You’re Magnifique, Chiara Russo!

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One of our favorite aspects of being wellness bloggers is all the magnificent people that we meet.

I’ve found that as soon as you find your platform, and start expressing your authentic passion, magical things start to happen. First off, people become aware of this passion — a good thing — and then they start sending people your way — an awesome thing! And secondly, call it woowoo, call it the law of attraction, call it what you will… but when you’re in harmony with your life’s purpose, people just start popping out of the woodwork.

It’s an energetic thing.

It’s quantum physics.

Anyway…

One of these lovely mover-and-shakers that we’ve met in the past year is Chiara Russo, the creative genius behind Baci di Dama – Living Gluten Free. We met Chiara through our friend Michelle, The Closet Guru, (another fabulous woman) and have been enchanted ever since.

Her kind spirit, her fiery, curly red hair in a perfectly tousled bun, her warm Italian charm… she’s just delightful. In addition to being delightful, however, she’s also a Paris powerhouse for all that is glutinous minimus.

Through her culinary travels within the City of Light and abroad, Chiara shares her delicious foodly finds, snippets of Paris beauty, and other whimsical scenes that strike her fancy — always with grace and aplomb, always without gluten.

In short: a gluten-free life can be scrumptious, and Chiara is total proof of that.

Moreover, being Italian, Chiara shares the Veggie Magnifique notion that eating can and should be a pleasure, and that chewy pasta is a gift from God. *angels singing*

Wanting to swim some more in her wheat-free world, we sat down with Chiara and asked her our burning Qs…

Chiara-two-veggie-magnifique

You’re Magnifique, Chiara.

Tell us about your overall vision/goal for Baci di Dama – Living Gluten Free?

I want to spread the word out loud that gluten free food can be good, enjoyable, and fun. I grew up in Italy where gluten free is always associated with the celiac disease. In the mind of most people, it’s “sick people” food that nobody wants to eat.  No matter what our food issues are, what we eat should be good… we have the right to have choices and most of all, we have to be able to share these choices with the people we love.

What is your health story? What provoked you to change your daily habits?

I was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago. Actually, I should have taken those tests much earlier but I didn’t want to because, in Italy, gluten free food was to be found only in pharmacies and it didn’t look or taste good at all! I was in denial for 5 years but then my health caught up with me… I started to learn to take care of myself, to love myself more, and so I decided to take those tests. And I discovered I was celiac! My life changed so much. It made me suffer. But actually it was thanks to all the suffering I went though that at a certain stage of my life I decided to transform it and make the most beautiful thing of my life. In the Buddhism that I practice we call it “transform the poison into medicine.” That’s what my project Baci di Dama – Living Gluten Free, and everything I develop thanks to it, is all about.

What’s your opinion on the veggie uprise in Paris?

I think that people are becoming more and more concerned and conscious about the food they eat… this makes them be more attentive to what they buy, and where they buy it. They read labels more, and they are interested to know the brand and what’s behind it. In Paris it seems to me that people are developing food businesses more and more where quality is an important issue and they stick to it no matter the challenges they face to get to it.

Chiara-ss

Chiara working her photographic magic at 5 Lorette.

What are some tips and tricks for people looking to transition to a more plant-based lifestyle?

Be curious about food, nurture an open mind that makes us be able to overcome prejudices. Be brave and experiment new flours and grains in the kitchen. And never forget to have fun with it. Food is a pleasure!

What is your favorite plant-based meal/recipe?

For the Italian that I am, it would be a home-made pasta with chickpeas or artichokes. Love both so much!

Mmm. So, Chiara…dinner at your place then? 😉
AVOCADO TOAST 02

Chiara’s GF avocado toast with chestnuts and clovers! Yum!

Even if you’re not “gluten free,” take a peek at Chiara’s delish corner of the interwebs for inspiration, recipes, and where-to-gos, or add yourself to her thousands of IG followers.  You won’t be disappointed… and trust me, she really is that sweet in person.

 

{Join Chiara on Instagram, FB, and Twitter.}

Have you RSVPed for our Indian Spice Detox Workshop? We’re going to have major fun gettin’ all ayurvedic to support Haiti: Hands On. Join us at MyKitch’n on March 19th for some spicy yums and detox tips!

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