Hi! I’m Maya Krampf (pronounced Krahm-pf!), the founder of Wholesome Yum. I’ve been creating easy healthy recipes using whole, real food — all with 10 ingredients or less — for over a decade.
In addition to developing recipes for this website, I’m the author of two low carb cookbooks, including a USA Today Best Seller, and numerous ebooks. A fresh healthy recipes cookbook might be coming in the future! 😉
I’m also the founder of the Wholesome Yum app (offering custom meal plans, macro tracking, and automatic grocery lists) and Wholesome Yum Foods, bringing you natural zero sugar ingredients for cooking and baking.
You can learn more about me on this page, as well as at MayaKrampf.Com.
Easy Healthy, Whole Food Recipes. 10 Ingredients or Less.
I lived in Minnesota for most of my life, but now live in Florida with my husband, Oleg (who also works on Wholesome Yum with me), and my two little girls. They love cooking with me… except Oleg, who just does the dishes afterward, an arrangement I’m more than happy with. 😉
I love to travel and it inspires my cooking a lot. It’s also important to me that my kids have a positive relationship with food. I talk about my own history and experience with food and recipes further below.
About Wholesome Yum
I started Wholesome Yum in 2015, so that I could have a place to document the healthy recipes I’d been creating for several years at that point. It has been my passion ever since. (Why did I wait so long?)
When I first began, I never could have imagined where this little hobby would bring me. I was just recording my recipes for fun. Fast forward to today, and we have millions of readers making my healthy recipes every month (the highest month to date is 10 million), a few cookbooks (including a USA Today Best Seller), a small zero sugar food product line, a mobile app, and a team to help me do it all. I am so grateful and pinch myself every day that this is real.
Running a recipe website is like a juggling act and constantly evolving, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that it’s a hybrid of business and creativity, that I get to wear so many hats in doing this, and that I have my wonderful team to support me. In March 2018, I made the difficult decision to leave my corporate day job and jumped in to run Wholesome Yum full-time.
The most rewarding part of this job is helping others. My goal is to make Wholesome Yum a trusted resource for healthy recipes that just work and taste delicious… and help people reduce sugar in their life as part of that.
Wholesome Yum wouldn’t be possibly without our incredible, creative, hard-working small team. They are truly amazing. Learn more about our team here!
About My Recipes
My recipes are inspired by my upbringing, my friends and family, the many restaurants I worked at while in college, my travels, my research on nutrition, and requests from readers. You can read more about how I develop recipes here.
With more than 10 years of experience following a healthy eating lifestyle, I’ve learned that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming. My recipes are:
- Healthy and focused on whole foods
- Refined sugar free – I’m extremely passionate about this one!
- Naturally gluten free
- 10 ingredients or less
- Easy to make
- No processed ingredients
- Well tested, over and over
I followed keto for a long time (you can learn about starting keto here), but have been following a more flexible, moderately low carb lifestyle made up of whole foods for the last few years. This has been a better approach for my relationship with food (more on that below), but many of my readers have been very successful with it long-term.
I strongly believe you should eat what makes YOU feel best. I make all kinds of unprocessed, healthy recipes. Many of them are simple basics for anyone wanting to eat better, such as sauteed eggplant, baked salmon, and air fryer cauliflower (I love my air fryer!).
Almost any dish can be converted into a healthier version and I enjoy the challenge of doing so. And no matter your way of eating, we could all use more vegetables, healthy fats, and unprocessed proteins — and less sugar.
Below are some of my most popular recipes:
Wholesome Yum In The Press
Wholesome Yum and Maya’s recipes have been featured in USA Today, Fitness, Health, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention, LA Weekly, Woman’s World, on NBC News, MSN, Good Morning America, and Google News, and more.
Maya appeared on a TV segment for Twin Cities Live to talk about her first cookbook.
History & Experience With Food
When I was 5 years old, my parents came to the United States from Russia as refugees, chasing the American dream. They brought only a few hundred dollars, a couple of suitcases, and very little English. Food was scarce there, as the grocery shelves were often empty, and I still remember being excited at age four that my parents managed to bring home some bananas. It’s very different here in the U.S. and I am constantly grateful to be here.
