"Selfie" taken in Seoul, Korea.

Welcome! My name is Gretchen Goel and I am a mom, a Learning Coach (to my kids), a Pet Sitter (in charge of my kid's business), world traveller, a casual run/walker....and oh yeah I have this blog too!

Isn't this how most of us mom’s roll?  We can't just be a mom, oh no. We are renaissance women with a long list of talents, hobbies and jobs. 

I decided to start this blog in 2007 after starting a vegan diet with my family and having some success with improving my health.  My husband had also started a back yard garden, and friends and family wanted to see what we were growing and what food we were making. I had gone through all this training about plant based eating too.  At first I felt really intimidated about writing anything.  I can write, but it's different when I know the whole world has access to it 24/7.  I felt like my writing and my photos weren't good enough when I compared my blog to other blogs out there. For the most part I got over that idea because I realized I wasn't posting more than once a month and then I had to ask why have a blog?

This blog is about our family life, our backyard garden, the food we cook and the food we eat at restaurants locally and around the world.  I am not a chef, I have absolutely no culinary background.  The majority of the recipes on the blog are adapted or inspired. 

Everything I have featured on this blog so far has been Vegan and mostly Gluten Free.  It will change in 2015 as our family is now incorporating pasture raised eggs, raw dairy and free range chicken (more when we go out to eat). In the past I tried to do everything oil free, but now I use organic coconut oil and grass fed ghee.  We also eat bread, so we are not Gluten Free.

I was a strict vegan for almost 7 years, running marathons and coaching people on the "Nutritarian" diet on TotalWellnessMentor.com.  Then about two years ago I found myself making exceptions when we would travel. Mostly having dairy here and there. I would feel an extreme amount of guilt just from making these small exceptions. I was also feeling very sluggish and tired and having flare ups with my Hashimoto's disease. I tried experimenting with raw food and various supplements but I found myself feeling worse after I felt better.  I decided somewhere at the end of 2013 that change was inevitable and we needed to try something different.  I wanted to stop restricting foods and allow my kids to have total freedom of food choice, even if it was something I would normally have not allowed in the house.  Around that time I picked up Matt Stone's books, Diet Recovery II and Food Ninja's

My kids went through two growth spurts where they gained no weight.  And with my oldest daughter being an athlete, I was very concerned.  She had been asking for months to try dairy and eggs.  After a trial with raw dairy and pastured eggs, I decided to add these into our diet in 2014. It has been important for me to make these foods neutral, as my kids trust and follow how I eat.  I want them to see things from a more balanced perspective, to listen to their intuition when it comes to food, and to not judge others for how they eat. We are keeping our animal food intake to a minimum, that is the best we can do. 

I have a huge amount of respect for all the ethical vegans out there, who in many cases, put animals lives above their own health.  But I also respect everyone's freedom of choice to eat whatever the heck they want, even it if it is not considered "healthy" in the health circles.  I realize that some will decide to stop following me because of this change, and that's okay.  Just be respectful and unsub from my blog.   I've seen too much drama happen to great vegan bloggers who decided to go omni in the past few years and I really don't have time for it.


 (hĕl′thē)adj. health·i·er, health·i·est
1. Possessing good health: a healthy child.
2. Conducive to good health; healthful: healthy air.
3. Indicative of sound, rational thinking or frame of mind: a healthy attitude.
4. Sizable; considerable

I am available to write guest posts and for speaking events or cooking demos. I taught classes at the Florida School of Holistic Living when we were living in Orlando, but now we are living in San Diego.  I can be reached at gretchen underscore goel at yahoo dot com. 

If you are contacting me to review a product or service, please note that I am no longer taking "freebies" in exchange for a review.  I will decide whether to purchase your product or service and give an unbiased review.  

If you are a family and would like to share your story on my blog, please contact me. I am not interested in taking advertisers on my blog.  I personally find advertising very annoying, especially when I have no control over the ads.  The only products I will advertise are those that I have an affiliate relationship with and that I have personally used for at least 3 months.  Currently I have one ad with Tera Warner's skin care products that I use.