Hi, I’m Serena!
If you love cooking, have a taste for the adventurous side in food and want to fuel your body with optimal nutrition, well, you’ve come to the right place!
As far back as I can remember, I have always loved cooking and experimenting with foods. It’s one of those things for me that calm you down, make you feel relaxed and happy at the end of a long day. Even it wasn’t a long day, if I have some free time on my hands, I will always use it in the kitchen. To unwind after a long day some people like to go to the gym, some cry, some do nothing, while I prefer to cook.
I discovered I was rather good at cooking at an early age, and soon found myself preparing food for 70 – 100 people beginning at the age of 10 in Brazil. I became the go-to “chef” for my personal specialties such as homemade crepes and chocolate sauce, orange caramel popcorn, beer battered fish tacos (made with both fish and shark meat), beef brisket, and my famous homemade spaghetti…secret ingredient being soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. This was all before the age of 16.
Since then, I have had a love/hate relationship with food. I’ve been up, down and back around again on the dieting trail with lots of experimenting here and there. I’ve done all the fad diets, diet pills, and extreme exercise regimens. This is not a realistic, long-term nor healthy lifestyle for anyone to live.
As I got older, yo-yo dieting got old. I realized I needed to stop the endless dieting cycles, stick with one tried and true form of healthy eating and be done with it! I began by becoming fully raw vegan for 2 years. This helped detox my body, reset my shot digestive system and gave me a do-over on my entire diet. Soon after I introduced cooked foods back into my diet, and recently I began eating small portions of meat here and there. If I had to label myself, I would say that I eat a primarily plant-based diet, with small portions of fish and organic, grass-fed beef here and there.
More importantly than a label, however, is that I now live a life of ABUNDANCE. I eat whenever I want, as much as I want and I don’t count calories!! That’s because when you live a whole food plant-based lifestyle, there is no reason for calorie restriction, no need to treat carbs like the enemy, and no reason to be afraid of healthy fats! I eat avocado daily, snack on nuts, drink coffee with MCT oil, and I’ve never felt better.
When I first joined Instagram I used it as a site to post pictures of the food mixtures I came up with, rather than flooding everyone’s wall on Facebook (Your complaints about seeing so many food pictures were duly noted, my FB friends). After a while, people started asking me for the recipes to my food photos. As requests for recipes increased, I decided to create a vegan and raw vegan food blog in April 2013.
The recipes on this blog are a reflection of what I eat on a day to day basis. I start my morning with a smoothie, and I end it with a cooked meal. I eat till I’m full, not until I’ve reached my calorie count for the day. If I want, I will eat my homemade banana or coconut-based ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If I want spaghetti all day, I’ll pack it full of vegetables and make it healthy, gluten-free and delicious.
Even better is that I feel GREAT after every meal. I don’t need a nap because my body is exhausted from trying to digest heavy, fattening, processed sugar and dairy products. In the morning I can get up and go, at night I can lay down and fall right to sleep without the addition of sleep aids. The food I’m putting in my body is plant-based whole foods with the right type of fat, high in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that keep me fueled and feeling great all day. That’s it! It really is that simple!
A couple things to know for this blog:
1) I rarely follow exact recipes. The things I create are done simply by throwing ingredients together, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. And…it usually comes out great! Obviously, this comes from years of trial and error. After 20+ years of cooking, you tend to figure out how much a tablespoon is or 1/3 of a cup is without actually using a measuring cup. This is also why some of my recipes will say “about 1 cup” or, “a handful” or “2-3 tbsp”. The amounts I have are the recommended amounts, and I have had to literally recreate some of my recipes to see how much is actually needed in a serving.
2) There is little to no cooking for a majority of these recipes! The one thing that always had me procrastinating about whether to cook meals for myself or not, is that I know my apartment will smell like onion, fish, or garlic for hours or days after. This has always been a large deterrent for me in the cooking department. Well, the good thing about eating plant-based is that the cooking time is minimal, and usually for only short periods. Which means no harsh smells, less prep time, less cleanup and more raw, healthy goodness for you!
3) I have a few recipes on here that I’ve altered from other websites. I give credit to those recipes, with tweaks on my own. I also post original recipes from others that I tried, loved, and wanted to share with you all. Of course, I give credit to the original creators. If you intend to use any recipes on this blog for your own websites, remember to give credit to the author! This is very important for all aspects of life. No one likes to be a victim of plagiarism!
So, now that you know a little about the blog, read on and enjoy! Comment, share, and let me know your thoughts!