Hi, I’m Allison, founder and creator of Up Beet Kitchen, a food and wellness blog with healthy plant-based recipes and inspiration for a happy life. Read on to learn more about me and why I created Up Beet Kitchen!
Up Beet Kitchen is a food blog dedicated to proving that a healthy, plant-based diet doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour, variety, or fun! I offer recipes with a side of kitchen stories, musings, and inspiration.
All of the recipes you’ll find on my blog are vegetarian, and most are vegan. I have been vegetarian (for the animals and the planet) for over a decade, but I don’t believe in dieting or restriction beyond that–and I don’t believe that you should, either. Eating should be a joyful, relaxing, and pleasurable experience, not one that fills you with anxiety or fear.
In that vein, all eaters are welcome. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or just want to try out a few vegetarian and vegan recipes, Up Beet Kitchen is a non-judgmental, encouraging little corner of the web, and I’m so happy that you’re here reading and cooking!
Hi, I’m Allison! I create all of the recipes, take all of the photos, and write all of the posts! I’m so happy that you’re here. I have a background in Environmental Studies and I also hold a Holistic Nutrition Certificate from Pacific Rim College in Victoria, British Columbia. I’ve always had a deep love of food, cooking, and creativity, so I figured why not combine the three into a food blog?
I started Up Beet Kitchen in June, 2018. I didn’t have a lot going on at the time outside of work, and I desperately needed a new hobby. I had known for quite some time that I wanted to start a food blog, but I had no clue how to set up a website, take good photos, or promote my work. Finally, I just decided to take the plunge and figure it out as I went along. I had no idea what I was doing for the first few months, but starting Up Beet Kitchen has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. What started out as something I spent a couple hours a week on has evolved into a labour of love that I spend almost every spare moment on. I pour my heart and soul into creating and photographing recipes, and I can say with conviction that food blogging has changed my life for the absolute best.
I also love everything to do with fitness. I competed in gymnastics, cross country, and track as a teen, and my passion for movement has thankfully stood the test of time. I can’t say that I have always had a healthy relationship with exercise, but I am happy to say that I am now in a better place than ever, where I balanced outlook and am able to push myself without going to unhealthy extremes. I have completed a number of running races, with a PR of 38:45 in the 10 km; 1:25 in the half marathon, and 3:25 in the full marathon.
My next race is the Boston Marathon in April 2020! While distance running was my sport of choice for well over a decade, my favourite forms of exercise at this time are high intensity interval training, weights, hiking, and yoga. I truly love to mix things up. In addition to recipes, I have also started to share a growing collection of workouts here on the blog!
my food and cooking philosophy
I consider myself fortunate to have been raised in the 90s by parents who shopped at health food stores, baked bread, sprouted seeds, made yogurt, and ate plenty of greens, brown rice, and miso before it was trendy to do so. It only seems natural that my love of real food and cooking was sparked at a young age! That being said, I know that everybody’s knowledge and level of comfort with healthy cooking is different, and my goal is to make cooking from scratch more approachable and less intimidating! I work hard to ensure that the recipes I share here are made with everyday ingredients and simple methods.
My food philosophy echoes Michael Pollan’s oft-quoted adage, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” However, I would cross out the “not too much” part because I don’t believe in any form of restriction or deprivation when it comes to food. I went vegetarian at the age of 15, and have been vegan off and on. While it is not my place to convince you to adopt one particular diet, I hope that the recipes I share enliven your appetite and get you excited about eating more plants! I believe that food is healing, and that sharing home-cooked meals with people you love is one of the most powerful things that you can do for your health and the health of the planet. I do eat almost exclusively organic food for environmental and health reasons, and I do encourage you to do the same if you have the means. Other than that, I do not abide by food rules. I do not believe in restriction or deprivation. I do believe that it is important to eat a balanced diet based primarily on whole foods, since it’s this way of eating that makes us feel our best, but that there is also room for indulgence.
