Today’s Foodie Friend is Kimberly from The Little Plantation! We have been “Insta” friends for a few years now. From the beginning she has been such a sweet, encouraging friend and was even there when I began this blog showing her support. She’s also a talented photographer, nutrition enthusiast, and healthy recipe developer who lives in London with her family. Let’s get to know more about her!
Tell us a little about yourself, Kimberly—
Firstly, just a massive, massive thank you Joscelyn for interviewing me. I’m TOTALLY honoured as I’ve loved your blog from day one ;).
Secondly, interesting facts about me… well perhaps something people don’t know is that I’m what’s call a ‘global nomad’ – I’ve lived in lots of different countries and consider myself a citizen of the world. At the moment, London is home, but the gypsy in me is already planning our next move. My dream would be for us to build an earthship (AKA ecohome) high in the mountains somewhere in Southern Europe, grow our own food and be totally self sufficient.
Some other random facts: people are always thrown by how short I am, by my rather odd North American accent, by my boundless energy and by my super direct, but warm manner :).
Most of the recipes you share on your blog are plant-based and vegan friendly, but you’ve mentioned before that you also eat other foods as well. What is your food philosophy?
I feel my style of eating is best described as a whole food plant-based diet, with a focus on local, seasonal and home-made food. This means that the vast majority of what I eat consists of in-season vegetables, locally-grown fruits, protein-rich legumes and delicious grains. However I do eat fish on occasion, as well as eggs, bee pollen and honey (all non vegan foods!) and allow myself some processed foods like sugar or chips when the mood strikes me.
I try not to be too black and white about food, especially because I need to cook for a growing six-year-old with his own likes and dislikes. Therefore, meal times shouldn’t just be nourishing but also stress-free, delicious and fun and if that means the occasional pizza, so be it.
You’ve been taking nutrition classes for the last few years, ever since I began following The Little Plantation. Can you share a little more about what made you begin on that journey?
Motherhood! I had a close look at my son’s diet and thought, ‘this just isn’t good enough’. How can I make his diet healthier without making it stressful? Then I watched the movie Forks over Knives and read every nutrition book I could possibly get my hands on. Next I spent hours reading through tons of free research papers on the link between plant-based food and health and before I knew it, I’d signed on the dotted line and committed 3 years of my life to the study of naturopathic nutrition.
You live in England with your husband and darling son, but you’ve also lived in America and abroad. How different is the local food and markets compared to some of the other places you’ve lived?
This is such an interesting question. I’d say that when I was growing up, I noticed a stark difference in food cultures across the globe. You see my mother worked in the airline industry so we travelled tons and the difference in flavours, textures and smells was how I’d know when I was a little kid that we’d landed in a different, exotic destination.
But as time went on I started to notice how food cultures across the world were becoming more and more similar. For example, you’d find major fast food chains in every corner of the globe with tourist areas in particular dominated by the predictable crowd pleasers (pasta, pizza, burger, fries, etc.). So boring, right?!
But, in the last 5-10 years I’ve started to observe a new and really exciting shift; a strong, influential movement back to real, honest, local food. What’s more, people are SO intrigued about it, meaning that artisan makers are getting new platforms all the time as quirky and trendy food markets and festivals gain ground. It’s SO exciting! And I feel as a Londerner I’m in the middle of this vibrant food revolution.
What are some of the things you love most about where you live?
Apart from what I mention above, I love London because it is so vibrant, dynamic and cosmopolitan. It’s hard not to like it. Furthermore, it’s a very open-minded city, filled with creative people seeking to live life to the full, which I find rather infectious :). Yet, at the same time you can also find lots of calm spots where nature gains the upper hand; countless parks, river walks, deep dark woods, urban farms you name it, London’s got it.
What does a typical “day in the life of” look like for you?
Oh, that’s a toughie! I don’t really have a typical day, but generally I am a very early riser. Often I’ll start the day with a yoga practice. Then usually I get breakfast ready, prepare my son’s lunch box, eat, check my social media and drop my son off at school.
Thereafter, I may cook, style and photograph a blog post, develop and/or photograph a recipe for a client, teach yoga, update my social media, prop hunt for a client or complete an assignment for college. Many times, I’ll take time out to respond to e-mails and telephone enquiries too and before I know it, it’s time to collect my son from school.
He and I often cook dinner together before my man gets home from work and we have some down time. I might listen to a podcast before bed, check my social media again (I sound like a broken record!) and then go to bed early in anticipation for the following day’s early start…
If you could have a meal from anywhere in the world, what would it be?
