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 >



  1. Rebecca 11.03.2011

    Your life and philosophy are so similar to mine and I just love Des Moines (and have finally given in to the idea that I’ll *always* be in Iowa) and eating well and traveling. I could use some help in the running dept, I’m at that 1-mile mark. :) Anyway-very impressed and inspired by your site. Now get some posts out there about how to survive these harsh Iowa winters…that’s the thing I just can’t quite embrace after 35 years.

  2. Kathy Knapp 11.14.2011

    Loved your pics of Rome. We just returned a few weeks ago and your pics brought those 3 days back to life!

  3. Jenn Tuetken 11.25.2011

    I found your website through Pintrest.com and got so excited! I’m 24 living out in NJ, but I am originally from Eastern Iowa! I couldn’t believe the “boring” reputation Iowa gets when I moved, so I was so excited to see you have brought some life and excitement to the Iowa girls name :) Keep it up and I’ll be sure to follow your blog as I share the same passion for Iowa, food, traveling and running!

    • Carrie 12.13.2011

      I also found your site through Pinterest (love that site) and I was so excited you were from Iowa and are writing about some of my favorite things! I’m from Davenport, Iowa, what area are you ladies from? Jenn you said Eastern, are you familiar with Davenport? I have lived in many of the states and just landed in Florida on August. No matter where I have lived, when I say I’m from Iowa it’s always the same response “Iowa? What’s there?”! Traveling is a love of mine although now that I have 2 kids it’s much more local (besides Toronto) that I get to travel to. I have a love/hate relationship with running. Love how I feel afterwards but struggle to get myself going so I’m hoping your workout plans will help me! Looking forward to checking out all your 5 ingredient recipes! I enjoy baking over cooking but I like to try new things! Nice to meet you ladies!!!
      Your fellow Iowan,

      • Anna D. 01.17.2012

        Hi l am from right across the river from you i love in moline

      • Allie 03.06.2012

        I’m in Davenport,too!

  4. Darla 12.04.2011

    How fun to find another Iowa girl! I, too, moved to Minneapolis after college (for 4 years). I’m older than you, I’m 42, so I’ve been in Iowa 38 years.

    And yes, most people think Iowa is pretty boring. And it might be, except it has the greatest people on the planet (I might be partial ;) ).

  5. This is fabulous!! I am a Minnesota girl gone Arizona but definitely am a midwest girl in my food loving. I’m also a runner for the reason. Can’t wait to read more!!

  6. Ellen 12.11.2011

    Aww,I just discovered this little ‘treat’ of a site! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook, bake, eat, ect… so I have naturally become addicted to Pinterest, where I found your 8 minute mini cinnamon roll recipe. I am also from Iowa, but have since moved to Pensacola after college. Its so nice to get a little ‘taste’ of back home while getting great recipes and workouts! Thanks for all the posts, keep it up!

  7. Megan 12.12.2011

    Love your site! I’m an Iowa girl through & through..and not leaving anytime soon..Glad to find a great site that’s local!

  8. Kathy 12.13.2011

    I love your site too! I ran across it a few weeks ago from a friend’s post on facebook. I must say your blog inspires me to think about starting one. LOVE your creativity and recipes! Keep up the great work! p.s. I’m an Iowa native who has resided in Minnesota (live in the country and work in the city) for nearly 7 years. Iowa still holds a special place in my heart. :)

  9. Victoria Murphy 12.21.2011

    Was an Iowa girl for 13 years! Lived in Deep River near Montezuma. Moved back to Maryland in 1984. So your site is kind of nostalgic for me ;) Thanks

  10. Sara 12.24.2011

    Iowa girl here, too!! (Specifically Davenport). I’ve been living in Wisconsin for 11 1/2 years but will ALWAYS be an Iowan!!! Love your site!

  11. Tricia 12.29.2011

    I am so inspired by your website. Who doesn’t love to be well, travel and enjoy delicious food! 3 of my most treasured blessings!!!!

