There’s nothing we love more, here at Gardenuity, than finding like-minded individuals who share the same passion for bringing health and wellness to those in our community. This is exactly why we feel so lucky to be working alongside the founder of The Savvy Spoon herself, Cayla Atha.
The Savvy Spoon is a resource that provides access to an abundance of delicious, healthy, and simple recipes that anyone can add into their culinary repertoire. Additionally, TSS has become a community where people can go to learn about fitness and mental well-being, too!
Gardenuity and TSS lovingly share a platform in order to bring readers the information they need to make strides towards healthier living. This week, we had the pleasure of having a conversation with Cayla; keep reading to learn more.
Q: Tell me about your background!
A: I have been food blogging for about 10 years now. I started the savvy spoon right out of college. To be honest, I had been working for a couple months, and I was like, “Okay, I need a hobby that’s not work.’ You get so exhausted right out of school, I just needed to harness my creative energy elsewhere – in a way that’s for me and not for someone else.
Q: How did The Savvy Spoon begin?
A: Long story short, I was trying to think of a way to channel creativity; I love to write and I love to cook, so the food blog felt like a very natural fit. I was also living near a bunch of my girlfriends who had just graduated, too – and when you’re working so late, it’s so easy to pick something up to eat but that gets super expensive. The whole thing started based on our circumstances, because we were trying to save money, and developed into a resource for all of my girlfriends to have easy recipes that didn’t require a lot of ingredients – and recipes that would take down the intimidation factor of cooking.
Q: What are your goals in creating content for The Savvy Spoon?
A: I think the thing keeping a lot of people out of the kitchen is the time it takes, the long list of ingredients, and the worry that they’re going to mess it up. My goal is to try to create recipes that tackle those three intimidation barriers. The whole point of the recipes that I make is that you can make a last minute run to the store, and still create something that is Instagram worthy.
Q: Have you always enjoyed cooking?
A: The answer is “No”! My mom is a really amazing chef; she loved cooking when I was growing up. To be honest, it is so nice to have someone else cook for you – to this day, I love when my mom cooks for me. Growing up, she was desperate for me to help her in the kitchen. It just was not interesting to me because I was so happy with her cooking. It wasn’t until I went to college that it started to click. I was like, ‘Okay… I need to dig deep, I know I’ve watched my mom do this a million times but…how do you make pasta?’ My roommate also loved The Food Network – she would have it on when she was studying or cleaning; it was always on in the background. I just tried to soak up as much as I could, and I would apply it and make dinner for the two of us.
Q: What’s your philosophy on seeking a healthy lifestyle?
A: It really is mind, body, spirit. You can do all the right things on paper, eat clean, work out religiously, but if you don’t take time with yourself and reconnect internally or with a higher power, I don’t think you’re completely there. So many of us get into the routine of grinding through, and when you look back, you’re like ‘woah, time just flies’. We get so heads-down in our daily mentality; we really do forget to take time off of digital, off of focusing on everybody else’s opinion of us, everybody else’s needs. It’s so important to take some time for yourself and find some spiritual grounding, to have that belief that something else is helping you through this life.
Q: What are the biggest myths that you run into when it comes to people’s ideas of what it means to be healthy?
A: I think that we get so laser-focused on ascribing to one type of diet. People want that magic fix, they think, ‘Keto works for me, low-carb works for me’. They want a label, and they want a fix – quickly. The downside for most people is that everybody’s body is so different; what you read about a celeb losing baby weight may or may not have the same effect on you. That’s why I’ve never labeled my food as anything but healthy, because I think that the idea of health varies so much from person to person. In my opinion, it really is about eating clean as much as you can, but also giving yourself room to indulge, being unrestrictive, and keeping your portion size reasonable.
Q: Is gardening a part of your daily routine?
A: I’m telling you, I usually can’t keep a flower from the grocery store alive; I don’t know what it is about gardening and I, but we just haven’t connected. I do have a veggie garden now… and I will be honest, I have a black thumb. BUT, I have not had any sort of issues with my Gardenuity Salad Garden because they give you all of the resources. I have right now beets and radishes that I’m really excited about. For the in-person event I’m hosting with Gardenuity (sneak peak!) I’m making a beet-juice margarita; I’m excited to use my own plants to make that! I think the whole essence of Gardenuity making gardening less intimidating – it’s exactly like my philosophy of cooking and working out; they give you all of the tools to not mess up.
Q: If you could leave readers with one thought, what would it be?
A: I would say, don’t forget about you. You time is very important – even if that means picking up food and not cooking, do whatever is going to relax you and bring you the most joy in that moment. Let that lead your decision making. Being aware of your off days is just as important as being invested in your workouts – you need time to recover, don’t put it on the back burner. The sooner you figure that out and the earlier on in your life you start to prioritize self-care, the healthier and longer you’ll live in happiness.