I married my high school sweetheart just after we both graduated our respective universities, and I am now a stay-at-home mom to my two amazing little girls. My focus is giving my children the best start in life I possibly can, and that includes feeding them the best possible foods.
I wasn’t always fond of cooking. In fact, I was a self-proclaimed junk food junkie. You could find me at a drive-through almost daily. Looking back, it is really kind of gross! It wasn’t until 2005 that I started learning about the things in our daily lives that can be harmful to us - be they pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or simply the ingredients in our food.
The slow acquisition of knowledge gave me the strength to try vegetarianism in 2006. I had toyed with the idea for years, but never thought I could do it. I had never known a vegetarian before or really knew anything about a balanced vegetarian diet. My husband was very supportive (this was a drastic change for his life too); even though he was not going to change his eating habits while on his own, it was going to change the food I cooked at home.
I started, as I would assume most new vegetarians start, drastically over-using the soy-based faux meat products. Though they are a great option and I love to use them, I was overly dependent on them for my cooking. Having too much of anything is not healthy, so I started learning what else goes into a well balanced vegetarian diet. That information slowly got me interested in cooking.
Then, when my first daughter was born in February 2009, healthy food was a true priority. I wanted to have the best foods available to my daughter while still being tasty enough to satisfy my omnivorous husband. I love to make foods that are full of flavor so even meat eaters won’t miss their meat. I love the challenge of finding fun ways to use new ingredients.
I decided to take that challenge even further and commit to using more local and seasonal produce in my diet. I have really learned to love the seasons! There are many meals I will not cook unless the key ingredients are in season and locally available from an organic farm. It makes such a difference in the finished product! I now look forward to the different times of year and the variety of foods they bring.
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