The Tuesday Thirteen: Kelly Hunt Shows You How To “Eat Yourself Skinny”!
The Tuesday Thirteen
Kelly Hunt, Eat Yourself Skinny
Kelly Hunt is the literary luv bug behind Eat Yourself Skinny. I gave her that nickname because once you read her blog, you can’t help but to love her. I only just found her last month and I am not sure how I went so long without knowing about her and her blog. As soon as I read a little, I had to get an interview. Let’s meet Kelly.
I love the title of your blog. It let’s me know that I can eat healthy but I still get to actually eat! With many blogs and websites catering to the ever so popular rich foods and sugary desserts, why did you decide to focus on healthy food?
Kelly I decided to focus on healthy food and really start my blog in the first place just for myself and for my boyfriend. I cook ALL the time and wanted to do a healthy spin on all my favorite indulgent recipes so that we could get ourselves ready for the summer and still enjoy eating! I thought why not create a blog for all these recipes and have fun taking pictures! It’s become such a passion for me and I’ve learned so much since I started.
I love that you add Weight Watchers points to your recipes, why did you choose to add the convenience of Weight Watchers?
Kelly I’m a HUGE advocate of Weight Watchers! I did the program while in college and lost 20 pounds and a few family members have found amazing success on the program so I added the points to each recipe so that others could have that convenience of knowing the points value without having to calculate it themselves. The emails I’ve received from people who have been inspired to lose weight through my blog has been SO rewarding and only pushes me to make even better recipes!
I went back and read your very first post which was just a little over a year ago (March 2011)! What has surprised you in the last year since you started this venture?
Kelly Ohh so much has surprised me! I had no idea I could learn so much about photography and actually enjoy it. I’ve always loved to cook so that hasn’t changed much, but my passion for photography and food styling is something that I’ve gained through starting my blog. It continues to grow and I’m excited to see where the future will take me!
You started your blog in March 2011. Let’s go over some astounding numbers and stats if I may: over 10,000 Facebook likes, over 3,000 Twitter followers, 8,000+ visits per day, your blog has been featured in magazines, websites and nominated for best new blog multiple times. Whew! How did you go viral so quickly (other than your fabulous writing talents)?
Kelly Aw thank you so much! I think what helped my blog take off was not only the amount of time I’ve devoted to it (I mean we’re talkin blood, sweat and tears here!), but how I’m constantly updating it with each new thing I learn and how I was able to find my voice. I would literally study my favorite food blogs everyday (I still do!) and would practice new ways to take photos, try out different methods of cooking and of course always add a little personal touch to each blog post that I think makes it unique. Oh and twitter, facebook and pinterest are my best friends, they should be yours too!!
The social media craze is pretty much out of control. What is your favorite outlet to stay in touch with your fans?
Kelly I’m a HUGE fan of Twitter and use it every single day! Even aside from food blogging, its a fun way to get to know your readers and other bloggers on a little bit of a personal level which I think helps bring people back and, of course, keeps things interesting! Instagram is also my newest addiction (follow me @eaturselfskinny!)
How much time would you say that you devote to blogging/cooking in a given day?
Kelly Oh boy, well I work at a computer 8 hours a day for my “real job” so while I’m there I’m constantly going back to my blog and working on the next day’s blog post, commenting on other blogs, etc. I also head home and create recipes, take photos and finalize new blog posts so I’d say I probably devote 3 to 5 hours a day (maybe more) solely to my blog. Haha not sure if that is impressive or embarrassing!
That is not embarrassing at all, but what is your favorite thing about blogging?
Kelly My favorite thing about blogging is the amazing people I’ve met through it! Not only are other bloggers inspiring, but they are so sweet and some have become really great friends! Also the culinary skills I’ve learned through all the cooking I’ve been doing has been extremely helpful.
Do you plan to continue to expand on your brand?
Kelly I’m constantly learning something new each day and I fully plan to continue my blog until it’s no longer fun for me.
Food bloggers have gotten a bad wrap from some journalists, chefs and the like. Do you think we are “treading on their turf” by just jumping right in without much formal training?
Kelly I think if chefs, journalist or other culinary enthusiasts feel threatened by amateur food bloggers then they probably need to re-evaluate what THEY are doing. I think its fabulous that stay-at-home moms, college students and even just average every-day-people, like myself, find passion in cooking and pursue it. Blogs are basically just little snippets of your life that you choose to share with the world and no one should feel threatened by other people’s passions. Everyone learns a little something from everyone and I think its great that the culinary world is really getting so much exposure!
Well said. On that note, what do you think it takes to be a great food blogger?
Kelly I think you first need the passion for cooking, the drive to really devote your time to keep up with blog posts, learning new techniques and really developing your photos as well as developing a tough skin for those not-so-nice comments that people will sometimes leave. I think the more you push the boundary outside the norm and the more true to yourself you stay, the more following you’ll receive. That can come at a price as well because that means more comments that could hurt your feelings, but you just have to brush them off and think about the hundreds of sweet comments you received. You’re obviously doing something right if someone took the time to post on your blog so just take that negative energy and do something positive with it!
Is there one food or ingredient that you cannot and will not cook with?
Kelly Haha actually yes, I really, really hate beets.
Outside of food and blogging, what takes up your time?
Kelly Well I work full-time as a legal assistant and in my spare time I love to go running, visit local wineries on the weekends and we practically live at our lake house in the summer!
What is next for Kelly Hunt and Eat Yourself Skinny?
Kelly My absolute dream is to write my very own cookbook within the next five years or so. It’s a huge project and something I’m really passionate about so I want it to be just perfect. So fingers crossed that my dream will eventually come true!
I would love to take this time to thank Kelly for answering these questions at a time that she had SO much going on in her own personal life. I hope everything is okay! Please, please, please visit her amazing blog Eat Yourself Skinny!
The Tuesday Thirteen is an interview series that asks thirteen questions to your favorite people in food. If you have questions you are curious to ask food bloggers, cookbook authors, publicists, food photographers, etc., please send your questions to email@example.com.