22 Jul The Making of Blog Brulee
[Disclosure: Blog Brûlée is being partially funded by the generosity of brands mentioned in this post.I was not compensated to write this post. All opinions expressed are my own.]
As I was filling out a background check form online today (#dontask), the question “What year did you graduate from college?” made me pause. I knew I graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991, but had literally no recollection of what year I graduated from Texas Woman’s University -the school where I earned my nutrition degree.
After about 30 seconds, I decided to just look at my diploma (it hangs on the wall in my office). 1994. Whew. I knew it must have been in the 90’s.
Relief-then shock-flowed though my veins. 20 years? TWENTY YEARS? I graduated 20 years ago with my degree in Nutrition? How can that be possible?? Seriously!?
Once that hard fact sunk in, I started to think back to what the profession was like when I first became a registered dietitian. As a clinical dietitian, conversations with colleagues were always about the latest study about a nutrient or fad diet, but never about food as the vehicle for good nutrition. It was rare that I could find someone who wanted to try out the newest restaurant in town or talk about the latest issue of Food and Wine magazine. Cook a meal? Come to a cooking class with me? Teach a cooking class to patients? No way. Wait-were my colleagues counting how many fruit and vegetable servings I was eating? I must admit I felt like somewhat like an outcast among my peers. It was then that I realized I loved the food part of nutrition more than the nutrition of nutrition.
I lasted less than 3 months in the clinical setting and I told my boss I needed to be in the kitchen of the hospital-not on the floors seeing patients. She obliged.
Never one to give up, I began searching out these people in our profession. Fortunately, the Food and Culinary Professionals Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was brand spanking new and welcomed people like me into their fold. It was there that I met one dietitian in particular-Regan Miller Jones, RD. Regan (pronounced RAY-gan)was promoting a cookbook that the group created. I can’t exactly remember the details of her first email, but I do remember she seemed-well-cool. Fast forward about 12 years and Regan and I are meeting for coffee at my satellite office in Dallas (aka Starbucks). She had just moved to Dallas and was looking to connect with other RD’s in the area who were-for lack of a better description-like her. We never looked back.
Since that time, Regan started her nutrition communications firm and created the parent company of the web’s most prominent portfolio of dietitian-owned sites, including HealthyAperture, TheRecipeReDux andRDs4Disclosure. Healthy Aperture and The Recipe Redux (co-founded with Deanna Seagrave-Daly, RD and Serena Ball, RD of Teaspoon Communications) speak directly to those dietitians and healthy living bloggers who create beautiful, healthy recipes and have a passion for sharing those recipes with those who want to improve their health and their life through the one universal language we all understand-food.
While Regan was doing that, I shifted my career as a nutrition consultant to that of a culinary nutrition consultant and now work only with customers or clients who desire to tell their story through food. I also became a member of The RecipeReDux and met (virtually) dozens of dietitians who are exactly like me-food centric, food focused-whatever you want to call it-and still registered dietitians. This community has created a place for those who have a true passion to communicate the health benefits of food through imagery. Some call themselves food bloggers, or nutrition bloggers–others call themselves healthy living bloggers. They live in metropolitan areas, rural areas and literally on the other side of the world. Young, old. New in their career or seasoned professionals. Regardless, we all have the same goal and that’s to communicate the health benefits OF food THROUGH food. And that had been missing from our profession. I’m fortunate enough to counsel many new RD’s who want to take this path in their career as well as those who are seasoned who are ready to jump into our exciting world. To all of them, I say WELCOME.
Long-winded, yes, but I felt that the groundwork had to be set before we go to the meat of this post-the Making of Blog Brulee. In short, the founders of Blog Brulee-Regan Jones, Deanna Segrave Daly, Gretchen Brown and I all share a love of healthy (and sometimes not so healthy) food.
We share a love of storytelling.
We share a love of beautiful food imagery.
And, we share a love of The RecipeReDux. After all, the four of us would have never be in this partnership without it!)
They’re always up for trying out a new restaurant, chatting it up about the newest The Kitchn post , eating food that is in season, on trend, or that is presented to them by friends or family. I’ve taken numerous CEU units with them and we’ve all delivered many of them to our colleagues as well. They are constantly creating new recipes, taking pictures and blogging-they put me to shame. They have mad photography skills, well developed palates and can identify ingredients in a dish by taste. They only inspect my plate to see what they might be able to pick off of it to try themselves. And I feel right at home.
Because of those combined passions and because of our desire to support like minded professionals, we created The Blog Brulee. Our goal is help build up the registered dietitian and healthy living food blogging community and provide continuing education skills necessary to help further their career in culinary and nutrition communication and more specifically, the social media platforms.
The RSVP’s are in, the speakers are lined up, and the menu has been selected. We’ll rendezvous in September in beautiful Vermont and embark on an completely hands-on weekend where we’ll share best practices for better blogging.
We’ll create new friendships and strengthen old ones.
We’ll take a lot (I mean A LOT) of pictures.
We’ll eat a lot of food and yes, eat a brulee or two.
We’ll also be raising a glass to toast our sponsors and sharing our thanks with those who helped make our first Blog Brulee a reality.
If you want to learn more about the event or how to apply for next year’s conference, please visit the website: BlogBrulee.com and follow along on Twitter with the #BlogBrulee hashtag.