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Spotlight on Tiziana Krause-Jackson by Susannah Grant

October 4th, 2018 by

 

This month the spotlight falls on former lawyer, European literature teacher, translator and multi-lingual Italian grandmother, Tiziana Krause-Jackson, who has lived and relished the Arts in Madrid and bicycling at her summer house in Denia for the past 20 years.

  1. You married your British husband, a retired Diplomat after having only spent 23 days with him over 3 years, what’s your secret?

Having met at a Spanish language course in Santander we quickly found out that in addition to sharing similar political convictions, religion and views on child-rearing, our books and record collection were virtually identical.  We were both keen to live abroad and we agreed that I would have a lot of freedom and could travel on my own whenever I wanted. So it seemed like a great deal!

House in Denia

  1. What was Saudi Arabia like for an expat in the mid 1970’s?

It was tough being considered inferior as a woman. I wanted to study Arabic but there wasn’t enough demand so I used to go back to Bologna from May to October, not because of the heat it was more that I could never get used to the endemic enormous cockroaches flying around my feet.

  1. As an expat, where was your happiest posting and why?

In Brazil where we enjoyed a wonderful outdoor lifestyle with our two daughters.  We made life-long friends and Portuguese is still my favourite language. It was a country of deep contrasts, both in terms of landscapes and people.

Tiziana with husband and daughter

  1. How did you find living in South Korea in the mid 1980’s where you worked at the

national radio station?

South Korea was a developing country at this time and women’s status was similar to that in Arab countries. However, people were extremely patriotic, hardworking, generous, dutiful and particularly keen to show off the uniqueness of their Korean cultural identity. Rules had to be obeyed, discipline reigned, in other words, it was the perfect place for me! The stress in maintaining this façade, however, was clear and the huge animosity towards Japan was also very much in evidence. Hierarchy was paramount. On one occasion a string of plumbers came out to fix our boiler in the middle of winter to no avail and we later discovered that the youngest plumber knew precisely what was required but he was unwilling to show up his elder colleagues.

  1. You work as a voluntary translator of books for the Italian National Autistic Society and your second daughter is profoundly autistic, what has that been like?

 I translate articles for the Italian Autistic Society on behavioural management to help autistic children lead the most fulfilling life as is possible. Having a profoundly autistic child has shaped our lives in terms of where we could live and has forced my husband to change his career path. Furthermore, as Alexia is unable to speak or recognise us it has felt like a loss comparable to death. I am able to talk openly about it, yet my husband still cannot.

  1. What is your secret Madrid?

In Madrid I lead the life of a typical retired lady of the Salamanca district and can often be seen enjoying tea and cakes at  places like Cristina Oria, ‘El Perro y la Galleta’, Mama Framboise, or La Mimé. In addition I am a huge fan of all the free, high quality concerts, exhibitions and talks at the Fundación Juan March and Mapfre.

  1. Is it really true that you like to go to the cinema 3 or 4 times a week?

Yes! I plan my week around screenings of good films in VO, the theatre and the wide variety of Arts on offer in this wonderful city.

Tiziana’s grandson

 

Spotlight on Bhavika Harjani by Susannah Grant

June 14th, 2018 by

This month we take a peak into the life of Mumbai-born,  former board member of the Indian Sindhi Association of Madrid and charity bocadillo chef extraordinaire: Bhavika Harjani

  1. What brought you to Madrid in the first place 24 years ago?

I came to Madrid when I was 24 years old. I came along with my husband who had just started a new business in the centre of Madrid.

  1. Madrid and Mumbai are poles apart, do you have any stories about adapting to life here in Madrid?

The language barrier that prevented me from communicating with the rest of the people living in Madrid, was especially difficult as it restricted me from doing daily chores.

  1. How does the Sindhi faith differ from regular Hinduism?

Sindhi is one of the regional branches of Hinduism. The Sindhis were originally from Sind, a village in India. There is a Sindhi temple in Madrid and we all contribute to the Indian Sindhi Association here.

