Dec. 21. 2015
Good Vibes Articles
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

Join me in welcoming Bjork and Lindsay, the talented duo behind the crazy popular food blog Pinch of Yum.

This month, I’m happy to share another Inspired Interview which is the last Inspired Interview of the year, next year will be a different format! They’re mostly known for being leaders in the blogging world and teaching others how to monetize their blog (and of course, sharing some great recipes too!). Read more about how they balance life/work, how they made the jump to blogging full time, and how they stay living whole and eating well. No matter if you’re a blogger or not, I think you’ll love their down to earth personalities, something I truly value in this blogging world!


INTERVIEW WITH the POY DUO

Name

• Lindsay Ostrom

If someone were to ask you what you “do”, what would you say?

• It depends. Sometimes, if I don’t really want to explain much, I say we own two online food media businesses. If I am willing to get into a longer conversation, I say I am a food blogger – but with the average person, there’s usually a lot of confusion around what that means, so it requires some explaining.

How would you categorize/describe your blog?

• Super delicious REAL food that’s practical for regular people (it hasn’t always been that way, but as I’ve “grown up,” my food choices have grown up as well). Ingredients you can find at a regular grocery store. I guess it’s also got elements
of personality and lifestyle, so that’s a part of how I categorize it as well. It’s not just a food site – it’s a personal food blog.

What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?

• Make haste slowly. I have to give Bjork the credit for sharing that one with me – most of the wise little tidbits in our business come from him. 🙂

Where do you draw most inspiration? Who? What?

• I am really inspired by visual things, so spending 15 minutes looking at pretty food on Instagram can be really inspiring for me in what and how I cook. I also love looking at cookbooks and menus from restaurants. And I LOVE to hear what “regular people” – my friends, family, neighbors – actually cook for dinner for their families. I don’t ever want to get so caught up in the food blog world that I lose touch with what the majority of people are eating, so I find it really inspiring to hear how people make real food work for them in a very normal, everyday setting.

 

What’s your favorite recipe on Pinch of Yum?

• Ooh, hard to say. I made an authentic Thai yellow curry from SCRATCH this year (like, the paste and everything) which was sort of a cooking bucket list item for  me. I had never done that before. So maybe for this year, that would be my favorite.

Picture this, you’re living your most perfect day- what does this look like?

• Beach/water, sun, walks, good food, good book, Bjork and Sage by my side.

Now what’s your actual typical day look like?

• Ha! Computer, kitchen, camera, run, eat, stress, repeat. No, that’s a little dramatic. But I do try to divide my week into days by category so I can really get in the zone with whatever I’m doing. So Tuesdays are my cooking days, Fridays are my
email catch up days, that sort of thing. Most days I sneak in a run or walk in the evening, Bjork and I eat dinner (late, like 8pm or later) and then we watch a few episodes of a show that we like.

Pinch of Yum has become one of the leading resources for new food bloggers
because of your excellent guidance and how much you share about your businesscan
you tell us a bit about the how and why you decided to share this?

• When we started, we had no resources. No one was talking about food blogging as a business other than to say it’s not possible to make money with a food blog or food media work online. We started talking with other bloggers and experimenting with our own site, and we quickly found that there was a lot that could be done that wasn’t being shared anywhere else. Bjork was really the one with the vision for that side of the brand, but at this point I think we’re both equally interested in how to use that portion of our brand to continue to develop the business and offer genuinely helpful information to people.

Income reports, these are fascinating and are probably intriguing for many bloggers. It can look glamorous at first, but what’s the reality behind hitting these marks and goals?

• Tons of work. I know it sounds cliche, but really. Honestly. Hours and hours and hours of unpaid work, at 5am before going to our day jobs, at 9pm after coming home, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. We’re talking YEARS of this crazy schedule. Sometimes we joke that in order to get here, we went through a period of maybe three years where we “sold our souls” to the work of building the blog. The weird thing is that even though that’s probably true in some sense, it never felt like something we didn’t want to do. It was almost like the thing you can’t give up. We loved it so much – I loved it so much – that I just sort of became addicted to the game of growing it into something more or reaching that next
benchmark.

What’s something you wish someone would’ve told you about owning a business?

