Me

I am Melissa, a Boston transplant living in Dallas, Texas.  My husband Marcus and I are very into eating and living as healthy as possible to set a good example for our girls, Meadow (3) and Olive (2).  I have been a vegetarian for 16 years, but in May of 2012, we both became vegan.  We also eat almost no processed foods and processed sugars.  Since changing our ways, Marcus saw his cholesterol drop 76 points in just 4 months.  His asthma and allergies almost completely cleared up.   We also feel better than ever.  I started this blog in hopes to inspire others to live a more healthy life.   You will find a lot of sweets on my blog because I love to bake.  Most of the savory dishes are Marcus’s creations.  I also have a passion for creating homemade healthy versions of unhealthy snacks. The blog is not really about being vegan. It’s more about adapting a healthier lifestyle in what ever way that may be.  If you wish to contact me, you can do so at melissa@mywholefoodlife.com

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139 thoughts on “Me

    1. Thanks! I am glad you are enjoying it! Follow me on Facebook or twitter for blog updates! Trying to rid the world of processed food, one person at a time! :) Please do and let me know what you think!

      1. Hi, I love the idea of whole food living, but find I am limited by my 2 year old son’s allergies to soy, peanuts (deadly) and all nuts, coconut, and raw egg. Is there a place where you have all your nut free/coconut free recipes?

        1. I don’t have a special place for those recipes, but if you ask me about one, I can help you with subs. Often sunflower butter can be used in place of nut butters in my recipes. You can also use sunflower seeds in place of nuts in a lot of recipes. Just ask me and I will be happy to help. My daughter is allergic to milk, soy, eggs and sesame seeds, so I get the allergy thing.

          1. Is she allergic to all milk, or just the pasteurized milk? I was curious if she was still able to drink raw milk, or items with raw milk in it…

          2. Interesting…. Must be the casein…. Have you ever tried goat milk (raw)? I know many that are allergic to raw cow milk can still drink raw goat milk, as the casein is different….

    2. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world…….changing my diet and eating healthy is something I am striving to do but find difficult at times for multiple reasons. Your advice, recipes, and information is perfect to keep me on the right track! Best blog I have seen thus far.
      Thank you again

    1. Thanks! I was the one that nominated her! Love her blog and others like it. I hope to inspire others to think about the food that they eat. :)

  1. I really enjoy your blog … We live in Calgary Canada and we have a little girl who is 3 and HER name is also Meadow!!! ( As well as a 6 yr old son) Can’t wait to try your PB granola bars!!
    Take care :-)

    1. Thanks for reading and I am glad you are liking the blog. What a coincidence about the name! We get many compliments on it, but never knew another Meadow. What is your son’s name? When I was pregnant with my younger daughter, and we didn’t know the sex, we had trouble agreeing on a boy’s name. We were going for unique, but not weird. Our other daughter’s name is Olive.

      1. MY name is Meadow, too, and I have never met anyone else with my name (though I have had other people tell me they know someone with the name). If your kids ever go through a stage where they hate being called Meadow, let them know they will appreciate once they are older. The two most common reactions I’ve gotten over my lifetime are, “Is that your REAL name?” and “What a pretty name!” (Followed closely by, “Were your parents hippies?” ha ha)

        1. Haha! That is awesome! Everyone always says it’s so pretty. I wanted to give her a unique name since my name was super common growing up. We named her Meadow because she was born in Las Vegas. Las Vegas actually means the meadows in Spanish.

          1. Wow, I didn’t know that! Yes, I grew up in school classes with 3-4 Jennifers, Stephanies and Tiffanys. After that I liked being the only one with my name.

  2. I have struggled off and on for years trying to eat/live healthy. Reading labels is so discouraging because I don’t know what so many of the ingredients mean. I would love to have something to print off, kind of like a ‘if it’s on this list, stay away from it’! Any suggestions you have on how to learn about what to stay away from? Thanks much for your blog and advice.

