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Food Blogger Spotlight: Anne-Marie Nichols from This Mama Cooks!

AMNichols500x500This week’s Food Blogger Spotlight is shining on Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks. This lifestyle blog has evolved from seasonal to sensational. Originally created as a place to discuss her Thanksgiving plans, This Mama is now a cornucopia of helpful information for, “busy moms and their families.” Whether you’re searching for a new recipe, ways to get your kids to eat their veggies, how to eliminate gluten from your diet or even exercise tips, Anne-Marie has an app for that. . . I mean, a post for that.

Recently, Anne-Marie spoke to us about her blog and its evolution.

Why did you start your food blog? This Mama Cooks! was originally a blog about my Thanksgiving plans and recipes I liked. Then I started taking Wilton cake decorating classes and featuring cakes that I made. After that I started blogging about a few different weight loss plans, including Weight Watchers, so it became This Mama Cooks! On a Diet. Then I started incorporating posts about food sensitivities and allergies including gluten free, dairy free and egg free recipes. From there I expanded to incorporate posts on healthy lifestyle subjects such as exercise and fitness, healthy travel, healthy pets, dental health and hygiene, skin care, mental health, and so on. My blog’s tagline is, “Healthy recipe and lifestyle tips for busy moms and their families.” So I try to write about any health related subjects that would be of interest to moms.

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I believe in the 80/20 rule – if you eat healthy 80% of the time, you can get away with indulging 20% of the time. (Though I believe in sticking to “healthy” indulgences like a glass of red wine or dark organic chocolate versus a cupcake.) However, I feel that what may be healthy for you may not work for someone else. For example, you may find that a vegetarian diet keeps you feeling energetic and at your idea body weight. Whereas your best friend may feel like a Paleo diet works best for her. I’m hoping in the future, we’ll be scanned by our doctors like they do on Star Trek, and told that a certain food and exercise plan will be ideal for our DNA profile.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I grew up with a dad who was a health food and vitamin nut. However, it wasn’t until I was trying to lose weight that I developed an interest in it. I got into healthy food more passionately when I was diagnosed with several food sensitivities, too.

What are a few of your favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen? After visiting Hawaii, I love using Hawaiian sea salts. I’ve also fallen in love with O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, NAKANO rice vinegar (a client), and ground chipotle chile pepper.

Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how? Food doesn’t only have to taste good, it has to look good. Even my family has gotten into the act. I find that when my husband cooks, he’s started to style the food for the Instagram shots.

Favorite recipe to date? Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad - This watermelon salad is a lovely blend of savory and sweet. Plus it sort of tricks you – at first glance the watermelon and herbs look like a sashimi and seaweed salad!

asian-citrus-watermelon-sal

What 3 recipes would you like to share with our readers: 
Three vegetable based recipes from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet!
Spicy Celery Root Carrot Slaw Salad
Marinated Vegetables with Tofu Cooked Three Ways
Layered Mexican Christmas Eve Salad With Smoked Beets

Anne-Marie is featured in our series of spotlights on healthy food bloggers. Be sure to check back next Sunday to meet another food blogger in our midst

Also Read:

Billy from Wit and Vinegar

Camila of Como Come Cami

Chanie from Busy in Brooklyn

September 22nd, 2013

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