Monica Royer: 321. Welcome back to the Mentor Files. Today I am thrilled to introduce Danielle Brown, the genius behind Healthy Girl Kitchen and quite possibly my favorite person to follow on social media. A passionate advocate for plant based living, Danielle’s journey from a culinary enthusiast to a wellness entrepreneur is nothing short of remarkable.

Join us today as we uncover her story, explore the roots of Healthy Girl Kitchen, and discover the transpo the transformative power of embracing a nutritious plant centric lifestyle. Stay tuned for a conversation that promises to inspire your journey towards a healthier, happier you.

One more. There’s just the outro and then we’re done.

Okay. Perfect. Bye. Three, two, one. That wraps up another episode of The Mentor Files. A huge thank you to Danielle Brown for sharing her incredible journey and insights into the world of healthy living. If you enjoyed today’s episode, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and leave a review. Your feedback means the world to us.

Stay tuned for more interesting stories and expert advice on our upcoming episodes. Until Royer, signing off. See you next time.[00:00:00]

Welcome to The Mentor Files. I’m your host, Monica Royer, founder and CEO of Monica Andy. Join me as I chat with leaders across the fields of entrepreneurship, parenthood, health, and lifestyle. This season we’re digging deeper than ever before to learn the story behind the story. Think of the show as one part Audible MBA and one part certification to be the confident CEO of your own life.

Here we go.

Today I am thrilled to introduce Danielle Brown, the genius behind Healthy Girl Kitchen and quite possibly my favorite person to follow on social media. A passionate advocate for plant based living, Danielle’s journey from a culinary enthusiast to a wellness entrepreneur is nothing short of remarkable.

Join us today as we uncover her story, explore the roots of Healthy Girl Kitchen, and discover the transpo the transformative power of embracing a nutritious plant centric lifestyle. Stay tuned for a conversation that promises to inspire your journey towards a healthier, happier you.

Today I am so excited to welcome Danielle Brown, who I actually met on social media. Uh, Danielle is an incredible plant based lifestyle, not only influencer, but new mom. And, funny enough, it was my daughter Bella that first discovered her. Every once in a while, I’d let her grab my phone and look at Instagram, and she was like, Mom, you have to see this person.

These are the best recipes. Um, and that’s how I got introduced to Danielle. Danielle, welcome.

Danielle Brown: Thank [00:01:00] you so much for having me. We’ve had, I, I feel like I already know you because we talk. All the time. And you are just the best with sending my little Aiden clothes. It’s so funny because I remember I had no idea where to start when it came to baby clothes and like what brands all I knew I wanted stuff that was cute and like, I love stuff that’s a hundred percent organic cotton and I stumbled across.

You guys and then I feel like then you like reached out the next week and you’re like, can we send you stuff? And it was just like kind of a meant to be situation and then we became friends and no, I’m so excited to talk

Monica Royer: Oh my gosh, I’m so excited and just taking the story back to you, which is so funny. When Bella first discovered you, um, it started out with like, Hey mom, we have to follow this person. And two, we have to go to the house of Aya or like some place that you’d recommended. It was like a, a resort or a trip, which we actually did funny enough and are going to be headed back.

So I think it’s kind of amazing and I’m sure you feel the same way, like the [00:02:00] people that you get a chance to meet through social media. We don’t live in the same place, but it’s fun to get to see other people’s lifestyles and, um, and a little bit of a back history on, like, what their life and what they’re doing.

I would love, Danielle, to hear about how you got started on Healthy Girl Kitchen and, like, just tell us a little bit of the story behind how you, how you became this plant based lifestyle guru. Oh

Danielle Brown: I was little I always loved cooking and I’ve loved being in the kitchen I never wanted to be a chef, but I just always I think it’s because I love food and I love eating so naturally I just found myself in the kitchen and When I was younger, I would watch Food Network instead of, like, I don’t know, maybe some kids were watching cartoons.

You could find me 7am, I would rush downstairs in the morning, and I would be watching, like, Rachel Ray, I would be watching, like, Giada De Laurentiis. I just was so fascinated with, like, quick and easy meals, like, [00:03:00] that’s the kind of stuff I watched. I’m not really into baking, more of the cooking. And when Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals came on, I was like, that’s amazing that she can make a whole meal in 30 minutes.

And then I, it just sort of stuck and I would perform cooking shows for my family. My mom was really nice. She let me use all of her spices and all of it. I mean, nothing like came out good, but she would just let me kind of experiment in the kitchen. And I was always into the idea of healthy eating.

Growing up, I always told people. I was going to be a dietitian because obviously this kind of job of being like a healthy social media influence that didn’t exist at the time. So really in high school I went vegetarian and then I met my husband and he was a bit of a bad influence on me and I started eating meat again.