    Blessings,

    Lynn

    1. You are welcome. I am glad you are enjoying the blog. I found this link for you that should be helpful. It doesn’t include everything, but some of the big ones. Hope it helps! I pretty much avoid all processed foods because there are so many strange things they do to make “food like” products. I understand that is not something every one can do, but I would limit as many of them as you can.

    2. Lynn,

      Try downloading the iphone/android app by fooducate.com…..its free to download and use. All you have to do is scan the barcode of packaged items in a grocery store and tada….health info and grade is at your fingertips. :)

  3. Hi!
    I think I have mentioned a few times that I am loving your Blog! I just wanted to share some disturbing info I found when I was doing some additional research into Carrageenan, after reading your information on it. In Australia, the Food Safety Authority have granted permission for its addition to Infant Formula! I was beyond horrified!
    I am now reading labels much more carefully though thanks to you and your Blog and aiming to improve my knowledge of additives and chemicals in our food. Thanks!

    1. That is horrifying! Sadly, they were already adding it to formula here. I wish there were better options for the moms that are unable to nurse. The carrageenan in formula is one of the reasons that we blend up real food to give to my daughter.

  4. Hi, Melissa! Since FB is being difficult in sharing you on the Garden Gossip news feed, I have subscribed to your blog. Thanks for thinking of us and posting directly to Garden Gossip, but I do hope to see even more of your recipes to share. Question: Is there a way in which to print just one photo with your recipes on just one page? I would really love that! Thanks, again! ~ Allison

    1. If you click on the specific recipe, there should be a print button in the top right hand corner. That is how people have done it in the past. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you.

  5. I’m so glad I found your blog! Not only do you expose all those nasty things on store shelves, but you also share lots of healthy alternatives. Thank you! Do you think you could check out those “Who-Nu” cookies? I’m pretty sure they’re not as healthy as they say.

    1. It’s funny you mention those. I totally was wondering the same thing as I saw the commercial. I need to go to Target today to but a birthday present. I will see if I can find them there. I am glad you found me too. :)

  6. I just found your blog and I’m so glad! I’m moving to a plant-based diet and your recipes look like something I can make with my limited cooking skills :) and would actually enjoy eating. I can’t wait to try them!

    1. Yay! So glad you found me! I was not a cook at all when I started out. That is why the recipes are easy to make. I have always loved to bake, so the majority of the recipes found here will be baked goods. They are all healthy though!

  7. I love your site. Very informative. Can I ask your thoughts on Zaycon Foods chicken and meats. I received an email stating: It’s the announcement you’ve been waiting for! We’ve opened ordering for our fresh, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts extra early to give you a chance to get in on this exciting event.
    We will be taking orders today until the day before your local event (or until we are sold out), so log on now to place your order. CLICK HERE
    Only 1.79/lb

    • Our Trademark Event
    • 100 % natural chicken with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients
    • Comes directly from the processor and has never been frozen
    • Sold by the case — 40 lbs in each case
    We hold these national Chicken Breast Events only twice a year, Rhonda, so be sure to stock up.
    I don’t want to spend the money if this is no different that what you can buy at a local store. Please advise. Thanks!!!

  8. I’m a whole food recipe creator with several books in print (www.simplynaturalhealth.com). I’d love to send you a copy of my ebook with 70 good and easy whole food recipes for review (www.goodandeasyeats.com) for your readers. Please check it out! -Kim

  9. Thanks!
    I was the one that nominated her!
    Love her blog and others like it.
    I hope to inspire others to think about the food that they But really
    If you ask about me ,,,,i really appreciated with your this effort.
    me from Pakistan but currently residing in Saudi arabia…i like to cooked my no have time to do but once i got my wife inshallah then will do same and will got help as well from you.

