Coffee Date

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me feet coffee slippers

If you and I were to sit down for a cup of coffee this morning, I’d tell you that the idea of a coffee date was actually kinda ironic because I’m not drinking coffee right now. And then I’d probably order some sort of iced herbal tea, because I’m also off of soy and dairy—making pretty much everything on the menu at the coffee shop off-limits. That’s alright, it’s all so my baby girl feels better, so that makes it worth it.

Once we sat down, I’d probably tell you that I’m really struggling with how much of my private life I want public now that I’m a parent. It’s no longer just my life that I’m sharing, it’s this tiny human’s, too. And I feel like my sole purpose is to protect her. Part of me wants to shut out the whole world, but the other part of me wants to spread around all this immense joy I feel everyday. It feels like too much happiness to keep to myself. Especially considering the state of the world.

Me and JuneBug

You’d probably ask if the baby was sleeping through the night yet (because that seems to be the question everyone wants answered), and I’d probably give a hearty chuckle, because our sleeping arrangements are decidedly unorthodox.

I’d confess that since we’re dealing with a baby with severe reflux, we haven’t let her sleep without one of us awake nearby since she was diagnosed six weeks ago. Which means we split the night up into two shifts—Craig takes from 8pm-3am (with him waking me up once for her to eat), and I take from 3am-10am. The irony of this situation is even though both of us sleep on strange schedules, we’re actually both getting more sleep than most parents of newborns. I haven’t felt sleep-deprived since the first week we were home.

So no, she isn’t sleeping through the night, but we’re cool with that.

Then, I’d tell you how it was a blessing-in-disguise that Craig was laid off from him job during paternity leave. I know it’s unfashionable to talk about money, but I’d admit to you that it’s taken some financial rearranging to deal with the sudden loss of work. And then I’d tell you that even though it’s been hard, it’s probably the single best thing that’s ever happened to us, because it means we both get to be home with our baby girl. Silver linings and all that stuff.

Babyface and Junebug

We’d talk about how I’ve re-watched both Friday Night Lights and The West Wing during my late-night nursing sessions over the past two months. And now I’ve moved onto re-watching Gossip Girl. If you’re a mother, I’d probably ask for your reassurance that I’m not totally ruining my child’s brain by watching TV while she sleeps on my chest.

If you were pregnant, you’d probably ask me for some advice, and the biggest piece of advice I’d give you is to throw away all your parenting books. Seriously, don’t read them. Your instincts are the only guide you need. And all those books will do is make you feel guilty when you don’t follow their recommendations exactly. Which you wont. Because every family is different. And no one has ever written a parenting book about your family.

And then I’d ask you if you want a box of baby clothes. Because a new outfit or two gets thrown into the “too small” pile every day.

baby clothes nursery

Since you’re polite and a good conversationalist, you’d probably ask how my work was going. And I’d tell you that I am so happy in my career it isn’t even funny. I’d talk about how miserable I used to be in my job—how I’d cry almost every single day—and how drastically different my life is now. It feels like an entirely different universe. I’m in such a healthier place. And I’m so proud of the work I do. Sure, I still have frustrating days, but that’s life. And overall, I’m so much more fulfilled in what I do.


I’d ask you how your family was doing. And then I’d try really hard not to talk anymore about my baby girl. She’s really all I want to talk about all the time, but I’m not so far removed from being childless that I don’t remember how annoying that can be. I refrain from telling poop or spit-up stories. And try to think of something non-baby related to talk about.

june bug

I decide to talk to you about my other baby—our garden. I tell you all about our grandiose plans next year to plant even more space and sell at the farmer’s market. I tell you that Craig and I really want to start a CSA, but are petrified to take the leap because the number of successful farmers out there that make a living wage off their farm is pretty much right around zero.

I’d then tell you how excited I am to spend hour and hours with JuneBug in the garden when she’s a little older. I remember playing in the freshly-tilled soil as a kid, and I can’t wait to give her those same memories.

Whoops. There I go again, talking about the baby.

Trowel Garden

I’d tell you how I’m starting to get the urge to get back to taking care of myself again. We’d chat a bit about weight loss, and then I’d sheepishly admit to you that I’m intimidated of the weight loss process again. What if it doesn’t work this time? What if I never can get back to feeling healthy? What if I can’t figure out how to fit in fitness and taking care of a kid?