But it, the whole thing of not eating meat, like eating healthier, it always interested me. My freshman year of college, I started [00:04:00] to eat really unhealthy. I went to Michigan state university and they’re known for their dining halls and their dining halls were basically just mall food courts. All you can eat pizza, all you can eat pasta bar, make your own omelet station every morning, soft serve machines on every corner.

It was literally an unsupervised kid’s dream. You could go unlimited times per day and, well, that was fun for a while. I just started to feel sick after eating and keep in mind I was eating a lot of dairy. I really took advantage of those soft serve machines that were on every corner and I would get alfredo pasta and I would be eating, they had this make your own ice cream cookie sandwich station where you picked your cookie flavor and picked your ice cream flavor and you could make your own cookie sandwich.

I mean, you name it, they had it in these dining halls and I just. really started to feel the consequences of what that kind of food was doing to my body and I knew I had to make a change I [00:05:00] didn’t know how to start or where to start But I figured I would start with sugar and and that was obvious to me.

I’m like, maybe I should cut down a little bit on the soft serve. Maybe I should cut down on these desserts a little bit. But then I started to do some research about how to further make the change to become healthier. And I stumbled across a plant based diet and the benefits that people were experiencing.

I saw people were lowering their cholesterol, people were losing weight, people with heart disease, they were reversing their heart disease with. It’s just a plant based diet, no medications, people with type 2 diabetes reversing their diabetes. And I was so fascinated by this, that diet could be so powerful and that food could really be used as medicine. And I thought that I could try a plant based diet. Keep in mind. I had very little resources. I Didn’t have a car at the time. I Literally had no money, but I was in my dorm room. I had a microwave I had the dining [00:06:00] halls and I just tried to make it work I was microwaving sweet potatoes in my room. My roommate probably thought I was crazy.

I Used the salad bar multiple times a day because it was unlimited. So I would just pack it with everything greens I would do they had chickpeas. They had nuts. They had seeds I made friends with the girl who worked at the all you can eat pasta station I was like, look, I need you guys to make me whole wheat pasta And so they literally like they accommodated me they found whole wheat pasta I’m like, I need you to not use butter because they would saute everything in butter or like a really like unhealthy oil I’m like, can you steam my veggies?

Can you use the marinara sauce and I just learned to become an advocate for myself, and I made it work in this very, like, limited environment. And within four months of eating plant based, I, uh, had gotten rid of my chronic Uh, heartburn, which I had had for years that started when I was about 17 and just saying no 17 year old should be suffering from heartburn.

That’s like, I feel like that’s like, [00:07:00] I mean, no one should have heartburn, but I always felt like that was kind of like an older person thing to suffer from. I used to have to take three hour naps after my college classes in the first semester because I had no energy. The food I was eating was not fueling me and I also, I had hormonal breakouts.

I just, and I, I just. I didn’t feel energized when I started my day. So really, after four months of eating plant based, I just did a complete 180. Again, my heartburn went away, never came back, my skin cleared up, my hair felt healthier, um, I had energy and I felt like I could finally get through the day without having to take a nap, which was huge for me.

I just, I thought that like everyone took a nap during the day. That’s not like normal if you need to sleep two to three hours a day after, uh, you know, waking up for a couple hours. And I knew that I needed to make it my mission to help women in particular. Eat healthy, do it in a way where it’s easy and quick and [00:08:00] accessible and affordable, but also do it where plants are at the center of your plate.

Plants are so important, uh, in your diet. They’re important for gut. And gut health and your microbiome, eating a wide variety of plants. It’s like the best way you can keep a healthy gut. Uh, your gut is really like the gateway to a healthy immune system as well. So if you want to like prevent getting sick, the more plants, the better it’s got.

Plants are so important for healthy digestion and healthy bowel movements and Just having, um, sufficient plant-based protein too and healthy fats and everything that comes along with a plant-based diet is so amazing for your body. There’s so many benefits, but people are confused about how, how to go about it the right way.

And that’s kind of where I. Came in and what I wanted to do with my life. So so here I am. I went to nutrition school after college and Shortly after started healthy girl kitchen and and now I share [00:09:00] millions of recipes with people online every day and Have helped so many people live a healthier lifestyle

Monica Royer: my gosh. I love that. And it’s interesting how similar the stories were in the sense that I also became vegetarian first and then to the same as you where I was just like eating so much dairy. And I like one thing I always like. I always, I never thought that I would go plant based, because I always thought like, it’d be so weird to not eat cheese.

