Welcome to my Blog!
I’m Alicia, the creator, photographer, writer, and recipe-maker of The Blossoming Table. I have a passion for beautiful, healthy food and inspiring others. I mostly subscribe to the Paleo way of life, so the recipes you find here will be gluten-free, dairy-free (personal preference), refined-sugar free, with the occasional bowl of sprouted quinoa, and if all goes right…super delicious!
You might be asking yourself, “Why is her blog called The Blossoming Table?” Great Question!
I knew that I wanted to start a food blog including inspirational messages. And I wanted to be able to share how God has worked in my life to inspire others. I also love flowers and have a passion for farm-to-table eating. My husband and I live on a 20-acre ranch in the Pacific Northwest where we have grown our food (more on that later!).
One morning while doing my 5 min journal, I came across the quote…
“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom (Elizabeth Appell)”
This felt like it was speaking right to me! I have always struggled with insecurities but I knew that if I’m ever going to accomplish my dreams I’m going to have to take risks! I believe that God has been (and still is) working in me my whole life helping me blossom into who He created me to be (it’s a life-long journey:)) and I want to be able to share my story with others to help them blossom!
So there came the word…Blossom! Not long after…The Blossoming Table was born!
I apologize ahead of time for the lengthiness here but I thought it important to mention all of this so you have a foundation of where all my inspirational stories and healthy eating advice come from.
My curiosity for food and started early…from my best friend and I making messes in the kitchen to asking my grandma to come over so she could give me a pie-making lesson and going over to the neighbor’s house to learn how to make her secret Rum-Log recipe (she wouldn’t give me the recipe unless I came over to make them with her and learn:)). My mom has always been a great cook and I have learned a lot of what I know from her. When I was older I would cook dinner for my family, experimenting with new recipes.
The funny thing is, when I was younger I wanted to be a pediatrician. I grew up and realized that becoming a pediatrician required way more school than I wanted to tackle so I decided to go to nursing school instead. I have always had a heart for caring for others. But the dream of going to cooking school in Paris still hasn’t left me…you never know;).
I have never been a straight-A student, mostly B’s. I remember my high school Biology teaching trying to steer me away from nursing because she didn’t think I had what it took. Boy did I have to prove her wrong!
I started my journey to become a nurse after high school by getting my Certified Nursing Assistant license. My first job as a CNA was at a memory care facility when I was 18. Just a baby with SO much to learn. I worked here through nursing school and was very grateful that I had this experience and some crazy stories to boot!
When I was taking a Nutrition class for my pre-requisites for Nursing is really where my health journey began. I was so fascinated by what I was learning that I had to come home and share with my family. Partially hydrogenated fats were out of the question now! Also during this time, I had lost a lot of weight. Growing up I had always been a little overweight and in high school, I weighed 160 lbs (I’m 5’5″ so this is definitely not my ideal weight). I was down to about 120 lbs. I do have to confess that I did this the very unhealthy way with caffeine-infused diet pills (I do NOT recommend this!).
From then on I became very conscious of what I was eating in a healthier way and started to exercise more. I also have suffered from acne since my teenage years. I remember reading a very long article on curing your acne naturally and I still apply some of those same principles today…like omega-3’s and not eating your food too fast. I was not able to have dairy as a baby and I knew this was a problem for me. To top things off I had a stomach ulcer in middle school where dairy likely played a role. The older I got, the worse dairy affected me. This is why dairy and I don’t play well together and choose to steer clear. Although I do miss fancy cheeses!
Fast forward a bit…I graduated from Nursing School in 2008. I was very blessed to get a job at our local hospital as a new-grad and began my career as a nurse. By the way…I was on the wait list x2 to get into nursing school and got in, and was 1st on the wait list to get the new-grad job and my friend who did get in decided to take a job elsewhere…God definitely had His hand on me! I’m SO thankful for His light shining in my life! I don’t believe I would be here without Him!
After starting my career a nurse I was able to purchase my first home. And not long after (and lots of prayers) I met my husband. We were introduced by a mutual friend at our local church (it was a larger church). The day I met him, kid you not, I heard God say, “you’re going to marry that man”.
Well, He was, of course, right:) and a year and a half later we were married on June 2nd, 2012. BTW…our first real date was on January 2nd, 2011, he proposed to me February 2nd, 2012 and were married June 2nd. 2 is definitely our number!
So I packed up my things…and moved to the “sticks” with my husband. We live on a beautiful small ranch in the Pacific Northwest with a gorgeous view of a mountain.
I am so blessed to be married to Jeff. He is an amazing man who has helped me in more ways than I probably even know. God working through Him is what has helped me blossom into the woman I am today.
Jeff is an Engineer with a heart to help change the world. You will see a link to our project on The Blossoming Table, We started this project as husband and wife but he definitely the genius behind it all. He has a youtube channel called The Real Martian that explains all of our craziness. But basically, the plan is to help feed the planet through indoor growing “hab” systems!
Jeff is a “think big” kind of guy and more a “hear and now” kinda girl. Even at times it’s challenging for me to wrap my mind around everything but I believe in my husband and when he gets his mind set on something he makes it happen! He has helped push me beyond what I think I am capable of, and has motivated and encouraged me to reach my dreams! I don’t believe I would be here doing this food blog without him!
My journey of healthy eating and living continued when I married Jeff. When we first were married Jeff realize I was pouring “bleach” on my skin for my acne and challenged me to go more natural, which I am so thankful for! This started my journey for healthy skin-care! I have suffered from heartburn for many years and have been able to get off of Zantac using natural methods. Through seeing naturopaths I have discovered I am sensitive to gluten and dairy (no big surprise) among other things. Changing my eating habits is the one thing that has helped my skin tremendously! Seeing how much my eating had and effect on my skin was enough to make change the way I ate. I was totally addicted to carbs. Since then, through research and finding what works for my body I have found Paleo to be the best fit, but I am always trying to gain more knowledge on what works best for me…I believe everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you and vice-versa, so I encourage you to find what works for your body!
So not only will you find recipes, inspiration messages on this blog but I will also be sharing our project from my perspective, including growing and cooking with the food we grow! I had about a two-year stint where I grew and sold micro-greens to raise money for the project…I have a love-hate relationship with micro-greens but do love cooking with them and love cooking with and love cooking with fresh produce!
I should also mention that we have 2 pregnant cows, 2 horses, a mule named Beauty:), 2 chickens, 2 cats, and 2 dogs and lots of rainbow trout (therealmartian.com will explain why rainbow trout). I just realized that two IS totally our number! No buns in the oven yet but definitely in our prayers…wanna bet we’re gonna have 2!;). I have learned so much from these critters…from not really being an animal-person to a whole “ranch” has been quite the adventure! FYI…my husband gets upset when anyone says we live on a farm, “it’s a ranch” he says:).
This is definitely not the life that I had planned but I thank God for unanswered prayers (queue…Garth Brooks) and answered ones:). God has been SO good to me (#blessed) and I am so excited to be sharing my love and passion for healthy, fresh food with you, along with some inspirational messages and healthy living advice from what I have learned along the way, and the wild ride of a project to help feed the world! I hope that I am able to shine some of the light that Christ has shown in my life to you!