Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WOMEN IN WELLNESS: NAFSIKA ANTYPAS

Today I'm honored to introduce to you Nafsika Antypas, TV Host and creator of the world's first vegan living series, Plant-Based by Nafsika.

In her twenty years of working as Marketing Director at her father's food importing business, Pilaros Inc., Nafsika has studied about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. She was trained in Greece by one of the largest European food companies in order to become an “olive oil expert”, and has educated the public since then through newspaper articles, magazines and TV interviews, and has also participated in and coordinated several food recipe segments on National TV networks. Moreover, she has been involved in the recipe selections of olive oil branded cookbooks and TV advertising and materials. 

However, the world is moving toward a plant-based diet and Nafsika, a vegan herself, soon came to realize that not only would this be considered a diet, but a lifestyle as well. Enter, “Plant-based, By Nafsika,” a show all about living a healthy and fun lifestyle, influenced by the beautiful Mediterranean.

But her small contribution to the world does not stop there. Nafsika has designed a personal safety app and security system called, uAlert, which is a true emergency response system that uses your phone’s gps to locate you and, when you raise an alert, sends help your way. Nafsika also runs a non-profit organization, People Against Violence Org. of which she is Founder and CEO, and is also the founder/owner of vegan resource and counselling company, The Struggling Vegan.

Being a mother of two, Nafsika loves to cook and experiment at home and educate just about anyone who would listen about why it’s healthier to switch to a plant-based diet, which to her, is not really a diet, but simply a way of life.

Your food philosophy
As the great Greek philosopher, Hippocrates used to say, "Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food." It's so important to recognize the importance of good nutrition. Not only will it help you stay healthy, but prevent or even cure disease. 

Daily breakfast
In my home, we start the day with a fresh fruit smoothie. (Usually banana, strawberries, blueberries, with unsweetened almond milk.) If there's time, I will have oatmeal cereal with maple syrup as well. Since mornings are always hectic in any household, a morning smoothie is so ideal and at the same time, the healthiest choice.

Morning ritual
Wake up the kids, make everyone's smoothie (usually 2 different kinds), pack the kids' lunches (usually home-made leftovers from the day before), dress everyone and then myself, load everyone in the car and off to school and work! I don't wear make-up or style my hair (unless I'm going an event) so we're literally out of the house within 40 minutes.

Go-to juice or smoothie
I will always start with the basic: strawberries, bananas and almond milk as the base, then just add whatever I happen to have in the kitchen.

What supplements do you take
I have a vegan vegetable protein powder that I like to add to my daily smoothies- but not every day.

Your favorite kitchen tool
My blender! I'm always sneaking in extra vegetables in my recipes.

5 pantry staples
Lentils, mixed beans mix, brown rice, can of peeled tomatoes, herbs & spices 

Favorite thing to cook for friends
My famous pasta and vegan meat sauce.

Favorite way to workout
Swimming is by far the best form of exercise because it does not put any strain on your body and works out just about every muscle. If I can't make it to the pool, my Dip and Leg Raise machine allows me to do body weight exercises that targets the upper body while straightening my back. I really love it.
Favorite thing to wear
I love to be comfortable. A pair of jeans and a fitted t-shirt is how usually leave the house. 

Favorite place you've traveled to
I absolutely love Europe, and I've been to several countries. Greece is probably my favorite country to visit since I'm from there but I also really love Italy. 

Where would you love to travel
I have yet to go to Spain and that is definitely on my list of places to go.

Your favorite healthy place in your city?
Any juice bar, I can't pick just one- they are all great.

One piece of health advice
My advice to anyone is to follow a plant-based diet (generally vegan), but do not put too much pressure on yourself. As soon as you start to see the feel the results, you will not want to go back to your old eating habits. 

Healthy recipe to share
Spanakorizo (click for the recipe) (Spinach and Rice, Greek-style)

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