Hello & Welcome!
I'm Jessica and I'm the brains behind this food blog! I started Balance With Jess in 2020 during the thick of the pandemic. I've always loved to cook and bake since I was little. I was my dad's sous chef during the holidays and I've been asking my mom for years to teach me how to make her family recipes.
During the pandemic, I dove deep into what makes me happy - cooking. I experimented with new dishes and even started creating some of my own recipes. I needed a place to store all of my favorite meals and that's how Balance With Jess came to be!
What Does "Balance" Mean?
To me, balance means nothing is off limits. For years, I followed strict diets to try and lose weight. I've done macro counting, intermittent fasting, Paleo, Whole30, carbs-free, low-fat.. every fad diet that was introduced, I tried it. Once the pandemic hit, I ate what was available and stopped tracking every calorie. For the first time in my 20-something years of life, I finally understood what food freedom meant. And it was amazing!
I no longer follow any diet and I eat what I want, when I want it. I feel my best when I consume a lot of fruit and vegetables, so I try to make sure my meals are plant-based when possible. But I also eat pastries for breakfast, ice cream for dessert, ramen when I don't feel like cooking, and so forth. Food freedom is the way I choose to eat, and balance... well, that just means everything in moderation.
So What Can I Expect to Find On BWJ?
My goal is to create easy, flavorful, and (mostly) healthy recipes that anyone can make. I believe that everyone's diet should revolve around real, wholesome ingredients but also think dinner wouldn't be complete without dessert (and maybe another glass of wine). Health looks different on everyone and rather than following a diet, I believe food should make you feel good.
On BWJ, you'll find comfort classics that have been recreated with minimally processed ingredients. Some examples are my Instant Pot Healthy Chili and Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. You'll also find Vietnamese dishes I grew up with like Vietnamese Turmeric Fish with Dill (Cha Ca La Vong). And although I don't follow a gluten-free or Paleo diet, I love baking in that style because honestly, it's a lot more forgiving! My favorites are Healthy Almond Cupcakes and Hot Cocoa Cookies. All in all, you'll find a little bit of everything here because that's exactly how I like to eat!
I'm currently residing in San Francisco with my husband, Billy, and our cat, Moxy. I'm originally from Huntington Beach, CA but moved to the Bay to be with Billy while he finishes his medical residency. When I'm not cooking, you can find me reading, working out, or taking lots of pictures of Moxy while he's sleeping!
- Billy and I met while we were both dental students at New York University.
- My last meal would probably be dim sum and chicken pot pie with a super flaky, buttery crust.
- My favorite cuisine is Italian (all the pasta please!), followed closely by Korean and Vietnamese.
- I can not eat mushrooms - have always spit them out since I was a baby.
- My favorite trip is when Billy and I went to Germany, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in December 2018 after getting engaged. We saw so many beautiful Christmas markets and it was truly magical!
Where To Find Me
I love connecting with you! Follow me on Instagram @balancewithjess and feel free to send me a DM!