Who IS This Chick?

So, I’m Alison.  I’m a 30-something Computer Programmer turned Stay-At-Home(schooling)-Mom turned birth doula/prenatal yoga teacher/lactation counselor (while still being homeschooling mom, too.)  There’s this pretty cool dude I married more than a dozen years ago that hangs around here, plus the three pesky kids that insist on calling me “Mom”.

It's me!

This would be the place where I come to write about and share all the stuff I love:  eating, cooking, running, yoga, fitness, healthy living, gardening, motherhood – and sometimes everything in between.

Crazy Girl mom_ava_sp2

It all started waaaay back in 2008 when I lost a bunch of weight. “A bunch of weight” for me meant about 35 pounds, and it also meant the scale started flashing numbers that I’d seen before, just in a different order.

For the dozen or so years prior to 2008, any weight loss attempts were about being skinny.  I was never really successful, and looking back I can safely say it was because I was going about it all wrong.  Once it became more about being fit and healthy instead of being skinny and hungry – everything changed.

farmers marketloot watermelon_bars

I revamped my approach to healthy eating and over time, created a bunch of healthy habits for myself.  I figured out how to love running and got back to biking.  I deepened my yoga practice and found ways to simply stay active in my day to day life.  I’ve come to really enjoy preparing healthy meals for myself and my family – and now I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned here on my little plot of cyber real estate too.

Winter Orange Friday Lunch

I’ll often post recipes I make or meal ideas I have.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert, whatever –  if we liked it, or even if we didn’t – it’s fair game for a blog post.  I use local, organic products and foods as much as possible. The produce section is where you’d find me snoozing if I was locked in the grocery store overnight.  Vegan, vegetarian, raw, Paleo – we’ll try it all.

farmers market buy organic

You don’t have to be a raw foodie to grasp the beauty of eating foods in their natural state.  And you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy meals prepared without animal products either.  While not completely eliminated from my diet, I consume a lot less grain and sugar now than I did once upon a time and feel a lot better because of it.  I’m always eager to share my alternatives to conventional dietary wisdom.

Tomatoes kiwi stack

As a former vegetarian, we very often discuss where our food comes from, how the animals in our food chain are treated and that we believe they deserve to be honored and treated with respect.  Our hope is to raise our children with an awareness and understanding of how the foods that we eat impact our health, the way that we feel, our society and our environment too.

Peek

While I surely love to write about cooking and eating and food, you’ll also find my thoughts and musings about my ever-evolving approach to health and fitness here as well.  Running, cycling, barefooting, swimming, Yoga – variety is the spice of life as they say.

Lettuce Go for a Bike RideNew Years DayHalf Marathon

I don’t have a degree in nutrition or exercise, so there are no fancy letters after my name (just a couple of interesting hand gestures sometimes) – all I have are my own personal experiences, successes and failures.  I’m happy to share what I’ve learned along the way.  My hope is that just maybe you’ll find some value in what I do and have learned too.

My suggestion is to treat what I put here like a buffet; take what you like and leave the rest behind.  My sincere hope is that you might find some of the things I do helpful as you travel your own personal journey toward health and wellness.  You only get one body – it’s never too late to do something amazing with it.

OK, that’s a wrap.  Who’s hungry?

55 Responses

  • Sarah says:

    I was homeschooled all my life, so I can say it’s totally worth it, and I’ll always respect my parents for doing that for me. Keep up the great work! :)

  • Alison says:

    Wow Sarah, that’s great! Especially that you can look back and know that it was worth it. Homeschooling was actually Zak’s idea way back when, and I didn’t truly get on board until we met more homeschooled kids and families and saw how amazing homeschooling can be.

  • Hi Alison, thanks for stopping by the blog. I’m enjoying yours, as well. Your family is adorable! Bravo for showing your girls how to be active & eat healthy.

  • Priyanka says:

    Your girls are adorable!! Great blog!

  • A says:

    Hi! I just saw your guest post on The Daily Balance. Just stopping by to check out your blog. Very cute! I will be back!
    -A

  • MAMASWEED says:

    THIS IS THE BAND MAMASWEED SAYING HELLO TO ALL YOU WEEDS …. PUT ON SOME MUSIC OF MAMASWEED TO YOUR WEBSITE

  • Alison says:

    LOL, a Mamasweed band?! That rocks! (Literally.)

  • april says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! You have a beautiful family!

  • What a wonderful family you have! Adorable! I love it. Keep up the good work… Your weeds are growing fast!

  • Cindy says:

    HI, I just ran across your blog from Andreas wellness notes!

    another Mama living healthy! yeaaah!

    I have a toodle bug, 16mos old and a teenager!
    we’re busy too and I am enjoying your blog!

    I just wanted to say HI!

