At only 25 years of age, Nathalie Gleitman has already made her mark in the arena of health and wellness. Her book Happy Healthy Food, which came out earlier this year, is already on its second print run, and her website and social media are frequented by scores of readers from around the world.
Gleitman, who was born and raised in Munich, Germany, came to Israel in 2010 to complete her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing, and officially made aliya in 2014. Her company, Nathalie’s Cuisine, is founded on her personal research and successful strategies for living a healthy lifestyle that accommodates various food allergies and sensitivities.
The Jerusalem Post sat down with Gleitman to discuss her blossoming company and her outlook on healthy eating.
Why did you decide to launch your company in Israel?
After three years of studying here, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but in Israel, so I decided to make aliya and build my life here. I also find that the Israeli audience is very food oriented, especially when it comes to healthy food, and in Israel my recipes and tips have really been accepted with open arms.
I want Nathalie’s Cuisine to be a resource for people everywhere, so it was important to me that my social media are in both German and English.
What motivated you to launch your company?
After my studies, I suddenly started to feel to feel worse and worse.
I suffered from dizziness, stomach cramps, palpitations, digestive problems, nausea, sleeping problems and loss of energy. It got so bad that I didn’t even leave my house anymore.
I went to see several doctor, who all send me home with a misdiagnosis of a stomach virus.
Only months later, I found a doctor who tested me for food intolerances and I finally received the diagnosis. The results were histamine intolerance, lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity. While I was relieved to have finally found out what was going on with me, my world was imploding. I did not understand what to eat and how to choose the right foods. From that moment onwards, food was not a given anymore but rather a complex challenge with lots of unanswered questions.
There were few resources about the topic and no helpful tips on how I should integrate this new lifestyle on a daily basis. I started cooking and experimenting with recipes that were healthy, easy to make and suitable for people with food allergies.
I had never really cooked before, so it came as a pleasant surprise when the food came out incredibly tasty.
I started to cook for friends and family (people without food restrictions), and they really enjoyed my creations, nobody even noticed that certain foods were left out.
From that point on, I started to share my story, tips and recipes online, and established my company Nathalie’s Cuisine Ltd. Within a year, my blog became very popular and my first book, Happy Healthy Food, was published.
Tell me more about how you changed your lifestyle after the diagnosis?
I never thought that food could have such a huge impact on my body, but it all started to make sense: as soon as I changed my eating habits I started to feel better. I began to eat only the foods that are “good” for me, and within 24 hours I already felt immediate relief of my symptoms.
Within a week, I finally felt better than I had in a long time, and today I feel the best I have ever felt.
Since my diagnosis, I found that it was important to completely remove the foods that I don’t digest well from my daily diet. I’m making it my mission to take food intolerances out of the corner, where people feel embarrassed, and show that it’s a new lifestyle that doesn’t need to be a restriction in any way.
What do you want people to learn from your company and cookbook?
My biggest challenge was to be positive after my diagnosis and to switch my mindset. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t eat I had to start focusing on what I could eat, and only from that moment onward could I really see the amount of amazing possibilities available.
It is my mission to bring light to food intolerances, and show people that they shouldn’t feel embarrassed, and that this new lifestyle doesn’t need to be a restriction in any way.
Through Natalie’s Cuisine, I hope that people will try something new.
I want people to see that you can overcome any obstacle with a positive attitude and the right resources, and I want to help understand that intolerances are not a limitation, but rather opportunities to see the world from a new perspective.
For more information about Nathalie’s Cuisine, visit her website at www.nathaliescuisine.com and follow her on social media: Instagram @nathaliescuisine.