Amelia is a fourth year law student, works part time and still manages to run a very successful food blog. After being inspired by other foodies on Instagram, she decided to get in the kitchen and give her own blog a go. Aside from eating healthy, Amelia has a bright and interesting approach to mental health, making time daily for gratitude and manifestation of her dreams. Kitchen Of Amelia not only has numerous delicious recipes but a page dedicated to her favourite food blogs as well, with her wholesome approach to running a blog, she has attracted over 11,000 followers so far. Check out our interview with Amelia below:
So you are a fourth year law student! How do you balance studying and running such an engaging blog?
Time management! As boring as that sounds, I start most days with writing a to-do list and I get great satisfaction out of crossing those things off my list throughout the day. My calendar on my laptop is also a chaotically colour-coded system which I could not live without. If I don’t write things down I have a (strong) tendency to forget them, so anything important ends up either on a to-do list or in my calendar!
Why did you decide to begin Kitchen of Amelia?
To put it simply, a love of food. I have always loved eating (doesn’t everyone?) but I used to hate cooking! My mum used to joke that I would be a terrible wife because I was allergic to the kitchen. I slowly got into cooking throughout my last years of high school, but I think getting my first Instagram account was a big starting point. I started to spend hours looking at recipes and recreating them and eventually I realised that I may as well give my own blog a go!
What does being healthy mean to you? Have you always been a healthy person?
I am learning more and more (especially lately) that health goes so much further than how we feel physically. I have always been physically healthy having competed in competitive sport since the age of 10 and continuing to exercise regularly at University. However, looking back now I shudder at my diet during those competitive years – lollies and chocolate biscuits were a staple! Starting to look at what I put in my body through my food blog has lead me to thinking more about health as a holistic concept encompassing not only physical health, but mental and emotional as well. Having always been physically active, this year I decided to explore and focus on my mental health and trying to think more positively about my body and life in general.
What do you get out of running Kitchen Of Amelia and sharing your recipes?
A daily sense of amazement that so many people care about what I have to say! Haha, but seriously, I absolutely love the people and the brands that I get to interact with through running my account. I have people who’s comments I always look forward to and I always love seeing what everyone else have been creating and taking inspiration from others. I love seeing people recreate my recipes, or take inspiration from things I have made. Finally, it makes me really have to think that my small post may make someone else smile or brighten up their day.
You have such a beautiful Instagram page, do you have any photography or social media tips for aspiring food bloggers?
I think my biggest tip is practice. My food photography skills definitely developed over time, through lots of reading and looking at other food blogs and magazines – I still spend a lot of time doing this! Another big tip is to shoot in natural light. Natural light helps bring out the beauty and colours in the food, which realistically, is what your photo should be all about. Finally, you really have to enjoy it! I can spend an hour fiddling around with a plate of food to get it perfect and I am so happy to do so. The food should always be the main attraction of the photo and your love of food should come through on the plate!
I love how you have a page for your favourite food bloggers as extra resources for your audience. Which food blogger inspires you the most?
This is a pretty tough call as there are so many people who I look up to on a daily basis. If I had to pick a couple, I would firstly say Jessica Sepel (@jshealth). Her book is one of the most well-thumbed and cook books in my house, and I have adopted so many of her practices into my life and is really helping me to develop my relationship with myself and others. Her comments about manifesting your goals and the power of attraction are things which I implement daily in my life. My second favourite would be Donna Hay. I’ve recently rediscovered her and I cannot get enough of her food photography. Every shot is perfectly styled and gorgeous!
What is your favourite healthy dish?
This is an even harder question! I love so many types of food and my favourites always change with my mood. Again, if I had to pick one, I would probably go porridge – which people always laugh at. Chocolate porridge with lots of peanut butter on top genuinely tastes like chocolate pudding to me and it is one of my favourite ways to start my day. The carrot cake version is also pretty good too!
What made you want to do Sugar Free September?