  • Lizzy says:

    Alison you are such an inspiration! Thanks for writing!

  • Allison,

    Wow what a small world!! We should have a blogger meet up at Dinosaur BBQ! lol

    I love your blog by the way!!

    Rebecca

  • peanutbutterprerogative says:

    Hey Allison! I just found you through the Healthy Everythingtarian. I loved your guest post and your tips on running. I can’t wait to read more!

  • Lainie says:

    Gorgeous, beautiful family!!!

  • KatieF says:

    Hi Alison! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love “meeting” other locals in this healthy eating/living blogland. Your kids are adorable!

  • Hi Allison,
    I’m a homeschool mom from Alaska. While we do occasionally eat meat (usually as a side dish or part of a casserole), we prefer homemade vegetarian meals. I’m bookmarking you to try some of the recipes you have. Best wishes for the upcoming school year.

  • Hi! I am new to your blog! Your family looks super cute :) What a great idea about letting your girls choose, I can’t wait to read more :)!

  • Jenn says:

    You and I are a lot alike. I was actually wondering if it was possible to feed my little girl so healthy but I’m working on it and it is working out great. Your site is a real inspiration I hope you don’t mind if I link you from my site.

    Great job keep up the awesome blog.

  • Erika says:

    Hello, just found your blog and I am so happy to find another blogger who is balancing kids/workouts/eating etc. I am trying to teach my kids good eating habits now so it is less of a struggle for them later in life. Can’t wait to keep reading!

  • aunt teresa says:

    Finally got here sweetie! What a fun and informative site. I’m so proud of all the hard work you are doing to keep your family healthy and filled with joy! I love you and will visit now and then, Aunt T.

  • heidi says:

    Oooh yum, I never thought of juicing my beets and beet greens. I’ll have to give it a try. haha, I probably won’t share with anyone though, even if it’s a teaspoon!

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  • Christina says:

    hey hey! I was wondering if you would like to do a guest blog. I decided to take a little break from blogging during the Final Exam time. If you would like to do a guest blog- you can just send me the info/pictures…it can be on whatever… recipes, running/working out, life…anything! If you are too busy that is totally fine too I just thought I would check in and see! Thanks!!
    Christina

  • Heidi says:

    Hey Alison, I came across your blog and I am absolutely enjoying it. You are a hilarious writer. I could not stop laughing after the Fish Tale post. I am relatively new to blogging and looking for to join a community of like minded runners/eaters. Mind if I add you to my blogroll?

  • Beth says:

    I just found your blog! I am from Rochester, but live out west now and as soon as i saw the pictures I kept reading because I thought “Geez, that really looks like home”. Congrats on your weight loss and I look forward o reading more and seeing pics of Roch!

  • What a great approach to a healthy lifestyle! I’m glad to see another mama in the health blog world!

  • Jenn says:

    I randomly found your blog and I’m so excited. I’m a homeschooling mom who loves health and fitness too!

    While I’m not a vegetarian I am trying to reduce our meat intake a bit b/c we really can’t afford to buy all grassfed/free range organic meat and I don’t like to support factory farming. I will definitely be checking out your recipes!

    Looking forward to learning more about your life!

    • Alison says:

      Hey Jenn! How fun to find another homeschooling mom who’s a health nut! It’s always nice to be reminded that I’m not alone out here!

      I’m on a bit of hiatus right now but will be back, can’t wait to check out your blog, glad you found me, thanks for your comments!

  • Lancy says:

    Al- This is amazing!! I’m so psyched for you and all that you’re doing. I only hope to be the super mom you are some day!!! Love, Lance

  • First time on your blog…I love how you manage to stay so active and take care of yourself while being a full-time mother! I can’t stress how important that is…I work with a lot of mommy’s groups trying to teach mom’s how to be a good mother while integrating fitness as a priority in you and your family’s life. Also my friend literally was just talking to me about Born to Run! Now that you also commented about it I definitely have to read it! I too am a runner…training for my first half-marathon in September!!!

    • Alison says:

      Hey Noelle, thanks! Born to Run was great, if you’re into distance running then it is surely a book you’ll enjoy.

      How great that you are spreading the word within your mom’s groups – it’s so different when you hear it from a friend vs. reading it in a magazine or seeing it on TV.

      Good luck with your half marathon this fall!

  • Jaime says:

    Hi Alison, my name is Jaime. I came upon your blog while trying to look up “weeds that look like greens beans” and clicked on your link. Thinking I would find out what kind of weed it was that was growing on the fence at my job. A co-worker had said it was poison ivy, it also has like a orangish flower with it….anywho, I skimmed through your blog and really enjoyed looking at the recipes. Even though I still eat meat, maybe 2 times per week, I have always preferred cooked and raw vegetables over meat. Raw vegetables are my favorite, especially like carrots and tomotoes. lol I have hypothyroidism, after having my now 13 year old, and have gained ALOT of weight and am going to try some of your recipes. Even though I think it was funny how I found your blog, I am really happy I did. Sending thanks from Texas.

