Healthy and Sane

Changes are coming

July 29th, 2010 · 32 Comments · chicken, corn, Ellie Krieger

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that I’ve decided to bring some small changes to Healthy and Sane. Read on if you want more details :)

Obviously my career is pretty demanding and blogging is a time consuming hobby. The last few weeks I tried my hardest to keep up with both. I took charge of my diet and my exercise routine – I made both an important part of my life without underestimating the amount of time and dedication these require and the limitations I had to work with. I still took pictures of most of my food and I didn’t want to disappear from here, so I posted daily highlights in the hopes that once things slowed down, you’d still be here. I’m glad you stayed (I know I lost some readers, but that’s ok. Quality vs. quantity, right? πŸ˜‰ ). I handed in my work, I left for 4 days to Maine, and I was ready to do all of this all over again. But something was missing; something didn’t feel quite right. Work was going to get busy again – was this really the right way forward? On the car ride home, I was reading this magazine article about relieving stress every day. About ways to bring “vacation” to your every day life, not just on a pre-planned getaway. Ha!

This is a tough one for many of us. There seems to be not enough hours in the day for work and play. How do you balance the two? This is a complex subject (maybe material for another post?) but let me share my take away after a few hours of brainstorming. I need to work (duh), I need to find time to workout (to keep myself sane!) and the rest I’ll just have to be a little more flexible with. My passions remain unchanged. I love eating and cooking; I love learning, talking and writing about sustainable food; I love supporting the industry (that means voting with my money at farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants) and this blog is my platform for sharing these passions. BUT, there is not enough time to do all of these every day, the way I want them done. At times I’ve been feeling like I set myself up for failure with a mile-long to-do list. What if I just chose one of these to concentrate on every day? What if I lived my life a little more intuitively? So we finally get to the punch line here. I will no longer blog on a daily basis. I will continue to blog but it will not be in the same format. My goal is to have more “themed” posts vs. journal style ones. You will see highlights of my meals but not necessarily in the order I ate them. I hope that this will provide for better quality content (again, quality vs. quantity – that’s my moto) and give me the opportunity to get creative here in a different way. My goal is for this blog to continue being inspiring, informative and most importantly delicious. πŸ˜€ Don’t worry, I won’t hold out the juicy details of my life from you. Ha, here I go again, cracking myself up. The “juiciest” thing that happened today was…, I’ve got nothing. 😯

I will leave you here with my favorite meal from today (yes, I still cook even when I don’t plan on taking pictures of every single bite!) – Ellie Krieger’s chicken with warm tomato-corn salad (recipe here). It was last week’s CEiMB recipe and it was amazing. I left out the scallions and cilantro but added some cayenne pepper which really added a nice warm spiciness to the dish (it wasn’t super hot, just warmed your throat a bit and brought all the ingredients together). Adam and I were practically licking the pan clean (it took a lot of will power not to split the 4 servings between the 2 of us and just call it dinner). I highly recommend it while sweet corn is in season!

So I hope this little change is cool with all of you. I feel good about it. I already have some ideas I hope to execute on soon. 😎

And now a question for you – what would you want to see more of on Healthy and Sane. Why do you keep coming back here? Also if you have a blog, how do you balance work and blogging? Do you ever feel like some parts of your life suffer because you try to do everything at once?

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Kate

    I can’t even begin to imagine blogging every day- once a week is hard enough if I want to work out and work and cook and eat and just chill! I love reading about people’s meal and workout highlights, life events, and general journal style confessional posts.

  • #2 - Joy

    Good for you for finding a way to balance it all and you are right it is quality over quantity! I come back for the info and your fun writing style!!

  • #3 - Body Conscious Blogger

    I’ve been poking my head in to this blog for a while now. Have never commented on anything, just read and observed. The reason I bookmarked your blog was hidden in the name of your blog. That’s the kind of blogs I’ve been visiting and revisiting. However, I’ve been starting to wonder what that really means to you? To be healthy and sane, what do you understand by that statement? You might have explained here on the blog before, but is it possible to have an entry on what healthy and sane really means in the context of this blog?
    Greetings from Newfoundland :)

  • #4 - Home Fitness for Women

    Good for you for adjusting your life to what YOU need it to be! One of my blogs is about life balance, so I can appreciate this. I just blog when I can… sometimes just when I need to get something out. It works for me.

    In regards to your blog here: What attracted me to your blog is food variety. You give me healthy ideas that aren’t the same old thing. Honestly, however, seeing a daily diary of your diet got old quick. (Sorry!) So condensing it into themes, although I don’t have a suggestion on what exactly, sounds like a great idea to me!

  • #5 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Totally understandable. You’re a busy girl! But I will miss all your colorful foods!

  • #6 - petunia

    I’m so curious as to what industry you work in — you work so many hours! That it itself and working out is a LOT!

  • #7 - Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    I’ll keep reading, for sure. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the blog.

