I’m Stephanie, a Boston area native, now living in Jupiter, FL with my family and dog. I’m a proud mother to my disabled son Ben, and neuro-typical daughter Rose, as well as an experienced Certified Oncology Nurse.
My inspiration for a cleaner lifestyle began in early motherhood. Historically though, I've always been interested in food and health. From the age of 16, in my sophomore Anatomy & Physiology class, I remember thinking how fascinating all the functions of the human body are, synergistically working at the same time. (By the way, I'm also a self-proclaimed nerd.) This, coupled with my first job at an assisted living home inspired me to go into the nursing field. I graduated from Saint Anselm College and have 15 years in the field of Hematology/Oncology.
Food wise, I remember from an early age and a half-Italian upbringing, that food brings comfort. What a joy it is to share a homemade meal with loved ones. I fondly remember the many meals shared with my grandfather, Angelo. During some travel in my early 20's, my palette expanded and I found myself enjoying all the foods, and developing a real love for cooking. After our wedding, Matt and I set on a grand adventure to eat at 50 new restaurants during our first year of marriage. I kept an amateur Tumblr blog chronicling our Boston eats, so I guess that was my first foray into blogging.
My best friend Caroline and I attended an Adult Education cooking class in Cambridge, MA. We loved it and I went on to take 2 classes at Cambridge Culinary. This foundation of Basic Techniques with Chef Steve Nill really took my love for cooking to the next level.
In October 2014, we welcomed our son Benjamin- our beautiful, blue eyed boy. Shortly after, Ben was transferred to the NICU with severe pulmonary hypertension, hypotonia, a congenital heart defect, and laryngomalacia. Ben spent 2 weeks in the NICU and another 3 months on home oxygen. Subsequently, he has been diagnosed with non-verbal Autism, and a rare genetic disorder called Cohen Syndrome. It’s been a rollercoaster of highs and lows as we navigate the waters of parenting, with the unexpected challenges of a child with special needs.
Meanwhile, I found myself depleted. I was working night shift at the hospital. After 2 years of this grind, I found myself exhausted. I had mono virus, Vitamin D deficiency, anemia, and a bacterial infection. With Benjamin’s new therapy schedule 5 days a week, I was constantly "on" between motherhood and night shift.
n January 2017, I convinced my husband to join me for a Whole 30. We both found improved energy levels, mental health gains, and more confidence in the kitchen.
Together we lost 30 lbs, but most importantly learned how to make eating whole foods simple and delicious. That being said, we don’t adhere to any strict dogma. After all, food is fun and delicious and meant to be enjoyed. We flex our "Food Freedom" while returning to Whole30 style cooking when we feel we could benefit.
After cleaning up our diet, this has trickled into other areas of my life. I try my best to limit toxins in our home and I believe in using safer products when possible. I signed on as a Consultant with Beautycounter to better advocate for safer products. I truly feel as a R.N. it’s important to share information that can help others. I feel it's an extension of my nursing practice to educate my friends and family about using safer products.
My “WHY” in all of this is our son, Benjamin. I want to be the best mother and advocate that I can. I want to live healthfully so that I’m there for my son; with sound mind and body to provide what he needs into old age.
That being said, here I am, jumping into the blogosphere. Bare with me as I choose to “go ugly early” and share my story. I hope to use this space to better connect with others, and to grow myself. Thank you for being here too!