10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea | picklesnhoney.com

10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea

This post is part of an interview series in which I ask fellow bloggers and noteworthy people ten questions about themselves, their work, and their top advice for those living a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. Are you a business or brand who’s doing cool things and interested in being interviewed? Please contact me to chat further.

10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea | picklesnhoney.com

Photography by Caitlin McGrother

I first began reading The Vegan Chickpea not long after I started Pickles & Honey. I immediately connected with Caitlin’s voice. She’s down-to-earth and honest in her writing, and that allows her to be vulnerable and so relatable. She’s switched her approach from more of a recipe blog to a lifestyle focus with the occasional recipe, which she says feels truer to who she is as a person. I would have to agree, because I find myself looking forward to her posts more than ever, and especially her Favorites on Friday (she always has the best links!).

In addition to being a beautiful writer, Caitlin is a cheerleader for those around her. I can always count on her to leave thoughtful comments and little notes that brighten my day. Today, I’m so happy to be able to cheerlead for her. Just like on The Vegan Chickpea, her responses to my 10 Questions are practical and engaging.

10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea | picklesnhoney.com

1.  What is your food philosophy?

Besides being vegan and gluten-free, I eat what makes me feel good. I feel best eating an unprocessed diet full of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. Also, lots of Thai food and sushi (but not together).

2.  If you could give one piece of advice to new vegans, what would it be?

Because my transition to veganism was so gradual, I never really experienced many of the issues other new vegans often face. But, when my husband went vegan four years ago, it was much different. One day he was eating cheese and turkey hoagies and the next he was eschewing all animal products from his diet. Also, he was extremely picky and didn’t like “vegan food”. In his situation, my “advice” to him (and myself in creating his meals) was to keep it simple. I concentrated on making dishes that included his favorite foods that already happened to be vegan- potatoes, corn, carrots, rice, bananas, peanut butter, etc. Also, with the exception of vegan cheese, I did not resort to any processed foods. It was definitely a challenge, but he was committed to making the lifestyle change and willing to try just about anything once. Over time his taste buds have adapted and he is much more interested in trying new food. I always say that if my husband can be vegan, anyone can.

10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea | picklesnhoney.com

3.  Why do you blog?

I originally started my blog to share vegan and gluten-free recipes. About a year ago, I changed the direction of my blog to be more inclusive of various aspects of my life rather than just food. My blog is my creative outlet, a way to share and connect with others through words, images, thoughts, and experiences. I look at The Vegan Chickpea as my ongoing personal project and really enjoy working on it.

4.  If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers, what would it be?

Don’t compare yourself to others. All it does is make you feel bad about yourself and your blog. Just be yourself, blog about what makes you happy, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

5.  If you had to choose a favorite and a least favorite word, what would they be?

My favorite word is angel. Not because of any sort of religious connotation but because it’s the word I use to convey my deepest love and appreciation. I call my husband some variation of angel almost exclusively.

My least favorite word is try. Someone once told me, “Don’t try, just do it.” I think the word conveys that failure is anticipated or that you’re not giving 100%. I consciously avoid using it.

6.  If you weren’t you, who would you be?

I don’t think I’d want to be someone else. But, if I could be more like another person it would be my friend Lora’s sister Caroline. She’s effortlessly classy, carefree, incredibly intelligent and successful, has impeccable taste, and is friendly and outgoing. Most importantly, she’s worked really hard to attain her goals and have the life she wants. I really admire her and she’s the kind of person I am working to become.

10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea | picklesnhoney.com

7.  What is your idea of happiness?

Spending quality time with my husband. We could be going downtown to dinner and a show, taking a day trip up to New York, going to a concert, or just ordering takeout, putting on our comfy clothes, and watching a movie or two at home. I just love when we experience things together and can really enjoy each other’s company. No matter how often we do these things, in my mind, it’s never enough.

8.  What makes you unhappy?

Feeling stifled, overwhelmed, and confused. Not being in control. Judgment. Negative and toxic people.

9.  What is your best-kept beauty secret?

I drink a lot of water. My husband calls me a tank because of the amount of water I can consume at any given moment. I may have to go to the bathroom every waking hour, but my skin is always clean and clear, and I’m never dehydrated.

10.  If money did not matter, how would you spend your days?

I would travel often, write for a living, and stay in school forever.

