Hello, and welcome! My name is Alex and I am the writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind The New Baguette, as well as author of Friendsgiving and co-author of The Complete Vegan Cookbook. My mission is to promote wellness through food and inspire you to cook more healthy, plant-centered meals at home.
A bit about me: I fell in love with cooking as soon as I was tall enough to see the top of the stove. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of helping my mom make varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) in our tiny Odessa kitchen.
When I was nine, my family immigrated from Ukraine to America, where I quickly discovered the Food Network, and Rachael, Giada, and Ina became my best friends. Watching the Food Network not only fed my obsession with food, but also helped me understand American culture and learn the English language.
As a teenager, my relationship with food became more complicated: I loved food, but often felt guilty about eating. Like many teenage girls, I was obsessed with body image – counting calories, excessively working out, and diligently obeying every piece of weight-loss advice I came across in women’s magazines and on TV.
It wasn’t until I found Kris Carr’s book Crazy Sexy Diet that I realized I’ve been putting my attention in the complete wrong place. I started to examine the connection between food and health, and my focus shifted from superficial fitness goals to doing what’s best for my wellbeing.
My food philosophy: There are many healthy eating protocols out there (Paleo, vegan, Ayurvedic, etc). And while no one diet is right for everyone, we can all agree that eating less animal products and more plant-based whole foods is best for our health and the planet’s.
Some mind-blowing stats:
- 70% of our immune cells live in our gut, and our gut bacteria is fueled by fiber, which is only found in plant foods. So more fiber could mean a stronger immune system.
- Meat and dairy production accounts for over 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the same as all cars, trucks, and planes combined!
- If we stopped all meat and dairy production, we could free up as much farmland as the entire African continent. That land could then be repopulated with wild animals and forests.
- Plant-based eaters are statistically at a lower risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
However, I don’t believe we don’t have to give up meat and dairy entirely (I haven’t) to experience health benefits and be kinder to the planet. It’s starting with small steps – like switching to non-dairy milk and forgoing meat one day per week – that add up to a big difference over time.
A healthy diet can only be sustainable if it’s delicious and enjoyable. If you’re just starting on your journey to a more plant-focused diet, it’s helpful to shift your perspective from simply removing the meat and dairy from your plate, to restructuring the plate as we know it. Instead of viewing vegetables, whole grains, and beans as “sides”, think of them as the main event and move them to the center of the plate.
Cooking and sharing nourishing food is my work, my hobby, and my passion. Cooking healthy meals for myself and my loved ones makes me so happy, and I hope to help you feel that same joy!
Why “The New Baguette”? I am a diehard francophile, so when choosing a title, I wanted to pay homage to my favorite culture, landing on one of their most iconic foods. A baguette is considered a given during almost every meal in France. For me, “The New Baguette” is about looking past convenience and tradition, and being mindful of how our food choices affect us.
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