Please help me in sending a warm welcome to our newest member, Shaylea Brown! You will see her mostly in our “Food” column, but she will be an active voice for this blog & we couldn’t be more excited! She has played such a vital role in my life personally, and I know she will have that same uplifting effect on you as well! Stay tuned as she shares her sweet story with us.


Stories are important. So, here is mine.

My name is Shaylea Brown, which just recently changed from Shaylea Coffey. Yes, I got married to my best friend on October 12, 2013. He is the best person I know and an absolute blessing in my life. I currently work for the College Age ministry at my church and I’m a full time student at Missouri Southern State University where I will graduate (fingers crossed) with my Marketing degree in 2015.  While my husband and I have been blessed beyond measure to be able to provide for all our needs, we, like the majority of the world, are on a budget. Budgets can be challenging, but with great challenge comes great reward.

I grew up in a healthy home for the 90’s. My mother didn’t buy a lot of chips or sugary cereal and Pop-Tarts only entered the house when my father did the shopping.  As far as I knew a turkey and cheese sandwich with a side of pretzels and yogurt was the healthiest lunch I could eat! Through a long series of events, my mother had a bunch of food allergy testing done when I was in early high school and found out she was pretty much allergic to anything that wasn’t a vegetable or fruit. She started to research food and clean up our entire families diet. We learned that bread, even whole wheat, can spike the bodies sugar levels, and dairy was really not made for our bodies to digest. We also learned that processed foods are packed with chemicals, additives, and fillers that can contaminate our body and start to hinder its functions.

by Erin Jang by Erin Jang

All throughout high school I had stomach problems, and in my first year of college it got really bad.  During food research I learned a lot about how the body digests food and that gluten and dairy can be hard for our systems to process. So my first step was to cut out gluten from my diet. At first I thought it would be the death of me, seeing as I lived for carbohydrates, but about 3 months in I noticed it being easier to say “no” and after about 6 or 7 months I stopped craving bread and pasta all together.   During this time I also cut out dairy for about 2 years. As of today I have been gluten free for a little 3 years and have recently entered dairy back into my diet, but very rarely do I eat it.

My love to cook paired with my diet choice and budget forces me to get creative in the kitchen. My hope is that the recipes I share make it fun and flavorful to stay healthy and keep your diet clean! I am not perfect by any standards. There are days I eat too much chocolate or afternoons when I watch Netflix instead of go jogging. My goal is to not be perfect, but instead to take the best care of the body God has blessed me with and enjoy the life I love.

So today, make an active choice, eat pure, and love the people in your life. If you mess up, remember we all do and have grace with yourself, but keep striving for a life that is savory and clean.