Amy is a marketer, nutritionist, blogger, baker and cook among other random titles. We chat to her about her blogging journey and how her Nutrition degree has inspired her further.
Amy qualified from University College Dublin in 2016 with a BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition before following her creative passion and moving into the marketing team of Danone. Amy joined us as the HBC Ambassador for Ireland earlier this year. This busy lady can most often be found drinking coffee, stalking dogs or photographing food for her blog. Amy is an avid believer of maintaining work-life balance and likes to wind down by attending yoga classes or going for long walks.
When did you start blogging, and what were your inspirations and intentions behind setting up a blog?
I started blogging 5 years ago when I was in 2nd year of my nutrition degree. Initially I was Noble Nutrition as I was not qualified nor entitled to call myself a nutritionist while I was still an undergraduate. I started blogging because I want to share my knowledge with the general public and inspire people who are striving to improve their health and wellness through nutritious food. In 2016, after graduating, I updated my name to The Baking Nutritionist to reflect my professionalism and my love of baking.
When did you begin to view your blog as more than just a hobby?
It has only been in the last 12-18 months that I’ve started seeing my blog as more than a hobby as I’ve realised that it is a platform for me to advertise my skills and knowledge. By embracing my blog as more than a hobby, I’ve met some amazing entrepreneurs who inspire me every day.
How do balance the transition from full time work into blogging and do you work as a blogger full time?
I’m a part-time blogger as I work full-time in the marketing department for Danone. I do the typically 9-5 hours with some travelling over and back to the UK. It can be difficult to come home in the evenings and sit down to do more “work” but I enjoy my blogging too much to see it as a “chore”. I am a firm believer that if your blogging is an “effort” for you, then you need to set back and re-evaluate why you’re blogging and what are your motivations. Sometimes a little break away from blogging is all you need to reignite the fire.
What is the process behind the posts?
To be honest, I don’t have a process for my posts. I blog when I want to. I take a break when I want to. To ensure my content is fresh, nature and genuine, I always make sure that I want to blog rather than feeling obliged to blog because I want to post x number of posts every week.
Everyone is different. I think the main thing is to make sure that you’re happy with your process/system and not to be afraid to assess regularly and make changes that work for you and the resources that you have available to you. A happy and satisfied blogger gives way to happy and satisfied readers.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start in the blog or influencer industry now?
I would say “Go for it”.
I blogged via Facebook and Instagram for years before creating my website. What was holding me back? I was holding me back. I was lacking the confidence as I was comparing myself to bloggers with 100s and 1000s of followers and I was afraid that mine would be a flop. Over the past few months I have worked with The Flourishing Pantry who has helped me to overcome my internal obstacles though some coaching sessions.
My blog is still in its infancy and the followership is still very low but I’m OK with that as I know it’s only onwards and upwards from here – Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game (A Cinderella Story).
What has been a blogging career highlight so far?
I love when people tell me that they’ve tried one of my recipes or they’ve been following my Instagram story. That makes me feel like I’m doing good. Even if I only give someone a reason to smile, that makes me happy.
What is your favourite post of yours?
My favourite post is my recipe for brown soda bread. It got such an amazing reaction on social media, hitting new highs for me on various metrics – I was delighted. Even more humbling was the various messages that I got from people telling me they tried the recipe and it was going to be a new regular in their house. I have other posts that I love because of the aesthetics but when I know I have helped someone, that outweighs everything else.
When did you realise you had a passion for Nutrition?
When I was a child, right up until I was 16, I was a very fussy eater. I had a very plain diet, enjoying a simple diet of corn flakes, bread and butter, yogurts, beans and potatoes and, occasionally, a mandarin orange. I was very fussy! When I was 16 I went to the Gaeltacht for three weeks (that’s Irish college for confused UK readers). I lived in a house with 8 girls and there were no choices – you ate what you got. When I got home I had an entirely new appreciation for food, enjoying fish, eggs and most veggies. My passion from nutrition just grew from there, as did my interest in cooking and baking. It seemed only a logical choice that I would go on to study something that I was genuinely passionate about.
Tell us about your story into Nutrition as a career path… (studies, outside of uni etc, your course…)
As mentioned, I had a passion for food and nutrition while I was in school and following my Leaving Cert (final school exams), I went to Dublin to study Human Nutrition – a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in University College Dublin. The third year was spent on work placement and I spent mine in the nutrition department of Danone, working on projects relating to malnutrition and rare metabolic disorders. I’ve been with Danone now for four years, in a variety of roles and currently sit as a UK/Ireland Brand Manager.
At the minute, I am working through a digital marketing course where I am learning loads about social media and influencer marketing. To keep my knowledge of both nutrition and marketing fresh and up-to-date, I listen to lots of podcasts while I’m on my 25-minute walking commute to the office. Currently I’m loving “Fit & Fearless” and “Ctrl Alt Delete”.
What has been the most interesting thing you’ve learned from your studies?
Some people who argue that this isn’t interesting but I’m a science nerd and I found it mind blowing to find out how quickly we can lose bone mass as we age. This is especially important for young women who may be confused about dairy and whether they should or shouldn’t be consuming it. Dairy foods are an important source of calcium for us and calcium is the key mineral for building and maintaining bone mass to help osteopenia and osteoporosis. I will never forget that lecture when I saw a graph of how quickly we can loss bone mass if we don’t maintain good calcium and vitamin D stores (vitamin D is key for the absorption of calcium into bones).
What would be the one myth you’d like to de-bunk when it comes to health and nutrition?
“Foods are either good or bad” – this myth really bothers me. Food plays such a huge role in our lives and it is important that we can enjoy it without feeling we’re doing something “good” or “bad”. Instead we should focus on finding balance and enjoying treat foods in moderation, be that 1 square of chocolate every day after dinner or 1 big dessert once per week. While finding our balance, it is important to remember we’re all different and what you’re doing isn’t necessarily wrong just because it’s not the same as what another blogger or a friend is doing.