Welcome to the Sweet, Simple Things!
“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”Laura Ingalls Wilder
Welcome to the Sweet, Simple Things! My name is Holly, and I am an experienced home cook of over 25 years! I may not seem that old, but I started cooking and baking for my family as a child. Cooking was a natural interest I have had my whole life. My mom is a skilled cook who has taught me great techniques, and when my parents were busy working, I would often come home from school and just start cooking.
I am also a wife and mom of three. My family and I live in Minnesota, and outside of the Sweet Simple Things, I am an educator who has worked with kids for over a decade. I started as an elementary classroom teacher, and then a few years into my career pursued a Master’s degree in Special Education. I then moved on to teaching middle school students with ADHD and dyslexia, and I have done that for the majority of my career.
I no longer teach full-time, but I still work one-on-one with elementary students with dyslexia and ADHD. This population of students will always have a special place in my heart.
Outside of my identity as an educator, there is another side to me: my passion for fitness and nutritious, wholesome cooking. The Sweet, Simple Things began as a way to humbly share my food journey with others, as well as content relevant to fitness and feeding your family a wholesome diet.
Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle has been something that’s been important to me my whole adult life. Growing up, I struggled with childhood obesity. I was born with a rare adrenal disease, and significant weight issues were a side effect of treatment.
When I was 17-years-old, I decided I needed to change. I started daily walks around my neighborhood, 20-minute Pilates DVDs, and calorie counting. I was successful in dropping over 30 lbs off my 5’2 frame before entering my senior year of high school. While this was wonderful in many ways, it was also the beginning of a long struggle with body dysmorphia, binge eating, and on and off calorie restriction. While I thought I was very interested in nutrition, it was also clear how little I understood about nutrition at the time.
Repairing my Relationship with Food
Shortly after meeting my husband, I started shifting away from the detrimental eating habits and resolved my binge eating issues. That’s a story for another day, but I share that to say I know how challenging binge eating is, and I also know it can be overcome, though the root issues with binging will be different for everyone.
Over the last 12 years, I have repaired my relationship with food. Over the past 3 years, I have fallen in love with strength training, muscle-building, and truly good nutrition–lots of protein from quality sources, healthy fats, and lots of plants!
Fixing nutrition is not something that happens overnight–it is something that starts with one small change and then builds on itself over the following months and years.
Thanks to my dedication to a whole-foods-based, high-protein diet, I dropped my body fat percentage from the obesity range to an athletic one, and I have added several pounds of lean muscle, all while eating substantial amounts of healthy & delicious foods! I now have a respect for food that allows me to see how beautiful it is. I love everything about it–how it nourishes us by providing protein, fats, and carbs; how it enhances us by providing micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, how it brings families and friends together, providing rich cultural meaning and tradition.
And that’s where The Sweet, Simple Things comes in. I am passionate about nutrient-dense meals that bring us closer to our families and our health goals, while also providing my kids with the best meals I can (er, well, that I can get them to eat, anyway!)
What You Can Find on The Sweet, Simple Things
The Sweet, Simple Things will share the recipes that are near and dear to my heart, and that have helped me along the way. It will also showcase the new delicious recipes I create as I continue to chase new athletic goals. Finding a way to make comfort food healthy is my true passion. I have experienced how a healthy diet can radically improve your life in many ways, and being the natural teacher that I am, I want to share what I have learned with others. I know many other families are working toward similar goals, and I hope my recipes can be a blessing to you on your journey.
French Roast Just black!