Today, I am excited to introduce you all to Leanne Vogel from Healthful Pursuit. She is full of sweetness and cuteness. I have been following Leanne’s blog since my son was diagnosed with food allergies last year as many of her recipes are allergy friendly. Leanne and I have similar food philosophies that flavor doesn’t have to be sacrificed when you eat healthy.
Leanne and I thought it would be fun to swap blog posts today, so after you read Leanne’s guest post here, pop over to her blog to see my guest post.
Hi everyone! My name’s Leanne. I’m the holistic nutritionist behind Healthful Pursuit, a healthy gluten-free, dairy-free, often sugar-reduced food blog where I share my passion for eating intuitively and leading a balanced lifestyle.
I started Healthful Pursuit as a way to share my passion of creating whole food eats and healthy treats, document my pursuit to health, and provide insight into common issues many of us struggle with while trying to become healthier.
My journey to wellness has been an ever-evolving process. Numerous trips to the hospital, personal struggles, and painful symptoms resulted in me researching ways to improve my health. This eventually led me to alternative approaches to wellness through nutrition, meditation, yoga, and eventually landed me in a classroom of like-minded individuals working toward receiving an education in holistic nutrition.
Learning about how my body interacted with the food I was filling it with changed my life. The information I was learning was challenging to accept at first, scary at times, and often hard to believe, but I sucked it all up.
A couple weeks into the program, I decided to begin working on improving my diet. For years, I’d known I was sensitive to sugars, corn and gluten, but was often overwhelmed at the thought of removing these things from my life in fear that I’d be stuck eating boring food forever. Previously, when I’d thought of going gluten-free and dairy-free, visions of rice and chicken danced through my head. I don’t know about you, but consuming rice and chicken for the rest of my days was anything but inspiring.
Little did I know that there were hundreds, if not thousands of natural foods out there that were gluten and dairy-free. Sure, I couldn’t rely on boxes of chocolate chip cookies to get me through my afternoons, but was that really a bad thing?
Going gluten-free while already being vegan required that I spend a bit more time educating myself on what I could and couldn’t have, learn how gluten-free ingredients interacted with each other, and pretty much swear off all pre-packaged foods. It was a lot to handle at times, but the overall experience was a positive one! Even with just a couple of changes, I felt healthier than I ever had before. I had more energy, my brain fog dissipated, and my excruciating stomach pains ground to a halt.
After a year or so of experimenting with ingredients like coconut flour, ground flax seed, medjool dates, unpasteurized honey, almond flour, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, cacao, I began getting really comfortable with preparing delicious, nutritious gluten-free, sugar-reduced, corn-free and dairy-free snacks, meals and even desserts! Ha, who knew?
With every kitchen experiment I embark on comes a new opportunity to improve the health of a favorite dish, play around with a new ingredient, and try out fun flavor combinations that get me excited to enjoy the food I’ve prepared. Some of my favorite recipes that do just this are:
A raw carrot cake, sweetened with dates and apricots and topped with a cashew vanilla cream cheese.
Made from ice cubes, fresh strawberries, apple cider vinegar and crushed gluten-free graham crackers.
A nut-free trail mix with baked crunchy lentils to maintain the protein profile.
Sunflower butter brownies that are vegan, gluten-free, grain-free AND nut-free. Pretty much everyone can enjoy these, no matter their dietary restrictions.
I swear I eat more than cakes and cookies, but when it comes to getting excited about allergen-free cooking, nothing says dietary freedom quite like a fudge brownie that absolutely everyone can enjoy!
Thanks for having me over, Jeanette! And have a fabulous day, everyone
*All of the photos in this post are ©Healthful Pursuit