  10. Hi Melissa,
    It’s been just 2 days that I started to follow your blog and I am addicted to it. Great work.
    Thanks

  11. Hi Melissa,
    I recently came across your blog. What a great website!! Thanks for all the useful information AND recipes. I cant wait to try them!
    My husband and I (vegetarians) live in Dallas and recently made the shift to organic, non-GMO products. Im on the lookout for good organic grocery stores/farmers markets. We do have a whole foods nearby…but are any others that you would recommend?
    Again, great job! Im sure I’ll be a regular visitor :-)

  12. Thank you so much for your blog. I just found it a week ago and am so excited. My family and I are making a change to healthier eating which includes no processed foods. I love your recipes and how easy they are to make. Our daughters are on board but our son is giving us a hard time with all the new changes. We are 3 weeks in and we all love it (all but our son). Thanks again for all you do and your willingness to share your ideas and recipes.

  13. Hi, I’m new to your blog and very excited to explore the wealth of info on here. Quick question, do you consider your daughters vegan or vegetarian? My family has moved to a mostly vegetarian diet and we’re making our way towards being vegan. Our doctor had no concern over the boys being vegan (just emphasized they get plenty of fatty foods like avocados). Still there seems to be a lot of concern over our kids eating what we eat. My sister for one always makes sure to cook chicken or meat when they go over her house. I’m just curious to know how other vegans feed their kids.

    1. My husband and I are vegan and my younger daughter is mostly vegan due to not eating meat and being allergic to dairy. My older daughter eats meat on a rare occasion and loves cheese and yogurt. I just make sure to buy organic. It is possible to raise kids on a vegan diet, but I agree that you need to make sure they are getting enough good fats and also taking a B 12 supplement. B 12 is mainly found in meats.

  14. Congratulation !
    On binging nominated for the Sunshine Award…
    I love your Blog,
    I saw it on website….
    really i liked too much and still in touch with your food blog

  15. I love reading your blog and your updates on Facebook. I’m currently trying to “make the switch” for our family, but am finding it a bit difficult to totally switch over. I’m a working mom with little time to cook on weekdays, so I tend to go with “easy”…which I know is really just lazy. What would your best reccommendation be for time crunched moms?
    Thanks! :)

    1. I know it must be hard to be a working mom. I would advise you to lean on crock pot dishes that you can turn on and it will be ready when you get home. Also, try doing double batches of things like granola, muffins, pancakes, etc. You can always freeze them for quick meals. Same with the soups and chili. A few other meals that are quick and easy are stir fries and pasta dishes. I hope that helps. :)

  16. Hi Melissa!
    I’m Ilaria and I’m from Italy. I try to be vegan and you can help me now!
    I love your website e I want to try all your recipes!!!
    Have a nice day,
    Ilaria

  17. Thank you so much for all your great ideas. I have been vegetarian for 8 years and now we are ready to go vegan. Your blog has been so very helpful. I dont know what I would do with out it.

  18. I LOVE your blog! Thanks so much for posting! The recipes are amazing! I too think we need to rid the world of processed junk! Everyone would feel SO much better/healthier if they just gave it a try! Thanks again!

  19. Just found your blog today and am so excited about your recipes and especially that you are in Dallas! I live in NW Dallas and became vegan in May 2012 as well. Changing my eating habits has transformed my life! I strive to be as unprocessed as you are! My daughters are now 20 and 16 and I so wish I had made this change when they were younger. I’ll keep trying out whole vegan foods on my family and hope they’ll make the change too. Thank you for sharing your journey and what look to be amazing recipes!

    1. Thank you Darcy! We live in Richardson, but only moved here 2 years ago. I am so happy that a clean diet has changed your life like it has ours. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

  20. Hi I’m not sure if you got my othe post. I’m pretty new at this I can never tell if I’m doing it right. Lol anyway. I am trying to move my family toward better eating, more fruits and veggies no processed stuff. I haven’t tried any recipes yet. I live in a pretty rural area and am having trouble locating ingredients. Since I started understanding labels a bit more. I’m kinda lost at what to eat. I’m trying to find a store somewhere with most of what I need so I can plan a trip to get supplies. Do you have any suggestions? Also what is the reason you prefer hemp milk? I’ve tried almond and cocnut. I love both. I have given it to both my kids and they didn’t bat an eye. I felt like that was a victory!

