Marta is an Italian young woman, running a food blog and Instagram called Naturalmentebuono, together with her mother Mimma. We're so in love with their cute mother and daughter snaps and their absolutely amazing recipes, that we decided to invite Marta to tell us a little bit of her journey into an LCHF diet, including positive changes, challenges and a bit of her routine.
Hey Marta, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Marta, part of the Naturalmentebuono team, a mother-daughter duo where we share our wholesome recipes and healthy lifestyle living hacks and tips! I’m 21 years old, I’m very passionate about cooking (most of the time you’ll find me experimenting with new recipes or shopping at health food stores) and flower enthusiast.
We're very curious about how did you start naturalmentebuono? Was it yours or mom's idea? Have you always been passioned about cooking?
Naturalmentebuono started from a mum’s idea. It’s funny because now it’s basically me running all the stuff around it, but this project would have never started without her and I’m so grateful to her because it totally changed my life. My mum has always been very keen on cooking; ever since I was a child she always made everything at home, never buying ready meals or snacks. I grew up on real, properly cooked food. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about it. Although, I never REALLY get into cooking until, when I was 14teen or 15teen, she decided to start a food blog. She didn’t know where to start, she wasn’t really practical with the internet and needed help. So I started helping her taking pictures and setting the blog post: two months later, you’ll find me experimenting with her, cooking a lot and finally finding what I love in life.
That's so nice to hear. We die seeing how beautiful and amazing the foods that you both prepare look like. Hope one day we can try it in person! ;)
Now, let's talk about healthy fats. How long are you on an LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet and what motivated you to start? Italy is the country of pizza and pasta, so it's always curious to hear stories like yours.
I’m on an LCHF for about one year and 3 months. I have been a vegetarian and then a vegan for several years and, although I am very compassionate about animals and used to enjoy my meals, I started experiencing IBS issues, intolerances, hormone problems. I didn’t know what to do. Until I got it: I needed more fats and to remove what was wrecking my gut. So I started incorporating plenty of healthy fats and humanely raised proteins. Just a few weeks and I started feeling at my best! That’s exactly how my journey started.
That's so great to hear! Although there's little research done on the correlation between LCHF and IBS, there's quite some evidence of the potential benefits and we hear a lot of people with the same story, that eating low carb, high fat is very helpful. There's a full article about that on Diet Doctor, for those who are curious.
And what else changed in your life and health since you’ve been on this journey? What’s your favorite thing about it?
As I told, I regained my health. Hormones back in check, no more low iron, tons of energy, focused brain and finally became able to properly digest my meals without feeling horrible or bloated. Such big changes! I think my favorite thing is how much happier I am after a meal. Seriously, good fats make me the happiest!
Happy fats, we love 'em too! Have you been through any challenges along the road? How did you deal with it?
My biggest challenge was to explain to people why I eat in a certain way. After all, what I decided is my personal choice and no one should point at me just because I eat in a different way. For me it's a healing protocol, I was so sick before, so I realized that if people do not accept it, probably they are not worth it.
We've been there. And we think people should be happy that others are happy - and healthy, right?
What about dining out (with friends or family) on the weekends. Any funny experiences or challenges like that in Italy?
Most of the time my friends are really accommodating and we always find a solution which is good for both. Anyway, I remember last year, before going on a 2 weeks trip with some new friends: we had to road trip from north to south Italy and we decided to have lunch at one of my friend’s house and then leave. We arrived and a big pot of pasta was what he made! Thankfully we weren’t in a rush and I have been able to assemble a much more “Marta-friendly” meal!
Sometimes we feel like we have to always have an extra meal in the bag!
And talking about Marta-friendly meals, your recipes are amazing. how do you get inspiration?
Thank you so much! I love surfing on the internet to get inspiration. Also, really love to recreate some classics from traditional cuisines. It’s a mixture of both. Another thing is that I travel a lot. And when I travel, I LOVE dining out. So I order the most particular dishes and then try to recreate them at home!
From all that you made, what’s your all-time favorite recipe? The one you could eat every day!
I’m so boring, but could easily leave on salmon and avocado. Heat ghee in a pan, get that crispy fish skin and serve with smashed avocado. SO GOOD. Also, have a huge love for big salads: I love crunchy food under my teeth. When I have time, a favorite is a cauliflower crusted pizza! I just combine eggs, coconut flour, and cauliflower, then bake it in the oven. What I like about it is that I am completely free with the toppings. So every time I can choose a different flavor and can play with different ingredients, it’s NEVER boring!
You just made us incredibly hungry...
Tell us a bit more about you, what’s your morning routine like?
First thing first, I heat a pot with a nice amount of water and enjoy a glass of straight hot water. Then I immediately move to my bulletproof coffee (some people needs to take time before coffee, but that’s not me: it really helps me relaxing me down and putting my body in a “safe” mood). While sipping my coffee (which I usually drink in less than 2 minutes, but that’s not really an example for anyone LOL) I sorta meditate and take 30 minutes just for doing nothing. Is literally the best feeling ever, not having to rush just after being woken up. After that, I have a shower and go straight to my skincare routine which is very simple but effective. I love using all natural products, that’s better for you and for the planet. Every morning I HAVE to go out and walk a few kilometers. I can spend all afternoon at home, but morning HAS TO be spent outside. It’s my daily dose of vitamin D + it really makes me digest and live the day better. When I do not get out, I can feel it.
That's so interesting. We love it! Already gave us some ideas... (and we chug a lot of coffee too, you're not alone)
What’s the biggest message you would like to share with our followers about eating more fats and living an LCHF life?
The biggest message is: don’t fear fats! They’re delicious and so good for you! It makes me sad seeing people depriving themselves of delicious, healthy fats because they believe low fat is better for them. Fat has so many advantages like brain and hormone health, nobody should avoid them.
Yes! Fats are the best.
To wrap up, what do you think of Keto Cacao and what’s your favorite flavor?
Was waiting for this question! My fave is definitely the coconut one, although all bars are delicious. They remind me a bit of “cioccolato di modica” which is typical Sicilian chocolate which is cold pressed and you can actually feel granules of sugar under your teeth. With Keto Cacao is basically the same (I love the fact is not completely smooth), but instead of sugar, you have healthy LOW GI sweetener and MCT powder. Basically, treat with all the benefits!
Weeee! Always puts a smile on our face when we hear that. Thank you so much Marta, and for sharing your stories with us too.
And we can't wait to see more and more of your recipes on Instagram.