Emily: Living a Balanced & Healthy Life

Homemade meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients help me retain energy and live an overall healthier lifestyle.

-Emily
#KitchenHero

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Emily: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
When creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself, it’s important to keep it balanced, and Kitchen Hero Emily has figured out just how to do it! She keeps active by participating in outdoor sports, hones her creativity with hobbies like knitting, eats healthy by cooking fresh, homemade meals, and adds just the right amount of sweetness to her life with her beautiful cake decorating skills. Best of all, Emily is continuously exploring and learning new things that make for delicious living. Read her Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Emily
Age: 27
City, State: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I cook for: myself, my friends, my family.
Outside of the kitchen I: mostly dream about what I am having for dinner, but I love: being outdoors, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, knitting, cake decorating and watching college football (Go University of Colorado Buffaloes!).
I cook because: it’s relaxing and differs from baking because it doesn’t always have to be exact; cooking allows room for creativity.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: As a carnivore and borderline obsessive bacon enthusiast, I feel like I may be cheating in saying that my favorite meal so far has been the Potato and Leek Soup with Fennel and Citrus Salad.

How did you learn to cook?
As a kid, having parents that cooked dinner regularly led me to experimentation, lots of trial and error and curiosity with food. The internet doesn’t hurt either.

What’s been your biggest cooking challenge?
Cooking over an open flame while camping proved to me how spoiled I am to have a gas stove top.

What have you learned since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
The reason I love the Potato Leek Soup and Fennel Salad mentioned above was that this was my first time using leeks and fennel. These ingredients seemed daunting at first but now seem like old friends.

Learning alternate methods to cook and prepare ingredients that may have seemed dull in the past is another reason I love Cook Smarts. Who knew roasted radishes were so delicious?

The how-to videos have been a life-saver and even helped improve my knife skills to correct bad habits.

“[Exploring] the growing world of gluten free and paleo options has been the greatest adventure, one that I can now easily navigate with my sister.”

Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.
My sister and brother in-law gave me a subscription to Cook Smarts for Christmas this past year; shortly thereafter, my sister learned that she has Celiac disease. Being able to cook a gluten-free meal for my family and explore the growing world of gluten free and paleo options has been the greatest adventure, one that I can now easily navigate with my sister.

What are your tips for health and success in the kitchen?
I believe that what we put into our bodies is a direct reflection of what we get out of them. Homemade meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients help me retain energy and live an overall healthier lifestyle.


Emily, giving you a virtual high five doesn’t seem to be enough to celebrate your successes. Whether it’s learning to cook gluten-free meals or tackling elaborate cake projects, you really just got it all down! So let’s just add a virtual hug and a virtual toast to that, too. Cheers!

Emily's favorite @CookSmarts meal: Potato Leek Soup with Fennel & Citrus Salad

To join Emily and cook meals like her favorite Potato Leek Soup with Fennel and Citrus Salad, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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