'Living Green and Loving It' Bested Me At Brussel Sprouts
About a year ago, Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Mom Blogger Andrea Tore invited me to one of her evening cooking classes. She was featuring healthy side dishes for Thanksgiving. I was featuring 'skepticism'.
Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is all about the ‘eats’. The idea of giving up any one of my delicious, calorie-ridden side dishes that day was just not on the menu, especially as I keep an extremely healthy diet (minus the occasional bagel) all year through. Dunking my croissant in the turkey drippings twice, tossing a tablespoon of mayonnaise on my pile of mashed potatoes, and gobbling up the tail of the turkey was just a bit of what made this holiday my favorite one of the year. Change anything? She would have more luck convincing Black Friday shoppers to stay home in my opinion. And then she did something I had not expected. She gave me a taste of her brussel sprout dish.
As a brussel sprout connoisseur, I was ready to turn up my nose at her version even before I took a bite. My manners got the best of me, however, so I opened myself up to a nibble….which turned into a mouthful and, eventually, a heaping bowlful. I know it sounds ridiculous but Andrea Tore bested me with her brussel sprouts by exchanging my butter and bacon crumbles for cranberries and virgin olive oil, and I’ve been thanking her ever since...just as you will be thanking me for sharing her interview below.
It’s definitely worth the read if you are looking to improve the way you broach food and eating...around the holidays and everyday.
What is your full name?
Andrea Aileen Tore
What is your personal mantra?
I am "Living Green and Loving It."
Tell us about your life, including where you live, number of children and anything else you would like to share.
I was born in Connecticut, grew up in California and now reside back in Connecticut with my wonderful husband and 2 children. I was raised by a single mom and learned early on to care for myself. This upbringing made me thick-skinned as well as passionate and grateful for what I have been able to accomplish today. I have always been an advocate of the environment and into health food. Perhaps my California upbringing rubbed off on me!
Do you believe you have a “life’s purpose?” If so, share it.
Absolutely. I may have not realized it at first - but after age 40 I found clarity. My life purpose is to walk my talk and set an example for my children to follow their hearts. I am here to help change the way our country eats and views food. In addition, my purpose is to show busy moms that they can find their ideal weight and fall in love with their body and life again without dieting or deprivation.
Finish this sentence, “The best part about being a mom is:
"watching my children grow from vulnerable, dependant infants into strong, smart individuals with minds of their own."
What is the name of your blog? When was it launched?
My blog and business are both called Living Green and Loving It. Ten years ago when my daughter was one year old, she developed an issue with chronic constipation. She was placed on laxatives by our pediatrician at the age of 11 months old. I was uneasy about this but felt desperate to relieve her pain. I trusted my doc and followed his advice. When we stopped the laxatives she became constipated again. My doc said to place her back on laxatives and that she could remain on this medication for years if need be.
I was incredibly reluctant to give this tiny growing body medication for going to the bathroom when deep down I knew there was a better way. I tried prune juice and a host of other natural remedies but nothing seemed to work. After 1 full year of keeping my baby on laxatives, I finally found a health counselor that helped us change our diets and focus on removing the "processed foods" while adding more "whole foods". I began making green smoothies (before nobody had heard of one) and including more fruits and vegetables with every single meal. Within 2 months my daughter was free of laxatives and has not had any since. I became absolutely fascinated with the correlation between her diet and health. This experience inspired me to go back to school to become a health counselor myself.
I began blogging in 2012 as a way to share all I was learning and experiencing in my own life; changes with my own health and the health of my family and clients - simply by adding more green and different colored vegetables to our diets. I also believe that removing toxic household products and replacing these with safer choices are better for both people and our planet. I needed to share my knowledge and blogging was a perfect outlet to carry my message of Living Green and Loving It.
What is the primary focus of your blog and what do you hope to accomplish through it?
The focus of my blog is to give moms a way to learn about what is on everyone's mind - food. We live in a world of information overload. My goal is to take the confusion out of what to eat and what not to eat. I am not an advocate of any particular diet. My feeling is that we are all individuals and what works for me may not work for you; so I blog as a way to provide enlightenment to someone looking to find the perfect way of eating that is best for their own body. I would like people to be able to walk into a restaurant or grocery store with confidence. I also create and share recipes that are family friendly,simple, nutritious and delicious -- something that all moms need.
List any awards you have won.
I won 1st place in the Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge given by our local health food store "Food Works" in 2014.
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
Melaleuca the Wellness Company. For 25 years I have been using and marketing these environmentally safe and cost effective household consumables - in addition have built an organization of thousands of consumers.
Do you blog for other blogs or sites?
Yes, I write for the Shoreline Times here on the Connecticut Shoreline.
Which social media outlet (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pnterest, etc) do you find most useful?
I have found Facebook to be the most helpful for my business and yes, I use all of the ones you mentioned in addition to Google Plus.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to those who may be interested in beginning a blog?
My advice would be to find your passion in life and write from the heart. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
Yes. My blog has allowed me to reach those who need my help and support. I offer online programs and private counseling to help MOMS feel fabulous without dieting. My programs include detailed shopping lists, recipe guides, meal plans as well as tons of support and tips to help bring MOMS out of the dumps and into feeling like themselves again but even better.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
Nothing "formally" but I am proud to support the Santa Lucia Children's Home which is an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador that has given shelter, food and medical care to hundreds of children in need. I am also a supporter of Life Haven Women's Shelter in New Haven, Connecticut.
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as the woman who placed her children and husband above all else in life. I would like people to know that I believed the way most people ate and lived during my time was toxic and in need of an overhaul. Hopefully I will live long enough to participate in the massive change that needs to take place - so that people can enjoy lives full of vitality, happiness so they can experience a life of "living green and loving it".
Since that evening, I’ve seen Andrea’s Holistic health counseling business and blog sore and I am under no delusion as to why. Andrea uncovers the beauty of food just as she does the beauty in every client through simple approaches that make eating uncomplicated and results appreciated. I, daresay, I’m not the only one who has adopted a few new dishes over the past year at the caring hands and culinary talents of the woman who knows her way around a Thanksgiving dinner like no other.
Never say never, I guess...at least not when it comes to Andrea Tore nor Living Green and Loving It. You’ll be a ‘turkey’ if you do.