Kiran is the food blogger and Holistic Health Coach behind Easy Real Food. Tired of stressing out about her diet and the food she was eating, her marketing work led her to realize how much simpler and less stressful eating unprocessed food could be. In our interview, Kiran shares her honest and realistic advice for embracing real food with your own family.
Kiran, we love visiting your website, Easy Real Food, for a healthy meal that will help bring our week back into balance, or a snack for school our kids will enjoy. Tell us about yourself, and your journey to a real food lifestyle.
Hi! I’m Kiran, an Influencer Marketing Manager for a few sites, a mom of four kids under the age of 13, and have my own site, easyrealfood.com. I started and ran a magazine for 8 years prior to getting into the blogging world, and also taught cycle for too many years to count!
I’ve been interested in health and fitness since the age of 17, but it wasn’t until about 6 years ago that my viewpoints really solidified and made sense. I began cutting out processed foods and streamlined our cooking. With a large family and busy schedules, it had to be done! I started my site to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years, and to hopefully inspire others to go the same route.
What do you find the most challenging aspect of being a mother?
Without a doubt, I struggle with guilt. Every day I feel like I have failed someone – one of my children is left out, I didn’t get to spend time with my husband or then there’s this other person, me:). Um, sometimes I come in, but not often! There’s always something around the house to get done, so I’ve learned to look the other way. Tomorrow is another day!
Tell us about your journey to real food, you didn’t always eat this way, right?
I definitely didn’t always eat this way. Dating back to the age of 17, I tried the low-fat fad, the all refined carb foods, I relied strictly on Pinterest for ideas, blech! It was about 5 years ago after working with Lisa Leake of 100daysofrealfood.com, that it all started to make sense: let’s go back to our roots and eat the simple foods that our grandparents made. Why so many processed foods? It doesn’t need to be this way!
It did not happen overnight; instead it took about 2 years to get to where I am, which is 90% unprocessed. And I’m good with that. My kids are about 80%; this just works for us, and I’m happy.
How have you mastered the art of easy real food? You make it look achievable? We want your secrets.
One thing I always like to stress is what I said above; it doesn’t generally happen overnight. Try cutting one thing at a time: swap out white bread for whole wheat bread. Start getting cereals that are whole grain and which have less than 5 g of sugar. Small changes add up to big success!
Also meal planning has been key. Find a day that works for you and plan meals, shop for foods and do some prepping. I do this over the weekend. Otherwise I find myself angry in the kitchen when I can’t get it done during the week. 4 kids means lots of activities, so this is just what I have to do right now.
Okay, tell us the truth. How many hours each week do you spend on prepping food?
I wish I could tell you differently, but I’d have to say between 5-10 hours if I’m being honest. I do try to enlist in the help of my kids, but that doesn’t happen as much as I’d like!
What’s currently on your kitchen counter?
A spaghetti squash, 2 heirloom tomatoes and 5 bananas. I looooove all types of squash so I’m psyched for the season!!
What are the rules to eating real food?
No refined/processed flours (i.e. white breads/pastas/etc.), no refined sugars, focus on vegetables (and fruits, but these are easy in our house), whole grains, organic foods when possible. Foods with minimal ingredients and try to prepare as much as we can. Oh, and I cook at home 6-7 nights of the week. Though sometimes I want to pull my hair out, lol.
What food do you always have in your fridge?
Some sort of greens, carrots, apples, whole milk, eggs and generally hummus.
We wish we could have you beside us in the kitchen? Is there a way we can?
I’d love for you to sign up for my email list so we can stay in touch. Since I’m also a Holistic Health Coach, I work 1:1 with clients to make eating real food a reality.
Is there a sweet or savoury snack that you always reach for?
I’m a dark chocolate girl, but I’m also a huge fan of this gluten-free bread. My eldest daughter and I are often found snacking on it well into the evening!
Do you have a family food tradition or ritual?
Family dinners are important to us. We have lots going on, as most families do; it’s one time for us to connect with each other and hear about our days.
My 13 year-old recently had a discussion at school where they had to vote on their most important values. Hers was “quality time spent with family”; I have to think that family dinner has helped solidify this. #momwin #forthemoment
Will you share with us a recipe that is a family crowd pleaser?
My kids BEG for these Mac & Cheese bites; they’re so fun for lunches, too.
What does it mean to you to live well in motherhood?
You know, I often find myself on Pinterest seeing all of these adorable crafts and DIY’s and think – I really suck at this mom thing. Pardon my language, but it’s easy for us to get down on ourselves. There’s so much pressure to do all and to be all. We have to realize that we can’t do it all, but we have to focus on what we can do and really rock it.
I always have a fridge full of good food for my family, I spend good quality time with them, and I get some exercise time in for myself on most days. That’s where I rock it and what I have to focus on. We all have days when we are “off”, but that’s life, and that’s what makes us appreciate the good days. Or I try to remind myself of that at least:).