  • #8 - Shannon

    Good changes! I know I enjoy blogging a lot more once I told myself I didn’t have to fit it in every day. Writing about life is fun, but not at the expense of living it…and not when it adds more stress. I admire all you get done everyday!

  • #9 - MelissaNibbles

    I think your blog is great no matter how much you post! I think you’re fun and real. Keep up the great work!

  • #10 - Mellissa

    Changes are good and it is so important to have a good balance. Just remember that at the end of the day work shouldn’t be the only thing in your life :) It is great to have a career and goals but 80 hours weeks aren’t worth it in the long run.

  • #11 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    Hey, Elina…I just wanted to say that I think these changes sound like great ones! Honestly, I’ve always enjoyed your general commentary on life/health just as much if not more so than you daily re-caps. I agree with the quality over quantity idea!

  • #12 - Betsy

    Elina, great choice! Sometimes living your life is more important than blogging about it. I understand your decision, as I made the same one recently. Blogging is fun, but it cannot control your life.

    One thing I like about your blog is your recipes and creative meals as well as your restaurant reviews. I also like to see the trips/adventures you go on. Healthy living is about LIVING, no just about what you eat and how much you run in a day! And, most importantly, your honesty is a huge thing for me. I enjoy you being honest about workouts and snacks, it’s refreshing!

    I’ll still be around to read whatever you write :-)

  • #13 - Corey

    It sounds like you’ve thought about that change a lot and it will be a good choice for you not only in terms of your blog content but also for the sake of your own time/sanity. I just started blogging a month ago so I don’t have much experience, but it certainly is time consuming, and rather than rushing through to post every single meal, doing less frequent but more thought out posts seems like a great idea to me.

    I keep reading because I share your attitude on healthy eating and love getting ideas for meals!

  • #14 - Elina

    Body Conscious Blogger – Healthy and Sane to me means leading a healthy life style (healthy eats, workouts, etc.) but balancing it out with lots of things that may not fit that “mold.” You can’t break “the rules” if it’s part of the plan to enjoy daily treats and indulgent meals out. It’s also extremely important for me that the healthy food I eat is delicious, and that’s how this blog actually started. I don’t feel like I’m “on a diet” and then “off a diet” anymore (I’ve been there!) – I’m just living my life, healthy and sane style. :) There are many bumps in the road but that’s part of the journey. That’s kind of my message at the end of the day, I guess. You may find more info in my About Me page as well.

    Home Fitness for Women – no offense taken. I am on the same page with you. It was getting hard taking a millionth picture of a FFL english muffin with nut butter + fruit. Hopefully this new format will be more entertaining. There will certainly be plenty of meal ideas still. I promise!

    Diana – there will still be colorful foods. No worries. πŸ˜€

    Mellissa – believe me I am not into 80 hour work weeks. I think it should be better for a little while. I don’t always have a choice though..

    Katie – that’s pretty much how I decided this. I always wanted to bring some kind of topic to each post. Now I won’t feel the pressure to do it every day though. I feel good about it. :)

  • #15 - Erin

    You definitely hit on my #1 issue with blogging since I started working full-time: balance. It’s exhausting to come home from 8-9 hours at work, where I write all day, and write a post.

    I *love* blogging but it shouldn’t feel like a chore, which is what it has felt like over the past month or so.

    I love seeing your kitchen creations and think maybe you could concentrate more on that and less on what you ate for every meal. Might be less-time intensive without having to take pics of every meal, every day.

  • #16 - Heather

    Good for you – you have to do what feels best for YOU. I hope this is the answer!

  • #17 - Megan

    I think this is a good idea. It’s similar to the way I blog. Right now I’m seriously lacking in free time to devote to my blog, so I blog about the important things and blog when I can. I’ve never been a journal-style blogger though, so I’m interested to see how your transition goes. Once I have more blogging time I want to come up with a posting schedule and maybe some regular topics… but that’s just all in my head right now. Good luck!

  • #18 - Cathy

    Hi! Like a few other readers have already mentioned, I too have been following your blog for a while and have to say I’m a big fan of your style, perspective, content, and honesty. So I encourage you to keep posting even with less frequency – couldn’t agree more about quality over quantity! I share similar tastes/passions so I hope you continue to spotlight your latest kitchen creations, recipe reviews, and restaurant/travel experiences. Looking forward to see these changes implemented – it’s so important to maintain balance in all areas of your life, not just within your food choices, and I think you’re proposing a great plan for doing just that! Good luck.

  • #19 - Laura

    Very glad to hear you’re going to keep going with the blog and not stop totally!! I’m always eager to read your posts:) xx

  • #20 - Body Conscious Blogger

    Elina, I asked because I see a lot of food on your blog that I would never categorize as healthy. For example bread, pastries, cookies, pizza and wine. And from reading your blog I know that you get frustrated about weight/fitness/exercise etc. To me indulging in these foods on a frequent basis would be quite counterproductive to trying to maintain a healthy weight and be healthy. That’s not to say that I am 100% against indulgence. Quite the contrary, I don’t see anything wrong with a monthly indulgence in whatever it is that strikes your fancy :) I guess moderation is the key, as always.

