Welcome to Alternative Dish
Hi! I’m Maggie, thank you for stopping by Alternative Dish! Some things about me…I am married to the love of my life, Mace. We have two super cool, silly and confident girls. I love my family. They make my cheeks hurt from smiling on a daily basis. The girls love to cook and are pretty darn good in the kitchen for a 7 and 9 year old. We all love to eat…albeit, a bit less adventurously for some members of the family. It’s a work in progress, as is life.
From Chef to Veggie Educator
I left my job in July 2019 as the head chef at Rivertown Inn, a bed & breakfast in Stillwater, MN, where I was fortunate to bring my passion for plant-forward cuisine to our guests each and every day. My goal was to make everyone’s dining experience exquisite and I aimed to accommodate any dietary restrictions our guests brought to me. This led me to explore and successfully execute many alternative types of cooking including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, paleo and ketogenic diets. I believe everyone has the right to enjoy delicious foods, no matter what their dietary restrictions may be.
Being the Head Chef at Rivertown Inn was a dream job. During my time as head chef I worked hard, I learned a lot, and I brought much joy to the table of our guests with food sensitivities and allergies. I was successful and found joy in my work…until I didn’t anymore. Continually, I was missing out on time and activities with my kids and my husband. I was missing out on life. It occurred to me that I was tired and I was ready for something new. I left this dream job in July of 2019 to focus on my passion for cooking, nutrition and food as medicine. I went back to school and obtained a Holistic Nutritionist Certification through AFPA in January 2020. My goal is to combine my passions for cooking and nutrition to help people eat healthier and heal their bodies through food.
Why Alternative Dish?
I started this blog in 2018 to reach a broader audience and bring my passion for creating delicious and healthy food to those with food sensitivities and allergies. This alternative way of eating led me to create Alternative Dish where I share with you delicious plant forward, gluten free and dairy free recipes, holistic health & wellness tidbits and tips to energize your body and your life! The recipes and content that you find here will be based on a plant forward, dairy-free and gluten-free diet. All will be utterly delicious, of course.
What is a plant forward diet?
What does plant-forward mean? I’m glad you asked! It’s a healthful way of cooking and eating that brings plants (fruits, veggies, legumes, grains, nuts, etc) to the center of the plate. For meat-eaters this means using meat as a condiment rather than the main focus of the meal. For vegetarians it means, well, more vegetables! By eating this way you can improve your overall health while eating more than you would on a diet high in processed foods and animal products.
I have been a vegetarian most of my life. My goal is not to turn you into a vegetarian (although if it happens, hooray!) but simply to get everyone thinking about putting less meat and more veggies and other healthy foods on their plates.
My happiness equation goes something like this:
More veggies = more health = more energy = more life, happiness and eternal good feelings!
There’s obviously some other factors in order to get you moving toward the end of that equation, but I believe that our overall health and wellness starts with what we put in our bodies. So, this is a good jumping off point.
What does wellness mean to me?
So, what does health and wellness mean to me? It means nourishing my body with spiritual practices, food, exercise and overall self care. Spiritual practices, prayer and reading scripture are my number one. Food is my second. If the only thing I can do in a day after saying my daily prayers, is put nourishing food in my body, well I am already a step ahead. I believe this is the jumping off point for a healthy lifestyle. Get your spiritual and physical health in place and the rest will follow.
Food has the ability to energize, but it also has the ability to deplete. If you are eating whole foods, vegetables, fruit, grains and nuts, your body will respond to these foods in a positive, healthy and energetic manor. If you are filling your body with sugars, processed foods, unhealthy fats and other junk, your body will respond in a negative, sluggish and unenergetic manor. You get to make many choices each day, so which one will you choose? Apple or potato chips? Read on to discover just how delicious healthy can be!