Interview: Kristen Doute

by Catriona Beck

When Kristen Doute was a waitress back in 2010, she got the opportunity to become part of the next big thing in American reality TV – Vanderpump Rules. She got on board, and 508k Instagram followers later, Kristen is growing from strength to strength.

After rising to fame through the show, she started her own blog, Vegiholic. This was born out of her love for creating healthy but tasty vegetarian food and her aim is to teach others how to eat clean. By having a busy and non-stop schedule, cooking is how Kristen winds down and relaxes. She truly believes that what you put in your body will most definitely show on the outside, so finding a healthy balance is key.

We found out more about her role on Vanderpump Rules, everything you need to know about her blog and how she switches off.

Taylor Magazine: Tell us about yourself and what you do?

Kristen Doute: I’m a cast member on Vanderpump Rules and have a food and lifestyle blog called Vegiholic – the synopsis of this is basically that I love teaching people about food. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat-eater, it’s simply just important to have a healthy balance. Obviously on Vanderpump Rules, we like to party a bit. At the same time, whatever you’re putting into your body shows, so having a healthy balance is key.

Taylor Magazine: How did you get involved with Vanderpump Rules?

Kristen Doute: It’s a crazy story when I think back! We shot the pilot back in 2010 – I had basically been waiting tables and bartending at one of Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant SUR since 2007. Obviously Lisa is known for being part of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but I had been working there long before the Housewives was even a thing! I worked there for three years when we were approached with the idea of Vanderpump Rules. Lisa basically called us into a staff meeting, which only ever happened when we were in trouble, so it was a bit daunting!

Instead, the staff meeting ended up being a kind of interview/audition type of thing. She wanted to talk to us, get a feel for who we are, and get to know us on a more personal level. From this, she gave everyone the opportunity to be part of filming and the pilot – everything fell into place from there. It’s funny because back in the day, my colleagues and I always used to say: ‘If only we had our own reality show!’

Taylor Magazine: What’s the best thing about being part of the show?

Kristen Doute: I think it’s the fact that the show isn’t something that can be scripted. There are definitely reality shows out there that are over-produced or guided, but with our show and the way that it became what it is, it truly is real life. They’re my best friends and that’s what comes across on the show. Even though sometimes I want to rip Jax’s hair out, when his father passed away, I was there for him straight away. I flew to Michigan to be with him and be with his family. He’s family. Tom Sandovol – he’s my ex boyfriend, but we’re still family! It’s a weird thing that we do, but that’s why it’s successful. You cannot script the things we do.

Taylor Magazine: If people can see it’s reality, they’ll want to keep watching and can relate.

Kristen Doute: Yeah and I’m so grateful for that, because it would be very easy for us to say that there are things we regret. I mean, obviously – mistakes are made and then aired on national television… but one of my favourite parts of doing the show is even with these mistakes, trials and tribulations, people will show love on social media. They’ll say things like: ‘I’ve been through that too!’ or ‘Thank you for sharing that, it helped me get through this.’ I feel very blessed about that.

Taylor Magazine: Absolutely! It must be so rewarding. On that note, what has been the most rewarding moment of your career so far?

Kristen Doute: I feel very humbled by the fans and viewers that we’ve met. What’s so rewarding is having the chance and opportunity to meet all of these amazing people but also that they feel like they can approach us. I’ve ran into actors or reality TV stars and I’ve felt really nervous about going up to them. The fact that people can come up to us and talk to us is great. If I’m going to embarrass myself on national television, at least I’m helping people through difficulties by doing so!

It’s so good to know that we’re having a positive effect on people’s lives.” – Kristen Doute

Taylor Magazine: On the opposite side, what’s the most challenging part of what you do?

Kristen Doute: For me, there’s such a blurred line between real life and work. A challenge for everyone is distinguishing between show time and non-show time. These are the people I spend all of my time with anyway, so whether we’re filming or the show is being aired, it’s just our lives. There’s no ‘off’ button, which can be super hard. That’s why our show is so different – it doesn’t stop and goes by a day-by-day basis!

Taylor Magazine: We also want to know more about Vegiholic – why did you start this?

Kristen Doute: It was just something I was doing for years anyway. I’m the only vegetarian in my family but I’m very fortunate to have great support from my family and friends with my lifestyle. None of my friends are vegetarian, but I absolutely love to cook and always have. I wanted to learn new things and be a little creative, while staying healthy. A lot of people say they won’t like something, and I used to be one of those people! My mantra is you should try everything twice.

Be creative with things – from my own experience of teaching myself to try new things, I’m now able to teach other people to do that. I have a lot of feedback on social media asking how I manage to party while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Truth is, it’s easy! As long as you eat well and take care of your body, you can absolutely have a couple glasses of wine.

Taylor Magazine: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to find that healthy balance?

Kristen Doute: You need to be open-minded. Also, seasoning is the key to everything! It’s important to know that everything you put in your body is going to show on the outside. It’s the simple things we all already know – if you drink more water and eat more vegetables your skin will look better, you’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy.

“I’ve had a lot of people thank me for helping them be more healthy – when people show this gratitude it really melts my heart.”

Taylor Magazine: It must do! So if you’re having a bad day or things are getting a little overwhelming, what would you do to pick yourself up and feel better?

Kristen Doute: My dogs – they are my life! Cooking is my creative therapy too: opening my fridge and seeing what I have in there to create something new is so relaxing for me. It takes me out of any sort of bad headspace. If I felt down, I would feel so much better if I just took my dogs out and cooked up a storm in the kitchen! Oh, while listening to Fleetwood Mac.

Taylor Magazine: What’s your favourite recipe that you’ve created?

Kristen Doute: Oh wow, that is so hard – I don’t know if I can choose! Generally, my favourite dishes are when I challenge myself and find something in a restaurant and want to figure it out on my own. Learning how to make pan-fried, healthy vegetables that meat-eaters would really love makes me feel so accomplished!

Taylor Magazine: Tell us an unusual fact about you that nobody would know.

Kristen Doute: Well, not many people know that I’m fluent in sign language. When I was around five, deaf children were main-streamed into my school, so we learnt sign language from a young age. When I was in middle school, we had a lot of interpreters, but my friend and I were the only ones that were pretty much fluent because we got the opportunity to use it a lot. I’m so fortunate to have met some hearing-impaired friends in LA, they keep me topped up with my skills in the language, because if you don’t use it every day, you can forget it so quickly.

Taylor Magazine: Favourite thing to do in your spare time?

Kristen Doute: I’m a total music freak – I love concerts and I play guitar. I’ve been playing for 16 years and I was into musical theatre at school too. Playing and listening to music makes me so, so happy.

Follow Kristen on Instagram and Twitter to see what she’s up to, and follow her blog Vegiholic on Instagram too for lots of healthy eating tips!

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