#66: Caroline Fausel – Owner of Olive you Whole
Caroline Fausel Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. We are so excited you’re here. We appreciate you joining us. And we look forward sharing these conversations with thought leaders from our industry. They’re going to paint a picture from every perspective, consumer, customer, vendor, employee, and peer, that I think is going to be super valuable and we’re really excited to share. So thanks for tuning in. Remember, don’t tune out and grab life by the by the bacon.
The Pederson’s Farms Podcast is happening. It’s going again with Caroline Fausel, and we just got to dive right into all those things that are Olive You Whole. So Caroline, thanks for saying yes. Prior to hitting record, we were talking and Caroline says, well, what are we going to talk about today? I just said yes, and I’m like, we’re going to talk about you.
Caroline Fausel: Yes, I’m a yes woman for sure.
Neil Dudley: I do appreciate that. That keeps you super busy, so I know your time is kind of pressured. So let’s quickly tell them who you are. We’re going to put links to the show notes, so everybody can go find out more about Olive You Whole. I’d be really surprised if anybody doesn’t know about you, but it might be possible.
Caroline Fausel: Yeah. So I am Caroline Fausel. I am a paleo healthy food blogger. I have a cookbook. I have a podcast, Olive You Whole. And really, I just love telling people about healthy living and also intentional living really in every area of their lives.
Neil Dudley: If you struggle with maybe weight, maybe feeling good, maybe mental clarity, maybe just being all you can be, Caroline’s a great person to kind of listen to because she will help you get a different perspective maybe then the one you have. Part of her story was pregnancy, premature kid. You’ve been down the road- That’s one of the things I wanted to ask – the vegetarian perspective. It’s not something I’m great about bringing into the fold, and I got to try to do that better because really part of the podcast purpose is to paint this picture of where your food comes from lots of perspectives, from lots of understanding, from not this commercial for Pederson’s. That’s not what this is. This is supposed to be a conversation that’s open, honest, and transparent. Can you help me understand the vegetarian perspective a little bit? Because I’ve never experienced it. I’ve never thought like that.
Caroline Fausel: Well, it’s funny, Neil, because that I really can’t anymore. Like I do not at all align with that anymore. But the reason that I came to a vegetarian, almost vegan diet in college was just out of this desire to be my healthiest self. And so, I read this book on eating animals, and it painted this terrible picture about CAFOs and what’s happening in the industrial meat industry. And I was appalled. I was like how can this be happening under our nose and we have no idea. So my response to that was near veganism. And that’s because I didn’t know enough about the people that were doing meat correctly. I didn’t understand the importance of animals in the regenerative agriculture space. I didn’t understand mono crops. I didn’t- there was so much, Neil, that I just didn’t understand. And so the easiest solution, in my mind, was I’m not going to eat meat. But to be totally honest with you, I did not thrive. I did not thrive on a vegetarian diet. I was, I don’t know, 19, 20, so I was really young. And I feel like I didn’t probably know how to do it correctly. And so, we were eating a lot of grains, and we were eating a lot of legumes. And I have found out since then, since switching to more of a paleo diet, that those two things don’t do great for me. Like my body doesn’t thrive eating that. So I have since a switched to more of a paleo diet. But that’s kind of- honestly, Neil, my heart is still the same. Like my heart is still for the environment. My heart is still to optimize my health kind of from a biohacking perspective. But the way that I do that has changed.
Neil Dudley: And I think you have a heart for animals. I have a heart for animals. I don’t think that being a meat eater, I think it’s potential. There’s the potential out there for somebody that is a vegan or vegetarian or not fully educated. I mean, I’m ignorant about a lot of things. I don’t think ignorance is a flaw or some huge problem, it’s kind of just a fact. And they can just feel like since we eat animals, we don’t value them, we don’t really value our environment, the world, other people. That to me seems to be the farthest from the truth in my experience.
Caroline Fausel: Absolutely. I mean, my husband and I are watching a show about Native Alaskans in Alaska. And they are sustenance hunting. So the only things they’re eating they’re getting from the land. And honestly watching the show, I’m like these people have such a high respect for these animals. I mean, like I would venture to say higher than I do for the animals that I eat. So I think there’s just, I think you can really care for animals and really respect animals and still eat animals. I think there’s a way of life that really I’m learning now, Neil, that we really can’t heal the Earth without these animals.
