Hi, I’m Nicole and welcome to my blog, LivingNaturally.me! I love creating and exploring plant-based recipes, and I also make homemade beauty and cleaning products. I would love this blog to be a source of inspiration for people looking to explore a compassionate, healthy, plant-based diet. I love focusing on using whole foods in my recipes and completely natural ingredients in my homemade products.
I’ve been a vegetarian for over 25 years now (since I was a kid), and I don’t really even remember what meat tastes like. Luckily my family is very supportive and has always made sure that there was something special around for me to eat!
I made the choice to become a vegetarian for ethical reasons and health had nothing to do with it at the time. I was also a vegan for four years in my late teens. Unfortunately for me, I’ve always been a really picky eater and never liked many vegetables (I know, I made a really bad vegetarian!). My diet over the years mostly consisted of pasta, bread, peanut butter, tofu, beans, ice cream, and cheese. Yes, tons of cheese and dairy!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to realize that there’s a link between what I eat and how I feel. Of course, we all want to feel our best mentally and physically, but I was always feeling a bit tired and low on energy, had headaches and stomach issues. I proceeded to read a lot of books on nutrition, especially plant-based nutrition, and did a ton of research on eating a fully plant-based diet. Current research in nutrition shows that humans thrive on a well balanced, plant-based diet. When you consider the state of our food system, a plant-based diet is not only healthier, but also compassionate and much better for the environment.
After cleaning up my diet, cutting out dairy and eggs, and focusing on whole foods, my stomach issues and headaches went away and I now have a ton of energy. I currently feel better than I ever have, both mentally and physically. Eliminating animal products from my diet has also given me spiritual peace as well, knowing that no animals have to unnecessarily suffer so I can eat a healthy meal.
It was challenging at first having to figure what to eat and out how to cook all over again (and trust me, I was never good in the kitchen to begin with, it was quite unfamiliar territory!). Having to cook without the ingredients that we are most familiar with forces creativity in planning meals. It also pushed me to really expand my palate and discover foods and tastes that I never would have encountered before. Making recipes and exploring traditional ingredients and dishes commonly found in other parts of the world has really made cooking fun for me!
After making this discovery, I really wanted to share it with others, so I created this blog. All of the recipes here are plant-based, vegan, and free of all animal products. Even if you aren’t ready to eat a healthy, fully plant-based diet, I encourage you to try some of these recipes to see how tasty it can be. Enjoy!