Welcome to Cooking With Carly, where you will find healthy recipes for a healthy life!
My name is Carly, and I am a 24-year-old recent graduate of the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication. I am currently pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and will be graduating in August 2013. My blog was created to showcase simple techniques for cooking healthy meals, as well as to document my daily life as I strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
Growing up, my weight was a constant struggle. Boys called me fat and always “liked” the cute and skinny girls in my class, and by the time I reached the 5th grade, my self-esteem was non-existent. I can’t remember a day going by that I didn’t feel insecure about my body. During the summer before 6th grade, I grew up a little, and consequently, lost a little weight. Boys finally “liked” me, but I still didn’t like myself. It seemed that the older I got, the more my insecurity grew. By 8th grade, I started skipping breakfast and lunch, which caused me to over-eat to an extreme when I got home from cheerleading after school.
In high school, I hated myself. I was jealous of every other girl, and wished that I could change the way I looked. I obsessed over celebrities and hated that no matter how much I “dieted”, I could never look like them. When cheerleading ended during my senior year, I gained about 10 pounds.
Everything went downhill when I left for college and had to make decisions completely on my own. I had no idea what was healthy, and working out just wasn’t a part of my life. My roommates and I ate out three, sometimes four, times a day, and slept most of the day away. Drinking alcohol became the norm on the weekends, which only helped me pack on the pounds faster. By March of my freshman year, I had gained 25 pounds since my senior year of high school, and I was truly miserable. It finally dawned on me when I came home for a weekend and my dad asked me why I was wearing sweatpants in the middle of the hottest month in Florida. I had an internal Mean Girls dialogue moment and said to myself, “Sweatpants are all that fits me right now”.
When I returned to school, I knew I had to make a change. It all started when I turned on the Food Network, and fell in love with Rachael Ray. She inspired me to try one of her easy “30-Minute-Meals”. My creation turned out to be delicious, and I realized how much I enjoyed cooking. I started experimenting with new recipes, buying more fresh foods, and I even added running to my weekly routine. I started out small, just a few laps around a track outside my dorm. I noticed the change in the way my clothes fit me, and I realized that whatever I was doing, was really working! I got up the nerve to try going to the gym at my college, and by the end of my freshman year, I had lost about 15 pounds.
During my sophomore year, I made the decision to compete in the Miss Orlando Pageant, a dream that I had had since I was little. To prepare for the pageant, I kicked my healthy eating and workouts into high gear, and when it came time for the pageant, I had lost all the weight I gained when I got to college, and then some. I didn’t win, but I ended up winning another local pageant and was able to compete in the Miss Florida pageant that summer.
Today, I am the healthiest that I have ever been. I finally found the balance between eating foods that are good for me, working out, and still enjoying all the indulgences that life has to offer. And it’s a great bonus that I was able to discover that not only do I love to cook, but I’m not bad at it, either!
I want my blog to be a place where anyone can come to get inspiration and find simple and healthy recipes that are easy to recreate.
I enjoy different kinds of exercise to keep things interesting, but my favorites are running and spinning. I never thought I could ever run in a race, but I have completed two 5K’s to date!
Corey and I met when we were freshmen in college, and we have been together for 5 years. We are newlyweds! Our wedding was November 26th, 2011, and I have been slowly but surely writing about each and every detail. You can start here. Corey and I share the same passion for health and fitness- we truly enjoy living an active lifestyle and discovering new-to-us health foods and workouts.
Corey is a former football player for UCF, where he enjoyed a very successful career, and he is currently finishing his MBA.
My parents and sister have always been my biggest fans, and I am so thankful for them.
My sister is 20-years-old, and she is currently a junior at Florida State University. We’re best friends .
Can’t forget this little nugget!
I grew up in a very musical household, and music is a huge part of my life. I took piano lessons for 13 years, private voice lessons for 6 years, and was very involved in several school and church choirs. Here are links to some of my past performances:
- “How Beautiful”, age 16
- “For Good”, duet with my sister, accompanied by our mom, age 20
- National Anthem audition, age 21
Last year, I participated in Paula Deen’s Real Women of Philadelphia Recipe Contest. Contestants were required to submit videos of themselves cooking original recipes using Philadelphia Cream Cheese as an ingredient.
- Buffalo Dip
- Twice-Baked Potatoes
- Philly Chicken Cheesesteaks
- 5-Star Stuffed Chicken
- Fried Chocolate Ravioli w/ Strawberry Dipping Sauce
P.S.- These are NOT healthy recipes, if you couldn’t tell
You can e-mail me with any questions or comments at: [email protected]
I am not a registered dietician. My meals and recipes are based around what I consider to be healthy food. If I post a recipe that does not meet the standards for heart healthy, low-calorie meals, I will point it out. My fitness regimen may not be right for everyone, and you should always consult a doctor before beginning an exercise program. I do NOT post everything I eat.