This week I’m featuring my gut-lovin’ soul sister from across the country – Emily from My Healthyish Life! Emily’s blog was one of the first blogs I found through Instagram when I started my health journey. I immediately fell in love with how down-to-earth and real she is, and I spent hours reading through her posts, fascinated with her experiences. I couldn’t help but notice our similarities, and everything she said really resonated with me. Emily’s all about actually balancing health and regular life. Uncomplicating things. She calls herself “healthyish,” but in my opinion, there’s no ish. She’s straight-up healthy, because she’s all about a realistic approach to health. Not perfection or having it all figured out – just exploring a healthy lifestyle and making the best choices for your mind and body every single day.
Back to our similarities – it’s kind of creepy. She eats dinner for breakfast, she loves gut health, she’s a GF gal, she wasn’t so into her college scene…the list goes on. (There are many more, but those are my favorites.) It was love at first blog post. Emily covers everything on her blog – fitness, food, wellness, deep thoughts… all of it. It’s hard not to want to be her friend. She’s so relatable, and she has so much knowledge when it comes to health – body and mind. You’ll learn a lot from her. She makes a healthy lifestyle seem not so intimidating, which I think we could all use in this world full of cacao magic mushroom elixirs and float therapy tanks.
Tell me a bit about yourself so my readers can get to know you!
Hi everyone! My name is Emily and I’m the blogger behind My Healthyish Life. I’m thrilled to be “speaking” with you! Christina and I have bonded over our mutual love of gut health, unconventional breakfasts and coconut butter. Sure, social media has its downfalls, but being able to connect with awesome, like-minded people, like Christina, is the reason I keep coming back.
Ok about me: I graduated from the University of Miami last year and live in Tampa, FL. I work at a digital marketing agency where I’m on the “content” side of things (lots of writing). I love running, writing, reading, and beaching!
When did you first get into health and wellness? What got you interested in it?
I don’t know if I can pinpoint one thing! I grew up in a very healthy household where my mom cooked dinner every night. I played multiple sports and found a passion for running. I think after being diagnosed with celiac (more on that in a minute) I started listening to my body and caring for it in a more loving and personal way.
How did you first get into blogging?
I started reading blogs during my freshman year of college. My adjustment was especially rough and I felt like an outcast for not liking the typical college scene. Blogs were a comfort…I found other people like me! People with similar interests (running, Whole Foods) and personalities (I’m an introvert).
I started my own blog after more than a year of reading (silently) because I wanted to connect with these people who felt like friends. I was also really uninspired at a summer internship and had some time to kill.
What’s your favorite part about blogging? Least favorite?
My favorite part is the community. I’ve learned so much from reading other blogs (and connecting with people offline). I’ve also been so fortunate to have support during times of vulnerability. These people are my friends.
My least favorite part of blogging might just be my situation, but I always feel a pressure to perform. I feel guilty when I can’t dedicate so much time to writing and commenting.
What was it like being diagnosed with Celiac at such a young age? How did you handle it?
It was simultaneously the best and worst thing that happened to me. I was in so much pain and discomfort everyday, so having an answer to that pain was kind of incredible. What a change from gluten-filled to gluten-free!
At the same time, this was 2008. No one knew what Celiac was. The doctors and nutritionists barely knew how to guide me! The day after an endoscopy confirmed my diagnosis (I had a blood test first) my mom threw away everything in our pantry and we started from scratch. The snack options were limited and I ate a lot of rice, fruit, and peanut butter – three “safe” foods.
I was also very embarrassed by my situation. Explaining this to friends wasn’t easy at 13-years-old. Not that it’s easy or fun to do that today, but I definitely didn’t like being “different” in middle school. It took me a year or two to feel confident enough to talk freely about celiac.
What advice would you give to someone who has recently been diagnosed and doesn’t know how to feel?
My biggest (general) piece of advice would be to do research and become an expert on celiac. Start looking at labels, asking questions and cooking for yourself! If you live in a gluten-eating household, I recommend getting a shelf in the pantry and fridge dedicated to your GF products. Same thing for some cooking tools (baking sheets, pans, toaster)!
Now, it’s so helpful to have online support: organizations (celiac.org), blogs, forums. You are not alone, no matter how alone you feel in the moment. Hey, if you feel alone, email me. I’d be happy to speak with you!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your health journey?
Your health is the best thing in which you can invest. The time, energy, and money that goes into your health (long and short term) is not appealing on the surface. However, the outcome has been so worth it for me.
What’s your exercise routine like?
Ideally, I exercise five days a week. If I don’t exercise at 5:30 a.m. before work it’s not getting done afterward! Running is my passion and my go-to form of movement. However, I was injured for almost half of 2016 and fell in love with strength training. I don’t exercise with the goal of looking a certain way, but I have to say, lifting weights changed my body more so than 8 years of running.
To give you an idea of my routine right now: yesterday I ran 4 miles and went to yoga and today I lifted weights for 45 minutes.
What are your favorite ways to de-stress?
Exercise (yoga and running are my go-to’s), meditation and massages, which are my non-guilty guilty pleasure.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start living a healthier lifestyle but doesn’t know where to start?
You don’t have to change everything at once. Start small…like cooking dinner at home three nights a week or bringing your lunch to work. Seriously, start with that for a few weeks and make those meals the best you can.
One of the things we have in common is an obsession with GUT HEALTH! What are your top tips for people to improve their gut health?
The gut is IT. Boom done.
But really, it’s the root of our health. As a disclaimer before I give these tips, I recommend working with a doctor of functional medicine. He or she will give you a full workup and prescribe a protocol for healing your gut, depending on the exact condition and cause.
Aside from that….
-Take a high-quality probiotic and consider adding other supplements at the discretion of your doctor. Sometimes, food alone won’t heal the gut.
-Yet when it comes to food, think anti-inflammatory. Remove the offenders (GMO’s and sugar, to name a few) and add in the healers like turmeric, collagen (bone broth), and fermented foods (sauerkraut).
-Eat slowly and don’t rush away from the table after meals.
What are the most important things you’ve learned when it comes to dealing with digestive issues? What helps you the most when it comes to easing the pain and discomfort?
This is tough. The most important thing I’ve learned is to take my health into my own hands and accept that there will be rough patches, especially with an autoimmune disease. Learning to manage those rough patches is key! I’ve found that a low-FODMAP diet helps during times of stress (travel) and that products like NaturalCalm Magnesium, essential oils and even just a heating pad can ease symptoms.
What’s one random fact not many people know about you?
I’m a U.S. history buff! I also knew all of the state capitals and presidents at the age of 3.
What’s one health trend/belief that you wish people would stop buying into?
Blindly taking health information from people on the Internet. No one knows your exact situation besides your doctor. I think blogs and health publications are great starting points, but that you need to experiment and find what works for you individually.
What’s your favorite go-to, quick and easy meal?
Ground turkey, zoodles, and avocado. I eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
What’s your guilty pleasure? (It can be food, a show, a book…anything!)
Lazy days on the couch in sweat pants. Throw in a trashy magazine and Kardashian re-runs and I’m good!
What are your plans/goals for the future?
I’d like to move to a big city but I’m not sure which coast yet! I’d also like to work in the health and wellness world in some capacity, maybe writing or editing.
Tell me what your current favorite recipe is!
There ya have it! Emily’s take on her “healthyish” life! I want to thank Emily for letting me interview her – she’s seriously amazing. If you’re not already, definitely follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and READ HER BLOG. It always makes me happy. Just a dose of realness – which we could all use.