2015-05-23 12.16.29-1“Everyone has a food blog.”

That was the #1 thing stopping me from starting this. #2 was a combination of pure laziness/exhaustion/fear of having a blog that no one read or cared about. After thinking about creating my own recipe blog for probably about a year now, I finally decided to just go for it, thanks to the help of some encouraging friends who told me they would “definitely subscribe” (holding y’all to that…)

Let’s backtrack a bit: I’ve always loved cooking, and especially baking. When I was little, I would pretend to film cooking shows in my kitchen. I love going “off book” when it comes to recipes and finding ways to make food creations my own. All through high school, I ran my own custom cake business and sold cakes to friends, family, and random strangers from the internet (yup, my mom was pretty terrified about that – she watches a ton of Law & Order.)

Flash forward to April 2015: I was a year out of college and struggling to cope with #adulting – meaning: work/life balance was nonexistant, I could barely find time or energy to exercise, and my meals were simple and routine (i.e. I literally made chicken and veggies for lunches Monday-Thursday every week for approximately 8 months…). I was being healthy-ish, but I wasn’t having fun with my workouts or my meals.

A friend introduced me to Tone It Up and encouraged me to try their 8 Week Bikini Series. I didn’t exactly have a reason why not, so I gave it a chance. Karena and Katrina are basically the most badass women trainers ever, and their approach to health and wellness is incredibly accessible. Their meal plans focus on a diet that is low-carb, low-dairy, high protein, lots of fruit and veggies, and basically no gluten. They recommend you eat 5 smaller meals a day, so there are a lot of snacks worked in (which helps break up my workday so I love it). As a result of doing the Bikini Challenge, I tried foods I otherwise used to laugh at: chia seeds, flax, almond milk, quinoa. A year later, I’ve adapted these nutrition plans with my own personal style, and have started making my own “TIU approved” meals.

And now: My friends and coworkers act impressed when I bring my fancy healthy meals into work. I hear a lot of “I don’t have time to make complex recipes” or “I’m not creative enough to make up recipes like that.” This type of response is the reason why I wanted to start this blog. I think homemade can be easy, fun, affordable, and healthy.

With that in mind, here are my goals with this site:

  1. Share fun, new recipes that anyone can make in their kitchen. The majority of these recipes will be healthy, although I may sneak a few sweets or cheats in once in a while 🙂
  2. Keep it simple. I can’t stand recipes that require hours of prep work and leave you with equal hours of dishes to clean up afterwards. I’m always striving to make dishes using 1-2 pots/pans max, and I’ll help you whip up a delish dinner in 20 minutes tops. If you want something really easy, I’ll be tagging recipes with “distracted dinners” to indicate that you can pop these in the oven while you’re working out, doing laundry, or catching up on last night’s Bachelor.
  3. Save money, save food. Cooking at home shouldn’t cost a fortune, so I’ll help you get the most out of $60-75 of groceries a week. I’m not going to ask you to use 2 tbsp of zucchini and then make you figure out WTF to do with the rest of it. I’ll recommend ways to use up all your ingredients so you don’t grumble when you have to throw them out (because you most likely won’t have to!)

So, here goes nothing. I welcome your feedback…and hope you’ll give my recipes a try!