I am Heather Hunter and started The Cowgirl Gourmet food blog in 2009 because I was inundated with questions from friends and customers who knew of my passion for food that is good + good for you and who wanted to change their own lives through food.
“My husband has diabetes. What can I feed him and do you have any suggestions on tips and tricks to reversing it?”
“I have celiac disease and miss brownies. Do you have a good gluten-free brownie recipe?”
“I need to lose weight. What is the first step I need to take?”
My Food Philosophy
By featuring alternative, gluten-free, paleo and plant-forward recipes that soothe the soul and satiate the palate, I have helped friends, readers and customers feel better with real food. I have inspired them to cook more often at home, overcome diabetes and learn to read labels. Many have eliminated gluten from their diet, cut out dairy, chosen to be vegan and other ways they have improved their health with food.
Let’s face it, everyone wants to make better food choices, but many people find it too complicated, cumbersome and even catastrophic. The truth is that cooking is easy and if you can read a recipe, you can cook. And we should all cook more at home because we know it’s a key indicator that ensures good health.
The Cowgirl Gourmet
These are the reasons that propelled me to start The Cowgirl Gourmet to chronicle my own food journey, as I continue to learn what foods work for me and what doesn’t, what’s trending and what are some easy ways we can vastly improve our health (and the lives of those we love) through simple changes in the foods we eat. I don’t want to be a slave in the kitchen, so keeping it simple and buying the best ingredients are my two biggest culinary weapons. I believe food is medicine and as I mature, I realize more each day how right Hippocrates was when he said:
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
(The following images were taken at the legendary Santa Fe Farmers Market, where you can find me every Saturday morning scouring the bustling market to fill my generous straw bag with our favorite eats as well as hunting for the newest seasonal finds.)
Eat What Your Grandparents Ate
Thanks to my maternal grandmother, I have always been a healthy eater. Unlike many people my age, I was not raised on processed, packaged foods. Instead, my grandmother, who survived the Depression cooked everything from scratch, prided herself on buying locally, in season, featuring brightly colored vegetables that reflected a rainbow and lovingly prepared most of her meals at home.
I can vividly recall sitting down for a meal at my grandmother’s house and my mother would effusively compliment her mother on creating such a colorful, beautiful plate of food that initially pleased our eyes and then nourished us in myriad ways with her heartfelt cooking.
Cooking real food has been a central part of my life and is now my passion for helping others make life-changing decisions to eat better and continues to be what drives me. And, once you start to eat better, you will feel better and everyone should feel vibrant and alive, not weak and sluggish. Living in Mexico for many years only served to cement my appreciation for healthy, real wholesome foods and gave new meaning to what good food meant for me and how I could and needed to share that knowledge with others.
Living in Mexico also introduced us to the joys of eating the day’s main meal between 2 pm and 4 pm. Unlike Americans who typically consume “three squares a day,” Mexicans focus on breakfast and a big lunch. If they have anything at night, it’s something light. If it’s dinner, then it’s a special occasion and not an everyday habit. Two meals a day is definitely a new way of thinking about food, but one that we have grown to cherish.
We quickly came to understand the health benefits of this way of eating and, even after moving back to the U.S., never changed this habit. This makes us some of the early adopters of Intermittent Fasting, also known as IF. Though it wasn’t called that back in the 90s and early 2000s when we started eating this way, it has gained traction as a viable way to reduce calories, allow your body to rest and recover instead of digesting all day and night long and a laundry list of additional health benefits.
This means we eat a little breakfast to get our metabolism going and our main meal of the day is at 3 pm, with nothing much after that. Yes, not eating dinner may dampen our ability to socialize at night, but we’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love to get together for brunch. And when we do give in and have dinner with friends, we greatly suffer the consequences. This reality merely confirms how much better we feel when we don’t eat after 3 pm and then we’re back on track.
The Power of Real Food
Food is my love language and it is my pleasure to continue to celebrate real food with you. Real food that is not complicated, but good + good for you. My hope is that you, too, will be inspired, nourished and nurtured by the recipes, tips, tricks you find here, along with top tourist tips when visiting my magical hometown.
Buen provecho and thanks for stopping by!