PHILOSOPHY

I am a food lover who has been confused by the ever-changing news about food. The only consistent information that I've heard is that eating vegetables is optimal for human health.  (It took a long time for me to really listen, though, because I didn't like vegetables.) Late one sleepless night, the documentary Forks Over Knives provided clarity.  I dug deeper, and found all sorts of helpful information that led me where I am today:  happier and healthier.  One helpful source is author Michael Pollan, who has famously said, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."  Yet it can be challenging to find, prepare, and eat plant-based foods - especially if you are a family on the go. So a big reason why I wanted to start the Beautiful Ingredient blog was to create a place to share ideas and celebrate ways of helping plants get more share on the plate.  After even a small change in my daily routine, I quickly noticed improvements health improvements.  And I just felt better.  Better in a way I didn't know was possible.

While the recipes here will technically be vegan, I'm hoping that, whatever the lifestyle you choose, you will find some helpful information here.   Plant-based whole foods are where the nutrients are, and as humans we thrive on them.

must-haves

I used to follow the Standard American Diet more than I wanted to admit.  I looked for the "healthiest" options that still added up to mostly a bread, cheese, and soda diet.  Shifting the way I eat has brought energy into my life I didn't know could be there.  My enthusiasm for food has actually increased - again, a big surprise!  Now that I've made the decision to have more whole plant-based foods on my plate and less processed, the health problems I used to have are gone.  Oh, and I've lost weight.  I'm a believer.  I only wish I'd realized sooner how delicious real food can be!  

I am learning more all the time about what works for me and my family.  I have earned my certification in the Rouxbe Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Cooking School, which was led by none other than the amazing Chef Chad Sarno!   I'm so inspired to take charge of my own kitchen now and maintain a "plantiful lifestyle" rather than yet another diet. I've found this way of life to be so much more delicious, doable, and filled with positive results than any diet I've ever tried.

That said, I am a food enthusiast, not a health expert.  While I strive to make positive food choices for myself and my family, and am happy to share those choices here, I am not informed about your specific health needs.  Please consult with your doctor and do your own research before making any changes to your diet.

I am also a designer who is currently creating products for the wonderful food site, Food52.  My creations are always made using eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton and hemp.  Fewer pesticides in the world, yes!

Check out the Handmade shop here too, filled with simple, eco-friendly table linens and other goods for the home.  Because these are original handcrafted items made at Beautiful Ingredient, there's something unique here for everyone - even for that person who seems to have everything.  

I have chosen to be very selective about advertising on my site.  While it can be profitable, I find it distracting to have random ads popping up and making noise all over the page.  I only want positive products here that relate to what this site is all about:  a simple, authentic lifestyle focused on wellness.  I currently have two additional shops on the site that you can choose to visit:  one is Tools & Ingredients, filled with items that I find useful with a "plantiful lifestyle," and the other is the Bookstore, where you can find books that have inspired me along the way.  Both of these shops allow you to make your purchases through Amazon quickly and easily, and I will earn a small "finder's fee" percentage of your purchases, at no extra cost to you.

You are invited along on this journey to discover just how beautiful real food is.  

What's your favorite beautiful ingredient, at least right now?  You can contact me with your answer - I'd love to know!  I will happily get back to you with my current favorite.  You can contact me here:

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Happy eating!

Kari