Kristin Porter | iowagirleats.com

My name’s Kristin and I’ve lived in and around Iowa for the better part of 20+ years. While it may get a boring rap, Iowa’s a fabulous place to live! Great food can be found locally which lets me eat well, trails are abundant which allows me to run free, and the cost of living is low which encourages me to travel far.

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My Philosophy

Eat Well

Eating well is tough, isn’t it? Eating well with a major sweet tooth, plus a curiosity to try everything, is reallytough!

I love to cook, and I love to eat even more. I am always up for trying something new (except if it contains mushrooms, bell peppers, or cooked carrots!) and feel the absolute best when I eat nutritious and healthy meals. That said, I am a self-proclaimed junk food junkie. Give me a bag of Doritos and Thin Mints, and a happy girl you will find.

Obviously junk food does notdo a body good, so I try and live by the 80/20 rule: 80% clean and healthy eating, 20% sanity-keeping splurges. Some days it’s more like 60/40 – but, hey, we do the best we can!

On this blog you’ll find easy recipes, healthy recipes, family-friendly recipes, and in-season recipes. As of February 2014, all recipes posted are gluten-free due to my Celiac Disease diagnosis. Most nights you’ll find me in the kitchen whipping up a tasty meal for my husband, baby, and me – always leaving room for dessert, of course!

Check out my Recipes >

Run Often

I “became” a runner when I moved to Minneapolis after graduating college, and was able to take advantage of the incredible trails and lakes that Minnesota has to offer. They don’t call it the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for nothing! It was on these trails that I was able to slowly increase my mileage from barely one mile at a time, to more than six.

After moving back to Iowa, I continued running on the trails near my home and eventually took those runs from six miles to 13 miles. All my training culminated in the Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon in September 2008…on the rainiest day in Chicago’s history. Finishing that race gave me one of the biggest feelings of accomplishments I’ve ever had, and is something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

I absolutely love the feeling that running gives me, and I am proof positive that if you stick with something – it will get easier!

Check out my Treadmill Workouts >

Travel Far

I’ve got the travel bug and it cannot be cured!

Some people work to get the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos, I work so I can travel. I absolutely love exploring new and unfamiliar places – learning the history and mystery behind every new discovery.

Whether it’s poking around European churches that are hundreds of years old or trying to figure out the intricacies of the mysterious Japanese culture, I want to do and see it all. Every place I go I consider a “favorite”, but my favorites among favorites include Japan, the Amalfi Coast, New York City, and ALL of California.

Destinations on my must see list include: Greece, Morocco, Alaska and India!

Check out my Travel Reviews >



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  1. Kate 04.07.2009

    Hey! I just stumbled apon your wonderful blog! I live in Iowa City & its great to see someone with a food blog from around here! Keep up the good work :)

    • kate 06.01.2010

      I was just reading through your tabs for fun and remembered I left this little comment ages ago! So funny that I have my own blog now! Id be lying if I said you werent an inspiration :)

  2. Julz 04.20.2009

    omg. i love this. so. freaking. natural. (and you are gorg.)

    yayyy new bloggy find! xoxo hope you sleep sweet girly!

  3. Amber 04.23.2009

    Hi Kristin,
    Just found your blog through foodbuzz… love it! I’m new to the Midwest from California and it’s nice to find blogging about healthy things in this area.

    Amber (Cal Med Chef)

  4. kristen 04.25.2009

    I just found your blog from fitnessista…I am from Iowa too! I go to U of Iowa but travel home to des moines frequently. Thanks for representing the state so well :) I’m gonna add you to my bookmarks!


  5. Meredith and Drew 05.08.2009

    Hi guys! I can’t believe I ran across your website!! I was hopping from one food blog to another and ended up here! Hope you are doing well, have a good weekend! PS Come out Colorado soon…Drew says “Bring us some GODFATHERS!”

  6. Nicole 05.25.2009

    Is your wedding picture by chance taken at Faith Lutheran Church in Clive? It looks a lot like it.

