Hello, my name is Gwynnie. I am a wife to a wonderful husband named Jake and a pet-mother to a five pound Yorkshire terrier named Fluffie and a big, orange tabby cat named JG. I love to create recipes using plant-based ingredients, study and use plant and natural medicine alternatives, work in the garden and be in the open air, and sew, knit, and other artsy things inside the home. In short, I love to learn, and I find great peace in making an orderly and healthy home!
I grew up training to be a ballerina. It was my life. By the time I was in my teens, I was spending all day at the dance studio taking classes and rehearsing. I loved every minute of it! In addition, I was homeschooled, which allowed me to dance even more. My dream was to become a professional dancer. However, I met my (then future) husband, Jake, the last semester of my senior year of high school and soon decided to change careers, which I have not regretted one bit!
Yet, I have not always kept the lifestyle that I have now; in fact, my teen years were quite difficult and full of unhealthy habits. Throughout my teens I struggled with constantly feeling nauseated after eating, my body swelling randomly, having migraines, my joints hurting, feeling like I had the flu all the time, not sleeping well, and being moody and depressed. In addition, I struggled with my body image and went through bouts of verging on the edge of anorexia to not caring at all because I felt so ill. Yet, I was ashamed of the issues I was facing and for several years did not even acknowledge that I was having problems. Most of the time I thought it was just my imagination that I felt so bad or that I was simply sore after training so hard at the dance studio. Then, when I was sixteen, on a whim to see if it would make any difference at all, I decided to stop eating bread. Talk about hard. Bread was my go-to food. However, to my surprise, I soon began to notice a difference in the way I felt! Thus, my food and health journey began.
After Jake and I got married, even though I felt better than I did when I was younger, I knew that my health was still struggling. Jake was (and still is!) a huge encouragement to me during this time, and he helped me to keep exploring food, health, and lifestyle options that would continue to improve my health. So, in 2014, we began to slowly change our eating habits toward a healthier lifestyle. We went from eating what people probably would consider “normal” food (animal products, prepackaged and “snacky” foods, etc.), although I was still maintaining a gluten and wheat free diet, to eating all organic, plant-based foods in 2016. I am now completely vegan and gluten free, and Jake is mostly vegan and gluten free!
I always enjoyed cooking and baking, but now I passionately love to explore the endless possibilities that can be created through plant-based foods! I experiment with gluten free, nut free, vegan, oil free, corn free, soy free, gum free, and raw foods, and I hope the recipes on this blog have options for everyone!
Another area I began to explore along this journey was natural and alternative medicine options! Because of extreme sensitivity to many of the “normal” conventional medicine options when I was a child and teenager, I only took what was absolutely necessary to feel better. If I could live without taking the medicine, I avoided it! However, when I was introduced to plant-based medicines like essential oils, herbal teas, herbal liniments, etc., I knew I had come across life-changing information. I am now enrolled in the Clinical Herbalist certification course from the East West School of Planetary Herbology, and I hope to be a certified herbalist by the end of 2018. I will be sharing my herbalism journey on this blog as well!
My Food Philosophy
I believe plant-based food and meals should be easy and quick to prepare, nutrient-dense, and of course, delicious!
I rarely meal plan because I like food to be simple and tend to use whatever ingredients I have on hand to form a meal. Often, that is how my best recipes are imagined!
Random Facts About Me:
- I am the second oldest (although oldest girl) out of seven siblings! Yes, none of us were adopted. Three boys and four girls, with only nine years separating the oldest from the youngest.
- I graduated high school at 17, married my (future) husband five months later, and graduated from a university with an Exercise Science major at 20.
- I am currently pursuing my Clinical Herbalist Certification and hope to be a certified herbalist by 2018!
- I love squirrels. Seriously. I think they are the cutest, fuzziest, sweetest…you get the point. I had a “pet” squirrel when I was thirteen (my family was nursing it back to health after it had been attacked by dogs), and squirrels have been my absolute favorite animals ever since!
- My Achilles’ heel is coffee. Hot, strong, black, organic coffee. I could drink it all day, every day.
- I greatly enjoy reading. My mom is an avid reader, and her love of books transferred to me as well! From Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to Star Trek novels and The Prydain Chronicles, my mom’s influence still inspires me to keep adding new books to my library.
- Before beginning this blog, I had never touched a DSLR camera, ran a webpage, or viewed myself as technically savvy in any form. If I can do it, so can you!
If you read all the way to this point, I want to thank you for your interest, and I hope you are inspired by this blog to make learning a lifetime journey!