My Clean Kitchen is written by friends and colleagues, Sara Christopherson and Jessica Warrens. They each bring a unique perspective to the clean eating philosophy on the recipes, stories and content on the My Clean Kitchen blog. Sara and Jessica met working for a global health nonprofit. They discovered a mutual love of food on business trips where they quickly began to pair up to visit local food destinations and restaurants. My Clean Kitchen is the result of years of food exploration and a desire to share our journey to eat clean with others.
I have always been interested in food. Even when I was young I liked to cook. I thought my brown sugar carrots were the best and most unique invention in the world when I was 10…I know don’t burst my bubble. However, even though I liked to cook when I was young, I grew up in a typical American household. The main staples of my diet were pizza, mac n cheese, and McDonalds. My mom tried her best to get us to eat healthy, but it is hard to convince a bunch of mac n cheese lovin kids that organic food isn’t gross (oh being young…).
My real passion for food began after I moved to Charleston, SC for undergrad. Anyone who has been to Charleston knows it is a total food town. The restaurants are amazing, there is a ton of local seafood, and at the time I lived there a well respected culinary school constantly funneled fresh new talent into Charleston’s restaurants. All of those factors come together to create this amazing food mecca. Still to this day I believe that a dive bar in Charleston serves better food than most restaurants in suburban America. Given all these food influences, I began playing in the kitchen more and more during this time. While I was fascinated with learning how to cook my favorite foods, I never really paid much attention to nutrition or what I was eating. I ate a lot of pasta, cheese and bread…oh how I love bread. All delicious things…but hardly a well rounded nutritious diet.
It was while I was in graduate schools studying for my Masters of Public Health that I first began to understand the importance of healthy organic locally sourced foods. Over the years I have worked to develop my cooking chops and slowly move away from buying prepackaged food to making it myself. In the process, I have noticed I feel better, have lost weight, and have lost the craving for the fatty fast foods I used to enjoy.
Hi! Welcome to My Clean Kitchen! I’m so excited to share our world with you.
I’ve always loved to cook and experiment in the kitchen. Luckily, I’m pretty good at it. I did not get this from my mother who is the kind of person who has to follow a recipe to the letter. She’s a business savvy entrepreneur who kept (along with my dad, of course) my fathers family business in the green for more than 25 years! My folks, as small business owners, were always committed to supporting their fellow local business owners. They instilled in me to importance of going local, and it’s important to me that I pass it along to my own daughter. I was born in Virginia but grew up in Orlando, Florida but moved to back Virginia by way of Washington, DC about ten years ago.
I love Virginia. It’s so beautiful and Virginian’s have so much pride in their state. It’s been a great place to live and raise my daughter. Unfortunately, I live in a small town where the local government is committed to welcoming chain after chain to the area near the interstate exit and has all but forgotten the quaint downtown. I’m terrified that my daughter will grow up loving the big box stores and completely overlook the amazing locally owned store that is just around the corner. I have worked hard to scope out the local shopping opportunities in the area and have discovered a treasure trove of excellent local wares. It does take commitment though, but it’s so completely worth it. We have made the farmers market, local farm visits, apple picking and all things local a family affair. Getting her involved in the food cultivation has been a great way to get her excited about the sometimes nontraditional yet healthy meals that mommy makes.
Becoming a mom reinforced the importance of eating whole, fresh, and clean ingredients. We started out with small changes and have over time implemented more and more clean ingredients to our home. Buying local (as much as is possible) has been an excellent way to introduce clean and minimize processed. It’s been and will continue to be a journey for my family. I hope you will join us in our journey as we document the trials and tribulations of going “clean” and local here in suburban Virginia.
I should add that I’m a huge college football fanatic and Florida State Seminole fan. Go Noles!
Sera Petras – Guest Photographer
My love affair with photography is ever evolving. I feel that my work has an easy, relaxed feel and yet is elegant and timeless. I truly believe that you can find beauty everywhere. Being able to capture what is real and true about my clients is the most amazing thing and I can’t imagine doing anything else other than being a Mama to my sweet three year old daughter and a wife to my amazing husband. My family is my world and they are constantly inspiring me throughout my journey with photography. When I’m not crafting photographs I can be found whipping up some delicious food or singing in one of my bands. I really am a rockstar!
You can learn more about Sera at her website at www.sarapetras.com. Be sure to check out her Food Photography, its gorgeous!
Kathryn McMillan is the owner of Clutter Conversions, LLC. She has been in business for over seven years and is preparing to take the national exam to become a nationally certified professional organizer.
Kathryn graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science with a minor in Secondary Education. She decided to become a professional organizer when she lost her job in the financial arena. She knew immediately that organizing was what she wanted to do because it is something that she is naturally good at doing and felt that it would be helpful to people. She is always looking for an easier, simpler way of doing things and wants to share it with others. She believes life is so much better when we are not as stressed!