I grew up eating my mom’s and grandmas’ home-cooked, real food meals with simple ingredients. Both of my grandmothers loved to cook and made everything from scratch, so I learned a lot from them. My mom cooked mostly quick and simple meals, but didn’t use processed ingredients, either. That experience shines through in the recipes you see from me today. Also, my best friend’s dad in middle and high school was a chef, so I picked up on traditional American dishes from many sleepovers at her house.
In the late 90s, when I was 13, I started an email magazine for teens — my first bout of content creation. Around the same time, I started to struggle with disordered eating. It got so out of control that it landed me in the hospital when I was 17. The road to recovery was long and bumpy, but it taught me the importance of viewing food as nourishment, a source of joy, and not something to fear. It’s an experience I’ll always carry with me, and to this day I am adamant that a good relationship with food is crucial.
Before Wholesome Yum became my career, I got my bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Minnesota and became a software engineer. I also took nutrition courses there — one course away from a nutrition minor — and have read countless books and studies on nutrition and cooking over the years.
But I wasn’t always passionate about cooking the way I am now. I spent my college years eating frozen pizza, pre-made stir fry mixes, and food I brought home from my waitressing jobs. I worked at a multitude of restaurants, including American, Greek, Italian, and Mexican. Working in the restaurant industry taught me a lot about cooking, though, as I spent a lot of time in the kitchen watching the chefs.
In my mid-twenties (this was 2010), on a quest to focus more on healthy eating (the right way this time!), I dove into the Internet and books to learn to cook. I was interested in the how and why. I also completed local cooking classes during my travels to learn about how different cultures approach their cuisine, particularly in Spain, France, and Italy. (Here’s a photo of my husband and I taking a cooking class in Spain — he’s not super into it like I am, but we had a lot of fun!) I now try to do this whenever I visit other countries, as well as take local food tours.
Being both a scientist and a creative at heart, I discovered how much I love that cooking allows me to combine both. And I never looked back.
Pretty soon, I was experimenting with developing my own recipes to put my own original spin on the dishes I had learned. Today, with over a decade of experience in recipe creation under my belt, it’s still so much fun!
About Wholesome Yum Foods
After years of healthy and sugar-free cooking, I was unsatisfied with the taste, quality, and nutrition of several ingredients I often used. Plus, many readers asked me to make my recipes available for purchase, or for better, natural ingredient options. So, I developed my own line of natural zero sugar ingredients, which launched in 2020. (I even meticulously developed and tested every single product formula myself!)
Today, we have our own line of Besti sweeteners (the only brand that tastes, bakes, browns, and dissolves just like sugar does, with zero net carbs and no aftertaste!) and Wholesome Yum zero sugar maple syrup, honey, flours, and more.
About The Wholesome Yum App
In 2018, people started asking me for meal plans using my recipes. I created printable PDF versions at first, but then I got requests for customizations — and that’s when the idea for an app was born. It took over a year to build, but we released it in 2020 (big year for so many reasons!)… and have been adding more features ever since.
The Wholesome Yum app will create custom meal plans for you (that you can adjust to your liking!), build your grocery list, track your macros, provide over 1000 recipes (that you can even scale and customize), give you ways to use leftovers and meal prep, and much more.
Connect with Me
I LOVE hearing from my readers — you are the reason that I do this! Here are the best ways to connect:
- Recipe Questions: You’ll get the best, fastest response by posting a comment directly on the recipe page.
- Social Media: Come say hi on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
- YouTube: As an introvert and someone who gets anxiety with public speaking, I felt that this one deserves its own spot. Yes, I’ve been making a YouTube cooking show since mid-2021! Come follow me on YouTube and say hello. 🙂
- Brand Partnerships: Are you interested in working with Wholesome Yum? Let’s chat! You can learn more here.
- Contact: Have another question not answered here? You can contact me and my team here. I’d love to hear from you!