Hi, my name is Laura and I love food. If I could just make and eat food all day, I totally would. I’d make crunchy cornmeal waffles with fresh berry syrup for breakfast, spicy roasted veggie and hummus wraps for lunch, and a yellow mango curry or cold soba noodles with peanut sauce for dinner. I like to follow new recipes (not too closely) and peruse the internet for new ideas all the time. You should see my Gmail inbox – it’s all food or travel (and usually that travel is related to the food to eat there hahah).
All the new recipes you’ll see on my blog will be completely plant-based and mostly whole foods. Although there are some processed foods that I just love and will include here and there. I shy away from using the word vegan, though, because some people have a very negative reaction to the word. Or instantly think of weird hippies and PETA activists. While animal rights and the impact we’re having on the environment through animal agriculture are important issues to me, I’m not trying to have that conversation here. I want to share the awesome food that I’m eating and give you the opportunity to share my plate, wherever you are.
You will see the first few recipes on my blog include animal products, and that’s because I’ve only been following a plant-based diet since February 2016. And it really works for me; I’ve never felt better. And it’s totally sparked my creative food brain. I’ve tried SO many new things since making the switch, and I’m never looking back 🙂
I have been on an interesting food journey , starting when I moved away from home in 2005 to start college in Chico, CA. In the dorms, I ate french toast sticks, tater tots and burritos… and sometimes had salads because I knew I should eat some veggies. I didn’t quite know what I was doing and sometimes just ate pretzels with cream cheese for dinner. I had no idea how to cook for myself, hated vegetables and made a bunch of frozen dinners that claimed to be healthy. Finally, I called my mom and asked her how to make macaroni and cheese (her homemade mac and cheese was my GO-TO as a kid). And I made that a lot.
Soon I realized that I wasn’t feeling great just eating carbs, cheese and minimal veggies, so I (unknowingly and unintentionally) embarked on a culinary adventure. My journey really started when I took a nutrition class as part of my upper division “theme” for degree credits and learned how food acts as fuel as much as enjoyment. I started cooking vegetables more often and tried new things like fish and swiss chard. I actually started to LIKE eating vegetables. My mom was blown away that her daughter who would straight up refuse to eat her spinach was gushing about all-veggie dishes for dinner. My passion for food only grew. I started cooking more difficult and complex dishes and loved to share them with friends and family.
Then I went through a period of calorie restriction, that was more about losing control of my own life and relationship than anything to do with food, in which I would eat only 1200 calories a day. Which I tracked religiously through an app on my phone. It was all consuming and I often couldn’t enjoy the friends and places I was until I had entered in every. single. calorie. I think I had even fooled myself into thinking that it was for fitness and nutrition, but I was too preoccupied with the number. I thought a calorie was a calorie and if that donut was only 200 calories and the protein shake was 400 that the donut would be a better choice – hey, I’d have more calories for dinner.
Even when I started working out and got a personal trainer, I was restricting. There were a couple of times that my trainer scolded me because I was weak and needed to eat more calories before my workouts to have the fuel to push my muscles. This was one point where I started to pull out of my calorie tunnel vision. I realized that the quality of the food was more important than the calorie count.
Another was my amazing relationship with my Aa. All my insecurities about myself were wrapped up into personal image and appearance. He helped me to strip all that away. It was a long process. I had been guarded and pretty defensive about my body image focused world. I’ve really only been off that calorie-tracking “fitness” app for maybe a year.
And it has been SUCH a freeing year. I’m not worried about what, and how much, I’m putting into my body all the time. I’ve learned to focus on quality over quantity, and I feel better than ever. Phew, that was freeing to just type all out. Even though I know not many eyes will touch this part of my blog, it feels good to get it off of my chest and out in the world. My life has been a journey to discovering my passion and my value, and I can say that I’ve never been in a better place that I am now in regards to personal satisfaction.
Because I’m always posting delicious dinners on social and sharing amazing food in real life, I’ve had so many people tell me that I should work in a restaurant or that I should make my career in catering. But, to me, that takes the fun out of the process. I like to be creative, and always change up my ingredients. I rarely make the same thing twice. And if I do, it’s because it was AMAZING. A recipe is only a repeat if everyone at the table says “wow”.
So come on: join me as I make my creations at home, try new recipes, post about great places I find to eat, and go about life through my food.