In the spring of 2016 in Madrid, Spain, my then boyfriend, Iñaki Pardo, was diagnosed with stage four cancer. The doctors did their best to be positive but, as they are trained to do, they also subtly but very clearly managing expectations. My friend back home in the US, who happened to be a cancer specialist, told me to prepare for the worst and even, for my sake, to consider whether or not being in a relationship with Iñaki still made sense.
Five years later, Iñaki is healthier than ever. We are married and with a baby daughter living in London. While I would not claim that Iñaki’s recovery was due only to our change in eating habits, I am thoroughly convinced it played a significant role in his, what most doctors would describe as, miraculous recovery.
I, an American, and former anorexic who had lived in New York most of my life, thought of food as a necessary evil. It seldom enjoyed it let alone considered it “medicine.” Dinner was an excuse to meet out with friends, being typically more concerned with the wine with which it was being paired than the actual meal. When Iñaki radically changed his eating habits to fight his illness with a more clean, mostly vegetarian diet I decided to join him for moral support. Little did I know that not only would this diet be one of the things that got us throughhis battle with cancer, but it would also serve as a way that we could fight back, and not just rely on traditional, more passive cancer treatments like chemo and radiology.
Iñaki has always had a love and passion for food. He is, after all, Spanish. So, for him, while this change in mindset and focus on diet was more organic, for me it was a change in lifestyle. I started cooking with Iñaki for the first time in my life and my relation to food has completely changed. I love not only cooking but eating, appreciating the colours and beautiful aesthetic that you can only achieve while cooking with a plant-based diet. Today, cooking together is not only something that bonds us, but helps keep us honest in how we live and how we intend to raise our daughter, Sofia.
In this blog you will find easy, clean and beautiful recipes that we consider not only medicine but an amazing meal. We have this blog for no other purpose than to share what has, and continues to bring us such joy, purpose and beautiful food. And while it took a life-threatening illness to make us change the way we eat, we hope that you can enjoy these recipes can convince you that good, clean food, not only makes you feel amazing but also tastes really damn good.