PFB C#1: Let’s get real!

A few months back, I received an email from my blog sponsor, Foodbuzz, announcing a new food blogging competition soon to be featured – Project Food Blog. There were no details at this point, the only thing I knew is that the winner got a cash prize of $10,000. Pretty sweet, right? I entered my name and forgot about it. And then last month I found out the rules. There are 10 elimination challenges, nearly 2,000 bloggers competing and only 1 winner. There is so much pressure! :shock: I know the odds are against me but I decided that self doubt is not productive. Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination. I know the challenges will push me outside of my comfort zone and will hopefully make me a stronger blogger if nothing else. Just creating my profile involved some soul searching.  And now we’re here… the first challenge is to write a post that defines me as a food blogger and makes it clear why I think I have what it takes to be the next food blog star. Pretty heavy stuff, no? I was going in circles, trying to pick my “angle”…

And then I wrote a post that came from my heart. A post about my recent struggles with weight gain and how I plan to tackle this problem. And I got the most overwhelming response (seriously guys, I was deeply touched by every comment – you are amazing!!!!) and it was all clear to me. Nearly every one of you said how refreshing it was to see such a raw and relatable post and how my honesty is what keeps bringing you back (I think some beautiful food pictures help though – amiright? :lol: ). I am a real woman, with a real passion for food and a seemingly conflicting desire to be fit and thin. There are days when I stress eat (like so many of us do!). And there are days when something as simple as a whole grain mustard, fresh fig and prosciutto sandwich makes my heart flutter and I can appreciate the beauty in food… and I feel so far from the person that mindlessly shoves handfuls after handfuls of almonds while watching tv (and getting sick afterwords). It’s so complicated sometimes, isn’t it?

I started Healthy and Sane nearly two years ago to document my food as I tried to lose some weight. I believed in balancing healthy home-cooked meals (Healthy) with more indulgent treats out (Sane). Now I’m back to weight loss mode and I plan on taking the same approach. There will be no “dieting.” Food is so much more than just fuel.  I love food. Food is my hobby, my passion, my pass-time. I love to plan meals, grocery shop, peruse the farmers markets, read cookbooks, magazines and food blogs, and then of course cook and EAT. I love thinking about food, tasting food, and getting inspired by food. Enjoying a fantastic meal out with my husband is our favorite “activity” together. I can’t let a restrictive diet take such a large part of my life away. That means that despite a few pesky pounds I’m currently sporting around my midriff, you will continue to see on this blog a lot of recipes, restaurant reviews and possibly even more videos. Some meals will be healthy, some will be a little more indulgent – my promise is that they will all be delicious and there really is room for both… even while trying to lose weight. It’s possible. I’ll show you! :) [And I will not pretend it's all easy either. It's not. Let's get real!]

Now seriously, how gorgeous is this sandwich?

Thank you all for reading. I feel like more than ever, I have an amazing support system that will be key to my success.

PS – Voting for entrees has opened. Please please please vote for me HERE (you can vote for up to 400 bloggers – every vote counts!).

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24 comments to PFB C#1: Let’s get real!

  • I love your positivity, Elina :) . Now I have two Boston friends to root for in Project Food Blog (you and Shannon!).

    The sandwich is beautiful… figs are so photogenic, and you did a great job of capturing their aesthetic appeal!

  • I’m participating in PFB too and I’m with you – this one is about the journey, not the destination. That being said, I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s entries and I’m also looking forward to hanging out with you in VT this weekend!

  • I’ll vote for you! Yay!!! I’d love to see someone like you win. Good luck!

  • I just love your attitude! I like that you’re not sugar-coating things, and you’re willing to discuss both the ups and the downs.

  • That sandwich is incredibly gorgeous! I love your attitude about the weight loss goal and still being able to love food at the same time, and the fact that you are getting real about it – so what if it won’t be easy. Seems like you love a challenge! speaking of….best of luck in the foodbuzz competition!

  • I LOVE THIS POST. I relate to so much you wrote in this post. Its so honest and truthful and I LOVE IT!

    “Food is my hobby, my passion, my pass-time. I love to plan meals, grocery shop, peruse the farmers markets, read cookbooks, magazines and food blogs, and then of course cook and EAT. I love thinking about food, tasting food, and getting inspired by food.”

    AMEN. Couldn’t agree more. My friends and even my husband doesn’t always get it, but its my passion as well. You will do great on your weightloss- if I had any self-control, I’d join you. (Maybe not in marathon training though!)

    And prosciutto, and figs- my new favorite combo! Have you tried fig jam? I’m addicted!

  • That is one of the prettiest sandwiches I have ever seen. EVER! It looks totally out of this world amazing!

  • Shannon

    What a gorgeous sandwich!! And it is definitely about the journey here, it should be a lot of fun :) . Great post!

  • Gorgeous sandwich – my mouth is watering! Good luck with the contest – can’t wait to see what you and Shannon come up with :)

  • I’ve only skimmed the post you’re referring to, because it started to make me tear up (yeah, I had that kind of day yesterday). But I can tell already that it is something that everyone should read, and I wish you the BEST of luck with Project Food Blog, Elina! xox

  • Thank you for being so honest and inspiring. You make me even more motivated to overcome my eating obstacles and appreciate amazing food…like that delicious-looking sandwich :)

  • What a beautifully honest post and delicious looking sandwich. I love figs and can still taste a wonderful fig and goat cheese salad I had in Paris years ago!
    Best of luck with the challenge and congratulations on taking a healthy sane approach to weight and health. We are so much more than a random number on a scale!

  • Good luck! I always enjoy reading your posts:)

  • Proof that writing from the heart beats all – your honesty is, in my opinion, what keeps all of us reading. Healthy and Sane verbalizes many of the inner conflicts that are so prevalent for women in modern society, and it does so in a way that is compassionate, humble and full of beautiful photos to boot!
    Good luck from a fellow contestant :)

  • you are wonderful. and that’s all i have to say about that :) xoxo [chels]

  • Hi Elina – I just moved to Boston and found your blog while searching for local foodie reads. Talking about weight and our often complex psychological relationships with food is so brave – and all too rare in the sugar-coated blog world – so thank you. I’m trying to get over that “fear-of-the-unknown” to start the couch-to-5k running program after not running for 10 years. yikes! It feels scary, but (like your blog challenge) it’s about the process not the end-result. Ultimately, its about the confidence you gain and what you learn about yourself as you push yourself through and past a painful time in your life. So good luck!

  • Loved your sandwich, even when I’m a vegetarian:) experimenting makes a good cook! great pictures too! Good Luck from a fellow contestant!:)

  • Good luck in the NFBS! Your fig sandwich looks AMAZING!!! Beautiful page!! You get a vote ;-)

  • You are right, that sandwich is gorgeous. Never thought of pairing those two before!

  • Liz

    I am behind on my blog reading but wanted to let you know I wholeheartedly agree with this:

    Nearly every one of you said how refreshing it was to see such a raw and relatable post and how my honesty is what keeps bringing you back (I think some beautiful food pictures help though – amiright?).

    Good luck, Elina :)

  • Wonderful blog! You have my vote!!!

  • such a great post you’ve composed and what gorgeous photos of that sandwich!! it means to much to read posts that are so true to the blogger’s heart. nice job and i hope to see you in Round 2! (ps – you’ve got one of my votes!)

  • Oh man, that sandwich looks heavenly! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got lined up in the coming weeks. You’ve got our vote!

  • LOOKS so super yummy! I adore figs and prosciutto!

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