Granola Meets Grits started out as a travel/healthy food blog. Then it expanded to encompass some of my other passions, which I think of collectively as
things that inspire and nourish our souls.
You’ll still find me sharing travel destinations, health-conscious cookbooks, recipes, foodie finds, and eatery experiences. But I also write about wellness, aesthetic inspiration, pretty paper goods, thoughtful gift ideas, and special details that add a little bit of extra magic to everyday life.
I hope you find some topics here that interest you, and enjoy your time at Granola Meets Grits!
Why “Granola Meets Grits?”
I was born and raised in the Silicon Valley area of Northern California. After living 4 years outside of Chicago and 5 in Nashville, I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama with my husband, David, a native of that state. We lived there at the intersection of California and the Deep South for another 5 years.
In the summer of 2013, we moved to Santa Rosa, California to be closer to my family and take advantage of the cooler weather and healthier lifestyle. We are excited to explore Sonoma County and make a home here.
So, you can think of the blog reflecting me as “granola” and David as “grits,” or more generally just the unlikely combination of a California health nut interacting with the South for a whole decade.
What is your background?
I have a master’s degree in counseling from Vanderbilt, a bachelor’s in psychology and communications from Northwestern, and a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell.
I currently work as a Healthy Eating Specialist at a Whole Foods Market. Before this position, I was a school counselor for 7 years. I enjoy reading and learning about food, nutrition, graphic design, and creativity in my spare time.
Why plant-based food?
You’ll find that I focus mainly on simple, nutritious, plant-based recipes, and that I attempt to minimize white flour, refined sugars, and processed foods. However, I will be the first to tell you that those are not 100% strict rules for me! My initial post is about a pie shop, after all. :)
I enjoy food and the flavors, experiences, and inspiration it has to offer. I just try to maximize whole, vegan foods, especially when I’m eating at home instead of in restaurants or while traveling. In the summer of 2012 I earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, which has redoubled my efforts to creatively combine nutritious, unprocessed plant foods. I’m passionate about eating knowledgeably and health-consciously, but I try not to get wrapped up in or stressed out by black and white, “good” and “bad” rules and ways of thinking.
The long version of the story, if you are interested in this sort of thing, is that my dad beat prostate cancer in 2003, but was unable to overcome lung cancer in 2009. When he was diagnosed the second time, I started paying attention to books and articles like The China Study, Anticancer: A New Way of Life, The Kind Diet, Healthy at 100, The Starch Solution, The End of Overeating, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Revive, Brendan Brazier’s Thrive books, The UltraMind Solution, Eat to Live, and this NY Times article about sugar by Gary Taubes.
Of course there are many opinions out there and I am certainly not a medical or nutritional expert. It seems to me that everyone is different and what feels right for one person’s body may not be right for others. But, these books and articles made me think for the first time about how few nutrients and how many unnatural ingredients were in some of the foods I was eating regularly, even the “healthy” ones. They also made me wonder if eating fewer animal products, refined sugars, white flours, and processed foods might give me more energy, protect my husband and me from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (fingers crossed!)… and ideally be flavorful, satisfying, and inventive at the same time.
If you would like to know about my personal experience, I’ve found it surprisingly easy to move toward plant foods and I do think I have more energy when I eat this way. I’ve basically lost my taste for meat, fish, and eggs, and eating less dairy has been much, much easier than I thought it would be. I used to feel like a poster child for milk products because I enjoyed them so much and ate them so frequently! Now I rarely notice that they’re absent from our fridge.