blogging business life Wellness Work

So Much More Than a Food Blog

July 22, 2016

I rarely find myself looking back on old content, but I randomly got sucked into the rabbit hole and suddenly found myself reading post after post from almost 3 years ago.

OG Healthy Maven.

The pictures kind of made me cringe and I found myself rolling my eyes at the things I thought it was appropriate to say on the internet. But I was also struck by how deeply honest, carefree and real these posts felt.

I could feel the inspiration bubbling out from within the screen. And if I close my eyes and think back to that time I can relive these emotions so well. The newness, the excitement, the constant feeling of discovery.

It’s not easy to admit this, but in looking back at these posts I can see how a lot of this passion has been lost in the pursuit of running a business. The truth is, it isn’t easy doing both; maintaining the passion of your hobby and making money from it. I’ve tried to balance them both, but it’s a delicate process that I don’t always succeed at. Looking back on old posts makes this all the more apparent.

More-than-a-Food-Blog-1I remember before I quit my job to run THM full-time how badly I wanted to take the leap. What I never could have predicted was that in the process I would have to make some sacrifices. When you depend on others to make money, you can’t just wake up everyday and write what you want.

You can’t just whip up any recipe and hope it does well. You need to consider your analytics, your sponsors and staying on top of your content calendar.

and the numbers…they start to matter.

The page views, the likes, the money. You’re able to tangibly measure your success and can so easily be wrapped up in trying to maximize these to validate what you’re doing. And when your business is so intertwined with you, it oftentimes feels like you’re validating yourself.

More-than-a-Food-Blog-3When I started THM, I wanted it to be a place to explore health, in all its capacities. I truly believe that health goes so far beyond the kitchen. That mental health, exercise, relationships, travel and everything in between all add up to a healthy lifestyle.

But the food stuff stuck. It brought in the page views, the likes and the money. And while I do truly love food, I don’t think it is the be all and end all.

This past year I exceeded every expectation I could possibly have imagined for my business. I’m reaching half a million people a month, make more money than I could have ever conceived and a social following that people strive for daily. By all definitions, I’ve made it.

But here’s the truth: I’m unhappy.

I’m unhappy with how I’m spending my time, with the content that I’m putting out and the community I’m building.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the flexibility my schedule allows, every recipe I’ve posted, and those of you who engage with The Healthy Maven on a daily basis, but I want this place to be so much more.

I want to go back to spending my days feeling like I was in a constant state of discovery; to share recipes when I feel like it but explore all other areas of health beyond what I pulled out of the oven, and to build a community that shares in this passion. I want to truly and deeply connect with what I’m doing and with those of you who want to follow along on this journey.

I could have said “fuck it” and separated my business from me and continued along on this path of success, but that would mean accepting the conventional definition of success that I’ve never been able to fully embrace. I need to love what I’m doing, even if it means less money, fewer likes and alienating some of my audience.

So what does all of this really mean? If you’ve been paying attention the last few weeks, you’ve noticed that this place has looked a little different. There’s been a lot less food and more personal posts. I’ve needed this space to get back to a place where I can share my thoughts, discover new passions and openly talk about my triumphs and tribulations.

I want to talk about my new journalling habit and apps that have changed the health game for me. I want to talk meditation and my struggles with exercise. I want to share more videos and green beauty tips.

And I want to talk about food.

I want to get back to the roots of THM, where every post felt like it could burst with inspiration and passion. And I want to wake up everyday and love what I do.

THM was never intended to be just a food blog, and it won’t return to being the way it was supposed to be unless I change it.

Does it scare me? Hell yeah. I know that moving in a new direction (or rather-returning to the old) means that traffic will fall, people will leave and money will decrease. But I’m confident that all will be right in the end when I follow my intuition instead of my ego.

So expect some food and a whole lot more. We’re going back to how this place started and as I shared in my very first post, “I hope you’ll join me for the ride”.