  7. Erin 05.26.2009

    You have the prettiest face!
    I thought I was married to the best guy in the world? :)

  8. marissa1273 06.06.2009

    Hi! I just found your link on Glamour.com and I thought “I have a wordpress blog too!” so I clicked. Your blog is awesome and you are just so pretty!!!

  9. marissa1273 06.07.2009

    Oh you’re welcome! My link is http://marissa1273.wordpress.com/!!

  10. Whit 06.08.2009

    I just found your blog through RD Daily Bites and I think I have a bit of a blog crush? Your food is so pretty!

  11. banana 06.11.2009

    Hi Kristin! I got here from Glamour and I am loving your blog. I just started my own (http://runsrests.blogspot.com) but have been reading on food and running blogs for a looong time. :D It’s interesting that you want to learn Japanese. I’m currently working here in Japan and have learned the language to be able to carry a conversation. But I still have a long way to go. OMG, I just re-read your list and I pretty much have the same on my list: ride a hot air balloon and work in a bakery. :D You are super cool.

  12. Melinda Pollard 06.17.2009

    Learning how to surf and hot air ballooning are on my list too! I got to go up in a tethered ride, but that doesn’t count :(

    And I want to live in another country like somewhere in Europe-that would be awesome :D

  13. Very cute story. You are so pretty, by the way. You really remind me of my brother’s ex girlfriend. She always wanted to be a model.

    Anywho, I just wanted to say how you sound alot like me. Grew up in Indiana for 25 years and shortly after my 25th birthday headed for the California Coast. Today, I live in San Diego.

    Have a great day girly! :)

  14. Hope 07.14.2009

    Hey! I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m soo excited to see another Iowa girl blogging! They’re tough to find!

    Feel free to check out my blog :


  15. Julia 07.19.2009

    I just want to say that I absolutely love your blog. The activities and recipies that you post are completely inspiring. I get so excited everyday when I see an update from IowaGirlEats, and your enthusiasm for life is incredibly uplifting. Keep it up, I thoroughly enjoy it!

  16. Kelsey 07.31.2009

    Hurray for Iowa! So wonderful to find another girl who appreciates the state! I grew up in a small town in southwest Iowa but moved away for college. Such great looking blog you have here!

  17. Art 08.01.2009

    It’s great to see another Iowan who is also a foodie. I enjoy cooking a lot. Maybe some time we could swap recipes.

  18. LeAnn 08.03.2009

    Just tried your Green Monster smoothie this morning – surprisingly YUMMY! I will definately make it again! The vibrant color alone kinda “wakes you up”.

    We’re taking a trip to NAPA VALLEY in October and I’ve already scoped out a Trader Joe’s location there – I will be visiting them for the first time when we go, thanks to your recommendations.

  19. Lainie 08.04.2009

    You are absolutely stunning!!!

  20. Gina 08.09.2009

    Iowa rocks! Dubuque here — love the blog. I’ll be watching you! :)

  21. Lizzy 09.06.2009

    I love love your blog! i just started reading :)

    you are such a cutie :) i can’t wait to keep reading!

    hope your havin a fab weekend, and congrats on the new paint on the house :)

  22. Sherri 09.15.2009

    I’ve just started reading your blog, it’s great! You’re an inspiration to me to eat better and get outdoors. I’m in IA too, tell me about the almond butter, where do you get it from?

  23. Erin 09.21.2009


    I love your blog!

    I’m ecstatic that I found ya!

    Thanks for all the GREAT recipes … and your honesty!

  24. Carrie 10.01.2009

    I stumbled upon this while browsing Juice and with almost every entry I’ve read, I have to go back and make sure this isn’t MY blog! Perhaps it’s that Iowa/DSM girl connection, but I feel like we have so much in common, except you do it better than me, LOL. I love to work out and I’ve been running more with the hopes that one day I’ll finish my own half and I love to try new foods! You have so many great tips in here that I wouldn’t think of! I did a major diet overhaul last fall to lose weight for my wedding, and I pretty much ate the same things everyday. (I don’t know when I’ll be able to eat a tuna sandwich again.) Thanks for all the great ideas!

