Hi! I’m Cristina…

Christina MarinoMy name is Cristina and I am crazy in love with food! I think about food all the time… I have always thought about food all the time, even immediately after eating a meal I think about what the next meal will be.

At the age of four I got my first job at an Italian Restaurant, my job was to run around playing hide and go see with the customers and by the age of five, I was allowed to fill the salt shakers. I then worked in this same restaurant for 30 years… My mom opened an Italian restaurant when I was four and I grew up in the kitchen. My parents immigrated to Canada from Italy in the late 60’s and once my mom got a job at a restaurant she immediately had a dream to open her own so she did just that and this is where I fell in love with food and cooking. I learned so much from my mom her philosophy was that everything had to be homemade… she baked bread, made homemade pasta and all the sauces from scratch. I was always in the kitchen helping her and I soon started to have my own ideas and create my own recipes.

So, you may be wondering how an Italian girl that grew up in an Italian restaurant could be converted into eating a Paleo Diet? Well Rome was not built in a day and my Journey to becoming Paleo has been long in the making, about 4 years to be exact. In 2009 I realized that I needed to stop what I was doing and change. I was overweight and unhappy. All my life I struggled with my weight and tried all sorts of diets and cleanses and exercise programs and none of them worked, sure I would lose a few pounds here and there however nothing I did was sustaining. I realize today that I have changed my lifestyle completely and that is what I owe my results to. I am not on a “diet” I am on a “way of life” and this “way of life” is always evolving and growing to be better every day.

I spent many hours in the kitchen cooking at the restaurant and at home. I remember being a young girl and I would dream up recipes and the next day I would want to go to the restaurant to test them out. My mom always encouraged me to be in the kitchen and I am grateful for my experiences.

I started my journey with portion control and realized I felt really good on the days I never ate bread or pasta however I still ate toast and oatmeal in the mornings. I also had 1 cheat day a week which I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. I started to see some results and I was gaining momentum. I also started CrossFit and someone suggested I read the Paleo Diet. This book was a milestone for me. It was after that book that I started reading anything I could find that had to do with Paleo.

I decided to eat Paleo during the week and still have my cheat days on Saturdays. I would get so excited thinking about all the food I would eat on Saturday and then I would be frustrated on Saturday that I couldn’t eat it all. As the weeks went on I would continue to eat this way however my body started to react to my Cheat Day and I would feel ill on Sunday Monday and Tuesday!  My Husband really caught on the Paleo way of eating and has supported me tremendously throughout my journey. I finally decided to test my body and do the 30 day Paleo Challenge and I felt amazing! I really felt great near the end of the 30 day challenge and I knew that this was the way of life for me!

Since 2009 I weigh in 40 pounds lighter and I feel great! The coolest thing is that I am still passionate about cooking and eating and I probably eat more now than I did before. This Paleo lifestyle has inspired me to create dishes in the kitchen and cook more than I ever have and I am super excited to share and inspired others to cook and eat healthy.

I have always talked about one day writing a cookbook and I thought it would be an Italian cookbook involving pasta and pizza however my idea has changed to be a Paleo Cookbook.

I have to thank my husband for supporting me and my friends and family however it has taken my mom several years to accept this way of living she still does not completely understand it. It has been hard visiting my parents my mom is always cooking at home, several times I would show up for a visit and she would have just baked fresh bread, pizza and pasta all at the same time! To smell those foods and say no was incredibly difficult and I didn’t always have the will power to say no back then. Today I have a new paradigm about food and I don’t have a difficult time saying no. I now feel empowered to eat this way and know how much better I will feel if I stay away from the grains and breads and stick to the meat and vegetables.

My way of eating is a lifestyle and not a fad or temporary diet. So I figured if I am going to live this way I am going to embrace it and get creative in the kitchen with food so that I can live and breath my passion in a new and healthier light. It has been so exciting for me a new challenge in the kitchen in some ways it has re-sparked my passion.

I believe that it is in our human nature to desire good tasting food. I find so much joy in food and I know there are a lot of people who feel the same. Through Paleo Appetite I hope to inspire people to eat good food and teach people how to prepare food in such a way that is nutritious and delicious.

I hope you are inspired so let’s get cooking!


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