I’d tell you that I’m back up close to my highest weight ever as an adult, and, while it feels totally different this time, it also feels just as insurmountable as it did before. I’d tell you that I miss my old clothes. And I miss my knees not hurting. I’d tell you that is such a strange feeling to be so incredibly proud of this body (it made this beautiful creature, birthed her, and fed her), but at the same time want to change it.

I’d tell you that I tried to workout last week and it was so difficult, I cried. But it also felt so amazing. I’d tell you that it’s going to take some time to get used to this new body—the parts just aren’t all working the same way they used it.

Me Workout

I’d then probably apologize for unloading all my baggage on you. Let’s change the subject.

We’d start talking about the good food we’ve both been eating lately. I’d tell you that I’m totally obsessed with mashed avocado on toast, topped with a few slices of our homegrown tomatoes, salt, pepper and a perfectly-runny poached egg. I’d admit I’ve eaten it at least once a day for pretty much the last month.

Avocado Toast

I’d tell you that I’ve started to drink beer again (oh, how I missed it), but I’m such a lightweight now that about a 1/4 cup of the stuff gets me good and buzzed. Hey, at least I’m a cheap date.


I’d then tell you about the most perfect (orange!) honeydew melons we grew this year. And then I’d beg you to take one off my hands because we have a million of them sitting on our counter. No matter how delicious, two people can only go through so much melon before it goes bad. In fact, I’d probably hand you a whole bag of produce to take with you before you leave.

Garden Basket

Then I’d probably apologize for scratching so much, but I can’t really help it because the lower half of my body is covered in poison ivy—and has been for the past month. You’d ask where I got it, and I’d tell you it was from walking the path to my parents’ house a few times a week. I’d tell you it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the source and start wearing boots and long pants over instead of flip-flops and shorts. You’d tell me not to scratch. I’d nod my head and then try to covertly scratch between my toes. Because it itches worse than any itch I’ve ever had before.

feet creek flipflops shoes

I’d look up at the clock and realize I spent all of this time together babbling on about my life, without asking you much about yours. I’d promise to be a better listener next time, and then I’d ask that maybe we go for pedicures for our next coffee date, because my toes haven’t been touched since the day before I went into labor. And I’ll try to have something non-baby-related to talk about.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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56 Responses
  1. Being a new mommy it’s hard to think much less talk about anything other than the sweet new joy in your life. I totally understand!! And then when you let your mind wonder to weight loss, enjoying a beer, etc. it always comes back to our baby. But being a new parent – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  2. I so wish we could have a real coffee/tea date! 🙂 I’d come over after sending Ty to school (gasp! Can you believe he starts school next week?) and then Nate and I would come hang out with you and J. You’d get a taste for what you will need to baby proof once Juniper is mobile, haha.

    I find most of the time my friends and I end up talking about our kids most of the time we are together. Heck, Doug and I talk about the boys when we go out without them! They are the sun and we are the planets that orbit around them.

    Is J on reflux meds? Have they been helping? We are so fortunate we haven’t had to deal with reflux, but one of my best friends has two daughters who’ve had pretty serious reflux (her youngest was/is REALLY REALLY bad). If you ever need someone to talk to about it, or to exchange projectile spit up stories with, I can put you in touch with her. 🙂

    I’m sorry to hear Craig lost his job (while on paternity leave! Is that even legal?). I’m VERY VERY happy to hear it hasn’t caused crisis mode for you both. I love love that picture of Juniper and her daddy. He seems like such a great daddy, it’s awesome. It seems you both have such an amazing balance of parenthood. But I think you’ve always been like that even pre-baby. You and Craig make such a great team.

    I feel you about the post-baby body. I’m having a really hard time. I find I put my own health aside to take care of the boys, and I’m just always really exhausted (I sleep all night, with a few exceptions, it’s not a sleep deprived exhaustion). It’s so hard to put out the effort to work out. I’ve never been thin, never lost weight easily, so trying to be healthy has been my goal. But my post baby, post breastfeeding, 30 year old body is sometimes hard to embrace.