  1. Tell us about your involvement with the Indian Women’s Charity Association of Madrid

I started volunteering my first year living in Madrid, as I had some time to spare. Our principal task is preparing sandwiches every third Wednesday of the month, as well as supplying milk, breakfast and basic necessities depending on the requests of the place chosen to volunteer that month. At Christmas-time we give out hampers and toys to various organizations.

  1. What is your favourite part of Madrid?

Pozuelo, as it’s an area I much admire for its peace and quiet. I initially lived in the centre of Madrid when I arrived but after a year I moved to Pozuelo which I love as it’s full of greenery and full of  warm, welcoming people.

  1. As a keen cook, where do you source Indian ingredients and which are you favourite Indian restaurants here?

I buy all my Indian and exotic ingredients from Foodland in Calle Amparo, 99. My favourite Indian restaurant is definitely Swagat.

  1. Has anything surprised you about Spain/Madrid and its people?

One thing that definitely impacted me in a positive way of Spanish culture is the midday siesta and the amount of holidays. Here I find myself more relaxed and chilled whilst back home every minute is busy.

  1. How has this city changed you?

I have had to change my mindset to one that is more open and to adjust to the way children are brought up here.

  1. How has raising your 3 daughters in Madrid influenced their upbringing?

Our children have been brought up within the parameters of Indian culture although many of their beliefs and ways of doing things have been influenced by Spanish culture.    10. What Spanish customs have your family absorbed into your own culture/family life?

I haven’t actually absorbed anything as such, I still try to restrain myself to my own culture but I have had to adjust and take on board the fact that my children have spent most of their time with Spanish people so they have been influenced by the Spanish way of doing things. This has meant that I’ve had to be more open-minded and accepting of many things I wouldn’t have done back in India.

Spotlight on Fanny Signeyrole by Susannah Grant

May 13th, 2018 by

 

This month’s Spotlight falls on French entrepreneur Fanny Signeyrole, formerly Fanny Zara. A History of Art and MBA graduate, Fanny has returned to the fashion industry after several years in the business coaching and finance world in North America.

  1. Where you do call home?

I don’t feel attached to places but people. Home is where I live with the ones I love, my Austrian husband and my kids.

  1. Tell us about your new business venture

 “Fashion Talents” is a Blog and a Marketplace empowering new designers to start their own fashion business outside the established fashion industry, either as a primary professional activity or as an extra job on the side. Starting a fashion label today is feasible at a fraction of the time and cost it took before.

 

  1. What inspired you to set up Fashion Talents?

I have always had a passion for the fashion business, since I was very young. My father was a fashion designer and an entrepreneur and in the 70s and 80s he founded 2 fashion companies in Brittany. He had always been a great inspiration for me, from the time I was a little girl and was watching him at work. That led me to get a master’s degree in History of Art and an MBA in Luxury Brand Strategy and International Management.
Recently, I was inspired by the sharing business concept and marketplace technology. To me, it’s the future of online business. I am already a regular customer of of many different marketplace businesses in my daily life such as:  Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, BlaBlaCar, Fiverr… And I love all the inspirational discussions about business I have with my husband.

  1. What makes a good fashion designer in your opinion?

A good fashion designer is one that understands that clothes are made for people and not for museums or books! Fashion is not art. Fashion should not be limited to models, editors or celebrities either. It’s made for you, for me and for billions of people all over the world.

 

  1. What sort of fashion do you like?

My own personal fashion is very diverse. I don’t like wearing the same style. It would feel like eating the same food every day. Life is too short to be boring!
I love certain designers’ clothes for their creativity in all aspects. But I don’t pay much attention to famous fashion brands, logo and labels. As I feel they’re lacking in creative spirit. They just do advertisements and marketing.

  1. What advice would you give to others starting up a business here?

I am a follower of the Lean Startup business model. You start very small in everything: idea, investment, material, people… You test one thing after another. You learn from your mistakes. You adjust your business accordingly and then you move on.
But first and foremost, you need to make sure you have the energy to do whatever it takes for your business.

