My name is Caroline and I’m a 26-year-old living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I enjoy cooking, running, and hanging out with my husband, Luke, and dog, Teddy. A few years ago, after months of being inspired by healthy living blogs, I decided to start one of my own! My story is somewhat unique. Growing up, my diet consisted primarily of cheese, white bread, and ice cream. At a young age, my Mom told me that if I refused to eat what she cooked for the family, I’d have to cook for myself- so I did. I would eat grilled cheese, fried mozzarella sticks, bagel bites, or a quesadilla for dinner every single night- and yes, I mean every single night. Followed by a giant (I mean at least 5 big scoops) bowl of ice cream after dinner. I NEVER ate vegetables and occasionally ate fruit. I inherited a high metabolism from my Dad, so I ate what I liked and was always still thin.
Then I got to college. I went to American University in Washington, D.C. My options at the dining hall were more limited – pizza or grilled cheese, and frozen yogurt. I got by. Then, I met my husband, Luke. He grew up eating healthy and seemed to like it. I didn’t understand. Miraculously (to this day my parents still don’t understand how), Luke gradually got me to try new things. And by new things – it started out very simple- roast chicken, Chinese food- things I would never have eaten before. By the end of college I was eating Thai food (my favorite!), Indian food, even Ethiopian food! But still, I wasn’t really eating any vegetables or many healthy foods (just new ones).
After we graduated, we moved to New Hampshire to work on political campaigns. What most young, aspiring politicos don’t understand about campaign jobs is that most of what you do is sit at your desk and make phone calls. So, throughout my political jobs I had a lot of time on my hands at the computer, and that’s when I became immersed in healthy living blogs. Up until that point, with the exception of one summer during college, I never went to the gym or worked out. I didn’t see the need to – I was already skinny and able to eat what I wanted. As I started to read all these healthy living blogs, I learned that you should work out because it’s good for you and good for your body – not because you “need” to. I was also inspired by people’s running stories. I had always thought you had to be an athlete to be able to run and never knew that anyone could run if they gradually built up their endurance. So I, the girl that dreaded running “the mile” in school and used to run (well walk mostly) away from lacrosse practice with my best friend, gave running a try. I started out running/walking with my dog outside at 1 minute intervals, and eventually ended up going to the gym 5-6 days a week. I loved the way that exercising made me feel afterwards. I admit, I still don’t necessarily love running as it’s happening, but I love the sense of accomplishment when I run new distances or time intervals. I ran my first 5k on May 5, 2012 and though I didn’t get the time I wanted, I came pretty close and I finished . I’ve since run many more 5ks, 10ks, and two half marathons!
As I got more into running and became a regular reader of a multitude of healthy living blogs, I began to care more about the food that I was putting into my body. Recipe after recipe I began unlocking the big secret - you can cook to make veggies taste GOOD! I still won’t eat a raw carrot or celery stick, but a spinach smoothie or sautéed, spiced brussels sprouts- count me in!
My food philosophy now is to eat real foods. I don’t count calories or adhere to a diet. I do try to eat more vegetables and fruits, and less processed food. Like everyone, I have my guilty pleasures – the two main ones are wine and goldfish. But overall, I try to fuel my body with nutritious, whole food that tastes yummy!
I could go into much more detail about my diet transformation – but I don’t want to bore everyone! The main thing I learned is that you are what you eat and if you want to live a fulfilling life, exercise and delicious, nutritious foods will be the backbone of that. I’d like to help impart this wisdom to other people just as others have done for me. That’s why I started this blog, and that’s why I left my short career in politics behind, pursued my Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, and want to make a career out of helping others live healthy lives. I hope I can inspire you!
That about wraps up my story! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I hope you enjoy it!