I was like addicted to it. Whether it was like baked potato soup, like topped with sour cream, or grilled cheese sandwiches, or macaroni and cheese. Like I never loved meat, so it was like easy for me to be vegetarian. But I loved dairy. And I remember, Thinking about how I should realize how easily I can be influenced, to be honest, because I remember and I can’t remember what book it was that I read, but I remember taking off and it was like this book about a plant based lifestyle.

It was like this was like Before I was married, or maybe I was married, but this was definitely before I had Bella. And I thought, oh, it’s so [00:10:00] weird, like, if you don’t eat cheese. And I started reading the book as the flight took off. By the time I landed, wherever I landed, like, three hours later, I was like, I’m never eating cheese again.

Like, I was completely influenced in this, like, three hour flight by whatever it was that I was reading. And it was unbelievable to me, like, once I went and made the change, the same as you, I had, like, So many stomach issues like my skin was always breaking out and I think like diet is so personal to To people and their lifestyle and so like I always try to expound like this is what I do and like here’s what I feel Like is best, but I understand like different people react to things differently But very similar experience where like once I started to do it Not only did I feel amazing but the food was so good and it it forced me in a way to start to eat All of these other things that I would have never tried before, and I think you can be plant based, and I’ve done it, you know, as I’ve gone out to eat, and like, there’s like, lots of junk food, and like, ways that you could be unhealthy.

But, if you’re really living this like, lifestyle where you’re like, trying to eat as many [00:11:00] plants as possible, it is incredible how delicious and easy a lot of like, the recipes actually are, thanks to folks like yourself, I feel like, that are paving the way for like, really inspiring people to cook in a different way.

Which I think is so much fun, and I’m so curious as I talk to you, so it’s like, you chose, like, to live this lifestyle, you wanted to inspire other people, but fast forward to today where you have, like, millions of people following you and, like, looking at your recipes, how did you even, I mean, I think for people that are thinking about social media and, like, how to get started and what they’re doing, how did you start with starting to post things and then suddenly find yourself with, like, millions of people following what you’re doing?

Danielle Brown: I just started posting what I was passionate about. I think when I talk to so many other people who have large followings, they didn’t start with a goal of monetizing their platform and they also didn’t start with a goal of having a lot of followers. I just started [00:12:00] posting my meals, what I was eating. I was documenting.

I’m like, hey everyone, this is what I’m having for breakfast. This is what I’m having for lunch. Here are some wellness tips. You know, if you have peppermint tea, it’s great for digestion. I was just sharing all of these things that I had learned that had helped myself and just sharing valuable information. I think that when people now start with content creation and they want to build a platform, they have a very selfish mindset of how can I make money from this? How can I get more followers? What hashtags do I need to use to blow up and go viral? Instead, you need to shift the thinking and think, okay, what can I provide to people that’s going to give them value?

And how can I help people with The content that I’m putting out and once you make that shift, it helps you to create the content that actually fuels you and drives you. And it really makes you create content that you’re good at. I think there’s room for everyone. It is becoming a saturated space.

However, if you stay true to yourself and stay true [00:13:00] to what you can uniquely bring to the world, I really do think that there’s room for everyone. I really tried to always stay in my own lane, especially when I first started. I, I knew from early on I didn’t want to copy other people because I wanted to stay true to myself.

And I wanted to stay unique as a creator, but I didn’t, like, I did not think that this was going to be my full time job. That’s the point, like, I wasn’t like, okay, I’m going to start this page and then I’m going to, like, write a cookbook one day and have, like, millions of followers. No, like, this was a very slow Transition and it was a process so really I actually started health coaching when I graduated from nutrition school.

I started a private practice. I started getting clients where I would help them with their nutrition. And I only made my social accounts and my blog. It wasn’t healthygirlkitchen. com at the time. It was actually under a different name. But I just started posting for my clients because they would text me and say, Hey, Danielle, do [00:14:00] you have an easy breakfast recipe?

And I would just say, go to my Instagram. I posted on there so that I wouldn’t have to text all my clients a recipe. And then, you know, random people outside of my clients started finding my recipes on Instagram. They started, and I started posting in Facebook groups. I would write them up on my blog. I would post the link to the blog on Facebook.

Then people would follow my blog from the Facebook groups. And then, Um, actually from Facebook, I started getting a lot of website traffic and that was how I was able to first monetize my website because I was able to partner with a media company that put ads on my website and so I was making money through ad revenue first on there.

I was not monetizing through Instagram first. And then I, my website started to blow up every month. I was getting thousands and thousands and thousands of people looking at my recipes and following my recipes on my website. And then once that was kind of happening, you know, Instagram at the same time was starting [00:15:00] to gain traction and then that really allowed brands to start reaching out once I started getting a little bit more of a following and by following I mean like 5, 000 followers, like nothing.

