Hi there! I’m Vered DeLeeuw, a blogger, a foodie, a wife, and a mom. I’m so excited that you found my healthy recipes blog!
In case you’re wondering who I am, what made me start Healthy Recipes Blog and why you should try my recipes, here is some information about me.
I have an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree from Tel Aviv University, which looks very nice on my home office wall but doesn’t really serve me in my daily life or when writing this blog. 🙂
When I realized that my passion was nutrition and not law, I started taking nutrition classes. So far I’ve completed the course “Evidence-based Optimal Nutrition: The Quest for Proof” and received a certificate of completion from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
I am currently working on earning a Nutrition and Healthy Living Certificate from Cornell University. This is a 6-month program, and I am halfway through it.
My weird name
My name reflects the two very different cultures that I come from. “Vered” (pronounced Veh-Red, emphasis on the first syllable) means “Rose” in Hebrew. “DeLeeuw” (pronounced Deh-Ley-Uw, emphasis on the middle syllable) means “The Lion” in Dutch. Growing up in Jerusalem and frequently visiting Holland, I was greatly influenced by my two very different grandmothers.
Grandma Chava (“Eve” in Hebrew) cooked authentic Israeli and Jewish food. Her food was well-seasoned and very flavorful. Dishes like these spicy meatballs are inspired by her amazing style of cooking.
Grandma Miep (her name is the Dutch equivalent of “Mary”) was a dignified, coiffed and dainty European lady. Her cooking was a bit bland, but she more than made up for it with her wonderfully buttery baked goods. This recipe for keto shortbread cookies is inspired by her wonderful baking.
I moved to the United States with my husband, who is a high-tech executive and a math geek (check out his Geometry Help blog!), in 1999. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have two daughters. The oldest is a freshman at Harvard, and her sister is a high-school junior. Soon we’ll be empty nesters!
How Healthy Recipes was born
I started Healthy Recipes in 2011, out of sheer necessity. Back in 2010, my husband was diagnosed with prediabetes. We immediately cut out sugar, white flour, and processed foods and replaced them with brown rice, quinoa and beans. But his blood sugar kept climbing.
The doctor suggested that he lose 10 percent of his already healthy body weight. He did, but his blood sugar remained elevated.
My husband is an avid cyclist. One day, riding with a friend, he told that friend about his frustrating experience. The friend said, “it’s not about how much you eat; it’s about what you eat. You need to lower your carb intake.”
Starting a whole-foods, low carb diet
In 2013 we took our friend’s advice and switched to a low-carb diet. We did this with the blessing of our family physician, who also helped us monitor our health with regular blood tests.
It’s always a good idea to make any major diet change with the blessing and supervision of a doctor. More and more nutritionists and physicians these days do support a moderately low carb diet. The Harvard School of Public Health, for example, says that moderately low carb diets can be beneficial and that a focus on restricting carbohydrates, rather than calories, may work better for long-term weight control.
I decided to join my husband, and not just for moral support. By then, I too showed signs of difficulty processing carbohydrates. I had frequent hypoglycemic episodes.
So I started cooking healthy recipes! We focused on protein (meat, seafood, eggs and aged cheeses), healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and low-sugar fruit, supplemented with the occasional low carb dessert.
It took some trial and error, but eventually, we both settled on a moderately low carb diet of between 50-100 grams of carbs per day.
It worked! After three months on this low carb diet, my husband’s blood sugar levels finally normalized. My hypoglycemic episodes disappeared.
We’ve been eating a low-carb, mostly grain free and paleo diet for the past six years. It became my mission to develop delicious and healthy recipes and to tweak old favorites and make them low carb and grain free (these almond flour biscuits are a good example).
This blog is not just about low carb, but also about tasty and healthy recipes
It’s really important to my husband and me to eat well. We are both foodies. Having eaten at top restaurants all over the world, we will not settle for mediocre healthy recipes. We need food to taste good! (Follow me on Instagram to see the awesome food we eat out of the house).
