Food has such an immense impact on our lives; from the way it makes us feel, the energy it gives us, and how it has the ability to connect us to our community. Communing over a cup of coffee, or a fresh meal made with whole, real ingredients is so beautiful and beneficial to our health — both physically and emotionally. The more nutritious foods we eat, the better we feel, and the more we’re able to show up for our friends, family, and community. Food has the ability to heal our bodies — it’s so much more than just what we eat when we’re hungry or at a certain time of day. Each ingredient has a specific nutritional profile, was grown in a certain region, and was designed to fuel our bodies.
It wasn’t until I started to cook for myself in college, that I grew a love for food and curating recipes. Over time, I realized the importance of the ingredients I was selecting and how they affect my health. It wasn’t difficult to find wholesome ingredients in most of my meals, but when it came to desserts, all I could find were treats laden with preservatives, chemicals, and refined sugars. Because let’s be real, as I embarked on my health journey I was not going to give up sweets. Just like nutritious foods fuel your body, I believe sweets fuel your soul! I began recipe testing healthy sweets to enjoy with friends using ingredients like almond and coconut flour, oats, nuts, pure maple syrup, and raw honey. This is where I came up with the idea for my company, Alms + Fare.
We make treats that are wholesome and delicious by using gluten free, dairy free, and naturally sweet ingredients. We believe even the most traditional desserts can be made healthy and delicious using simple ingredients. Real ingredients make us feel more satiated than their less nutritious counterparts — plus, they’re just as delicious!
Rather than focusing on fad diets and which trend to hop onto next, we concentrate on simple foods that you can feel good about. One of the issues in the food industry that is apparent, is the amount of false marketing out there. Products that are marketed as “healthy”, “sugar/fat free”, “keto”, etc., are actually filled with harmful ingredients and are the reason those who are trying to turn their health around get frustrated in the end. We as people tend to put our faith in companies that do not have our best interest at heart. Large food manufacturers use a lot of ingredients from labs, not nature — which always seemed odd to me: are we eating an experiment or food? This is why, to me, the industry-set standard for “healthy” is far from that. This is also why I wanted to go back to the basics, using only ingredients that are pronounceable and easy to visualize where it came from. No fillers, “flavors”, or empty calories, just nutrient dense foods we know are beneficial to your health. I started on my health journey by cutting out these ingredients and realizing that food is simple, we shouldn’t try to complicate it.
Although it is important to focus on good nutritional health, we don’t always have to be perfect. Food should be freeing, not restricting. Once you have the tools and knowledge to discern which foods are nutritious, this is where the freedom lies. We don’t have to fit a certain diet, or even eat 100% healthy, all of the time. I like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of what I eat is really good nutritious food. While the other 20% are things I like to indulge in. For me personally, this means ice cream! This is the sweet spot (pun intended) in which I’ve found my food freedom to not pay attention to calories or macros. Food is meant to be enjoyed!
I’ve found over the past few years, growing my own food has connected me to my meals in a way that my weekly grocery haul cannot. I started with herbs on my apartment window sill, and now my husband and I have two small garden beds. We grow a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, peppers, and one little watermelon that we are very hopeful for (it is currently the size of a softball!). Our little garden has showed me the labor it takes to produce even the smallest amount of veggies. From the start of the seed, to daily watering and to harvest is a huge undertaking. It takes patience, hard work, and lots of trial and error. Like nutrition, you reap what you sow — the more you put in to learning what nutrients your body needs and what foods contain them, the more you will get out of life when you begin to feel more nourished and full!
You may know by now that I truly believe food is the gateway to so many incredible things in life — especially community. Alms is defined as charitable giving. This is where our name comes from, where the heart of our business lies and something we have been deeply committed to since we began. Growing up, I knew the career path I chose would involve helping others. I knew I wanted my work to be impactful, I just didn’t know in what way. As I began to grow increasingly interested in health, I became aware of one of the greatest issues facing our world — malnutrition. This can present itself in various ways with either being under or over nourished with foods that are not nutritious. It isn’t just in developing nations, it’s right here at home. From the beginning, I knew I wanted the business to be much more than selling a product, I wanted it to be for the betterment of our community. Our mission is to make healthy food more accessible, to alleviate hunger, and to teach the importance of nourishing our bodies with good food. Every time a customer purchases our treats, we donate 10% of our profits to organizations who work toward this cause. We believe that some of the most impactful change happens at a grassroots level, in our own neighborhood, and that even a small ripple can grow into a large wave one day. This is what we strive toward; to make huge waves in the food industry for the better, and helping those in need along the way.
Alms + Fare ships nationwide, so snag some of these tasty goodies from Christine in their online shop.
Enjoy two of Christine’s favorite recipes below. Just a few ingredients to make something delicious and kind to your body.