VeggieConverter: Converting traditional recipe favorites into (mostly) vegetarian meals the entire blended-eater family can enjoy together!
Hey! I’m Kristi Arnold of VeggieConverter. I’m a former newspaper reporter and editor and a gluten-free vegetarian(ish) mom married to Mr. Meaty, a “normal” omnivore. I’m a natural living enthusiast who educates friends (old and new) on frugal living and toxin-free lifestyle.
I advocate for balance and freedom in all areas of life through my site and by hosting fun workshops here in Atlanta on nutrition, health, and finances.
VeggieConverter is all about life with our blended eater family: 1 veggie/gluten-free mama + 1 meaty dad + 2 undecided kids converting traditional recipe favorites into (mostly) vegetarian meals the entire blended-eater family can enjoy together! We’re focused on easy, organic family-friendly recipes and healthy, green living.
After becoming a mom, I realized, though I thought I led a healthy life and ate a nutritious vegetarian diet, I had A LOT to learn. It seemed every time I thought I’d cut all the processed food and toxins from our home and our diets that I’d find something new. Like dryer sheets! Who knew dryer sheets were so toxic?! Not me. But now I use dryer balls, which I sometimes make in my spare time. It’s strangely soothing.
The transition from “normal” in America to a healthier lifestyle can be so overwhelming. I decided to revel in my baby steps and document our family journey here on VeggieConverter.com
Later, a health scare led us to essential oils and even more diet changes, which led to tremendous health and financial freedom. Now I help others reach the same nutritional, wellness and abundance goals!
Our yearly goals
In 2011, we COMPLETED a New Year’s Resolution to create family-friendly vegetarian meals that picky kids (and husbands) would love.
In 2012 & 2013, we transitioned to a whole food diet.
In 2014, we went Paleo! (Flexitarian Paleo for some of us, vegetarian autoimmune Paleo for others.)
In 2014 and 15, we went oily and healthy-er!
In 2016, we went on a completely whole food, primarily homemade grain-free (except for occasional white rice), dairy-free, sugar-free diet. Phew. What’s that leave? Veggies, fruits, beans, nuts and some meat.
In 2018, we went temporarily keto(ish) and Mr. Meaty lost a ton of weight! He’s a svelte Mr. Meaty.
Now: We’re a blended-eater family with a mish mash of vegetarian(ish) eaters and meat-lovers and we eat mostly wheatless and meatless. We have a couple of optional meat days and we do enjoy sourdough bread (it doesn’t seem to trigger our wheat/gluten sensitivities like non-fermented wheat).
Contact me at
Facebook: VeggieConverter Facebook Page
Doing some VeggieConverting on your own?
Try these vegan whole foods meat substitutes:
- Mushroom Bacon Bits
- Black Forest Bacon Strips
- Lentil and Rice Ground Beef Substitute
- Italian Sausage Crumbles
- Steak Strips
- Ham Loaf
- Ham Cutlets
- Northern Bean Chicken Nuggets
More vegan substitutions:
More About VeggieConverter
VeggieConverter: One vegetarian grain-free mom + one meat-eating dad and two undecided kids = a challenge to create whole food meals that fit into the family’s blended-eater lifestyle.
Kristi Arnold is the author of VeggieConverter.com. A former newspaper editor, Kristi is now a stay-at-home mom who enjoys cooking whole foods for herself, a vegetarian, her husband, a meat-eater, and their two undecided kids.
Frustrated by making everyone in a ‘blended-eater’ family a different meal, VeggieConverter completed a challenge to create a different family-friendly vegetarian meal each day in 2011. The challenge to incorporate whole grain-free foods into their blended-eater family lifestyle continues.
More About Kristi Arnold
Kristi Arnold began her career as a photojournalist in 2001. She has been the editor and all-around newspaperwoman at several community newspapers in the Midwest as well as the Atlanta metropolitan area. Kristi earned her bachelor’s of photojournalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and also has a master’s of science in criminal justice.
She began her career as a stay-at-home mom in 2009 and has since been striving to satisfy her non-vegetarian husband and child with meat substitutes and “fake” versions of family favorites. With the addition of her second daughter in 2010, the cooking critiques were sure to become even more complex. For each day in 2011, a standard family recipe was converted to a vegetarian-friendly version.
Some of these conversions were fantastic surprises, while others were epic failures. In 2012, the family began their journey toward incorporating more whole foods into their routine. Since 2014, they’ve been getting even healthier with essential oils and in 2016 started a grain and dairy-free diet.
See my Disclosure Policy.