I invite everyone to live a healthier, better and happier life !
There once was a family living under a lemon tree...
Hi, I'm Anne. Welcome to my blog! I'm a French Canadian (born in Quebec) registered dietitian/nutritionist and mother of two wonderful kids. I decided to start the Under a lemon tree blog when we moved to California, near San Francisco. My lovely husband works in tech and got his dream job. There are worse places to be a stay-at-home mom, so we really had to give it a chance! Thus, here we are now, living in this marvelous place, surrounded with friendly people, organic food markets, beautiful beaches and warm weather. I always wanted to write a cooking blog. Since people around me were frequently asking me questions and recipes, I felt it was the time to share my knowledge, especially since I don't have to do any effort here to find the awesome organic ingredients I use daily. My kids and my husband (he's the one who wanted a lemon tree the first day we arrived in California!) are my life and inspiration, they push me to be a better mom, woman and wife each day. A few years ago, I realized that I have only one life to live, so I figured I should try to live it at its best, by enjoying every second with my family, creating magical moments every day and eat as healthy as possible to make the experience of living more enjoyable.
This blog is about sharing my cooking ideas, and my profound, passionate, crazy love for whole foods provided by Mother Nature. I'm a lifetime plant-based diet eater. I was raised as a vegetarian by my mom. I learned (not without few periods of "ins and outs" during my childhood) to respect animal lives and to eat foods that reflect life. Times have changed, we are now far away from the "one brand of tofu and rice milk on the back of the shelf" or from the "hippies eating only sprouts". As a result, I now feel blessed and lucky to have the chance to share this lifestyle with my kids and to teach them to respect their bodies, minds and environment. I have to say that my husband has also been a vegetarian for the last 10 years. When people ask if I forced him into it, he always says that it was my good cooking that convinced his stomach first! The rest came after. Through the years, he made his own opinion on what is the best diet and lifestyle for us, the animals and the planet, by reading and watching a lot of documentaries about vegetarian diets.
My mission is to make my kids (myself and my husband too!) feel like they're allowed to have treats every day, without giving them the crap that's out there! I can remember being a kid, going into my mom's pantry and searching desperately for something nice, sweet and "cool" to eat. Many times I could only find some rice cakes, growing sprouts or a Mother Kombucha (Oh God! That one felt SO strange for my young eyes back in the days!). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE those foods and I'm SO thankful to my mom about the way she raised us. My pantry is now also loaded with those products... but I'm also completely CRAZY about dark chocolate, cookies, tarts, ice cream and other sweets! I just want my kids to feel that they are normal and that they can eat kids’ stuff like their friends. And they are. Trust me. Every time they are eating, they are totally enjoying it! By not making them feel to different and deprived, they are even asking for more sprouts and greens! We call our son Mr. Kale!
The recipes you'll find here are inspired by the knowledge I gained through my bachelor’s degree in nutrition (University of Montreal). They are inspired as well by the farmer’s market magnificent goodies we can find here in California and by my family's food intolerances. When I was a kid, I always wanted to watch cooking shows (to the dismay of my sister!) and not comics. I guess I learned to cook that way, by myself. You'll find I especially like to pack as many super foods in a same recipe. I NEVER count calories nor calculate anything on my daily diet. I just make sure my pantry is always loaded with natural, organic and healthy foods and I try to vary my proteins, fruits, veggies and nuts during the week. I really don’t have an all-or-nothing attitude. When I go out, or when I visit my friends, I do enjoy regular pastries, ice creams and cakes! By making sure my daily diet at home is healthy and nutritious, I don't even feel a tiny bit of shame nor guilt when I'm eating those treats.
Therefore, I hope that the simple, delicious, organic vegetarian dishes (mostly gluten-free, sporadically vegan and/or raw, but we do like a bit of goat/sheep cheese here and there and sometimes, an egg!) that I create will help people discover a whole new world of healthy and tasty life. You'll often find expressions like "a handful" or "a pinch" of that. That's just the way I cook! Tastes are so different, feel free to add what you want or adapt my recipes. My real goal is to inspire you on your road, whether you're already a vegetarian or just doing an effort to consume less meat and more plant-based foods.
They are part of that blog... let me introduce you my little taste testers !
Noah is my 3.5 years old, smart, curious, funny, joyful, sweet little boy. (Shush! Don't tell him I said little!) He helps me with my cooking since he was born (and lately with my photography!), he inspires me with his (surprisingly!) good ideas of activities and recipes and he's always up for anything mommy suggests. He just eats everything I put in front of him and knows he has to taste it to know if he likes it! He always ate the same food as us, meaning that we never made a special "kid meal" for him. I'm so proud of how he's discovering (and liking!) all kinds of foods for a kid his age!
Mila is my adorable 8 months old little girl who ADORES her brother! Seriously, she is in awe with everything her brother says or does (and he likes it a LOT.... who wouldn't?)! Since she's been out in this world, she can't stop smiling and dancing, loves to watch me cook while being carried in the Ergobaby carrier (thank god I have that one!). She now enjoys tasting new foods, tries to grab everything in front of her (that's kind of a problem sometimes...you'll probably see a tiny hand on the pics sometimes... it's hers!).
Both my kids are part of this blog, because they are the ones who inspire me to create my healthy and easy recipes (I'm certainly not the only one who's running after time here!). They totally are my harshest judges. If they don't like it, it's not good enough for me!
EAT. PLAY. LOVE.
Eating a whole food based diet means to stop worrying about calories and letting the guilt aside to focus on the right ingredients.
Playing in the kitchen (I really feel I'm playing most of the time!) and with my kids (or with my kids in the kitchen!) is my daily passion and I wake up every morning like if it was my dream job.
Loving yourself enough and being kind to your body and soul are the first steps to true happiness.
My hope through this blog is to share my insights on what a healthy and happy family life means for us. As I said, each day I want my family to eat great healthy vegetarian food, without seeing the restrictions. They are eating great delicious food and that’s it!
Other ways to follow or contact me:
What I like the most about blogs is to share thoughts and participate in discussions. Thus, feel free to comment and share your life or cooking experiences at any time!
Facebook: Check out my Facebook page. I always try to reply to all the questions and comments in a timely manner. Please feel free to post pictures of your creations!
Pinterest: Follow me on Pinterest! (Oh God! I'm just crazy about that one!)
Instagram : Update : I'm now on Instagram !! Follow me for additional ideas :)