Hey! My name is Krysten — it’s nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by to learn a little more about me. I am a wife, a cat mamma to Buster and Posey, a foodie, Disney addict, a total goofball and I welcome you to my kitchen. My husband, Jeff and I have been together since 2005 and married since 2011. We cook together almost every night and sometimes he even cooks for me. We live in Southern California where we have some fabulous restaurants, my family nearby and of course Disneyland.
When I started my blog in 2015, my blog motto was “Real Food. Made With Love. Hubby Approved.” It still is and will always be those things, however that morphed into “Be Real. Eat Real.” which encompasses so many things. I was taught at a young age “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and it never really hit me until food actually became my “medicine” in 2009. I believe we are real people and therefore we should eat real food and fuel our bodies. We are all different. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition or remedies. We require different nutrition depending on our own genetic makeup, our food allergies, food intolerances and so much more but in the end, fueling our own bodies with REAL FOOD is so important and healing in itself.
In 2009, my food journey began. Krysten’s Kitchen was born though I didn’t know it yet. At the time, I had some health issues which I talk about in this video and this video. I was incredibly tired all of the time. We weren’t eating unhealthy foods. Our diet consisted of vegetables, meats, whole wheat pastas, fish, desserts, salads, and other great foods. I learned that year that I was eating bad for “me” specifically. I had found a Naturopath Doctor at the time who turned my whole world upside down (in a very good way). I found out that I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and learned that I had to avoid a long list of foods to heal some of the health issues that I was having. You can learn more about my cleanse, here.
On February 15th, 2009, I started this crazy journey of eliminating wheat, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, fruit and processed foods in general as well as a few more things from my diet and basically ate meat and veggies for about 10 weeks. I lived on peanut butter when I had a sugar craving and enjoyed bacon almost daily. I reset my body with a cleanse, lost 60 pounds (without working out) and started fresh with my new lifestyle. This was not a weight loss cleanse, it was a reset diet (similar to the Whole 30) that was guided by my doctor. I don’t recommend this cleanse to lose weight, it is just what I did per doctors orders. I was able to lose weight simply by eliminating the foods that were giving me problems, causing inflammation, acne, weight gain and many PCOS related issues.
After the cleanse I spent hours and hours at Whole Foods every single week (okay more like daily) trying new foods, researching new products and figuring out what I could eat all while avoiding a long list of ingredients. At the time, there weren’t as many new products on the market as there are today. At the time, I was doing this research for me. This was all for me, so that I personally could live and feel “normal” again and eat the same things as everyone else. But really, this was the beginning of Krysten’s Kitchen, as I was doing all of this research that would eventually turn into what it is today. Looking back, I didn’t know then that what I as doing was actually to help others in the future. Pretty cool how God works.
Krysten’s Kitchen had been in the works for a long time. I didn’t realize that in 2009, when I started eating this way that it would become what it is now. Around the time that we got married in 2011, after posting many food pictures and recipe creations on social media, my husband and many of my friends kept saying that I should write a cookbook. It’s the craziest idea I ever agreed to. I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I also love to cook from scratch without recipes and just like to wing it as I go. I tend to use a pinch of that, a sprinkle of this and a handful of that. So you can imagine how hard it is to then start measuring and writing things down!
I have always loved food; I mean, who doesn’t love food?! I grew up in one of the best “food cities" in the country: San Francisco, CA. I have so many favorite restaurants in the city, and I enjoyed many different foods growing up: everything from gourmet to good home-country cooking. I am not super picky (well in ways I guess I am) and have always loved all styles and types of food. I am half Greek so you know how much I love my traditional Greek food. I started helping my grandma bake as a kid, and enjoyed the most important task ever - “bowl licker”! I was the best “bowl-licker” in grandma’s kitchen!
I remember the first thing I learned to cook (that I can really remember) was scrambled eggs. My dad taught me how to make eggs around the age 9. That was the beginning of my love for cooking and all things in the kitchen. I never grew up eating fast food. I never had McDonalds or Burger King. At mom’s house we ate crab sandwiches, salads and lots of Greek food - especially around holidays. My dad was, and still is, an organic, vegan. However, he did cook meat, tuna (thanks Daddy) and eggs for me. I still don’t eat fast food (except a yummy In-N-Out burger on occasion when we are on the road… because it is oh so delicious and it doesn't make me sick like other restaurants off the freeway).
Nostalgia and food go hand-in-hand. They bring a type of emotion and feeling that nothing else can. When you have a strict diet or food allergies it can be hard to attain those food memories and that special feeling that the taste of a childhood food or family recipe can bring. A special goal of mine has always been to recreate those foods, treats and meals that bring my family so much joy, with using healthier, cleaner and real ingredients all while eliminating the foods that hurt my body. As of right now I avoid wheat, dairy (I can tolerate ghee, some goat cheese and occasional mozzarella), corn, soy, sugar, and gluten. The easiest way for me to eat is Paleo and Whole 30 as I know when a product or recipe has one of those labels I know for sure that I can eat it safely. Creating those favorite flavors and childhood recipes has been a challenge, especially while keeping it paleo-ish, but it has been pure joy and has even brought me to tears on a few occasions.
Through my blog, I hope to help you find recipes and products that are safe for you and your family to enjoy and inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook. While my motto may have changed, one thing still remains that everything is “Hubby Approved” as Jeff’s job title has become the “Official Taste Tester.”
Thank you for reading about me, my food journey and my family. I wish you happy eating!