I mean, but if you think about it, that’s a lot of people. So. I mean, I had companies reaching out and they’d say, Hey, you know, we’ll pay you 50 for a post. And to me, I’m like, that’s insane. I can post the lunch that I already made and I’m going to make 50 like I’m going to get my nails done. I’m going to go out to lunch.

But it really gave me insight into, okay, this could be really big and this does have potential to be monetized. And it really just, it really just grew from there. All the while staying consistent. I really, I was posting every single day on multiple platforms, Facebook groups, blog on my website, Instagram posts, um, and I was kind of leading everyone.

To each platform so like if I post it on Facebook I’d say also make sure to follow me on Instagram Because I didn’t want to [00:16:00] lose them as an Instagram follower and then on Instagram I’d say make sure to follow me on Instagram. I would link and say hey go to my website So I’d always make sure to keep that, you know circle going of making sure that everyone followed me no matter where they were coming from and And then in 2020, when COVID started, my wedding was canceled and TikTok started to become popular.

And I was like, okay, I’m so bored. I have nothing to do. I was sulking because my wedding was canceled and I’m like I’m going to try out this TikTok thing and I’m going to start making recipe videos because before this, before 2020, short form video content was not popular. It was really just picture focused on Instagram and there weren’t any, you know, short form video platforms.

You know, we had kind of a taste of vine a couple years back, but then that went away. And then I started to gain a really big following on TikTok, and what I did was I took those TikTok videos and I posted them to Instagram when Reels first [00:17:00] started. And so I had a really early start when Reels first came on the scene, and was really one of the first recipe creators to start posting recipe Reels.

And I just was like, okay, this is such a game changer for the world, for people, for how people are going to learn things in the future. A picture can only tell you so much. If I post a picture of a smoothie Okay, great. But if I’m able to take 15 seconds and actually show you how I made it, that changes how people approach making a recipe.

And I think it actually really changed the conversion of how many people actually started to make things. Because when I would post a recipe video, people would see, oh, that’s actually easy. I saw the process and I could do that. And I really think that short form video changed How people view recipe content, and how people, I mean, view things in general, so.

That’s really like in a nutshell how I, how I started everything.

Monica Royer: [00:18:00] And how did you go from doing that, Danielle, which is so cool. And I agree, there’s so much inspiration now as I look at, um, at what you’re posting and what you’re doing. And like, Being able to then translate that because I feel like for cooking, especially if you’re not in it all the time, um, I wish in some ways that my day job was doing more of that because I’m like, I should have done something in either fitness or cooking because then at the end of the day, I would have accomplished something and said, I’m like doing all this.

And I’m like, I come home and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, what am I going to make for dinner and how many to do it? And so I think What you do is so important because it inspires you during the day to be like, Oh, later I’m going to come make that or it looks easy. Like there’s only a couple of ingredients that I need to be able to have in order to make it.

How did you translate all of the content of what you put together to actually? Do a cookbook because I feel like that was I remember when you came out with that. I don’t know if that was just like last year, um, and to compile all of like the incredible recipes. I was just imagining myself like that must be so much work [00:19:00] to be thinking through all of your own recipes, like putting all of that together and then going and making them and taking the pictures.

But would love to hear a little bit about the journey of actually, you know, building the cookbook as well.

Danielle Brown: Yeah, so I always, well, uh, you know, since I started Healthy Girl Kitchen, I knew that having a cookbook was like the long term goal, and I wanted something that people could physically have that would, like, live in their kitchen. Because a lot of the time, even if I post a recipe on Instagram and literally put all of the ingredients and instructions in the caption, people are still like, how can I print this?

Where’s, like, I want a physical Like, as much as people use the internet and people use social media, like, they still want a physical book and it was like one of the most requested things from my audience. But I wanted to create a healthy eating Bible. Something that would live on the counter, something that people would actually use.

I feel like growing up, my mom had so many cookbooks, they would just sit on a shelf and like [00:20:00] get dust on them and like once a year on a holiday, she’d be like, Oh, I’m gonna shuffle through my cookbooks. I wanted something that was like, uh, someone, a woman’s everyday cookbook that she could use. Okay, I don’t know what to make for dinner.

Let me just look in the Healthy Little Kitchen cookbook and, and find something. Or I need a snack idea. Or I need, like, some, I need to prep breakfast for the week. Like, what could I prep that’s super easy? And something that a cookbook where the ingredients could be found in almost any grocery store.

Like, I don’t have any niche fancy vegan products in there that you need to get, like a fake meat or a fake cheese. Everything is accessible. You can find, you don’t have to go to a Whole Foods or like an Arowana or any kind of fancy grocery store. You can go to Walmart and Shop the ingredients in my cookbook and I knew that I had to make this healthy eating Bible with all the recipes that helped me Originally get to my healthiest self.

