I don’t have a success story like many of the inspiring authors of healthy cooking blogs, body image blogs, or psychology blogs. I was raised in a family that stressed the importance of healthy eating from an early age and from the moment I could understand what the meaning of health was, I was taught why what we eat matters.
As a young child, you might have seen me running around my living room while eating romaine lettuce leaves and dancing to loud music, all at the same time. I think this expresses who I am today pretty well. While I don’t run around my living room these days nor do I munch on romaine lettuce while doing physical activity, I am still very much a positive spirit with a passion for healthy living, nurturing our silly side, and doing whatever makes us happy. And I may still dance to loud music in the privacy of my own room. I mean, hey, there are some things we just shouldn’t stop doing.
My dad is Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and he’s written a bunch of books on how to reach our best health, get rid of the most common, diet related diseases and prevent these diseases as we get older. I’m talking about nasty cancers, like breast and skin cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and more. His most well-known book is Eat To Live, but between you and me and anyone else reading this, my personal favorite of his books is Super Immunity. What’s not to love about a book that explains why Elderberry juice can help us get better faster from the common cold, right? I didn’t even know what Elderberry juice was until my dad told me about its marvelous nutritional properties.
Anyway, so I grew up in a family in which kale with cashew cream sauce was a common dish served at dinner and dried papaya and persimmons were what my mom packed for me in school lunches. In elementary school, while my friend’s moms packed them Lunchables and Fruit by the Foot at snack time (remember those?), corn on the cob and apples with cashew butter were often what was packed for me. Now that I think about it, it’s probably a miracle that I grew up to be mostly normal. I wasn’t always a perfect eater and I’m not a perfect eater as an adult either (this is my time to give dark chocolate a shout out- dark chocolate I love you!), but I do care a ton about the connection between what we eat and our well-being and I am a huge advocate of the tremendous power of taking care of our bodies. Hordes of scientific studies show that food really is medicine and that what we eat every day influences how we feel, what our number of the scale reads, the strength of our immune systems, and much more. With the knowledge about which foods to eat and what to do to feel awesome, it’s only natural to make eating nutrient-dense, health promoting foods a priority. Rebellion in my teens and as an adult had no chance once feeling amazing now and into the future became paramount.
I am a health-food foodie but I also happen to be a self-professed fashion addict, science nerd, aspiring chef, and travel lover with a curiosity for knowledge that only gets stronger by the day. Oh and if I was stranded on a deserted island and could only choose a few things to bring, it would be a five-years supply of dark chocolate, red lipstick and my iPod, (assuming that rescue would occur in max five years).
This is me and my siblings and cousins. I’ve got some cute munchkins in my family!
Here are answers to questions I get asked frequently….
1) When did you create this blog?
This blog came to life in December of 2012 after much contemplation and daydreaming about starting my own blog with healthy recipes and nutrition, body image and psychology advice colliding into one chill place. I’ve wanted to start a blog for eons but with Cornell University taking over my life (see question 3 for more about where I went to school) and those horrendous prelims* I didn’t have enough time to really devote myself to the amazing world of food blogging. I’ve loved cooking/baking for a few years now, so I’m really excited that I can finally share my recipes with you. Now that I have my own blog after wanting one for way too long, I will continue to be ecstatic that after I create a recipe, I now can share them with fellow health-conscious foodies and wannabe chefs like myself.
*Prelim – short for preliminary examinations, this word is unique to Cornell U. These are tedious midterms administered 3 to 4 times each semester. Think borderline torture!
2) What did you go to school for?
No surprise, I studied nutritional science in college. I have a B.A. from Cornell University and I majored in nutrition. I also took every psychology course offered. Positive psychology, personality psychology and human bonding were my favorite classes during my time in Ithaca, NY.
3) Are you a vegan?
Truth- I am 99.5% vegan. I will not profess to being vegan all 365 days of the year, because that would be lying and lying never looked good on me. It’s like that horrible shade of brown that looks good on no one, not even Boo the famous Pomeranian, cutie as a fluffy dog, dog. I eat vegan at home, eschew meat entirely, chicken is nada present in my life, I don’t do eggs, and cheese and butter, ewww. That 0.5%, well, that’s when I order salad dressing at a restaurant on the side with my salad and it has a little bit of dairy in it (this rarely happens, though) or when I go on vacation with my family somewhere tropical and decide to try the locally caught mahi mahi. It is a rare occurrence that something un-vegan touches my lips, but I want to let you know that I am not fanatical about being 100% vegan all of the time.
4) How old are you?
I am officially 25 years of age as I type this. That’s right, I am a quarter century old. My word, my 13-year-old self would have thought I was positively ancient.
5) How much do you weigh? How tall are you?
I no longer weigh myself. The scale can cause unnecessary unhappiness when we don’t see a number we like and I’ve decided that my daily pound fluctuations are not important to me anymore. When I was in college, I weighed myself all the time and now I feel idiotic for doing so given the icky feelings it gave me. Even though I ate healthfully, I cared way too much what the number on the scale read, even though I was pretty much a toothpick. Somebody needed to slap me and thankfully I decided to do the slapping on my own. Long story short, I am much happier now that the scale and I have parted ways. For those of you who are extremely curious and still care about that scale, I’m probably between 104 and 110 pounds at 5’4’’, but I really have no idea.
6) What do you eat in a typical day/How many calories do you eat each day?
I don’t count calories and never have. I care about the nutrient density of the foods I eat and the quality of the calories, rather than the amount of calories I put into my body. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am content. I eat three meals a day with a piece of fruit and a cup of tea before I go to bed at night. This is just my style. What do I eat? Well, I don’t follow my dad’s book, Eat To Live, although my diet is pretty close to it. It’s a weight loss book and I’m not trying to lose weight. I eat a ton of vegetables and mushrooms. I am obsessed with mushroom anything. Read about the why eating mushrooms frequently combats aging HERE. My theory is that I look younger than I actually am because I love mushrooms so much and I eat green vegetables with practically anything. Okay, maybe not everything. Green veggies on their own are pretty bitter, so I like to pair my kale, arugula, spinach, baby lettuce, etc., with delish whole-wheat, veggie-filled hummus wraps, in large salads with a tangy or sweet homemade dressing or in smaller salads paired with a spicy chili or hearty soup recipe. My eat lots of fruit every day and my favorite fruits are blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, apples, fresh peaches, and mangoes, but my favorite fruits could change at any time! My diet is not low in fat; whole-food sources of healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vital to optimal health and I make it a goal to eat at least two ounces of nuts or seeds every day. While I am not gluten-free, I don’t make grains a large part of my diet. I say no to processed foods.
7) What are your hopes/goals for the future?
My hope is to have as many people as possible learn about the tremendous powers of a plant-based diet for disease-prevention, maximizing well-being in the present, compassion towards animals and for people to understand the large association between going plant-based and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And I want people to realize that a vegan chili topped with zesty guacamole can taste just as divine as an oily, saturated fat-laden cheese pizza. Basically, let’s you and I show the world that eating healthfully can taste fantastic, okay?
Don’t these look good? They are oil-free, date-sweetened creamy raspberry cupcakes!