Meet the Coach

Hello! Thank you for visiting Satisfied Cravings. My name is Elina and I’m the founder of Satisfied Cravings and (hopefully) your future healthy cooking coach. :)

I used to juggle a demanding career in finance, a food blog, a packed social calendar and the responsibility of feeding my family. So I know a lot about busy work schedules that leave no desire or energy for taking care of yourself. I know a lot about convenience foods that do nothing for your health. About eating those things regardless and feeling guilty. I also found what works – having a great support system, developing the right skillsplanning ahead and staying accountable. So if you struggle with staying on track with your healthy eating plans, are bored with your current dinner repertoire or just need a sanity break during a stressful work day – I want to be there for you. Let me be your guide. We’ll make healthy recipes together that work, so you are one step closer to a healthier you!

Here is a bit more about how I got here…

Growing up I had no interest in cooking. My mother was a great cook but it was more out of necessity than a passion, so when I had to fend for myself as an adult I resorted to prepared foods. I went from cafeteria food and greasy take-out in college, to frozen meals and… take-out in the first few years of my professional life. Needless to say, I packed on some serious pounds and was quite unhappy with my body.

So I vowed to lose the weight. But how?

For the next 18 months, I tried everything from Weight Watchers (actually that was the 3rd time), South Beach diet, Zone diet (the kind where they deliver every meal to your doorstep every morning) to calorie counting. Meal delivery plans left for many unsatisfied cravings (I was craving healthy things like hummus but wasn’t allowed anything outside of what was in my little lunch box for the day). The other diets worked for a while, but without any “real” cooking I ended up eating a whole lot of grilled chicken, 5-minute rice and steamed veggies and salads.  That got boring fast so eating out and “cheat meals” became more and more frequent. There is only so much grilled chicken and greens with fat free dressing a girl can eat…

I didn’t even realize that cooking more creative healthy meals could be the answer to my dieting prayers until the day I came across a healthy food blog. It made oatmeal look exciting. It seemed doable. It came at a time when my motivation and willpower started to seriously fade (but I still had a few more pounds to lose). So I started replicating the recipes. One by one. It became like a little game. What could I make in my kitchen tonight? Would it be as tasty as it looked? Could it really keep me full and excite my taste buds like only take-out could in the past? It was addictive. It was thrilling. It was delicious! My then fiance, now husband, loved this new hobby of mine.

In October 2008, I started my own food blog to be able to share my recipes and weight loss efforts with my sister and anyone else who cared to read (apparently thousands of fans did!). In November 2011, I quit my stressful job in finance to take my passion for healthy cooking to the next step. I’ve been volunteering as a culinary instructor with Cooking Matters while taking care of logistics of starting a new business. And now that Satisfied Cravings has launched, I am beyond excited to share my knowledge with you and get YOU excited about healthy eating.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at elina@satisfiedcravings.com. I also share other recipes I find, pictures of dishes I make and random tidbits that wouldn’t otherwise make it on this site or my blogs on twitter so feel free to follow me there.

Again, thank you for visiting Satisfied Cravings and getting to know me a little better. I hope we can work together in the future!