Neil Dudley: We have to have- we have to love and appreciate the nutrition that sustains. I mean, the lions, I guarantee they appreciate the zebra. The zebra appreciates the grass. I appreciate the wilder beast, like just this whole circle of life as a reality that I like to talk about at least a little bit in every conversation I get a chance to.
Caroline Fausel: Yeah, it’s important.
Neil Dudley: Now then, blogging. Like so just 180, let’s talk about blogging. What is that world like? What has that been like? What is kind of a surprising thing that has resulted from you just letting people into your life in that way that you didn’t expect or you didn’t see coming?
Caroline Fausel: Yeah, I’ve been blogging since 2014. So when I got into the paleo space, I mean, there were the OG bloggers like Paleo OMG, Danielle Walker, Nom Nom Paleo, so there were some big names. But when I got into the space, there wasn’t the thousands of paleo bloggers that we have now. So I feel like I was kind of new, like fresh on the scene kind of towards the beginning of this movement. And I’ve been blogging for eight years. So it’s been a really long time. I would say almost all of it has been a surprise and a delight. When I started my blog, it was like it was out of this life change. We did the Whole 30 for 30 days. And I started my blog the next day. Like, we stopped our Whole 30, and I started my blog the next day. And my intention was very much like everyone needs to know this, everyone needs to experience the life change that I experienced. I lost weight. My skin was clearer than it had ever been. I felt I had so much energy. The Whole 30 community talks about tiger blood. I mean, I was just like a toddler tiger, like you couldn’t even control my energy. So, I just- and also too part of my story is just a lot of digestive issues as a child, and all of that just went away in 30 days. And so I just had this desire to shout it from the rooftops. Some of the surprising things that have come from it is just I started this, like I’m going to create some recipes and put them on a website, and the fact that this is now my job, the fact that I do this full time, the fact that I was able to publish a cookbook, I mean, I have dreamed of that since I was five years old cooking in my kitchen. Before I could read and write, I would make my mom write down my recipes as a child. And then having a podcast. But I would say too one of the things that is really surprising is some of the people that have been around and been in this community from the beginning, honestly, are some of my dearest friends. Like, I actually know people in my community. And just recently I hired a follower as one of my nutritionists. I’m like I’ve been- I followed her back. I followed her for years. And now she’s my functional nutritionist. So I mean, it’s just full circle. It’s so fun.
Neil Dudley: That is. What would you say is the most important piece – and I always kind of disliked that most, like you have to pick one thing that’s the most – if somebody’s watching you or hears this from the Pederson’s community and says, wow, she sounds just like me, but I’m not doing any of those things, and I really want to, what would be the key to doing that?
Caroline Fausel: As a career?
Neil Dudley: Well, or even, yeah, I say as a career because I think somebody’s going to hear now I make my living blogging, just doing all these things I love, which I’d be curious to explore. Is that how it feels all the time? I mean, probably not.
Caroline Fausel: There are downsides for sure.
Neil Dudley: That’s a lot of access to your life when you choose to do this for a career. But maybe they want to make it their career, maybe they just want to publish a book where that wouldn’t require all the blogging and those kinds of things. What’s some good advice for them?
Caroline Fausel: Sure. I mean, recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about like both publishing a book, I’m working on my second book now, and also just this like bizarre career that I get to have. And I think, honestly, a lot of people who make it in this entrepreneurial space don’t give up. Like, it’s really that simple. Like, I just decided I’m going to do this, and I just kept doing it. So even when- I mean, I remember, I remember celebrating that I had 58 followers. I was like, it like blew my mind. I was like there are 58 people who care about paleo eating and Whole 30. And so now tens of thousands of people later, it still blows my mind. But I really think just committing to it and deciding I’m not going to give up. And so there are so many things that have to happen along the way in order for you really to be able to make money doing this. You have to have so many people coming to your website. So there’s like SEO to learn. And then you have to have so many followers to be able to do sponsorships. So there’s definitely a lot of pieces that go into it. But I think the two most important things are keep on keeping on, be willing to learn, be willing to learn and grow because you wear a lot of hats. But also, it sounds so stupid and like I’m talking to kindergarteners, but just be yourself. I think I’m a very polarizing person. I’m like very joyful and exuberant, and I have lots of opinions. And so I can be polarizing. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people who followed and they’re like, I hate that girl, and they unfollow, and I think that’s fine because I think that your people will find you.
