Hi, there! I’m Cassie, and welcome to my little corner of the web. I created this blog in hopes of making a plant-based lifestyle attainable for everyone. I’ve had a roller coaster experience trying to find what schedules, diets, and exercises actually work for me. I firmly believe that a happy, healthy lifestyle has more than one definition, and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. You also don’t have to take the same approach all the time to achieve your goals. Like I said though, it was a long road to my discovery, and I felt it only fair to provide anyone reading my background.
I got my degree in Business Analytics and currently work as a Financial Systems Analyst in Knoxville, Tennessee. Cooking and fitness have always been two of my passions. My health journey began in high school when my diet consisted of Icee’s, Taco Bell, and down-home southern cooking. My primary workouts were days on the golf course or track/cross country practice. While I wouldn’t call myself an all-star, I had the option to pursue these sports in college and chose not to for no reason other than being burnt out.
Without sports, starting college also came with some weight gain. My sweet, sweet husband suggested that I show some before and after photos of the 35 or so pounds that I lost insisting. . . “you look beautiful in both, but it will show everyone your transformation!” I appreciated his encouragement, but I hope everyone here is ok with me opting not to. I felt it cliche. Long story short, the freshman fifteen became the freshman thirty, and I had to make a change. I lost the weight the bodybuilding way. Protein Shake. Gym. Protein Shake. Shower. Chicken, rice, broccoli. Repeat. When I became pretty proud of the strength I’d gained, I considered power lifting competitions as a way to stay motivated and have quantifiable goals, but I was wasting so much energy worrying about appearance and what I was eating. Being in the gym all the time felt like too much of a physique competition. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t want it to be the only activity I did.
After about two years, I dropped the power lifting idea and the boring meals, incorporated outdoor workouts into my routine again, and became vegetarian. What I was left with was an effective combination of what I actually enjoyed. I lifted a few times a week on the areas I felt like needed work. The outdoor “workouts” I incorporated were hiking and a return to running both of which were good for physical as well as mental health. Something I had been neglecting in my previous routines, and my nutrition was maintained through a plant-based diet which I found had its positive effects.
Beginning work after college, this lifestyle proved to work much better than my previous extremes, but one hurdle to eating vegetarian is that my husband (fiance at the time) wasn’t. So, I learned to cook multi-purpose items that you could substitute different proteins into. Until, he decided to jump on board (of course after watching a documentary), and we decided to go all out vegan together. We lasted for a while this way and even had different meals than our wedding guests to stay true to our new lifestyle. When we headed out for the honeymoon though, we realized it wasn’t as realistic (or as fun) as we had thought. We ate primarily fish and had a few splurge items, but since we’ve been back, I realized it was time for a change again.
Unintentionally, I stumbled upon the word flexitarian. This was something I immediately could get on board with. At this point though, I had learned to eat and cook pescetarian, vegetarian, or vegan and even find those dishes in restaurants. I was incorporating weight lifting, running, yoga, hiking, or golf into my weekly workout plans. I was, by no means, conventional. Applying the term flexitarian to all of it made a lot of sense to me, because it allows you to create a flexible routine that works for you. A hike could be your cardio workout for the week. A chicken wing or two won’t take away from the fact you ate vegetarian the last two weeks.
Like I said, my goal with this blog was to make a more plant-based lifestyle attainable for everyone. Would you consider being vegan or vegetarian if the expectation of all the time was removed from it? Would you consider doing yoga, hiking, power lifting, or cross fit if all the expectations of those stereotypes were taken away, and you could just try it? A flextiarian is traditionally defined as someone who eats a primarily plant-based diet and occasionally has meat, fish, or dairy. I hope this blog can inspire you to apply that concept to your lifestyle. Allow yourself small indulgences, but make all the efforts you feel work for you toward plant-based nutrition and effective, motivating workouts. I appreciate all of your support here, and hope to answer any questions I receive! I am by no means an expert, but I hope that by sharing my experiences that you’ll be inspired to make some changes of your own!
Lots o’ love ,