• That “success” doesn’t equal happiness. I am just as happy today as I was during the first year of doing my blog when only a handful of people were reading it and I was making absolutely no money. The journey, the WORK itself, is the fulfilling
part.

Lindsay, you were a teacher full time, can you tell us a bit about how you and Bjork
both took the jump from full time “9-5’s” into creating this passion into this career?

• It was a challenge. We went back and forth about it for about 2 years. Some days we’d think – I HAVE to leave my day job. Some days we’d thing – I could NEVER leave my day job. Financially, we could have left our day jobs much sooner, but I think for us the unusual thing was how much we actually enjoyed what we were doing (me teaching, and Bjork working for a nonprofit). We weren’t looking for an out. But eventually, the work life balance was just so out of whack that it was time to hone in on just ONE thing, and we both felt like the thing that was most exciting to us was pursuing our own businesses.

Most people think running your own business is sunshine, rainbows, and all easy,
it’s far from it! Can you tell us about challenges that occur and how you deal with
them?

• It’s the best and worst thing. You’re never “working”, in a sense, but on the flip side, you’re also always “on”. Because even though you can do things like take a little time in the middle of the afternoon to go for a walk, you also have the pressure of constantly thinking about your job and trying to put out fires whether it’s between the 9-5 hours or late on a Saturday night. You can never fully disconnect or leave work behind. At least not where we are right now. I think what we’re moving towards in order to combat that challenge is the building of a team. This year when we went to the cabin with my family, I was able to take the whole two weeks off from work and just check in as I felt like it because we had a team member who was monitoring the site and responding to emails. That shift has been huge for us.

You both have such a fun and realistic approach to food and recipes that encourages
readers to cook at home. What’s your typical meal for…

First thing upon waking: oatmeal, yogurt, coffee coffee coffee
Morning: LaraBars, fruit, almonds
Lunch: Soup and sandwiches – funny story: we actually went to highschool together and we would always end up standing next to each other in the soup and sandwich hot lunch line. The love runs deep.
Supper: Curry, pasta, salad, or on a really busy night, veggie pizza!
Snacks or sweets: chocolate chip cookies – unfortunately we both love the cookie dough more than the actual cookies…
Favorite beverage: LaCroix or Bai5

If you could pick one food or meal to eat over and over again, what would it be?

• If nutrition didn’t count, probably chips or cookies. That’s so anti-fitspo. On a more inspiring note, I also love a really good, perfect peach and vegetarian curry just seems to always be the right choice.

Living well isn’t just about nourishment of food, it’s also about managing stress,
sleeping well, and exercise. What’s your favorite…

Exercise routine you can’t live without: for me – running! and for Bjork – I don’t know. He’s been lifting a lot lately but he definitely went though a phase where he loved P90X. Way to decompress from a busy day: for me – talking for hours or going for a walk. and for Bjork – playing Madden.

You have an adorable pup, Sage, what’s her role in Pinch of Yum?

• Keeping us sane! We love our Sage girl so much, it’s just way beyond crazy. There isn’t much that can make us stop work early to come home and do something recreational, but Sage has that power! We love taking her on little trips to the dog park and just enjoying the afternoon together even if it means calling it quits on work a little earlier than usual.

What’s a question I should’ve asked but didn’t and answer!

• ha! um… favorite TV show? No, don’t ask that, because then I’d have to answer Revenge and I’d be a little embarrassed about it.

What’s next for Pinch of Yum in the next 2-3 years?!

• Probably more of an emphasis on video, and my dream would be to get a studio space where I can work, photograph, cook, and host events. [update! Pinch of Yum now has a studio space, makin’ those dreams come true!]

So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?

I hope you enjoyed reading all about their journey and find Pinch of Yum one of your new favorite blogs to regularly read and support- they’re such a great duo! Also, their snapchats are hilarious and Sage makes quite the appearance.

Something big is coming…

Something big is coming to NS! Speaking of goals in the next year, I can’t wait to share something I’ve been working on this past year in a couple weeks! Be sure that you’re signed up for the Nutrition Stripped newsletter to not only get free eBooks and guides BUT to also be the first to hear about these exciting news! Sign up here.

xx McKel