I’m a sucker for Japanese food. I think it’s SO yummy and it’s a food I NEVER ever get bored of. Apart from that, the good old (vegan) pizza does it for me every time, especially if it’s a thin crust sourdough pizza. Make me one and I’m yours!
Besides nutrition, you’re very passionate about food photography and have attended several workshops on the topic. What were some of the key points you took away from those sessions?
– practice regularly and you WILL get better!
– find a good light source in your home. I know it’s what everyone always says, but it’s so true. Good lighting really is the key to a good food photography!
– collaborate, work with other bloggers and food photographers. There is so much you can learn from seeing someone else do their thing. And more importantly it’s lovely to share all that you know with a fellow blogger.
– find good food photography props – a beautiful plate, a lovely backdrop and cute cutlery can really transform your photos. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money. Ebay is a great place to find some unique pieces as are car boot sales and charity shops and most of my backdrops are hand-made.
How would you describe your photography style?
I think the red thread that runs through my photography is light. Even when I shoot black plates and dark food, all my pictures feel as though they are flooded with light. It’s what Im drawn to. Apart from that as view my food photography as an escape, a fantasy world. Hence, my style is quite feminine, girly even. But you might be surprised to know that in reality I am neither 😉
What are some of your favorite programs or apps for editing photos?
I edit my pictures on Photoshop Elements. We got the program for free when we purchased our computer a few years ago and it’s all I know. I’d love to develop my editing skills though and have a play with lightroom, regular photoshop and vsco. But for now, elements provides me all that I need considering I retouch my pictures minimally.
As a mom, how do you encourage your son to make healthy food choices when he’s at school or away from home?
To be honest it’s a daily struggle and I wish I could tell you I’ve got it all worked out, but I sure don’t :). What I tell myself is that all we can do is take things one step at a time and not stress too much about what he is and isn’t eating. I mean, I can recognise that rejecting healthy food is pretty normal child behaviour and considering he eats broccoli without complaining, I guess we aren’t doing too badly :).
Generally, we talk A LOT about nutrients and vitamins, protein and fibre and I feel that the more information I provide him, the easier it is for him to make healthy choices. As a family we have also opted out of school lunches meaning I send him to school with a lunch box prepared at home.
When my son goes on a playdate, his friends’ parents know that I’m not keen on cow’s dairy and would rather they serve him a vegetarian meal. They have always respected my wishes for which I’m utterly grateful. The only time I will make an exception to that rule is at birthday parties and other special occasions—if he wants a piece of the birthday cake made with cream and butter or a sausage at a goodbye BBQ I let him without batting an eye lid. It’s because I want him to feel just like everyone else AND I also want to ensure sweets, treats, meat and even processed foods aren’t ‘the forbidden food’. It’s a difficult compromise, but at the moment it works for us.
If you could invite anyone (past or present) over for dinner, who would it be and what would you make for them?
Oh wow, that’s another hard question. Hmm, well there are 3 people I’ve never met but despite this I feel so much love for them — Jesus, Ghandi and Mandela. Can I invite all three? I’d have them over for breakfast and make my raw vegan porridge and a green juice. Send them back to heaven full of nutrients and vitamins :).
What is your most favorite recipe on The Little Plantation? Which is the most popular?
My most favourite recipe is probably my vegan blackberry crumble. It’s SUCH a simple, easy, modest recipe yet it hits the spot every time. I made and shot the recipe whilst travelling in the Andes with very few ingredients at my disposal and no proper oven to speak of. Yet somehow it came out perfectly.
The most popular recipe on the blog – hands down – is my gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread doughnut. It’s been re-pinned more times than I can even get my head around and it is one of the most recreated recipes to date.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Kimberly! If you’d like to learn more about her or try some of her delicious recipes, check out her blog The Little Plantation. You can also find her posting daily on Instagram and browsing for beautiful food photography inspiration over on Pinterest!
Previous Foodie Friends:
July 15, 2015—Amisha from The Jam Lab!
July 8, 2015—Taesha from The Natural Nurturer!
July 1, 2015—Dale from The Daley Plate!
June 24, 2015—Bella from Ful-Filled!
June 17, 2015—Monica from The Movement Menu!
June 10, 2015—Q&A with Me!
June 3, 2015—Allyson from Reclaiming Yesterday!
May 27, 2015—Aleyda from The Dish On Healthy!
May 20, 2016—Christine from Yommme!
May 13, 2016—Minna from Living Minnaly!