If you can believe it(we can’t), How to Eat is nearly nine years old.
Gosh, we’re proud.
First off, we want to be clear. Our love for each other is as big as it’s ever ever been.
Stepping away from this venture says nothing about our deep commitment to friendship, and everything about how we all grow and change as life inevitably inches forward.
We all know COVID-19 has changed so much, for so many.
For us, it forced us to pause, step back, and really examine the forest for the trees.
With busy young kids suddenly at home, an ongoing commitment to working on the front line in hospital, and losing the support of school systems, day care, and family members for childcare, it became impossible for us to keep the same pace, while also keeping our mental faculties.
Plus, seeing each other regularly, the most joyful piece of our partnership, was suddenly impossible.
Throughout the pandemic we talked (always with some wee voice yelling, crying or laughing in the background). About what comes next, about our hopes for our kids, our careers and our lives. What became clear, is that we’d both grown so much over these nine years. We’ve come so far in our thinking. About food and nutrition, sure. But also about friendship, partnership, entrepreneur life, and how we want to best serve others.
We hoped we’ve served you.
Both newly married and childless, with our careers as clinical dietitians fully underway, we wanted to express ourselves. We were passionate home cooks, avid restaurant goers, and at the time, we felt like our philosophy was on the fringe of dietetics. We loved food. All food. No matter the nutrient content. We were interested in where it came from, how it was made, and the people creating it. We were curious about the psychology of food and eating, and the relationships we make with food. We knew in our bones that food was so much more than nutrition, and in hindsight, it’s obvious we were just aching to learn more and to share it with the world.
For years, we primarily developed and shared new recipes which were meant to be simple, delicious and accessible for home cooks. But once kids came along our priorities shifted, as did the ideas and knowledge we wanted to share. We created a plan, started working on new creative content, built our social platforms, and (most importantly) starting networking with people we admired. We slowly morphed into food and nutrition communications team. We travelled, we wrote, we cooked and tested. We bought lights, hired a web designer, we put ourselves “out there”. We were building a business. All while helping others relax about food.
When we go back to the beginning and read our early blog posts and recipes, it’s clear we were only tentatively dipping our toes into the “f%&k diet culture” ideals we’ve now come to fully embrace. Back then, our dietetic training, heavy social pressure, and cultural norms influenced what we considered ‘healthful eating’. It pushed hard against our intuitions, which were to just enjoy food to the fullest.
Eventually, we found our voice. Having four girls between us sure had a lot to do with it. In learning how to feed our kids, talk about food and our relationships with it, we recognized that our intuition about eating, food and nutrition were exactly correct. Which you now know is, relax.
We’re proud to say we started in a different place than where we’ve landed. We’re proud that we’ve been willing to change our minds when new information presented itself, when someone else’s argument was compelling, when our way of thinking became old fashioned.
We evolved and re-invented ourselves as we learned. And boy did we learn.
- Fellow recipe creators, food writers and photographers, who have wrapped us up in their big, warm creative hugs and have inspired us to do better.
- Forward thinking dietitians and home economists, some new to the game, some seasoned veterans, who continue to push the boundaries of nutrition and dietetics, and to push us to keep up.
- Farmers and agriculture experts, who have welcomed us into their fields, their labs, and their homes.
- Chefs, who have stunned us with their artistry.
- Brand and media partners who trusted our voice, and who fostered professional relationships with an extra large side of friendship.
- Parents, who share a deep understanding of what’s at stake.
- You. Friends, family, and curious humans, who have read our blog, asked questions, engaged with us, and showed support of our little corner.
We thank you. So so much.
Thanks to you, we’ve learned when it comes to understanding food and nutrition, a commitment to collaborating with those involved at every level of our complex food system is the path forward.
We’ve learned that the more we know, the more we understand how little we know. And we’re good with that.
Food and nutrition are not black and white. For goodness sake, nothing is.
We’re embracing the grey more these days. We’re wading through the nuance of complex food and nutrition topics, and coming out on the other side more informed and less polarized. We’re less reactive and more relaxed, you could say.
We’re not entirely sure. And we’re OK with that, too.
For now, our blog and social accounts will remain alive, but inactive. Our recipe collection will remain available for free, as always, for the foreseeable future.
We’ll guide some of the incredible partners we’ve worked with over the years to new, fresh creators, RDs, PHEcs and food communicators we admire. We will be enthusiastic champions our colleagues, many of whom have become our dear friends.
We’re both committed to serving people in the best way we’re able, and our plan is to reflect on how we might do that, and how we might evolve next.
In the meantime we’ll be committing more time to family, all while mustering as much grace as we can to get through this pandemic.
We’ll see you again. But for now, here’s to many more delicious meals in our collective futures!
Erin & Dara2