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Conversations with the Inspiring Kailee Walters

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kailee Walters.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A picky eater who didn’t know how — or what — to cook… and who also had a wicked sweet tooth. That’s how my family would describe the before-college version of me. I was a simple eater. Chicken, vegetables, potatoes. Cookies, ice cream, candy.

My entire growing up was spent dancing. Whether at my studio or at my school, I lived and breathed the sport. Weekdays spent training and weekends spent competing pretty much allowed my diet to be as wild as it wanted. When I started university, quit competitive dancing, and got my first job (which happened to be a dancing job but was far less intense than my competitive career), my dad started taking his health seriously. My eating habits began to change, too. Suddenly I had my own chef and didn’t have a reason to eat out all the time.

Every morning, he’d be in the kitchen making egg white frittatas. Mushrooms, spinach, onion, egg whites. This was when I realized I liked mushrooms. He wouldn’t let me live down the fact that I ate them and wouldn’t let go of the idea that I was bound to start branching out of my picky habits soon or later.

Turns out I not only like mushrooms, I like fish, too. Sushi? Amazing. Baked salmon? Incredible.

The more my palette expanded, the more time I began spending in the kitchen, the more time I began spending with my dad. Cooking became so special to me because I knew, without fail, we’d have a little piece of our busy days to spend together. Breakfast or dinner, it didn’t matter. Both of us would, at some point, be in the kitchen together.

Eventually, I managed to kick my dad out of our household’s chef position. I practically stole the hat off of his head and gave him the boot.

Soon enough, my passions for food, photography, and writing meshed together, becoming my blog. “Kailee in the Kitchen” gave me my own little space to share my growth, my recipes and my simple approach to a healthy lifestyle.

When I’m not occupied with school or work, I pour nearly every remaining ounce of my energy into my blog. I am so in love with this space I’ve created and the people I’ve met because of it!

For the record, my dad is still eating great food. The only difference is I’m the one cooking it and he has to wait for me to take a picture first.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think a smooth road exists, really! Life is full of ebbs and flows and we all have to learn and grow in one way or another.

I’m not invincible nor am I immune to struggles, bad days, or insecurities. There have been times in this journey of food blogging where I’ve put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. Pressure to create the best recipes, take the most beautiful photos, eat the healthiest foods, and do the most effective workouts. I cracked under my own pressure every time. I needed to learn to have grace on myself.

I’ve become a firm believer in taking each opportunity, moment, and meal as it comes. I’ve learned to understand that not everything I put out into the world needs to be groundbreaking or beautiful and not every meal needs to be the dictionary definition of health. It’s not in our nature to live seamlessly. Learning to have grace on myself and to ebb and flow as I’m meant to has been vital.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of. What sets you apart from the competition?
On my blog, I’m a recipe developer, food stylist, and photographer! My hands are in the creative process start to finish. I also love to share easy meals to encourage the people that follow me, who are in large part also college students, that eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming.

I’ve also been given incredible tangible work opportunities as a result of “Kailee in the Kitchen.” On social media, I occasionally partner with brands to create culinary-focused content. Off the internet grid, I’ve entered into a new job position that allows me to take photos at fun, eclectic dining events. I’m very grateful for the work I get to do!

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
There is an incredible and obvious platform that women have available to step onto. Righting misinformed wrongs and filling gaps in knowledge is where I see women thriving. Women have been breaking grounds by reversing trends like diet culture and society’s view on appearance.

I’m lucky to have grown up in a world where women are capable. To have grown up without needing permission to venture down my own path. To have access to higher education and a platform where I have a voice; it’s all thanks to the women before me who pioneered the way.

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Kailee Walters

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