I’m Valerie – aka: Coco 🙂
I’m just a girl who loves to cook/bake and fuel my body with the ‘right’ foods! Real foods!
I was a fast food junkie at one time (weren’t we all??). OMG – who didn’t love Taco Bell burritos with extra sauce and onions? Or one of my favs, Filet-O-Fish with extra tartar sauce! As I started watching what I ate – so to speak – so I didn’t gain weight, I’d fool myself by ordering a Chicken Bowl and ask them to ‘hold the cheese and tortilla strips’ ….I mean, that had to be “healthier” than my bean burrito, right? I’d been through lots of the fad diets out there – no/low fat, low carb, calorie counting, fat gram counting etc. and so on. And to me, tweaking the way I ordered at fast food restaurants was perfectly acceptable and made me feel better about eating there…..because after all, it was more about making sure my jeans fit, not my health or how I felt. In my 30’s, fast food wasn’t quite as appealing to me but again, fueling my body had nothing to do with actually fueling to keep me moving in the long run, it was all about physical appearance. I even became a vegetarian for about 5 years. I only ate chicken breast without the skin (because meat was just too fattening!) so going vegetarian was quite easy for me. Ironically, that period of my life became the most unhealthiest I’d ever been – lots of pastas, soy & dairy ladened sauces….and in turn, jeans didn’t fit as nicely.
When I entered my 40’s, I started to pay more attention to health & not so much about weight. I knew I’d be entering peri-menopause/menopause and suddenly I wondered if I was getting all the right nutrients that I’d need to go through “this change”. I wanted to eat more greens, veggies, lean protein and healthy fats…..no sugar, no grains or legumes (my tummy couldn’t handle legumes anymore!) and that’s what I did! Little did I know, there was a label for this “diet” I put myself on – Paleo! I did however, still eat dairy and soy until I learned about the paleo diet and immediately did research…..and soon thereafter, dairy and soy were gone too! I have NEVER felt better eating this way. It’s natural and just makes sense.
I have always been a runner – handful of marathons, 1/2 marathons and countless 5k and 10k’s, as well as mud runs and fun runs and though I was in shape – so to speak – I ended up being talked into trying CrossFit by a friend. Started May 2012 and never looked back! It’s my ‘drug of choice’….. I never thought I’d get the ‘runners high’ that I got from running with doing CrossFit but boy-oh-boy, was I wrong! It’s the best thing I could have ever done for myself.
I’m a wife and mother of 3 children (grown children)….and a Grandma to my little Mazzy, which thrills me to death!!! My hubby and I love to do mud runs, hike, rollerblade and ride bikes on the beach. Living in So Cal has made it possible to get the best of it all with beaches, mountains and desserts so close to us!
So while I may fumble or bake the occasional sweet treat, I try to live an active and healthy lifestyle. I love to try new recipes, create recipes and just tweak old ones that were favs but needed adjusting to fit our healthy lifestyle. And with the love I found in cooking real food – food with a purpose – I feel the best I’ve ever felt! I’m just here to share my story & encourage. Thanks for joining me!