  1. What differences do you see between North American and Spanish fashion?

North American people are quite serious in their fashion style. Spanish designers are more daring. I think that Cristóbal Balenciaga or Manolo Blahnik are the best representatives of the playfulness of Spanish designers. Fashion is also a question of culture.

  1. If you could wave a magic wand where would you go next?

I wouldn’t use a magic wand to go anywhere. I relish the surprises of life!

 

Spotlight on Anne Pinder by Susannah Grant

April 17th, 2018 by

    This month we delve into the life of long term Madrid resident, former INC Board Member and tour guide extraordinaire, Anne Pinder who originally hails from Iowa.

  1. How did you get into the tour guiding and walking business? 

I originally started by organizing walking and biking trips for a large group of Spanish friends almost 30 years ago. After completing some career-change courses as well as business management, tourism, guiding and group dynamics (!) my hobby then became my profession in 2001.  Having studied a fair amount of art history, history and social sciences at university I have also been able to offer quality cultural content in my tours and have continued that learning process ever since.  As I love talking to locals I’m constantly picking up wonderful stories and quirky details that enrich my tours.

  1. Where are your favourite walks and areas of Spain to visit? 

Well, I love El Camino/Road of St. James; the Northern coast; Navarra and the entire Catalonian province of Girona.  Also North Central Spain (Castilla-León) where there are some beautiful cities and great walks, on and off the Camino trail.

  1. How has this city changed you? 

I’m from a small town in Iowa, so just learning to live in a big city was a challenge, almost more than the cultural things.

  1. What does sport mean for you?

Actually I don’t really regard walking or cycle touring as sport. Both are slow-track travel, a fabulous way to really experience the countryside, villages and contact with locals.  Surprisingly, with good choices and organization, this kind of travel does not have to be a tremendous physical challenge.

  1. Do you have any stories about adapting to life here in Madrid?

Hmmmm.  I’ve been here too long to remember adapting. Nowadays what I find amusing is when locals who don’t know me panic, thinking they might need to speak English before reverting to Spanish when they realize I’m actually a local (or almost).

  1. What is your secret Madrid?

All of my neighbourhood La Latina, Casa de Campo park, the cheese shop, Los Andes,75 on calle Toledo and pockets of the Chamberí neighbourhood.

  1. If you could wave a magic wand where would you go next in your life?

I’d like to have a big old house in a small village in Northern or Northeastern Spain .  Maybe a Bed and Breakfast but more likely make cheese or have some kind of crafts center.

  1. What’s unmissable for you in Madrid?

Everyone should go to the outdoor fiestas: San Isidro in mid-May and especially La Paloma in mid-August; watch for people in traditional dress strolling and doing traditional dances.  The monthly farmers’ markets in the Casa de Campo and the Matadero are a great gastro-cultural treat.  In summer, I recommend in one of the best natural swimming holes near Madrid such as La Pedriza near Manzanares el Real or Las Presillas in Rascafria.  For people who like history or historical fiction, the Capitan Alatriste books by Arturo Pérez-Reverte are great, about a 17th century soldier of fortune and his sidekick.

  1. When you’re not outside braving the elements what else do you like to do?

I love reading, writing my own blog amongst other material and I love knitting and sewing, time permitting!

 

Spotlight on Loreto Saura by Susannah Grant

March 7th, 2018 by

 

This month we take a peak into the life of INC’s co-Museum Visit Coordinator and Assistant Treasurer, ex furniture restorer and current artist, event planner and madrileña, Loreto Saura

  1. Your father was a pilot and your mother brought you and your 6 brothers and sisters up to be outward looking, what impact has this had on your life?

My father always insisted that we should travel and learn from the experience, we did just that and now my family comprises members from Holland, Russia, Colombia and India.

Editor’s Note: Before you read any further I would just like to point out that the similarities between Loreto’s life and mine only came to light once I was interviewing her. Hard as that may seem to believe! I’m finding it quite incredible myself!! Both our children share the same names and both our Andrés´s have ADHD. Plus both our children´s parents are a Spanish-British combination. 

