Let’s Come Together Over Healthy, Delicious Vegan Food
I’m Jen, a blogger, vegan recipe developer, yoga teacher and entrepreneur based in Fort Worth, Texas. I began this version of this website in 2015 in order to begin seeing what it would be like to use my voice out in the world. That was a scarier step than you might imagine. All recipes are created and designed by me, in my little 1950s kitchen.
What I’m most passionate about is the written word, my favorite form of communication. I decided I would use these words for my favorite thing to do after a long week: bake and cook.
And that’s where we’re at today.
Thank you so much for being here, for sharing your comments and feedback, and letting me in on a little bit about your lives throughout the years. I so value the community that this blog has created.
I switched to a vegan diet in 2011 after my husband and I left Nashville for Fort Worth. I had been a vegetarian since I was 14, however I swore I would never give up cheese and couldn’t relate with people who did. We lived in Nashville for over 5 years, and during that time, we put on a ton of weight. We weren’t healthy, we drank too much, and we ate way too many unhealthy foods. The restaurant scene in Nashville is outstanding, and our waists and wallets took advantage of it 100%.
After we moved to Fort Worth, my husband lost a close friend to cancer, and this affected him like you can imagine: he was hurt and wanted to know why: what is this disease, what causes this disease, is there anything we can be doing to help prevent this disease?
And that’s when he texted me one morning, me waking up at my friend’s house on a trip back to Nashville, and said: I’m going to go vegan for awhile. You don’t have to join me. But I would appreciate the support.
That text changed everything for us.
Does eating vegan prevent cancer? I have no idea. I like to think that it can’t hurt. What it did do is caused us to become more aware. Over the course of a few years, I lost 70 pounds, and he lost close to the same. We did try a few crazy things: the juicing trend was just about to take off back then, and we juiced a ton. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PATH. We also gave up alcohol for over 18 months, which sounds court-forced, but it was not. No alcohol cleared our minds more than anything. It got us back on track. After months of going on and off the wagon, we’ve both determined our best lives and clearest minds are found without it.
So, that’s part of the vegan life for us. The other part is why I became vegetarian: I absolutely love animals. I thought by not eating them that I was doing a good thing, and I was, but the animal product industry is just awful, and heart wrenching, especially here in North America. It’s something that I cannot by any means relate to, and therefore, the vegan life is what I choose. That means no leather for me, either, and I am very careful about the products I buy to make sure animals were not involved. I know I can’t get it right 100% of the time, but I do the best I can.
OK, so if you’ve spent even a second on this blog you know that I am full-on a part of the yoga path. I didn’t catch the yoga bug until my early 30s. I became a teacher in 2015 and made this my part-time career in 2016. That was the year I quit corporate America to found Craft & Communicate, a Senior Living Web Agency with my husband, and that was the year that we had the biggest catastrophe I could ever, ever imagine. I’ve included some of the management of grief on these pages over the past few years, and I expect more info to come in the years ahead. Quitting my job is also something I have written before on here a lot, and I can’t say enough how freeing it was and still is. I love being an entrepreneur.
Yoga got me there. It is incredible what silence and confidence will do. It got me comfortable with: being silly and playful, public speaking, using my creativity to plan classes, opening my heart to others, having my voice shake when I speak and being totally, 100% OK with it, knowing that I’m not going to please everyone and that is also 100% OK, and it got me connected to the most incredible community I could have ever imagined. I knew for years that my work life was toxic, however my eyes did not fully open to that fact and accept that fact until I went head-strong down the yogic path.
Yoga made me aware. Yoga gave me the confidence to quit my job and go out on my own. It gave me the confidence to write to you, each and every week.
I will forever be thankful for this path. If interested, you can find my yoga schedule here.
FROM HERE, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
What’s to come: I am working on a book of recipes. I’d like to call it a cookbook but I want my words to stand out more. So, think of it more like Animal Vegetable Miracle and less like Oh She Glows (my favorite cookbook of all time).
I have created my own path in the yoga world, and I teach at random places around Fort Worth: breweries, community centers, and bookstores. If you’re local, please, come say hi. I loooooove meeting people and sharing this love of food and health. Also, I am a certified senior adult yoga teacher: teaching private and public yoga to seniors is as good as it gets.
When I’m not making recipes, teaching yoga, or writing this blog, most of my time is spent as an entrepreneur: I own a senior living marketing agency. I love it, I am surrounded by creative, thoughtful individuals, and we as a team are helping to promote and share the stories of seniors who impact lives and communities each and every day.
I have written about so many things on this blog over the years: the loooong journey of teaching yoga, quitting corporate America, weight loss, creating a business, being childless, the transformative power of veggies, traveling – mostly throughout the Southwest, goal planning and vision board creating, soooo many art festivals, sex, periods, and the friends I’ve made along the way.
What keeps me going is hearing from you: the blog posts you relate with most, the connections we all are making in this crazy life, the fact that this little laptop connects me with people All Over the World. It’s incredible, right?
Thank you for coming along on this ride.
PS – all the profile pics on this site were taken by Fort Worth photographer and pediatrician Diane Arnaut. She’s a yogi and an all-out incredible person, interested in life and learning, and has a strong love for capturing the best pics in the best light (and making sure your kids are healthy and strong).
All the food pics were taken by me, and I’m doing my best over here: learning as I go, playing with backdrops and light, trying to get better as the years pass. 🙂