Every time I meet someone and they ask me, “What do you do for a living?” I find myself struggling to answer.
If I only say writer, I feel like I’m keeping a pretty juicy secret. One quick Google search and you might be confused why I didn’t mention my food blog with, you know, just a few hundred thousand followers on Instagram.
But when I answer the question with just “food blogger,” the response feels incomplete. To truly know me means understanding that I am a writer at my core. It’s something I’ve been doing my entire life, and although much of my professional writing career has involved wellness and lifestyle, I also write fiction, personal essays, and even poetry. I am a writer through and through.
So how do I best describe the work I put out? Yes, I am a writer, and I am a food blogger — some would even say influencer. But I’m also a home cook, a photographer, a journalist, a cookbook author… I could probably go on.
The truth is, none of these aspects of my career really exist separately, but I’ve oddly had a hard time reconciling them. This brings me here: I want to come back to my roots as a writer, foster a greater sense of conversation, and offer more than what is available on Instagram. It’s exhausting always being at the whim of an ever-changing algorithm or worrying about the app’s eventual demise. I feel limited by character limits or the impermanence of stories. Instagram is great for my photography, and it is irreplaceable when it comes to strong imagery and inspiration. It’s not the best place, however, for sharing nuanced thought, and it’s also not the most conducive place to cultivate a strong community that can actually interact deeply with one another.
Think of this newsletter as a place to get more — more intentionally-created, detailed recipes, deeper, more fleshed-out writing, more nuanced conversation, personal, behind-the-scenes content, etc. There are definitely still things that make the most sense for Instagram, like shorter recipes, off-the-cuff meals, specific types of food photography, reels, etc. — and those won’t be going anywhere. I want my Instagram and “good mood food” to complement one another.
Since I’m really bringing it full circle — back to why I started creating recipes and writing about wellness in the first place — it only makes sense to revisit what interests me most: the intersection between mood and food. I have always been passionate about using your diet as a way to improve your mental wellbeing, and that idea has only expanded as I’ve grown in my appreciation for food and the culture and history it brings with it.
The premise behind “good mood food” is that food is supposed to make you feel good, both physically and mentally. I’m a firm believer in consuming ingredients that nourish you, that give you the nutrients you need to get those feel-good hormones flowing. But food also needs to feed the heart just as much as it feeds the brain. Food is about creative expression. It’s about joy, celebration, and connection. It’s about family, history, and culture. Good mood food is about embracing it all. The writing and recipes you will see here will reflect that — good mood food is healthy and vibrant, but it’s also comforting and delicious.
“Good mood food” will always have a free component, but there will also be the option to become a paid subscriber. It’s so amazing to be able to publish independently without having to become a walking billboard of sponsored content or have to send out query after query and write 10+ listicles a week to make a living. Having paid subscribers will allow me to focus on publishing high-quality, varied content and foster an even stronger sense of community than strictly relying on social media. A portion of proceeds each month will also go to various food distribution programs.
I am so excited to start creating this extension of Kale Me Maybe, and I feel so grateful to be able to combine all of my passions into one. Get ready for “good mood food,” every Tuesday and Thursday in your inbox.
You can pay now if you’d like to support, but for the next month, everything will be free, so you can get a sneak peek of what to expect when you join!