What started out as just wanting to create a visually appealing recipe collection for herself and family suddenly turned into a big business for Luise and her husband, as people around the world began falling in love with their day-to-day personal stories and colourful, unpretentious cooking. Now she has a blog, five cookbooks, an app, a range of social media channels and three lovely kids to care for, but she is still on the same mission as when she started out back then: to show the world just how simple yet tasty vegetarian food can be.
How to balance life and work
Leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of a regular job and a reliable paycheck, Luise has, over the last few years, dedicated herself and all of her time to Green Kitchen Stories, nourishing it with love and care. Luise laughs as she refers to Green Kitchen Stories as a child who requires just as much time, love and care as their three other kids:
“Green Kitchen Stories is like a fourth child – or, maybe we should actually say our first? Whether we gather around our dining table at home or are out travelling and trying new dishes, Green Kitchen Stories is always with us. It is a part of our family.”
“The kitchen may
be the place where
I cook and prepare
meals, but it is
just as much a place
where I gather with
friends and loved
ones, an entertainment
centre and an art-and-
crafts station for me.”
Self-employment comes with both benefits and responsibility, though. One of the most significant advantages of being self-employed is having the freedom to make your own choices and set your own working hours.
With these options in everyday life, we asked Luise what her perfect day would look like if she could spend the entire day doing nothing but her most uplifting activities:
“I wake up after a perfect sleep and take my time in the kitchen enjoying a leisurely breakfast with David and the kids before treating myself with a workout followed by a massage. Then I decide to spend a few hours in the after- noon developing recipes before taking the evening off and preparing an awesome vegetarian meal for my best friends and family. We laugh until our bellies are sore.”
This scenario is definitely possible for Luise, as she is her own boss. That said, being self-employed is not always easy. Creating a healthy work-life balance is sometimes a challenge for Luise. But instead of dedicating so much of her energy to trying to separate her work from her private life, Luise embraces the fact that Green Kitchen Stories is part of her everyday life, to a greater or lesser extent depending on how well the creativity flows.
Reaching a lot of people also means having a lot of responsibility. “It is funny how the blog and books have turned into small windows that show our life and experiences, how we have grown and changed over the last few years. It is like the readers are on this journey with us” Luise explains.
Even though she prioritises a healthy lifestyle, there is nothing preachy about her food. Her diet philosophy is all about one thing: having a balanced and healthy relations- hip with food. So, she would never follow a strict diet with rules or restrictions. Instead, she inspires people to live as naturally as possible, nourishing their bodies with greens, healthy fats, nuts, legumes, eggs and fruit, and to a certain extent avoiding processed food, refined sugar, gluten and meat.
“I want to create a positive impact on the lives of those who read our content. You are not a bad person if you do not eat like we do. So, I am very aware of being nuanced in the way I communicate and talk about health and food. And that is why I think we are still interesting to people. We are not just a flash in the pan.”
Home is where the colours are
From vibrant vegetarian food to a mint-coloured kitchen, living colourfully in every aspect of her life is essential to Luise: “I am not afraid of colours at all, and I love how they bring personality to a room.”
When looking around Luise’s home, you find a lovely and casual mix of design, utensils, art and books that all ooze creativity, cosiness and intimacy. As Luise does all her work from home, the surroundings are thoughtfully designed and decorated to meet her needs. Although design, expression and natural materials do mean a lot to Luise, she states that everything must have a function in one way or another.
“As a sensitive and creative soul, I feel most calm when there are no superfluous things in my home. I would rather have fewer things to which I have a stronger connection – whether it is vintage or Scandinavian design – than a lot of things that do not move me in one way or another.”
“I am not afraid of colours at all,
and I love how they bring personality to a room”
In particular the kitchen, which doubles as a workspace, is very dear to Luise, as she spends almost half her day among fresh vegetables, beautiful ceramics and dirty dishes, developing tasty, vibrant and healthy recipes for Green Kitchen Stories. When looking at the colourful kitchen, it exudes cosiness, personality and great stories. Every single detail has been carefully conceived when designing the heart of her home; from the firewood stack under the kitchen table to the placement of their workstation. Even the camera angles have been given thoughtful attention.
“The kitchen may be the place where I cook and prepare meals, but it is just as much a place where I gather with friends and loved ones, an entertainment centre and an art-and-crafts station for me, David and our children. It is the memories we create in our kitchen that make this room so special to me.”
LUISE’S GREEN JUICE
Makes 1 carafe
1 small bunch celery
1 small bunch dinosaur cale or Tuscan cale
2 apples, cored
2 inches / 5 cm fresh ginger
1 lemon, peeled
Prep all ingredients by rinsing them thoroughly and
cut into smaller peices, whatever size that
fits your juicer. Juice them all, one by one, and
stir through the finished juice with a spoon.
Poir into a serving carafe and enjoy.
Five fun facts
What ingredient are you most excited about at the moment?
I am most excited about fresh cabbage in all its forms, as it is in season at the moment. Rainbow cabbage, purple spring cabbage and fresh crispy kale. It is such a shame that cabbage is an ingredient that many people are slightly afraid of using in cooking, because it is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.
When do you feel most like yourself?
I feel most like myself when I am around people I love and who love me for all that I am. I might also be cooking, developing recipes or playing with my kids.
What is one food that you just cannot stand?
Anything dipped in dough and fried. Even if it is vegetables or greens. I could never imagine making or eating it.
If you were to choose another profession other than nutritional therapist and cookbook author, what would it be?
A midwife. And I was even interested in that before having children. I really like the hospital setting, and you are literally in the moment of life when you are about to give birth to a child. At that point, you really need someone to help and support you. To help women in such life-affirming situations must be amazing.
Can you tell us something that we perhaps didn’t know from reading your blog?
People are often surprised when I tell them David is the vegetarian and is good at writing. I, on the other hand, am the creative, spontaneous type that does not keep any order in kitchen cabinets or my fridge. I slouch a bit, but in return, I am good at working, styling and being in the moment right now.