I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. Having been brought up in a multicultural environment I have developed an interest in socio-cultural anthropology, and also in the tastes of different foods from around the world. I excelled in athletics and basketball from an early age and I was taught to play classical piano. I took an interest in leaning foreign languages such as French and English and currently I am learning Portuguese. I was actively involved with scouting from the age of 5 until my late teenage years, travelling around the country and abroad to Jamborees.
After completing my secondary education at the age of 17 in Athens, I emigrated to the United Kingdom. I worked as a care assistant at an elderly people’s home and at a McDonald’s outlet for two years. This was a shock to me, having been raised in a family where food and cooking was very important and an everyday point of discussion. Buying food supplies was a weekly task. My siblings and I were all involved in buying weekly groceries that included fruits and vegetables from the vegetable market Laiki Agora, meat from our local butchers’, fish from the central fish and meat market Varvakeios Agora, and tinned food from our local supermarket.
Hence in 2001 even though initially I was registered to study biomedical sciences at university I decided to change and complete my bachelors in nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University. I believed there was going to be lots of work to be done in the future and it involved medicine and food, my passions. After attending the 1st World Congress of Public Health Nutrition in Barcelona in 2006, I was certain I wanted to pursue a career in public health nutrition. So I got employed to work as an early years community nutritionist with the National Health Service in London. I completed my MSc in human nutrition (public health) at London Metropolitan University, and have an honorary research fellowship at King’s College Medical School, at its department of general practice and primary care.