Last Fall I introduced a series of interviews called #LETSCHAT with the amazing women that inspire me. This weekly series is based on incredible, strong and empowering individuals that inspire me through health and wellness. They are people that have made an impact on my life, big and small, that motivate me to be a better version of me, and I hope they can inspire you as well.
Happy Sunday, friends!! Each week, I’ve been shining the spotlight in the health and wellness community or someone that we might not know too much about or love and follow. This week I’m bringing you an interview with someone that continues to inspire me and has become a friend over the last 5-ish months. Ready for this weeks #LETSCHAT? You're going to love this week's interview.
Meet Kait Miller of @RealFoodGypsy! She's Salt Lake City-based Health and Wellness blogger, with an IG feed filled with drool-worthy food and travel pics to inspire you to live a balanced life.
So, let’s get started…
VF: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: WHAT DO YOU DO, LOCATION, HOBBIES...
KM: My real name is Kaitlyn, but I’ve gone by Kait since high school! I’m from the East Coast and have been out West since moving to California 2 years ago. A few months after moving across the country to be with my hubs, we found ourselves moving to Salt Lake City! I had just finished up graduate school (in health education, motivation, identity-development, etc!) and had NO clue what I was going to do for work. Nothing seemed to interest me. My babe, Jered, who has the biggest entrepreneur heart, encouraged me to start my own business and blog. It took months to discover my passions and purpose (and I’m still learning every day), but I realized I wanted to travel and share all of the healthy eats, so that people could have a resource when they travel. We are undergoing phase 3 of my website, and I can’t wait for you guys to see all the new updates!
For hobbies, we’re pretty simple! We love to work out, hike with the dogs, go out to eat with friends, and travel every chance we get!
VF: WHAT GOT YOU INTO THE WORLD OF HEALTH + WELLNESS?
KM: It all started in undergrad! I was a Health & Wellness major mainly because it was the only thing that remotely interested me. That first year in college, I started running long distance, ate my first raw veggie (whatttt?!), and saw how cleaner food and exercise impacted my health. I was always an athlete, but one who drank tons of soda, ate $5 pizzas, and pop tarts for a snack. During college, I didn’t know much about organic and most people in my small town thought it was a conspiracy hahahaha. But just by adding in veggies that weren’t fried (I’m from the South!), I saw a positive impact in my health! After my junior year, I began seeing a holistic chiropractor because of some crazy autoimmune issues (everything from hormones and muscle issues to my gut). It was the first time I heard the importance of healthy fats (even grass-fed butter), organic living, and probiotic. After years of Western medicine not giving me answers, I decided to take control of my own health. In grad school, I completely switched over to “mostly” organic and began caring a lot about where I sourced my food, especially animal protein sources. I saw how my body responded best to natural medicine and healthy eating along with a mix of western/modern medicine and have been passionate about this lifestyle and taking care of my body ever since!
VF: YOU ARE CONSTANTLY TRAVELING; WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO EATING HEALTHY WHILE ON THE ROAD?
KM: Packing emergency snacks, bringing my own water bottle, and planning where we eat! This is the MAIN reason I started realfoodgypsy.com! I want people to know you can enjoy life, travel care-free, and still eat a burger. My goal is to help you find the healthiest versions of food ranging from a good salad to a basket of fries with a milkshake :).
VF: WE SHARE SO MANY COMMON INTERESTS, ONE BEING REAL FOOD AND THE OTHER, TRAVEL. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE A CULTURE IS THROUGH FOOD. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE?
KM: YES! It’s such an amazing experience! When I traveled to Jordan and Israel a few years ago, I was overwhelmed by the food and the culture that surrounded it. The people were so hospitable and truly wanted you to enjoy every single item they served. I tried about 12 varieties of fresh homemade hummus, fish that still had eyes, a hybrid fruit that was a mix between cantaloupe and honeydew (it was the sweetest fruit I’ve ever tasted), tons of pita, and even more falafel. Also, the breakfast! Oh my gosh, it knocked the typical US “continental breakfast” out of the park. I’ve never seen so much fresh fruit and even dessert for breakfast! Another cool part about this trip is that we got to go to someone’s house for a dinner party and have a buffet full of homemade Israeli food like shakshuka, burekas, baba ganoush, baklava, and labne. At the end, we participated in Israeli folk dancing and it was a blast! The best thing I tried was the shakshuka. It’s kind of reminds me huevos rancheros but even better!