Would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts below. Lots of love <3


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  • Reply
    Sara @ Oats & Rows
    July 22, 2016 at 6:22 am

    I’m sure it is a scary change for fear of the unknown, but it is also exciting and you putting yourself first and adding more into your blog that you want to share is so great. Can’t wait to keep reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I personally am excited about this direction, while I love all your food posts and recipes and find that they inspire me to cook (which is saying a lot since I never cook) I also love getting to know bloggers beyond the food and reading about their own struggles, triumphs and daily life. Those are the posts I find the most relatable since it’s obviously super human.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Hey Davida, thanks for sharing where you’re at right now. I’ve always enjoyed your blog — you have a clear voice and your personality shines through always — but am excited for you to “get back to your roots” so to speak and focus less on food and more on everything else that goes into a healthy lifestyle. I’m so lazy in the kitchen and while I try recipes here and there, they’re kind of just pretty pictures for me because I know the recipe won’t look nearly as good as yours if I’m the chef doing the cooking. So yea, love what you do and happy to read all your non-food posts. 😉 Keep doing what you do!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Congrats on being brave enough to take that leap once again and to return to your roots! You have every reason to be proud and know that only good things will come of this in the long run! (And yes, I strive for your level every single day!) 🙂

  • Reply
    Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
    July 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I feel like I didn’t find my true blogging “voice” and posting content until this year, and I’ve had my blog for 2 years! I really enjoy everything you post though, whether it’s food, personal, or random. But I’m so happy you discovered this about yourself and I’m looking forward to the upcoming changes that you might have for THM and you can bet I’ll be along for the ride!! <3

  • Reply
    Kelsey Preciado
    July 22, 2016 at 9:24 am

    DAVIDA!!! This is amazing. The best part about you is your no bullshit honesty and your true passion for health in its full capacity. I myself would love to hear more about what keeps you sane especially running a blog full time. I know you talked about stress and sleeping before and I’ve been dying to know if it’s improved and what you are doing! I know your readers will stick around for YOU no matter what you are posting about because you bring such value and great content to this blog every week. You’ve made me face mask Friday and dream about Iceland – you’re an inspiration!!! Okay long winded- love ya BAI!

  • Reply
    Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
    July 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I love this post and all of your honesty. I love reading food posts, but I also love the more honest posts too and reading what people feel passionate about. I am excited to see THM go back to its roots and see where you take it. I know that I have always enjoyed both the food and other content posts that you write so I am looking forward to more 🙂

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 9:47 am

    You are one brave lady and I loved this post! I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts about a holistic approach to a healthy life (versus just food). But compared to many other blogs I’ve read, I think you’ve also done a really great job balancing the business and sponsored post side of things, with more personal posts. I’ve never felt like I was just reading advertisements on your blog! But good for you for realizing you’re unhappy and making a change, that’s such a hard thing to do and I look forward to your future posts!

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    July 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

    *Big big hugs Davida!*

    Your post resonated with me. First of all because my definition of healthy is just like you said so much more than “just” about food: it’s about a healthy work-life balance, hobbies and travels, relationships (be it with a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband, etc. or your friends, family, pets, etc), exercise/get your body to move, de-stress, meditate, healthy beauty routines, connecting with nature, sleep, healthy thoughts and so much more, all contributing to a general wellbeing that we should all strive for.

    And confession time: when I decided to start blogging this is what I wanted to blog about: the whole range of things that interest me and that I find exciting and necessary for a healthy, happy, peaced out Stella. And this is exactly why you and your blog resonated with me from the very beginning. Because I felt through your posts (even though you say they lost their true, original, enthusiastic Maven-quality) that you were the same, kind of like my health-soul sister, because all these aspects of health and wellbeing mattered to you!

    I found it so disheartening when people told me that I needed to lose all my other interest because a blog needed a niche and had to focus on just 1 thing, i.e. food. Because I felt that, sure I love eating and cooking, but the picture is so much broader, I’m much more colourful and interesting (and I believe that everyone as well) than only that.

    So I couldn’t be cheering any louder than I am now, because this post, and your bravery makes me incredibly happy and proud! Go Girl, blog about everything that excites/stresses/worries you, I can’t wait to read about them and connect with you.

