GREEN KITCHEN STORIES
for Nutrition Stripped
David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl
If someone were to ask you what you “do”, what would you say?
We are self-taught cookbook authors and food bloggers. I (David) am also a food photographer and graphic designer and Luise has a bachelor in Social Studies and is a certified Holistic Nutritionist.
If you can, in two sentences how would you describe your philosophy about food and living well?
1) Eat real food – focus on whole grains, vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, beans, lentils and eggs. And remember to drink lots of water, breathe and exercise. 2) Don’t forbid unhealthy food, enjoy it from time to time, just aim for balance. Listen to your heart. Eat to feel good, not bad.
Tell us about your health and wellness journey, how did you get started creating your passion into this career?
It was never meant to be a career. We were actually determined not to make it into one, as we were afraid that it would take the passion away. But as the blog grew, our apps started selling and we were offered to start writing cookbooks, we just couldn’t say no to such an opportunity. We have however promised each other that we are only going to continue as long as we find it fun. And we still do!
When was your “ah-ha” moment, of when you felt you were succeeding at what you do with GKS?
David: We have had a million of those moments since we started. I remember when we got our first comment (that wasn’t from a family member). And when other blogs started mentioning us. The first time we appeared in a magazine. And when we all of a sudden got an email from a publisher asking if we wanted to do a book. All those moments felt special and unreal.
How did you get started with GKS?
David Luise was a healthy eating carnivore when we met and I was an ”unhealthy” vegetarian. So when we became a couple, our two food worlds collided. The blog was born as an attempt of documenting the new type of dishes that we were cooking together.
What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?
Where do you draw most inspiration? Who? What?
David: When it comes to the recipes, we often get inspired by fresh produce at farmers markets, reading magazines, other blogs or going to restaurants. When we travel, we always try to get invited into local kitchens to learn their tricks and get inspiration on how to make our own version of their recipes. But most of all, we get inspired by our two kids and Elsa (the oldest) in particular. We talk a lot with her about food and vegetables and why we eat like we do. It is very motivating for us to explain to her about whole foods on a very basic level. Her questions has inspired us to focus more on how to get everyone to eat better food and more vegetables at home, not just creating recipes for health nuts.
Picture this, you’re living your most perfect day- what does this look like?
Luise: We are always so busy, so a perfect day would be a day without any plans, together with our kids. Preferably a sunny day so we can eat lunch outside at one of our favourite cafes and then just spend time doing nothing.
Now what’s your actual typical day look like?
David: Our days are rarely typical. It feels like our lives have been in a constant state of change these past years. But this is how it is at the moment: Our daughter wakes up first, then she wakes me up and tells me that she is hungry. We eat some kind of oatmeal for breakfast before I drop her off at pre-school. At the moment, Luise is on maternity leave with Isac, our 3 months old son. So apart from helping out with some blog posts, she focuses most of her effort on him. I workout (if I have time) and then answer emails, comments and plan for new recipes while having coffee or a smoothie on a cafe. Apart from our own projects, I do some freelance photography and recipe development. If I don’t have any freelance work that day, I might go home and test a recipe for our blog, apps or youtube channel. We usually shoot two or three recipes at the same time, so we often try a few recipes throughout the week and then shoot towards the end of the week. Then I’m off to pick up our daughter from preschool. We have test-kitchen leftovers for dinner, or something else that isn’t too complicated. Then we spend time with the kids before they fall asleep. Depending on our workload, I often answer some more emails, edit photos and write blog posts for a few hours.
It’s not always an easy road, can you tell us about challenges that occur and how you deal with them or stress?
David: One challenge we face, is working together with your partner. It’s fun most of the time, but it’s also difficult to draw a line between work and private life. Not talking about work during the evenings. Luise is generally better at this than me. But I’m learning. Another difficulty is to find balance and not work too long days and nights. Since we have readers from around the world we get a lot of emails during the evenings and late at night. We definitely need to get better at shutting off our computers and phones.
