MEET SIMPLE MILLS CEO & FOUNDER KATLIN SMITH
Recently I had the opportunity to meet the Simple Mills CEO and Founder Katlin Smith and taste some of her gluten free baking mixes. She was very open and candid about her life, her own medical issues and why she feels so passionate about using the healthiest ingredients in all of her mixes. Katlin believes that less is more and this is where the idea for her company Simple Mills sprang from.
Growing up in North Carolina, Katlin graduated with a double major in Business and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and found a love for immunology. She says she took the class three times, because she wanted to understand how food affected the body and how to reduce inflammation that lead to so many diseases.
Daily Chronic Pain
Katlin herself endured chronic joint pain daily since high school, finding very little options for relief. In 2010 her boyfriend at the time had mentioned a friend of his had recently gone gluten free, which had turned out to alleviate his joint pain and maybe she should as well.
At the time, Katlin admits, “I was addicted to wheat and I was planning to open my own pasta shop.” But stated that, “If going gluten free was going to be the remedy for my pain, the pasta shop would have to wait.” After she had made the decision to try gluten free she called her mom to tell her the news and her mom said, “me too”, so they started the journey together. Her mom has also since become her number one taste tester.
It wasn’t long after going gluten free though that her pain started to worsen; creeping into her knees, her feet and then finally into her hands so bad she was barely able to cut an onion. Katlin was utterly confused saying, “I didn’t know what was wrong and part of me was probably in denial.” She continued, “With any health issue there are usually multiple contributing factors and our food system has a lot of those contributing factors.”
For three weeks her condition worsened and she started to take notice that in the mornings after she has drank her whey shake, her stomach would get upset. She says, “One particular morning after I drank the shake my stomach started to rumble, loudly, so I decided to have an allergy test done and realized that I was allergic to whey. Since then I have learned to listen to my body. I think with issues like this, it is important to pay attention to what your body is telling you so you can figure out what is really going on.”
After Katlin gave up dairy, her chronic pain had completely dissipated after two days, her skin had cleared and she no longer had a dandruff problem, which I learned is an inflammatory response to whatever it is antagonizing your immune system. She adds, “An autoimmune disease is something you struggle with your whole life. Just because you go gluten free, it doesn’t mean that everything is ok, you need to realize that you can have multiple problems.”
The Creation of Simple Mills
When asked where the idea for her company came from, Katlin expressed her dismay with all the unhealthy, sugar filled, processed products on the market. She is quick to point out the need for more clean, nutrient rich products available today and says, “the word ‘natural’ has no meaning anymore, what does it mean, almost anything can be called ‘all natural’.”
In grocery stores today, shelves are lined with product after product filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, additives and processed junk. Katlin is right, there is a serious need for healthier, convenient and delicious options. When she was walking through the grocery isles one day, it registered that many of the foods contained long ingredient lists, filled with refined sugar and other components she could not pronounce. She says, “I didn’t cook with these items at home and I sure didn’t want to feed them to my family.”
All Simple Mills mixes:
- have no refined sugar
- are non-GMO
- free from grain, gluten, soy, corn and dairy
- low glycemic
Simple Mills ingredients are just that, simple. Click Here for a full list of their ingredients.
They also offer egg substitutes on their website for those out there egg-free, Click Here.
Simple Mills uses Almond Flour as their primary ingredient, which is rich in vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and a great source of protein. Katlin wants her ingredients to be “simple, delicious, convenient and nutrient filled.” She believes that in order for other companies to stop using such cheap ingredients, you have to raise the standards to force products around you to do the same thing. “Simple Mills is not just creating healthy products, a rising tide raises all the boats.”
I have to say that when I bit into one of her banana muffins, my mouth sang. It was so moist and delicious and because there are no processed ingredients or preservatives, I could taste the purity of it as well.
Simple Mills was recently featured in Prevention Magazine, is one of the best selling muffin mixes on Amazon and Katlin is featured here in Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine. You can find Simple Mills in over four hundred Whole Foods nationwide.
You can find out more about Katlin and Simple Mills by clicking the links at the bottom. I want to thank Katlin and give her and her mixes a BIG thumbs up.