I struggled a lot with eating disorders during my teens and young adulthood, which played a major role in shaping my belief that food and nourishment should never be a source of stress or something to deprive ourselves of. It is for this reason that I do not include nutritional information on my blog. However, if you have a medical condition that requires you to monitor your nutrient intake, you can always enter the recipe into Very Well Fit for a detailed analysis.
I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario, but I enjoy adventure and have had the opportunity to live all across Canada! When I am not busy with Up Beet Kitchen, I enjoy hiking, running, yoga, and dreaming about owning an organic farm. 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you vegetarian or vegan? I don’t love labels, but my diet is vegetarian. I do eat vegan most of the time, but I also enjoy pastured organic eggs and grass-fed, organic dairy. I tried to be vegan for a long time, but have found that adding in eggs and dairy makes me feel my healthiest.
Are all of your recipes vegan? I have gone back and forth on this. For a time, all of the recipes that I shared were vegan. However, I have gone back to sharing a combination of vegetarian and vegan recipes because I feel that this is the most natural and authentic reflection of how I like to eat on a regular basis.
What camera do you use? When I started the blog, all I had was my iPhone 5, so that is what I used for the first year and a bit. I have since been able to upgrade to a Canon EOS Rebel T6, an entry-level DSLR. I am slowly but surely learning to improve my food photography, which is a never-ending process!
Why are there ads on your site? Nobody likes ads. I get it. However, running a food blog costs a lot of money! From site hosting to photography equipment to photo editing software to ingredients, it all adds up rather quickly. I don’t make much money from the ads, but they help to cover these costs.
How can I get in touch with you? I love hearing from you! The best way to reach me is by sending an email to email@example.com.
Do you allow guest posts? No, I do not allow guest posts. This is because I want my blog to be as authentic to myself as possible.
Is blogging your full-time gig? Gosh, no! It would be fun if I could make a living doing what I love on here, but at this time, it’s a side hustle. I am currently completing my undergraduate degree and doing my recipe development and blogging gig in my spare time.
Where can I buy your favourite products? There’s no Amazon shop on your site. To have an Amazon shop on my site would be disingenuous because I do not buy from Amazon myself. As someone who has worked for a variety of small, locally owned businesses and who hopes to run one herself someday, I cannot, in good faith, direct you to buy things from Amazon at a cost to small businesses in our communities- even if that meant I could make money from affiliate links! If I ever talk about a product I love in a post, I always link directly to that brand’s website.
Are you open to working with brands? Absolutely! If you are a health and eco-conscious food or product company that is interested in any of the following services, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!
- Recipe development
- Sponsored blog and social media posts
- Menu development for restaurants and catering companies
AND NOW FOR SOME FUN FACTS!
Birthplace: Whitehorse, Yukon
Spirit Animal: Wolf or owl. Or, if you ask my best friend, Fennec Fox, because “they’re cute and feisty.” 😉
Favourite Show: The Bachelor. KIDDING (sort of). But in all seriousness, The Office.
Non food-related hobbies: Running/working out, spending time in nature, yoga, reading adventure nonfiction and Canadian literature, daydreaming about my next meal.
Favourite Book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
Coffee or tea? Coffee all the way!!
Favourite dessert: Brownies served a la mode with ice cream, and anything pumpkin spice.
Least favourite dessert: Pies and crisps. Much to my apple crisp-loving father’s chagrin, I cannot stomach baked fruit.
Least favourite food: Meat. Going vegetarian was so easy for me because I always disliked the flavour and texture of meat.
Country I’d most like to live in: Germany or Denmark.
Astrological Sign: Capricorn
Morning person or night owl? I’m naturally a night owl, but as long as I guzzle enough coffee, I do love the peace of the early morning.
Favourite season: Fall!
My dream career: Owner of a green general store and zero waste cafe on the east coast of Canada, or organic farmer. Or both!