Five years ago today, with the rushed click of a Publish button, I jumped on a wild, unexpected, and life-changing rollercoaster ride. I can say without hesitation I would not be where I am in all areas of my life if I hadn’t started blogging.
Setting the Stage
Before blogging, I was on two to three years in on a health journey. On the outside, I was losing college weight and learning to really cook for the first time. On the inside, I was starting to figure out self-care. It wasn’t really called self-care yet, and I had no idea that’s what I was doing, but looking back, that’s definitely what I was doing.
After a few years of changing my diet, starting to workout at the gym and riding my bike, I was seeing some physical results. People were asking me what I was doing, and a big part of it came down to the food. Cooking healthy food and learning everything about healthy eating became a new creative outlet. My family and friends encouraged me to blog about it, which sounded cool, but the perfectionist in me kept shutting it down.
The real push to make it happen came a year before I pressed publish. My day job as a graphic designer had turned sour; I was in an environment that wasn’t right for me, and it was making me question everything. The quarter-life crisis feeling that I thought was total bullshit was creeping in and put my world on full tilt.
Surprisingly, cooking was one of the few things that made me really happy. The weight of a chef’s knife in my hand felt so damn good, and I wanted more of that in my life. From then on, I took starting a blog more seriously. A friend passed me the website for an intimate food blogging conference within driving distance, which I promptly signed up for and set that as my deadline to publish my blog. The day of that conference, I posted the cookie recipe I made for the conference and drove down for an experience I will never forget.
The first year of blogging was like lots of people’s first years- filled with firsts, poorly lit photos, and whatever I felt like making. I was figuring out my camera, my styling, and my voice.
Outside of blogging, I was still cycling, but the tension between cycling and blogging got real. Both took up a lot of time, and it was becoming clear I needed to choose one. I choose blogging. I was also still in that misaligned job, trying to figure out what to do. Blogging helped me stay grounded, but it wasn’t enough to make the days bearable.
In year two, I started two features on the blog, Nutrition DL and Small Fact Friday, one of which is STILL going after all this time. Photography was getting better, I was figuring out more, and Nutrition DL was focusing me on talking more about nutrition and featuring healthy ways to make seasonal food.
Towards the end of year two, I also started developing recipes for other companies’ blogs and writing more health and wellness articles.
I moved to another design job, stopped group cycling, and started hitting the gym more regularly. I was eating less meat at this time after learning about the food system and felt like grass fed meat was out my reach price wise.
Lots of changes were underway in year three of the blog. My food photography was improving, I was finally shooting with a tripod and tethered to make that faster and more efficient. I was writing more for other publications and blogs, and my interest in sharing nutrition advice getting stronger. In the hours of researching and trying to ready studies, I was hitting my limits. There was so much contradictory studies and advice that I was starting to lose my patience with. I wanted to know what was legit and what was just shaky science.
The day job was getting more hectic as I moved up and was starting to lose it’s luster a bit. I was getting more into learning about nutrition and wellness; I binged on nutrition and food culture books on Audible at work and scoured food magazines for ideas. I was also diving into yoga again for the first time in years and tuning into therapy, mindfulness, meditation as a way to work with my anxiety.
My body was starting to show signs that enough was enough with all of the things I was dealing with, but I wasn’t entirely connecting the dots. My skin was breaking out with eczema, my anxiety was at an all time high, and I was tired AF and frustrated with my job.
That and the nutrition frustrations culminated in deciding to get a nutrition certification to cut through the noise and keep investing in something I really loved. I started halfway through year three and my mind was constantly blown at all the things I did and didn’t know.
Deep into getting my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification, I was still blogging and working the day job. I was learning so much about what I did and didn’t know about nutrition, which was empowering and overwhelming. I started posting a few more nutrition focused articles and more recipes with meat, which was newer.
Personally I started eating a lot more meat and looking into sourcing, which has gotten a lot easier than it has in years pasts. It also became really clear to me that all of the stress, anxiety, fatigue, and eczema was a much bigger issue than I had realized.
As the day job continued to spiral out of control, with some of my favorite people leaving, I knew it was time to find a better balance in my life. I was extremely lucky to find a way to leave that job and move to another job that was way less stressful, with a much less demanding workload. All while still blogging and studying to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Needless to say, it was a bit nutty during that time.
My working out was spotty, and I was doing a lot more yoga, especially yin and restorative yoga. I needed more chill in my life, and that was the best way I could fit that in. With school I jumped into meal prepping, and I haven’t looked back since.
I also stopped eating gluten towards the end of my schooling in hopes of getting my eczema under control, and that’s been working really well. After graduating school, and having more time to look into my own health things, I stopped taking birth control to help heal my gut and to get my own hormones up and running again. I eventually stopped eating dairy (with the exception of butter) to help my period come back. All of the recipes I developed in the last year and now are gluten and dairy free, since that’s what I’m eating.
Year five starts today. A lot of things changed in the last year, and I’m still processing a lot of what has changed in the long and short of it. What I know for sure is there will be changes to this blog. My life and passion is more than recipes, and I really want to share that with you. Eating in a way that supports your health is so important, delicious, and fun, but that’s only the start. Food is a door into the house of wellness, but not the whole house. It’s time to show you around the house and share the beautiful things inside that can help you live a fulfilling and healthy life. Some of that will be gluten and dairy free recipes, some of that will be posts on nutrition, the importance of where your food comes from, mindfulness, mindset and more.
I want to empower you to find your own healthy, cut through the clutter of all of the conflicting information of what’s good for you, and help give you some tools to find your chill, connect with your why and stay motivated. I would love for you to not live my trial and errors and learn from them.
I also want to thank you for reading this blog, for however long or short you’ve been following. You’re what keeps me going, why I got the nutrition certification, and why I want to start sharing more of what I know.
Stay tuned, new things ahead.