We reached out to Ibiza’s own leading health and happiness advocate Lana Love to get some inspiration. Lana is the owner of the Passion Cafe group and this week she opens her new Passion in the Vara del Rey, Ibiza Town.

After many weeks of lockdown, where baking, eating and snacking seemed to be the focus, now is a great time to shift to healthy eating so you are bikini ready to hit the beaches this summer. 

Lana, you are the owner of five of the healthiest eateries in Ibiza. The famous Passion Cafe group. Can you tell us what Healthy Eating looks like to you? 

Healthy eating starts with closely listening to your body and notice which foods and drinks make you feel light, full of energy, and thrive and which are making you feel sluggish, bloated, and in general not feeling your best ever. Your body tells you all. Another very important thing is consuming good quality ingredients, go organic whenever possible, shop for local fruit and veg, drink the best quality water you can find and afford of course, ideally avoiding plastic packed bottled water as much as possible and in general anything that comes packed in plastic.

When it comes to cheap or expensive foods, I always say that expensive food is one you eat that doesn’t nourish you and is not of good quality, regardless of how cheap it was to buy it. So as much as you can feed your body with good quality foods and with an abundance of local fruit and veg little money goes long way.

Myself I’m fan of plant based eating, but regardless you are plant based eater or not, eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg ideally should be everyone’s large base of food pyramid. 

What advice can you give to those who would like to shift into a healthier eating pattern ready to be beach ready as we return to the beaches after lockdown?

I have been saying this always, if you make it mandatory to eat good five to six portions of fruit and veg a day, like let´s say a couple of apples, a large slice of watermelon, bowl of strawberries, large green salad, a plate of steamed veggies, large green smoothie…if you mandatory eat all these foods daily or whatever your fruit and veg preference is, making sure is not 6 bananas or just all starchy, you will have little space left for much more.

It´s extremely good to start your day hydrating your body, so glass of water with lemon squeezed in is much easier to drink than just plain water. I take activated charcoal with it every morning and my morning coffee half an hour later. 

One of the best things is not to eat late, which is so much easier said than done! I could go almost all day without food and at night monsters come out! So as much as is easy to give advice, I´m first one in line that is struggling with this, but I´m really going to (try to) stick with this as soon as madness of opening my new café pass.

Some people really want to detox after all the lockdown indulgences what are the simplest steps to help cleanse our bodies?

It is very much what I mentioned above. And to strip things out of the diet like too much starchy foods, grains, breads, dairy ideally should go all together, processed foods and meats, alcohol, refined sugar. Just eat an abundance of greens and fresh vibrant colors. And with the sun shining, so much local fruit and veg in abundance, being thirstier because of heat, drinking lots of water with lemon, pinch of sea salt and some chia stirred in is great to sip on all day long.

My new thing is adding sliced strawberry to my water, is delicious and makes you want to drink more. Add avocados, nuts, and seeds for good fats. Stretch your arms, roll your neck gently, take a deep breath, look at the sky and nature around you few times a day, just stop for 15 seconds, get excited about being alive! That’s healthy!

lana love passion cafe

What is Lana Love’s top tip to reduce bloating? 

Bloating comes from food and drinks we consume that do not agree with us, so again, pay attention, even write food diary and how you felt afterward. I think bloating reasons are not the same for everyone, some eat foods that are not agreeing with their digestion, some are drinking too much liquid with foods, many of us do not chew food well.

To give one advice to all is hard as is a quite personal experience, but chewing food well, eating mindfully, not drinking too much liquid with your food help. We also eat way too many different foods at one meal, often with many dry herbs and spices which are not easiest to digest. 

Greens and legumes are really hard on digestion for many and if you eat out many restaurants do not cook them properly. You have to de-´gas´ your beans by soaking them and cooking them with a piece of kombu.

Eating more of smaller meals a day and not filling your stomach too much in one meal will be easier on your digestion. 

How about fasting or mini fast?

To give your body really nice break fasting is super good. I just see many people shocking their system by jumping on fasting and juice cleanses day after they have been eating and drinking full on for weeks, months, years… weight loss can be goal for many doing fasting and juice cleanses but exactly doing it this way is guarantee that after you finish fast and loose weight it´ll come with interest rate by putting even more weight than before you started!

If you want to do water fast or juice cleanse prepare your body at least a week in advance by slowly reducing the amount of food you eat, remove alcohol, meat, dairy, sugar…as you are approaching your fast three days before you should be on steamed veggies, fruit, no coffee, baked sweet potato, day or two before you should be on smoothies, herbal teas, then you go into juice cleanse for couple of days followed by water fast.

Please bear in mind I´m not a health expert, nutritionist, or fasting expert, but these tips are all what I learned from some of the best out there. And kind of is common sense too. I also know people who thrive fasting day or two a week. Something I want to try.

Can you share with us your go-to healthy between meal snack? We need inspiring! 

I love to grab half avocado in its skin, squeeze some lime juice and eat it with a spoon as quick snack, is not the same as walking down the street with an ice cream tub, but… Another thing I love is to eat a banana with a handful of cashews or walnuts, always loved that combo. I love celery sticks dipped in crunchy peanut butter or a couple of sweet potato wedges we do in Passion dipped in tahini sauce.

Of course, having luxury like my cafes help! I grab a green smoothie or when I have 5 minutes to sit down, fresh coconut is the best ever, drink its water first and then scoop out meat, so good. The same goes for Passion kale chips, which are delicious and without strong seasoning. I´m really not a fan of shop bought energy bars, haven’t found one I could say I really enjoy, and with so many foods out there to enjoy I would prefer to eat piece of fruit, a couple of dates and a handful of nuts than shop bought energy bar.

We just love sweet treats and can’t imagine having to give them up, can you suggest a recipe for a healthy snack that will make us feel like we not missing out? 

I really love Passion raw power balls as they are not too sweet, not too cacao rich and without aftertaste of fancy superfoods, just plain good clean flavor. Simply blend in your food processor walnuts, cashews, almonds (whichever you have, ideally you want combo of two nuts, if you use almonds adding fattier nut like walnuts or cashews works well), add dates, little raw cacao, some grated coconut and that’s it.

But considering we are in summer and ice cream mode I can suggest making nice cream as they call it, by blending frozen bananas in your power blender with any flavor you fancy; peanut butter, chocolate chips, cacao, fruit…

Blending frozen strawberries, mango or mixed berries with coconut cream and some banana or sweetener of your choice and coconut cream milk is delicious just made ice cream that is hard not to love.

Lana Loves’s Breakfast whilst writing the interview. “Delicious and it matches your business card! Breakfast in your honor! ”

I love to blend frozen avocado chunks (great to preserve save your avocado when starts to brown, or you have too many) with lime juice, coconut cream milk and just enough sweetener for ice cream like consistency and top with fresh blueberries, hemp, goji berries or few mulberries.

Sweet potato brownies are great too, check some recipes online. I did one accidentally in my kitchen during lockdown using only oven baked sweet potato, almond meal, peanut butter, date paste and raw cacao and they were pretty good!

I love to mix some maple syrup in roasted almond butter and eat it with thin apple slices…With sweet stuff I could keep going but I guess we are out of time!

Health & happiness

Lana Love xxx

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