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My Story

Hi there! Welcome to Brownble!

I’m Kim, co-founder of Brownble and passionate about the power of cooking with plants. I co-created this blog, online plant-based cooking school and culinary/lifestyle hub with my partner in crime, my husband Carlos, a medical doctor passionate about health who also loves to eat delicious food. It truly has been a total labor of love. You’ll get to meet him here, and read some “oh so true” facts about both of us, but I want to take a moment to tell you a bit about my story and why I created Brownble.

The first thing you need to know about me is that I live for cooking. I have been cooking - and I mean Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family kind of cooking- since I was in my late teens.

I didn’t have what you would consider a traditional or normal childhood. My mother, the biggest rockstar in my life, raised me on her own in spite of having a very serious and chronic illness since she was 11 years old. She was the most amazing and courageous person I have ever met, and living with her taught me how much we take our bodies for granted, and how even the smallest actions can help us live a fuller, happier life. It taught me that health is this big pillar upon which all the other aspects of our life stand and get to thrive and that taking care of our bodies both mentally and physically is so important. The second thing it taught me was that a good plate of food shared together can do wonders for the soul, that food is more than just fuel. In a way, the love we both had for food completely brought us together and made us forget about the rough cards we were being dealt, which sadly seemed to be getting worse and worse every year.

Living with an ill parent (your only parent) can be a very scary thing. I was constantly in “emergency mode”, problem solving mode, learning to hide fears and emotions away, to not cause trouble, to keep things together and be more responsible than anyone should be at that age. I think it was as a very young girl when I first realized that food and the kitchen were a safe haven for me. This caused me to develop a huge interest in food from very early on, and to take refuge in the emotional comfort that food gave me, but it also created a big case of emotional overeating patterns later followed by crash dieting and restrictive patterns that accompanied me well into my adult life and always made me feel powerless and out of control with food.

As a teenager I also developed serious stomach issues that accompanied me for years. I had a very severe case of gastritis, which might sound like something anyone can have and be okay with, but my case was chronic, bringing with it serious pain every time I ate, making my relationship with food even more difficult. The physical symptoms I was experiencing in my life were only the tip of the iceberg. I was a scared and anxious kid, trying to keep my home life together and cause as little trouble as I could so my mom could just focus on getting better. Perfect grades at school, no staying out late, trying to keep the turmoil I was feeling quietly shut inside while dealing with very difficult moments of stress and terrible anxiety. 

My life had another side to it though. My mother was what I would call a “magical parent”, she would always insist that our life should be fun and full of laughter, and food was a huge part of that. For years I would come home after school and would sit in front of the TV watching cooking shows for hours to get new ideas for what to make for her. I'd write my own version of the recipes I was seeing, write about ingredients and techniques I was learning. It was the magic of video that really taught me how to cook, which is why this is the way we do things over here at Brownble. 

It also helped to have the amazing influence of one of my uncles, my best friend and the closest thing I had to a dad. He was an incredible cook who knew so much about French cooking and we cooked a lot together. I still feel he’s with me when I’m in the kitchen. Cooking and food was the way my family dealt with everything that was happening, so it became my biggest passion. A “food = keeping my family happy amidst crisis” kind of thing.

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Many years passed, and sadly my mom lost her battle, which resulted in the most difficult years of my life, but I carried on and eventually married the coolest guy on this planet and started life on my own. A few years in, we became vegan. We first learned about veganism because of our love of animals and our desire to skip out on products that caused them so much needless pain and suffering, but when we learned that a vegan diet could also be incredibly health supportive, and more sustainable, we were sold and decided to give it a try. 

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I like to call veganism my little rescuer. Not because it saved me from overeating and that diet prison of control I had built around myself, that came a bit later in my vegan journey after many stumbles, and it came with many of the tools I teach you at Brownble in our blog and podcast, and our courses and programs, but also because slowly but surely, I was faced with having to be myself, with my true beliefs guiding the way, every time someone asked me why I wasn’t eating meat, dairy or eggs anymore. For the first time I felt that I wasn't hiding away from the way my food was being made or raised, and I felt such integration between my values and the way I made choices throughout the day. It was also the biggest confidence booster and it gave me so much joy to incorporate habits that were also helping other beings and taking the focus slightly off of the food itself, overeating, or restriction, creating peace in knowing that food was both fuel, pleasure and connection (both with my loved ones and with the world around me).

Now one question remained, would I finally be able to find balance and joy, give all my diet books away (I went on so many I can’t even count), make peace with food, be healthy and at ease with food and eating? The answer was yes, I have since found my way, I have found my balance, and I have learned so much about cooking, food and changing the relationship we have with food through this process, that I have created this space for you and I to spend time in together.

Life isn’t all or nothing, or about finding the magic pill, the magic behavior or about being perfect (this applies to veganism too), it’s about finding a way of living that allows you to be happy, healthy and at peace, and that spot can look different from person to person.

My hope is that through our time together in this space, I can share so many of the delicious plant-based recipes and food that I create in my kitchen that require no sacrifice of taste or pleasure, but that are also aligned with your values and help protect your health, the environment and animals.

I also hope to share the resources and practices that helped me find peace with food and my body, and help you understand that there is no one size that fits all, that you can use the tools I share and find your own path, whether that means being fully vegan or not. This space is there for anyone who wants to make more delicious plant-based choices, no matter how they identify as eaters or plan to in the future. All eaters are welcome here.

I hope you enjoy this journey into a new relationship with food and cooking, filled with pure deliciousness, making you shine from the inside out… in and out of the kitchen.

This blog is dedicated to the two pieces of my heart that are no longer here, who taught me how to cook and how to LIVE…. to Aly and Jini.

… and to Carlos, who makes me laugh every day, and brought me back to life.