After years struggling with an eating disorder, often, the last thing you can imagine for yourself is deeply rooted body love and a career full of all things food. And yet, it seems to be an emerging theme and a common tale, offering those who struggle with body image and eating disorders some hope for the future. After years battling bulimia, it was cooking and creating recipes, and a love affair with food that led Maria Koutsogiannis into the culinary world. And she’s never looked back.

Food is not the enemy

Maria, is a lover of organic whole foods and all things green and plant-based. A love of food was ingrained in her a young age, buoyed mainly by her mother’s Greek heritage and skill in the kitchen. “Since I was very young I have loved cooking and creating recipes. I sort of just had a way with food and it turned into a passion as I got older,” Maria muses. For Maria, it’s important that people understand that food is not the enemy, but rather, has the power to help you, especially if you understand the overarching concepts. Rather than putting the emphasis on speed and spend, Maria emphasises nutrition and value. With a casual 153k food-lovers on Instagram, her message certainly resonates with the masses.

Suffering from bulimia, it was Maria’s own willpower and research that helped her heal. Changing her diet helped her find a way through the illness, providing a happier place in both mind and body. When we asked her what her ‘ah-huh’ moment was, she was pretty humble about it all. “I don’t think I really realised I was on the right path until around two years ago. Everything just started to work itself out; my hard work, sweat and tears began to show a lot of progress and that snow ball kept rolling.” But really, it was her sister who helped her see the light. “My sister lived with me for seven months and she told me that it was the best she’s ever felt – both mentally and physically.”

Success is a bumpy, winding road

What’s funny is that despite her success, Maria actually never intended to write a cookbook. Instead, it just sort of happened. Following an email she received from her publisher, Maria said she “crapped myself, cried, and jumped with joy all at once.” So, she took another leap and set aside time to accomplish one of her biggest dreams. “I wasn’t going to say no to the best opportunity of my life.”  

The process, though, was challenging, with deadlines and a past that wasn’t all that pleasant to be delving into. Suffering with anxiety, especially when she doesn’t have control, Maria struggled with meeting someone else’s deadline. “My book is also focuses a bit on my history with bulimia and having to dig into my past, relive those memories and then type them out was always really hard,” Maria says. “Let’s just say I cried a lot, I laughed a lot and I also was so damn grateful once it was all over.”

But, she did it! And now, people are benefiting all over the world. “What I do works and I know I am helping people all around the world better love themselves and understand food on a completely different level.”

A day in the life

So what does a typical day look like for nutritional consultant, photographer and all-round foodie, Maria? “It’s really productive and busy. Everything from emails, reach outs, comments, engaging, dealing with clients, recipe content creating, projects, deadlines, working on campaigns, other businesses’, personal photo shoots and more,” Maria explains. It’s no wonder she has to be exceptionally organised. “I’m also a very persistent woman, so it all just sort of happens but not with my number one success driver: failure.”

For Maria, it’s about failing and trying again. It’s about the passion. And it’s about the end-goal, that her readers figure out that they’re beautiful.  “We were born the way we were for a reason and we can’t control that. I want people to love and appreciate all body types, shatter societal misconceptions like being skinny or tall and just live their fullest life, the way they were born,” Maria says. “I know people will learn to love themselves, so much more because of my book. If you suffer from an eating disorder I want you to know that you’re not alone and that I, along with millions of people stand with you and believe you can get better.”

Find Maria on her website FoodbyMaria and pre-order your copy of her debut cookbook now.

I @maria.koutsogiannis AM A WOMAN AND I AM PROUD so over worrying about how I look so about feeling fabulous so about feeling NOURISHED some days I wake up with a 6 pack other days my belly looks like I’m harbouring a greek immigrant I used to worry about how I looked 24/7! But now… I worry about how I feel! And guess what?!? NOW I FINALLY LOOK MY BEST! Focus on your well being and what goes into your body and I promise you BIG CHANGE WILL COME! I HAVE ROLLS WHEN I BEND OVER AND IM FUCKING PROUD 📸 @averyswail • • • • #femmetravel #thetravelwomen #cntraveler #travelgirl #passionpassport #welltraveled #exploreeverything #lifeofadventure #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #dametraveler #beautifuldestinations #ladiesgoneglobal #traveldeeper #tasteintravel #huffpostgram #ourplanetdaily #beautifulplaces #travelblogger #nakedplanet #travelawesome #roamtheplanet #globe_travel #darlingescapes #jetsetter

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