Cara Lyons is the developer, writer, and photographer at Cara’s Cravings, a popular food blog dedicated to indulgent recipes for healthy living.
Cara has always had a love affair with food, but her foray into blogging and freelance writing is a result of her desire to continue eating delicious food after embarking on a healthy living journey. Obese for most of her life, Cara proceeded to lose 80 pounds in her early 20’s and has kept it off for quite some time. Never wanting to feel deprived, Cara quickly learned her way around the kitchen and began experimenting with just about everything she could get her hands on. Healthy staples like ethnic spices, colorful vegetables, and wholesome grains quickly became her “thing.” Slowly but surely, packaged and processed items began to disappear from her kitchen replaced by clean, whole foods which are now the basis of her recipes.
Nowadays, Cara takes pride in being a healthy home cook, always surprising her family and friends with deliciously different dishes. Luckily for her, her loved ones are open to trying all kinds of new things. And they are always surprised to learn what’s in a dish – or what is not!
More recently, Cara has become an enthusiastic friend of the gluten-free and dairy-free communities. Although she can eat gluten, she rather prefers to cook without it, opting for more nutritious ingredients like flours made from coconut, legumes, and nuts.
The sense of achievement Cara feels when showing people that good food can in fact be healthy, too, is what keeps her going. There is no better motivation than a thank you letter from a reader stating that Cara’s recipes have helped them lose weight or just feel better overall.
Many people are surprised to learn that Cara’s background is in Chemical Engineering. She recently left her full-time job to focus more on recipe development for both her blog and publications such as Simply Gluten Free. People often say, “that’s a big switch!” But truthfully, it is not. The analytical piece of engineering – visualizing a desired outcome, hypothesizing a solution, experimenting and re-testing until the appropriate result is achieved – is very much present in the way Cara cooks. And now she gets to combine that scientific way of thought with a stroke of creativity, something she always felt was missing in her career.
Just like she taught herself to cook, Cara made it her mission to learn about food photography. Cara believes that good food deserves to be photographed well and is passionate about conveying the tastes and textures she creates in a visual format. She also believes that anyone can learn to do this with a few simple props and lots of practice. Thus, she has been invited to present on food photography in multiple forums. She presents in a practical, simple way for the home cook and casual blogger.
For over a year, Cara has been a regular contributor to Clean Eating Magazine and is now very excited to join the Simply Gluten Free family. When she’s not cooking, Cara is often lifting heavy weights in the gym, volunteering with a local organization that helps restaurant chefs put healthier options on their menus, and spending time with family.
She lives with her husband, Ben, and black lab mix, Eve, in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is expecting her first child in March 2013. When asked what she is craving, Cara replies, “I think this baby must be training for some kind of hot pepper eating contest!” She hopes that her little one shares her adventurous taste buds and comes to appreciate kale and butternut squash just as much as a cupcake.