A Veggie Life

As someone who is obsessed with juicing I was very excited when my boyfriend told me that he had a garden in his back yard.  This definitely scored him points in my book when we were first getting to know one another because I have always loved plants, flowers and the study of botany in general.  I feel very much at peace when I am digging through soil and simply caring for another life.  In Chicago I had a beautiful rose garden and several house plants but I have never actually grown my own vegetables or herbs which is something I am so excited to help with!

Nick's grandfather
Nick’s grandfather

I must say so far Nick’s grandfather has been doing pretty much all of the work when it comes to pulling the weeds that grew in over the early spring and putting down the fertilizer.  This man is almost 80 years old and he is as strong as an ox!  He will be turning 80 on one of the greatest days of the year, that’s right you guessed it- September 22nd!  The same day I will be turning 26!

My favorite vegetables are cucumbers, peas, green beans, garlic… I could go on!  I also have a love-hate relationship with zucchinis.  I don’t like them by themselves but they are my secret weapon in baking the most moist delicious blueberry muffins in the world!!!  The next time I bake them I will share the recipe and photos!  (side note… and one of my biggest pet peeves… if you are making blueberry muffins please use fresh blueberries!  I don’t care what anyone says!  Nothing beats the taste of a fresh blueberry and ONLY a fresh blueberry, NOT frozen NOT canned, can burst into your muffin while baking to create the most beautiful colors and designs!)  Okay sorry rant over I am just extremely passionate about fresh produce.

pizza, hummus, and fresh veggies
pizza, hummus, and fresh veggies

As far as my diet goes, yes I have an affinity for veggies but I also love my fruits as well.  Pineapples are my favorite with citrus fruits, pears, and freshly picked strawberries coming in at a close second.  My diet however is not strictly limited to fruits and veggies.  Although I have a lot of vegan recipes, I am in no way gluten free, vegan or vegetarian.  There was a time in my life when I did adopt a vegan diet while trying to cut gluten out and I felt miserable.  I suffered from migraines constantly.  I was always exhausted and my family was getting annoyed with me because at every family get together I napped for at least 2 hours.  I also went to my Dr. who allowed me to sleep in her office and wrote me a note for work (bless her heart) because she saw how tired I was because of 1. how busy my life used to be but also 2. my low iron and hemoglobin levels.

It wasn’t until I went down to Southport, North Carolina to have a meal with my friend Christina and her in laws that I realized how deprived I was of the food that I needed.  I want to stress “that I needed” because in no way do I want to undermine anyone’s diet or lifestyle choice.  I just know that for me a vegan/gluten free diet does not work for my body and everyBODY is different.  At our dinner in Southport we went to a seafood restaurant right on the water.  Knowing me I probably ordered a sweet tea (It is one of my favorite drinks!  Despite the sugar crash that sometimes accompanies it) and in an effort to not be rude or appear picky I ate bread, fish, veggies and shellfish in a cream based sauce.  After that meal I felt so much better!  Energy seemed to flood back through me and my migraine was gone.  Christina’s father in-law even made a comment that stuck with me, “See all you needed was some real food.”  After that I had flirted with the vegan idea but the same thing kept happening I was getting too thin and I had no energy.  So what I have found that works best for me is balance.  A meal that has a small portion of meat, a good portion of veggies and of course my favorite-a healthy carb.  This is not to say that I do not enjoy a giant bowl of pasta, chocolate bread pudding or a freshly baked brownie (more than occasionally) but it feels good to be good!



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