VF: WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA/WORDS TO LIVE BY?
KM: Be REAL to yourself and to other and always encourage one another.
VF: I'M INSPIRED BY YOU AND YOUR JOURNEY. YOU ARE VERY REAL ABOUT IT, WHICH IS WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU. WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
KM: I have so many people that inspire me! Including genuine and caring women I’ve met on Instagram that truly cares about my life and wants to invest time in me. Ya know the ones that actually read your posts and encourage you on a daily basis! My husband also inspires me to always stay true to myself and what God created me to be. Lastly, my past experiences, good and bad, inspires me to delete negativity from my life, focus on the positives and blessings I have, build others up, pursue my dreams, and as cliche as it may sound...make the world a happier and better place to live.
VF: I’VE BEEN FOLLOWING YOU ON THE ‘GRAM FOR SOMETIME NOW, AND YOU ARE VERY HONEST WITH US. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS JUST STARTING ON THEIR PERSONAL HEALTH JOURNEY?
KM: Start small! Don’t try to go in giving your workout 110% or replace everything in your pantry or makeup drawer. This health journey takes time, it’s a process, but a rewarding one! Ease into it, learn from others, and then do the best you can with what you have.
VF: TELL US YOUR MOST PERFECT DAY. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT? WHAT WOULD YOU YOU DO?
KM: My most perfect day would be spent eating and being outside with Jered and our pups! I imagine us being somewhere bright and sunny and close to a beach with no agenda (maybe Southern California?)! I imagine the warmth of the sun hitting our backs as we’re strolling amongst palm trees and going into local shops. And of course, finding a cute little restaurant with a patio to enjoy some quality food and maybe a margarita along the way! Then heading to the beach for the rest of the day, eating a nice dinner, and most likely finding some ice cream! Pressed Freeze or Salt & Straw?! Hard choice! It’s nothing too extravagant, which is why I feel like it would be the most perfect day!
VF: OK, NOW, WHAT IS YOUR DAY REALLY LIKE?
KM: Every day my babe and I wake up around 7 am, drink a protein shake, take care of our two pups, and then head to the gym for an hour workout. Then I typically take the dogs out, shower, and eat a little more for breakfast. Working out in the morning gives me mental clarity and helps energize me to tackle my to-do list. I definitely can’t wake up at 5 am, but 7 am is definitely a good fit for us! The rest of the day looks like this: work (food, restaurants, photography, social media, emails, etc!), lunch, take the pups out, errands, and then dinner with Jered. We try to eat together every night and wind down with our favorite Netflix show. We also work a little in the evenings and on the weekends too, because we both have our own businesses! :) It’s challenging, rewarding, and a constant learning experience.
VF: WHAT IS YOUR RECIPE FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY LIFE?
KM: Do what YOU love and what makes YOU feel good. Realize that there are multiple ways to live a healthy, balanced, and fulfilled life and that each individual’s journey is unique and beautiful. Use energy to encourage people and not judge. Learn from others and then find what works for you.
VF: FINISH THESE STATEMENTS:
"EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER WITH A LITTLE…"
KM: Peanut or almond butter! Think- pad thai, yogurt, smoothies, pancakes, you name it! Sweet or savory... everything tastes better with it.
“THE ONE THING THAT I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS…"
KM: Animal-based protein! I know that’s probably a weird answer. But I tried to go vegan + vegetarian multiple times and it wreaked havoc over my body. Organic animal protein has helped to balance my hormones and heal my digestive issues.
“MY GUILTY PLEASURE IS…"
KM: Oooo! Ice cream with warm chocolate chip cookies. I recently started making them with vanilla protein + greens, almond butter, applesauce, and just a touch of maple and they are the ultimate post-workout treat! Also, the perfect excuse to eat cookies all day every day...j/k, kinda! Recipe is on my website if you wanna check it out!
VF: “MY FAVORITE GO-TO FOOD IS…”
KM: Okay...so this is HARD. I would say peanut butter, but isn’t that everyone’s go-to food?! My favorite go-to food would have to be a wok bowl with rice, chicken or salmon, coconut aminos, and stir-fried veggies. We probably eat this at our house 3-4 times a week and it just never fails. It’s the ultimate comfort + health food and you can’t go wrong with that!