Introducing...me-Jessica Meyers Altman, food blogger, marketing director, mom, gardener, volunteer, general busy woman! I am so excited to be a part of the Veestro team! I'll be blogging with Veestro as a way to further their message about plant-based foods. I will be providing recipes and content about ingredients, nutrients, and ways to boost clean living. I write a blog called www.gardenfreshfoodie.com which is devoted to seasonal, gluten free, plant-based recipes.
I have always had a passion for growing and eating healthy, organic foods. I feel that nothing is more important than the food we put into our mouths. As a working mom of 2 busy children, I understand time constraints, creating meals that will appeal to multiple audiences, and food restrictions. Most of my recipes are easy and fast to prepare. I will give you ideas of ways to prep ahead and recipes that have hands-off time as well.
I have a plant-based cooking certificate through Rouxbe Cooking School, am a certified science teacher, and hold a Master's in Science Education. I love to teach, and combining that passion with my passion with food was a no-brainer. I live in Buffalo, NY and grow a lot of our food (yes it's cold here right now, so very cold-but it will get warm again!). What we don't grow, we pick or get locally, as much as we can. We preserve the harvest by freezing, canning, and dehydrating. I can't wait to get gardening outside again. Here's some of my kale (I'll give tips on how to grow things too!).
My health led me to adopt a gluten-free diet that became even better once I went plant-based. I began eating gluten free over a year ago to try to heal myself from an auto-immune condition called Raynaud's Syndrome. My condition had gotten so bad that I had very little circulation in my extremities and had severe pain, swelling, blackened and pealing skin. I had a lot of joint pain, and actually got tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis (which I did not have). I was told there was nothing I could do to help myself, other than move to a warm climate and wear warmer layers. I decided to cut gluten out as an experiment to see if it could help with the inflammation in my body. I couldn't believe how much of a difference it made! That improvement went further, once I cut dairy out of my diet. Since cutting out dairy, and going plant-based, I haven't had a single attack, even during our harsh winter. My family has made a huge transition as well. My son has always suffered from skin issues, and since adopting a mostly plant-based diet, his skin has drastically improved (even in our harsh winter weather-can you tell we've had a bad winter?!). My husband, since cutting dairy out of his diet (well, mostly) has also improved his chronic sinus troubles (if only he'd cut it out completely, baby steps I guess). My kids, 9 and 12, have changed their pallets. They used to never eat soups, beans, and groaned at tofu. Since I decided I would only cook plant-based, everyone has come along. Now they request stir-frys soups, and bean dishes! There's a little kicking, but even if I made a meat dish there would have been complaining then too. My suggestion: make it, serve it, and tell them, that's what's for dinner. They will change, you will see.
As a busy mom, planning is key. If you are using Veestro foods as a helper for those busy nights, great! For the other days, you must plan. Or you will get home, open the fridge, and feel overwhelmed with what to make. This might lead you to choose something low in nutrient density. The stress of "What's For Dinner" can be solved by mapping out your meals each week, or 2 weeks at a time. This will save you money and create less waste (as Americans, we throw away too much food).
I hope to help you and others find ways to reduce your intake of inflammatory foods and boost your intake of nutritious meals. I will be providing insight on foods, herbs, nutrient density, health impacts, and tips about how to lead a healthier, cleaner life. Check out my recipes and share with others! (shown below is my Gingered Miso Soup). Feel free to ask questions in the comment section!