So all of these recipes are designed for Optimal [00:21:00] hormone function they help to boost fertility are great for pregnant moms if you need like Great nourishment for you and your baby. These recipes are amazing. I ate them throughout my whole pregnancy. I had a fully vegan pregnancy, super healthy. I ate and it was like the whole time they’re like, this is a big baby you’re gonna have here.

And he was like, he was about eight pounds when he was born and he’s literally now, um, He’s eight months, but he wears like 12 to 18 month clothes. He’s huge. So having my recipes during pregnancy and now postpartum have been so amazing. And I have so many moms who like this, like they only eat healthy girl recipes during their pregnancy and postpartum because they make them feel so amazing.

Gives energy. They’re well balanced with protein and fats and fiber and vegetables, but in a way that’s like really yummy and really delicious and doesn’t make you feel like you’re eating healthy. You know, like you don’t feel like you’re eating something boring or bland. They’re fun and exciting and make you [00:22:00] excited to get in the kitchen.

So these recipes are also designed for great gut health and for healthy hair, nails, just like really overall wellbeing. And, um, It took me about a year to do the whole cookbook, and there’s a picture with every single recipe we did, me and my husband, we did all of the pictures ourselves. I’m somewhat like if a, I don’t know, like if you open a cookbook and there isn’t a picture with a recipe, I’m not making it.

So, I was like, 100%. You gotta have pictures with the recipes and all the recipes are of course vegan but they’re also gluten free optional for anyone who needs gluten free. And then also one of my favorite parts of the book is that every recipe that will make good leftovers will have an LF symbol which stands for leftover friendly.

So you’ll know what recipes will keep well in the fridge or the freezer. That’s like One of the most helpful tips, I think, um, and all the recipes are like, I call them stupid easy. Like you don’t have to be a good cook to make [00:23:00] these recipes. They’re very simple and, and yeah, that was, that was the process.

It was a lot of, a lot of recipe testing, a lot of. Um, hard work just because I wanted the recipes to be the best that they could be and the easiest they could be like if a recipe had 10 steps, I’d like say to my team, I’m like, let’s try to make this five steps. Like, how can we combine things? How can we make this easier for people?

Because I don’t I mean, you’re you’re busy. Everyone’s busy. Everyone has stuff going on. Even someone who like someone who’s a stay at home mom. I think those are the people to who Message me the most and say I’m watching my kids like how do I make a meal? Well while my kids are sprinting around like or I have a baby.

I don’t have enough time. So They’re great for the busy person, too

Monica Royer: Oh my gosh, and I can attest to that, Danielle, because I feel like your cookbook sits directly like in my kitchen right where I can be, where it can be accessible. And I think that to your point, it’s like, I only have so much time at the end of the day. And so being able, I [00:24:00] especially love like the bowl concept so much just because I feel like then it’s like, I don’t even need to put like.

Some big thing together and I can have these components and then you put it and I think one thing Danielle does really well is like the exact right like dressing or sauce for stuff because I feel like that just Makes it when you’re putting together a bowl if you have like the right Whether it’s tahini or barbecue or like whatever it is It’s just like it makes all the difference in the world to have it and I do think as somebody that’s so super busy myself Being able to do stuff and like a like a little bit of time is so helpful too because like you said I don’t have Time to go home Nor do I probably have like 40 ingredients and different things to be able to put together.

What are your tips? I’m so curious. Is you grocery shop or meal prep? I think the thing I still just like generally struggle with as a mom is like I Start the weekend with like such the week with such good intention where I’m like, okay These are the recipes I’m gonna make and Bella was last me when I say this and I feel like Monday to Wednesday It’s like we kill it.

We’re like on point with the meals and then like there’s something that happens to me on [00:25:00] Wednesday We’re like, every, like, the week gets so busy, but like, do you have any tips for, like, either prepping or grocery shopping that you think would be helpful for moms that are looking to, like, have this healthy lifestyle?

Danielle Brown: Yes, I would say one have one or two days of the week where you know, you’re gonna go to the store I would schedule it in your calendar almost like an appointment, especially if you’re busy, you know, okay sunday morning at this time We go to the store and then maybe you need to restock a little bit. I feel like I do.

I go to the grocery store a couple times a week just because I feel like I like need some extra things. And so like maybe you like know on Thursday you have to replenish your produce a little bit. And then you know like things like brown rice, quinoa, pastas like keep them more in bulk in your house. So you’re not like replenishing that but you’re more just like you need some like extra lettuce or something that you know fresh stuff that you need to get.