  25. @JoeHobot 10.05.2009

    Cool blog love locals succeed and blog the real stuff :)

    Way to go grl…

  26. […] Kristen from IOWA GIRL EATS who said, […]

  27. Sarah 11.26.2009

    Were you a cheerleader at UNI? I was trying to figure out why you look so familiar!

  28. Ally 12.09.2009

    Hi Kristen,
    So nice to see another Iowa girl blogging – my husband and I used to live in Urbandale, but recently moved just east of Iowa City. I just started my own food blog this week – please check it out (www.sweetandsavoryfood.blogspot.com) – I’d love to get some pointers from you….especially the steps into making it my own website! Stay inside today, it’s miserable out there!


  29. ShelleyBakes 12.12.2009

    Hello fellow Iowan! I live in MN, but am an Iowa native. Good to see the state represented so well in the blog world. :)

    Happy cooking!

  30. This is completely random, but I saw someone else ask as well…do you and your husband belong to Hope Lutheran Church? My husband, daughter and I recently joined. Love the church! And love your blog.

  31. Matt Struthers 01.11.2010

    G’day Iowa Girl,

    I came to your site after you left a comment at mine.

    Great site you have and you seem very full of energy, great to see!

    Hot air ballooning is awesome, so peaceful and awe inspiring!

    I will have to try some of your recipes.

    Keep up the great blog!


  32. I just found your blog and think it’ll be a keeper : )

    – Nutrition Nut on the Run

  33. Autumn 02.08.2010

    I just stumbled across your blog this week and have been reading it ever since! I’ve lived in Iowa all my life, so I was thrilled to find your blog! My husband is from DSM, and we live in the Iowa City area! I love to cook and love to run, so your blog has been a perfect fit for me! I’m excited to try some of your recipes and a workout or two!!!


  34. Katie Brennan 02.17.2010

    Kristen! Idk if you remember me… I went to Faith AND we went to Germany together way back. I can’t believe how I stumbled across your remarkable blog… it’s a good story :) I’m a student at the Iowa Culinary Institute and I’m a subscriber to the magazine Saveur. This month’s issue features a list of readers’ 100 random food world favorites. Number 11 is a website called tastespotting.com… a website that features links to recipes, blogs, other websites, etc by showing food photography. I was sitting at the computer while reading, so I figured I’d check it out. On the website, I see a picture of Ruby Red Velvet Whoopie Pies… firstly they LOOK just perfect. I’m catering a friend’s birthday party next month and I know they would be a hit at the party, so I click on the pic. I’m surprised firstly that the blog is by a fellow Iowa girl/foodie. Then I see your picture! “I know her from somewhere!” Then I saw your wedding pic and recognized the Faith sanctuary (I think the most beautiful sanctuary in the city…) and read your snippet about old German churches and it clicked. Small world, right!? Anyway, I just wanted to say Hello and give you kudos galore for the blog… I love it and will be reading regularly.
    Good luck with all and keep it coming!

  35. Katie 02.19.2010

    I LOVE your blog!!! I just wanted to comment and say that!!! All your eats always look amazing as ever!!!! I love your overnight oats with yogurt combos!! Thanks too for posting how exactly you create it!!!! Love it!!! Have a great weekend! xoxo

  36. Christina 02.25.2010

    Hi Kristin,
    I just found your blog! I am new to the blogosphere and recently started a blog on my own.

    I have been living in Iowa for the past 5 years and you are right! There are many positive things to be said about Iowa! :)

    I share your love of food and traveling. I loved reading the part about Japan. Japan is a place I definitely want to visit some day. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I read that you love thin mints. I just developed a recipe for healthy chocolate truffles and my husband said the peppermint version tastes exactly like thin mints! (I do not know, never had them!) :) They are much much healthier than the real deal, so maybe you want to give them a try.

