Let It Be Cosy started as a personal lifestyle blog in 2013 and as my interests shifted and life experiences shaped me, it evolved into what it is now; an online space dedicated to sharing plant-based recipes both cooked and raw (also free of gluten, refined sugars and flours) to inspire people who are new to this lifestyle.
Adopting a plant-based diet in summer of 2014 changed my life in many ways. But when I started, I felt lost and confused. I loved to eat and cook but felt restricted and un-movitated in the kitchen with my new diet. Slowly but surely I gained confidence and now prepare the most delicious, nutritious and healthy plant-based food, if I may say so myself. I want to help those of you who have taken the step to make positive changes in your daily habits, to really enjoy the food you prepare and the journey to a healthier and happier version of yourself.
*See what the press has to say.
My name is Rocio Graves. I was born in Deia, a small village in the mountains of the Sierra de Tramuntana in Mallorca (Spain) and was brought up in a community of artists and free spirits. As a child I spent most of my time barefoot climbing trees, in poetry readings or jam sessions with my family and friends.
I value and enjoy my time alone, I love to photograph and style food, to grow my own vegetables, go to farmers markets and spend time in the kitchen playing with food. I am passionate about holistic nutrition, sustainability and spirituality.
Although I earn a living working as a food photographer, I also have a BA in Human Rights from Roehampton University in London, a certificate as professional make up artist from AOFM in London, a certificate in natural organic composting methods from Navdanya in India, and a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University in New York.
In 2011 I suffered from anxiety, strong mood swings, irritability and dizziness; I was tired, underweight and couldn't stand being in crowded spaces.
One morning whilst I was getting ready to go to work, I felt my heart racing faster than usual. I tried to relax by taking deep breaths but they didn’t help. I felt very nervous and decided to call my boss to tell her I needed to see a doctor. My family doctor didn't come up with an explanation of why I was feeling like this, so I went to the hospital. I hate hospitals and had never been to one before except to visit. The doctors thought it was strange that my heart was beating at 120 beats per minute with my body at rest, so they decided to take blood tests (for the first time in my life). They soon found out I had a very big imbalance in my thyroid hormones, my numbers were through the roof. I was sent urgently to the Endocrinologist, who explained that I had an autoimmune thyroid disease (called Graves’ Disease) that was probably going to live with me forever. I was immediately prescribed 9 hormone balancing pills each night for many weeks. Being twenty-two and taking this much medication was awful. They were soon reduced to 8, then gradually down to 3 as my hormones began to balance out again. During this time (a few years) I had to take blood tests every couple of months. My health became ‘stable’ after a few months and I started to feel ‘normal’ again.
During my monthly visits to the doctor I would ask about nutrition and whether there were any changes I could make to improve my health. I wondered if there was a natural way to keep my thyroid balanced. I was always met with a negative response. The only option I was given was to undergo radioactive therapy, this way I would probably not have to take pills ever again. The radioactive pill requires you to stay in quarenteen for 3 weeks, with as little human contact as possible. I thought my doctor was crazy for prescribing such treatment to a twenty-two year old woman who had plans of having children in the near future. 'Normal' health at that time meant I suffered from depression, headaches, stomach pains, weight gain, and continous vaginal infections. During this time I visited the hospital very often for a variety of pains and aches, and took pills for everything: stomach pain, headache, backache, even muscle relaxants to sleep better. I felt helpless.
At the beginning of summer 2014 I had had enough and decided to take personal responsibility for my health. I googled ‘natural remedies for Graves’ Disease' and found a ton of information. I started to watch youtube videos of people who had actually healed themselves of my same condition through their diet and lifestyle habits. It blew my mind. I soon found Kristina, Kris, Ella, Yovannaand many other beautiful and inspiring people who had gone through health crises and had healed themselves through diet. I bought Kris’s book ‘Crazy Sexy Diet’ and read it front to back in a few days. I immediately cleared all processed foods from my fridge and pantry and began changing everything I had to change in order to get better. I started to eat raw plant-based foods, juices and smoothies. I practiced yoga in the mornings, meditation, gratitude exercises and positive thinking. I also bought a rebounder, visited the farmers market every weekend, and gradually started to learn to love myself and my body (this is an ongoing process)
These daily practices transformed me and continue to do so. I am happier than ever, more grounded, fulfilled, healthy, energetic, grateful and excited to be alive. To my doctors' surprise, my blood tests showed that I need not take any more medication, but I was advised to continue with it just in case. My condition hasn't officially disappeared but I haven't taken a pill in over a year, my blood tests show I'm stable and I feel like I got my life back. Changing my eating habits overnight was a big learning curve for me, especially in the kitchen. And that is why I have created this online space, to share with you everything that I have learned.
* July 2017 update: I am in full remission and feeling great. Not taking any medications (other than homeopathic remedies, a few natural supplements such as curcumin and magnesium and flower remedies). I will have a test for antibodies this coming autumn - doctors think the numbers might have gone down or even disappeared. I will keep you posted!
What I eat today is completely different to what I used to eat a years ago. I would say I was a conscious consumer, I tried to do my best to buy organic and local produce whenever possible. My diet was pretty healthy, or at least I thought it was. I didn't eat a lot of junk food or take-away, but I did eat too much of a lot of things like white pasta, white rice, a lot of cheese, bacon, ham, eggs, cream, white flours, mayonnaise, bread and coffee. I wasn't interested in fruits or leafy greens, and I had absolutely no clue about the extent to which food was influencing my health.
I started out clearing out my pantry and fridge of any processed foods at 11pm on a Saturday night after reading Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I went on to eating a fully raw vegan diet, comprised of mostly fruits and salads. I did this for a few months in order to heal several health issues. Since then I have made some changes, experimented, seen what works for me and what doesn't. Most of the time I choose to eat what makes me feel my best, but I also like to indulge every once in a while (choosing when I do this wisely). I have learned to listen to my body and I now know what it needs in different situations.
My diet is 100% plant-based and I consume almost entirely whole food and organic products. I don't use refined flours and sugars nor gluten in my recipes, and try to reduce my salt intake as much as possible as it is what makes me feel my best. Raw foods are my favourite so I try to eat them every day. My diet currently looks like this: lots of fruits, veggies and leafy greens, some nuts and seeds, grains and beans/legumes, especially in colder months. I always start my day with either a green juice or a green smoothie, I find that it is the best thing for my health and general wellbeing, and I also happen to love the taste.
On Let It Be Cosy you will find most of the more 'elaborate' recipes that I like to cook at home for family and friends.