The short version?
I love photography, bright colors, cooking, dancing, and Graphic Design....sometimes doing all of those at the same time. You'll probably find me cooking/baking most of the time, but I am also a caterer, social media manager, and executive assistant under the sneaky disguise "Community Manager" at an awesome collaborative design/development agency called Coplex. When I have some free time, it is spent adventuring around outside, usually with my DSLR and macro lens. More often though, I'm getting really up close and personal with food. It's beautiful. It's colorful. And it comes in all sorts of magnificent shapes and sizes, and so must be photographed. Read a few of my recipe posts and you'll see how bad I geek out over beautiful fruits and vegetables. The more colorful the better.
In any of these parts of my days, I adore the time spent with optimistic, interesting people who can have meaningful conversations. There isn't a day that passes where I don't strive to create opportunities to learn something new and affect positive change, because life is just too short to stay in one place for long. Most of all, I live by the phrase, "Hope Springs Eternal" and let an ever-hopeful, faithful attitude fuel larger-than-life goals and dreams.
In this blog, you'll find gluten-free, vegan, soy-free recipes that are:
My recipe test subjects usually respond with, "I can't believe this is vegan/gluten-free!" I'm here to remove the negative vegan stigma of gross green gook on a plate and the equally terrible assumption that all gluten free food tastes like cardboard.
But I know you want to know where this green-eyed twenty-three year old really came from. So here it is:
Things never go exactly how you plan them. Although believe me, I've tried to make that so. After graduating high school with a 4.3 GPA, the plan was to go to Arizona State University as an Interior Design major, earn a degree in four years, and become a graduate bad-ass…whatever that means. I'd be as diligent and overachieving as I've always been, and blow my own goals out of the water. But, well, that's not exactly how it's happened.
As cliché as it may be, I live by the phrase "everything happens for a reason," forever knowing that God has a bigger plan than I could possibly dream of, so I try and trust it. (Key word being try).
Back to my college story: After realizing the economy was in the toilet, Interior Design didn't seem like the best financial option. I went undeclared for a year and despite being told by a discouraging advisor that there was "no major at ASU for me," ultimately decided on Graphic Design. It was a blessing to earn one of only forty-four spots in the Graphic Design program, but three years into ASU, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) sank it's vicious teeth in. An overabundance of stress caused by this rigorous program did a number on my mind and body. (My adrenal glands clearly don't have the stamina that type-A personality does. Sigh.)
But if it weren't for this health crisis, I wouldn't be a gluten-free, vegan eating, healthy lifestyle lover. I wouldn't wake up excited to create masterpieces in the kitchen everyday, and this blog most assuredly would not exist. Graphic Design has been put on the back burner for now as I have been required to take two years medical leave; however, now I have a little more free time with which to concoct delicious recipes to compliment a healthy, balanced lifestyle....while also making my taste buds really happy. That's important! (Update: back in school as of August 20th, ready to tackle my final year at ASU!)
And why gluten-free and vegan, you ask? October of 2012, I gave up gluten as a recovery measure for AFS. It wasn't long before I noticed feeling "lighter" after meals with better digestion. Clearer thinking soon followed, and I've never looked back. At this point, I don't crave gluten-ey things anymore at all. My body rarely even wants gluten-free replacements for things like bread, bagels, pasta, and snacks.
In November of 2013 I began having splitting migraines that took me out of commission for days at a time; They were a torturous combination of light, sound, temperature, thought, and life sensitivity like you wouldn't believe. I tried Ibuprofen, lots of water, herbal teas, ice packs, and everything else short of wizardry, with no luck. After reading "The Virgin Diet" by JJ Virgin, I tried taking out the recommended 7 allergy-causing foods from my diet (corn, soy, eggs, dairy, peanuts, sugar, and gluten). A mere two weeks into this plan, I had a gluten-free coffee cake that was to die for. The only two ingredients that weren't acceptable were eggs and sugar. (But let's face it, I was still eating a bit of sugar here and there with no issues.) EGGS! Not my beloved eggs!!! My two (former) favorite meals were sourdough English muffins with feta, tomatoes, and over easy fried eggs and French Toast. This was a bit of a dietary blow, but the worst of the migraines went away. Soon after, dairy products and peanuts became obvious offenders, and the less meat I had, the better I felt as well.
So there you have it. Farewell animal dependence! Fortunately for me, there's no such thing as "cheating" for fear of an imminent migraine or stomach flu-like symptoms. Nothing tastes good enough to make that pain/discomfort worth it. And fortunately for you, I've taken this as a personal challenge to explore every undiscovered gluten-free + vegan food possibility and share them with the world!
I would love to hear your story, too and if you have any questions, ask away!