10 Questions: An Interview with Caitlin McGrother of The Vegan Chickpea | picklesnhoney.comCaitlin McGrother is a Philadelphia native and voice behind the lifestyle blog The Vegan Chickpea. When she’s not working or studying, Caitlin enjoys cooking, dining out, attending plays and musicals with her husband, and taking long walks with her dog.

You can follow Caitlin on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Caitlin’s advice for new bloggers (#4) and least favorite word (#5) particularly resonated with me.

What response(s) resonated with you?

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  1. Caitlin says

    thank you so much for inviting me on pickles and honey and writing such nice words about me. i adore you, lady!

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you for taking the time to do the interview! xoxo

  2. Cadry says

    That was a very astute observation, Amanda, about Caitlin being a cheerleader. She’s always leaving such positive comments and warm fuzzies on my posts and Instagrams. I can count on her to say something that buoys my spirit. I loved hearing Caitlin’s thoughts and especially her advice on blogging and writing about what makes you happy. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you have to do things a certain way, and that’s a surefire way to sap the joy out of creativity. I’m a longtime reader of The Vegan Chickpea, and like you said, I’ve enjoyed reading it even more since Caitlin went in the direction of sharing more freeform posts about her life.

    1. Amanda says

      It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap with blogging and you’re right that it totally saps the joy out of it. There’s a fine balance between being inspired and motivated, and feeling not good enough and down on ourselves. Some days it really is the comments like Caitlin’s that cane make all the difference.

    2. Caitlin says

      thank you so much, cadry! your thoughtful comment means so much to me. i’m so happy to know how much you appreciate my comments <3

  3. Supercutest puppy hug! It’s so nice to get to know more about Caitlin…I agree about the word “try”. Just dig in and give it all you got! 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      Mina is so cute. I think Caitlin and I are equally obsessed with our puppies. 🙂

      1. Caitlin says

        mina gives the best hugs!

        amanda- i think we are, too!

  4. I love you, Caitlin! Your kind words and positive vibe keep me blogging when bloggin’ gets rough. You are seriously a ray of sunshine.

    1. Amanda says

      I could not agree more!

    2. Caitlin says

      i love you, too, sarah! you’re a total rock star and you should constantly be reminded 😉

  5. Emma says

    I so agree with you Amanda- Caitlin is so supportive of everyone in this blogosphere. Her comments always make me feel welcome and are very much appreciated 🙂
    I’ve been reading The Vegan Chickpea for a long time too and Caitlin is one of the bloggers I’d most like to meet in real life!

    1. Amanda says

      Blogger meet up? 😉

    2. Caitlin says

      thank you, emma! you seriously made my day that i’m a blogger you’d most want to meet. let’s make that happen! i want to meet you, too.

      1. Emma says

        Some day I’ll make it to Philly! Any plans to come to London?!

  6. Richa says

    Caitlin is always there bringing positivity to the blogs and posts. Whenever she is on vacation from commenting, I miss her dearly 🙂
    I have to learn to not get stressed over comparisons. in the world where there is always someone doing the same things as you, its difficult to uncouple and just be you.
    Great interview Caitlin!

    1. Amanda says

      The comparisons thing is something I’ve been stressing over recently too. I have to remind myself that we each bring something unique to the table, even when we’re making similar recipes.

    2. Caitlin says

      i love you, richa!

  7. Kristy says

    I have been following Cailtin’s blog for nearly 3 years and have loved the evolution of her blog as well. I also really look forward to her Favorites on Friday (seriously, the best links. I always click on all of them). Most of all, though, I really adore Caitlin and her sweet, honest, down-to-earth voice. In this interview, I particularly connected with her thoughts on blogging. And I have to add too- she really does leave some of the most positive, thoughtful comments.

    1. Amanda says

      I click on all of her Favorites on Friday links too! Reading those posts is a surefire way for me to completely derail my afternoon…but it’s so fun! I always look forward to them.
      Caitlin is the sweetest. It really speaks to her character that so many people have commented saying how thoughtful she is.

    2. Caitlin says

      kristy, thank you so much for your sweet comment. i’m so happy you continue to enjoy my blog through its evolution. i’m so happy everyone loves my friday links as much as i do, too!

  8. My idea of happiness and my beauty secret are the same, Caitlin! My partner and H20 both keep me happy and healthy. 😉 I *love* your reasons for not liking the word “try.” I never thought of it that way before.

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