Today I’ll make your mouth water with Eleonora, healthyhappyfitbakery on Instagram. From dance to cooking, and one goal: to spread the culture of quality food, without giving it up with absurd diets.
We will then get to know the food museums of Parma. I recommend that you visit them, to learn about the production processes of seven leading agro-food products in the Parma area: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Parma Ham, the Felino Salami, Pasta, Tomato, Parma wines and salted pork.
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Eleonora, and her culinary art
Me: Hi, what a pleasure! I introduce myself, I’m Luna.
Ele: Hi Luna, nice to meet you, I’m Eleonora. How did you come up to me? How did you find me? I am very curious to find out!
Me: I was watching among the profiles that follow me on Instagram and I found you! Your profile is very interesting! I don’t know exactly what the things you photograph are, but they look really beautiful, they intrigued me so much that I decided to contact you.
Ele: Don’t you know sweets? How is it possible?
Me: You know Eleonora, I was stuck for a long time in a world where sweets didn’t exist, just as there were no people, or houses, or nature. For me it’s all new, I’m discovering so many things and I’m really excited to be able to do it! I really want to know and discover everything your world has to offer me. I would like to ask you for help to better understand what we are talking about. Could you explain me what it means to eat and what food actually is?
Ele: Sure Luna, I will tell you it! For the majority of people food is to be understood as that set of ingredients or products that humans take to get to the end of the day, so as not to die of hunger. But in reality, it’s not like that for me. For me, food is much more: it is conviviality, it is joy, it is happiness, it is a moment, an opportunity to sit together at the table, with loved ones, with the people you love and share moments of lightheartedness. For me, cooking is something sacred, divine, it is a real act of love, an act of love for oneself and for others. I believe it’s one of the most authentic manifestations of love there could be.
From dance to stoves
Me: You said some really beautiful things, you seem to have always done this in your entire life!
Ele: No Luna, it will seem strange to you but, in reality I approached the world of cooking, the kitchen stoves, relatively recently. This is because I have dedicated my entire life, up to this moment, to dance. I’ve been doing dance for many years, since I was six. And I spent all of my afternoons, after high school and the first years of university, in the hall; in that room where I cried, laughed, sweated. So, I really had very little time to devote myself to anything else, and it didn’t even cross my mind, to dedicate myself to cook, to prepare desserts. Because I didn’t have time and, that little time left, I usually spent it doing something else.
Then I graduated in 2019, so I finished my academic career and continued only with hip hop, thus abandoning the classic, modern and contemporary. Hip hop, fortunately, took me very little time a week. An hour, more or less. And therefore, from that moment on, I began to have more and more time available for myself and to dedicate my energy to other hobbies. Until Covid took over with the consequent lockdown, and I found myself interfacing with very long days, in which it was essential for me to find something to do, necessarily to use those hours.
Me: Your journey was very amazing! But from what I managed to understand, dance and cooking are two completely different things, the transition from one to the other must not have been easy.
Ele: Yes Luna, you’re right. The world of dance and the world of cooking very often tend to apparently exclude each other. Indeed, often, as you know, the world of dance tends to convey a wrong message: dancers should not eat a lot, they must follow a rigorous diet, to always be in perfect shape. So, it’s true, on the surface the two worlds might really seem to be mutually exclusive. In reality, however, after graduating in 2019 and having continued only with hip hop, and then Covid also took over with the consequent closure of dance schools, I found myself having to employ my very long days in some way.
Long days that I was not used to at all. I still remember when I used to go to my dance school and tried desperately to carve out some time that very often I was not able to. I was always looking for more time to be able to do what I wanted. And instead, with Covid, I found the opposite; I needed to commit myself in some way, and so my passion for cooking was born.
In general, I’m interested in preparation of breakfasts, snacks and healthy, dietetic sweets. This is because I’ve always followed a healthy eating style and I wanted, in some way, to be able to combine the preparation of desserts in a key more healthy, a little lighter, healthier. In fact I prefer healthy products, not like those that we can always find in the market. And basically, I’m interested in preparing healthy breakfasts every morning, snacks every afternoon, in a way that I could eat without too many feelings of guilt. I discovered that I had a real passion; a passion that I had probably hidden for all these years and, from there, my friends, even my family, encouraged me to even create an Instagram page, which has grown more and more over time and that suits me, that gave me and continues to give me a lot of satisfaction.
healthyhappyfitbakery, on Instagram
Me: I find really interesting the words you said, I saw your page and it’s really amazing, and elegant, I could feel the passion you put into your creations. If I may, I would like to ask you what message you want to get across with your page and what cooking really is for you right now.
Ele: Luna, first of all, I want to thank you for this question. Then I want to take this opportunity, to reiterate once again the message, that I really care about. That I try to launch, every day, through what I publish on my Instagram page. So, in our society, the basic idea that we know is that: following an healthy eating style and eating sweets, they can’t necessarily go hand in hand. Well, I am convinced of the opposite. And I would like to convince others to the contrary. Unfortunately, beauty standards have been imposed on us, which are the main cause of diseases such as: anorexia, even depression that affects many people, primarily girls who believe that following a healthy eating style means only and just counting calories, without knowing that counting calories is one of the most harmful things there can be.
Do not eat little, but healthy
In my opinion, a healthy eating style means choosing ingredients, products that are good for health. In fact, I have always abolished, for example, the use of butter, refined flours, refined sugar. I prefer only natural organic, vegetable products, because I consider it, essentially, an investment in health, an act of love for myself. Of course, sometimes surely, I also allow myself a meal that is a little more free: a sandwich, a pizza, but it’s okay. As I said before, food must be happiness, it must be joy; you cannot sit at the table with the worry of counting calories, of being careful about what you eat in terms of quantity, of portions.