    It sounds like things are going really well for the most part! I know you want to keep J out of the internet spotlight for the most part, and I definitely understand, but I love hearing about her! She’s already getting so big!

    1. Cassie

      She is on reflux meds, and they help, but the thing that helps the most is her sleeping either vertically (in a carrier or just on our chests) or on her tummy—hence the staying awake while she’s sleeping! I love the hours worth of early-morning snuggling, but I’m looking forward to her either growing out of reflux or being out of the high-risk SIDS months—whichever comes first, so we can go back to a more normal sleeping arrangement (although, I’m so thankful we figured out something that is working and has us all decently well-rested).

      I totally hear you about putting your own health aside. You hear so much about “you have to take care of yourself to take care of others” and I 100% agree with that, in theory. But in practice, it’s super hard to implement. When the choice of that minute is either do the baby’s laundry or go get on the treadmill—the laundry is going to win everytime.

      1. Shauna

        I hope the reflux meds work better very soon! I’m not sure when the SIDS risk decreases, though we had both boys in our room (both were tummy sleepers) until they were about 4 months old, and by that time they were rolling and starting to get up on all fours to crawl and all that fun stuff.

        The sleep part of infancy is short lived, I promise. It is tough in the beginning, and feels unending, but I promise once you are through it, it feels like a blink! We’re now parents of an almost 4 year old and almost 2 year old and things are so much easier in that regard. And looking back to the difficult new baby months it feels like it went by fast (hindsight is everything, of course! It’s terrible and time stands still when you’re living it).

  3. francine

    this was so cute!! i’m sorry about your husband getting laid off, but it’s awesome that you’re able to find the good in the difficult 🙂 thanks for all of your awesome posts!!

  4. Meredith

    Love your post. As a mom of a now 2-year old, I remember feeling a lot of the things you talk about in your post. You will get to where you want to go…just take it one day at a time. One step at a time. All of the little things you do will add up along the way. Hang in there – the early months are the hardest but it does get better. And love your advice about throwing out the parenting books – wish I had done that. I was the one frantically reading all the books during those late night nursing sessions instead of watching TV (which is what I should have been doing). And now I know that my own instincts were the best thing I could have followed. Good thing that that is what I mostly did 🙂

  5. Caitlyn

    Yay! Reading this was very much like going on a coffee date with you (minus baby snuggles – listening to non-stop baby talk in exchange for snuggling a baby = worth it every time!!). You are so very authentic online and it is incredibly refreshing – thanks for sharing yourself and your family with us!

  6. and i would reply that this was probably one of the loveliest coffee dates i have ever been on. and i would agree that pedicures would be awesome, because i too haven’t had my feet pampered in a long time (like, 6 years, give or take). but i would tell you not to worry about seeking out a new topic, because i love hearing about your little girl, and your garden, and your dreams of your little girl playing in your garden. and then i would get up to leave with the wonderful bag of produce you handed me earlier, and would return home to my computer to try and decide what to make with all of it… probably using a recipe from your blog.

    cheers! xo

  7. Victoria S

    Have you thought about making agua fresca with the melons? You could probably freeze the excess and pull out later to drink I would think.

  8. I just wanted to say that I am a relatively new reader and I just really love your approach to life. I appreciate how forthcoming you are with your readers, and throughout all your posts I feel like you just want everyone to live their most authentic life possible, which can mean different things for different people. Thank you for keeping this blog and thank you for sharing parts of your life with us! P.S. you can feel free to write about that cutie pie whenever you want! I do not have children yet, but still love hearing about babies! 🙂 Aly

  9. Christina

    Nice post- isn’t funny how such a little person can changed our lives in such a large way? You are 100% right about following your instincts. Every family is different and knowing what has worked for others is helpful but not the ultimate answer.

    Privacy online for my family has been something that our family has spent a great deal of time talking about. That’s a tough one…

    How did your husband get laid off while on paternity leave? I know here (Canada) that is illegal.

  10. Your daughter is absolutely adorable! I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s job. That has to be tough timing – two major life changes at the same time. It seems like you guys are dealing pretty well with it though.

