About Me

Hello friends and family alike!

My name is Rachel and my greatest joy comes from experimenting in the kitchen and spending time with my husband and step-son.

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I married my best friend and biggest supporter almost two years ago. Not long after we married, I made some much-needed and long-overdue changes to my diet. Even though I’m lactose intolerant, I had indulged in dairy products all my life and ignored the discomfort it always caused. Finally, I reached my limit and couldn’t ignore the pain anymore. I began researching and learning about nutrition and the effects that certain foods can have on our overall health. This prompted me to finally stop consuming dairy products–a change that I had long avoided but suddenly seemed necessary.

Eliminating dairy from my diet had such a wonderful impact on how I felt that I decided it should only be the beginning. Next, I cut out processed foods and sugars, gluten, soy, caffeine, and meat. More than anything, these “restrictions” to my diet forced me to branch out and try new foods. Suddenly I was eating more organic fruits, vegetables, and grains and experimenting with different foods and methods of cooking that I’d never before experienced. Rather than restricting my diet, new doors were suddenly open to me! The transition was certainly difficult at times, but it felt so natural and worthwhile.

This is only the tip of the iceberg! I’m learning how to grow organic vegetables and herbs in my own backyard and I dream of becoming a certified nutritionist. For now, I’m just so excited to share my passion for health and writing through this blog! I hope that my recipes and experiences–successes and failures–will inspire others to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, too. So, please make yourself at home! And let me know what you think ;)

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45 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I have a similar affliction with gluten & food issues in general that I’ve recently dedicated myself to working on, so I can’t tell you what a blessing it is that SheShe told me about your blog. Great idea & I’ll be excited to follow!

  2. Yay, so glad to have found you + your blog – your journey to a vibrant, abundant diet sounds very similar to mine – it’s been such a blast discovering what works for ME and makes me feel ALIVE. Can’t wait to keep reading!

    • Thank you! Your blog has been such a wonderful inspiration for me along the way! It’s always more comforting and encouraging knowing that others are going through something similar :)

  3. I found a link to your blog through Healthy Vegan Friday and I love it! You said above: “Rather than restricting my diet, new doors were suddenly open to me!” and I so have to agree! I eat a much more healthy and varied diet than I did when I relied on meat to be the central ingredient!

    • It’s funny how much my meals centered around meat before. Now, I’ve realized that I actually don’t like the taste of meat (which I didn’t think was possible) and I’ve fallen head-over-heals-in-love with veggies (which I also didn’t think was possible).
      I’m really glad you stumbled upon the blog b/c it also led me to yours!

  4. Your mom pointed me to your blog, Rachel. I cut out meat and dairy in April after watching Forks Over Knives. I feel better, sleep better, and actually lost a few pounds without trying. Susan is so proud, and tells me you’re a great writer just like your dad. I’m looking forward to reading previous posts and new ones as well.

    • Hey Melinda! I haven’t watched that yet, but I’m excited to watch it soon! That’s funny, I used to have problems sleeping and have found that I sleep wonderfully now since cutting out meat and dairy, too. My husband’s even begun to (finally!) cut back on meat and dairy and says that he feels better and sleeps better as well.
      My mom is so sweet–she’s the best :) I’m glad you came by the blog! I’d love to hear from you again–please let me know how you’re doing and feeling!

  5. Love the way you display your dishes. As a Vegan, I make many of the same foods, but they don’t look quite this good :)
    Thank you for sharing the true fact that this lifestyle is not about restriction, but expansion.
    All the best to you, and your family in 2013!
    Ma halo!

  6. Hi Rachel! Your story is very inspiring and I’m so excited to follow your blog. I’m looking into going back to school to become a nutritionist/ dietician. Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to be a nutritionist? I’m still deciding, I just wish the education that these fields teach weren’t regulated by the old food pyramid and paid by lobbyists (that support dairy farmers). If you have any information I’d love to learn more!

    Thank you for all the fantastic recipes!!!

    • Actually Ashley, I’m in school to become an elementary school teacher-ha! Before returning to school, I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do, especially since it was just a month after starting the blog. I knew I wanted to help others lead a healthier lifestyle by learning more about healthy, making healthy recipes more accessible, and joining the great health-food community that’s out there. But, like you, I had my reservations about many of the nutrition programs (particularly the ones in my area as there aren’t many that espouse that same values that I do), so I opted to return to school to become a teacher instead. My goal is to eventually become a certified nutritionist, too, and to teach kids about health and nutrition (b/c many kids don’t have the means to learn about making healthy choices). For right now, I’m just doing as much research as I can on my own and waiting for the time when I can pursue my desire to become a nutritionist further.
      Good luck to you though! I’m sure there are programs out there that are wonderful, though you may have to do online courses. Please keep me updated–I would love to hear what you decide!

