DISCLAIMER: I apologize in advance for any Spanglish you might encounter below.
Facts about me:
- I’m in love with many things, but if I had to be monogamous to one, it would be essential oils, for my love for them is unparalleled.
- I have long dark tangles. Translation: I’m a curly girl. I would have thought having such infuriatingly rebellious hair would have taught me patience, but my curls seem to have drained all mine away.
- I’ve been to all 50 fifty States (except for Alaska… that pesky Alaska).
- I’m currently living in Chile. South America is pretty much a Spanish-speaking North America. (A few slight differences of course…)
- Laughter is my favorite thing in the world. Lavender comes in a close second.
- I’m a snowboarder, a novelist, a lover of tea, an essential oil aficionado, y me gusta aromatic scents mucho (hey, I warned you).
My fav foods: avocados, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, lemons, spices (ceylon cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, nutmeg, vanilla, just give me them all!) and herbs (those count, right?).
When did I first start cooking?
Growing up, neither of my parents knew how to cook worth jack (they would probably refute this, but seriously; it was the same three dishes again and again) so I had to take things into my own hands. With four ravenously hungry boys in the household (are men like eternally hungry or something?) there was always someone to test my creations and toss back feedback between bites. I quickly became the chef of the household. Talk about a lot of pressure! I guess you can say I was forced into the cooking business by survival instinct.
I haven’t always eaten right. As a matter of fact, I practically grew up on Cheerios, Kraft mac and cheese, and ice cream.
My dad used to dump spoonfuls of sugar on our bowls of cereal (as if they weren’t already sugary enough, and yes – white refined sugar). Not to mention my middle school days of Doritos and Monster Energy. But you probably didn’t come here to hear about Satan’s food, eh?
When I did decide to eat healthy, I didn’t play around. I cut out all refined sugars, dairy, grains, legumes, vegetable oils, and nearly all processed foods. I also cut down on my meat and egg intake. If you’re gonna go, go all the way right?
On my search for healthy recipes, however, it was often difficult to find a recipe that met my criteria. The vegan recipes used grains, refined sugars, flours, beans, and legumes. The paleo recipes had stuff like gluten-free flour blends, protein powder, ghee, and gelatin. Not to mention I was cutting back on meat and eggs. Almost every recipe would have some ingredient I didn’t like.
What’s a girl to do? Make her own blog, of course!
My aim is to make a completely dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, legume-free, and refined sugar-free recipe and nutrition blog. The majority of recipes will be paleo approved, vegan friendly, egg-free, nut-free, and flour-free as well. The only flours I will be using are nut-based flours (ex. almond flour), coconut flour, and occasionally arrowroot or tapioca flour.
While my original goal was to start this blog as a paleo and vegan dessert blog, I later decided to include all kinds of different recipes tailoring specifically to people who avoid grains and dairy (like me) and anyone looking to eat healthier. I want to include a large variety of options and substitutions so everyone can enjoy, whether vegan, paleo, raw, lactose intolerant, nut allergic, gluten sensitive, or any other dietary restriction.
I like to call myself a Paleo-Vegan (Valeo) because my diet consists of a combination of both lifestyles. I do eat a little meat (usually seafood, like salmon), potatoes, and an occasional egg when the recipe refuses to cooperate otherwise. I’d like to think the bulk of my diet consists of natural, whole, unprocessed foods. I love my veggies, but I definitely have a sweet tooth!
What do I eat?
Avocados. Lots and lots of avocados.
Salads. There are so many combinations! Spinach is almost always my base and avocados are a must. Besides that, pretty much anything goes: tomatoes, purple onions, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, fruit, homemade chocolate, nuts… name a spice and I’ve probably sprinkled it over a salad (salt, pepper & curry is my go-to).
Vegetables. Raw, cooked, sliced, whole. Yummm.
Fruits. Who doesn’t like Nature’s source of natural sugar? (My mom, that’s who. Apparently she doesn’t like seeds and fruit has a lot of them. *eye roll*)
Everything coconut. Coconut water straight from a baby Thai coconut, coconut milk, coconut meat, dried coconut flakes, shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut cream, I could go on forever.
Hemp seeds, goji berries, chia seeds and flax seeds. I love all of these.
Superfood powders. Maca powder, moringa powder, turmeric powder, etc.
Coconut flour and nut/seed flours (like almond flour) are the only flours I use.
Homemade vegan cheeses and cheese dips. Nut or vegetable based.
Homemade dairy free milks (coconut milk, nut milks, seed milks).
What do I eat in moderation?
Nuts, including nut flours and nut butters. Again, there’s some controversy regarding these but I will continue to bake with them in moderation. I always soak my nuts before use. Who would argue against the great taste of nuts? Psst… cashews are my favorites, but don’t tell the other nuts I said that. I still love almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and pretty much all of them. I’ll eat any nuts you throw my way!
Potatoes. I know they’re not strictly “Paleo”, but I love them.
Eggs. I substitute with flax eggs whenever possible, but sometimes a good paleo bread just needs an egg or two.
Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.
Cacao. Some people avoid this because of the caffeine but… not me. Moderation.
Oil. Coconut oil is the only oil I cook with and olive oil is the only other oil I eat (raw only), but I try to avoid using oil whenever possible.
What do I avoid?
I religiously avoid all refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.
All dairy, including butter, ghee, and yogurt.
Grains… that mean no rice, no quinoa, no flour. Not even gluten-free flour blends. No pseudograins either.
Legumes like beans and lentils. No peanuts for me!
Refined and processed oils. (All oils except coconut and olive oil.)
I avoid all of the following: white refined flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, barley flour, buckwheat flour, rice flour, oat flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour, quinoa flour, and anything that isn’t coconut flour or a nut/seed based flour.
Buttt… how old are you?
Sixteen. I know, I know; I’m still a baby in the eyes of the world. But many say our world is a baby in the eyes of the universe (not quite sure what I’m getting at…).
Age is just a number and all that. (No, really. Experiences enhance knowledge and maturity even faster than time.)
Did you actually read this far? Or are you a scroller? Sly dog.
Thanks for reading. Now go check out my awesome healthy Paleo Vegan recipes!