Happy 5th Blogiversary to me!! How has it been 5 years already?? I sat down to think about what to write for my blog for this week and no one set topic was jumping out at me. I always have a few ideas but none that I think will constitute being a full blog. Over the years that I’ve been writing my blog I think the blog has actually evolved so I do write a little bit of this and that to keep everyone up on the latest headlines – and still sticking to my original reason why I started this blog – to help educate people about nutrition and to become healthier along the way, one step at a time. So, yes, I’ve been writing in this blogosphere for the last 5 years. Kind of like a part-time job but one I don’t mind doing.
Blogging has changed more recently and while I never have profited off of my blog, many food bloggers and fellow dietitians are using their blog for profit. Tie that in with algorithms that the social media outlets have and it actually makes it hard for people to write a blog for enjoyment with all the pressures that they face – are people there to really read the content, do they just want the recipe, or do they want people to click on their affiliate links so ultimately they can profit off of that one blog post they just wrote. It’s complicated. A food blogger I follow recently wrote an actual blog all about it, read about it here - All that to say, my blog started and was intended to help give accurate nutrition information. I’ve never profited off of my blog (nor wanted to, although people tell me I should) as I feel that takes away from the authenticity – yes I buy products but there’s no reason for me to endorse the product when there are many other products out there that are similar. The example I always give is with peanut butter. Patients would ask me all the time what brand of peanut butter I buy. It doesn’t matter what brand. What matters is that the only ingredient that should be listed on that label is peanuts and maybe some salt. I don’t care if your peanut butter is from Publix, Whole Foods, Aldi, or wherever, my job is to educate you on what products to buy. I wrote about it here and here if you’re interested in reading more.
I never even took a look to see what blogs had the most views – can you tell I’m not making a profit off of my blogs? I’ve never been about the numbers in all honesty, but as I was scrolling back through old blog posts I did get curious to see which topics drove the most traffic and which ones didn’t. And it’s also possible that early on there weren’t that many people following my blog or maybe it’s my use of various hashtags and joining twitter that changed that all around. Regardless, here’s a trip down memory lane for old time’s sake.
The blog that had the most views of all time and that doesn’t pale in comparison to my other blogs is a piece I did on Type 1 Diabetes. My former employer actually rolled it out on their social media platforms. I think that’s the only time I did check the analytics to see the views. I mean we’re talking over 4,000 views in one day and a total of 10,000! Glad to have passed along valuable information for a topic near and dear to my heart. Type 1 diabetes is often misunderstood and even though it is manageable it is a daily job. Throw in this diagnosis with a younger child and it transforms life as people know it in learning how to manage and control it. You thought your 2-year old was a picky eater, but now throw in that you have to dose insulin based on what your picky 2-year old will eat and hope that they really do eat everything that you dosed that insulin for. Every day is different which also can make it a challenge. My blog post was simple and not even my best writing (ha!) but it did exactly what I wanted to do – help change the misconceptions associated with Type 1 diabetes. Take a read here if you haven’t already.
While I am not currently working with people with Type 1 diabetes I did find a way to help educate the community here in Miami. Part of my current job is to create nutrition programs that are FREE to the community. There was a request to create a carbohydrate counting class for those with type 1 diabetes. Using my expertise and knowledge I’m doing just that. If you know someone with Type 1 diabetes, adult or child, that struggles to understand carb counting – you didn’t know you needed to be a dietitian and mathematician after your diagnosis, see meme above – please come check the class out or even spread the word! It’s completely FREE and open to the community. Click on the link below to register.
As per the numbers, the most successful blog post I wrote wasn’t even about food or nutrition. It was about self-care. It’s quite a hot topic these days. May is Mental Health Awareness month and to be quite honest it is often overlooked and/or not talked about. Just last night when I was watching the NBA game there was a commercial promoting their NBA Cares commercial on Mind Health a few players have come out and said they too experience anxiety and are trying to raise awareness and give outlets for help. I think part of it boils down to taking time to care for yourself. We often times are so busy taking care of others that we miss out on giving back to ourselves. Simply just taking some time to breathe during the day can be helpful in our overall health. What’s your self-care routine? How do you give back to yourself in order to give to others? Check my blog out for a few tips/ideas. Sounds like something so basic yet so often not implemented in our day-to-day living. Self-care: it costs nothing and you gain everything.
