At the beginning , it started with her grandma who was sick for so many years before she passed away. Yasmine was around 14 when she saw the doctors put her grandma on dairy and gluten free diets. She was exposed to the gluten and dairy free diets in 2007, in France, which is her 2nd nationality and where she lived at the time. By that time these foods were not yet introduced to Egypt.
Her mom started looking into food therapy when I was a teenager. Yasmine noticed a lot of people were doing much better without dairy and gluten products, but she wanted to enjoy her delicious pizza and tasty ice-cream still. Yasmine and her mom were not really into cooking, and had help in the kitchen at home. Food was never really something Yasmine managed.
The ultimate change
When she turned 17, Yasmine moved to London for her university. Living alone, she cut down on gluten and dairy , and ate a lot of vegetables. Yasmine was inspired to become more green when she saw her flat-mate making morning green juices, her skin and hair got healthier and more beautiful ever since.
In Yasmine’s last year of university, a close friend of hers got diagnosed with diabetes at 24, which is strange and unlikely because diabtetes type 1 show in kids, and type 2 develops at older age. He needed to control and monitor his food intake all the time. Yasmine started looking at vegetarianism and veganism as an option to manage diabetes. This is one thing that got me to research, reading, and watching documentaries.
Spreading the Goodies
From there they turned vegetarian then vegan together, and opened a vegan kitchen in 2014. It was the first organic and vegan restaurant in Egypt and maybe even the Middle East. People loved the place in Maadi, unfortunately the restaurant had to close one year later due to personal matters. Her friend’s diet change however was great for him and his well-being. Through her experimentation and studies, Yasmine gave nutrition advice to her grandma and mom too.
After the restaurant was closed, Yasmine continued with catering and cooking workshops. A lot of women were approaching her for diets for their children who have severe allergies or neurological complications such as autism and down syndrome. It is recommended for these kids to follow a gluten free and dairy free diet. They asked Yasmine for so many recipes and help. People came from governates across Egypt to see her and seek her help, so..
Yasmine decided to write a book to save people the time and effort, so she decided to dedicate hers to provide everyone in need of guidance with the recipes she tried and loved. A 100 recipes in Happy Belly came out exactly 4 years ago, in Feb. 2017. The recipes are everything from starters, soups, salads, desserts, main courses to smoothies and milkshakes.
The book tackles a lot of thing;. It is vegetarian without dairy, but Yasmine does use eggs in some recipes, so it’s like borderline vegan, however it’s still free of gluten, soy ,yeast, and sugar. All recipes are naturally sweetened with local goods, like dates honey, and molasses.
For those who want to cook without sugar completely, the recipes can be adjusted. Yasmine personally loves using dates because they’re super foods and contain a lot fibers which actually regulate blood sugar, they’re amazing and affordable.
Happy Belly, the new recipes and KAJU
Yasmine continued trying new recipes, 2 years later she started working on her second book “ Happy belly, the new recipes. It only contains 46 recipes, she picked her favorite and simplest recipes. The new book was born in 2019. Yasmine hasn’t been giving as much workshops lately, but she’s frequently posting videos and plan to deliver more workshops soon.
Yasmine has “Kaju” now for 5 years, It’s vegan and nonallergen food. She also recently started growing a small organic farm, not for mass production, just for her trials and learning to provide healthy food in healthy soil for a healthy community. Studying environmental engineering ties all in.
The puzzle/ The trick
When we overeat, it is not because something is wrong with us, its because the body is intelligent and it knows that it’s not getting enough nutrition so we remain hungry, the only thing is that we confuse our hunger and the real cravings for false cravings. Let’s say I wake up and eat popcorn, popcorn doesn’t have nutritional value, it’s just starch.
So if I eat popcorn for lunch, breakfast and dinner I will stay hungry, my body is still waiting for nutrition, proteins, fats, but we might misunderstand that and eat more popcorn thinking it will serve our body and hunger. This is what happens with people who don’t eat nutritious food throughout the day and find themselves starving. When hungry, the body will ask for something calorie dense so we tend to go for the wrong things.
But the trick is : if you start your day with something completely nutritious that has all the things you need then its solved. The puzzle is complete.
The base is there, and cravings will not be the same, then weight will be adjusted, and you will have energy because you’re eating right. If you want to eat more it’s because you need more calories, not more nutrients. Start your day with greens, healthy fats, colors. Balance your carbs proteins and fats. You’ve only got one body!