History of a Food Blogger

History of a Food Blogger

History of a Food Blogger

Welcome everyone! My name is Kate and I am the food blogger behind all of the vegan recipes that you’ll find on Herbivore’s Kitchen! I am so happy that you’re here!

Food Blogger Kate Friedman Herbivore's Kitchen Headshot

Food has always been a hobby for me. I’ve always loved to cook…and eat. In recent years, that love has grown to include more and more food-related activities. I’m a food science nerd (check out my favorite food science books here). I geek out over food styling (I actually have a color wheel so that the color of my napkins complements my food) and I’m learning more and more about food photography every day.

I find that most people go to a vegan food blogger’s About Me page for two reasons: (1) they’re looking for an example of how to go vegan, or (2) they’re interested in food blogging and are wondering how to get started. So, whichever camp you’re in, hopefully my story gives you a little insight.  

How I Decided to Go Vegan

My path to becoming a “vegan” (more on those quotes below) started when I accidentally attended a lecture on plant-based eating. A friend of mine asked me to join her for a speaking event called The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen. I felt bad because I thought that meant she had bad gas, so I went. During that lecture I learned that an anti-inflammatory diet had a little to do with having gas and a lot to do with eating to live well.

I asked the lecturer that day to recommend three books on the health benefits of plant-based eating. Then I read them (if you’re interested in my recommendations, you can check them out here). They were so eye opening that I started making life changes even before turning the last pages.

While, my decision to change to a plant-based diet started out for health reasons I was also interested in the environmental consequences of meat consumption. What I learned there worked to reinforce my decision. Then I leapt into the animal welfare arguments. I use the word “leapt” specifically – you can’t really unsee what you learn when you open that box. By all accounts, going vegan seemed to be the right answer.

On Being the Perfect Vegan

And while I know it’s the way to go… (deep breath)… I am not the perfect vegan. I am a fallible vegan and it’s taken me a while to accept that, especially in light of this blog. So many vegans make this out to be an all-or-nothing proposition though and it’s so daunting. Who wants to be part of a club where failure to meet the standard is an almost certainty? It’s too much pressure and “vegan shaming” is the worst. It occurred to me that perhaps I could offer a different perspective, so here is my philosophy:

Do Not Make Perfect the Enemy of the Good.

If you subscribe to the argument (and I do) that eating a plant-based diet and making vegan-based choices will lead to a healthier you, living on a healthier planet, then it stands to reason that doing those things some of the time will reap the same proportional benefits. If you’re just getting started, don’t get sidelined by others telling you that “you’re not a real vegan.” Any effort, whether that’s Meatless Mondays, vegan-curious, vegan-lite, mostly vegan or fully tenured vegan, is progress. My goal with this blog is to make the club bigger, so you’re welcome here.

Kate Friedman Herbivore's Kitchen Headshot

Personally, I really like developing vegan recipes. I love the challenge of making great food that makes me feel good – physically and emotionally. So that’s how we eat at home. I’ve found that being exclusively vegan is really hard when we’re traveling, so I will default to vegetarian from time-to-time. Regarding my purchasing decisions, I am learning a lot. Don’t forget that “going vegan” has a lot of consequences beyond dietary choices. Clothes, shoes, cars, cosmetics… they all have animal-welfare and environmental impacts. But I’m paying more attention now than I have in the past. And that too is progress. As I continue to learn, I will continue to share. Which brings me to how I got started as a food blogger…

How I Became a Food Blogger

My path is anything but typical, although I think a lot of food bloggers have that in common. I’m a long-recovered attorney and a mother of two. That sentence probably tells you all you need to know about how I got started blogging, but that’s not my whole story. I’m also a former small business owner, an avid outdoor enthusiast, a voracious reader, a relentless entrepreneur and an adult who still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up.

Herbivore's Kitchen A Vegan Diet Blog for Beginners

Being creative is my jam. You’d think that would be obvious, but I needed to have it pointed out to me. At age 43 no less. I took a class on happiness. As part of the class, I had to determine what characteristics most aptly defined me. The idea was: if you know who you are, you can make better decisions about what will make you happy. After a series of tests, I received a list of my characteristics. Creative was my #1, followed by love of learning, curiosity, humor and honesty. [If you’d also like to take this class, you can find it on Coursera. It’s a free online class out of Yale University.]

By the time I took the class, I had already started my blog and my Instagram account, but I was doing them both anonymously. It was self-fulfilling but didn’t want anyone who knew me to know. In my mind, it didn’t get any more cliché than lawyer-gone-blogger. The class (and some talk therapy) made me realize that I was fighting my greatest strengths and it was making me miserable. So, I shared my Instagram account with a few friends (now my biggest champions) and I decided to take blogging more seriously. In short, I came out as the nerd that I am.

Now food blogging is my job. I taught myself food photography (Argh! White balance! It will always be a work in progress!) and food styling. I’m forever reading about how to blog, SEO, Pinterest, Instagram and (God help me) Tik-Tok and YouTube. Now I have several clients for whom I develop recipes, shoot products and promote socially. I had my first magazine feature in Thrive’s May-June issue and my first cookbook is coming out in June 2021.

I love everything about blogging – the development, research, writing, photography, marketing and community. I’ll always be adding new recipes and food education posts to my Vegu-cation section. Eventually, I want this blog to be a resource to other bloggers, so I’ve started my Confessions of a Food Blogger series. And then…who knows where else this will take me?

Some Final Food Blogger Thoughts

I want to thank everyone who read this far! I’m so pleased you took the time to visit and learn a little bit about me and my food philosophy! Now I’d like to get to know a little bit about you! Are you vegan-curious? If you have questions or suggestions about a recipe or a topic you’d like to see covered, please let me know! If you’re a fledgling food blogger, I’m also interested in hearing your story and question that you might have, so drop me a line! You can reach me at: eat@herbivoreskitchen.com.