  12. Elena 12.29.2011

    So excited to find this Blog! I just moved to West Des Moines2 1/2 years ago from Michigan and LOVE it here! I am a runner too – did the Des Moines half, the Scheels DU and the Living History farm in 2010 to name a few. The trails here are great and I love to always see so many people out and about whether it is biking or running or just walking their dogs. It’s inspiring! I look forward to following you. I also just started my blog – stop by when you get a chance:)

  13. Faith 12.30.2011

    What a refreshing change to read something so NICE about Iowa, especially after the catastrophic Stephen Bloom debacle that has everyone thinking we’re corn fed hillbillies! :) Your philosophy (eat, run, travel) is mine, as well. If you haven’t run my hometown race, The QC Times Bix 7, you should…such a great time!!

  14. Daynegerous 01.05.2012

    I have been a long-time fan of your blog. You take some of the most beautiful photos! I am in the market for a new camera, and would love any tips on brands/lens info. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  15. Kacy 01.11.2012

    Hi Kristin! I just came across your blog and absolutely love it! I love traveling and cooking/eating like you do and can’t wait to try your recipes!! thanks so much for sharing <3

    ps. i really love your tips for morning workouts…it's always such a struggle getting out of bed in the morning to run in the cold!

  16. Janna 01.24.2012

    Love your site as I also love to eat (try to eat healthy, but the sweets…), began running 4 years ago and have completed 7 marathons, and also love to travel (and scuba dive). Oh, I live in the midwest, too – Omaha!

  17. […] Thank you Kristin!! Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Tagged cooked […]

  18. Iowa Heart 01.27.2012

    I love your site, I ran across it today on pintrest. I, too, am from Iowa, however we no longer live there. We are from Oelwein! What a small world!

  19. Sara 01.30.2012

    Just found your blog and I love it! Like most comments on here, I’m also from Iowa! My husband and I lived in Des Moines for 3 years before moving to Charlotte, NC. I’ll definitely follow you site!

  20. Haley 02.02.2012

    SO glad I came across your blog – I love it! And I’m also from Iowa (well, Illinois technically.. but just across the river.. so I claim Iowa as my home too;). I don’t currently live there.. we live where the military sends us…;) …but I go back to visit family as often as possible. Again, so happy I found your blog!

  21. Esther 02.02.2012

    Just stumbled unto your blog today via pinterest. Although I’m in the ‘more mature’ group, (I’m 61), I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas, like to stay fit and also enjoy traveling. But home is still my favorite and that’s Nebraska. Talk about getting “and what’s to see in Nebraska?” comments! But I love th peace and quiet where we live and we see so many “screensaver” sunsets and clouds.

  22. Marlene Wilson 02.05.2012

    I just found your blog a few minutes ago via Pinterest. It was a “Welcome Home to Iowa” for me. I’m originally from Cedar Falls but have lived in IL for 19 years now. I love the Iowa summer nights with the amazing sunsets! Iowa in is my heart! I love sweets, not a runner but secretly wish I were, and hopefully will travel more in another year as our third daughter will go off to college. My family is heading to California in a couple weeks, any recommendations of what to see or where to eat in the LA area?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.06.2012

      Gosh, I haven’t been to LA for a long time. Whatever you do – make sure to grab an In ‘n’ Out burger! Not gourmet, but a West Coast must-try!

  23. ilissa mcclelland 02.05.2012

    I love the s’mores on a stick. It is fun to do with my daughter before the game.

  24. Tom 02.08.2012

    Just found your website and recipes. I am making a few tonight. The look so good, I think I love you!

  25. Kelly 02.10.2012

    I just found your blog a few days ago and LOVE it! My mom’s family is from Clear Lake, Iowa and I love visiting them. The houses with no fences, the miles of corn fields, and the neat rock quarries (sp?). There used to be a rock quarry near my grandparents old house and it was filled with water. My cousins and I would always go splashing around in the summers. Oh the memories!! :)

    I’m a Californian thru and thru, I’ve lived in So Cal my whole life. Your blog caught my eye because of all the great recipes you have to offer. I am always looking to make things healthier for my husband and I. I just subscribed to your emails. Can’t wait to get to know you better and see what your cookin in the future!

  26. MJ 02.12.2012

    Hi – I was enjoying myself on Pinterest and in a roundabout way looking at recipes I came to your site. And I believe it rang a bell in my head. One of my co-workers/friends is your cousin – Jill – from Brooklyn, Ohio??? She has told me about your blog before and that’s why it sounded so familiar to me. If this is not who you are – sorry – I still am enjoying your site!