    1. Almond and coconut milk are great too! If you live in a rural area, you can buy some things online. I always include amazon links in my posts for people that live in rural areas. Even if you have a regular grocery store near you, they should have some of the things for my recipes. Check Amazon and Vitacost too!

  21. Melissa, I posted earlier today about Canola Oil, but I think I forgot to add the link I was talking about. I don’t remember exactly where I was on your sight so I am going to post the link here. Wikipedia is my go to place when I want to know about something. This article has made me rethink some things about how I use oils. I would love to hear more about the use of oils.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsaturated_fat

  22. Hi!! I am new to your blog and I love it!! Actually just made your peanut butter granola for the first time tonight. I had a question about some of the baked goods and breads. Have you ever frozen any and has that been successful? I am a teacher and in the fall life is busier so I was hoping to make some items like bread and waffles and freeze them. Thank you!!!

  23. Hey Melissa,

    Im not vegetarian or vegan, but eat quite healthy not processed food and I love your ideas. Nice 1 and thanks from Australia . I wish you all the health. BTW Maybe you should look at http://authoritynutrition.com/ and debate with Kris, i actually agree with most of what the guy says with ” evidence based approach ” but I think he pushes meat a bit much :)

    Thanks ,
    Trev x

  24. Hi!
    I’m a 40 y/o mama from Holland, Europe; we quit eating meat and poultry a few months ago. Found your blog and I love it, very inspiring! Thanks!
    Bella

  25. I’ve been vegetarian for 37 years but this year I went almost vegan. I also noticed that my allergies seem greatly diminished. In fact, this spring I didn’t even know it was tree pollen season until I went out into the country and someone served an egg and cheese casserole… within 15 minutes I could feel that familiar itching at the back of the throat that heralds tree pollen season. I’m happily exploring plant-based options these days.

    1. It’s amazing isn’t it? The things you realize when you start giving your body the foods it really needs. I feel great on my plan based diet.

  26. Hi there. I love the blog! I dabble in trying to eat less sugar and processed foods. We’ve cut way back, but we sure aren’t as good as we could be. I also have a daughter who is struggling with acne. She’s 18. I’m worried about the constant meds and the schedule to put her on Accutane this summer. She does have some allergy symptoms when she eats dairy and tests allergic to grass. poor kid. I’m hoping that a better diet could help the acne as it upsets her so much. Your thoughts?

    1. I’m sorry to hear of your daughter and her acne problems. It’s tough to see your kids go throw hard times. Yes I think a diet change could seriously help. I used to have horrible skin problems too and when I kicked processed foods and sugar, a lot of them went away. You may want to try that. Also dairy is known to cause a lot of skin problems. Maybe you can experiment and have her go without for a week or two? Just to see what happens.

  27. I found your site through EatLocalGrown & I’m loving your recipes! Can’t wait to try them out. I’m always looking for “healthier” sweets. Here in Seattle we have an abundance of Theo Chocolate, which is wonderful–they actually keep their cocoa butter in the chocolate, rather than removing and adding it back in (no soy lecithin). The banana/chocolate cups look like a great opportunity to pick up a few bars!

  28. Hi Melissa,

    I just love your blog. I have a son that just turned 1 and I have am trying to adapt to eating clean so I can start him young. I would love to try many of these recipes but they require a food processor. Do you have any recommendations for a quality kitchen appliance?? I am torn between a Cuisinart a Kitchenaid.