Neil Dudley: Yes, I love that. What would you think if I said, well, I’d like to add, don’t compare yourself to others?
Caroline Fausel: Oh, oh, yes. That too.
Neil Dudley: I mean, that’s super key. That’s one way you keep doing it overtime, overtime, overtime is I think if you would’ve took off day one and said, okay, well, I got to be the same as Paleo OMG, or I need to have that same following, it won’t happen because you’re a totally different person. So don’t try to copy Caroline. What she said was just be yourself. And I think that’s great advice. So since you do this podcast and you have access to all these people, I’m just going to kind of keep probing you for these things that most people aren’t going to have a chance to know, myself included. What is kind of a surprising thing you’ve learned about where your food comes from through some of these conversations? Will Harris is a guy that kind of comes to mind. You’ve talked to some really interesting people in the space. Do you have one that’s kind of like, wow, that was really, I would have never thought that?
Caroline Fausel: I mean, I think that- so I went to the Force of Nature conference put on by Force of Nature Meats in April, got to meet Will Harris, Taylor Collins, and lots of fabulous people. And I would say the thing I’ve been learning recently, which we kind of touched on a little bit, is a lot of these people have taken absolutely barren dirt, like literally the worst farm in Texas, and now it is a thriving ecosystem, like the amount of birds that are there. There’s like a creek there that didn’t exist before. Like all of these crazy regenerative agriculture stories. And what I’m realizing, because I think honestly, Neil, the narrative is we are growing lots of grain in America. And instead of feeding that grain to animals that we then eat, why don’t we cut out the animals and eat the grain? Like that is kind of the vegetarian vegan narrative. And I’m learning, I’m very surprised and I’m learning so much about if you have corn that’s GMO corn or let’s say soy from Monsanto, you’re putting on glyphosate that’s ruining the planet. You’re instead of growing it and growing something different in the offseason, you grow the corn, you take the corn off, it’s barren soil. So now we have runoff. The water is not staying in the soil. It’s running off. Well, what is it running off with? Gyphosate and all of the other herbicides, fungicides, pesticides that are going into rivers. And then also, there’s no animals on that land. We’re tilling the soil. So the carbon that should be being sequestered by the soil, instead, we’re tilling the bare soil to prepare it for the next round of corn. And the carbon is just getting into the air. Like it’s the opposite of what we want. So I just feel like I’ve been surprised to learn the importance of animals in a regenerative agriculture space. And even we talk about like, well, we’re feeding grains to animals. Okay, well, how about we don’t feed grains to ruminant animals? How about we use all of this land in America that’s grassland already and we add in some bison. Bison started in America. So we add back bison and cows and all these things. And we don’t think about that land that we’re not even using, to regenerate that. So I’m just surprised at how crucial animals really are to the regenerative agriculture space.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, sure. To the way of the- It’s the way the world works. I mean, I want to say, it’s the way God made it. Why podcast? Why long form? Why not just keep writing?
