Can you believe this is our fourth week of Chronic Coffee Chat? We’ve had three great guests so far, and today is no different. Although February is coming to an end, we’re just getting in the swing of things over at Chronic Coffee.
While we await spring weather, a lot of us are stuck inside hiding from the cold. I don’t know about you, but that means I’m spending a little more time than usual browsing social media. Today’s guest, Alexa from Girl in Healing, has a beautiful Instagram that I love poring over. Seriously, her food photos speak my love language. If you’re dying to drool over her Instagram too, let’s move on to the introductions.
Alexa: I am a 22-year-old Boston girl. I graduated from college in May 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease throughout my gastrointestinal tract. I am a huge lover of books and I always have one going! I enjoy doing anything with friends and family whether it be staying in to watch a movie, hanging by our pool, or taking trips. I love being on a beach, green tea and coffee, and empowering people to take charge of the aspects of their health that are controllable. Awesome! I fo I can be found at: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Pinterest. My blog is Girl in Healing.
Once you’re done checking out her social media, it’s time for the questions. Let’s see what we’re talking about today.
Q: On your Facebook page, you say that your Instagram account is what inspired you to start a blog. Can you tell us a little about that?
Alexa: I started an anonymous Instagram account the summer before starting college never expecting to become a blogger. I cooked and baked often for myself and I felt that other people could benefit by getting healthy meal inspiration through my posts. At some point in college I revealed my identity to a wider range of friends and my audience in order to connect better with them.
In time, I felt that I had gained so much from other people’s posts, too and I wanted to reach a wider audience embarking on a healing journey. It made sense to start a blog as a place for people to return to where my health tips and recipes are all in one place. So, I created a new name, more social media platforms, and began my adventure in the online world!
Question: Your blog and Instagram are both full of beautiful photos. Do you have any tips for people who struggle with taking photos for their blog or Instagram?
Alexa: Thank you so much! My photos are still a work in progress. I only recently got a DSLR camera a few months ago, so before that I was solely using my iPhone. However, you can still achieve great iPhone photos!
My biggest tip is lighting, lighting, lighting! I have captured some fantastic clear shots on my iPhone, all thanks to the lighting. Snapping shots near a window during the day is ideal, and outdoors on a sunny day actually isn’t the best (which I was surprised by).
Simple props also take photos to the next level. Using the ingredients in your post (if you are a food blogger), pretty napkins, and simple bowls/plates. In general, it is great to have a background or two that you can use (wood, marble, etc.).
Question: You follow a modified paleo diet for Crohn’s disease. Was the paleo diet a hard adjustment when you started it?
Alexa: Starting was extremely hard. A big reason for this was my age, as I was only 12 years old. Hearing I couldn’t eat anything with gluten in it was so devastating. I fought with this internally for several years. At some point, I realized that this was my path to healing and I became grateful for having a doctor who practiced this kind of medicine, since so many people with Crohn’s and colitis are not told to consider their diet at all. That is when I really dove in and embraced this lifestyle. I developed a deep passion for real food and less toxins in all aspects of life.
Even though changing my diet from the SAD (Standard American Diet) to the Paleo lifestyle was a huge life change, it is a small price to pay to heal naturally and avoid harmful drugs and surgeries.
Question: What is one message you hope readers take away from your blog?
Alexa: I want readers to know that anyone can use food as medicine to help them heal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, very expensive, or time-consuming. Just stick the basics of what real food is, and you’re golden.
So, thanks again to Alexa for chatting with us today. Remember, I track the #chroniccoffeechat hashtag, so feel free to reach out there with questions, comments, or to be featured. Have a great weekend!