    I want to read about your new journalling habit (I’ve always tried but never stuck with it due to busy days and nights and would love to see how it’s going for you), and health related apps that you’ve discovered – I’m always behind with tech stuff, so this would be very eye-opening for me. And since I want to make meditation part of my everyday, I would love to read about how it goes for you, your tips, recommendation or your struggles! (Because I feel lazy often and put off exercising. I’d rather hike or walk any day than jumping up and down in a gym. It would be great to read about your struggles since you come off as such an energetic, sporty woman that without you mentioning it, I never would have thought you struggle with exercising.) And I could go on.

    To keep it brief: write about anything and everything that is current, relevant to you, because I know I would only love THM and you even more for it! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Call me crazy and an idealist but I think this will lend you more followers, more views, and hopefully more money. I think when you follow your heart and enjoy what you do, people will see and feel it, and that’s what will draw an audience, more so than another recipe post, although I do love me some avocados these days. Either way, at least you’ll be happy and at the end of the day, that’s what truly matters. You do you!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Mango About Town
    July 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I’m so excited for you and for THIS. When I started reading your blog (before you went full time I think?) I could see your passion in every post. Honestly I’ve seen myself read less and less of your posts in the recent past but I didn’t really know why – I imagine it had something to do with this! I’m so excited you’re returning to your roots and I cannot wait to follow you back there. Keep up the genuine work we all love you for!!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
    July 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I feel like I am about to word vomit so I’ll try and keep it short. Know that you already have an amazing following and community and I think so many more people will find themselves in awe of you, wanting to learn from you and become the best versions of themselves, because of YOU and who you are. I will obviously be joining along every step of the way and never look back. Also know that at least once a week the dinner convo is “What’s the Maven up to this week?” lol <3

  • Reply
    Les @ The Balanced Berry
    July 22, 2016 at 10:27 am

    YES YES YES. Davida, I love this post so much, and I am convinced now more than ever that we are maybe kinda sort of actually the same person because I share these exact same feelings. I think holistic content that serves the mind, body and soul is so much more interesting and fun to follow (not that I don’t love food, but you know what I mean). I can’t wait to see that passion and inspiration.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Eat the Gains
    July 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I personally love all your beauty, travel, and healthy living posts outside of the food. The food is great, but I feel like the way you communicate to readers is so much stronger. Your message you put out there is so key for people struggling with finding themselves. I am still struggling with finding my voice and this is so inspiring. As long as you are putting your real self out there, people will follow. I know I will be!

  • Reply
    Sahar Aman
    July 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

    AMEN!!!! Love this and can’t wait to see where THM goes with your heart and soul behind it xo

  • Reply
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health
    July 22, 2016 at 11:28 am

    it takes a lot of courage to write something so honest..and this is why i have adored you from the very beginning! i could see how it is hard to balance the business and personal side of things..but at the end, it really comes down to what makes you happy right? im excited for a newer take on THM. lately, i have been rethinking about how i do blogging as well..i want more time to connect and share old content rather than push new things all the time..and try to be present everywhere…

  • Reply
    Lisa W.
    July 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I applaud you for your honesty and will continue to be here.

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    July 22, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    I’m very excited for what is to come here! I started following you back before you made it (as you said), and while I love everything you’ve done and am sooo impressed, I’m excited to hear a more personal side too!! Good for you for following your instinct and doing what makes you feel best!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I can’t wait! Love you,


  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    July 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I think many of us bloggers can relate to this. It’s tough balancing a business and a passion (not to mention a personal life), but I can tell you from experience the personal stuff is what brings followers, not the recipes. I find myself falling into that trap every now and then and have to remind myself of my WHY. You’re awesome lady and no matter what you do, we’re all here for you!

