Raw food has always been a connection to nature and also to my body. It’s been something important and constant in my life for over a decade now. Back in college, I was in a weird place of depression, exhaustion, and disconnection from my body. Raw food brought me more balance, wholeness, and connection to myself and what I eat. Don’t get me wrong—I’m vehemently anti-“diet”. But to me, raw food has always been so much more than that. It’s a shift of focus, specifically to produce.

After about 87 different jobs (line cook, park ranger, gas station attendant, wedding stationary designer…), I started a small and scrappy food business in San Francisco where I sold raw, vegan desserts. I named it Sidesaddle Kitchen, because, to me, that embodied something feminine but badass; something rooted in the West​; something completely opposite of the off-putting culty, judgey, sickly-looking, humorless raw/vegan stereotype. And to sweeten the deal (and reel in all those folks shuffling past me to get a pork bahn-mi sandwich​es​), I hung up a big banner over my booth that said RAW. VEGAN. NOT GROSS.

Sidesaddle was a success in terms of popular response and my own creative and culinary ​growth…but not so much in the actual “business” ​sense​. Turns out giving away all your product for free isn’t so great for profit (although it’s delightfully fun and dangerously easy). I just wanted people to know how delicious raw food is—and how simple it is to make! Still, I couldn’t pay my bills, felt like a huge failure, and eventually had to shut down my one-woman business.

But, as usual, fate (and raw food) had different plans for me. About a year later, Tastemade, a food and travel video network, approached me to film some recipe videos. I was terrified, but thrilled with the chance to finally share my passion with a wider audience than my farmers market fan club. So, with the help of an awesome crew (and many hours overcoming some stagefright), the show Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. was born—and became a popular YouTube series to boot!

Since then, I shot a lifestyle series on Tastemade (called …With Laura Miller) I packed up and moved out of San Francisco; I got married; and I kept playing with my food. I also wrote my first cookbook, a collection of easy, real-world, not-too-complicated and definitely not-gross recipes which will be released May 2016 (Flatiron/Macmillan).

I now live in Los Angeles with my husband​ ​and ​my ​dog, Buzz.