The sugar free message is always one of my favourites to spread. Having done the #IQS8WP last year and given up sugar for eight weeks with amazing results, a sugar free lifestyle is one which I now try to live by. However, I had been a bit slack lately so Sugar Free September is a great way for me to be accountable and get back on track.
We use The One Line Rule as an easy way to be sugar conscious. How do you check for hidden sugars?
The One Line Rule is actually my favourite approach! It’s super easy to remember in the supermarket and is a great indicator of what you are about to put in your body. The other easy option is just to read the ingredients and get familiar with all the sneaky names for sugar. Anytime where any kind of ‘sugar’ is included in the first couple of ingredients I generally put the product down.
What’s your favourite way to deal with the 3pm snack-attack?
Always have a healthy snack on hand! As I am a terrible boredom eater, I try to avoid snacking and instead aim to eat three big meals a day – this is one of the things you learn on the I Quit Sugar Eight Week Programme and I find it works for me. If I am feeling peckish in the afternoon I tend to reach for peanut butter and hummus with vegetables, or sometimes just a spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar!
What do you do to de-stress?
My favourite way to distress is to spend some time doing the things I enjoy. Exercising, particularly a big walk in nature or some yoga, is something which I can’t go without these days. I also love to spend time with my friends or family or cook! A day in the kitchen can make me feel so much better and it normally makes my week much easier when I have lots of healthy food prepared. If I’ve had a really busy week I like to treat myself to a candle lit bath and a face mask – perfect for a Sunday night.
What is your favourite vegetable and 3 ways to use it?
Carrots! Hands down my favourite vegetable of all time, although courgettes would have to come a close second. I love carrots raw with hummus (or just eaten whole), grated up in my porridge, or roasted up in the oven – can you say carrot fries?!
What else do you do to be healthy besides eating nutritious food?
Moving my body everyday is a big priority for me. I find that I study and work much better if I have started my day with some form of exercise. Even if its just a quick 20 minute walk, or on days where I have more time yoga, a spin class or a weights workout are my favourites. I have also started making a great effort recently to work on my mental health. This has include having daily times for gratitude and manifestation of my dreams. I’ve found that this positive mental outlook has made me feel so much better and I’m really seeing the benefits.
What does a day in the life of you entail?
My day varies greatly depending on weather or not I have university, so let’s pretend this is one of my days at home.
I normally get up around 6am. Immediately on waking I say my morning manifestations (these are things which I am happy to have and things I want to accept about myself – sounds cheesy but it really helps to start your day off right). I then drink a big mug of hot lemon water with apple cider vinegar and a pinch of ginger.
After that it’s time to exercise! I normally do some yoga for around half an hour (I just pick a video off YouTube) then head outside for a walk. I love to listen to podcasts on my walk and this is where I take the time to do my gratitude and think about all the things I want to get done that day.
Then its home for breakfast – porridge, a smoothie or eggs are all popular options. Then after a shower I’m straight into my study and this is normally around 9am. Starting study marks the end of my morning routine and I try to avoid looking at my phone until this point.
I will study from 9 until around 12 where I will begin to think about lunch. The light is best at this time, so normally I cook up something delicious and photograph it for my blog. Then its back to the books from 1pm.
I work everyday from 3pm to 5:30pm so after that I head to the gym if I have time. At the gym I’ll do a spin class, some HIIT training, or sometimes just go to sit in the sauna and unwind! After that its home for dinner at around 7pm and another shower.
I’ll then likely do another hour or two of study or life admin like emails, replying to messages and organizing my other commitments. If my assignments aren’t too crazy, I like to have my study away by 9pm and I then take an hour to relax by watching some TV or reading a book. Finally, before I go to bed each night I spend 10 minutes looking up at my dream board in my room with my legs up the wall. The board contains photos which represent things I want to achieve, places I want to go and experiences I want to have. Perfect thing to think about before sleep by 10pm!