What’s your typical meal for…
- Morning: I (Luise) am mad about breakfast. I actually often lie in bed at night and think about what I’m having for breakfast the following morning. We are a porridge family and love it in all forms. Overnight oats (we have a few different versions in our new book), cooked oatmeal, whole buckwheat porridge or rye porridge. But healthy banana pancakes and colourful superfood smoothies are also a favourite of ours.
- Lunch: Little-bit-of-everything leftover salad bowls. It’s usually lentils or quinoa (we cook large batches so we always have some ready in our fridge), greens, fruit, sprouts, some roasted veggies and eggs.
- Supper: Stews, soups and green pancakes! I don’t think we have a typical dinner, but whatever it is, it’s always focused around vegetables and whole foods.
- Snacks: Smoothies, chia pudding, boiled eggs, a sourdough rye sandwich or vegetables sticks and fruit with some nut butter.
- Dessert: Anything with chocolate and fruit. At the moment, I am preparing a Swedish dessert called Gino. It is chopped fruit with grated chocolate quickly baked in the oven for 5 minutes. I always choose really dark chocolate and add hazelnuts as well.
- Favorite beverage: Hot Chocolate, made with almond milk and dark chocolate
If you could pick one meal to eat over and over again, what would it be?
David: Freshly picked Swedish berries, nut butter, granola and almond milk. There is nothing better!
Living well isn’t just about nourishment of food, it’s also about managing stress, sleeping well, and exercise. What’s your typical…
- Exercise routine you can’t live without: (Luise) We both workout regularly; functional training, tennis, yoga, running and spinning.
- Way to decompress from a busy day: (Luise) A warm bath and breathing exercises
- Favorite bedtime ritual (that you can share haha): (Luise) Chamomile tea with almond milk and raw honey
Beauty talk for the ladies, Luise what’s your…
- Beauty and skin routine look like: I have very sensitive skin so I use shea & cacao butter or almond oil for my skin instead of lotions and face creams. Too many products are filled with chemicals and allergens.
- Your favorite beauty products: My mom has recently started making amazing all natural body scrubs. She calls her brand House Scrubs and she sells them at local markets in Denmark. My favourite is brown sugar, ground vanilla, almond oil and argan oil. They are so pure that you actually can eat them.
- Your favorite hair care tip: I actually don’t have any.
- Your ultimate self-care tip: Always be true to yourself.
- Your secret (not so secret anymore) beauty tip: Sleep a lot.
What was your experience like writing your first cookbook and how was it different than this one?
David: We definitely had wrong expectations when we started working on our first book. We thought it would be a light and fun experience. But writing a cookbook is very intense. Coming up with a 100 good recipes. Making sure that it’s a good mix between them. Trying them all several times. Creating nice photos. And then letting them go through the editing process and making sure they come out correct on the other side. We thought that we had learned so many lessons from working with the first book but it actually turned out to be a quite similar experience. Both our cookbooks were very intense projects.
What was your favorite part of developing your cookbook?
Luise: This new book combines our two favorite interests, travels and food, so we felt very fortunate being able to work with it. It is always amazing to visit local’s kitchens and seeing how cooking methods differs around the world. One thing that we realised on our journeys was that people that have an interest in food, generally are very nice and fun to be around.
Favorite recipe from the cookbook?
David: I love the No Noodle Pad Thai. And the Indian Sesame Laddu from the dessert chapter. Luise: I often do the different versions of Overnight Oats. And the Moroccan Quinoa, Almond & Mint Salad is spectacular!
What’s your favorite quote or inspiration when it comes to business and being an entrepreneur?
Luise: Keep doing what makes you happy.
Saving the big one for last, where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years? Any big plans you want to share!
Luise: I have this dream of starting a small little B&B in the Italian countryside. It would be lovely to move back to the country where we actually met. We could write another cookbook from there. Grow our own vegetables. And have some cooking and nutrition classes as well. Just need to convince Luise, she is much more interested in moving back to her old hometown Copenhagen.
So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?
Definitely through our blog, Green Kitchen Stories. But also through our instagrams. We tend to update more often there: @gkstories & @
There you have it everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading about life, food, business, and so much more from these two amazing foodies. Please do check them out and share this article!