About the Blog
Don’t Eat Crap began in March 2012 as a way to share healthy recipes, food tips and tricks, fitness goals and lives reflections with my family, friends, and any fine folks who happen to come across this blog.
I love to cook, period. I now try to cook (mostly) healthy meals, snacks, and desserts (with a few not-so-healthy ones in there!) and I enjoy trying new foods and combinations. I try to life a healthy life driven by my motivation to stay lean and fit and enjoy life’s little pleasures along the way.
Because I could only post recipes for a month straight before I would get sick of it, my blog will also follow me on this journey with my husband Garrett and our crazy peanut butter loving Puggle, Buster. I will also be trying to accomplish another life aspiration through this blog; exploring all of the unique locally owned restaurants North Dakota has to offer.
Like my new header? Ain’t it cute? My friend Kyle designed it. Are you looking for creative work to be done? Contact Kyle for his creative assistance at creatillaneous.com, he’s a professional.
About the Blogger
My name is Brianna Ludwig. I am a 25-year-old “tries-to-be” chef, baker, quilter, crafter, funny person, runner, Zumba addict, and only child, living in rural America, Bismarck, North Dakota, with my husband and our (child) dog Buster the Puggle.
Born and raised in North Dakota I am the product of two amazing people, Bob and Sandy. My dad has taught me that you can do whatever you want and achieve great things as long as you are hard working and driven. My mom has taught me that your career can be your passion and you can put 150% in to your job and see extraordinary results. Together, they created me: a short (dad) out-spoken (dad), sometimes funny (dad), creative (mom), thoughtful (mom), impatient (mom) girl who likes to help others (mom and dad).
My love for food, arts & crafts started when I was young, spending time in my mom’s first grade classroom gluing Popsicle sticks together and giving my precious art work away to mom and dad to hang proudly in their office/classroom. I also remember my elementary school days waking up on Saturday mornings to watch Martha Stewart bake, sew, and create. What a dorky fourth grader….
Fast forward to 2009, I graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, with a B.S. in Business Administration and Business Communications with a intense interest in marketing and public relations.
I met my husband, Garrett, three years ago. Our best friends were set up on a date and we were introduced through them. We were married on June 9, 2012. We welcomed our dog (child) Buster into our lives two years ago and our house has never been the same since.
My current fitness regime has been a combination of cardio and weight lifting for the past six months. I do a lot of reading on the internet, trying to get the most up to date information on fitness and health. That being said, I know changing up your routine is a must. So I do a combination of Zumba, kickboxing, cycling, and running. My strength training varies depending on my attitude that day. Most of the time I hit up a Muscle Work class at my local YMCA. I live three blocks from the Y and am a huge advocate of it. They offer over 100 classes a week, so I can always find something to fit my schedule. If I don’t make it to a class, I’ll usually lift free weights on my own in the Life Center. We recently made a big purchase in our household; a NordicTrack Commercial 2150 Treadmill. With its built in tablet, it allows you to browse the internet, map out your favorite routes using Google Maps and compete again real people in races, all from your home treadmill.
But let me back up. Fitness has not always been a part of my life. I was always skinny growing up, eating whatever I wanted and not thinking twice about it (I mean, look at my mom!). I wasn’t active in sports in high school and since I was skinny I never thought about going to the gym. Going into college I weighed around 120 lbs. But slowly, gradually, I started to gain weight. There isn’t really one thing to blame. I am sure it was a combination of excess food and lack of exercise, but it wasn’t until January of 2011 that I decided to find a workout plan to try. I used fitclick.com and found a workout plan called Intense Core for Women. I had to do a lot of running, more running than I had ever done before. It was hard, it was really hard, but by the end of the workout plan, I found myself waiting to get to go run. I was running 4 miles and proud of it. I was telling my friends how I was going these distances and my friend Jen suggested I should do the Fargo 10K with her. I immediately said no. No way was I going to be able to run 6.2 miles, no way was I going to compete with real athletes, I can only run 4 and I just didn’t think it was for me.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought “I could do this.” So I signed up for the 10K and started training outside, running farther distances and feeling great. The race rolled around and Garrett and I made the trip to Fargo. I was at the Fargo Dome by 5:30 a.m. and the race started at 7 a.m. It was a great feeling standing at the start line being surrounded by other people who loved to run. This thing that I never in my life thought I could do, I could now do pretty well! I finished the race, got my medal (the best part of any race!) and we headed back to Bismarck. I was proud; I did what I set out to do. I did another 10K that summer for Breast Cancer Research.
After my long winter/spring of training, I took a break – a longer break than I needed. Can I rant for a second? How come when summer roles around everyone says they get outside and exercise more in the summer and I want to just stay inside and lay on the couch in the cool air conditioning? And when I am outside I want to be floating on the river not running under the hot sun? How do people burn extra calories in the summer? Not this chic. Thanks for listening to my rant. I digress. Needless to say, summer of 2011 wasn’t great on my figure and I noticed.
In September of 2011 I weighed myself, oh crap – 141 lbs. How did I do that? When did I get those extra 20 lbs? College? After college? This summer? I just ran 2 x 10K’s and now I weigh 141 lbs. I told Garrett the bad news, we both agree with the myth that when you fall in love and find the right person you stop caring what you look like and just eat, cause who cares, you found the right person, they won’t judge, right?! But I was judging myself. The extra 20 lbs. did not look good; and it didn’t feel good. My pants were tight, my shirts were tighter, and I was disappointed in myself. My passion for baking cupcakes and my mom’s monster cookies (that are the size of your face) had caught up with me. My enchiladas that called for a box of cream cheese and my usual two hard shell tacos with potato oles and nacho cheese from Taco Johns was literally staring back at me in the mirror hanging over my elastic-to-tight-on-my-waist underwear. I needed to change my life style, for the better, WE needed to change our life style because whatever I cooked, Garrett ate, for breakfast and dinner. On October 4, we started that change. We declared a life style change. This was not a diet. As the saying goes “Yes, I am trying to eat healthy. No, I am not on a diet.” This was a complete overhaul in how we lead our lives.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed dietician; I am not an educated chef, although I wish I was. I am a self-taught “foodie” with a little coaching from Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laureniis.
If I could be anything in this world it would be a chef. I bet you are asking, “Well why not be a chef then?” Well folks, I enjoy my weekends, evenings, and holidays more than I enjoy cooking, but just by a hair.
Food and I have a love-hate relationship. I love the taste of cheesecake drizzled in chocolate and caramel, piping hot French fries coated in salt, or a big-fat bloody ribeye on my plate. But over the past five months, I have come to understand portions and moderation. I can have cheesecake, French fries, and a ribeye, just not as often as I used to. I can eat out and enjoy pasta dishes and dessert, but I don’t have to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Yes you can have pizza and chips and dip occasionally, but I don’t need to lick the bowl clean. The key: moderation.
Check out my post on the 12 major ways I changed how I eat.
Our healthy eating recipes are for the non-vegan, non-vegetarian, non-organic person who wants to east tasty, satisfying food while maintain a healthy weight. No judgments against those folks who are vegan, vegetarians, and organic lovers, it’s just not us. We are Midwesterners, born and raised. We like meat, potatoes, hearty dishes; things that make us feel warm and satisfied. I still want to continue this tradition, just watching my portions and making sure to get an equal balance of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.