Real People: Joana Limão's recipe to a healthy life
Love is the answer
Say hello to Joana Limão. This young Portuguese girl has a very special invitation to all: to make a choice to embark on a journey that will change your views about life, yourself and the planet. Without any extreme steps, just by simply following her advices.
Joana loves all that is natural, conscious, whole and homemade. And that is the challenge she proposes. “Without dramas or super-hard-to-take steps”, she says. Shall we follow her lead?
Joana is our Real People of this week. She is a chef and cooks food for the gods. But her project is not just about good food, it’s also about raising awareness, growth, evolution and expansion.
She practices yoga but even if she didn't do asanas or meditation, she would be a natural yogi. Her frequency is elevated due to her inner and outer work. «I think it is all a journey, and I became more conscious as I was getting into the real aspects of working in professional kitchens. Issues like food waste, workers conditions, stress and tension, ingredients sourcing, all started to create a lot of questions in my mind, that made me eventually want to pursue my own path, and start cooking for my guests».
Joana’s big smile shows exactly how she is. She’s a very positive and curious soul. With a kind heart and a sincere concern about our planet’s future and its people. Also, a curious fact, did you know limão means lemon in Portuguese and the same way lemon alkalizes our bodies, Joana cleans our gut, our heart and our planet. That is her big mission. She has a deep sense about what is happening in our time. She is just one of those shinny human beings. She understands the process of things and in her humble and acceptance way she says about how she sees the world today «if I could describe it in one word: evolution. Even though we are in a period of turbulence, I believe that, more than ever, we are in the middle of a big paradigm shift, in all aspects».
Her positivity is always guiding her soul and inspiring us. «People have more access to information, are more motivated for change, and start to understand that, little by little, their actions really do count». A heart opened to the sky with both feet on the ground. «It is easy to get discouraged when reading the news, but it is also exciting to be able to witness these times of a new consciousness arising».
What to expect when Joana cooks for you
«I’d say my cooking style is plant-rich, I love this expression». We do too. But Joana, what exactly does it mean? A step ahead of plant based diet? This late one consists mostly of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits, no animal products. The major benefits for this type of diet are prevention of diseases, easier weight management and a lighter environmental footprint. In fact this year a major report of 107 scientists, for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have said that switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change.
So what exactly stands behind a plant rich diet? «I cook plant-based, mostly vegan, natural ingredients and definitely abundant in fruit and fresh vegetables. I am passionate about finding new exciting ways to cook "veggies", changing their natural texture and taste, creating delicious combinations, and get people hooked on what they are eating». Not difficult to get hooked by Joana.
She is a creator. She doesn’t just cook, she envisions a meal as a art creation. All matters: the sound for the meal, the candles, the crystals. Joana surrounds herself by the energy of beauty, peace and balance. «I always cook with music, mantras, candles, crystals, healing herbs and oils. I believe this enters the broad definition I have for plant-rich as well. Using the plants in all their aspects and possibilities»
Plants are real medicine accessible to all of us. The old saying by Hypocrites "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food", regains a new spirit as health becomes not just physical health but seeing humans as whole beings, with body, mind and soul. «When sharing my recipes, I want exactly that. I also want people to feel nourished from the inside out. Nourished in terms of calories, nutrients, energy, vibrations and love». Food made with love tastes better and Joana definitely stands for this feeling.
Health has become a top concern in these days and scientists are advising the population to change the diet from animal products to one with more vegetables. The difficulty to most arises in the change of the pattern towards a meal where vegetables are the main part of the dish. Joana is very aware «everyone wants to be healthy, but no one wants to have boring salads or overcooked mushy stews all the time. It is so important to give people exciting food that happens to be good for them! That's what I feel my style is and the mission I believe I have».
The process of changing
We all go through the process of change. The first step is to read texts like this one.
The next step is embracing change. It’s feeling the urge to consider advices like the one’s Joana is sharing here.
Joana Limão also had her transformational process. Coming from a Portuguese traditional family she did all the things she was supposed to. «I was studying Design and hating it, so eventually I dropped out of University and started to work in all kinds of kitchens. Then did the classic French Chef's training, in Lisbon, and continued on working in the industry. Little by little, I developed the desire to work as a freelancer, to follow my own rules, to cook with my whole heart. At first I wanted lighter meals with local ingredients, then I started to cook more and more with plants, then made an effort to waste less ingredients and avoid packaging... And I'm still learning so much!».
There is no end in a path of evolution. «It is truly great to work with people in areas of sustainability, alternative medicines, active leisure, as I'm constantly being inspired and wanting to raise the bar, learning more and testing new recipes. This community of conscious people is helping me raise my awareness every day».
Where to find Joana
Joana shares her recipes in her blog where we can also learn about her lifestyle and steps into a more conscious way of living, closer to nature, closer to our essence. «With my website, pleaseconsider.com, I ultimately want my readers to (pleaaase!) consider trying a more conscious way of living. That includes the way they cook, but also the ingredients they buy, the products they use, how they see themselves and the world. My goal is to spark a desire to try it out. And then decide if it makes sense to them».
Because everything is ok and wherever you are is exactly where you are supposed to be. Be gentle and kind to yourself. «It is hard to change everything overnight, so I want my readers to consider this lifestyle and apply the changes they think are possible, little by little, and see how it affects their own lives. I believe that a small change brings many others, so that is my goal, one small victory after another.»
You can also find Joana sharing her wisdom on a retreat, workshop, or a private event.
Daily steps for a sustainable life
"My "beauty routine"" is much more sustainable nowadays than it was a few years ago. I'm proud to use only organic cosmetics, and only just a handful of them. Solid shampoo and conditioner are my latest discoveries and I'm in love. The menstrual cup (I love and I recommend Organicup) it's something I think all women should have".
"When going out, I always try to take my reusable cup, a glass/bamboo straw, and a “spork” (a mix between spoon and fork that helped me save single-use cutlery countless times). I always have a cotton shopper folded anywhere I go, so if I need to buy something last minute, I have a bag to put it in. And the most sustainable practice in my opinion? Refuse. There are many, many things we simply don't need".
Love is the way out
Practicing kindness elevates Joana into a place where she wishes good for all the beings in the planet. «I dream of a more sustainable world, where people eat more plants, are concerned about the planet and have time to be with themselves, in silence. I believe it all comes down to that four letter word: L O V E !» The only solution for everything and the only way out for us, love with a capital letter, love as the supreme feeling above any other emotion. «If you live in the vibration of Love, you'll take better care of yourself, of the food you choose to eat, of the people around you, of your planet». Of course Joana wishes «the whole world could also (please!) consider that».
We will consider Joana. And because Joana is so generous, she left us her deepest recipe, one that comes from her heart. «Live fully today, be mindful about yourself, others and the planet, act from a place of real love and have fun along the way!»
Blogpost written by Filipa Veiga - Editor and Yoga teacher