Are you a mom who wears too many hats? Are you so busy that you forget to eat – and then inhale the whole box of mac ‘n’ cheese you made for the kids, followed by a swig of wine to aid in “digestion”? Do you wonder if you can ever fit into your favorite jeans again? Do you feel like you don’t even have time to read this sentence?!!

If you’re ready to embrace positive change and create your perfect life, one meal at a time, you are at the right place.

Seven years ago, I was a working mom and wife with three kids under the age of five. I ran an award-winning company on a crazy schedule, cursed the extra pounds on my frame, and always had a coffee in hand to get me through the day. I operated in survival mode most days, always felt short on energy and time, and was at my wits end by the time I was supposed to get dinner on the table. Do you ever feel “done” by dinner?

I’m still a working mom and wife with three kids – but now I feel healthy and happy, and I know what having tons of energy feels like! I juggle the roles of mom, wife, graphic designer, blogger, teacher, and photographer with a smile; love wearing skinny jeans and bikinis; and am known to have a yummy green smoothie in hand. What changed? I made the decision to live well and feel great, and believed it was possible. I now have the tools to be the best I can in every one of my roles, every day.

Looking back, I don’t blame myself for the years I ate junk food at my desk or got take-out for the kids for a week straight. I was overwhelmed and exhausted, and I didn’t know what I know today: that making simple, healthy choices can completely change your life – it will ground you, strip away the ups and downs, help you get unstuck, and clear your mind so you can live the life of your dreams.

My Journey

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Like many moms, for years I gave lip service to finding balance, eating right and exercising, while I continued to burn the candle at both ends and take care of everyone but myself. The straw that broke the camel’s back was finding myself 65 pounds overweight after (many months after!) the birth of my third child. The burden of those extra pounds was physical and emotional; I felt awful about how I looked, which affected my whole life – the way I carried myself, what I would and wouldn’t do (swim with the kids? You mean put on a swimsuit?!), and how I expressed myself – hiding my light, ambition and beauty behind some idea of the “better” person I wanted to be someday. I wanted to be a strong and confident role model for my kids, but I felt like I couldn’t eat right or get any exercise – I was too tired and overwhelmed! So many days, then months, flew by with good intentions lost to just doing the minimum – that was all I had time and energy for! How could I ever get a handle on things and be the woman I wanted to be – strong inside and out, happy and at peace, full of energy, a great mother, wife, and friend?

During my third pregnancy, I found out my fatigue and brain-fog was caused in part by a gluten allergy. I was grateful to find an answer, but a little overwhelmed when I realized how many foods contain gluten! Easy enough though, I looked up a list of gluten-free foods and ingredients, and simply made substitutions. Around the same time, we learned our middle child had a dairy intolerance – again, by substituting rice milk for cow’s milk, or brown rice pasta for white pasta, we could still enjoy “normal” meals and it didn’t take one more minute of preparation than usual.

Sound easy? It wasn’t! But the best things in life ask us to devote our best selves to them, and the rewards have been huge. I knew if I stayed the course and worked in some vitamin-rich, water-packed vegetables and fruits – even on my crazy schedule – I would be better off. But like kicking any habit, I still longed for my old familiar “food friends” – pizza, burritos, and take-out! I wasn’t so jazzed about the packaged gluten-free foods, either. I figured the best thing I could do was to run toward this challenge and embrace it – I decided that the day my daughter went from breastfeeding to a bottle, I would “go raw” –  eating only raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and sprouted seeds, using prep methods that keep as many nutrients intact as possible (like dehydrating and blending – no cooking, hooray!). It took a couple months to work variety and convenience in, but I found great support from other raw foodies and my adventurous family, and before long I had new, deliciously healthy habits. Looking back, the adjustment period was small compared to the returns – great health, huge energy, and knowing I’m modeling healthy habits for my children.

 

The Shift

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Everything shifted when I made the decision to change my life – and sometimes I had to make that decision every day, over and over – but I knew the payoff would be great. Bit by bit, improving just one small thing at a time, my new habits started adding up to a better me – I felt less tired and more level-headed. After I began eating raw, major improvements started to happen right before my eyes: yes, the weight started to drop off, but my skin also cleared up completely, and people told me I had a certain “glow” (you will hear this too!). My mind was clear, and despite my still-booked schedule, my whole system followed a new, more natural rhythm; for years, physicians had told me I would never get regular periods – but lo and behold, the raw diet brought those too! I also found myself allergy free. I finally felt lean and fit, with boundless energy, for the first time in many years.

I stayed on the raw vegan diet for three years, dedicating myself to learning as much as I could through books, blogs, and lectures, perfecting recipes and teaching classes to people in my community. I learned from the best about raw “uncooking” and plant-based nutrition, but I also learned that eating is not just an inside job – how we connect in our families and our communities through sharing meals also nurtures our mental, emotional, and even physical health.

Plan Simple Meals is for all the parents and people out there who are searching for easy ways to just calm down, feel good, and live well in this crazy world.

A raw foodie and farm-to-table fan, I know food brings us the best things in life – laughing, loving, connecting, calming down. As a graphic designer, I make complex information feel simple and inviting; I do the same to help parents and people improve their health and live their best days. I’m expert at what I do, but I’m still learning and growing every day. This is a lifelong practice where I learn a lot, and present only what I know works in a real, bustling home with two working parents and three energetic kids. I invite you to join me in feeling GREAT and living your perfect life – you can do it!

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Photo Love

All photos on this about page are are taken by Heidi at White Loft Studio.

Other photos, recipes, styling, design and illustration on this website have been created by Mia Moran unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to re-post my content on your blog, facebook, twitter, or pinterest, but please credit me with a link that says “Photos by StayBasic”. You could even send me a link and then I can tweet your post.

Copyright © Mia Moran, www.staybasic.com, 2012. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. If you are interested in high-resolution versions of anything you see here, please contact me.

You may contact me mia (at) staybasic (DOT) com, or 617-699-6686.