Caroline Fausel: Yeah, I mean, I have been blogging for so long that you can have a lot of different forms of content. You can have a blog where you’re mostly writing. You get to be present on social media. But really, my desire was both to expand what I was talking about. So I’ve been talking just food for so long, and the two things that I did to really expand what Olive You Whole is all about is I’m in school to be a health coach, and health coaching is not food and movement. Health coaching, you could come to me and say, I don’t like where- I don’t have a partner in life, I want to expand my romantic life. And I as a health coach can help you with that. So it’s all encompassing all of these different areas of wellness. And then number two, I wanted to be able to talk more in depth about all of these issues that are really important to me. And I just think there’s only so much that you can put in a blog post. There’s only so much you can share in 15 second snippets on Instagram Stories. There’s only just so far you can go. And really, I would do partnerships with companies, and I would create recipes using ingredients, but I wasn’t having these in-depth conversations with people like you who are experts in their fields. So honestly, selfishly, I just wanted to learn more. But also, I just wanted to broaden and deepen my horizons and conversations that I was having.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I think that selfish nature is true for all of us in the podcasting space or really kind of even sometimes in the content creation space of any kind because I’m super selfish. Like, if I didn’t have the podcast, we could have reached out to you to try to partner with on our products or something, but we wouldn’t build the relationship we have now. And this is only 30 minutes; it is still just the tip of an iceberg. And then there’s so many different ways you can take it and the chances of it being valuable, you just have to roll the dice because not everybody will it be valuable to. So here I am rolling the dice on another kind of topic. Can we allow imperfection? I mean, I’m curious how you feel about that because I kind of want everybody to hear Pederson’s is imperfect, Caroline’s imperfect, the regenerative ag movement is imperfect. It doesn’t know everything. Although there are people really loud about it. Same as vegetarian side. There’s people really loud about that. How can all of us in the middle process through that? What do you think?
Caroline Fausel: No, I think that’s a really great question. And it’s one that I personally struggle with. So because I feel this need to show my followers, show people in my life, I want to walk the talk. So I don’t want to be over here saying you guys really should buy regenerative agriculture meat and someone catches me at McDonald’s. Like, I don’t want to be hypocritical. And so, I struggle because I talk about every aspect of life. Like there are the times I want to prioritize getting slow fashion, which is more expensive, but I prioritize it, or getting stuff from Goodwill or Thread Up, which I do. But there are the times where you’re like I’ve got this photoshoot and I need this thing, I just have to go to Old Navy, and it’s like kills me, and it makes me feel hypocritical. But at the same time, I have to give myself grace because we all just have to do the best we can. And also, I don’t expect anyone to like hold themselves to the insane standard that I hold myself to because it’s, first of all, I think from an accessibility standpoint, it’s not affordable. Like we’re still at a point where the way that I- a lot, my budget towards groceries, a lot of people couldn’t spend that much on groceries. But that’s a huge priority for me. Number one, I’m creating recipes all the time. But number two, I’m buying mostly/entirely organic, and I’m buying high quality products from brands I trust and stuff. So I think the moral of the story, Neil, is you have to start with one thing, whether that’s the thing that you feel would make the biggest impact in your life. Maybe you say for yourself, my son has asthma, maybe we have mold in our home. Like, I really think that an air purifier is a great way to spend $300. And I’m going to start with that. Okay, great. So be it. I think if we paint this picture of if you want to be healthy, it’s all or nothing, then no one’s going to do it. And so I think that people like me, we have to present all the options. You want to get cleaner bacon, here’s Pederson’s and this other brand and this other brand. You want to clean up the pollution in your home, here’s Air Doctor Pro and here’s some other options that are more affordable. I think we provide options in all of the areas. But we all just have to do what feels most important to us and what we can.
Neil Dudley: So what do you say to those people- by the way, thanks for exploring that with me. Anybody listening, everybody listening or watching on YouTube, wherever you’re catching this content, you got to know, we know there’s more to learn. That’s kind of what we’re challenging you to do is like learn it. I want you to know, without a doubt, what Pederson’s is all about. And we’re not perfect, I mean, in some regards. Like we don’t have every pig that we put within our system outside in a pasture. So, if that’s what you want, that’s not us, that’s somebody else. But we’re striving very hard to do the best we can within the combined production models we have. Just so everybody here just understands, we know there’s more to learn. I think the fact that you’re listening means you know there’s more to learn. I’m very proud of you for that. Share it with your friends, because as humans, we all got to learn. And we all got to quit thinking everybody else that’s different than me is an idiot and has no value.
