I started this little blog called hungryhealthyhappy.wordpress.com with this short and sweet first post. After a few weeks, when I decided to purchase my own domain, hungryhealthyhappy.com was taken, so my URL became the blog you have grown to know (and hopefully) love, http://hungryhealthyhilary.com.
And what a year it has been! For the most part, I’ve really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of blogging (although there were a few tense, nailbiting moments as I went through some growing pains and learned about purchasing my own domain, being hosted on a different server, and all those fun little technical details).
I feel like I’ve come a long way in a year, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I have. So, for your reading pleasure, I present the HHH year in review (if you were looking for one of my typical Sum it up Sunday posts, it’s basically the same, just a super-extended version). I think it’s nice timing that my blog birthday is only a week after New Year’s Day, so it’s good timing for looking back on the year. Follow along as I share blog highlights and favourite posts (and feel free to laugh at my stellar photography skills in the early days. Although I know I still have a long way to go, I’d like to think I have improved ).
So, back when this whole blog began, I was following a “5 foods in 5 days” diet that I heard about on the Rachael Ray show to kickstart taking off a few holiday pounds (the foods were spinach, eggs, plain yogurt, raspberries and almonds/almond butter, in case you were wondering). The verdict’s still out on how much weight I lost, since I wasn’t using a scale, and just going by the fit of my jeans, but it was an interesting experiment. I still stand by what I said a year ago: I’m not a fan of cutting out foods for the long term, but doing this for a kick start couldn’t hurt, plus I was eating all “whole foods,” not any weird things/supplements. That being said, I’m not repeating it this year!
I also launched my “Favourite Things” series in January, with a post on winter fruits and veggies. I’ve let this series slide in the past few months, but I’m still proud of the posts I’ve done (check them out if you haven’t already). What do you think – would you like to see more Favourite Things posts? If so, any topic ideas in particular?
February, I began to develop my blogging voice a little more, and it also marked my first official shout-out to one of my favs, the beloved spaghetti squash.
I also shared some profoundly unhealthy (but incredibly delicious) recipes as I discovered the glory that is World Nutella Day, like my Nutella take on Paula Deen’s gooey butter cakes (so wrong, but oh, so right), which have since become such a favourite of my BFF’s husband that he offered to pay me fore them (I made them again for his birthday, for free ).
Another February first? Giving you the lowdown on how to swap cauliflower and/or celery root for mashed potatoes…still one of my all-time favourite swaps!
March, I made this totally fun (and delicious) Chinese food fake-out for a girls’ night in, showed you a SCARY picture of myself after running 11 miles, and hosted a fun tropical-themed clothing swap party since I wasn’t going anywhere warm (with delicious tropical-themed treats, of course).
In April, we saw a how-to on making homemade veggie chili, one of my favourite go-to healthy, homemade meals that never quite comes out the same way twice, but is delicious every time (try it now – perfect for the cold weather!). Then I went all hippy on you and made my own nut butter. Then I finished the month by making this “biscuit cake” that was apparently a childhood favourite of Prince William, and was served at his wedding, for a ladies’ retreat at my church. The squares weren’t healthy in any way, but were oh-so-delicious, and a HUGE hit!
May…I ran my first (VERY WET) half marathon, then I ate my way through Las Vegas and visited the Grand Canyon. On this trip, I ate so very much, but it really was the trip of a lifetime and such an enjoyable experience…so grateful I was able to do this!
August brought my birthday, and my much-anticipated trip to the Healthy Living Summit! While there, I collected some great swag, ate some great food (I know, I’m really good at that ), met a “famous” blogger and heard some great speakers (but more importantly, met the oh-so-cool Shana who is hilariously funny and talented, writes a super-awesome blog, and I am now lucky enough to consider her a blog buddy), and checked out a super-cool Italian restaurant and ran up the Rocky steps (FYI, I have since watched Rocky so I have now both watched and re-enacted the scene). And let’s not forget that tasty stop at the Hershey Chocolate Factory and delicious birthday meal after I got home! It was a whirlwind, a huge learning curve, but HLS really was an amazing experience. I’d go back in a heartbeat!
You’ll notice I skipped from May to August…this post is getting lengthy, and as much as I (and hopefully, you) love the world that is HHH, I don’t want to bore you to death. So, just a few more highlights from the year:
- That time I made my own Edible Arrangement (one of my proudest kitchen accomplishments to date, and I’ve successfully made 2 more since)
- Telling you about my undying love for Alton Brown and making his insanely delicious Lemon Ginger Frozen Yogurt with my new ice cream maker (why haven’t I made it again…why???)
- I re-joined Weight Watchers. While it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses (AKA I’ve been gaining weight while on the program and don’t know why), I do seriously love a lot of things about the new program (mostly the free fruits and veggies).
- I shared with you my deeply passionate and personal love letter to a vegetable that I had a tumultuous relationship in the past that has since turned into a passionate love affair: squash.
- I asked myself “What if”? to many healthy living/weight loss/blogging related questions (one of my favourite posts of all time).
- I wrote a tribute to my grandma and her old-school cooking and updated one of her classics in my healthy, new-school way.
- I completed a 25 km trail run and didn’t die in the process (and subsequently decided I was done with long distance running for the time being).
- I was featured in my local paper as well as in this one (you have to scroll down on that second link).
- I experimented with a wheat and dairy-free diet.
- And I shared honestly about my many struggles with weight and self-esteem (another favourite post).
I guess it’s been quite a year! I could keep going…my blog posts are like my children, it is SO HARD to pick favourites!
Another great thing about this year has been connecting with other cool blogging cats out there….some of whom I’ve gotten to meet in person, some of whom I hope to be able to meet some day, all of whom have impacted my life for the better…so a heart-felt thank you to my fellow bloggers and the amazing contribution you make to the blogosphere with each and every post.
And I can’t conclude this post without thanking you, my readers. Without you, I would have no reason to do what I do. Thank you for staying with me, being patient with my ramblings, for mentioning me to your friends/coworkers/relatives, for encouraging me when I’m down, and sharing your comments, ideas and inspiration. You help make HHH what it is today.
And so, I look back on one year in the life of HHH with an incredible sense of gratitude. I am so grateful for the platform that HHH has given me to write about what I love, and even more grateful that you have spent part of your year here listening to what I have to say. Here’s to many more years!