When I began Run, Cook Eat, there was a singular objective: help individuals take control of their health and fitness by teaching them how to cook.

Match the proper techniques with quality ingredients and anyone can become proactive about their health. That was my stance, and for the last few years I’ve been a pretty vocal proponent of using a whole food, plant based diet as the foundation of that approach.

The feedback was positive, but soon I was seeing a recurring theme. Many of the comments were goal-oriented—readers wanting to lose a few inches, drop a few pounds, get ready for summer. “It’s not working.” “I don’t have time to go the gym.” “What am I supposed to do with this info?”

I firmly believe that we all know how to cook. It’s innate. What we are lacking is the motivation or desire to tap into that skill. Instead, we look for quick fixes, easy ways to get us to our goals. Recipes can only do so much in that regard.

But recipes, I learned, can be a path to health. They can be a way to start slowly, an introduction to a whole food plant based lifestyle. And when they are salad recipes, we are all predisposed to like them, since salads by nature are big bowls of flavor, color and texture. Seasonal ingredients, minimally processed, not made but grown. By building your self confidence you start to venture outside your comfort zone. Eventually you break  away from recipes towards creativity and personal tastes.

So that’s how salads and I ended up together, and that’s why I’m finding myself back where I started, blogging to help people realize that:

When you start with quality ingredients, it’s not what you do to them that makes you a good cook, it’s what you don’t do to them.