  1. As a Brit myself, married to a Spaniard, please tell me what it’s like being married to a Brit as I’m curious!

Ha! Ha! Despite being British, Craig, has acquired many Spanish traits over the years and his sharp British sense of humour often comes in handy in certain situations!

  1. Do you have any stories about adapting to life in New York?

When we arrived in 2000, I kept inquiring about the “Whitney Houston Museum” (instead of the Whitney Museum of American Art) and after a while people started wondering if indeed there WAS a museum dedicated to the American Singer…..

4. How did you get into painting?

After years of studying Contemporary Art I was asked to start a painting group with a friend of mine. I was hooked from the start and pleasantly surprised that I was able to create art and experiment with it. Now I really understand why people say that “Art soothes the soul”.

5. Why do you prefer painting to furniture restoration?

Painting gives me more freedom, there is no copying and set procedures or techniques to follow. It feels more creative and more challenging.

6. You adopted your son from Russia. Please tell us about that experience.

Our much-loved son, Andrés came to us when he was 1; adoption is a wonderful way to form a family. Our main aim in life has always been to teach both him and his sister, Claudia, to be autonomous and to enjoy life’s challenges. However, adoption is tough as it forces you to deal with emotional scars, the absence of medical history and many other issues connected to their roots and start in life. You need to have a very supportive network of family and friends.

7. Tell us about your project to teach art in small groups that you’re working on right now.

We offer Arts-related activities though OCIDYR (Ocio Dirigido) and have edited a book that includes 20 of my paintings and 20 poems inspired by them. We also fundraise through cultural activities for charities.

8. What is your secret Madrid?

El Parque del Capricho with its stunning different European horticultural styles and even a bunker from the Spanish Civil War.

9. Tell us about the other facet of your career as a wedding/event planner

I used to work as event/wedding planner at the emblematic Hotel Plaza and I still organise weddings occasionally as I love it!  After months of hard work it is very rewarding to participate and see the happiness you have helped to create.

10. If you could wave a magic wand what would you do next in your life? 

Set up my own painting workshop, open an art gallery and travel round the world in search of new ideas, inspiration and learning experiences.

Spotlight on Renata Morassutti by Susannah Grant

February 7th, 2018 by

This month we talk to Brazilian INC member Renata Morassutti, a former Intellectual Property Lawyer and more recently a Sommelier about her take on living in Lima and Madrid.

  1. What was it like as a Sao Paulo student to move to the US to study Law and then work there?

It was a great experience from both a personal and professional standpoint. I loved the whole university atmosphere and was really impressed with and challenged by the education system and the Socratic method.  Working there was an amazing experience and taught me to be more direct, objective and to build my cases better.

  1. Why did you choose to specialise in Intellectual Property?

I have always been very keen on the arts in all forms, as well as literature and everything related to creations of the human mind. So, as a lawyer, I was interested in protecting these expressions of the soul, fostering creativity and adding value to innovation.

  1. How did you find living in Peru for 4 years prior to coming to Madrid?

We lived in Lima, Peru for 2,5 years and it was a very interesting experience. Peru is a country with a rich and impressive culture and with great gastronomy. Having the chance to learn more about the Incas and visiting their sacred places was unforgettable.

  1. Do you have any stories about adapting to life here in Madrid?

When we arrived in Madrid I had a hard time understanding the Spanish “definition” of morning and afternoon. When I first tried to get a doctors appointment, I specifically asked for a morning appointment (thinking they would offer me something between 8 and noon). To my surprise, they offered me a 1:45pm appointment!

  1. What prompted you to do a Sommelier course in Lima?

I have always loved cooking and all things gastronomical. For me, nothing beats a delicious dish paired with a good wine. So it seemed natural for me to enter this new and enchanting world of wines.

  1. What other interests and hobbies do you like to pursue?

Apart from cooking, baking, and studying wine, I love history, music, knitting and travelling.