  • Reply
    Julie @ Table for Two
    July 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I 100% love love this. Be unapologetically YOU. This blog space is YOURS and OWN it, girl. Don’t be scared. The ones that who love you and enjoy your content for what it is truly worth are the ones that will stick around <3 so proud of you for being honest about this and taking a step back and not getting pushed in a direction that you are unhappy about. xx

  • Reply
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma
    July 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I know anyone who turns their passion into a business can relate to this! I think it’s so important to our own health to stay true to what we feel passionate about, and people notice. Like many of your posts, I’m bookmarking this one to reference later on – because I know i’ll need it 🙂

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons' Share)
    July 22, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Your happiness trumps all! Congrats on realizing you need to return to that!

  • Reply
    Cookin Canuck
    July 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Good for you! Readers will come back for more and be wholeheartedly invested in reading your blog because YOU are wholeheartedly happy with what you are creating. I can’t wait to see where you go with it!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I hear ya! This was me about a year and a half ago. When you work for yourself it’s so hard to balance personal with business because they ARE so intertwined. But I made some really big changes and it made a world of difference. And I have a feeling that while you may see a little dip short term, long term you’ll find that going back to what makes you truly happy will pay you back ten-fold in the end. Congrats for having the guts to make the changes – a lot of people don’t!
    PS – I’m very curious about your new journaling habit – it’s something I’ve just gone back to as well. I’ll look forward to hearing more!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Bell
    July 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I think this is going to be great for you and all of us that follow you☺ You have made a choice to be happy and that will effect everyone in your life in a positive way.

  • Reply
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.
    July 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Kudos on having the bravery to admit how you’re feeling and share it with the world at the risk of disrupting the successful model you’ve built. I have a feeling people will stick around to see where you take this journey next. I know I will 🙂

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Your honesty and insight inspire me! Will obviously continue to join you for the ride! XO

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I feel like I could have written this post myself! I too am transitioning my food blog into more, and I totally understand losing the passion and wanting to get back to what inspires you. I hate the constant need to “get a recipe up” instead of when I actually feel like it. Thanks for being honest and putting it out there; it feels good to know I’m not alone. =)

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Love this post lady and I honestly don’t think you will lose followers. People will see how passionate you are about the topics you’re writing on and they will be drawn to the content. I feel the same way about being a food focused blog sometimes… I just want a day to go by where I don’t have to focus on FOOD, ya know! That’s why I’ve tried to add in other lifestyle components. There’s sooooo much more to life than oats and almond butter.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Congratulations Davida! You simply must follow your passion. In my experience, as long as you love what tire doing, the money will follow. This is a brave, wonderful thing!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    *you’re* not tire! 😂😂 silly spellcheck!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Looking forward to all of your future posts 🙂

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    July 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    For a long time I was told to “narrow the focus” of my blog if I wanted it to be successful, but given that it really is just my passion project I realized that what made me happy was to talk about everything food related – sustainability, politics, health, restaurants, everything. I can imagine that when your livelihood depends on your posts you feel much more of an obligation to post the stuff that brings back the most $$ or followers!

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    July 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    This REALLY resonates with me, Davida! I get that same feeling when I go back and read posts from 5 years ago (yes, with cringe-worthy photos haha) when everything was just FUN! And it is different when it becomes more of a business and I don’t dislike the changes and progress but I Think it’s so much harder to truly stay connected and passionate!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    July 22, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    geebuz, totally feel like I could have written this. I reckon you’ve successfully maintained THM voice throughout each and every post, even food ones- It’s just the sad nature of it how people often just skip to the recipe/workout/etc.

    It’s a tough thing to balance but I think if you don’t feel even 99% into it like you were before, it’s only going to provide benefits to step back and assess. I’ve slowly started including more random/life fails/old school travel posts for the fun of it and while the views/$ may not be there, damn they are exciting AF to write, even if its just for me.

