It is Tuesday again! Happy Tuesday! Time for another installment of “a day in the life.” This week we are getting a glimpse of Shelby from Diabetic Foodie. Shelby is a great friend of mine and is also a founding member of Virtual Potluck. She’s a talented cook who also happens to be a type 2 diabetic. She shares diabetes-friendly recipes on her site, but they are more than worthy of anyone that loves to eat! Make sure to read more about her food philosophy in her about me section.
Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.
My name is Shelby Kinnaird and I live in one of the most gorgeous places on earth – Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. You know that famous diagonally-striped lighthouse? It’s about 7 miles from my house. I grew up surrounded by terrific Southern cooks and never met a fried food or dessert I didn’t like. About 13 years ago I found out that I have Type 2 diabetes. Frustrated by the quality of most “diabetic” recipes (too many artificial ingredients and too BORING), I started Diabetic Foodie in 2010. It’s geared for a diabetic-friendly, heart-healthy lifestyle, but isn’t just for diabetics. I think anyone who is concerned about their health and likes to eat fresh, wholesome food that tastes good will enjoy the recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always eat perfectly. I am powerless in the presence of a good french fry, for example. I’ve found that blogging helps me keep my own diet on track.
Take me through your day.
My schedule varies wildly and I do travel quite a bit, but here’s what it might look like on a typical day when I’m home:
7:00 am – Wake up, take blood sugar, check weight, make some green tea (or more accurately, drink a cup from the pot that The Grillmaster made for me), read email, check Facebook and Twitter, decide meal plan for the day
8:00 am – Breakfast w/The Grillmaster, go over to do list for day
8:30 am – Start on the to do list, which might involve working on the blog, cooking, doing projects for my web design clients, bookkeeping and/or attending meetings. We also own a couple of rental houses (Outer Banks, NC and near Bar Harbor, ME) and there is ALWAYS work to be done for them whether it’s coordinating with property managers, ordering supplies, tracking the rental schedule, lining up repairs, etc.
11:00 am – Social hour at the post office and grocery store run. We don’t have mail delivery on the island, so everyone gets a PO box and has to go to the post office to receive their mail. You can’t get out of there without talking to at least three people you know. And the postmaster (postmistress?) recognizes EVERYBODY. It’s definitely the place where “everyone knows your name” (which is fine until you’ve got that giant package from Victoria’s Secret stuffed under your arm).
12:00 pm – Lunch, check Facebook and email, go through mail
1:00 pm – Back to the to do list. Avoid returning phone calls. (I HATE talking on the phone. Email me, text me or message me on Facebook and I’ll respond. If you call me, all bets are off.)
4:00 pm – If the weather’s nice, take a walk on the beach. (This moves to early morning during the summer.) If it’s not, do a 30-minute exercise routine or some yoga. (Who am I kidding? There’s no way I do this every day. But I like to pretend I do.) Take my morning shower.
5:00 pm – Back to the to do list.
Sometime between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm (depending on time of year) – watch sunset. We live in one of the only places on the East Coast where we can drive a mile and watch sunrise over the water (Atlantic Ocean) or sit on our deck and watch sunset over the water (Pamlico Sound). We try to watch sunset every single day and get really cranky when we can’t.
6:30 pm – Turn iPod to shuffle mode and make dinner with assistance from The Grillmaster. (Or, if I’ve had a really busy day, he’ll cook and let me sit, feet on coffee table, reading a magazine while he makes dinner.) If the recipe is for the blog, make notes and take photos. Curse my house for not having a great spot with good light to take food photos.
7:30 pm – Eat dinner, watch news.
8:00 pm – Clean up, watch mindless television or a movie and read.
11:00 pm – Hit the sack
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
kitchen scale, microplane
What is the most important part of your day? Why?
Watching sunset. It’s when The Grillmaster and I reconnect after doing our own thing all day and is my transition from “work mode” to “home mode.”
