Who I Am

Who I am at Cooking Up Clean

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Hi! I’m Kari, a Minnesota native with a desire to provide recipes and resources to help others live a more fulfilling life through eating clean and being healthy. I am a fulltime mom of three kiddos (4, if you include my hubby) who keep me incredibly busy. In my free time, you’ll find me outside soaking up the outdoors via gardening, camping, biking, and doing yoga on my deck. I have a backyard chicken flock of fifteen wonderful feather friends that are so fun to watch and care for. I love to relax with a cup of coffee by the fire or glass of red wine. I also enjoy target shooting and archery with my husband when we have a chance to escape for a date. My childhood was rich with rural small town farm experiences which shaped my food choices and instilled a deep appreciation for farm to table eating. Currently, my favorite treats are dark chocolate truffles and garlic stuffed olives. If only I could come up with a way to grow those in my suburban garden!

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I enjoy creating from scratch instead of strictly following a recipe. I’ve discovered that even when I do have an existing recipe, I often alter it to be healthier using high quality and nutrient dense ingredients.  My son’s nut allergies and my own dairy sensitivities have challenged me to expand my palate and driven me to find amazingly tasty ways to change and develop recipes to accommodate these needs. Most of my recipes are gluten free, dairy free and nut free, though I do make some exceptions or include a side note for substitutions. Cooking has become a creative outlet for me to share my culinary passion for clean healthy eating with my family and friends. In addition to this fun blog, I contribute clean eating recipes for the athletes and enthusiasts on the Breaking Muscle website.

I believe that everything leading to great health starts with food and that all foods have the power to heal or can do the opposite. Simple, nutritious food can make significant and long term positive changes in health. I’ve struggled with Meniere’s disease since I was a teenager and am managing it and healing through food. If you want to read more about my adventures with Meniere’s, you can find it here. Creating tasty clean eats that are easy and enjoyable makes me happy. I hope they make you happy too!  

Contact me via email at  kari@cookingupclean.com

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8 thoughts on “Who I Am”

  • You are an inspiration!! I’ve been recently diagnosed with cochlear hydrops (menieres minus vertigo) and it has thrown me for a loop. Thanks for the awesome website!!

    • Erika – thanks! Glad I could help and I hope you can figure out some ways to manage your symptoms. That’s awesome that you don’t have the vertigo… I think that’s by far the worst part for me 🙂 Cheers!

  • Hello! Just found your blog through a Google search. I’m also named Keri:-) I was diagnosed with MD after my second child was born in 2013. I just delivered our 3rd baby 5 weeks ago, and I’m starting to feel the MD ramping up again. My vertigo attacks and other MD symptoms have been sporadic but hormone fluctuations are definitely a trigger for me.

    • Hi Keri! Thanks for dropping me a note. The hormone shifts are definitely no fun… my worst vertigo was during that period of time just after our 3rd child was born. The stress of a third kid and eating less than great with little sleep definitely was part of my triggers too. You can get through it! Enjoy that new baby of yours 🙂

  • Kari!!

    I’m so glad I discovered your site! I am also a clean-eating food blogger, and I’ve been experiencing Meniere’s-style vertigo attacks since January. My ENT has been reluctant to diagnose me since I don’t have any official hearing loss (although, in a crowded room or an amusement park, my tinnitus and “ocean waves” fullness makes it impossible to hear anything).

    I have an ECOG scheduled for next week for final diagnosis, but in the meantime, I’ve been treating my symptoms like MD, and I’ve noticed that my attacks always seem to follow times when I’ve eaten in a restaurant, had too much coffee, binged on some processed food items, etc.

    I’m especially appreciating your natural food supplements list! I’m headed to the health food store later today to pick up some supplements. I’m currently taking Meclizine (25mg three times per day) and it’s WIPING ME OUT! I’m so exhausted all of the time! Ugh. I’m also taking ginger supplements and 1000mg of fish oil, wearing SeaBands bracelets (not sure if those are working — just started them this week).

    Anyway, I’m feeling tired, overwhelmed, and really disheartened. No caffeine, alcohol or restaurants?! Argh! How am I going to do this?! So glad to have found you! I’m sure I’ll be peppering your site with comments the more I explore. 😉

    • Hi Katy!

      I totally feel ya! When I was first struggling with getting diagnosed it was super overwhelming but I was so glad to finally know what was going on. It DOES get easier. I did super low sodium, no caffeine and no alcohol for awhile and then found that once my system settled down a bit I could handle a cup or two of coffee, more salt than I had thought and an alcoholic beverage or two but still can’t get carried away with any of those three or my ears start to feel full and ring really loud so I can’t hear anything. So frustrating. Limiting those things and eating clean has just becomes a normal lifestyle and then it’s not really a big deal. Keep up the eating clean and trying solutions that could help. What works for one person is not always what will work for another and it was a long road of trial and experimenting until I found the right mix of things (chiropractor, vitamins, clean eating, etc) that work for me – and I’m still trying new things just in case I find something that works even better. I’m happy to meet a fellow clean eating food blogger too!! I just might be peppering your site with comments 🙂 Feel free to email me anytime if you have Meniere’s questions – always happy to lend advice if I have it or just to be another ear to hear what you’re going through since I’ve been there and understand – kari@cookingupclean.com And I promise, you can get through this!

  • Hi Kari,
    I was diagnosed with MD almost 20 years ago. Had Dexamethasone implant in left ear and it immediately helped to stop the drop down attacks. They were constant almost every day. After that, and following a low sodium diet and diuretic, I am handling MD .
    Now working full time, and that has taken a toll on me, I am mainly just trying to get by every day on diet, pill and staying away from loud venues or lights that bother my senses.
    I have tried several of your suggestions, but open to experimenting on others that I have not. I was diagnosed with a digestive problem, after chemo, so cannot digest fiber . That has been a big problem with trying to ‘eat clean’.
    My local ENT and Internist both have me on nasal sprays for allergies, as allergy shots did not help.
    I looking for a local medical professional experienced with MD, but to no avail.
    If you have any suggestions for websites, etc to help with that, please forward. Also, need an eye doctor that knows what MD is all about. Glad to see someone out there trying to educate MD patients (and hopefully medical professionals!).
    Robin

    • Hi Robin, I too have been dealing with MD for nearly 20 years. I’m glad you’re at least able to manage it okay. Working full time I’m sure tires you out and I know exactly what you mean by avoiding loud venues and lights. Sensory overload can be an issue for me too. I’m sorry you have the added challenge of a digestive issue… that certainly would complicate things. It’s really a challenge to find doctors with experience in MD. I haven’t found any good websites to find them really other than the academy that certifies ENT’s which it sounds like you have a good ENT already. If not, here’s the board website for ENT options http://www.entnet.org/content/find-ent. Have you tried asking your ENT or Internist for any recommendations on doctors? They might know someone with experience in or at least familiar with MD. I had a few ENT’s that were not good ones for me and found the one I go to now, and love, based on my allergist’s referral. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful in that regard 🙁

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