Hi, I’m Allison, founder and creator of Up Beet Kitchen, a food and fitness blog dedicated to proving that a healthy plant-based lifestyle can be delicious and joyful! Read on to learn more about the blog and the gal behind it.
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, and I’m the 20-something gal behind this blog. 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 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! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Marathon has been postponed and I will no longer be able to participate in the 2020 race. 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, lifting 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 ‘cool.’ 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.
One thing to know about me: I detest bland food. I live for big, bold flavours and textures. I use lots of garlic, lemon, spices, and seasonings in my recipes because our taste buds deserve better than what the Standard North American Diet gives them!
My food philosophy echoes Michael Pollan’s oft-quoted adage, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I went vegetarian at the age of 15, and 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, but that there is also room for indulgence.
I currently call Ontario, Canada, home. When I’m not busy with the blog, I love spending time outdoors, working out, and reading adventure nonfiction.
Below are my answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:
- What’s in a name?
I called my blog Up Beet Kitchen because the kitchen is my happy place and it is where I create vibrant recipes that promote health and happiness. Furthermore, I want to encourage you to find peace with food and your body, and a huge part of that is not taking ourselves too seriously and learning to have fun with food. Last but not least, The Office is always and forever my favourite show, and why wouldn’t I pay homage to Dwight Schrute?
- Which recipe(s) should I make first? The top three fan favourite recipes that you should make first are Buffalo Chickpea Wraps, Vegan Nanaimo Bars, and Vegan Banana Spice Cupcakes. And as for my favourite recipes, it’s a tie between my Vegan Poutine-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and my Almond Butter Oat Flour Brownies.
- Which camera do you use?
I currently take all of my photos with a Canon Rebel T6 paired with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Normal Lens. It’s not a fancy DSLR, but it’s what I was able to afford at the time and is serving me well for the time being! I edit in Lightroom. For the first 15 months of the blog, I was using an iPhone 5 for all of my food photography! Yikes!