I believe that true happiness, true well-being, lies in eating in a carefree but conscious way; therefore, without relying on products, ingredients that very often, especially on the market, in production, pass us off as healthy but are not healthy. For example, another thing that I have abolished: pre-packaged snacks, but for the only reason that they are, very often, rich in palm oil, preservatives, in short, dyes, which are very bad and are very harmful to health.
For me, therefore, the message that I try to launch every day is precisely this: eating healthy means eating in a happy, carefree, but conscious way, preferring products that are good for health; it means investing in health, and means enjoying what you eat, indulging in a cake, a biscuit, a muffin, without feeling guilty. And I hope it will be grasped because I believe that this issue is very, very important; I always read about people who continue to rely on nutritionists or personal trainers, who do nothing but pass on the wrong concept of healthy food, that is, low-calories, sad food, dishes like plain rice, or boiled cod. I dissociate myself from all of this, for me food, let’s say, healthy food, is colored, nutritious, balanced food and, above all, prepared with selected and healthy ingredients.
Invest in your health
Me: I’m truly amazed by this world and all that it contains. I thought it was just a matter of eating at the beginning, but, through your explanations, I realized that it is a real art, that there are important knowledge to acquire. I believe that the message you want to convey is really important and genuine, I can perceive, in your words, the importance this eating style has for you.
Ele: Exactly Luna, for me, by now, following a healthy eating style is essential. Obviously, the preparation and consumption of cakes and biscuits is also included. This is because I obviously make them with products with ingredients that certainly cost a little more than those we normally find at the supermarket, but I do it for myself, I consider it an investment for my health and for the health of my family.
Every time I cook, I never cook only and exclusively for myself, but above all for my family; I also want to convince them of the fact that, in a diet, a healthy eating style, can also include the preparation of cakes, and above all that, a cake with a little sugar, or with wholemeal flour rather than with refined flour, or without eggs, does not mean a bad taste cake; the preparation with these ingredients does not compromise in any way the flavor, the taste of the cake, on the contrary, seeing is believing! And therefore, it can only be an investment in the psychophysical well-being of each of us.
Cooking is like a magic
Me: I find it truly amazing to be able to cook for someone. Personally I’ve never had the chance to do it but I’m beginning to believe it is something special. I find it incredible that, with your own hands, you can create something that can be shared with other people and eaten all together. The idea that from simple ingredients we can give shape to something so beautiful is like a magic for me.
Ele: You’re right Luna, cooking something with your own hands is something gratifying, satisfying, motivating and stimulating, now it’s really something I can’t do without. But, above all, the very important thing: I believe that cooking, preparing something with your own hands, is a way to escape from that world of social networks, of the internet, of which we are now really addicted; the pandemic has done nothing but accentuate this aspect of our life, it has done nothing but make us even more slaves to social media, therefore to the fake, the built, the apparent.
Let’s say, carving out, during the day, moments to cook, to create something that is the result of one’s passion, something that comes from one’s own hands, is instead a way to get closer to the real world, therefore to the world of the real, of the genuine, of the authentic. I would like this message to be truly understood by everyone, because it is really fundamental; we are really going adrift, now it is almost as if the virtual world was far surpassing the real one and instead, it is time to regain possession of the true, the genuine, the authentic and cooking is certainly one of the ways to get closer to that world, to return to that world.
Blueberry Muffins with Luna
Me: I really thank you for this beautiful explanation. Unfortunately, I believe that the virtual world is surpassing the real one and I’m really sorry, because, personally, I find your world fantastic, full of surprises, things to discover, adventures to live. I’m knowing many aspects that I didn’t believe could exist and you have really helped me to discover an art that was incomprehensible to me. Your words were precious, but I would like to ask you to show me the practice too, to make it complete! I would love to be able to create a dessert with you!
Ele: Oh my God Luna, but it’s a fantastic proposition! I really like it! You make me really happy, it’s an honor for me. So, that’s fine. But, what do you think to prepare together the blueberry muffins?
Me: Blueberries muffin? I accept as if I already know what they are! All jokes aside, I think whatever is fine, I’m really happy to be able to witness the magic of creation and be a part of it! Thank you for your availability. We can see each other next weeks!
Ele: Luna, it seems really perfect to me, thank you very much for this fantastic chat, it was really super enlightening, I can’t wait to prepare our recipe together and see it published on my Instagram page. I hug you very tightly. Goodbye!
Me: Thanks to you! It is an honor to know that a recipe created together will be published on your splendid Instagram profile, I hope it will be as beautiful and good as all the others, otherwise I will have to abandon the pastry path and think about something else! Bye Eleonora!
Food Museum of Parma
Before saying goodbye, I would like to recommend you an interesting visit to the Food Museums, located in Parma, a city that hosts the major food productions of: cured meats, such as Parma Ham; cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano; pasta with the world leader Barilla. Thanks to its food heritage, Parma has earned the title of “Creative City of Gastronomy”. Real museums have been created to tell the story of the products, the generations of farmers and artisans who have worked on their production. The idea of creating more museums is dictated, precisely, by the fact of wanting to show the quality of each individual product and the process, that starts from simple raw materials, generated from the earth, and arrives directly in kitchens all around the world. Food is considered by many to be a true work of art, so the museum is the right home in which to be housed.
And thanks to who read the first episode of “I’m Luna Dolph”! It was a pleasure for me to introduce you in this new challenge! See you next Friday. Follow me in podcast and video, (and give me a 5-star review :-P) to encourage me to continue this journey. And contact me for advice, criticism or just to get to know me. And don’t forget, Experience and enjoy the real world!