Hello and welcome to Flavor the Moments! I’m a wife, mother of two boys and a cooking school graduate, residing in Northern California and Boise, Idaho.
My true joy is being out in nature walking my dog or hiking, frequenting local farmer’s markets to pick up beautiful seasonal produce, and incorporating it into new and exciting recipes.
I love preparing easy, healthy meals packed with organic, sustainable ingredients, along with cooking techniques and make ahead tips because meal prep can get overwhelming.
I’m a firm believer that life is about balance, so you’ll find plenty of healthy recipes as well as both healthy and indulgent treats.
My food journey
I’m living proof that anybody can learn to cook because I wasn’t terribly good at it until much later in life. 🙂
I grew up baking in the kitchen with my mom, so I was a much better baker than I was a cook! When I got married at age 30, I finally found the motivation to develop my cooking skills.
In 2002 I quit my job as a network administrator/computer system analyst for a major utility company and became a stay at home mom, which is when I found my true passion for cooking.
I watched countless hours of Food Network, read cooking magazines and cookbooks, and took some hands on cooking classes here and there. I was obsessed and started this blog in September of 2012.
My dream was to go to cooking school, and in September of 2013 that dream became a reality. I began a 6 month full-time cooking program in San Francisco at Tante Marie Cooking School, where I was trained in classic French cuisine, including pastry, with heavy emphasis on the use of seasonal ingredients. Cooking school was demanding, challenging, fun and extremely rewarding, and was 6 months of the best food I’ve ever encountered.
After cooking school I continued on with my blog, and I had no idea things a few years later that my diet would change drastically.
For years I’d experienced mild stomach upset, and in 2017 things had gotten much worse. My cramping and bloating became too awful to ignore any longer, so I saw a gastroenterologist.
I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and I was advised to start a Low FODMAP diet. The diet did improve my symptoms almost immediately, but that diet is not sustainable for the long term and it didn’t pinpoint what my actual food sensitivities were. I reduced my gluten intake significantly from that day forward, and simply minimized the amount of high FODMAP foods that I consumed. While this helped some, I still had my ups and downs.
In August 2021 I started seeing a Nature Path doctor and began intermittent fasting 14-16 hours per day and really started seeing results.
I took a food sensitivity test to determine my food triggers. I discovered that my body is sensitive to cane sugar, cow’s milk, figs, dates, chili pepper, cinnamon, rosemary and a few other items, so I avoid them as much as possible as they can cause inflammation. Avoiding these foods has really helped, but I knew I needed to do more to heal my gut.
Intermittent fasting has been a game changer for me. Giving my gut time to digest food and cleanse for an extended period of time has been one of the best things for me. It’s helped me lose weight and maintain it without being on a restrictive diet, and most importantly it’s improved my gut health significantly. It’s very flexible — I simply don’t eat 14-16 hours after my last meal the night before. I drink black coffee in the morning which was hard at first, and I drink plenty of water during my fasting period. I typically eat breakfast food for my first meal of the day, which is typically between 10 and 11, depending on when I last ate the night before.
I’ve cleaned up my diet significantly. To this day I still eat minimal gluten because I feel better when I eat less. My diet is high in organic veggies and some fruit, minimal grains because my body doesn’t seem to process them well in large doses, sustainable meats, seafood, eggs, and some organic grass fed dairy. I eat healthy carbs minimally and enjoy baking healthier treats without unrefined sugar, gluten and dairy.
In a nutshell, my food philosophy is to eat a well balanced diet that includes a wide variety of vegetables and some fruit every day, and supplement that with good quality protein sources, healthy fats and carbs, and steer clear of processed foods as much as possible. It can be tough to stay on track at times when I go out or travel, but I do the best that I can and I don’t beat myself up if I stray a little bit here or there.
This blog truly reflects my food journey. When I started it I had no dietary restrictions, thus many of my early recipes are not how I eat today. I do revisit many of my older recipes to enjoy on special occasions and holidays, and sometimes I modify them to reflect the way I eat now. Things have changed significantly since I started Flavor the Moments over 10+ years ago, and I couldn’t be happier about where this journey has taken me.
I hope my recipes inspire you to cook more healthy meals (and occasional treats!) in your kitchen, and if you ever have any questions about my journey, please contact me via email at [email protected].
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Thanks for reading about me and most of all for being here! There are many ways to join the community here at Flavor the Moments.