  1. What is your secret Madrid?

Since I am half Brazilian/half Italian, my favourite place in Madrid is a small Italian restaurant in the Mercado de La Paz, called “Matteo Cucina Italiana”. The chef used to work for the Italian Embassy and now has this charming little restaurant inside the market. The food is delicious and reminds me of my “Nonna”’s home-cooked food.

  1. Now that you’ve been here for 3 years, what’s unmissable for you in Madrid?

Besides the Mercado de La Paz, I also love the Retiro Park.

  1. Are Brazilians and Spaniards less similar than you thought prior to moving here?

Brazilians and Spaniards are very much alike as a matter of fact.  Our similarity with each other has been a pleasant surprise! 

  1. If you could wave a magic wand what would you do next in your life?

I would love to become a winemaker…Or run a nice little bakery.

Spotlight on Callie Stewart by Susannah Grant

January 9th, 2018 by

British physiotherapist, Happy Loro, mother and grandmother of 3 and longstanding INC member, Callie Stewart, tells us about her superfood plantations in Paraguay and the secret to an enriching, long and happy life in Madrid. 

1.       When did your overseas adventures start?

When I was 25 my father banished me to Canada l as I had an unsuitable suitor at the time. I spent 6 months working in Toronto and forgot about him quite quickly! 

2.       Later on you met your future Spanish husband but again, adventure prevailed – how did you end up working in Italy?

I replied to an advert in a professional physiotherapy journal and ended up working in Florence and Ancona in 1972 where treatments were practically 50 years behind the times!

Some families brought their disabled children to the hospital for the foreign Signorina to cure! That was terrible! 

3.       How has Madrid changed since you moved here with your husband and 3 small children in 1982?

Madrid seems to have grown almost beyond recognition since my early days here! The centre was very compact and going home to Majadahonda meant travelling through countryside to a separate village.  

4.       How easy was it to slot in back then?

It did take me a while to adjust at the beginning. However, through my work as a physiotherapist in a country where the practice was little known I was embraced by society and I treated people from dukes to dustmen which was fascinating.  

5.       Do you have any funny stories you can tell us about adapting to life in Madrid?

The most outrageous moment was when I had an old car and the horn didn’t work and someone had double-parked me. I was in a hurry to leave so when I saw a man going to his car I asked him to blow his horn for me: “Puedes tocar tu pito para mí porque el mío no funciona”  which basically means “Could you touch your penis for me as mine doesn’t work!” My family dined out on that story for months! 

6.       What are your connections with Paraguay?

Years ago a friend and I visited Paraguay and decided to make some investments. Later we became interested in Moringa which is a tree that grows very well there and is an extremely nutritious superfood. We have been growing it now for 4 years and are importing it into Europe and Asia.   

7.       Travelling is in your blood, tell us about your recent trip to India

Last January a group of us from INC travelled to Kerala in the South of India where tea and cardamom plantations nestle in breath-taking scenery. Afterwards we spent time in Delhi and also visited the Taj Mahal. 

In December we travelled together again, to Vienna, where INC member, Mareni, set up a splendid programme for us, she could easily go into the tourist business! INC has provided me with some very lasting friendships over the years.  

8.       What other clubs and associations do you belong to?

I’ve been involved with the British Benevolent Fund for many years, we provide a much-needed rescue service to Brits who are in dire need in Spain. I also do weekly walks in the mountains near Madrid with my bilingual walking group called the Happy Loros.   

9.       Finally, what are your tips for a long and fulfilling life?

Take a keen interest in everything around you, particularly in people and get involved in a fulfilling project – my case it’s a plantation of Moringa in Paraguay!

Spotlight on Nilima Parker by Susannah Grant

December 6th, 2017 by

An Australian with Indian roots, Nilima Parker has worked for IBM round the world, taught Catechism at her local public school and cooked up a storm wherever she goes. Here she tells us about her passion for travel, cooking, charity work and where to get a really good curry in town.

 

  1. You left Mumbai aged 19 to get married and settle in Australia. How did you first adjust to life in Sydney?

 

For me coming to Australia was a bit of a culture shock, we moved from a high rise apartment in bustling Mumbai to a house in a sleepy Sydney suburb. It was wintertime and I wasn’t sweating, I could finally drink water out of a tap and I could easily buy pretty shoes for my oversized Indian feet. It felt like a win-win all around, despite missing my family and friends.