It’s also important to us to eat not just low carb but also clean – real, honest, whole foods. We want to feed our bodies the way nature has intended. Not the processed junk that has taken over the supermarket aisles, but simple, healthy, home-cooked meals.
For my husband and I, healthy low carb eating is not a fad or a passing trend. It’s not a temporary weight loss diet. For us, low carb is a way of life that we’ve been living for the past six years. So we need to make it sustainable, which means tasty!
The difficult task of defining “healthy recipes”
Recently, in a food bloggers’ Facebook group that I belong to, one of my fellow bloggers asked if there was an industry benchmark for what can be labeled as a “healthy recipe.”
The consensus among the group was that there isn’t. Different people will define “healthy” differently, depending on their dietary goals and on their individual health status.
Still, I think there are a few things that most would agree are either “healthy” or “unhealthy.” So vegetables are universally regarded as healthy, and with excellent research to back it up. Fruits are also considered by most as healthy, though sugary fruits might be less universally accepted as such.
As for the “unhealthy” side of the equation, most would agree that refined carbs, heavily processed packaged foods, food additives and preservatives, and trans fats, are all unhealthy and should be avoided or minimized.
Apart from these widely accepted definitions, the best I can do is tell you how I define “healthy.” Then you can decide if my definition works for you and whether this blog is a good fit for you or not.
To me, “healthy” means homemade; not mass-manufactured and factory-processed; fresh and wholesome, with no preservatives, weird additives, or trans fats. A recipe that uses a short list of recognizable ingredients. This is the basic definition. In addition, ideally, the recipe would be low in sugar and refined carbs and relatively high in protein and healthy fats.
Blogging turned from a hobby into my full-time job
When I started cooking healthy recipes, I documented them in this blog, as a way to keep all my recipes organized. Gradually, I realized that people were finding my healthy recipes and responding to them. I started receiving emails from grateful readers. So I turned this blog from a hobby into my full-time job.
This is the best job I’ve ever had! I love creating healthy recipes and photographing them. I love how this blog has taught me so much. Not just about healthy eating, but also about running a blog, taking great food photos, and shooting and editing videos. I also learned to optimize the blog for search engines so that people can actually find my recipes. And in general, making this website the very best it can be.
I love reading your emails!
I save each and every email I get. Reader emails are very special to me. Here’s one that really touched my heart:
“I don’t normally write to anyone if I have tried their recipes. But I had to make an exception in this case. I am a severe diabetic and I try to eat whole foods and watch my carbs, it isn’t easy, lol. I came across your recipe for baked chicken wings and it looked yummy, so I thought I would give it a try. My whole family said they prefer these wings to ANY restaurant wings or ANY wings they have ever had. 🙂
You know as a mom how great it feels when they throw a compliment at you instead of a complaint – I have 3 generations to please. We tried some with sauce and some without, and they are fantastic seasoned just the way they are, no sauce required!! Thanks so much for taking the time to help folks like me – to share your healthy recipes, ideas and tips, very thoughtful <3 I appreciate you!!! Thanks so much. Have a wonderful rest of your week!!!”
I had tears in my eyes after reading this email.
I do want to emphasize here that if you suffer from diabetes or from any other health concern, you should make dietary changes only after consulting with your physician and with their blessing. That’s what my husband and I did when we switched to a whole-foods, low-carb diet. Many physicians support a moderately low-carb diet. So don’t do this on your own! It feels good to get checked periodically and make sure you are as healthy as you can be.
Have more questions?
Please check out my FAQs for a more detailed explanation of my food philosophy. Here’s my recipe index, and here are my media mentions. I am humbled to have been featured on so many wonderful websites!
If you need to reach me, please email HealthyRecipesBlog (at) gmail.com. I read all my emails and do my best to respond, although sometimes the volume of emails is so high that I can’t respond to each and every one of them. I apologize for that.
Thank you so much for visiting, and bon appétit!