & types of travelling. My latest role has an African remit and one of the things I enjoy the most is travelling to all these countries that I wouldn’t probably travel on my own (I am doing lots of West Africa ie. Ghana and Nigeria) and spending time with locals to understand how they entertain. It’s a very good reminder of how privileged we are to live in houses where we have constant water & electrical supply and helps me put my life into context!
What was your favourite travel experience so far and why?
Oh so many, but if I had to choose I would say my honeymoon to Japan.
What does Greece mean to you?
Greece for me is the Greek light. I haven’t experienced brighter light in any other place I ‘ve visited. It’s the combination of the Greek sun and sea of course, together with our hospitality that makes Greece such a unique destination.
The next trip you are currently planning is…
In a non-covid world, I would say Mexico, I have Mexico in my bucket list for quite some time now. The first time it was cancelled because of swine flu, then Zika.. I really hope to manage to get there soon before the new pandemic spreads…
Which book and/or movie would you recommend reading/watching to get inspired? Do you have any favourite podcasts/Instagram accounts/youtubers that you love to follow and be inspired?
I am a big fan of Gabby Bernstein and one of my favourite books is “The universe has your back”. I read it when I was in hospital treated for cancer and it really helped me build my hope & courage, she has lots of content on YouTube and Instagram. I am also a big fan of Stefanos Xenakis, I love this book “Το δωρο” which I have gifted to everyone I love a lot (I always buy 5 copies during xmas as it is also a great xmas gift). Stefanos also has a really good facebook page to follow and also lots of YouTube videos.
If you had a magical wand, what would you change in the world today?
I would like to stop the separation between ourselves and the world. I honestly believe that if people manage to see the world as an extension of themselves (from the planet to other people who are different from us), all of our big problems would be solved, simply by loving the world as much as we love ourselves. For me, the easiest way to do that is through a mindfulness routine so the short answer to your question is I would teach meditation from school and make everyone meditate for 10 minutes every day.
What makes you happy?
Sun, sand, the sea and my dog! A good glass of wine and a nicely cooked dinner!
Thank you so much, Korina, for this interview and for sharing with us a part of your life and all your valuable tips.
*All the photos for this article have been kindly provided by Korina Karadimou
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