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Growing up, you wouldn't find a vegetable on my plate unless said plate was maybe from the 70's and had some kind of cornucopia design painted on it. Nobody forced the issue so I spent over twenty years of my life eating Hot Pockets and thinking I hated vegetables.

In my late twenties I signed up for an overnight charity bike ride from Louisville to Lexington and back (75 miles each way...150 miles total in two days. This is also where I met Mr. What I Gather, by the way) and as my training increased, so did my cravings for healthy foods. I started small -  a few carrots here, a celery stick there. But it wasn't long before I tried my first salad (I used to liken lettuce to eating paper) and my veggie love has been growing ever since.

Cycling led to running, which led to even more healthy choices. In the summer of 2011, Mr. What I Gather came home from work one day with stories of a co-worker who was on the paleo diet. I had never heard of it, but was intrigued. I was always trying to take better care of my body, but with so many messages out there I had a hard time sorting it all out. The paleo thing just totally clicked with me, though. What could be bad about cutting out all the processed junk from our diets and eating only foods that our ancestors once hunted or gathered? The more I learned, the more it resonated with me.

By that weekend, I had written up a totally paleo grocery list, rid our kitchen of all non-paleo foods and ordered The Paleo Solution and Everyday Paleo on Amazon. I have always loved cooking and baking, but now I can feel good about everything that I cook for my friends and family. I think about food pretty much constantly. I love picking out foods at the grocery store and thinking about what I can create with them. I spend most of my day thinking about what I want to cook for dinner and I sometimes wake up in the morning craving brussels sprouts for breakfast (seriously). I've even been known to eat spaghetti squash as a snack.

I started this blog to share with others how simple and delicious healthy living can be! Here you'll find nutritious recipes, healthy living tips, parenting insights and other random ramblings. I am learning as I go and loving it every step of the way. My love for food and how it affects our health and longevity has inspired me to do more than just get creative in the kitchen. I am currently enrolled at Hawthorn University and working toward my Masters in Health and Nutrition Education. I want to make this my life. I want to learn as much as I can about how foods can improve our health and prevent disease so I can help others in any way possible. I still don't know exactly where this will all lead, but I like the direction I'm headed.

Now that we've been doing this healthy eating thing for a couple of years, we've started to experiment with more of a real food approach to eating, while keeping the focus on the healthy, nutrient dense foods our ancestors would have eaten. I feel like we all have our own personal definition of "paleo" and mine has come to be this: I eat real food that nourishes my body and makes me feel good inside and out. I eat whole foods and avoid refined foods. I eat local, organic, grass fed and pasture raised whenever possible. Vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts and seeds make up 99.9% of my diet. The other .1% is probably chocolate.

We've added in some new foods here and there and I strongly believe that a diet of real, whole, nutritious, unrefined food is the secret to a healthy life. The majority of our diet and the recipes you will see on this website are 100% A-OK paleo approved!

We are now a family of three with the addition of our baby boy and pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood has helped me to realize the importance of healthy eating more than ever! I feel so blessed to have discovered this way of life before giving birth so that my son can have the opportunity to learn the importance of nutrition from a young age.

I strongly believe that a nutrient packed diet of real food is the secret to a healthy life and we really are in control of our health and our bodies. By consuming whole, nutritious, unrefined foods I know we can live longer, happier lives. It seems too simple, really, but it makes total sense. Eat healthy, be healthy.

My 7 year old self would probably gag at the items on the plate of the woman I have become, but she should be thanking me. I am planning to keep us strong and healthy for a long, long time.
My writing can also be found on the following sites:

My Square Foot Garden
>Summer Vegetable Mahi Mahi Bake
>Moroccan Zucchini Boats
>Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup
>Roasted Green Veggies and Grapes
>Mediterranean Green Beans with Golden Raisins
>Broiled Salmon with Warm Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

Lucy in Da Sky with Diamonds
>I Could Never Give Up...

>Chocolate Cherry Smoothie with Cinnamon

Jules' Fuel

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I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose or treat disease. The recommendations on this site are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. As the site owner, I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information or for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.