Hello, I’m Lana and I’m a holistic chef, certified health coach, Animal Flow L1 instructor, a fitness enthusiast, wife and mother to three amazing kids.
I’m a big believer that we are constant works in progress, that we should always dare to climb out of our comfort zones and live out our dreams because only then do we get closer to who we truly are as individuals and what we truly desire.
It was after I got married and moved to NYC in 2002 that I decided to change my career path in Advertising and enrolled instead at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. It was love at first dice. Food has been my passion ever since and I was inspired to open a catering company when I moved back to Abu Dhabi from the US in 2008; it was a homegrown business, which focused on wholesome ingredients, a farm to table cooking concept with a teaching kitchen that aimed at raising awareness of healthy eating in kids and families through a variety of cooking classes and school led internship programs. I was lucky enough to sell the business after 11 glorious years before the Covid outbreak in 2019; I had grown it from a handful of chefs in 2008 to a 30-person operation in 2019.
As much as it was an achievement, I mourned the sale for several years later; I felt I lost my identity along with my sense of purpose. I didn’t know who I was meant to be anymore. That’s when I decided to take all the heartache, confusion and my years of food industry experience to find out and I registered online at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC in 2020.
It was a beautiful eye-opening journey, where I learnt about the power of lifestyle change and its ability to heal and I slowly started to gravitate towards holistic cooking and living.
I started to formulate a new mission, which is to empower people in and out of their kitchens, and teach them how the smallest change they make with their food or movement choices can have the biggest impact on their life.
People used to always ask me ‘how do you manage to run a business, look after your kids and not go crazy?” Boxing, crazy intense workouts and crying, that’s how.
Fitness has always meant something different for me at every stage of my life. In my twenties, it was to chase fat loss and stay looking thin; in my thirties, I did a lot of HIIT training primarily to boost my mental health and completely get off my anti-anxiety medication; the highlight was when I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro at 5895meters with my husband in 2017.
Now in my late forties, I’m all about being more mindful and intentional with my weight and cardio training, a practice I learnt from the Level 1 Animal Flow instructor certification in August 2021. A graceful yet powerful ground-based movement system that allowed me to be more expressive, creative, connect and be more aware of my body on a deeper level.
Animal Flow like my holistic cooking was the missing piece that I was searching for and didn’t even know it; it just complemented every aspect of my life so perfectly. The opposing limb movements, form specific stretches and dynamic transitions in the program all played a role in improving my physical, mental and emotional strength, my endurance, flexibility and mobility, which I noticed in my squats, and my favorite is my coordination, which I no longer struggle with.
I know Animal Flow can be intimidating and difficult at first but it’s those with the open heart, positive mindset and willingness to be vulnerable that keep coming back to it and benefitting immensely from their practice.
My top 5 life tips:
- Learn how to cook and spend time in your kitchen. It’s the best life skill you can pass down to your kids.
- Find time to connect with yourself in the morning before you rush out into the world.
- Drink pink salt, lemon and water before your morning coffee.
- Strength training is the true elixir of life; it boosts brain function and your immunity.
- Step out into the sunshine when you first wake up, it will help you sleep better at night.