Hi there! I’m so happy you stopped by A Sunshine Mission and I’d like to share my story with you. I’ve had a bit of a windy journey to get where I am, but I couldn’t be happier with who I’ve become. I grew up in the South (the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, to be exact), but I always had a desire to travel and see the world. I was filled with wanderlust, so with stars in my eyes and big dreams in my heart I packed my bags and went all the way to Los Angeles for college.
After graduating from USC, studying abroad in Hong Kong, and literally traveling all over the world, I decided to make the big move to Hong Kong where I currently live with my boyfriend. I created A Sunshine Mission to share my passion for creating healthy, delicious vegan food that’s not only nutritious and wholesome, but also so delicious you wouldn’t even believe it’s vegan.
A year and a half ago, I made the decision to go vegan because I got really sick and when I went to the doctor they told me that I’d developed an intolerance to dairy and gluten. I never looked back and quickly taught myself how to cook meals that were both vegan & gluten-free. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing at the time but I quickly started to learn. That’s what my food journey has really been: a learning process.
Like many girls, when I first became vegan, I struggled with an eating disorder. I began to use my food intolerances as an excuse to not eat at times and binge eat at other times. It lead me into a vicious cycle where I began to obsess over my weight. I dropped weight like crazy and literally lived by my scale, letting it determine my mood. If I lost a pound, I’d be happy. If I gained a pound, I’d feel guilty. I became afraid of eating anything perceived as “unhealthy” and restricted myself to the point where I couldn’t even go out to restaurants. I got so thin to the point where I knew that I had to make a change.
What really changed everything to me was when my friends, family, and boyfriend openly started to express concern for my health. I thought I was being quote “healthier”, when really I was not taking care of myself and the scariest part was I didn’t even realize it. I started to read other healthy food blogs, nutrition books, and tons of cookbooks. Slowly but surely, I started experimenting in the kitchen cooking up vibrant vegan meals, playing around with superfoods, and creating my own unique versions of the food I loved.
This is really when I started falling in love with food all over again. For me, it was about really listening to my body, eating when I was hungry and stopping when I wasn’t. Once I stopped restricting myself, I realized that a plant-based lifestyle based around fruits, veggies, legumes, and gluten-free grains was the right choice for me. Vegan food can be so delicious and it really has made me feel healthy, happy, and nourished.
I find that the wholesome dishes I cook up leave me feeling energized and satisfied (and they taste delicious!). The ingredients I use are usually simple & always all-natural. For me, this lifestyle is all about striking a personal balance that feels right to you. When I’m not recipe testing in the kitchen, scouring the farmer’s market or flea market, or coming up with new ways to decorate my apartment, you can usually find me people watching, snuggled on the couch with a good book, or cuddled up watching a movie.
I continue to find brightness in everything and everyone around me. I am a dreamer, a vegan foodie, a dog lover, a daily runner, and a book worm to name a few. My “mission” is to encourage people to find beauty in the everyday through the simple pleasures of plant-based food, travel, bright colors, little celebrations, and lots of fun. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, so why not enjoy today?