I am so excited to have been nominated for the Liebster Award this year. The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers as a way to help honor their work on the internet and also to help bloggers and readers to discover new blogs. Liebster is a German word and means, sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Seems like quite a compliment to me! If you’re nominated for the award, you are asked to answer several questions about yourself and then pay it forward by nominating a handful of other new bloggers. It’s all about building a community and connecting with others, which is one of my favorite things to do, so naturally I am thrilled to participate.
I was nominated for this award by Megan over at The Recipe For Healing. If you aren’t familiar with her recipes, I suggest you acquaint yourself because she has some amazing creations on her blog and Instagram page (@therecipeforhealing). A few years ago, she used the GAPS Diet to heal herself from a nasty Lyme Disease infection and hasn’t looked back. Her dedication to clean, whole, and healing foods has definitely been inspiring to me on my own road to recovery. Below are the questions that Megan asked me to answer along with my responses:
1) How did you eat before you decided to change your diet?
I have always been a relatively healthy eater and was lucky to grow up in a home with many home cooked meals and few preservatives. Since I played competitive soccer from the time I was 10-18, I was always aware that what I put into my body would be used for energy later on, but as with most people at the time I was lured by foods that I thought were healthy, but were actually often packed with chemicals and preservatives and were void of healthy fats.
For many years I believed that fat was the enemy, which is totally wrong thinking. During and after college, I went through a period where I ate relatively little animal fat or meat. I thought that this was a healthier way to live, and even though I was eating lots of fruits and vegetables, I was lacking in what I believe are two essential foods groups for my body type- healthy fats and animal protein.
Post college, I became more and more dependent on sugar and caffeine as I became more and more sick with an unidentified illness (which years later was finally diagnosed as Lyme). I would reach for a piece of candy, coffee, or tea when I became stressed at my fast-paced job, and since my adrenals and thyroid were a mess due to the effects of Lyme, I truly depended on these things to help me make it through the day.
After I became so ill with Lyme that I had to move back home to Texas to live with my parents in May of 2012, I knew that diet was one of the first things I wanted to address. I had been living off of Thai takeout and decadent brunches for months (okay let’s be real- years), and the sharp contrast of clean, home-cooked meals that my parents fixed me were a dream. It wasn’t long before I transitioned onto an anti-inflammation diet that consisted of a limited assortment of fish, vegetables, and fruits, and this is where I was first introduced to ghee, my BFF nowadays. Gluten, dairy, and sugar were prohibited on the diet, but since I had eliminated gluten in 2009 and dairy oftentimes caused tummy aches, I didn’t have much of an issue with adjusting to the diet, other than having to eat fish twice a day, everyday for several months. Basically, the rest is history- I’ve been eating organic, clean meals since August of 2012 and am hooked.
2) What are your favorite foods to eat, cook and bake? Have you always enjoyed being in the kitchen?
My favorite foods to eat are probably baby back ribs, fish, and sweet potato fries. I’ve been fighting off some candida recently and have had to eliminate the sweet fries, and boy am I missing them! The foods I probably eat the most are eggs, hamburgers and lamb burgers, steamed or raw green beans, and all types of assortments of coconut flour biscuits and muffins. I also try to consume at least one cup of bone broth per day and when my tummy isn’t in knots, I can eat my weight in hummus with carrots and celery.
Just to be clear, I am currently not well enough to cook for myself, and so most all of my meals are prepared by either my dad or my good friend, Betty, who basically works as a personal chef. I usually come up with the menu for the week and then we take it from there. I can’t wait until I am well enough to get into the kitchen though. I used to love baking with my grandmother, so that’s what I’m looking forward to most.
3) What made you decide to start a blog? What do you wish to accomplish with it?
When I was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I learned a lot about an illness that I had previously discounted as being easily prevented and quite curable. Those two misconceptions could not be further from the truth, and I wanted to be a voice of awareness while also providing a place for chronic illness sufferers to come and know that they are not alone.
4) If you could do/be anything, what would it be? There are no limits.
I would be a completely, 100% healthy individual, and I would travel. Everywhere. I want to live in so many different places that I’ve lost count. One day, I will travel again and live in a place that invigorates me the way that Brooklyn & NYC did when I lived there.
5) Who are some of the people that inspire you to eat clean?
Oh, there are so many. It probably sounds trite to say this, but literally every beautiful and healthy meal that I see posted in Instagram or Pinterest inspires me to eat clean, think up delicious meals, and take pretty pictures of them.
And here are my nominations for the Liebster Award…
Incredible Edibles by Erin M. Harker– I just recently discovered Erin on Instagram (@incredible_edibles) and was immediately drawn to her beautiful pictures. Turns out she’s got the creative recipes to back them up. As if this weren’t enough, she’s got some seriously killer dish ware that I am quite envious of.
Lemons ‘n Lyme– Victoria was actually featured in The Lyme Diaries several months ago, and since then, she and I have kept a running dialogue of our treatment protocols, diets, and gains or setbacks in fighting Lyme. Her blog is one of the first Lyme and healthy food blogs that I discovered and is part of the reason that I felt encouraged to start my own blog. She has some seriously delicious recipes for both paleo and raw food lifestyles, and she also shares the same heart that I do for spreading Lyme awareness. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook too.
Plateful Paleo– I’ve been following Rachel on Instagram (@platefulpaleo) for several months, and though I don’t know her personally, I always enjoy her posts of beautiful and well-thought out foods. She’s also from Houston, as am I, and I love to see what foods and paleo-friendly restaurants she finds in this city. Her blog has some seriously delicious recipes, so check her out!
My questions are:
1.) Why did you choose your particular diet plan and what health benefits have you seen from it?
2.) What inspired you to start your blog and what is your favorite part about blogging?
3.) What foods do you eat most often?
4.) What is your favorite “cheat food” or comfort food?
5.) What do you want your readers to know about you? (It can be anything)