  • #21 - Elina

    Body Conscious Blogger – I would go insane if I indulged only monthly! That’s kind of the point of the blog. I truly believe that you CAN have both (in proper proportion) and still be healthy and happy. I get frustrated because of emotional eating, binge eating and other issues I often struggle with. Bread + wine are definitely not an issue, the cookies can be balanced out by the rest. It’s about finding that balance that works for me… and you. I’m still a work in progress that’s for sure but limiting certain treats is not the answer – for me personally at least.

  • #22 - Grazia

    Hi Elina! I’m Italian and I’m a big “fan” of your blog. I’ve never commented before, but since I discovered you, I can’t miss a post: you’re such an inspiration to me (even with an ocean between our countries!).
    I’ll appreciate your posts just the same, even if not daily.

    PS. I’m going to New York next week and I’m gonna try all the bakeries you mentioned: cupcakes, here I come!!!

  • #23 - Morgan

    Good for you for prioritizing. It’s OK to put yourself and your needs first! I’ll keep reading!
    Oh, and I understand I’m going to get to meet you at Shannon’s (Lessons to Learn) baby shower. Looking forward to it!

  • #24 - Kelly

    I think it sounds like a great decision. One of the things I love about blogging is that you don’t have an editor so you can do what works for you. I know it’s easy to get stuck in the trap of looking at how many followers you have or comparing yourself but I think that if you follow what works best for you, your happiness will be reflected through the quality and trueness to yourself that you put forth. I’ve had a lot of heart to hearts with myself about my blog and it’s always helped to remember why I do it and not get too caught up in #’s.

    Body Conscious Blogger – I think it depends on everyone’s version of healthy. I think it’s all about moderation as you say. Also I think what’s great about blogs is that they are people’s real journeys. What I’ve always enjoyed about Elina’s is that she isn’t afraid to share when these indulenges get her off track and when she’s able to include them while still maintaining balance.

  • #25 - Rachael

    I’ve long been a fan of your honesty – in good times and when you’re struggling. That’s what keeps me reading
    I think that you should be commended that you know yourself well enough to make changes that will better your lifestyle. Trying to cram everything into one’s existence, in my opinion, does interfere with the quality of all the involved components – I agree with quality over quantity, though quality has never been an issue with your blog :)
    I’m fortunate enough to work from home these days, so writing and blogging time has been more easy to attain, but when I was working, it always felt like I was falling behind – not a good feeling at all.

  • #26 - Shannon

    i think this is a great idea elina :) gotta keep sane!! living life is more important, and time is definitely at a premium!

  • #27 - Lele

    I love the new idea πŸ˜€
    I very briefly did daily blogs, basically, when I had TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS in college, but could never imagine doing it now- and my schedule and workload are nothing compared to yours!
    I come to your blog for your incredibly unique point of view and wonderful candor about the struggles all women experience with food. And your awesome restaurant reviews, and your links to yummy healthy recipes. I am confident that those things will remain πŸ˜€

  • #28 - Mary

    I like your blog no matter how much you post! Have a great time in Maine.

  • #29 - Jess

    Good for you for making a decision that should give you more balance. We’ll miss hearing from you daily but hey, we’ll survive, don’t you worry. Hang in there!!

  • #30 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    This post speaks SO much to me. I have been feeling pretty burnt out, stressed, and totally ambivalent about blogging lately. I will continue to keep reading no matter what you decide to write about because you have a great writing voice, you are an example of someone who juggles so many different things and remains fun and grounded, and because you take amazing photos. Hope things slow down so we can get together soon!

  • #31 - Liz

    I think life is all about balance, and it’s important to keep in mind what is important in your life. I see many food bloggers who blog several times per day, every day, even while they’re on vacation. I know they want to keep readership up and keep their site going, but I guess it just seems like at some point you have to draw the line and actually live your life.

    Glad you guys enjoyed the corn salad! I couldn’t believe how easy it was – perfect weeknight meal. I will probably even make it in the winter using frozen veggies and canned tomatoes from my grandma’s garden. Maybe it will brighten the dreary cold days :)

  • #32 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I am going through a similar blog crisis as work has completely changed my schedule. I support any changes you want to make to the blog, but just ask that you keep blogging on some capacity! I know I am a crap reader/commenter, but I really, truly enjoy you and your blog when I allow myself to sit down and indulge in it :)

    I would love to see more recipes. I really like your style of cooking/eating, and am resolving to try to return to cooking more after way too many weeks of eating out too much. Particularly quick and healthy recipes, like that breakfast casserole.