  27. Nicole 02.15.2012

    Just happened to come across this….I’m enjoying your cake in a mug recipe as I check out your blog! I’m also an Iowa girl. Southeast Iowa. Look forward to following you and reading/learning more! :)

  28. […] I decided to try a smoothie recipe found on one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats. Thank you Kristen for the Green Monster Spinach […]

  29. I love your site! I relate to all of your topics very well. I am new to blogging and am checking out other sites for inspiration. I have the feeling I will be back to yours a lot :)

    I live in MN near Lake Nokomis and do a lot of running around the trails in the city (and my boyfriend grew up in Cedar Rapids so we are back there a few times each year). I love seeing your travel experiences! you should check out Thailand if you haven’t already.

  30. Margaret 02.22.2012

    I’m so excited to have found your blog! While I am not a native Iowan, I consider myself an Iowa girl at heart (both my parents were born and raised in Eastern Iowa). When I was little, all of my vacations were to Iowa, and I just love it! I’m pumped to introduce my husband to the state for the first time this summer (first order of business – giant tenderloin sandwich). Looking forward to perusing your site!

  31. Barbara 02.24.2012

    What a beautiful site you have! I’ve been a fan for awhile (through Facebook) and now it looks like it’s time I find you on Pinterest! As many others here who have commented, I’m from Iowa, now living in NYC. I will always be an Iowan, no matter where I live. :-) Your site does sometimes make me a bit homesick, I must admit! I miss the sky-watching a lot, especially since I’m here in NYC. But your site is so inspiring, I love coming here! I really enjoy your photography and your recipes, too! Warmly, Barbara

  32. Irene 02.27.2012

    I just found your blog last week and just LOVE your recipes…and your philosophy! I am definitely one who believes in “eat well, run often”. I would also love the “travel far” portion, but with 3 little ones that is definitely not that easy nowadays. Maybe someday!

  33. ruthie b 02.28.2012

    just wanted to pop in and tell you how much i love your blog. i grew up in cedar rapids, went to college in mt. vernon, and lived in dsm for several years. i no longer live in the heartland but i do miss it. maybe i’ll be back some day. in the mean time, i appreciate the lil bit of ‘home’ your blog gives me.

  34. Roz 02.29.2012

    Iowa was good to me and I love all my visits to see my family and friends every year! I love this blog and so glad to have found you! Could you please email me and let me know who your blog designer is for some updating on my blog? Thanks!

    roz: paige1and2(at)centurylink(dot)net

  35. Dawn 02.29.2012

    Your site makes me smile and miss my home state of IA:) I grew up in Waverly and ALSO lived in Minneapolis for about 4 years. Now my husband and I live in California (near San Diego) but travel back to the midwest as often as we can to see family and friends! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  36. Jane 03.02.2012

    I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and immediately fell in love. Not only am I a fellow Iowa Girl (SE Iowa) but we share a last name as well. I’ve made several of your recipes, and you are single-handendly responsible for my new love of roasted tofu. (My husband is still on the fence with this!) Thanks for sharing your life with us, and keep up the good work!

  37. Shauna 03.02.2012

    I’m KIND OF an Iowa girl! While I grew up in Central Illinois. I’ve lived in Ames for just about 8 years, since I was 17. My parents, as well as nearly my whole extended family lives in Davenport/Bettendorf. While I admit that I’m moving to Washington state in August, I suppose a piece of my heart will always be in Iowa…even if I haven’t exactly been a great fan of it :P I do love your blog, though, so keep it up!

  38. Kara 03.04.2012

    I just stumbled upon your blog from a yoga studio’s website in Ankeny, Iowa. I’m moving to Des Moines (from Tulsa, OK) in 3 months for my husband’s job and I was wondering if you could give me any advice for 1)where to run in the city or outskirts? and 2) local restaurants?
    Thanks so much!

  39. Wendy 03.06.2012

    Just stumbled upon your page and I’m in love! You have a fantastic writing style and awesome recipes and workouts. I think I have a new blog fav!

