Hi. Thanks for stopping by! I'm Sandi and I'm a vegan food blogger focusing on living a cruelty-free life with gluten, dairy, and soy intolerances. My love of food started when I was a child, always hanging out in my Grandma's kitchen. It was there that I learned a lot about appreciating the flavor and texture of simple ingredients with simple seasonings. She used to say that she wasn't a very good cook, but the family knew otherwise. To this day, some of my recipes come from adaptations of hers.
My husband John and I live in the St. Louis metro area with our five kids and pack of rescue dogs. We volunteer with a pit bull advocacy group called Stand Up For Pits. SUFP does great things for the most abused, exploited, and neglected "breed" (type) of dogs and we're passionate about doing what we can to help them. Shriners' Hospitals are also dear to us since our son has been a patient there since he was 10 months old. Jack was diagnosed with progressive infantile scoliosis as a baby and Shriners has been a constant in our lives. When Jack was about 18 months, we did an elimination diet and ultimately realized that all of our kids have gluten, dairy, and soy intolerances. It took years of experimentation to sort out recipes that could meet their dietary needs. Because of the expense associated with speciality ingredients and products, I wanted to share my failures and successes with others in the food allergy community. I began a blog called Sweet Nothings in the Kitchen and shared my recipes with the world.
In 2011, after having five kids and spending fifteen years as a stay-at-home mom, I had gained nearly a hundred pounds. I tried fad diets and weight watchers, lost a little, then gained it all back. I thought gastric bypass was the only thing that could save my life, but I was scared of the potential for complications. Above all else, I wanted to be around for my kids. I owed it to them.
By New Year's Eve, John and I were inspired to eliminate animal products from our diets and go plant based. This was largely inspired by the documentaries Forks Over Knives and Hungry For Change (if you haven't seen them, you absolutely should!) In the first year, I lost 70 pounds just by eating a plant-based diet. By the summer of 2013, I'd lost 90 pounds and have since been able to keep it off effortlessly. This was all done just by changing what I put in my mouth. I did not exercise a single day.
I still have some problematic areas (fries! sugar!) and am not, nor will I ever be, perfect. But, I do hope that I can help some of you along your own path to health. As of last month, my total cholesterol was 139, and I've still kept off those 90 pounds without regular exercise. I have seen and heard so many people say they "can't go vegan" because they have food allergies, intolerances, or other health considerations. There are also plenty of us who eat a plant based diet but still could lose some weight (present company included). I'm here to help you on your path and hopefully give you some new ideas for meals, celebrations, and even a few indulgences. Hope you enjoy!