For the past eight years, Teri Hutcheon has been sharing her go-to recipes, her intense workouts, and her beautiful Boxer with the entire internet, chronicling all of it on her website, A Foodie Stays Fit. "I originally started blogging to keep my friends and family updated when I went to college," she said. "But I was cooking a lot and taking a jogging class, so I started writing about food and fitness a lot more. I didn't intend for it to turn into a health blog, but it did!"
We caught her when she was in the middle of a long drive, to talk about staying healthy, being gluten-free, and what food she eats every single day.
Does being known as a health blogger make you feel like you have to eat a certain way, even when you're not writing about it?
I think it probably does. I think if you tell yourself that you're something, you're more likely to be that something. The blog sort of reinforces my behavior because it's so integrated into my life.
That said, do you ever want to go completely off the rails and, like, eat several pizzas?
Ha, no, I sometimes want to go off the grid and disappear for a week but I don't ever want to go off the rails. If I do eat something that is totally out of character, I generally post about it, just so people know that I'm a human. I eat healthy most of the time, both out of habit and because I don't want to feel like crap. My stomach is so finicky, it's generally not worth it.
I know you've been gluten-free for a while. Is that because of your finicky stomach?
Yeah. I was really sick growing up and would have to go home from my friends' parties early or I'd get sick on vacation. I had a colonoscopy when I was 18 and again when I was 24 and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. After college, a coworker taught me a lot about healthy eating and I started experimenting by removing things from my diet, like meat or dairy or whatever.
Once I cut gluten out, everything dramatically improved. I went to the doctor and said "I think I have a gluten intolerance" and they said "Great, don't eat gluten." Being gluten-free does make me feel better, but I do miss making bread. Going from making homemade bread from scratch to being gluten-free is a big change.
You might be the first person who misses making bread from scratch more than, like, eating Lucky Charms out of the box. What does being healthy mean to you?
It's multifaceted. For me, it's eating well, and that means real food, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, and eggs. It's not a lot of packaged, processed stuff. It's a balance of eating real food but still being realistic that you have to live your life and you can't make everything from scratch. I also can't imagine a life where I don't work out. It's that much a part of who I am. The other part is being balanced and taking a break when you need it, mentally or physically. I'm not going to sacrifice the little joys in life, like having coffee with a friend to make homemade RX bars or run three more miles.
What does healthy eating look like for you?
It's about making my own food rather than buying pre-made food. I like buying ingredients that will become a meal rather than buying a meal. Most of what I eat is probably pretty simple, in terms of the ingredient list.
What's your favorite healthy breakfast?
Eggs. I eat eggs literally every day.
Do you have a favorite grocery snack?
RxBars, Trader Joe's plantain chips, and Trader Joe's Kettle chips. I tend to crave salt.
Do you have any weird food rituals?
My husband would say it's weird that I can't stand to have a hot plate on my lap.
What's your go-to healthy dinner?
Salmon, a sweet potato, and roasted broccoli.
What do you eat when you're too tired to cook?
Zoe's Kitchen. I eat there a lot. They have a lot of healthy options, it's fast, and their cauliflower rice is shockingly good.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.