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Normally I would include a keyword-rich sentence here to help boost the SEO of this post. But I haven’t thought about search engine optimization in months, and I don’t want to start now.

In the last year, I have posted a total of two blog entries. The first one being this recipe; and the second: a life update. That’s one time I’ve developed a recipe, photographed it, edited the photos, and written punny captions. That’s two times I’ve sat down and logged into WordPress. In fact, it’s been so long since I was last in the platform that it looks completely foreign to me now.

I walked away from blogging in May of 2018 not knowing when (or if) I would return. Physically, I was feeling crappy. Emotionally, I was feeling crappy. And my heart just wasn’t in it. Food blogging was a hobby turned into a fun side hustle. Until it wasn’t.

While I know blogging is truly a way of life for some people who choose this path full-time, this wasn’t the case for me. I already had a full-time job. Blogging had become a job and a chore. It was about making money, getting page views, and hoping that thousands of people would share my recipes on Pinterest. Blogging no longer had anything to do with bringing me joy or making connections with others. I no longer thought of it as a small way to contribute to the world of food and chronic illness (and how the two relate).

If I’m being honest, I don’t think I realized that chocolate wafer recipe post would be my (presumably) last recipe post ever. In fact, had I known, I probably would have posted a recipe with amazing photos and inspiring text. But May of 2018 (heck, much of 2018) was rough. I was both physically and mentally at my wits’ end as a new mom and a newly-diagnosed person with chronic Lyme disease and Hasimoto’s. I needed a break from it all.

Spending hours developing recipes, photographing, editing, writing, and sharing was no longer a priority for me. It didn’t bring me joy. It brought me stress. It annoyed me. It felt tedious. It took away time spent with family and friends, especially my son. It took away time for self care. I didn’t love it anymore. Heck, I didn’t even like it.

So I walked away. I told myself I would take a break and would return to blogging when I felt inspired to write again. I felt massively inspired at the end of October when I wrote about how much my outlook on life had changed. I was actually happy the majority of the time (and still am!). There are probably a million reasons why my emotional state had improved, but not blogging was definitely one of them.

I no longer plan my weekends based on needing to be home at a certain time to cook and photograph using natural light. I take naps when my son naps instead of trying to push through to get photo editing accomplished. I don’t spend hours of time sharing my posts on social media, hoping I will reach “x” number of page views on that particular day. I rarely ever check Instagram. Instead, I spend time doing the things that bring me joy, however simple they are, and that’s the greatest feeling in the world.

It is greater than the “fame” of being a food blogger with six figure page views. It is greater than shout outs and shares from “big bloggers.” It is greater than the monthly ad revenue that streamed in (and continues to do so, but at a lesser and lesser amount until it will eventually stop). My happiness is worth so much more than all of that.

I’m not sure if this blog post is the official end of it all. I don’t think it will be because I still feel I owe you a post about the Lyme treatment I have been doing over the past year. But I wouldn’t place bets on me sharing a recipe post again. If I ever feel inspired like I do today, you’ll get another post. And it won’t necessarily be a post for all of you, it will more be a post for me. Because let’s be real, I don’t think there are a whole lot of you still sticking around!

Food blogging was a roughly five year period of my life where I challenged and pushed myself, learned more than I ever thought possible about photography and technology, and ate a shit ton of good food. It enabled me to capture all of my favorite vacation food memories and favorite recipes all in one place. But most importantly, the thing I will truly be forever grateful for is that blogging brought three of my best friends into my life at a time when I needed them the most. If nothing else, I will always look back on my time blogging fondly because of that.

As of right now, I’m still planning to continue to renew my domain and web hosting so that everything I’ve ever written will still be live on the internet. That’s the thing about recipes. They never get old! I also plan to start teaching myself how to photograph something other than food. I still want to put that pricey camera to good use!