Caroline Fausel: Absolutely. I was even talking to one of my friends the other day about like I’ve had to come to a space for myself of like no judgment. And deciding like food and health and wellness is in like my top three values as a human being, which is why I do what I do. But other people are operating from different values, and that’s okay. That’s going to be fine. If they come to me and say, “Caroline, I’m feeling terrible. I want to feel better. What can I do?” Sure. Like, of course, I’m helpful. I’m happy to be helpful in that way. But not judging other people for you’re making different choices, or you haven’t learned this, this, and this. Because, Neil, I don’t think we’re ever going to get to a place in life where we feel like I have arrived. I’ve made it. I am like completely whole. I know everything there is to know about health and wellness. I think, like you’re saying, we’re always going to be learning. And I think there’s something once a week that I’m like, wow, I never knew that. And you just don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.
Neil Dudley: It’s the biggest farce in America that our children in school, I feel like even as a kid, I thought someday, I’m going to be this super wealthy, at the finish line looking back saying wow, look at all I did. Because you see the- I think sports drives it in a way, like you’ll see these super successful athletes, multi, multi millionaires, billionaires in some cases, well, they made it. The truth is no, they didn’t. They’re still learning. They don’t get to keep all that wealth. They don’t get to keep all that fame, etc. They have to continue moving forward. So that’s a piece of just everybody’s truth that if you’re a youngster or if you’re raising kids, try to let them know there’s no finish line.
Caroline Fausel: There’s no finish line. But also too, like as a child, I remember thinking, and I’m thinking more in terms of like spirituality, I remember thinking my parents have all the answers. There’s no gray area. Like what the PCA Church says is absolutely- that’s the only option. I just remember everything was so black and white in my child like brain, which I think is helpful as a child. Like everything’s so black and white. And my daughter’s the same way now, too. But I always tell my children like 17 different perspectives of whatever it is. And understanding like, well, I think this today, but last week, I thought this other thing. So understanding too that like we don’t have all the answers, I think that’s really important to teach our children. It’s like in Frozen, Olaf has that song about someday, when I’m older, I’m just going to know everything, and everything’s going to make so much sense. I laugh about that because that’s how I thought as a child, and you grow up, and you’re like I still have questions, and there are things I still don’t understand. And it’s just not as easy as it seems when you’re five.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. And even when we’re 50. I mean, it starts- I think the older I get, the more I realize I don’t know. And that seems a little backwards to me. I wish I would have known that years ago. How do you reconcile somebody that says something like, well, Caroline’s representing all these products and got all these affiliate links just so she can be rich and do blogging for a living?
Caroline Fausel: Oh, man. I mean, I would say there’s definitely an ethical component to what I do. And so I think that you just have to be really clear about this is a product I have used and I love, and that’s why I’m promoting it. And so, yeah, I think that it’s pretty clear when you follow someone, and they’re like, look, this is this random thing that you’ve never seen before. I think it’s pretty clear when someone actually cares or when someone’s trying to make a buck. And so, I think that you have to just try the products first. And so, people come to me and they say, we have this new kombucha, we’d love to do a partnership. I’m like great, ship me a box. And not because I need all this free stuff, because I don’t, but because I want to read the ingredient label, I want to try it for myself. So maybe the ingredients are clean, but it’s disgusting and I’m never going to drink it. So you have to try it for yourself. If they want you to say, this is the best kombucha on the market, and it will alleviate your brain fog, especially if they’re making a medical claim, you’ve got to experience it for yourself, or you’re not going to be able to honestly speak about it. So yeah, I think you just have to only promote the products that you actually enjoy, which may make you less money in the end. But at the end of the day, it’s not only about the money.
Neil Dudley: Sure. I think you live a luxury of doing the thing you want to do and make good money doing it because you would have done it for free. You would have probably done it for free, but now you’re able to- And I feel like our society sometimes begrudges people for making a living like oh- I never do that. I think the opportunity in this America, which we seem to be losing that this is still true, is there for everyone. It is so abundant. Nobody else has to fail for me to succeed. Matter of fact, I was showing a product to a buyer at a very big retailer. We were talking about our products. They brought up a competitor of ours, and I said you should buy from them. They’re great. If you don’t buy from me, that’s your next best option. And then that just gives me a lot of credibility also with that buyer. I really want them to succeed. I’m not only there for my own-
Caroline Fausel: Oh, for sure. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Neil Dudley: Tell me about parenting. This is the last thing as we part. What’s it like parenting a child who probably goes to friends’ houses, probably goes to school, probably has this whole world trying to sell him Froot Loops? And so what’s that like?