 

  1. In 2008 you moved to Bangalore, India, with your husband and daughter, 20 years after having left Mumbai as a student. How did it feel to return to your homeland after so long away? 

 

For me it felt like a homecoming, I may have left India many years ago but India never left me. However, it was more challenging for my husband and daughter until they looked beyond the heat, dirt and the crowds and discovered India’s wondrous beauty, ancient heritage, ever-changing delicious cuisine and warmly welcoming people.

 

  1. What does cooking mean to you and how did you start out in that field? 

My parents were foodies and my mum an amazing cook and at a young age we were exposed to cuisines from different countries but my real romance with food began in Tokyo. Here the visual aspect was just as important as the taste. Then moving to Bangalore brought me in touch with an amazing bunch of expat women, all with a passion for cooking and giving. We got together and created Foodforcause, a not-for-profit, that conducted cooking demonstrations from around the world for charity.

  1. How have you managed to fit walking and running into your busy life? 

 

As a family we love running together and living in such a convenient location such as Madrid means we can take walking tours to fascinating places around Spain and Europe, meet interesting people, eat and keep fit, all at the same time.

 

  1. Which are your favourite Indian restaurants here in Madrid? 

We love Tandoori Station and Swagat for wholesome Indian food and Benares for modern Indian cuisine with a Spanish twist.

Fortunately I can find all my Indian spices in Lavapies in shops such as Cosmo Cash and Carry.

  1. What is your secret Madrid? 

We love the vibe of Madrid and walking through Chueca and Malasaña in search of our next amazing restaurant, is a regular family pastime. One of our firm favorites is Federal, a café where the owner, an ex-Sydney resident serves “flat whites” and “Lamingtons”.

 

  1. How do you think your overseas assignments have shaped your family? 

With every move the scenery changes outside your window along with everything and everyone you once knew. The goodbyes are hard though not necessarily final. It’s important to remember that a real home is “where the heart is”  We are lucky that all three of us have itchy feet and each assignment gives us a chance to start afresh, to own less and do more, to learn new things and be inspired but most of all, it has changed our whole perspective on life for the better.

 

 

Spotlight on Eleanor Pojer by Susannah Grant

November 9th, 2017 by

This month´s spotlight is on INC President and former radiographer, Eleanor Pojer, who gives us some exotic insight into her long-term expat lifestyle in Asia and Europe.

  1. How has Madrid changed since you first moved here in 1989?

Well…. Spain has changed so much over the past 28 years, since joining the EU there are more highways, larger shopping malls, more foreign products and choices of restaurants.

  1. What were the early days of INC like?

I joined INC in 1990 when it was run by telephone and paper! We organized lots of children’s activities and published a monthly newsletter.

  1. What brought you to Madrid in the first place?

My Spanish mother in law was ill so my husband and I agreed to both quit our jobs, sell all of our furniture and move to Madrid. That was my first experience of living abroad and it was tough at first but INC and having my daughters helped me keep busy and adapt to my new life. Madrid is a place that I love and can call HOME.

  1. What is your secret Madrid?

I love exploring Madrid and my husband and I love trying new restaurants.  A few of our favourites are La Kasa, Cañadio, Opazo, Asakabarra and La Bomba.

  1. How has it been raising an expat family in different continents? 

Living in Korea and the Thailand for 10 years has made us all more worldly and open-minded. As a family we all fell in love with the culture, the food and the Asian people. We will never look at things the same way. Coming from a small city in Florida. I love big cities, buzzing with life and full of surprises and challenges

  1. Do you have any stories about adapting to life in Asia?

Mastering “Taxi Talk”, the language you learn in each country to help you communicate with the taxi driver, has always been a challenge. When we first moved to Thailand from Korea I start giving directions in Korean (taxi talk) to the Thai taxi drivers much to their astonishment.