    1. Sofia

      Thank you for writing this! I started following your blog because we were both going through pregnancy at the same time and we had our babies very close together. Reading this post is so nice because it is a lot of the same things I’m going through right now. My son also has tummy issues and I’m off soy and dairy, coming up with things to eat is challenging because I’m not too much of a cook. 🙂 I’m really sorry about your husband’s job but at least there is the silver lining of you guys getting to spend so much time together. My husband has not taken his paternity leave yet but will once I’m back at work and of course it’s less fun to do it all separately, I end up sending him a lot of texts and videos of the baby. Anyway, just wanted to say that I love your baby posts and can totally relate, if we were to have a “coffee” date it would end up being an almond milk date instead. 🙂

  11. Christina B

    My second son had horrible reflux and colic. It was never my diet and the meds helped. Our lifesaver was the Fisher Price rock and play sleeper. The original yellow one has cardboard for the back, so not super comfortable. We took my SIL recommendation and used a pink one (yes he was a boy, no I don’t care) The pick one we found was just fabric- no cardboard. really easy to clean and We loved it. Lucas slept there until he started sitting up. Then you face the whole crib transition, but that wasn’t so bad. We also used to let him sleep in his swing. They say not to, but I like sleep. He eventually outgrew the reflux (YAY), and moved on to other fun things. Every baby is different. So glad you are trusting your instincts. My SIL was told not to do that and not to listen to moms or aunts, but my mom is a resource I would hate to live without. I listen to other opinions and then figure out if I agree. I hope things get better, but it sounds like you are doing well. Great job!

    1. Cassie

      We have a RNP, and even though other refluxer parents swear by it, we’ve never been able to get her to sleep more than 20 minutes in it. The angle just isn’t inclined enough to stop her from coughing and choking. Maybe eventually it’ll work! We’ll keep trying it. 🙂

  12. Tara Mason

    My baby is 6 months old now and so I can totally relate to this post. I love your blog style and writing and I think you and Craig are so down to earth. I voted for you on Bloglovin’ for Blog of the Year! =) Looking forward to many more posts for years to come.

  13. Lisa

    Wow. One of your best posts ever. And I never comment, but I just had to this time. Loved it, felt like I was right there with you across the table with a hot steamy mug in my hands.

  14. I read this while sipping coffee in bed, covered in snuggly dogs, and that combination was the best start to my day that I’ve had in a while. I’m sorry to hear about the reflux and Craig being laid off, but it sounds like you’re dealing with everything so well – your perspective is refreshing and inspiring. Thanks for another great post, after reading your blog, I always want to go work on our garden and make really, really good food.

  15. HeyBeckyJ

    This was a fabulous coffee date. My “babies” are almost 2-years and 4-years old, and this was so reminiscent of nearly all my coffee dates the last four years. 🙂

  16. So the only regularly paid writing gig I have right now is marketing for a CSA. I say go for it–you’re practically already there will all that extra produce and you can start really small and build from there. I love helping deliver fresh produce to my customers and knowing there’s nothing junky about it 🙂

    I love this post, it was a nice, honest look at where you are right now. And my last baby had severe reflux too, he slept in the swing until he was 6 mo old! You’re blessed with the schedule you and Craig have worked out. Interestingly, I’ve heard of so many babies lately with this issue that I had started wondering if it was because of all the over-processed food that finds its way into our kitchens. But knowing it’s happening to you too blows that theory! Blessings on this journey–you’re doing a beautiful job.

  17. Lauren

    This was the loveliest coffee date I’ve ever been on. I’m also a new parent, a few months ahead of you, and though our struggles are different I know exactly how you feel when it comes to difficulties and having to figure out what works best for your family and your baby. I’ve been amazed at how natural mothering came for me and my instincts speak louder and truer than anything else I’ve read or been told. June Bug is a very lucky lady to have such a lovely momma!

  18. This was such a cute post! It ended up generating no less than 5 pageviews from me now it appears the blog RSS settings have changed to a teaser version, and because I’m on my mobile and the pop-up ads kept getting in the way and removing me from the screen in annoying ways… I specify all this because you have written this post in such a lovely way, which really felt like a conversation and nothing like the way many bloggers write — you know, those lists of “and then I did this”. You are an amazing writer, and it’s testament to that fact that although I was annoyed at the extra clicks (caused by my clumsy early-morning thumbs jabbing at pop-ups and losing my page) I kept coming back because I was enjoying your post so much.

