Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Kara Swanson
I came across Kara Swanson on Instagram and fell in love with all her yummy recipes and all the awesome products she was using. Her family lives a gluten-free lifestyle. Although it does not help regularly, we try to gear our meals towards gluten-free. After following her for awhile, I signed up for one of her fun challenges and have received two of her meal plans. Her recipes are simple, healthy and delicious! Learn more about Kara, her business and her favorites in Des Moines, Iowa.
Give us a little background of your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
I have been married to my best friend for almost 8 years and we’ve moved all over from Ventura, California to Nashville, TN before settling back in Des Moines where we both grew up. I have two girls, ages 6 and 3, and a baby due end of May 2019. We are super excited to add another member to our family!
What is your business, and what do you do?
I am a nutritionist and owner of Life Well Lived where I share my recipes, healthy lifestyle tips, and offer 4-week meal plans. I help make the nutrition part easy, simple, and delicious for families. I know life is crazy and hectic so I create recipes that are easy to make on a busy weeknight and yummy enough that the whole family loves it.
We often overcomplicate nutrition or go from diet to diet, and I wanted to stop the cycle and help women (and their families) get back to the basics of nutrition, change their diet mentality, and create a healthy lifestyle that lasts forever.
Why did you become a small business owner?
I honestly never really set out to be an entrepreneur but I started sharing more about our journey to whole health and creating gluten-free recipes and over time I realized that I could make a business out of something I love to do. It’s been an amazing journey and I love helping women and their families create healthy lifestyles and fall in love with eating healthy.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
Does the gym childcare count? 😉 We do go there a lot right now so the girls can play and I can work out or get some work done for my business. We also love heading to the library to check out books and play there.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
We love going on walks and heading to different parks. The zoo is always something my girls love to do every year too.
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
My husband also owns his own business and works from home so date nights are really important to us. We make them a big priority in our marriage. We love going to our favorite restaurant in Des Moines, Django for dinner and enjoying adult conversation. Over the past 6 months, we’ve been taking turns looking up questions specific to couples that we find online and ask each other those during dinner. It’s not only a really fun way to get to know each other more but it always sparks a great conversation that helps us connect. We love ending the night with a movie.
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
Running a business from home requires me to be super intentional with my time. I have to plan and prioritize my schedule which helps me be productive when I need to work and lets me be a mom and focus on my girls when I’m not working.
I also highly recommend waking up before your kids wake up. This has been difficult for me right now in this season with being pregnant but it’s been a game changer for me to create a morning routine when everything is quiet. I typically wake up at 5 am and read my Bible, look over my schedule, and get a few tasks done before the girls wake up for breakfast. I always feel less stressed and more in control of the day when I do my morning routine.
What is your number one parenting tip?
Experiences over things. A while ago we decided to do more experiences over toys/things and it’s been a really fun tradition. They often talk about the experience for months, even years after but a toy is forgotten within a week! Plus, we get to all spend quality time together as a family and create lots of fun memories.