Real Food Enthusiast on a Quest for Simplicity. Meet Kristin from Live Simply!



How would you quickly describe yourself?

My name is Kristin. I am a blogger + photographer + DIYer + real food enthusiast on a quest for simplicity. Making simple taste good one stick of butter at a time.

How did you get started with your blog, LiveSimply.me?

In 2008, my husband and I decided to start eating “healthy.” Both of us grew up in the ’80s and ’90s–a time of Kool-Aid, freezer meals, and packaged chocolate chip cookies. Packaged food was commonplace in our homes, along with home-cooked meals. College turned both of our tastebuds toward a heavily processed diet of fast food and packaged snacks.

One evening in 2008 Dustin issued a challenge, “I bet you can’t shop, cook, and eat from just the produce department for a week.” I’m not one to turn down a good challenge so I responded, “Sure, I got this!” The next week was difficult. Beyond difficult. But, we survived. Soon we started eating from the produce department regularly and within a few weeks embraced veganism.

In 2010, the birth of my first son changed our eating habits again. Due to health issues (read his story), we introduced grass-fed meat and raw dairy into our diet, along with other nutrient-dense foods like homemade broth. I started making my own bread, yogurt, and even granola bars. My kitchen became my favorite place.

With new changes happening in the kitchen and healthier meals being served at our table, I began to dabble in making my own household products– from cleaners to makeup. I also started a backyard garden and bought chickens to help supplement our real food lifestyle.

In 2013, I started a blog called Live Simply. An online space to share my family’s journey of real food and natural living with a simplified approach. Each week I share simple real food recipes, natural DIY projects, and tips for simplifying the time spent in the kitchen and around the home.

 

Did you start your blog when you started your transition to live this lifestyle?

I started blogging 4-5 years after we initially started to live a real food and natural lifestyle. Our family and friends started noticing major changes in the way we lived--our health, happiness, and contentment. After many requests for a blog highlighting our lifestyle and recipes, I finally bought my domain and started writing on April 22, 2013. The blog’s look has changed a lot since that time, and a passionate hobby has become a passionate full-time job, but the focus remains the same: embracing the simplicity of real food and natural living.

 

Have you always been this way?

Dustin and I both grew up in your “average” ‘80s and ‘90s household--processed food, big hair, and tie-dyed shirts. We didn’t realize the impact a processed food lifestyle was having on our overall health until we were adults and finally made the switch to real food after watching and reading documentaries, like Food INC.

 

What sparked your passion to live this healthy lifestyle?

Having our first child made us stop and think about the food and lifestyle choices we were making! Children have a way of changing a lot of things--for the better--including a family’s diet and way of life. Thank you, Piper, Mom and Dad are forever grateful!

 


What are some of the other things you would like to have other people understand about living a healthier and self-sufficient lifestyle?

My desire is for others to see this lifestyle as a doable choice that’s not some elitist status or form of deprivation. I also want others to know that this lifestyle doesn’t need to be complicated. Small changes over time lead to a doable, long-term lifestyle! That’s our focus on Live Simply, which is inspired by the changes we’ve made (and continue to make) in our own home and family.

 

What tips and tricks could you share with other people?

Start small! One of my biggest lifestyle mistakes was tackling everything at one time on a grand scale.

I wanted to start a garden, so naturally, I decided to turn half our backyard into an edible landscape. This didn’t fare so well (thanks in part to Florida--heat and bugs) and that year we lost a ton of money and almost gave up.

The next year we started small with just a few basic crops. We experienced great success. Each year we continue to add to our small garden. Small changes lead to a doable, long-term lifestyle!! This example can be carried through into making homemade products and real food--all of which we teach on the blog. This is what simple real food and natural living are all about!

 

Have you ever made mistakes or failed doing something?

Oh yes! Many times. Failure just means finding new ways to get something accomplished (a garden, a homemade product, a “picky” eater and spinach, etc). That’s the approach I take with this lifestyle. It’s not about perfection--this is a journey! My favorite quote, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Thomas Edison

 

How did you overcome any obstacles?

