Earthly Edible initially started in 2015 as an Instagram account showcasing vegan dishes and recipes. Prior to this, in 2012 when Liz and Ryan met, going out to eat at new local restaurants was something they enjoyed doing frequently as a couple.
In 2015, Liz watched a documentary showcasing animal abuse in factory farms and became vegan overnight. Ryan reluctantly but eventually joined her.
After three years of being strict vegan and consuming no animal products, Liz and her husband longed for culinary freedom at social gatherings with friends, and exploring new cuisine at local restaurants as they had loved doing in the past. It took years of being self-restricted for Liz and Ryan to realize this wasn’t the right path for them, and there had to be a better way to maximize their health while still enjoying the foods they loved.
Today, a near-perfect balance exists between the wholesome, (mostly) plant-based meals they cook and consume regularly, and the less-healthy, more indulgent meals they consume 1-2 times per week. This ratio has created harmony between nurturing their health and having fun in the process, allowing for a more positive outlook, quality of life, and overall wellness.
Read on to hear their stories first-hand of how Earthly Edible came to be!
Liz McCrea, Founder of Earthly Edible:
I used to struggle with eating ‘healthy’, and with what I thought healthy even meant. Friday nights consisted of Wendy’s fast food (every. single. week.), dinner was white pasta and milk, and weekends were full of junk food and sugar. I knew I needed to change the way I ate, but I had no idea where to start and was completely overwhelmed thinking about it.
In September of 2015, I watched the documentary Cowspiracy and scared myself straight into strict veganism. This meant eating zero dairy (no butter, cheese, yogurt, or packaged items with milk in them), eggs, meat, fish, and any other animal products. This took care of my unhealthy eating, that I can say with 100% certainty, but it took more from me and my husband than we’d expected.
We missed going out to dinner with friends and not having to ask if they had any dairy-free options. Pizza has always been my first true love, and let me tell you, without cheese and pepperoni, it was just NOT the same. I realized that a more balanced lifestyle was what I was searching for all along; I just needed to learn how to enjoy eating healthful foods as much as I enjoyed eating the unhealthy stuff, allowing myself the freedom and grace to not feel guilty or go too heavily in the wrong direction again.
After getting my Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell University in the Summer of 2016, I was learning how to eat to live, and about how animal products can negatively impact our health. More importantly, I learned how plants can positively impact our health. Completely reversing coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, eliminating breast cancer and cancerous tumors. That’s when my mindset and understanding of food relating to the health of our bodies began to change forever.
For the past two years, we’ve cooked dairy-free and mostly plant-based at home, with some exceptions for fish and eggs. We enjoy sharing a completely guilt-free pepperoni pizza from our local spot once a week, or trying out new restaurants with friends with no restrictions! Our social life is enjoyable and not something we express anxiety or regret over. We’re healthier and happier with our lifestyle than we’ve ever been.
It took a scary documentary and three years of completely eliminating foods we enjoyed to help us realize that a balanced lifestyle heavily weighted with whole, plant-based foods and a little room for the ‘fun’ food we loved was the perfect balance for us. That’s when I decided to rebrand Earthly Edible as a resource for those who struggled like my husband and I did. A safe, helpful place for those who were searching for the right balance in their life relating to the food they consume, the lifestyle they live, and maintaining a healthy mental outlook on all of it!Liz, Founder of Earthly Edible
Ryan McCrea, Liz’s husband:
I thought I ate healthy. I limited my carbs and would eat as much high-protein meat and dairy I could get my hands on. When Liz went vegan, I fought it hard. What would we eat, grass? Tofu? I didn’t want to find out.
Then, after about 2 weeks, I saw the change in my weight and energy, both I’ve struggled with since college. I enjoyed the new challenge of cooking with different ingredients, but missed the social and aspect of eating. The balance we have now suits my health and energy needs, but also feeds the little beast inside me!Ryan, Liz’s Husband