Well hello, I’m Jessica, a total foodie and yes, a healthy hippie. I am from a small town in North Carolina called Advance. Living in the south, food has always surrounded my life. Here in the south, people take their food very seriously. Only, it is not the kind of food that I prefer to eat. It is where mac n’ cheese and fried chicken is a delicacy, and sweet tea is served with every meal. While this type of food may taste delicious, it is not so kind to your body.
Since a young age my palate has always differed from that of my family members. As a child, I would eat a salad every day, sometimes more than one. I always wanted to try new kinds of food and never cared much for the typical southern food that was served at the table. My mother is an amazing cook and baker and always made sure I was in the kitchen to help prepare the food. I am grateful she gave me a love for the kitchen.
By the time high school rolled around, I began to choose more healthy options at the grocery store and even made some of my own meals if my family was eating an unhealthy meal that I did not prefer. However, in college it wasn’t the freshman 15 that found me, it was more like the freshman 30. I went to a small private university so the food choices were minimal. The only healthy option on campus was a salad bar. There was also a bagel shop across the street from the university where I spent the majority of my money. I would get a bagel with cream cheese and a large caramel frappuccino coffee, packed with sugar, almost every day. The thought of it makes me cringe. Needless to say, my food choices were less than subpar.
Fast forward several years, I had graduated from college and had a full time job. I joined a gym and would go with coworkers about 2-3 times a week. However, my food choices were still terrible and I was addicted to sugar. Then in September of 2016, I got engaged to the man of my dreams and it changed everything. Knowing I was going to be a bride and thinking that wedding pictures would last forever, I wanted to feel comfortable in my wedding dress. At that time, I was not comfortable with my body so I decided to hire a personal trainer and get my diet in check.
The personal trainer I hired did not work for a gym, so he would come to my house and we began working out about 3-4 times a week. I told him where I wanted to see change in my body and he also helped me with my diet. He added more protein to my diet and we also found that sugar was causing my body to hold onto extra weight. I cut out sugar immediately, even fruit; yes I said it, even fruit! I also discovered that I had gluten and diary intolerances, so I cut those out of my diet as well. It was hard to experience such a drastic change to my diet but it worked. I started seeing the pounds shed and within 5 months I had gone from a size 10 to a size 4. I was in the best shape of my life at age 26 and it felt great. My wedding day came, and my dress fit perfectly. I felt so good about my body!
After the wedding, I realized that I did not want all my hard work to just be a wedding diet but a lifestyle change. I dropped all the weight I had gained in college and I did not want to gain it back. I continued to make healthy recipes for my husband and myself and I also started creating recipes of my own. I got so many compliments on the weight I had lost and so many people asking how I did it. I was determined, people!
I decided that I wanted to share my health journey and recipes with the world, so I started this blog. I’ve always been called the “hippie” of my family. Therefore, The Healthy Hippie seemed to fit perfectly. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy my content as much as I have enjoyed creating it!