After a “failure” I sit down and brainstorm alternatives. For example: My son (5 years old) is not a green veggie lover. Instead of throwing my arms up in frustration, I sat down and brainstormed ways to foster his love for green veggies. In the last year, we’ve encouraged him to plant a veggie garden, help make dinner with his own kid-friendly knife/tool set (including salads), given him a farmer’s market allowance, and created a veggie bingo game (the free printable is on the blog: http://livesimply.me/2015/06/23/get-your-kids-to-love-veggies-the-live-simply-fruit-and-veggie-bingo-game/!), and created a green smoothie he loves with a special name “The Hulkbuster” (recipe: http://livesimply.me/2015/04/21/kid-friendly-green-smoothie-aka-the-hulkbuster/). Slowly, he’s warming up to the whole green veggie thing--slowly, but surely!

 

Have you ever dealt with a person who disregards your lifestyle?

Yes, many people are skeptical of our choices. But we don’t shove our lifestyle in anyone’s face, which usually leads to more interest, “Wait! You don’t shop for most of your food at the big conventional store down the street?? Where do you buy food?” This interest usually turns into great discussions about our lifestyle.

 

What are some of your greatest rewards with a lifestyle such as the one you live?

One of my greatest rewards is watching my children understand that food doesn’t instantly come from the store (for example: a package of cookies). My oldest regularly asks, “How do you make ____, Mom?” They understand, by example, that food is something we “do” together--whether this means growing, shopping, sourcing, or making homemade meals. What a counterculture idea for young people! An idea that will hopefully reshape our food system in the future and get people back to “the basics.”

 

Another reward is watching our lifestyle influence family, friends, and readers. This may look like family coming over for dinner and discovering the joy and goodness of a home-cooked meal with fresh food. Or this may look like a friend or reader seeking an alternative to store-bought laundry soap and knowing we will probably have a tried-and-true answer for him/her, which we do!

Finally, the greatest reward has been watching the health and contentment of my family! This lifestyle has helped us re-evaluate the importance of slowing down and connecting as a family--something food allows us to do so beautifully! I know the memories we share around our small backyard garden and table will be cherished for a long time!

 

What are some of your most favorite things to plant in your garden?

My favorites are easy and foods we regularly enjoy at the dinner table:

Previous Next

👇 MORE ARTICLES & BLOG POSTS 👇 

SPRING & SUMMER GARDENING:

Spring Gardening Chore Checklist - View

Herbs & Veggies to Plant NOW for a Summer Garden - View

Heat Loving Veggies & Herbs You Can Grow RIGHT NOW in Summer! - View

12 Plants That You Can Grow This Summer To DETER Mosquitoes - View

Have a Better Summer Garden With These 7 Tips! - View

 

FALL & WINTER GARDENING:

5 Fall Vegetables Worth Growing In Containers This Year - View

Grow a Fall/Winter Harvest - Plant these seeds in July/August - View

Planting a Fall Garden. Step-by-Step - View

How to Store Vegetables for Winter - View

10 Vegetables You Can Over-Winterize - View

19 Frost Hardy Vegetables to Plant this Fall - View

Fall and Winter Gardening Made Easy - View

16 Crops To Plant NOW for Fall! - View

15 Vegetables You Should Be Planting NOW for a Fall Harvest - View

Tips for Starting Your First Fall Garden & 19 Crops That Can Withstand Freezing (or almost freezing) Temperatures! - View

Gardening Chores for January - View

Our TOP 10 Favorite Fall & Winter Gardening YouTube Videos! - View

19 Crops You Should Try Growing This Fall or Winter - View

TOP 9 QUICK GROWING CROPS FOR FALL & WINTER - View

It's Winter!  What to do in the garden now?! - View

Most Popular Seeds to Plant Now for Fall/Winter Gardening - View


SEED STARTING:

6 Tips That Every NEW Gardener Should Know  - View

Tips for Successfully Starting Your Seeds Indoors - View

Egg Carton Seed Trays - View

Use Muffin Tins To Start Your Seeds In! - View

How do I Know Which Seeds to Direct Sow and Which to Seeds to Start Indoors? - View