    I know you care both about the reader experience and the blog generating income. I think you are a good and engaging enough writer that people will click through and make those extra steps — and of course I’m thrilled if that means more income for you and your family xx

    1. Cassie

      Oh no! I’m so sorry it was annoying. I’m trying lots of different things, and nothing is permanent, so if there is a bad user experience, I’m definitely interested in making it better. You definitely shouldn’t be getting any pop-up ads on the mobile view (only a “sticky” ad at the bottom of your mobile screen), so that makes me a little nervous. I’ll definitely look into it!

      Thank you for clicking over! 🙂 I’ve agonized for years about truncating my blog’s RSS feed, and am doing a test run now to see how it impacts things, and it’s always nice to get a click-through.

      1. Ah I didn’t realise there is a different name for this type of advert — it was “stickies” not pop-ups. Because I’m on an iPhone they do get in the way of viewing a post, especially when there are pictures (of very cute babies!), and if I had been more awake, it would probably have been fine. As I was viewing in Feedly’s browser, you can’t click back if you accidentally hit an advert, so I kept having to reload from scratch.

        To be honest I am happy to click through. One of my favourite blogs/websites (The Toast) doesn’t truncate their posts and I still try to remember to click through at the end of a good post, to show my gratitude for their awesomeness!

        I don’t mind ads on YOUR blog at all (as long as they don’t dwarf my screen) because of you being so open and honest about what you’re doing. You do handle your professional blogging really well! In fact as I said, it makes me less annoyed because I feel it’s for a good cause.

  19. Lisa B

    I would totally go on this coffee date with you…to bad I live in Toronto. Thanks for the tidbit about books during pregnancy as I’m only 10 wks and was wondering about that. Sorry to her Junebug is a bit sick but doesn’t look it at all!!!

  20. I feel like it’s been a really long time since I popped in on your blog and I’m so glad I did today.
    It was wonderful having coffee with you, and I’d be happy to drink your share of the coffee just this once 😉
    (Okay, all the other times too).

  21. Jen in SC

    Awww. Hugs, new mama! I really enjoyed this post. It made me think of newborn days with my first daughter, which has been a good 5 years ago, now 🙂

  22. laura

    i cannot get over the picture of your sweet girl and your husband!! she looks so comfortable and content–gotta love little girls with their daddys 🙂

    i’m sorry to hear about her reflux problems! babies are already a lot of work without unexpected stuff like that. i was browsing through the comments and i think they say that chances of SIDS occurring reduces drastically by 4 months.

  23. Anna

    If I were on this coffee date, I’d be drinking tea too, because I just don’t like coffee, and I’d tell you, as a mother of a 15 month old Junebug who had severe reflux that hard as it is to believe, it will get better. Until then, do whatever you have to do for all of you to feel comfortable. We coslept for 2 months when the RnP didn’t help, we tried meds and a chiropractor, but in the end, it was just time and letting her system mature that made it better. I’ll also tell you that the egg idea sounds utterly amazing and I’m writing this at 9:30 at night and am really tempted to get up and make it, even though it’s nearly my bedtime because my Junebug is an early riser and thus I must be early to bed. And I will tell you that I too learned that instinct is the best parenting tool out there and it rarely fails you. Much love to you all. Xoxo

  24. Girl, forget the coffee and tea, I want to share that poached egg, tomato, avocado toast with you. That looks so good!

    …and, I’d totally want you to talk about that little bundle of goodness (and I’d beg you to let me hold her throughout my whole visit), because even though I don’t ever want one of my own, they are so so so sweet, and I love hearing about them (and sometimes mentally high fiving myself for not having one – only during the bad story parts!).

  25. K

    Bummed that your blog has switched over to a teaser version in Feedly. I rarely click through but did this time to see if anyone else had asked if this would be permanent 🙂

    1. Cassie

      Nothing is permanent, but I am trying it out to see how it impacts things. I definitely understand that the change makes it more cumbersome to read my blog from a reader, and it’s a calculated risk I’m taking that I might lose readers. But the truth is, by offering full text for my RSS and email subscriptions, I was giving away my content for completely free, which isn’t a very good business decision.’ll write a lot more about this in next month’s income report. Thanks for your feedback!

