“Imagine with all your mind, believe with all your heart, and achieve with all your might.”

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This quote has been in the back of my mind for a while now and it helps me remember my direction in life.  I want to start grasping on to more opportunities, reaching out to others, and expanding my horizons.  As a 21-year old recent graduate of the University of Arkansas, I’ve got so much life to live and want to make an impact in this world.  Though I may be new to the blogging world with my young blog Enticing Healthy Eating, the minute I heard about the Arkansas Blogger Bake Sale, I knew I had to participate.  After all, if I can take my love of cooking and use it to help others, count me in! 

I didn’t quite know how to go about writing a bio about myself, but I did find a survey from another healthy living blog here recently and really thought it might be the best way to organize my thoughts and share who the writer and foodie is behind Enticing Healthy Eating

I wholeheartedly believe you can eat all foods in moderation.  I do not diet, but rather just focus on eating mostly fresh foods with the least amount of ingredients and/or additives while still enjoying those special moments of indulging in a warm, huge piece of apple pie or a giant, juicy burger.

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Who or what inspired your very own journey to start cooking and eating healthy?

My journey with food and nutrition definitely began at a pretty young age.  I am an only child and growing, up my mother and father both cooked lots of homemade meals.  At my first house as a child, we had a humongous garden that provided us with fresh veggies so I definitely was introduced to fresh and wholesome foods early.  My father is also an outdoorsman and does his fair share of hunting and fishing so venison and fresh caught lake fish were also a main ingredient found in many of our home cooked meals.  I was never really a picky eater as a child.

But even though my parents had the right intentions of bringing me up on healthy homemade meals, I of course did treat myself to a lot of sweets and snacks and sodas too.  And thus, I was quite a chubby kid, which progressively went on to me becoming overweight by the time I was in middle school.  I didn’t lay around and do nothing–I was pretty active outside and even played soccer for seven years!  But the junk food I was eating was catching up with me. I didn’t like my body and the way I looked in the mirror every morning so I decided to make a change.

As I entered junior high school, I started to make small changes to my diet on my own.  I also just started to be more active and stay on my feet or keep busy during most days.  The pounds started to slowly drop off and it wasn’t just the external changes I was noticing that improved my happiness and well being–it was that my body was just more energized and felt cleaner.  I didn’t starve myself nor did I do any extreme diet or weight loss plan–I simply did my own research on foods and nutrition in my spare time and implemented my own changes to my lifestyle.  And so…my passion was born.

Fast forward many years later and I recently graduated college from the University of Arkansas in December 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics and a minor in Marketing.  In November of 2013 I had made the decision to enroll in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to begin my journey of receiving my holistic health coach certification.  Through this program I’m learning about holistic and integrative nutrition.  This means that rather than only focusing on the nutrition we get from our food, holistic nutrition focuses on “treating the body as a whole.”  Holistic nutrition not only addresses healthy and balanced diets based on our own bioindividuality but also brings in emphasis on other aspects of our lives and how they ultimately affect our nutrition and health–such as career, relationships, fitness, etc.

*taken directly from the About page of my personal blog*

What made you want to start blogging? 

After years of reading and following so many cooking and healthy living blogs and admiring how beautifully some of these bloggers write as well as the wealth of information they share, I finally took the leap to also share my nutrition tips and healthy cooking tips to anyone interested.  And I’m so glad I did!  My blog is pretty new and hasn’t been around long, but I’ve already had the opportunity to connect with so many people and been given opportunities I wouldn’t have had before.  I love the sense of community that comes with blogging.

What is your favorite food to cook and eat?

Oooh, that’s a tough one.  I suppose I love to bake the most.  And if it’s any sort of pie, get out of my way!  I want it!  Haha.  Pie is definitely my favorite dessert.  I dream about it.  Really. 

What is your all time favorite recipe that you go back to over and over again?

Another tough one.  I have so many favorites!  I’ll pick a savory and a sweet.  The savory would have to be my father’s grilled venison burgers.  He is a hunter and, in my opinion, a good venison burger beats a beef burger any day.   Plus venison is leaner than beef and I like knowing where my meat is coming from! 

For the sweet recipe it’d have to be my fresh blueberry pie.  I like to make it when the blueberries are in season and I can load up on quarts of them from the local farmer’s market.

Who are some of your favorite healthy food bloggers? 

Some of my favorite healthy living blogs I follow are:  Skinnytaste, The Real Life RD, Snack Therapy, The Lean Green Bean, The Soulful Spoon, Apple of My Eye, and Healthy Helper.

What do you wish to accomplish with your blog? 

While I will admit, I do have hopes and dreams to actually monetize my blog someday, that’s not what really drives my blogging and writing.  It’s my passion for food, nutrition, and the passion I have for teaching others about how to have healthier lifestyles that really got me blogging.  I love sharing tips and healthy recipes with others and I just hope I can show more people that just because a recipe is healthy and more nutritious than another doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious!

How do you define health?

When I first started college, I originally would have just associated the word “health” with diet and fitness.  But now, especially since I’ve been enrolled as a student in the Institute for Integrative nutrition to become a holistic health coach, I have realized health incorporates so many other aspects of our lives.  It’s our relationships with family and friends, our spirituality, our career lives, how we handle stress, and how we express gratitude and appreciation that goes along with the diet and physical activity.  It’s all about trying to find a good balance in all aspects of our lives that really amounts to our overall health.   And that’s what I want to help others realize when I start health coaching.  That’s what I imagine with all my mind, believe with all my heart, and want to achieve and help others achieve with all their might.

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My Personal Chef Business:

I also recently started my own business in Northwest Arkansas as  personal chef, so if you’re needing a personal chef for cooking up some healthy weeknight meals because you and your family have a busy schedule please keep me in mind!  I recently did my first hired catering event as well.  I would love to cater a bridal shower or baby shower sometime.  All services are negotiable.  Would you prefer more ready-made and grab-n-go healthy breakfast or lunch options?  I can do that!  Just want a few healthy snacks prepared for you and your family to have on hand that are much better for you than those high-sugar and high-fat packaged snacks?  I can do that!  You can find out more about the services I offer on my blog website.  Just go to the tab at the top titled “Personal Chef Business”.  

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