Caroline Fausel: Yeah, I try to really teach my children the why behind what we’re doing. So my biggest fear in life is like they eat really healthy and we live this healthy lifestyle, and there are things that we do that might be weird and they’re also things that we opt out of that they think that’s weird that we’re opting out. And I always bring it back to the why. Because I think if it’s just restriction with no explanation, then the tendency and human nature is to go buck wild when they leave the home. And so, when we- let’s say, we go out to eat, and my children are both gluten free now for two different reasons, not sure if it’s celiac or if we’ll be able to heal them and they’ll eat it eventually. But before they were gluten free, we’d go to a restaurant. And my son would say, “I want mac and cheese.” And I’d say, “Okay, sweetheart, you can absolutely get the mac and cheese,” and he’s five at the time, “You can absolutely get mac and cheese. I just want to remind you that the last time that we were here, you got the mac and cheese and can you remind me what happened that night?” “I got a really bad tummy ache.” “Okay, so you got a tummy ache. So I just want to remind you that you got a tummy ache last time. Do you think if you ate the mac and cheese again, you would still get a tummy ache?” And sometimes he’s like, “Definitely not. No, definitely. I just want the mac and cheese.” And sometimes he’s like, “Yeah, maybe it would give me a tummy ache.” “Okay, so do you want to get the mac and cheese and have a tummy ache? Or do you would you like to choose maybe we can get this like chicken and vegetables.” And sometimes he chooses the chicken and vegetables. Sometimes he chooses the mac and cheese, and I’m there with a digestive enzyme and like helping him at night. But I think it’s helping them understand that food does impact how we feel because that was a disconnect in my childhood. And then also teaching them instead of this stigma of healthy and unhealthy, we really talk about this is a sometimes food and these are all the time foods. So we can have these sometimes foods, we’re at a party, can I have the Lay’s potato chips? Maybe so, but that’s not something that I’m going to stock our pantry with. So it’s hard and I’m still- my children are only nine and almost seven. So I wouldn’t say I’m a pro, and also too I’m like the jury’s absolutely still out. Like, who knows how they’re going to turn out.
Neil Dudley: If there is a pro parent, show them to me. I’d like to meet them. I mean, we’re all figuring it out as we go. And we all have our own personalities. Now then you’ve got a kid’s personality. And I think in some scenarios that really fits easily and then others it’s a lot harder. And yeah, Caroline, this has been beautiful. You’re just such a great asset to the community. Thank you for all you do. Thanks for coming and giving us 30 minutes of your time. Everybody listening, go follow her. Tell her you heard her episode of the Pederson’s Farms podcast. Go check out that affiliate link that she’s got. Matter of fact, I’ve got an episode over on Olive You Whole. So you could go over there, check out the affiliate link. Support her business. Support my business. It is all this cool thing. Thank you so much. It’s been great.
Caroline Fausel: Thanks, Neil. It’s great to be here.
Neil Dudley: Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. It’s been a blast bringing this to you. And I sure hope you enjoyed it and found value. If you did, tell a friend, share it out on social media, hit that subscribe button, or go check us out at pedersonsfarms.com We sure hope you do. And thanks for being here.
Are you wondering what it takes to truly be successful as an entrepreneur? Caroline Fausel would say never giving up is key, along with a few other ingredients. Listen as Caroline joins host Neil Dudley to discuss Caroline’s Olive You Whole blog and podcast. The conversation covers healthy living, regenerative agriculture and the role animals play in it, and Caroline’s path from vegetarianism to Paleo. You don’t want to miss it!
(0:30) – Caroline and her background
(2:01) – The Vegetarian Perspective
(6:37) – The world of a content creator
(9:20) – What would be the key to succeeding in this field?
(12:46) – What’s something surprising you’ve learned about food in your conversations with people in this space?
(16:25) – Why did you get into podcasting?
(18:49) – Can we allow imperfection?
(26:32) – How do you reconcile with someone who thinks negatively about what you do?
(29:32) – Parenting