The Blog:
Hi and welcome to The Blissful Bean. My name is Casey Modrzewski, and I created this blog because I have an incredible love for cooking, eating  and nutrition.  My recipes are plant-based, gluten-free and soy-free.  Many people do not realize a gluten-free and/or vegan diet does not necessarily always equal a healthy diet.  There are plenty of over-processed and unhealthy foods out there and it is very easy to get caught up in the “junk food” side of things.  Here at The Blissful Bean you will find that the recipes are easy, colorful, tasty and healthy.  I hope this blog inspires you to ignite your inner chef and cook some delicious meals for yourself and your family.
My Life:
Eleven years ago, I fell in love with my best friend and we have now been married for over 4 years.  Last year we started our family.  We have been blessed with an amazing little boy with whom we are completely in love. We are thoroughly enjoying this incredible journey as parents so far.
We live in one of the most beautiful places in the country: Colorado.  We’ve lived here for 7+ years and absolutely love it.  We are both originally from the east coast.  In an effort to get away from the hustle and bustle we found our home in CO.
Things I enjoy: cooking, photography, nutrition, good friends, good food,  snuggling with my boys, music, art, reading, the beach, the mountains, yoga, hiking, swimming, being “green” and a bunch of other stuff.
My Story:
We have all heard this story a million times. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I am no different.  From a young age I struggled with my weight. I tried all sorts of diets and diet pills, but nothing ever worked longterm.  I would inevitably end up eating more (because I was starving) and of course gaining all the weight back, plus a little extra.
About 5 years ago, I took matters into my own hands.  I began studying everything and anything I could get my hands on regarding nutrition, health and the psychology of why we eat the way we do.  I had already attained a BA in Psychology, so I enrolled in a program and became Certified in Eating Psychology.  Needless to say my success did not happen overnight.  However, I am finally able to say that I am healthy, fit, happy and comfortable in my skin.
I started this blog because I wanted to share with you what I have learned.  Everyone can feel comfortable in their skin without depriving themselves of good food or becoming obsessed with exercising.  It just takes time.  For me, it is the one journey in life I will always be thankful I took.  Today I continue studying all I can about health, nutrition and fitness.  My main focus is creating recipes that my husband absolutely loves (he’s a meat-eater) and meals that are healthy enough for my son.  Baby tested husband approved.
Why gluten-free, plant-based? 
I was diagnosed with Celiac 13 years ago.  Plant-based – because I have seen the benefits this lifestyle has done to my health and my mental clarity.  I feel more connected to this planet and everything that calls this beautiful world home.  Lastly, I truly believe I am helping to make an impact on our carbon admissions and the future of this planet.
A little extra:
When people hear “gluten-free” they tend to get turned-off and feel it will never taste as good as “the real thing.”  The truth is, there is a ton of GF products out there that are awful and sometimes just plain inedible.  If you don’t know which brands to stick to, GF can be a complete nightmare.
Three years prior to being diagnosed myself, my older sister was diagnosed with Celiac.  My mom, with that Italian blood running through her, was devastated by this news.  She would say, “No child of mine is going to go through life deprived of GOOD food.”  This took her on a cooking mission.  She was determined to make every Italian and Polish dish as good as the real deal and boy did she succeed!  By the time I was diagnosed my mom was already 3 years into converting all her recipes to GF.  She had tried, worked with and cooked all the GF breads, pastas, flours and desserts out there.  She found the best brands and stocked up.  I give my Dad and brother a lot of credit for being the non-gluten-free guinea pigs of our family.  As for my sister, she was a trooper.  We had monthly shipments of GF food delivered to our home from Canada and Italy.  Keep in mind that this was about 16 years ago when no one really knew about Celiac Disease or Gluten-Free.  Needless to say, I did not ever feel deprived and my transition from gluten-filled to gluten-free was pretty smooth. Every meal we ate as a family was GF and no one could tell the difference.  I have a vivid memory of my mom and Nanny (Grandma) sitting in the kitchen, every surfaced covered with GF flour and dough.  They were figuring out how to make GF pierogies.  It was no surprise to me that, by the end of the night, they had mastered it.
I come from a very long line of amazing cooks.  My mom has been, and continues, to be my greatest inspiration.  If it were not for her love of her kids and cooking, I’d probably have a similar story to most Celiacs of how hard and awful it was figuring out what to eat.  Thanks to my mom I never lost my love for food or cooking.  If anything, this only encouraged me to learn more about nutrition and health.  Thanks Mom.
It all starts in the kitchen.

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