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Healthier Paleo and Gluten-Free Creamy Coconut Chia Pudding Dirt Cup Parfaits are perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or for dessert! #glutenfree #Paleo #dairyfree #dirtcup #dessert #breakfast

The perfect creamy coconut chia pudding dirt cup parfaits for a healthier gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo breakfast, dessert, or birthday party treat! This recipe was a total accident.  It is like the universe absolutely wanted me to make these chia pudding dirt cup parfaits, so it made certain that my original cooking intentions were a [...]

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Healthier Gluten-Free Maid-Rite Sandwiches that taste just as good as the originals, but are gluten-free, dairy-free, and made with healthy, organic ingredients.  These sandwiches definitely are not just an Iowa thing anymore! #sandwich #maidrite #iowa #glutenfree #dairyfree #dinner #healthy

Healthier Gluten-Free Maid-Rite Sandwiches that taste just as good as the originals, but are gluten-free, dairy-free, and made with organic ingredients.  These sandwiches definitely are not just an Iowa thing anymore! This recipe post straight up screams pride for my home state, Iowa.  When I think of corn, I think of Iowa.  And when I [...]

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The Best Food Photography and Blogging Props that are absolute must haves! #foodphotography #foodblog #blogging

The best food photography props out there right now that I have just gotta have.  Really.  I need them.  We're talking photography boards, dishes, utensils, linens, glasses, and more! What does a girl like me dream about purchasing or receiving for a gift?  Food blogging props.  Duh.  Wouldn't you know, my birthday just happens to be [...]

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baked sweet potato soup with Silk coconut milk

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ProgressIsPerfection #CBias #CollectiveBias This Lightened Up Baked Sweet Potato Soup is packed with flavor and vegetables that bring the comfort of homemade soup to the gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle.  Certain foods just go with cold and dreary Winter nights.  Chili.  [...]

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tuna egg potato salad with carrots cucumber

The Ultimate Triple Tuna Egg Potato Salad combines potato salad, egg salad, and tuna salad into one dynamic Paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free lunch or snack option. This healthy and clean salad is also Whole 30-approved.  You know that moment when you cannot decide if you want to eat tuna, egg, or potato salad?  No, just me?  [...]

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My Supplement Routine in a Picture a Day #ad #MyWeekSupplemented

Thank you Council for Responsible Nutrition for sponsoring this post. This is #MyWeekSupplemented. It is no secret that I have been on a whirlwind of a ride with my health over the past six years or so.  While I recently received a chronic Lyme diagnosis, it took a whole lot of time, doctors, diet changes, [...]

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clean eating paleo recipes new year 2018

60 Clean Eating Paleo Recipes to kick off the New Year in 2018.  From smoothies, drinks, and desserts, to breakfasts, mains, and sides.  I've got you covered with these gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free recipes! Clean eating, Paleo, and Whole 30 recipes are all the rage once January begins.  And since I happen to think I specialize [...]

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Gluten-Free Banana French Toast for One is a healthy breakfast option that is also vegan-friendly! #glutenfree #frenchtoast #breakfast #vegan

Gluten-Free Banana French Toast for One allows you to satisfy your French toast breakfast cravings without cooking for a crowd.  Since it is sweetened with banana, it is also vegan-friendly! Ever since going back to work after my maternity leave ended, I have been in a bit of a breakfast rut.  We are talking a [...]

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12 Paleo Christmas Cookie Recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and perfect for all of your holiday gatherings. Bring a delicious dessert to your meal or Christmas cookie exchange party! #Christmas #holiday #cookies #Paleo

12 Paleo Christmas Cookie Recipes for all of your holiday baking adventures.  Every recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and cheerfully delicious! Cookies, cookies, and more cookies.  That is what the Christmas baking season is all about!  And since I am not a big fancy bread, bar, or pie maker, cookies are right up my alley.   While [...]

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Reframing My To Do List in this Season of Life #healthyliving #healthy

Does anyone else feel like they blinked and suddenly it was December?  No?  Just me?  Yeah right.  I know I am not the only one who has had a completely nutso year.  With pregnancy, house projects, HAVING A BABY, working, blogging, and just trying to stay afloat while also getting a few hours of shut-eye, my [...]

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