  40. Kristin Nicole 03.08.2012

    I found your website by scrolling through the scrumptious photos on pintrest. I saw the great recipes you have and decided to explore your website a bit further. Love the Travel section of your site, I love to travel myself, I don’t think I’ve been to as many places as you but it’s on my to-do list. Love to cook and write. I have agirlskitchen.com which I’m just starting up and I have soapnights.com. Keep up the good work, I will definitely be following your adventures. And LOVE YOUR NAME….
    kristin nicole ;)

  41. Run2Eat 03.11.2012

    I found your blog through Pinterest this morning, and am thrilled I did!! I also LOVE to travel, and I actually run TO eat. I did the NYC (my first and only) marathon in 2010, but have been very unmotivated the last year to get back on track. However, you inspired me to take advantage of this beautiful spring weather, so I pounded some pavement for a slow but rewarding 4 miles. First step to getting back to a healthy life style, so thank you!!

    I am also from a state that gets a bad wrap as well. In fact, probably more so than Iowa. Utah. But I have lived in NJ for almost 10 years now.

    I look forward to following you blog. Thanks again!

  42. Reneé 03.19.2012

    I love your blog and read it almost everyday! I nominated you for a versatile blogger award! You can see it here: http://bendiful.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/the-versatile-blogger-award/


  43. mina 03.21.2012

    I was just looking through old “wanderlists” and noticed that the Sahara Desert was on yours; we went in December. We stayed overnight and it was amazing – you have to go! I’m posting about Morocco right now. You’d love it there, the food is unbelievable.

    I’m loving this new layout – very Martha Stewart!

  44. kathleen 03.21.2012

    I grew up in Iowa, and live in Seattle now. It’s hard to convince people of how beautiful Iowa is, and what a great place it is. And, there is Greg Brown. . . .

  45. Michelle 03.25.2012

    It’s great that people think Iowa is boring, keeps it from getting crowded! :) I live in Eastern Iowa and while the winters can be brutal – spring, summer and fall are wonderful! Going to try your green monster smoothie today! Can’t wait!!

  46. Kristi 03.31.2012

    Found you on Pinterest from a friend of a friend of a friend :) and now am totally addicted to your food and your workouts. i’d stopped running for years after running a marathon – The Great Potato Marathon in Boise. I wouldn’t recommend it. Scenic, it is not. (the marathon route, not Boise.) Anyhow, I printed off some of your workouts, made myself a little mixed tape, and now I’m back on the treadmill. your workouts give me just enough variety to stay sane and actually like the challenge again!! I’ve made several of your recipes in the past couple weeks and they’ve quickly become our favorites, and now you’re pretty much the only thing we eat!! And, I’m actually LIKING cooking!! Thank you so, so, so much for all your awesome stuff.
    Kristi In MN

  47. […] Kristin posted a recipe for Blueberry Muffin Top Cookies a couple of months ago and it’s been on my mind ever since. I’m not sure why I didn’t just go right out and buy the stuff I needed at the time but I realized this past Wednesday that I had all of the ingredients on hand to make my own version. […]

  48. McKenna Keenan 04.05.2012

    I am trying your chicken salad tonight. I stumbled on your blog and love it! I have struggled with my weight for ever! After out last baby I have decided it’s just time to take care of business and get healthy. However, I am like Paula Dean.. I love butter and love cooking with it! I have no idea how to cook healthy so your blog is great! Thanks so much for sharing!

  49. Kelsey Koch 04.12.2012

    I am so excited I have found your blog! I am a Nebraska girl….and for 3 years I have been living in Houston TX, now learning how much I miss the midwest and I am moving back in July! I am also a runner and a travel bug. I also love your philosophy about working to travel! that’s my philosophy also! I don’t have an iphone or a new computer, but I have the rich experiences of culture and traveling! I noticed you wanted to go to Greece! I went last summer for 2 weeks and it is SO amazing!! I loved every moment! I look forward to following you and your blog!

  50. Kristen 04.16.2012

    Nice to see a fellow Iowa girl also named Krist(i)en! I’m from the NW corner in Sioux County! Sad to see that you haven’t incorporated any Dutch recipes into your selection! Maybe soon?

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