1. How did you get started blogging?
I decided to start a blog back in 2010 simply as a hobby. I’ve always loved food and writing, and blogging seemed like a natural fit for my interests. It was a fun pastime at first, but the more I got into it, the more I realized that I wanted to be more serious about it.
I decided to start fresh with a brand new blog focusing on healthy home cooking. I’m passionate about nutrition and wellness and I want to share what I know to help others eat more nutritiously.
2. Did you study nutrition in school?
As a matter of fact, yes! After completing a four-year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Biological Science (with a focus on zoology) from the University of Guelph, I enrolled in the Master of Science (M.Sc.) program in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, also at Guelph.
My masters research was largely focused on the anti-cancer effects of vitamin D and included both cell culture and animal (mouse model) research. Through the coursework I learned about the relationships between food, active food constituents and health as well as food product design and trends.
It’s important to point out here that I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist. This means I cannot give specific nutrition advice to individuals. Instead, I provide general healthy eating tips along with nutritious recipe ideas to inspire others to embrace home cooking.
3. Why is home cooking important?
If my studies have taught me one thing, it’s that healthy eating is not complicated. It’s actually extremely basic. Unfortunately, there are many societal factors beyond our control that have made healthy eating difficult.
Today in North America, it is easier and cheaper (per calorie) to buy nutrient-poor processed foods than it is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. This has contributed, if not led to, the obesity epidemic.
Processed “food-like” products have become the norm. Eating outside of the home is commonplace. Snacking has become one of the primary sources of our daily calories. Portion sizes as well as our daily caloric intakes have increased substantially since the 1970s. “Foodie” culture and food media is now more mainstream than ever, yet cooking has become a lost art.
What can we do about it? I believe one of the biggest steps you can take toward healthier eating is cooking your own meals most of the time. Home cooking helps eliminate processed foods from the equation, allows you to control what goes into your food and helps you to form a positive connection with food. It sounds a bit tacky, but buying ingredients yourself and working with them to create a meal is a rewarding, thought-provoking and educational experience that you can take pride in.
4. How did you come up with your blog name?
The simple combination of ricotta and radishes is a perfect example of simple, healthy and flavourful food. These three words are always in the back of my mind when brainstorming new recipe ideas.
This “back to basics” way of eating–focusing on whole, fresh ingredients–makes it easier to eat more nutritiously. Think cucumbers and Greek yogurt, scrambled eggs with avocado and tomatoes, a mixed vegetable salad topped with hard-boiled egg.
5. What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Canon Rebel T2i, which I’ve had since 2011, equipped with a Canon 50 mm f/1.4 USM lens. I shoot all of my photos in natural light on the weekends, though during the summer months I’m able to get naturally lit shots on weeknights as late as 7 pm.
As I worked to build my new blog, I realized my food photography could use a great deal of improvement. I would see photos on other blogs and think, Why aren’t my photos that sharp, bright and perfectly composed? What am I doing wrong? Photography is complicated, and although I was familiar with shooting in all manual mode, my photos were still lacking in…well, something!
In an effort to improve my food photos, I downloaded the e-book, Tasty Food Photography (affiliate link). This e-book is the single most useful photography resource I’ve ever come across. It is specific, gets right to the point in plain language, and provides exactly what you need to know to shoot great food photos. Nothing more, nothing less. It covers everything from composition and lighting to photo editing and planning shoots.
I am still working to improve, but I learn something new from each and every photo shoot.
6. How is your blog set up?
My blog is a WordPress.org self-hosted blog. I designed and built it myself using the Thesis Theme (affiliate link) framework. (Read more about how I started my food blog here.) Having no formal education or training in web development or design, Thesis appealed to me because it allows you to customize the look and structure of your site with less coding than if you were designing the entire site from scratch.
The design of my blog is very basic, but as I continue to brush up on my coding skills I hope to improve the appearance and add new features over time. It’s a work in progress!
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission from purchases made after you click through. It’s important to me that you know this, and that you also know that I only recommend or promote products or services that I am passionate about and/or use personally!