    Thanks,

    Savanna

  29. Hi Melissa! We recently moved from Rhode Island to Coppell, TX. We also have to daughters, 5 and 2 yrs old. We eat mostly vegetarian and it’s often hard to find healthy, unprocessed food that is also YUMMY (and that kids will eat). Just wanted to say thanks, your site is great! I just recently discovered it on FB and have already tried several recipes. Keep them coming! :)

  30. Where have you been all my life? haha! I follow lots of healthy pages on facebook but 99% of the time when I see a recipe I want to make, it’s yours! Keep up the good work. This healthy eating stuff is not always easy but the variety of yummy recipes makes it much more interesting!

  31. Melissa,
    I love your blog!! I have shared it with friends. Whole Foods are the only way to go in my book. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

  32. Melissa,
    I just wanted to drop you a note to says Thank You for posting your recipes! My daughter has Interstitial Cystitis and has to be on a very strict diet. This will be our first Thanksgiving since her diagnosis and I have been searching for a replacement for the green bean casserole. So happy I found your recipe for cream of mushroom soup. Now we don’t have to replace it were just going to have a better version of it! We will also be making your pumpkin pie. I’m going to put up a link to your site from my daughters website. http://www.icseaturtles.com Welcome to Texas from your neighbor in Houston and my daughter at UNT in Denton.

    1. Hi Angela! Thank you for taking the time to write me this note. I am so happy that my recipes can help your daughter enjoy Thanksgiving. :)

  33. Hi Melissa!
    A friend pointed to your blog; since I’m having to make some major life changes in rapid time, I’m very excited to find you.

    Last week, I was tested for food allergies due to regular stomach aches, bloating and overall inflammation. Turns out I’m allergic to 14 of the 19 food items tested ( oat, wheat, barley, malt, rye, cows milk, casein, egg, chocolate, beef, pork,yeast, corn,peanut). The other foods tested ( chicken, fish, potato, tomato and orange) all came out ok. On top of the food allergies,I also have Raynauds, asthma, eczema, Rosacea and narcolepsy, all of which are autoimmune conditions. I can’t help but think they’re all related.

    I’m writing because of your statement about your husband’s health issues resolving. Oh how I hope mine can too! Also, I’m curious, what items are the most important to get in my pantry early on? My husband and teenage boys aren’t particularly interested in making a switch with me….any suggestions? Thanks so much for your time! Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Kerrie!

      I am sorry you are having so many issues. I really do feel that food can help with some if not all of them. We have seen HUGE changes in our family’s overall health. My best advice to you is to start slow. Just change a couple things at a time. Otherwise it can be quite overwhelming and expensive. Here is a list of some things I keep on hand in my pantry. http://mywholefoodlife.com/2012/12/11/my-grocery-staples/ As for your kids, maybe you can sit them down and explain why you are changing your diet? It may not be easy to get them to change their eating habits. One thing I started to do right away was make healthier versions of the foods my kids loved. Like homemade mac and cheese and sweet potato fries instead of regular french fries. We still struggle sometimes with my daughter. Just go slow and be patient. Hopefully they will come around.

  34. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I too am changing my family’s eat to whole foods and mostly vegan. Your recipes and tips help greatly! Thank you for helping us get healthy!

  35. Hello, just came across your blog!
    Your story and family are inspiring. My husband and I have just started whole food/clean eating for our 2014 new years resolution. We hope to keep up this habit to encourage healthy eating for our son (5 months old). If we have no processed/ refined foods in the house there will be no temptations or risk of introducing him to nasty foods! :) (Only obstacle we’ve had is that we cant officially start our “clean eating” till we’ve used up all the current food in our pantry!!!! ☺
    We are from New Zealand and food is expensive here, so I hope to be able to find stockists that suit to our budget and I am looking to start meal planning to help this.
    Thank you for all your sweet treat recipes! This was one area I was worried about not being able to cover in terms of finding alternatives when needing that little snack. ;)
    Looking forward to following you and seeing more delicious ideas!!!

    1. Thanks Melissa! I hope you enjoy the recipes. :) Congrats on the new years resolution. Sounds like you are doing a great job already.

