Hey there! I’m Melissa. A writer, photographer, recipe developer, fitness enthusiast, and lover of life who created the brand A Happy Healthy Heart. My goal is to encourage others to find joy in the small things, bottle up happiness, and radiate it!

Life will take you many places. Some of the places you go will have always been a part of your plan; and yet, most of the places that you’ll find yourself will be sudden, impulsive, spur-of-the-moment and come more naturally than you’ll ever expect. My culinary journey has certainly been the latter.

A few years ago, I found myself at a crossroads. After growing up as a very picky eater, I had decided to try and eat any and all new foods that were presented to me. I wouldn’t force myself to finish anything that I didn’t like after the first bite, but my journey had to begin somewhere.

After spending time tasting all different kinds of foods, from Indian and Southern American, to Mexican and Italian, to Middle-Eastern and Asian, I began to not only discover different cuisines, but I was starting to learn more about the food itself. I began to learn what made up the dishes that I did and didn’t like; what kinds of textures suited my tastes and what sort of salads contained the greens that I had started to favor.

I became a self-made student of food. I went from eating food, to making food; first by following recipes and then by experimenting with my own. Grains, dairy, flours, spices, meats, fruits and vegetables all found their way into my kitchen. My world was changing.

From there, the real magic was set in motion. I began to delve deeper into the ingredients themselves. What was cheese, really? Why are there so many kinds of kale? What are their differences? What do these ingredients that I am eating do to you and do for you? What are the components of those ingredients? What is the true origin of a recipe?

And here I am. After all of my learning, I am a cook, recipe developer, food stylist, speaker, writer, photographer, and healthy living enthusiast and lover of life. Although, I no longer eat meat or dairy for health purposes, I am thankful for my journey to this point.

Being a healthy person, to me, is about more than just eating the right things and doing the right exercises. It’s about positivity inside and out.  From our words to our cleaning products to our food, what we put into our world is what we will get out of it. If we do one thing a day to make ourselves or someone else feel that we or they are treasured, then we can encourage happy, healthy hearts everywhere. And so the journey continues.

With Love,