So I’d say yeah one. Pick days of the week where you know you for sure go and I would say number two Always go to the store with a [00:26:00] list or with, you know, recipes in mind. So if, if you’re good at kind of like winging it and you know how to throw things together, like you don’t necessarily need to have pre planned meals that you’re going to make, but if you’re someone who’s like, you buy all the healthy ingredients and then you’re like, okay, now like I, Don’t really know what to do with them or like, uh, you know, at the end of the week, you’re like throwing out the bag of spinach you bought and like your strawberries went bad and everything because you just like didn’t know how to piece things together.

I would say at the beginning of the week, pick like the breakfast, lunches and dinners that you’re going to have and make kind of a menu. And then. like get your groceries accordingly so that there’s an actual plan for the stuff you’re going to buy. And that way you have a minimal waste as well, because you’re not buying extra things that aren’t on your menu for the week.

And I would say to one big mistake people make when menu planning for the week is they have a different meal for every lunch, every dinner. No, like use leftovers to your advantage and make [00:27:00] stuff. Make like one recipe but make like a lot of it so that you can eat it multiple times throughout the week.

For example, Breakfast, I would make something that you can prep. So like in my book, I have an A, B, and J, like almond butter and jelly, overnight oats. You can make five of those at one time. It’ll take five minutes. Get five jars, lay them out, add all the ingredients to each jar, throw them in the fridge, and every morning, like, now you have five breakfast ready and you don’t need to worry about it, but you bought all the same ingredients for that.

Does that make sense?

Monica Royer: It makes total sense and I think, like, I’m like a wing it person or at least I thought I was and I’ve kind of been reformed with your cookbook and I think I I’m better at like actually meal prepping when I’m a little bit more directive about what I’m going to do because like I can And I feel like the fun thing about that too is you try new things because before when I was winging it I was like winging it on a repertoire of like 20 different things that were in my head So like we were always on rotation of these 20 different things And there was [00:28:00] like whole ingredients like maybe it was like squash or I don’t know just stuff that like it just wasn’t part of the repertoire Because we weren’t doing it.

I mean obviously like chickpeas like there were things that were like part of the repertoire and it’s so funny my My, my parents are plant based now, but my in laws aren’t. And so whenever we go and drive to them, they’re like, always like, and they’re so, such good sports. Like, they’ll eat, like, like I like to cook, so, and they’re, they’ll, they’re awesome.

They’ll eat whatever we make. But I’m, like, the only person that travels with, like, my own hemp seeds. And, like, it’s just funny, like, the stuff from, like, Oh, I just like need flax seeds, like I’m not going to be able to come without flax seeds. So we’ll be like unpacking our trunk and I mean, it’s just like nutritional yeast, like whatever the staples are.

My husband’s just like, are we the only people traveling with us? I’m like, probably like one of the few, but I know there’s got to be other people that are doing this too. So to your point, it’s like, what are the staples? Cause you want to make sure that you’re not like constantly rebuying them. But I think, and going to the grocery store with a kid, it’s especially helpful to have a list.

Cause I found that like, Bella’s very structured, so if I give her a list, she makes sure we check stuff off. [00:29:00] If we don’t have a list, like, she’s very intro like, like, more focused on, like, and then we come home with, like, so much random stuff that you almost have to be, like, oh, I, like, need to, like, order a meal out now that I’m home from the grocery store, and if you’re spending money on groceries, like, you want to make sure you have, like, the economic balance to not be wasting all the food, which, like, at times, I feel like I’ve definitely been guilty of.

Danielle Brown: I feel like also for me now, like, your daughter’s older, but like, for me, I have a baby and he has a short attention span. So I don’t have time to like, lollygag through all the aisles and just kind of like, before I’d take like an hour and I’d browse and look at the new snacks, like, no, like, I need a plan because I have like 20 minutes in there before he starts to get annoyed and frustrated and I need to leave. I need to bring a list. I would also say, so yeah, like prep your breakfast because that’s like, I talked to so many people who skip breakfast because they’re busy, they’re running out the door. They like, [00:30:00] don’t really like, they think they don’t have time. Make your breakfast ahead of time. Take five minutes, prep all your overnight oats and you have breakfast for the week.

And then I’d say for lunches, I’d make like, maybe for the week, make a soup and make. Two different salads like a big like quinoa salad of some kind Make like a big kale salad of some kind again You can look in my book or on my instagram if you like don’t want to buy the book. That’s fine I have a ton of free recipes, too um I’ll like note what salads are the best that won’t get soggy in the fridge.