  36. I’ve just found your website and am looking forward to trying your recipes. I’ve been( unsuccessfully) experimenting with making my own energy bars so I was very happy to find your tried and tested recipes.
    But – can you just explain what a “T” is?
    Many thanks
    Kath
    Manchester, UK

  37. Hi! I just found your blog after googling Skinny Cow :). I’m trying to lose weight and along with lowering my calorie intake I’m also trying to stick to more unprocessed foods so I just wanted to say thank you for your blog! I think it will be a huge help to me, especially the baking recipes since I still have a killer sweet tooth.

    1. I’m glad you found me! I hope you enjoy my recipes. :) I have a sweet tooth as well so there are lots of sweet ones.

  38. Do you take requests?
    I am craving a fruit cake: Pineapple upside down cake.

    I have tried your cornbread muffins. Yum.
    Thanks!

  39. It’s funny.. I first looked at your page because of a shared recipe on FB… I have a lot of friends/family who are gluten or dairy or corn free, or all of the above, and I like to be able to make stuff for them. Then I was surprised by your name! My sister’s maiden name is Melissa King. LOL! I had to look at your “about me” page to make sure my sister didn’t have a blog she didn’t tell me about! :D It looks like a good blog with a lot of recipes to try!

  40. Just went through your Foods Exposed list – scary that I could go to the supermarket right now and probably add hundreds more to your list. If you haven’t read Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss, it is a great read – FYI

    We are not vegan at our house but definitely striving for a healthier lifestyle and minimal processed foods for my children. Will be following your blog for inspiration -

    1. Thank you! I know it’s scary stuff they put in food these days. I have read Salt, Sugar, Fat and it is truly eye opening.

  41. Hi! I recently found your blog via Pinterest (homemade Reese’s PB eggs). I immediately saw tons of your recipes that I wanted to try! When I tried subscribing to your blog through my email, the “subscribe” button wouldn’t work. Just thought I should let you know! :)

  42. LOVE your website! It’s awesome that you make so many not-so-good-for-you things actually healthy and delicious! But, I’m wondering about the pictures on your banner. The little squares on the left, and the cookie-looking things on the right both look delicious, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere on your recipe list. I’ve clicked on a number of them but haven’t been able to find either one. Any help?

    Thanks, Cheryl :)

  43. Hi Melissa, I came across your blog about a month and a half ago while searching for healthy foods. I would like to thank you so very much for all the great information and wonderful recipes. I had never heard about GMO’s or never really paid much attention to really read about all the additives in processed foods. I really enjoy cooking and baking but ever since finding your blog I am now more well informed and look at all labels very closely. Now I buy whole un-processed foods and have also stopped eating sugar and feel really great. Most mornings I enjoy eating your overnight oats recipes (I had never heard of steel cut oats or oat groats and now that is mostly all I eat for breakfast)- Steel cut oats are really filling and depending on what I add they taste more like a desert & without all the bad horrible additives. Thank you again, Melissa :)!

    1. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying the recipes. Thanks for taking the time to leave this comment. You have made my day. :)

  44. I just found your blog today because I wanted to try BBQ cauliflower (wanted a new way to cook my son’s favorite veggie). I am really excited to start scrolling through your recipes and I think your blog will be a huge help to me and my family. I became a vegetarian 6 years ago after my first son was born and have recently begun my quest to purge as much processed food out of our house as possible (has been very difficult since we all are very addicted to some things). My husband and I are looking to lose weight (and I need to lower my cholesterol). So, thank you for writing your blog and I’m looking forward to browsing through it after my boys are in bed :)

  45. hi there, I just wanted to thank you for your site & your recipes. I am a wife & mom of two boys, 7 & 3, & I am always looking to cook & eat healthier (no refined sugars, white flour, ect) I appreciate your use of ingredients in your recipes (coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, dates, ect) instead of using sugar substitutes. thank you for using real ingredients I recognize & that are nourishing to our bodies. ;-)

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