What is your favorite part of your day? Why?
The morning – it’s when I feel most productive and most creative.
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
Anytime I have to return a phone call. To me, the telephone is the least efficient method of communication because both parties have to be available (and coherent) at the same time. If I send you an email, you can respond when it’s convenient. If I call you, it’s an automatic interruption which may or may not be welcomed. Obviously, there are some instances when the telephone is the best choice, like when you’re sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire. Of course, that’s when your husband has put his cell phone in the pocket of his coat that he left in the car when he went into the bookstore to gab with the owner. For what seemed like HOURS.
If you could choose one room in your house to spend the WHOLE day in, which room would it be? Why?
The living room. Most beach houses (ours included) have a reverse floor plan, which means that the bedrooms are downstairs and the main living spaces are on the top floor so you can enjoy the views. In our top-floor living room, the couch is comfy and the view is spectacular.
If you could choose one room in your house to remodel (on an unlimited budget!) which room would it be and why?
The kitchen and dining area, which is sort of together. Our U-shaped kitchen works okay, except that The Grillmaster likes to clean up after me as I cook. If he opens the dishwasher, it blocks access to the stove. Also, the nook where we have the table is really cramped. We like to entertain, but it’s hard to fit more than four people around the table at a time.
What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
During football season, it’s definitely Saturday. I’m a Virginia Tech fan and I love watching my Hokies play! During the rest of the year, it’s probably Sunday. I usually do a lot of cooking, reading and relaxing on Sunday.
If you had to choose one place to travel to every year over and over, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?
It used to be the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but I liked it so much I moved here! If it was summer, I’d have to say Maine, near Bar Harbor. We have a rental house there and I love hiking in Acadia National Park, kayaking in the Western Bay and eating lobster. If it was winter, it would probably be the Florida Keys. We stayed in Islamorada for 10 days last January and it was very rejuvenating.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?
My ideal mode of travel would be to go somewhere and spend at least six weeks there, expenses paid by someone else, of course. I like to get a feel for how the “locals” actually live rather than just seeing snapshots of where the tourists spend their money. I would love to visit various places in Europe, especially France and the Greek Isles. I also really want to visit Hawaii.
What is your favorite quote or verse?
From Julia Child: “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?
Actually, it’s a recipe featuring an ingredient I don’t like at all – mushrooms! While doing a Virtual Potluck promotion with Marx Foods, I received some top-of-the-line black trumpet and maitake mushrooms. My husband was SO excited – in the eight years we’ve been together, I have NEVER cooked ANYTHING with mushrooms. I decided to suck it up and make Spicy Mushroom Swirls – mushrooms and chile peppers rolled up in puff pastry. I’m very proud of myself for cooking with mushrooms!
What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?
Laziz Tikka Masala (Boneless Tandoori Chicken in Spicy Sauce).
What have you learned since you began blogging?
That I’m a better fit with “foodies” than with “diabetics.” So many diabetics feel like they can’t ever have sugar or bread or pasta. I believe you can eat anything you want as long as the portion size fits into your overall daily plan for calories, carbs and fat. You might not be able to eat a whole loaf, but one slice of bread, preferably whole-grain and homemade, will probably be fine.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?
Taking good photographs. I tend to do most of my cooking in the afternoon when I have too much sunlight streaming through my windows or at night when I don’t have any natural light at all. Also, table linens require ironing. I hate to iron.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?
Be prepared to spend a lot of time on your blog if you want it to be successful. You have to decide what to cook, shop for ingredients, cook, photograph, eat, write, participate in all kinds of social media forums, read other people’s blogs, etc. It’s an enormous investment of time, but you’ll “meet” all kinds of interesting, nice and fun people who love food as much as you do.
Isn’t Shelby’s life kind of dreamy? I think it is. I need to take the time to watch the sunset every night with my husband.
Thanks for letting us get a glimpse of your life, Shelby!