Um, and then you can make like a soup, like a chili or something. So then throughout the week you can like pick on those for lunch. And then for dinners maybe choose like three for the week. And then like you have leftovers or you can see like, okay, um, whatever. If you have If you make like a bolognese one night, you can eat that with pasta the first night, then the second night have it with rice.

And then, you know what I mean, so you can kind of be a little bit more flexible with dinner, maybe leave a couple nights open [00:31:00] if you want to go out to eat. But I would plan in that way so that you’re not just like, you don’t have random ingredients sitting in your fridge and you don’t know how to use them.

Because at that point, I find what a lot of women tell me is, they buy stuff with good intentions, then they don’t have time. To make something because they don’t know what to make, so then they end up ordering Uber Eats and then spending way too much money on something.

Monica Royer: definitely the week and this is gonna be so fun. Daniel, when we release this the week that we do it, Bella and I are gonna do your recipes for the whole week to so that we can post and show that like it really is not that hard to do. It just involves like a little bit of planning. I know we’re like I could talk to you all day getting close on time.

I want to talk about kids for a minute and plant based lifestyle because I feel like Your son’s living a plant based lifestyle, my daughter’s living a plant based lifestyle. Like, tell us any tips or tricks that you feel to, like, healthy eating for kids, generally.

Danielle Brown: I would say one of the biggest mistakes that parents make is assuming that their kids won’t like something because it’s not typical kid food. So, [00:32:00] I can’t tell you how many times that parents will say, oh, well, like, they’re not gonna like that. Because it’s green or like, oh, like they’re, they’re not going to eat that.

So then instead of giving the kids what the parents are eating, they give them like pizza or chicken nuggets or something because they’re like, that’s kid food. There’s no such thing as kid food. That’s like something that we made up in our society or like restaurants have a separate, like why are the menus in a restaurant for kids all junk food?

It’s like pizza, mac and cheese, a hot dog, like. No, like, kids should be eating what their parents are eating, and it also makes it easier on the parents, too, if you’re making one meal for everyone. Of course, they’re gonna be picky kids, but you, you know, you can make some modifications, but I think it’s all in how you start them out when they’re young, and what you expose them to.

So, like, As a parent like you’re the one who’s exposing them to hot dogs and pizza and maybe like choosing that for them over something healthier Like right now what i’m introducing to my baby That’s all he knows, you know, [00:33:00] like i’m sure if he tasted Pizza, like, he would love it, but right now, I give him, um, like, the other night, I gave him, like, Ezekiel toast with hummus on it, and, like, raspberries on the side, and, like, mushed up, um, uh, whatchamacallit, blueberries, and cucumbers, like, I give him as much fresh fruits and veggies as possible, and then also, um, So I am trying to be a good role model too.

So as parents, what you can do is, you know, your kids are going to learn from you and they’re a sponge. They’re going to soak up everything that you’re doing and they’re, they’re watching you and they’re going to learn from you. So if you’re eating unhealthy or if you’re ordering out all the time and not cooking, like that is going to leave an impact on them.

So as much as you can model the behavior that you want them to, to, you know, learn from and grow from, and you, you know, the, the behavior that you want them to. Oh, wait, can you guys hear me? Okay, sorry, cut out for a sec. Um, the behavior that you want your [00:34:00] kids to, you know, see from you, then you need to be the role model.

So that means cooking with your kids. Like, get in there, like, they want to help you. Kids love to cook and get in the kitchen. So get them involved. Kids, research has shown that kids are more likely to eat healthy when they’re actually involved in the cooking. And also when they’re involved in the shopping process.

So when you go to the grocery store, give them a little list. Like, help them get involved with the shopping. They’ll feel safe. So good about it. If you have the ability to grow anything in your backyard, kids love a garden and they love seeing growth and they love like picking it themselves. Even if you can grow like cilantro on your window sill or mint, like right outside mint’s, like the easiest thing to grow.

Like whatever you can grow outside kids love. Um, but I would say from a young age, as young, as young as you can just. Introduce healthy food. I would say hold off, like, you don’t have to give your kids junk, of course, like, if they’re at a birthday party or, like, you don’t have to, like, restrict them. I’m not saying that, but I’m saying kids would surprise you.

They, like, they love fruits and vegetables. I [00:35:00] remember I babysat for a little girl and, um, Her parents told me they’re like, oh, she’s a really picky eater. Like, sorry if she gives you a hard time. And then I would bring my own healthy vegan snacks with me and she’d always be like looking over my shoulder and she’d say, what’s that?

And I like, I’d say you want some? And she’d always end up sharing my snack with me. I would give this little girl chickpeas, Bell peppers and her parents, like at the end of the day, they wouldn’t believe me that she was eating those things. I’m like, you just have to, like, you can’t force it on them either.