One of my least successful blog posts, errr maybe it was just one of my first blogs posted, was a piece I did on nutrition myths and exercise - general helpful tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your exercise. It’s quite common that people are going to the gym and are making the commitment to working out, but 9 times out of 10 they aren’t seeing changes because they’re not changing things in the kitchen. It goes hand in hand. I can’t tell you how many people “carb load” and all they really need to do is eat healthy and balanced the whole week. Not to mention that I saw a lady at Publix yesterday loading up on a specific sports drink that was on sale. I asked her out of curiosity why she was buying so much (obvi it was on sale) but she told me that her kids play outside a lot and she didn’t want them to get dehydrated. I started a whole discussion on hydration with her – there I go again, passing out nutrition information in the grocery store. I can’t help myself! While I’m not saying that sports drinks aren’t required at times the majority of the time you just simply need to make sure you’re hydrated in general with water (fruits, veggies, etc.) The lady was surprised by what I was saying but she still bought the sports drinks. I explained that the kids are used to it and it will take some time to adjust but her pocketbook would thank me not to mention her dentist might be thanking me too. I did a quick follow-up piece on nutrition with the same myths where I updated some of my training regimen when I was training for the marathon. It had a few more views, but still not that successful if you ask me. Maybe all the sports people think they already know what they’re doing? Maybe I need to be more creative in how I title/hashtag my blog? Not completely sure, but this does lead to me where do I go next.
I did a podcast for FIU a few months back – take a listen here if podcasts are your thing. Spoiler alert, it was REALLY fun! I mean I had a really good time just sitting and talking to the hosts about what I love best, nutrition! I do listen to a few podcasts on my own time and I do believe that they are getting more and more popular (they have been for a while now). It got me to thinking – should I do a podcast? Would anybody listen? Some of the technology stuff has me feeling like I’m cornered and not sure where to go, but the truth of the matter is that I have to grow and learn new things. A podcast would be the first step.
The other area that I have been working on is an actual website. I have my blog and post my blogs there, but I had acquired a webpage and have never made it public. I’m still learning things about it (it’s that technology that has me limited) but I’m determined to create a logo and really finalize my webpage in this coming year.
Other items I have on my list to do/learn – making food videos. Yes I know these are even becoming overdone, but I think it would be fun minimally to do a FB live of my own and/or tape a few Instagram stories that are actual videos. Those that know me have seen me in action, but those that just read my blog really don’t know that much about me. It’d be nice to put a face with the person behind the blog.
Those are just a few of my ideas to continue to challenge and grow in this whole blogging thing that started 5 years ago. I have changed in this time – you should have seen some of the first pictures that I took! – I also transitioned in my jobs. The irony is that I have more time now and blog less, or maybe it isn’t irony. I channeled some of my stress in my blog and it was a helpful way to document my journey along the way. I think my favorite piece was the blog I wrote after having my 2nd panel interview for my current job.
I wrote about my presentation and how stress was stifling my inner creativity. I had reached levels of stress that needed to change as it was ultimately affecting my health. Work can do that to you. Out of my stress and ultimate hope for a new beginning came one of the most simple yet elegant desserts that I’ve ever made and ultimately one of the most simple yet effective presentations I’ve ever created. I’m thankful each and every day for my new job – it’s a fresh start and full of opportunities.
This is the same way I feel about my blog - I’m able to document my experiences and while some people call it a diary if you will I think it chronicles my adventures all while educating people along the way, simple yet effective. So many thanks to all of YOU that have been reading my blog. I appreciate it – even if I don’t know that you’re reading (this internet is a crazy thing). Here’s to the next 5 years and wherever it leads me…a podcast, videos, or more. The adventure awaits!