How to Get Better Germination From Your Seeds - View

9 Steps to Harden Off Seedlings - View

7 Tips For Using Rockwool To Start Your Seeds - View

Are you starting enough seeds? - View

What's the proper way to thin seedlings? 🌱 🌱 - View

Seed Planting & Spacing Cheat Sheet - View

WAIT!  Don't start these seeds indoors yet! - View

OK!  It's time to start these seeds indoors NOW! - View


RAISED BED GARDENING:

Tips on Building Perfect Raised Beds! - View

How to make a Hugelkultur Bed & What the heck is a Hugelkultur? - View

Great Materials For Making Raised Beds! - View

Build The Benefits of Raised Beds - View

How To Plant a Straw/Hay Bale Raised Bed - View


CONTAINER GARDENING:

5 Simple TIPS to Growing Herbs in Containers - View

6 Tips for Gardening in Containers - View

9 of The Best Vegetables to Grow in Small Gardens  - View

5 Fantastic Tips for Watering Your Container Garden - View

Small Space Gardening Ideas For Your Boat or RV - View

 

RANDOM POSTS:

Why You Should Join a Community Garden - View

Inspirational Gardening Quotes! - View

How To Make A Bean Teepee - View

How to Build a Vine Tee-Pee - View

How To Grow & Care For Your Strawberry Plants - View

How to Grow Perfect Parsnips - View

How Do You Cure Potatoes? - View

How To Tell When An Eggplant Is Ripe - View

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Squash Blossoms - View

4 Easy Steps to Dry & Cure the Small Ornamental Gourds You Grew! - View

8 Gardening Hacks You Need to Know - View

Tips for Growing More Food Indoors, All-Year-Long! - View

Everything you need to know about gardening through all the seasons - View

14 Green Fruits and Vegetables You Should Be Eating - View

How to Use a Mason Jar as a Cloche - View

Are You a First Time Gardener? Start Here! - View

5 Season Extension Techniques for Year-Round Gardening - View

32 Edible Perennials (or plants that can ACT like Perennials!) - View

How to Grow Your Own Salsa Garden - View

How To Make a Pizza Garden - View

How To Successfully Plant a Straw/Hay Bale Garden - View

The Secret to Building a Salad Keyhole Garden - View


SPROUTS & MICRO-GREENS:

How to Grow Sprouts at Home *Without Soil*  - View

How to Sprout Wheat Berries at Home in a Mason Jar - View

How to Grow Sprouts Easily at Home Using a Mason Jar-View

Micro-greens! The Benefits are anything but MICRO! - View


ANIMALS & PETS:

What to Plant for a Pet Friendly Garden - View

Which Plants Do Bunnies, Cats, Dogs, and Chickens Like to Eat? - View

How To Supplement Your Animal Feed by Growing Fodder at Home - View


WATERING:

Ways To Conserve Water in Your Vegetable Garden - View

8 Tips on How to Water More Efficiently - View


COMPOST, MULCH,  & SOIL AMENDMENTS:

Composting DO's and DON'Ts - View

18 Things You Should Never Compost - View

Your Vegetables Like Coffee, Just As Much As You Do! -   View

How to Use Coffee Grounds In Your Garden - View

How to Use Eggshells in Your Garden - View

How To Use Seaweed In Your Garden  - View


 


 

PESTS & PROBLEMS // GARDEN CONTROL:

Common Gardening Problems & How to Cure Them - View

How To Attract Beneficial Ladybugs Into Your Garden - View

Common Problems In the Garden and How To Fix Them! - View

3 Ways to Kill Weeds Naturally & Quickly - View

Learn How to Recognize and Prevent Mosaic Virus in Your Garden - View

4 Trap Plants You Should Be Growing To Help Deter Pests - View

8 Ways To Get Rid of Garden Pests (Without Any Chemicals!) - View

Natural Pest Control Methods - View

HELP!  My Plants are Tall, Thin, and Leggy.  What should I do? - View

How to Control Powdery Mildew, the Easy Way! - View

Plant THESE To Attract More BEES! - View

15 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - View

Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes - View

Use Beer To Kill Slugs - View

BEER = An Effective Method for Slug Control [Who Knew!?] - View

Why Won't My Root Veggies Grow? - View

How do You Use Epsom Salts to Fertilize Your Plants? - View


FLOWERS // HERBS // POLLINATORS:

Treat Your Ailments Naturally With Homegrown Herbs -  View

15 Herbs You Can Grow at Home To Make Your Own Tea - View

10 MUST GROW Plants for Herbal Tea Lovers - View

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden - View

Top 4 Air Purifying Herbs You Can Grow Indoors - View

11 Easy To Grow Medicinal Herbs - View

Healing Herbs That Anyone Can Grow at Home - View

Top 6 Culinary Herbs You Never Knew You Could Grow Indoors, During Winter! - View

27 Plants That Produce Edible Flowers - View

38 Edible Flowers To Plant In Your Garden - View

PRO Tips for Growing Wildflowers Successfully - View

How to Grow Beautiful and Healthy Sunflowers - View

Save the Bees! Plant a "Bee-Friendly" Garden Today! - View

 

LETTUCE,  SALAD, & LEAFY GREENS:

7 Tips and Tricks for {Fresh} Lettuce {Longer} - View

How to Grow a "Cut and Come Again" Salad Bar Garden - View

Make Ahead "Salad in a Jar”- View

The Secret to Building a Salad Keyhole Garden - View


PEPPERS:

How Hot Will My Peppers Be? Scoville Scale Heat-Ranking for Hot Peppers! - View

Tips on How To Successfully Germinate Hot Pepper Seeds -View

15 Super HOT Varieties Every Pepper Enthusiast Must Try! - View

Tips for Germinating HOT & SWEET Pepper Seeds - View

 

TOMATOES:

4 Ways to Ripen Green Tomatoes - View

Tips for Controlling Tomato Hornworms - View

How to Plant Tomatoes the Right Way - View

How to Make Pickled Tomatoes, In Just 5 Minutes - View

Spank Your Tomatoes! -Get More Fruit on Every Plant- - View

14 Companion Plants to Grow With Your Tomatoes! - View

 

GREENHOUSE:

Tips for Growing Better in a Greenhouse - View


HOOP HOUSE:

How to Build a "Hoop House" for your Fall and Winter Gardening! - View


HYDROPONICS & TOWER GARDEN:

15 Lettuce & Leafy Greens You Should Try Growing Hydroponically - View

80 Plants You Can Grow with Vertical Towers and Hydroponic Garden System! - View

How to Plant a Vertical Tower Garden - View

These are the most popular ways to grow food, Vertically! - View

Aquaponics: Why It Works! - View

Make A Vertical Planter with Terracotta Pots - View

 

SHADE:

How to Grow Vegetables and Herbs in Partial Shade - View

Which Vegetables & Herbs Grow Best in Light - Partial Shady Gardens?  - View


HEAT & DROUGHT:

Heat-Loving Varieties that Grow Great in the Southern States - View

33 Drought Tolerant Crops For Dry or Hot Climates - View

 

DIY PROJECTS:

How To Make Your Own Seed Tape - View

Make Ahead "Salad in a Jar”- View

Make a Tic Tac Toe Game For Your Garden - View

How to Make Watermelon Candy - View

[DIY] Honey-Lavender Luffa Gourd Soap - View

 

CANNING & PICKLING // RECIPES:

Everything You Need To Start Canning Your Homegrown Vegetables! - View

How Do I Can My Homegrown Vegetables? View

Best Crops to Grow For the Home Canner - View

How to Grow & Pickle Homegrown Peas - View

Create Easy Pickled Radishes in Less Than 5 Minutes - View

Which Vegetables are Best to Ferment? - View


OTHER RECIPES:

This is how you make the best hummus dip! DIY Recipe - View

How To Make Amazing Zucchini Chips - View

How to Make a Stuffed Zucchini Crocodile - View

7 Awesome Mint Drink Recipes - View

How to Roast Garlic in the Oven - View

 


 

••●••

Continue Shopping