  • Reply
    Lisa Chase
    July 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I just stumbled on your blog today but had to comment. Good for you! It’s so important to drive your life from a place of intuition and joy rather than ego. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog
    July 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I LOVE this Davida! And I am so excited for what’s to come! I’d like to do much of the same actually and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I think this post was the final push I needed to really dive in to OG Healthy Helper blogging. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    July 22, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Davida ♥︎ I’ve missed you. It’s been so awesome to see your growth as a professional blogger, but it hurts my heart that t’s not been fulfilling you. But it’s only bittersweet, because I could not be more excited that you’re going back to your roots and letting the world interact with your sarcastic, fun-loving, easy-going side. Here for ya wherever the journey takes you!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    This makes me so excited Davida! I am really excited to see youuuu back on the blog more 🙂
    I have been exploring lately where I go next when I finish my course and my intuition is like just show all of you and mix it all up, doesn’t have to be one thing. Mind, body, spirit, life, imperfections etc, it can be it all as long it feels right and true to us. The people we are supposed to help and serve will come <3
    I feel the more we follow our intuition, the better, even if it doesn't make total sense sometimes <3

    • Reply
      July 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      and not that you weren’t here before but you know what I mean!! Do what makes youuu happiest 🙂

  • Reply
    July 24, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I think you may lose some readers, but you may also gain some! As a blogger though I can totally agree with you, changing something or trying to make something your own can be total scary, but I truly respect your decision and can’t wait to get to know you more!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Davida, it’s your blog, at the end of the day. Sure, your viewers influence what you provide for them but you are the one that is able to create the quality content that they love! I wish you the best in this change and I totally support whatever your heart desires to do!

  • Reply
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    July 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I remember the first post I ever read on THM – it was your bircher muesli recipe. You talked about how it was such a staple recipe, but you didn’t want to post it because it wasn’t the type of recipe to go “viral.” But, you posted it anyway. From the beginning,you have always been honest, down-to-earth, funny as hell, and relatable. That’s why I keep reading – no matter what you’re writing. I hope you get to make this place something you are truly proud of again. <3

  • Reply
    Ashley @ My Design Love Affair
    July 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you for being so transparent! I am a new blogger and at times I believe that I am so overwhelmed with all the “new stuff” that I am not taking the time to enjoy the beginning. Thank you so much for this post!!

  • Reply
    Olivia Gray
    July 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I. love. this.
    As a recent college grad, I’ve struggled with knowing what I “truly” want to do. I was a business major and for all of my life I’ve felt like I needed to do things a certain way. In the past year, I’ve realized that the way everyone else seemingly does things, is not right for me at all. Since I’ve always thought that things had to be done a certain way, I never really confronted myself about what I truly wanted. But in the past few months I’ve been forced to. It’s SO amazing that you are sticking up for what you truly want and believe in and being honest in the fact that despite your success, you’re unhappy where you are. So many people are afraid to admit that and continue on a path because it’s what they’re “supposed to do.”
    Thank you, for not only being a constant source of inspiration, but a true and honest leader. I hope that one day I’ll be as strong and as confident in my intuition as you are. I can’t wait to see where this new chapter takes you! Sending lots of love your way!

  • Reply
    Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    July 26, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers – I can only imagine what it’s like when you depend on your blog for your income! But I’m glad you’ve realized what will make you happiest. I learned a similar lesson when I chose being a dietitian over a doctor – happiness really does trump money. Looking forward to your new direction! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    The narratives are the only things that keep me coming back. I agree, blogs shouldn’t just be online recipe books, but stories of a journey 🙂

  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I loved this post!!! As a recent college grad, I too struggle with wanting to love my job while simultaneously “being successful” (i.e. having a conventional job and making good money). I really loved this talk Josh Radnor gave on success and happiness:

  • Reply
    Christina Rice
    August 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this. I love food blogs and follow a lot of them religiously, but honestly, recently I’ve been frustrated with the fact that so many people are just only talking about food. I want MORE. I want everything you said you want to write about. I want to get to know all of the food bloggers I’ve come to know and love, and to learn about what’s going on in their heads and minds besides recipes. I can’t WAIT for all of the new content you’ll be putting out there – recipes, yes, but EVERYTHING ELSE – even more so. Thank you for being so honest and open, and I’m so excited to see what you post next!

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