  • Jamie says:

    I love the way you write! Your kids are super adorable. :) I’m homeschooled and mostly vegetarian/vegan but i’m thinking I need to start trying some new recipes! Homeschool moms rock.

  • Suze says:

    Hi Alison, Let’s see…we have a farm where we planted 8 black walnut trees a lot of years ago….well, at least 30, I think. We’ve had those little green golf balls intermittently over the years but THIS year we have bushels and bushels of them. The most ever…
    Over the years various attempts at opening the walnuts have been tried…never to any avail. BUT this year I had the wise idea to google and see what I could find…I read the University of Minnesota’s explanation and it is duly noted and I’ve forwarded it to family members so that they can start the process if anyone can find the time or inclination.
    However, I thought for some reason I would look at a couple of other suggestions and came upon your HILARIOUS discussion, with pictures of your foray into the netherworld of ghost squirrels and ugly black walnuts.
    We have some standing jokes in our family about black squirrels so I really enjoyed your blog….Thank you. I try to have a really good, hard laugh everyday and your laugh was my best this week!
    Congrats on your weight loss, by the way….you look marvelous, dahrling…..!!! Suze

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  • Rosebriars says:

    Found your blog when I googled grinding flax seed in a food processor and stayed to poke around. I love running into other healthy mamas. I’m a Fila girl myself:-)

  • Bruce says:

    I’ve went from 226 to 208 in a matter of about 6 weeks or so. I’ve been IF-ing for about 3 or 4 of those weeks. I’ve done anything from 16 hrs fasting, 8hrs eating to 19/5, and even 21/3. I am preparing myself mentally for a 24 hour fast, possibly this coming Friday (Good Friday). The past three weeks I’ve been losing 3lbs a week consistently. I exercise HARD with kettlebells, and I eat a plant based diet usually with lots of green smoothies, salads, veggie dishes, fruits, and whole gains. I have not totally cut out meat, but I mostly eat chicken and cold water fish, even though I am not eating much of that anymore. I enjoy a large cup of coffee in the early morning, sip on green tea in the mid-morning hours at work, and usually have some black tea at lunch, which is my last caffeinated drink of the day…(well, sometimes a very small green tea at home after work). In addition to the kettlebell routine, I do basic strength exercises with basic compound movements, including the deadlift, the bench press, bent over row, push-ups, and other stuff like just merely walking. I will be 46 in May….and I by then I KNOW I will be a lot thinner, in fact, I hope to be under 200lbs…..it will happen. My heart is perfect the doc says (after physicals and treadmill), and he told me that he wished he saw more people like me. I FEEL GREAT!!!! Fasting works and will continue to work off the weight I still have on.
    One last thing…..for spiritual and emotional health, I practice meditating throughout the day. Read Benson’s book entitled the Relationship Respones for information regarding meditation……..

    • Hey Bruce, a huge congrats to you with your weight loss, way to go! Intermittent Fasting worked like a charm for me too. It’s amazing how different you can feel after losing 20 lbs – keep up the awesome work, it sounds like you are on the road to lasting weight loss success! Please come back up with updates as you have them, weight loss stories can be so inspiring for others. Thank you for sharing what’s working for you!

      I searched for The Relationship Response and found The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, (that made more sense in regards to mediation!) thanks for the recommendation!

  • Audrey says:

    Hi Alison, Great blog! I’ve been reading it all morning. Love your recipes, stories and photos. Mind if I post your blog to the RAHA loop?

  • Great to meet you! Trying the coconut oil coffee b/c I have fallen in love with coconut oil for EVERYTHING! I also homeschool and have 5 kidlets and am a writer/editor. I noticed you have a Wizard of Oz mug and I’m in Kansas City 😉

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  • Lori says:

    Thanks for this wonderful site, Alison!
    By the way, if you need any ideas on homeschooling, or on raising kids, please send me a line. I raised my 5 and did the homeschooling thing for 10 years. I had to quit for reasons best not gone into here, but suffice it to say that I very much do support you and your choice. Good job!
    It would be nice to see more pics of the kids from time to time.
    I am avidly following you!
    — Lori

  • Theresa says:

    Thanks for your article about intermittent fasting (IF)! I have been doing this about a week, once I read an article in Woman’s World, but I wanted more information. I went to the web and found great, and not so great; opinions, musings, suggestions, and research. All were helpful, but I enjoyed your article so much, because it mirrors my own experiences and makes me feel excited that IF could be my new lifestyle! Thanks for your info!

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