  7. Hi Rachel! Just found your blog (from Dr Frank Lipman’s Pinterest page). I just graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! You would make a great health coach!
    :-)

    Kim

      • Oh, wonderful! Feel free to email me with any questions! It was one of the best investments I ever made! Looking forward to posting more of your fabulous recipes to my Facebook page! I’m planning to make your “Oreo” cookies after my 21 day Ayurvedic cleanse that I start tomorrow!!!

        :-)

        Kim

        • Thank you so much, I definitely will!
          I’ve been looking into Ayurveda recently and I find it fascinating! I would definitely love to know more about the cleanse..

          • Hi Rachel! One of my teachers at IIN was John Douillard. He is an Ayurvedic doctor and I am doing his Colorado Cleanse (he lives in Boulder, CO). You can check out his web-site at http://www.lifespa.com for more info. Definitely subscribe to his weekly newsletter, it is awesome and full of tips on how to incorporate an Ayurvedic diet into our modern lifestyle!

            :-)

            Kim

  8. Hi Rachel,
    I was diagnosed with PCOS back in January and I’ve been procrastinating with making the necessary and important changes to my diet in order to treat the symptoms. I’m so happy I found your blog because all the recipes seem perfect for the lifestyle change I’m planning on making! I can’t wait to try all these new foods!

    • First of all, I’m proud of you for choosing to make important lifestyle changes! It’s definitely not easy (I used to eat pizza, Doritos, and ice cream on a more-than-regular basis), but it’s definitely worth the effort! Just remember that you have to be easy on yourself don’t beat yourself up when you have those “off” days…everyone slips up and I think it’s more than OK to splurge on something you really crave as long as you don’t do it all the time. Plus, it’s a lot easier to make changes when you do it a little bit at a time rather than all at once. Maybe try sticking to the new way of eating 3 or 4 days each week and work your way up to 5, 6, or even 7 days each week–that’s what I had to do and it made it much less daunting.
      Good luck to you! Please let me know how everything goes!

  9. Hi Rachel,

    I absolutely LOVE your site! So many amazing and delicious recipes (and your Instagram is just amazing meal after amazing meal!). I’ve only recently started blogging (like, one recipe so far!) but it’s so inspiring to see blogs like your’s that have really connected with people. Can’t wait to read more. :)

    Also, the title is brilliant – Almonds & Avocado’s are two of my favourite things!

  10. Hello Rachel,
    Love the site. Every now and then you come accross someone that seems to be on the same journey. Here is to “Evolving” , my favorite word these days.

  11. Your blog is a lifesaver for me. I recently had to change my diet to no gluten, no dairy, no caffeine, no alcohol, no processed sugars/artificial flavourings, and low levels of fructose and it has been a nightmare. This blog is the holy grail. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much! Your story sounds similar to my own and I promise it gets better! Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’re craving and I’ll see if I can come up with a healthy alternative for you :)

  12. I am really excited to use some recipes from your blog. I’m lactose, gluten, and soy intolerant. It took me four years of multiple doctor visits and altering my diet to figure this out! It’s been a really big struggle, but this blog gives me hope that I can still find other ways to create the food I love (especially sweets like ice cream!). Thank you for the inspiration!

    • That sounds just like me! It may be tough and overwhelming in the beginning, but I promise it will all feel worth it in the long run when you begin to feel so much better! Good luck to you and thanks to you for inspiring me to keep doing what I’m doing!

  13. I love your site! I just found it through Pinterest and am excited to explore. Your pictures are beautiful. I am also gluten-free and dairy-free and starting my own blog to help empower others with self-care practices. I am bookmarking your site and look forward to following you!

  14. Congratullations Rachel! and thank you so much for your recepies!
    I am perfectly healthy TG, but I’ve choosen a healthier lifestyle :)
    Thank you again and please keep posting.

    Greetings from Los Cabos, Mexico.

  15. I have just stumbled across your page and so excited I did. I have recently changed my diet and began eating clean. Cut out gluten, sugar and all things processed. But I really need ideas to keep me going and your page is amazing. I am so excited to try these receipes im printing everyone. Tomorrow im having the pesto pizza… I have missed pizza. I have been on this journey for about 6 weeks now and with what I see in the mirror and how my clothes are fitting not to mention feeling great about eating clean foods im excited to continue forever. I was just saying yeaterday to a friend I really need to find new recipes as im no chef and just cook the same things… I not a masterchef so glad to follow a recipe. Thank you and cant wait to try everything :-)

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