Understanding the foundation of how I shop, cook, create, and enjoy healthy and delicious recipes.
The first thing I ever created was an apple pie—baked from scratch with the apples from our own backyard tree and my grandma’s secret recipe—when I was 7 years old. I guess you can say I’ve always been creative with my food, and after finding myself Celiac, dairy intolerant, and FODMAP sensitive, I’ve learned to create healthy meals in an even more exploratory manner.
Below is a guideline of how I choose what I eat and how I cook—and teach— to maintain optimal health. I do not subscribe to any particular food dogma such as veganism or paleo, however, I do incorporate all theories into my lifestyle. I may eat vegan on Monday and paleo on Tuesday but one thing for certain is I always follow the practices below when I shop, cook, and enjoy my food.
There is nothing more important than being healthy, and the foods we choose can make or break us. Did you know that one third of the American population is obese and the numbers continue to rise? That’s over one hundred million people! Yikes!
The choices we make about our food doesn’t just affect our waistline, it affects our mood, our relationships, our sleep patterns, how long we’ll stay on this planet and how much enjoyment we’ll have while we’re here.
To add to this, these choices substantially affect the environment in which we live—the quality of our soil and water, the future of our agriculture, the health of our planet—and knowing where your food comes from and how it’s sourced is a topic we should all explore.
- Always buy organic produce when possible. If budget doesn’t allow this, follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen for the worst pesticide offenders.
- Be a conscious omnivore: Humaneitarian is a great place to get started! Choose grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chickens, and source from farmers that let pigs be pigs.
- Eat plant strong. Shop the perimeter of the grocery stores and stock up on your greens. Fresh or frozen!
- Only choose organic eggs. Even better, choose pasture raised. Many co-ops offer locally laid eggs or maybe your neighbor has backyard chickens!?
- Shop local and eat seasonally if possible. Better for you and the planet. Co-ops and farmers markets are a great place to start.
- Eat only nonGMO foods. The biggest culprits are corn, soy and wheat and I’ll dive into this later.
- If you haven’t yet understood why this is all so important, I urge you to watch Food Inc., one of the first documentaries about our food supply that went mainstream.
The bottom line is to know where your food comes from!
I cook with most food sensitivities in mind and will always post what type of recipe it is. For example;
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Low FODMAP
- Low Sugar
I am Celiac and do not cook with any gluten. You may substitute regular bread, flour or crackers without any trouble.
I am also diary intolerant but can handle Ghee (clarified butter) so if a recipe calls for Ghee, you can substitute with butter if you prefer. You may want to adjust the salt.
And lastly I have a FODMAP sensitivity and choose to cook with no onions and garlic. I will substitute a gluten free aesofitida spice instead.
ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL:
I do not put nutrition information on my recipes because most people’s understanding of “calories in calories out” is quite distorted. This theory is incredibly old and scientists have proven that a 100 calorie bag of pretzels is not the same as 100 calories of almonds. I will, however, post the nutritional benefits of specific ingredients and why I cook with them.
I have lot’s of tips and tricks I will share to help you:
- Eat healthy and save money on your weekly groceries
- Extend the life of your food.
- Use one food multiple ways.
- Substitutions for diary and cheese.
EQUIPMENT I USE:
If you don’t have a food processor I’d highly recommend investing in one. I have a Cuisinart that is about 16 years old and still works perfect. Not only will it save you oodles of time prepping, but some recipes cannot be made without it, such as a pesto!
Also, a high-speed blender is a must for cooking healthy. You can make delicious (and inexpensive) nut milks, sauces and soups in a jiffy. I have a Blendtec, but a Vitamin or Ninja will work great.