  26. Justine

    I started out reading your Broken Plow blog to get some gardening tips. And then I got drawn into your design and DIY posts on that blog and I back read every single post–it was like a good book I couldn’t stop reading. I love yours and your husband’s sense of style and preference for DIY and upcycling. Then I realized you had your own blog that also incorporated recipes and I’ve been totally hooked for about a year now. Thank you for sharing your life with your readers. Your perspective is a wonderfully positive and refreshing part of my week, like a coffee date with an old friend.

  27. Whitney

    Cassie, thank you for such an honest post! I also have a two month old baby boy. I always enjoy reading these because it helps me not feel so alone dealing with this new stage of life. He was just recently diagnosed with reflux. Until he was diagnosed it was so easy to blame myself for the crying and how uncomfortable he felt.
    It is so encouraging to see how you and Craig deal with things that life throws your way. Very inspiring! Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your life!

  28. Kim

    Hi, Cassie – beautiful post! My husband and I ran our own 25 member CSA for three years. While there were parts of it that really did feed my soul (the growing, the opportunity to educate people about interesting and whole food), it is REALLY hard to make a living doing it. You just can’t reap the benefits of volume selling from a small acreage farm, obviously. Two years ago, I went “back to work” in an office setting, and back to hobby farming just for our family and friends. We have a steady income, and I have found that all of the joy in gardening has returned again, now that it isn’t a job. Just my two cents, and I will be following your journey, whatever you guys decide to try!

  29. Love this post. Thank you for the update. I was wondering how things were going for you and your family. I would gladly take a bag of produce from you! Haven’t had much luck with my own garden this year (hello CA drought). I hope the poison ivy itchiness goes away soon. How have you been treating it?

  30. Shannon

    Just wanted to say I absolutely love your blog. As a new mother as well, I appreciate your honest approach to your writing. I’m looking forward to where your motherhood journey takes you!

  31. This post was so warm and intimate, just like a coffee date should be! So thank you for opening up and sharing Cassie! I thoroughly enjoy the June bug stories, even though I don’t have little ones yet. I hope and pray things get better for her with the reflux, I can only imagine how worried you and Craig must be. I say YES go for it with the CSA. It would be my absolute dream to be self sustaining with farm and garden one day, and I live vicariously through you! ha! (and to add some input on your new layout and floating ads– i don’t mind them at all. A few clicks are worth it for your awesome content!) as always, thank you for being one of my hands down favorite blogs. lots of love, from Florida =)

  32. P.S. I would love to hear more how you handle your blog security in your next blog income post. Without giving away personal details, but maybe just a broad scope. I’m having lots of trouble with bots and hacking lately and I just want to pull my hair out. I wonder, how do the bigger blogs handle it, if I can’t keep it under control with my small blog? lol. Anyway, just a request! 🙂 🙂

    1. Cassie

      Lindsay: I had lots of issues with blog security, too back in the day. I just had NO idea what I was doing. I moved my blog over to a different host who is a full-service host—so they take care of security, updates, backups, etc. and haven’t had a problem since. They cost a little more, but the peace of mind is totally worth it in my opinion!

      1. Thanks for sharing! I’m not surprised that’s what you decided to do, definitely makes sense! Better than going crazy like I have been these past few weeks! Ha! Thanks for the advice 🙂

  33. Meg

    I DO feel like I just went on a coffee date with you! Thanks for an update on life. I subscribe to a lot of people on my feedly, but I always go to read your stuff on a weekly basis where others just get a slight perusal once in awhile. You’re just too gosh darn relatable to skip!

  34. Love this post!

    I agree throw out the parenting books! have you seen the Portlandia episode about parenting books? if no then google it!

    I am also at my current highest weight ever and I am not loving it. I didn’t lose the baby weight the first time around due to my IUD and then I gained more weight with #2. Now 6.5 weeks postpartum and I am 65lbs from my happy weight and 75lbs from my goal.

    I have so much more to write but I have a babe in my arms.

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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