Monday, April 7, 2014

The Liebster Award {I was nominated!}

I received a HUGE compliment from Alanna of Planks Love and Guacamole - she nominated me for the Liebster Award! This mom makes paleo doable (and delicious!) and her Instagram posts are always drool-worthy! If you love inspirational food posts, this is one blogger you need to follow! To put it short and sweet, I was super surprised to get this nomination from her as I look to blogs such as hers for my own inspiration!

So while I was honored to be nominated, I wasn't quite sure what this nomination meant... Luckily, she explained briefly what the award was on her blog. As she says, "liebster" is German for favorite (wow!!). This award is a way to share our favorite blogs with others in order to inspire each other, discover new blogs and learn to know each other a bit better!

Each blogger nominated must answer a few questions the nominator asked, then nominate their own bloggers and ask them a couple questions! Here are the questions Alanna asked me, with my answers. If you accept my nomination, the questions I have for you will be at the end of my post.

1.  How did this lifestyle of healthy eating come about for you?

I eased into this lifestyle, starting first with "clean eating". My sister had suggested I give it a try to help with my joint pain. I went from crying myself to sleep because of the excruciating pain to going for walks and enjoying cardio workouts after only two weeks of "cleaning up" my diet! I was still experiencing digestive issues though and spent a lot of time on the Internet, reading articles, trying to find a solution. I stumbled across Mark's Daily Apple one day and have never looked back. Going grain and dairy free was the best thing I have ever done for my health. {My paternal grandfather was diagnosed with Celiac's, and my father, aunts and uncles all have issues with gluten.}

2.  What made you decide to start a blog?  What do you wish to accomplish with it?

I have always enjoyed writing. When I moved to Belgian from America to live with the love of my life, I would write long, detailed emails to my Momma, telling her all about my European and cooking adventures. She would always tell me that I needed to start a blog to share my exploits with the world. When I started eating differently than the average person, more and more people told me I should start a blog. Some said I needed to have one just to share my yummy recipes, and others said I should have a blog to help people with similar food sensitivities.

I finally decided to start a blog for a couple reasons: I would have a daily writing project, I would have an "excuse" to cook great food, and I would provide a Belgium-specific resource for grain free and dairy free people. The lack of information here in Belgium is astounding, and if I only accomplish one thing with this blog, I would like it to be helping Belgians discover the benefits a paleo lifestyle can bring about.

3.  What are 3 of your greatest passions?

This is a very hard question to answer as I am a very passionate person and take great joy in so many parts of life! I guess if I truly had to choose though, they would be cooking, teaching and nature.

I have been cooking for as long as I can remember, and I feel completely at ease in a kitchen, whether I am preparing a savory dish or a sweet dessert! I just "know" how different ingredients will react with each other, and while I am not saying I have never known a cooking disaster, I will say I am usually quite successful!

I am a primary teacher, sharing my work week between 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th graders. I love every minute of it and look forward to going to work each and every morning! My blog is also a sort of teaching outlet, allowing me to share my knowledge with others - and permitting myself to learn and grow from others as well!

The outdoors is a must for me. I need green grass, open skies, chirping birds... I currently live in the city, but will be moving to the countryside in just over a year from now - and boy am I looking forward to it! I dream night and day of the huge vegetable garden I will have, right next to my chicken coop...

4.  What is your absolute favorite thing to cook? 

Can I answer "food" to this question? :p I guess I would have to say, anything that makes my husband say, "mmm"! He's far from being a picky eater, but it takes a lot to truly wow him. If I ever say one of my recipes is "hubster approved", you know it's a good one!

He's been such a trooper as well, helping me on my journey to better health. He jumped right on the clean-eating bandwagon without any second thoughts, and has no problem eating paleo with me. He usually has rice, potatoes, cheese and butter in the house, and will eat bread on occasion, but he actually "makes" me prepare paleo lunches for him each week! :)

So there are my answers - I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about little old me! Now for my nominations... It was hard for me to chose, since there are so many inspirational bloggers out there, but here they are:

  1. John Mack of What Would John Mack Eat? He was one of the first {if not THE first} paleo food blogger I started following! Not only is his story amazing, but he loves bacon and his Instagram posts always make me hungry!
  2. Laura Scaviola of Mangia Paleo. Paleo saved this girls' life - and she's making it simple for others to follow this lifestyle as well with her delicious recipes and beautiful Instagram inspiration!
  3. Evelyn of Nourish Not Punish. She's not necessarily paleo, but her approach to food is admirable! She promotes self-love and a whole-food diet with easy yet delicious recipes! I love her Instagram feed!
  4. Michele of Eat Teach Laugh Craft. How could I not nominate a fellow teacher?! She describes her diet as "slow carb, paleo and clean" - I describe it as insanely delicious and beautiful!
  5. Martine Patridge of The Paleo Partridge on Instagram. She doesn't have a blog {that I know of!} but she should! Her food posts, specialized both for her and her husbands' dietary needs, are stunning! Also, her passion for yoga is inspiring.

And here are my questions for you, dear bloggers:
  1. How has your diet changed since switching to a healthier lifestyle?
  2. What improvements have you seen in your life since changing diets?
  3. What is your favorite part of being a food blogger?
  4. Do you prefer cooking savory dishes or are you more of a baker?
  5. What do you consider to be your best quality?