Danielle WalkerFounder & Author of Against All GrainDanville, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld
How ironic that what sometimes brings you the most pain in life, can also ignite your biggest passions, gifts and rewards. For award-winning author Danielle Walker of the successful diet and lifestyle blog Against All Grain, this is exactly what happened after years of disease and suffering. Danielle shares how she changed her life through food, became a hope for others while developing a successful blog along the way, and gives a signed copy of her latest book Meals Made Simple (see contest details below) to TWP readers. Plus, hop over to Style Me Pretty Living for her quick and easy recipes!
I’m Danielle Walker, author of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook (48+ weeks), Against all Grain, and the newly released Meals Made Simple. I’m mom to the love of my life, 4-year-old Asher, my baby in Heaven Aila, and wife to Ryan.
After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when I was 22 years old, I realized that I needed to make dietary changes in order to get well. I removed grains, lactose, and legumes from my diet, and started my blog in 2009 to help others suffering from similar ailments continue to enjoy food.
I am a self-taught chef and author. My books and website have become a source of hope for others suffering from all types of diseases or allergies or those just looking to eat healthier.
My inspiration comes from…
1. My health and my family are my main inspiration. I was so sick for so many years and was not able to be the mom and wife I wanted to be because of it. Thinking about those days keeps me pressing forward and continuing on the path.
2. My fans are my other inspiration. Their stories of getting well and enjoying their food in the process propels me to create more recipes and more books to continue helping them.
My original plan for my blog was to catalog my recipes and share my journey with my friends and family. I quickly realized that there were so many others out there struggling with disease and looking for quality recipes and someone to relate to. I aimed to be a source of hope for others struggling with similar issues and wanting to eat well. In all honesty, I had no aspirations for the success of the blog. I didn’t know at the time that you could make a living from a blog, or, aside from your parents and family, have such a loyal community reading it. Publishing a book (or two!) wasn’t even a thought at the time. I’m pretty sure that both my Sandwich Bread and My Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies were the recipes that made my blog take off. There was a huge turning point in traffic from that point on!
Social media played a huge role in my success. I actually started my Facebook page because I was worried my friends and family would get tired of hearing me talk about my blog and food on my personal Facebook page, and so, I started posting it all on the Against All Grain page. This gave them the option on whether to view it or not! As I started posting on my blog more frequently, and coming out with more recipes that people started trusting, my fan base just kept growing. It’s amazing to see how much it has taken off. People like to be able to see updates from all of their favorite websites in one place, whether it’s Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, rather than remembering to click over to each website daily. It was a huge tool in the growth of my overall business and continues to be today. It’s a place where I can interact with people as well as share my newest recipes and news, and that’s really important.
I started my blog in the pinnacle of a flare-up, a low point in my life, and at a time that was still fresh to this way of eating. I was untrained and inexperienced. I started a website from nothing, with no photography skills or knowledge of how to cook in this way of eating. So, I basically started out in an obstacle course. I grew it into an award-winning website that has reached people worldwide and is slowly changing the lives of millions. From my blog, two #1 bestselling books were born and their success has opened up so many more opportunities to help people. My biggest struggle along the way has been remembering and having time to keep adding new content to the blog.
Asher Walker-age 4
My most exciting moment as a mom was when my son first started handing out “I love you’s” and kisses without being prompted! My most humble moment, I am realizing I can’t do it all and that it’s ok if I’m good at some things as a mom and not as good at others. I’m not a pinterest mom when it comes to crafts and parties and making things look pretty. But I can cook and teach my son about health.
Asher’s Favorite Things…
1. Board Games – He loves to be around the table with family and engage in playful competition!
2. Jammies – He says he loves his jammies because they are comfy and he likes to snuggle. He would wear them all day if I let him!
3. Baking Cookies with Mommy – He loves to measure the ingredients and taste the dough! Seeing something through from start to finish is so rewarding, especially when it includes chocolate.
When Asher came into my life, I wanted to slow down and enjoy every moment of the day. I appreciate the small things.
I keep our family’s beauty care minimal and natural. For Asher, my fave go -to’s are Burt’s Bees lotion & shampoo and California Baby Calendula Cream. The things I do regularly are – drink Calm, soak in Epsom salt and lavender baths, drink homemade bone broth, and slather myself in coconut oil based lotions from Tropical Traditions.
My favorite brands are Anthropologie, Matt Bernson, Joie, Marc Jacobs and Target. I love Blake Lively. She dresses so well for her body type and always looks amazing and classy. I am continually inspired by her ability to style.
And Giada De Laurentiis is definitely my cooking and business icon. I love how she focuses her show and business around her family and can be successful without sacrificing her family life. Always my goals to live by!