    Love your blog!
    – Christina

    PS: You are stunning. You look like a movie star in the picture above! Except more natural!

  37. Kaitlin 03.05.2010

    I lived in Minnesota for 4 years while I was in high school, I wish I had taken more advantage of all the trails there were! I wasn’t really a runner back then though…I’m really glad I came across your blog a few weeks ago, I’ve enjoyed following along with all your posts! Your meals have definitely given me some good ideas for the future!

  38. Daisy 03.10.2010

    Hi IGE!

    Stumbled upon your blog today. Looks really cool. Ever been to Boston? Check out my blog if you ever get the travel bug to visit :) I love to travel as well. I would love to go to Japan. I see Greece is on your list of places to travel. GO.THERE.NEXT. I did a trip in 2006 to Athens and the island of Santorini. maybe we can exchange stories!

  39. Erin 03.21.2010

    Just ran into your blog and I’ve had a great time reading it. Great work! I’ll be a returning reader for sure! I’m also from the Midwest. Hopefully it’ll get warm and stay warm soon!

  40. Amanda Travis 03.24.2010

    Carla showed me your blog this week and I’ve enjoyed reading it and being able to “catch up” a bit on your lives. It’s great to see that life is treating you both so well. We plan on being up to Iowa for Brett’s wedding this Fall and look forward to see you both again soon. Take care and continue to make the most of all that God has blessed you with!

  41. penny. LA 03.25.2010

    Hi Kristin!

    I grew up in Iowa, so I am a Midwestern girl at heart. After Iowa State I made my way to Chicago and Florida, and now reside in Los Angeles. I DO miss home, though… I try to visit as often as I can.

    So happy to see an Iowa gal representin’! I’ll be checking back often. Can’t wait to see your future (and past?) posts!


  42. lucie 03.25.2010

    I just found your blog and I’m already obsessed! I’m about to add you to my blog roll because I feel like your blog will become a daily read!!
    I can’ t wait to read more!

  43. Elisa 04.05.2010

    Hi, I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I went to school in Iowa ciyt and it’s nice to stay updated about what is going on back ‘home’.

    A Mexican chica living in Europe

  44. Melissa Oklahoma 04.27.2010

    I just found your blog and can’t wait to read more. I’ve been interested in eating “clean” and have bought Clean Eating Mags and a book. I like the 80/20 idea…

    Also I’ve been running short distances and always love the way I feel afterwards…but have yet to make it a super regular part of my life.

    And the travel bug? Well I’ve got that too. I work to play/vacation! Can’t wait to read more!

  45. Hot 97 Playlist 05.22.2010

    Great Site! I wondered if I would be able quote a portion of your web page and use a few things for a school assignment. Please email me whether that would be fine. Thanks

  46. Christina Schave 05.26.2010

    I just moved to Des Moines from Alabama 7 weeks ago, and am really loving it here!

  47. Whitney 07.09.2010

    So glad to have found your site!! Interesting and fun! And, who says Iowa’s boring??!! :)

  48. Laura Gray Mack 07.25.2010

    Hello! My friend told me about your blog. I’m an Iowa girl too but have lived in the Philadelphia area for two years now. I miss Iowa. I’m from Cedar Rapids but lived in Des Moines for two years teaching in the WDSM school district. I miss it! My husband and I would move back to DSM in a second if we could. Such a fun city without the traffic and rude people of a big city. I have a cooking blog too if you ever want to check it out. I really like seeing your ideas for healthy snack and lunches and seeing what’s new in Des Moines. We come back to visit family a lot but so much changes in between those visits. Always lots of new restaurants popping up! Have a great Sunday!

  49. I just found your blog through the HLS attendee listing. I love it! Can’t wait to try out some of your recipes! I love food, running, and TRAVEL as well :D

  50. How fun to find another Iowa food blogger! I will add you to my Iowa food blogger’s bookmark! I was on stand-by for the Healthy Living Summit, but finally got in. Yeah! Should be a fun weekend!

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