“You eat with your eyes first”
…Hi! I’m Noreen. A huge foodie. I love to cook, eat, read cookbooks, watch cooking shows and talk a whole lot about food. Food to me is an endless topic. I could learn, eat and talk about food every day of my life and not get bored. I find comfort in my kitchen whether it’s making a complex meal for guests or simply fixing a grilled cheese for one. Cooking to me isn’t a chore, it’s more of a creative outlet that expresses who I am and what I am feeling. To taste a dish that turns out well is an expression of myself that I couldn’t put into words and it is greatly fulfilling. Even if you aren’t a cook you can’t deny that the simple act of eating good food does more than just nourish your body, it creates memories, comforts, excites and does wonders for the soul.
After meeting the love of my life and moving to the United States from India in 2011, it didn’t take long for my husband to see my obsession with food, as I spend the majority of my time in the kitchen testing new recipes, while watching the food network or eating. He also quickly learned to be patient with me as I took pictures of everything we ordered at restaurants, before he could dig in. I never shared the pictures with anyone but my family on occasion to tease them of my delicious escapades. With the encouragement and persuasion of my husband, I started this recipe blog to share my passion and recipes with more of you out there.
Part of my childhood I lived in the Middle-East and then later in India. We traveled a fair amount and as a family loved eating a wide variety of cuisines. Mediterranean was always one of our favorites and often made a feature on our meal rotations. Greek Moussaka, Indian Biryani, Burmese Khow Suey, Chinese Lemon Chicken, English Shephards/Cottage pie… weren’t exotic dishes in our household. My mom experimented and made these dishes a part of our daily meals …we ate Indian one day, Lebanese the next, Chinese to Italian. There didn’t have to be a special occasion to eat good food. It was just part of our everyday life. Which is why you’ll find I don’t really have a set cuisine or niche as to say. It’s really just a hodge-podge of different cuisines and food I like eating here on my blog. The only common factor is nothing will lack flavor!
After a few years of hobby blogging, just whenever I felt like it I hit a little downward spiral of plain ol’ being lazy about food and cooking, a lot of junk food and eating out. Which is why I stopped posting as much. Last year I decided to turn things around kick-starting with the Whole30 Program (See Why I did the Whole30 Program here). It really helped me hit restart and get back into cooking good wholesome meals from scratch. The one’s that just nourish your body and soul and don’t make you feel guilty or crappy after eating them. I had every intention of getting back to blogging new and improved clean-eating recipes in 2017. But a series of health-related things popped up and off the wagon I fell, straight into the pit of not-so-healthy eating again.
Here I am in August 2017 and I’m ready to pick myself back-up, quit making excuses and start fresh again! I am putting it down here in writing, to hold myself accountable.
Even though it’s trendy to cut out all grains, all sugar, all carbs, eat lots of proteins and “good” fats, eat Paleo, eat Keto, eat plant-based and vegan….it’s really about listening to your own body. Only if you really listen, can you make a real sustainable lifestyle change. In the process of doing Whole30 I started to actually crave clean, made-from-scratch foods because I felt so much better and had more energy. After doing the re-introduction stage of Whole30 I learned a lot about myself. My body still felt good and more satiated when I included some whole grains and legumes & beans, in moderation of course. I didn’t feel so great after re-introducing a lot of dairy like cheese and milk, however plain Greek yogurt was ok. And not so shockingly, any processed food, white flour and sugar however made me feel back to my bloated sluggish self and it also made me crave more unhealthy foods.
Based on listening to my body and everything learned over the past year and a half, I am committed to making my own lifestyle shift. My clean eating may not be gluten, grain, carb, meat or sugar free so as to say, but it will be real ingredients, balanced, made from scratch with healthier substitutes when needed. I won’t moralize my food choices as “good” or “bad” and I won’t deprive myself completely of something that I like, but rather include it in my lifestyle as a treat instead making it a habit. I do intend on splurging once in a while and ordering whatever I want when eating out, but the rest of the time…I am determined to be fairly good.
As part of my fresh clean eating and blogging start, you can expect to see more wholesome balanced meals, more ethnic-inspired recipes, adaptable recipes for people doing whole30 or paleo diets and just simple scratch meals. That’s not to say there won’t be the seemingly “unhealthy” recipe thrown in sometimes as everyone needs some decadence and comfort from food to nourish your soul on occasion. I hope you enjoy the recipes and all I have to share on here. Feel free to leave comments, suggestions or e-mail me at [email protected]. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest & Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my NEW YouTube Channel
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