Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Reynolds.
Carrie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I created Flavors of Fresh to help keep me accountable and motivated while making a lifestyle change.
Growing up, I was a competitive athlete but I never really thought about my diet until freshman year of college. I was away on an athletic scholarship and training a minimum of two times a day so it was important to learn how to properly fuel my body. Luckily, I had a roommate who was very interested in eating clean so I decided to adopt her healthy habits. Still though, I did not truly understand what clean eating was (we thought whole-grain goldfish was considered a healthy snack just to give you an idea).
Post-college and my time as an athlete, I started coaching and maintained what I thought was a healthy lifestyle. While I may have been healthy compared to my peers, I still had a lot to learn. After years of on-and-off dieting and a complicated relationship with food and my body, I finally found something that clicked: Paleo! It felt natural, “easy” (I say this loosely because completely changing your lifestyle is never easy) and like something I could do forever.
I began paleo after I joined my first CrossFit box and there was a 30-day paleo challenge. I was at an uncomfortable weight at the time and had no idea how I had gotten there. Even after my first round of eating strict paleo, I fell back into my old habit of yo-yo dieting.
It wasn’t until one summer when I was working abroad that I was able to cleanse myself, both mentally and physically, and saw the results I had been looking for. I only had fresh and natural foods available to me while abroad, so when I got back home I had no desire to eat anything else. About two years later, Flavors of Fresh was born. It was kind of a joke at first – I didn’t think anyone would actually follow my journey – but I told myself even if I just posted pictures to keep myself accountable, that would be enough. To my pleasant surprise there have been so many supportive people I have met along the way! I have been inspired by the amazing paleo community and am proud to be a part of it. Even if you are not strictly paleo, Flavors of Fresh, has tons of delicious recipes to please any palate!
My Instagram account, which started this whole journey, has truly evolved. In the early days, I was posting things strictly to keep myself accountable – that blurry, poorly-lit meal I picked up at the Whole Foods salad bar that was my post for the day. Once I began following other bloggers, I decided that I would try to take their recipes and put my own spin on it. Then, I decided to create recipes from scratch. I started playing around with natural light photos and then began styling the food to make my feed visually pleasing. Through this all, I have found my passion for food styling and recipe development. I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing companies, brands and fellow bloggers.
When I’m not cooking, I enjoy my morning workouts at Orangetheory Fitness, playing with my dog Mango, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family. I work in the city as a special events coordinator and am also a collegiate synchronized swimming coach and freelance choreographer on the side.
If you want to learn more about me and Flavors of Fresh, check out my weekly blog posts which include new recipes, then head on over to Instagram and follow @flavors_of_fresh
Has it been a smooth road?
It can be difficult to not compare yourself to other bloggers. There are so many people who are producing the same content as you, and it’s easy to look at what they are creating and think, “why aren’t my photos that pretty?” or, “why didn’t I think of that idea” or “why can’t I get as many likes as they do?”
It is so important to remember why you started. That is what helps to keep me grounded. I did not start for the likes or to be better than others, I started my blog to hold myself accountable and have a place where other likeminded health enthusiasts can find resources.
The other obstacle I face constantly is explaining my passion to loved ones. Some people in my life do not understand that on weekends, which is the only time I am able to cook and take photos to have content for my blog, I actually am working. It may seem, from the outside looking in, that I can make my own schedule or that it’s not that big of a deal if I hang out with friends instead of take photos one weekend, but I have to have the discipline to stay focused. I know that one day, when I see my photos in a magazine and have my own cookbook, it will all be worth it!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Flavors of Fresh story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in healthy recipes, specifically the paleo diet (grain free, dairy free, sugar free, legume free). I also specialize in food styling and I am known for my bright, vibrant food photos. I like to use natural elements in all of my photos whether that be flowers, or bits of the food from the dish scattered around the dish to frame the scene.
What sets me apart, besides my styling, would be my humor. I try to use my blog, and even the captions of my photos on Instagram, as a stress reliever so I am constantly taking stories about my own life and putting a funny twist on it to remind myself to find the humor in everything. I also love using humor to show everyone that the way you handle adversity (no matter how small) is what defines you and I want to be an advocate for always finding the positive in situations.
If I had to wrap it into one word, I would say my creativity is what sets me apart. I knew from a very young age that I was destined to do work that allowed me to be creative.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the next 5-10 years I see myself as a food stylist for a magazine and the author of my own cookbook.
I am constantly thinking about what the “next” Instagram will be, so I try to stay on top of the trends and look to see what content interests’ people because it is inevitable that Social Media trends will continue to grow and change. I also will always maintain authenticity because I think it is so easy to see when someone is not being genuine about a product, etc. so regardless of what changes happen in the market, I will always be true to myself.
- Website: www.FlavorsofFresh.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: flavors_of_fresh
- Facebook: fb.com/flavorsoffresh