If you stumbled upon this blog, you might be curious to learn a little more about me, how I started my journey, and what my food philosophy is (or maybe you’re not, in which case probably don’t read this page, ha). I will share that stuff here but if you have more specific questions, please check my FAQ or contact me.
I am a current graduate student and recent college grad, located on the east coast of the United States. I studied Psychology and French Literature as an undergrad and took classes in anthropology, neuroscience, and public health in order to broaden my knowledge of the various relationships we establish within our world, both socially and biologically, and how they impact our bodies and lives. My interest in neuroscience led me to work at a Clinical Neuroscience lab at my school (one of my current jobs), and I also managed the business and budget of my school’s yearbook. As you might have guessed, I love to cook, bake, and learn about nutritional biology and dietetics. These became interests of mine relatively recently, when I discovered the community through Instagram of those sharing nourishing plant-based whole foods recipes and photos. I suppose I owe the discovery of this passion to Instagram, and to one of my friends who actually first launched her own food account and inspired me to do the same. In my free time during the summer of 2014 I started to read and learn about nutrition and various health lifestyles, and how what we eat impacts our bodies. It is my current goal to travel (hopefully to Australia and New Zealand) before heading to graduate school for a Master’s degree in Nutrition Communication, as well as a didactic certificate program in Dietetics. I hope one day to become a registered dietician specializing in holistic health (perhaps within a medical clinic setting). I hope to carry over my passion for psychology and neuroscience, and would love to continue doing work in these fields in conjunction with my travel and research.
I have grown up as a relatively healthy eater. My mom made home-cooked meals for our family my entire life, and is an amazing cook. I grew up learning about the benefits of sourcing food locally, eating predominantly at home, and eating whole, fresh ingredients rather than processed, packaged foods. I really didn’t know of any lifestyle different from this, for which I count myself extremely lucky, although of course there were days when I resented bringing my lunch to school or not eating much fast food, which seemed to be common among my age group at the time. Now I am extremely grateful for how I was brought up, because it instilled in me the desire and passion to eat in a way that is good for my body and for the environment. However, I always thought it was “unnatural” to eat a vegetarian diet (I didn’t even know what plant-based/whole foods diets were until a few years ago), and thought that people who did so were essentially deranged hippies. So now I’m one of those, I guess!
In the summer of 2014 I slowly transitioned to pescatarianism, meaning I ate fish, eggs, and dairy, but no chicken or red meat. Then at the end of the summer I slowly removed the majority of the animal products I did eat from my diet. It was an extremely easy and fluid process, done for both health and ethical reasons. I am lactose-intolerant so I have never really incorporated much dairy into my diet. I have never really liked or eaten red meat. I enjoyed fish and seafood but didn’t “need” them in my diet. By the end of the summer I had decided to be “plant-based” when I re-entered school for my senior year. Once I got to school, it was actually much easier to eat a plant-based diet than to worry about buying meat or fish to cook. Instead, I could make vibrant fresh salads, lentil stews, curries, tofu, tempeh, edamame, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I don’t consider myself 100% vegan (although I suppose this label would be the more closely aligned with my diet than vegetarian) because I don’t have a fully vegan-ized lifestyle in terms of the products I use and the occasional bites of non-vegan food here and there. Additionally, I am not rigorously strict at all times with ensuring that what I’m eating when I’m out or with friends is totally free of animal products and animal cruelty (but I try my best). For now, I prefer to do whatever I feel works for my body and not beat myself up for anything I choose to eat. That said, I do consider myself plant based, and fully believe that this diet is inherently the best thing any human can choose to do for themselves and the world. Cooking for myself for about a year (and with friends and family!) has been extremely freeing, and cooking has become something I really enjoy. My goal is simply to give my body what it needs, which is usually lots of fruits and vegetables, alongside whole grains and healthy proteins. I don’t see myself ever returning to a diet in which I eat meat or fish.
As far as my philosophy, I could go on for far too long about the benefits of consuming fewer animal products. Instead, I’ll refer you to two books, both by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and a pioneer of the whole food, plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. Campbell has done extensive research and cites studies in these books that will change your life — they changed mine. I also recommend the films Fed Up, Earthlings, and Forks Over Knives. These have been some of my primary sources of knowledge about what it means to switch to a WFPB lifestyle — for you, animals, and the environment. I do believe that we should all do what is best for our bodies, and listen to our own cues. One diet won’t work universally for everyone; we are all biologically individual. However, the science behind the WFPB lifestyle, both for the environment and the human body, is incontrovertible. I don’t try to force this on anyone. I want people to discover for themselves if this is something that would work for them, but I do encourage everyone I know to try and eat more plant-based meals and to see how they feel. If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m obviously not an expert (yet) but I’ve definitely found something that works, especially as a student and young adult, and I hope that by reading this maybe I’ve inspired a couple people to explore this lifestyle. Thanks so much for reading.