Dalston food blogger serves up internet sensation

Medical practioner Virginia Patania shows off her lunch on her second last day before completing a f

Medical practioner Virginia Patania shows off her lunch on her second last day before completing a food blog she has kept posting for a year. - Credit: Archant

She’s a health worker who took on a truly meaty challenge – and became an internet sensation in the process.

For a whole year, NHS practice manager Virginia Patania photographed every morsel of food that touched her lips and each day she uploaded the pictures to the web.

And after 12 months, the 36-year-old had cause for celebration this week as she tucked into the final dish, with day 365 arriving on Tuesday.

Ms Patania, of Kingsland Road, Dalston, says the idea for the online food diary came to her after she spotted a McDonald’s advert outside a Tube station.

She said: “I wanted people to see that they could eat healthy and delicious food and still lead a full life.

“Everyone needs to eat, so ultimately you have two food choices – to eat well or to eat badly. The more you invest in food, the more it gives you.”

The blog, which includes anecdotes about her meals as well as recipes, restaurant reviews and even political musings, has built a huge following over the 12 months.

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Tens of thousands from 40 different countries have visited to find out about her latest culinary exploits.

She said it took her three hours to write and upload the pictures each day and her camera went everywhere with her, including the gym and on holiday in New York, Sicily and Lisbon.

She did not miss a single meal, although there were a few mishaps such as having to fish a plate of clams out of the bin after she forgot to photograph them.

Indeed, Ms Patania admits she wanted to give up “20 million times”, saying: “I’ve had 50 breakdowns and have not slept properly since I started this last March! But I’m very persistent and my commitment did not break.”

Despite her healthy goals, she does not think it necessary to skimp on the treats.

She said. “One of my treats is a slice of home-made cake every night. However, I also make sure I go to they gym every morning.”

Ms Patania, who grew up in Sicily and has lived in Dalston for seven years, attributes her passion for food to her Italian background and her food-obsessed mother. She added: “My mum loves the food blog. She’s called me and said it’s made her weep!”

n Read about Virigina’s experiences at www.eatingtheyear.blogspot.co.uk

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