Identifying Inspirational Women

I am willing to bet almost all of you know this woman I am about to introduce. A food journal of a girl with a healthy mission, is the motto of a popular blogger where she has been chronicling her daily eats, exercise adventures and life changes since December 2007. I myself have been following her all along; in fact, her blog was the first food blog I stumbled upon, inspiring me to start my own.

She has been through a lot in the past three years, and has remained poised and sincere about all of her life changes- everything from her culinary school adventures, job as a bread baker, her brothers tragic death this past year and her big move to California from sunny Florida to work for a winery. Currently, she resides in Northern California where she is working on her next big adventure- writing a memoir/cookbook to be published in 2011. Oh, and she just so happens to also be training for a 100-mile bike race. If that is not inspirational, I dont know what is.

Her witty, honest posts have brought me back to her blog, which I read every day, eager to hear what she has to say. And when her book comes out? You can bet Ill be one of the first in line to buy it.

You are such an inspiration on living a full, healthy lifestyle. How did you come to this point of balance? How is your new lifestyle different than your old lifestyle?

Thank you! I feel honored to be a role model and inspiration for a balanced lifestyle. Its not easy, of course, but I think once you have that a-hah! moment where you realize there is way more to life than just the number on the scale, you are on the right path. A big part in me finding balance was traveling abroad and just observing how other women acted around food. The women in France are beautiful without being stick thin. They enjoy their meals and dont let food dictate their life. Eating is pleasurable and should be done with purpose and intuition.

If you had to describe yourself in just a few words, what would you say?

Hmmm Im passionate, loyal and pretty darn stubborn. When I set my mind to something I do it, no matter what. Im very driven and love life and adventure.

What inspired you to start a blog, and write a book, and share your story with the world?

Since I was about seven years old, Ive wanted to be a writer. Going through culinary school gave me a niche of something interesting to write about because not too many women graduate from the program and everyone loves to see pictures of food! It took almost three years for my blog to get where its at today and Im so blessed and thankful for all of the amazing opportunity that has come out of it, such as a book deal.

I love your outlook on life. How do you stay so positive?

I have a very strong faith that keeps me grounded. I grew up with a very strong family and love to surround myself with inspiring people who can make me laugh. Its all about the laughter. 🙂

What, or who, inspires you?

My mom inspires me more than anyone else. Shes my best friend and the strongest person I know. If I can turn out to be half of the woman, wife and mother that she is, Ive done pretty well for myself. Plus, shes an amazing cook and taught me pretty much all I know.

What are your favorite off-day actvities to do?

I love to be outside! I love to go hiking, kayaking, rafting.I love being in the sunshine and exploring new places. My favorite place to be is at the beach but Ive also recently discovered a great love for snowboarding. I also love to just relax, cook and read. Im a huge reader and read just about anything I can get my hands on.

How does it feel to be considered an inspiration for so many women, old and young?

Gosh, you know Im honored. So honored. I dont feel worthy a lot of the time but I know Ive been put in the place I am for a purpose and I just pray to continue to be an inspiration and touch womens lives with my words.

Any future plans you want to share?

Well, I used to plan a lot, you see. I had my whole life pretty much planned outbut then God had other plans for me. And Im fine with that. I dont really plan too much anymore but I hope to do a lot more traveling in the next couple years. Id love to work on a travel food blog and eat my way across the world. Also, another book. More blogging. A puppy. I have high aspirations.

What is the best piece of healthy living advice you can give to my readers?

Dont stress out too much! Life is way too short to be so hard on yourself. Youre human we all mess up from time to time. Dont beat yourself up over anything you eat. Just focus on how food makes your body feel and youll be fine. Just fine.

What is your opinion on all of the newest health and nutrition findings. Do you consider them, or choose your own approach instead of weeding through all of the research?

I always find myself going back to the tried and true: I focus on eating healthy, whole foodsyou know, like the food your grandma ate. I try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible.

What is your favorite way to stay fit?

Yoga. Its a miracle.

What is your favorite thing to eat? To cook?

This is the hardest question ever! I love food too much to pick just one thing. However, at the top of my list would have to be linguine and clams.the way my mom makes it.

And, the million dollar question: What is in your fridge?

Not much! I need to go to the store. Lets see.we have peanut butter, almond milk, tofu, tempeh, beets, homemade soup that is avocado..

Thanks so much, Jenna!

And that concludes my four weeks of Inspirational Women. Thank you to all the women who I interviewed, you all inspire me every day!

If you missed them, check out: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3!

Ill be back tomorrow with a weekly recap, of course!