Like, if you sit there and you eat it, like, they’re gonna come and be curious and come over and try whatever you want to try. So, I would just say, you know, be Persistent and consistent like if you give your kids something one time and they don’t like it like try again in a couple days like they they might surprise you and model good behavior because they’re going to be looking at you and also have them pick out recipes that they want to make so get a healthy cookbook find recipes online and have them kind of pick the things that they want for dinner and [00:36:00] and you know your kids will surprise you but in terms of like a plant based lifestyle It’s 100 percent healthy for kids to be vegetarian or vegan.

There are so many communities in this world where people are exclusively vegan vegetarian. Like, if you go to India, most people there are vegan or vegetarian, and they grow up and live a healthy lifestyle. They just, you know, they have alternatives to Alternatives to animal protein like lentils and beans and tofu.

Like so many, um, communities in Japan, like their main source of protein is tofu. And what they eat during the day is tofu, rice, seaweed, vegetables. Like that’s like their whole diet. And they’re some of the healthiest people in the world. So, I would say if you are thinking about giving your kids a plant based diet, just make sure it’s well balanced.

Just like if it was a non vegan diet, you want to make sure they’re getting protein, healthy fats, fiber. Carbs.

Monica Royer: I love that, and you know what’s interesting, Danielle? It’s like, if I had another baby today, I think it would be plant based all the way. I [00:37:00] actually became vegan, like, 14 or 15 years ago now, and so when I had Bella, I was like a little bit more trepidatious about it, I feel like it wasn’t, it just didn’t feel as like mainstream as it does today, and so I was plant based, and I didn’t, she didn’t eat meat, but she had, you know, some dairy as she was growing up, and it’s so interesting, like, fast forward to today, and she has chosen the plant based lifestyle, which is so interesting too, and now I feel like it’s so much more mainstream, if you have a baby, I feel like it’s so much more acceptable to be able to do it, but I remember even for me at the time, I like, I just didn’t feel like there wasn’t as much community support as there was today, so I think it’s awesome, and to your point, kids get to eat so much fruit, so much, I mean, there’s so much about it that is like, is so healthy anyway, and I totally agree.

Last question is, anything about motherhood? As you’ve transitioned, I feel like you’re a newer mom now, which is so exciting, like, kind of going through, it’s crazy to even hear from you, like, Your wedding was cancelled in 2020, it’s like [00:38:00] 2024 and now you’ve got this huge platform, um, you’ve got this brand new gorgeous baby that you’re with, and so, has there any, been anything for you about motherhood that you want to share that’s like most surprised you or that you just feel has been like the most special part of like the journey for you of the last couple years?

Danielle Brown: Well, it’s definitely more challenging than I anticipated. I feel like, I’m like, why did no one warn me that I’d literally, like, never sleep in again and, like, your whole life runs on a schedule? That’s, like, something that I didn’t realize that, like, everything’s now, there’s, like, this invisible clock. It’s, like, you’re counting down when they need to go down for a nap and when they wake up and what time they go to bed and the time they’re gonna wake up in the morning.

Like, there’s always that, like, you know, in the back of your mind you’re thinking about. The schedule of the day. So I would, I would say that that’s like one of the most surprising parts. But really, I feel like the selflessness that comes along with parenthood, it’s like, [00:39:00] you know, you’re gonna love your kids once you have kids, but like, you do not understand the love till you actually have them.

And I mean, I always I tell my husband every day I tell him I’m like, I would do anything for Aiden, I would step in front of a train, I would literally like, Give my life for him, but I feel like there are so many selfless, selfless parts of motherhood like Breastfeeding if you’re breastfeeding like that’s like a piece of you that you’re you know, it’s a it’s a massive time commitment It’s you know, also like letting your body be used multiple times a day by another person and also You know, you give up certain things, like you’re not going to be going out with your friends every night or going for like a random massage or, you know, getting your nails done whenever you want, like there are certain sacrifices.

So really like, motherhood, it’s been such, such a journey, like, I mean, I’ve only been a mom for eight months, [00:40:00] but it’s been such a special journey. But really my favorite part is just watching him grow and develop and learn every day. And you’re almost like, I heard this quote, it’s like, Having a child is reliving your childhood through your child’s eyes because you get to kind of experience childhood again but watching them experience it.

So like taking, I took Aiden to the zoo for the first time the other day and like seeing him love the zoo like it brought me back to like when I was a kid going to the zoo with my parents and so it’s such a beautiful thing. Challenging but so beautiful.

Monica Royer: I love that. Well, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for inspiring me and everybody that’s listening to this and I’m excited to continue to follow your journey and see where it takes you.

Danielle Brown: Thank you so much. This was awesome.