So, you want to be healthier, but don’t want to eat boring and bland food?
I’m the same way.
I love trying new recipes, from the most basic to the most exotic.
I try to feed my family the best foods that I can, but I’m not perfect. At the very least, though, I like to avoid processed foods and eat real food whenever possible. To me that means avoiding packaged foods, and making food from scratch.
On my blog you’ll find a big mix of holiday and party foods, international foods, and how to make certain pantry items from scratch. I’m always trying to figure out how I can make something myself or trying to real-food-ify fun foods that aren’t particularly healthy. (Like my shamrock shake and marshmallow peeps)
Just because I’m not using Lucky Charms to make my St. Patty’s day treats, doesn’t mean I can’t make something fun and delicious!
Who am I?
I am an American expat living in Spain who loves holidays, planning parties, and making things. I’m a person that thinks that real food can be fun!
What type of diet do I follow?
You’ll find a lot of paleo and grain free recipes on my blog, because I tend to follow a “paleo-ish” or “primal-ish” sort of diet.
I have cut down on grains and refined sugars, but I haven’t completely eliminated them. That said, I do follow a primal type diet most of the time, and don’t use a lot of dairy. I can’t promise that you won’t find any old recipes on my blog that use wheat, corn or other “taboo” ingredients, but those sorts of recipes are mostly in my older posts and are very rare here. My blog is completely gluten free since May 2014. It only houses 4 or 5 older recipes with gluten in them, and I’m working on updating those with gluten free alternatives.
As for me, I do occasionally eat rice; living in the Valencian region of Spain, it would be almost impossible not to! And I eat some legumes, so those sorts of recipes will also occasionally show up. Hopefully that won’t be enough to scare you off if you are a paleo/primal eater yourself. 😉
Why do I choose to eat the way I do?
Both my son and I struggle with skin issues (and a few other symptoms) that appear to be aggravated by certain foods.
My son has a pretty severe case of atopic dermatitis, and certain foods set it off. While I don’t like limiting his diet as much as I do with my own at times, I do try to avoid giving him the foods that appear to be the most problematic.
As for me, I do have a few other problems that I am trying to resolve by changes in diet. Little by little I am working to pinpoint what sort of diet works best for me and allows me to feel my best.
Our diet is based on experimentation and compromise. My son loves milk, for example, but it is one of his worst offenders. He loves it so much that I didn’t want to take it completely away from him, though, so we tried goat milk and sheep milk at the dermatologist’s suggestion, and he appears to handle them relatively well.
Why do I blog?
When I started this blog, I had already been blogging about life with my son. I began my personal baby blog in January of 2010, the beginning of my pregnancy, to help keep my family informed about everything we have been up to.
You see, my family is still back in the US.
When it was only my husband and I here, I didn’t feel the need to commit to a blog to help keep my family abreast of what we were doing.
Finding out I was pregnant, though, changed all of that. I didn’t want my family to miss out on all of the fun times that would be had with my son.
I wrote about our day to day activities which included the crafts I was making for my son. Eventually people I didn’t know were starting to get drawn to the posts. It wasn’t a lot of people, but enough to make me feel like I should be dividing my online sharing into the more personal and the more shareable content that might interest others.
So, I decided to make a new blog, this blog, this time a little bit less personal, and more focused on the “how to’s” of what we have been doing and making and baking.
Once I started, I realized how much I love being able to share recipes and crafts with other people. I also love hearing from the people who read my blog, so feel free to comment on my posts. Please do! I love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have!
How did I end up in Spain?
Just as my interests are varied, so were my studies.
I graduated in 1996 from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) having followed a pre-med/dental program, and ended up with a double major in Spanish and Psychology. My plan was to go to med. school, but my aunt, a dentist at the time, convinced me to look into dentistry.
Having changed my mind, I had to take a year off to take my DAT, and took advantage of the time off to get back to Spain, to the city where I had studied in college.
The year off turned into 3 after having met my soon to be husband. We got married in 1999, and went back to the US together so that I could finish up dental school.
In 2003 I graduated from the University of Michigan with a D.D.S. degree. Obviously the plan was to practice dentistry, but someone made an offer on my aunt’s practice during my final year of dental school. We weren’t ready to commit to buying it ourselves, tying us permanently to the area, so instead we decided to head back to Spain.
Returning here, my husband was able to try out the new fishing boat that his family had just built.
The idea was for me to get my license to practice here, keeping our options open for the future. Unfortunately, the overabundance of dentists here has made it an almost impossible process. I was told that I had deficiencies in subjects for which I had studied almost twice as many hours as they do here. After years of trying to get legalized here, I have, at least temporarily, given up.
Meanwhile, for several years, I had contact with the Calvin College Semester in Spain program in which I had myself participated in 1994. I assisted the various directors, and also taught the Ethnographic Study course for several years. In 2008, I also taught Spanish grammar to the basic level students. I loved working with the program until it was moved to Oviedo after the final semester here in 2011.
In 2010, I gave birth to my son. Not knowing where life would bring us, we had postponed having children until then. Now that he keeps me busy, I have no complaints about not working outside the house. As you may be able to tell, I have never been one of those people who easily gets bored anyway. I always have several pending projects, likely have several started, and never have enough time to finish everything that I want to finish!
That’s what brought me to blogging of course, and I have to say that I love it!
This post is also available in Español.