  1. Tell me about some of charity work you got involved with whilst living in Asia?

I organized a few Galas for Charity for orphans, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Smile and many others. As you can see I like to keep my hand into giving back.

  1. What was it like living in Saudi Arabia, as a woman with 2 daughters?

As women, we had to acquiesce to their rules such as: not driving, covering our bodies and sitting in the “Family Section” of restaurants (single or groups of men stay in the “Men Only” sections). Women are “dependents”, or rather “sponsored” by their husbands, who are in turn sponsored by their companies, and we couldn’t leave the country without an exit visa from our husbands. The expat community is very close and welcoming but it’s true to say that Saudi just wasn´t a tourist destination as such.

  1. Rumours abound that you are a keen, competitive tennis player – is that true?

Oh yes. I love tennis! Every country I have lived in I have played on a team. It is an easy sport that you can pick up, play anywhere and meet wonderful friends.

 

Spotlight on Katie Schmidt by Susannah Grant

October 6th, 2017 by

SPOTLIGHT ON KATIE SCHMIDT, a former Epidemiologist from the US, gives us invaluable insight into a healthier lifestyle and wellbeing.

1.Tell us about being an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and how did you get into that field?

As a Health Coach, I’m a nutrition and wellness advisor and accountability partner who works closely with women and couples to help them establish sustainable habits that improve health and well-being.

This work is my passion because I’ve spent the last 13 years refining a lifestyle framework that reflects true health. In my early twenties, I struggled with body image. Consequently, I believed health was reading labels and counting calories. Once I found the intersection between nourishment and satisfaction in my daily life, it made a tremendous difference in how I felt, inside and out.

2.How would you describe the Whole Nourishment lifestyle? Does it affect your philosophy on life in general?

Absolutely! Because Whole Nourishment is about the small, daily habits we adopt in the kitchen and beyond. And daily habits make up our life!

It champions a holistic approach to eating and living well that recognizes the synergy between what we eat and how we live and enables us to feel good in and about our bodies. In other words, our lifestyle, ie activity level, stress management and mindset, impacts our choices in the kitchen and recognizes the importance of self-care.

3.You´ve lived in many places including Guatemala and Argentina, tell us about living in Switzerland before moving to Madrid in the Summer of 2016

These two countries could not be more different if they tried! Let’s see…. if they were animals, Switzerland would be the orderly, predictable, ritualistic early bird and Spain the bubbly, free-spirited, nocturnal Sugar Glider.

4.If you could wave a magic wand what would you do next in your life?

At risk of sounding dull, we´d be happy to repeat exactly what we´re doing now! Though I’d love to visit the Maldives and venture further into Africa! Professionally, I’d love future work to include teaching body acceptance and intuitive eating to young girls.

5.What is your secret Madrid? 

Espacio Orgánico: great selection of organic produce and cool café. Virginia, the foot reflexologist there, is the best!

And Parque Felipe VI: between the quiet, rustic trails and views of the mountains, my dog Leila and I  feel miles away from the city on our daily walks.

6.Do you have any stories about adapting to life here in Madrid? 

The pothole-ridden dirt roads of Swaziland where we used to live are nothing compared to the crisscrossed, confusing interchanges along the M-11, M-40, and M-30. Once I figured out how to navigate the overlapping highways exits, three splits deep (veer right, veer left, veer right), I felt like I could do anything!

7.Has anything surprised you about Spain and its people?

I was surprised the first time I saw people eating breakfast at 11:30 am. I still don’t understand how people can wait until 10 or 11 pm to go out. Even when I eat a late lunch, there’s no way I can last until 10 pm!

8.Finally – what’s the key to maintaining a healthy relationship to food without obsessing about it?

Finding the crossroads between nourishment and satisfaction in our daily meals. This comes naturally when we define boundaries with a few non-negotiables, then adopt an attitude of flexibility, satisfaction, and variety when making food choices.

Photograph captions and credits:

Picture of Katie and husband, Gregg: M.P. Myers

Picture of Katie and Katie and dog, Leila: Anna Primavera