My Story

Despite the fact that I was a super picky eater for most of my life, I have always been intrigued by food and how it affects the body.

I didn’t eat my first salad until I was 18 years old and didn’t expand my food palate much beyond angel hair pasta and chicken fingers until I studied abroad in Spain in college. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t pronounce it or if I had already decided I didn’t like it, if I didn’t want to starve (or be rude), I had to at least try whatever was prepared for me. Talk about scary!

Fast forward 10 years, and I’ve had a transformation in my eating preferences, food knowledge and my health.

dropped 20 pounds, got off of maintenance medication I was on for 10 years for acid reflux, corrected nearly a dozen nutrient deficiencies, and have begun to heal my body. Throughout that process, I’ve learned this…

Normal Commong

It wasn’t until the end of 2015 that I shared the next layer of my story and healing journey in this post about the courage to be vulnerable.

If you or someone you know has struggled with body image, shame, guilt, or fertility issues, please read this post and remember this…

IMG_3482In addition to healing my body and beginning to heal my mind, I have a newfound love, appreciation and curiosity about food.

I’m eager and excited to try new foods instead of afraid. My husband, Bill, and I love exploring nearby restaurants, trying new recipes, and spending time at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.

We love food!

We savor it. We build community around it. We experience it and all it has to offer.

My signature salad!

My signature salad!

Even though I’ve been “into” health and nutrition since I was a kid – exploring the aisles of health food stores, reading books and magazines about nutrition, and spending time in the kitchen with my mom – I didn’t know how much what I was eating was affecting me and my health.

I was sick a lot…and food was often the culprit, but I didn’t know. No one told me.

I wish I had known then what I know now.

I’ve started this blog to share what I’ve learned.  I love sharing how eating (and cooking!) wholesome, nourishing, real food can be affordable, fun, and doable. We can look and feel better and be healthier by making some simple changes.

I take an integrated, holistic approach and consider how everything we do is connected.

It’s great if we’re eating well, but if we’re miserable while we’re doing it, we’re not going to feel our best.

I do believe that what we put at the end of our fork is one of the most powerful tools to helping us feel energized, nourished and alive. For that reason, most of my posts will be about food – new recipes we’ve tried, staples in our pantry, kitchen gadgets we love, books and movies that are inspiring us, and helpful tips, tricks and knowledge we’ve learned along the way.

Other posts will be about life beyond food, lessons I’ve been privileged to learn that have shaped the way I see the world and experience life to become the absolute best version of myself.

We have one shot at this life, and I’m here to make the most of it.

I will be honest and vulnerable. 

Me and Bill 2013 June

My + my hubby, Bill, circa 2013

My husband Bill is my primary recipe tester and biggest fan. We live in Baltimore, Maryland and are new homeowners as of August 2013! He’s an elementary school phys ed teacher, soccer player, and musician. We are college sweethearts and have been married since 2011.

We know that having a happy, lasting marriage takes commitment, patience, grace and hard work, and we want to be here for each other and our friends and families for a long time.

That’s why we are committed to nourishing our bodies with high quality, wholesome food.

For us, good health begins in the kitchen. It’s a place of connection, community, and comfort.

Welcome to my nourishing kitchen!


  1. Margie

    I love it Rachel! I can’t wait to try your recipes!

    • Thanks, Margie! I will have to make dinner (and share recipes!) the next time we have you over at my parents’ house! We’ve tried a lot of good ones lately 🙂

  2. Pam Heckler

    I am a random reader- most of what you prepare looks very amazing, yet I haven’t tried any.. various reasons- not to say “busy” but most of my food is on a case by case basis. Im curious- what is your opinion regarding the Panera “secret” power salad menu, or honestly any of their salads. For a while I was eating the jalapeño hummus spinach salad almost every night. Do you recommend any “fast food” or easy run of the mill places? Most of your recipes, while look fantastic are too optimistic for me if I am being honest. I did, however, become intrigued by your suggestion regarding Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon and cayenne pepper as a wake up drink. I am only on day #2, so hoping to notice anything is a little unreasonable, but I have noticed after I drink it I do not have a taste for my morning coffee, which I miss! When should I expect to notice anything? I don’t have turmeric, is that a must? Thanks so much, very inspiring to read.

    • Hi, Pam! Thanks for your feedback and comments. I usually recommend starting with a simple recipe like the “Crack Broccoli,” Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or even something like the paleo parmesan cheese, as they are pretty simple recipes. Regarding your question, I just took at a look at the nutrition information on Panera’s website about the salads and would say they are certainly better choices than other “fast food” options because there are lots of real food ingredients in them. Several of them are pretty high in sodium, so I would watch for that. In addition, when looking at the ingredient lists, I try to avoid foods with ingredients I can’t pronounce or wouldn’t find in someone’s pantry (like yellow 5 in the Med Turkey salad). I also aim for as few ingredients as possible – the shorter the list, the better. I’m a big fan of making my own salad bar and just either buying a bunch of veggies and chopping them on a Sunday afternoon and throwing them together with lettuce and a protein each day, as it ends up being cheaper than buying lunch out, so that might be an idea. I also am an advocate of changing up your food so you’re getting a variety of greens and other veggies to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

      Regarding the turmeric, it’s just another anti-inflammatory spice, but cayenne is, too, so it’s ok if you don’t have it. I usually recommend starting out with less ACV and then working your way up to more depending on how your body responds. Every body is different so I can’t say for sure how long it will take to notice changes, but many people report improved digestion, clearer skin and sinuses, and boosted immunity. Hope that helps!

  3. Congratulations on your health journey! I have a similar story, except that I was not a picky eater. I think I was born a foodie. I am gluten and dairy-free because that’s how I feel best, but I eat a very large variety of foods and fish.

    • Thank you! Totally agree on the GF, DF. Everything I post on the blog is GF and DF, too! Would love to hear if you try any of the recipes and what you think 🙂 I added a Recipes tab on the blog to make things easier to find. Thanks for stopping by and for your post!

      • Will do! Thank you for replying! I will take a look at your recipes. 🙂

        • Of course! Let me know if you ever have any special requests. I have some recipes for a peanut butter chocolate milkshake and a supercharged morning smoothie coming out and will be making a dairy free cheesecake and DF mac and cheese coming up, too!

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