About Me

My name is Amanda, I'm a  mom of four kids, 8 and under. I grew up in So California with my mom. I was introduced to my husband, Jason, by a friend when I was 21. We dated for three years and got married.
Wedding on the beach in Santa Barbara
 About a year after we got married we came across the book Gods Way to Ultimate Health by George Malkmus. I sat reading this book on a weekend afternoon while Jason was in the kitchen cooking (yeah, I didn't cook much then, a few signature dishes and that was it, he was our master cook...or the restaurant down the street). I kept reading him exerts from the book and over that weekend we realized that we needed to change our diet. We almost instantly switched to a mostly vegan, mostly raw diet...and tossed our microwave (for the environmentalist out there, we did NOT throw it in the trash, we stashed it in the garage until we had a yard sale.) Over the next two weeks, we detoxed like crazy and felt pretty cruddy. That's what happens when you eliminate bleached white flour, white salt, white sugar, all meat, all dairy (except for a little cheese)all high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and soda. But after those two weeks were over, we felt so "clean". The world seemed brighter and we had this overwhelming happy feeling all the time which lasted for quite a long time. Within 8 weeks of starting this lifestyle I had lost 30 pounds (which I had gained in the first year of our marriage, he's a good cook, and we got lazy). I felt amazing!

6 months after the lifestyle change I got pregnant with our first child. I had a great pregnancy and felt really well, most of the time, as long as I ate. It was a very uneventful pregnancy compared to most. All of my pregnancies were pretty easy. I really enjoyed my pregnancies for the most part. My first three kids were born at home with a midwife. I had complications with 1 and 3 but got through it. But with #3 I had a retained placenta and it was recommended to not have any more home births. So #4 was born in the hospital, but with a great midwife that let me stand on the bed while pushing the baby out. You gotta have freedom to move!

A year after our first was born, we found organic raw milk at our health food store. We did some research and found that raw milk has some amazing nutrition and health benefits. So we bought a half gallon and decided to add it into our diet, it was raw after all. It sat in the fridge for days before either of us would try it. To be honest, I was super scared of it. Real milk, right from the cow?? Eww! Every time I opened the fridge I would eye it, and then close the fridge. Finally, I decided to try some in a bowl of cereal. It tasted great! It has been a staple in our diet ever since.

After that, we slowly added meat back into our diet, but only organic pasture raised beef and chicken. There were some dishes we missed so adding meat in a couple times a week at most was what we did. This is a practice we still keep up. We eat mostly vegetarian with meat or chicken a couple times a week. We have been raising chickens for the last 3 years and those are the only eggs we eat. If you can't raise chickens, a local small farm is the best source for pasture raised eggs.

After we got married, but before we had kids, we decided if we had kids we would home school them. Little did I know at the time how little of a "we" thing it was and more if a "me" thing. Home schooling is a lot of work and takes up a lot of time, but it's something I wouldn't trade for anything. I love learning with our kids. I love when they surprise me with how smart they are. When my oldest was in first grade, I finally came to the calming conclusion that while my kids are young and we are home schooling, it's ok if my house does not look perfect. That is a very freeing realization. Granted, one would still want their house "clean" but it doesn't have to be neat. If a craft or science project is sitting on the dining room table for days on end, it's ok, we eat elsewhere. I love it when I come up with (or borrow the idea from someone else) new creative ways to learn...no matter how much of a mess it makes. We take field trips and learn everywhere we go. My oldest loved it when he learned to count to 200...and proceeded to wow us with it every.single.time we were in the car =)

Home cooking wasn't something I got good at until we moved to NY from Cali. In Cali I had some dishes I would make but not many, and not much of a variety. We were lucky to have quite a few healthy restaurants near us. Often hubby would call on his way home from work and ask what was for dinner, which I would have no idea, so he'd swing by somewhere and get food. He was constantly telling me I should meal plan. I refused because I was afraid I wouldn't feel like what I had planned on a certain night. Well, we moved to western NY to a town with no healthy restaurants and the closest grocery store was 20 minutes away....not a quick drive with 3 kids to pick something up last minute. So, I finally learned to meal plan. It was so amazing! I always knew what was for dinner. If I didn't feel like a certain meal, I'd pick another from later in the week. If I didn't feel like any of them, I'd settle and make pasta, which didn't happen often. I slowly engaged the wonderful world wide web and vast variety of recipes available at a click of a button. I would try new recipes every week and eventually started creating recipes of my own. I'm now in a place where I feel extremely bad if I make boring pasta for dinner but I also feel it's ok to make an "easy" meal when you need to.

I started this blog in February 2010 after shutting down my website (it was just too much work at this time!) This blog is a compilation of nutrition and health information I have come across over the  years as well as a ton of healthy recipes. Also you will find some funny stories and some of my photography. Photography is something I have loved since I was in high school. I don't always have as much time for it as I would like, but that's ok for now, I have small children that are much more important =) Enjoy, comment, subscribe, share with your friends! Thanks for visiting!
Our gang-Winter 2012

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