I have been compensated by QVC for this post, but all opinions are my own!
Being a woman is really freaking cool…but I didn’t always think that. I grew up seeing boys and men be given more opportunities and thought that’s just how it was. And I’ve even spent many of my adult years being talked down to because I am a woman. But with each year, with each new opportunity I have created for myself, and with each step of confidence I have written into my own storyline, I have to come to see that being a woman with a voice is so incredibly powerful.
International Women’s Day is today on March 8th so I thought it would be the perfect time to tell my story of how I turned my own passion into my career. As I quickly creep onto my 30th birthday, I think back to growing up and I wish I would have had a female mentor to show me that anything you put your mind to is possible. I wish I would have known someone who was confident and strong and persevered through hard times to create their own life story. So that’s what I hope to be for other women out there. I hope to have a story that resonates with another woman. And I hope to be a strong, confident woman who empowers other women to work hard every single day, no matter the struggles and obstacles that get in their way.
Becoming a full time blogger was never something I had planned. I didn’t even know what a blog was until the day before I created PaleOMG. I was simply a CrossFit coach with CrossFit Games competition dreams…who really, I mean REALLY, liked to eat. And since I wanted to compete, I had to change my diet around. CrossFit led me to paleo and paleo led me to cooking for the first time in my life. Sure, I had baked a ton of pizzas and whipped up a lot of cereal, but never had I cooked REAL ingredients. I didn’t know how to properly shop for ingredients or cook a vegetable or sear a steak. I knew nothing. But what I did know was if I wanted to keep my diet in check and see real results in the gym, I was going to have to teach myself how to cook. And that’s what I did. And I continued to get better at it which meant sharing those recipes with my friends at the gym…then sharing those recipes with my friends on the internet through PaleOMG.com starting in 2011.
When I first started CrossFit in 2010, every month showed me progress from the hard work I was putting into each workout. I continually got stronger, then faster, and before I knew it, my body was changing. And to me, that was incredibly powerful. I had put my mind to something and stuck with it, and because of that I continued to see results. But not only was I physically getting stronger, I was getting stronger mentally, as well. And becoming stronger both physically and mentally led me to more confidence and dedication to work hard every single day. And that hard work poured over into my blog.
When I first started PaleOMG, it started out as just a small food blog with pretty horrendous food photos. Check out this first blog post ever for Maple Mustard Chicken or this recipe for Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast. Pretty frightening. But people still trusted me and tried the recipes and when they loved them, they shared the recipes with their friends who shared the recipes with their friends and over time, PaleOMG grew! And I did too. I started figuring out food photography and how to properly write recipes. And luckily, my recipes continued to get better and better the more I cooked.
And the more I began sharing experiences from my life, the more people I noticed commenting because they were connecting with my own personal stories. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t feel alone with my own struggles. And that feeling of community kept me going…which led me into a totally different field – writing books! I wrote my first cookbook OMG. That’s Paleo? in 2013, then co-authored the New York Times Bestselling cookbook The Paleo Kitchen in 2014, and also wrote Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook in 2015! And with each book, I not only learned more about business, but I learned more about who I was and what I wanted to put out into the world.
And for me, that meant expanding PaleOMG into more than just food. Even though food is a huge part of my life, there are many other facets that make up my day-to-day happiness. And I knew that was the same case for other people. So why offer just food on PaleOMG when I also love talking about fitness, and fashion, and beauty, and my dog! I knew I could connect with so many more people if I branched out into more lifestyle topics. And that way, I could keep blogging even if Paleo was forgotten about. So I started sharing my workouts, then my outfits, travel destinations, struggles with acne, decorating our first home, and anything else in between. And with that PaleOMG expansion, I was able to start working with amazing companies and all kinds of different brands.
Since 2011, I’ve created around 800 free recipes on PaleOMG, I’ve written 3 cookbooks, I’ve gone on multiple book tours, I’ve started a podcast, I’ve worked with tourism boards to promote their cities, I’ve helped other businesses grow through promotion on my website, I’ve teamed up with an amazing company to create my own activewear, and I’ve gone from barely being able to pay my rent to running a business that continues to grow each year.
Here on PaleOMG, I want to change other women’s lives in some small way. Whether that’s through introducing them to a new workout or changing their perception on clean eating or by simply helping them find a pair of jeans that fit them just right. I want to help other women find confidence within. And I want to introduce PaleOMG readers to more women-owned businesses that I support myself and that are making a difference in this world. Which is why I shared a guest post with my friend Bri who runs School of Betty and my friend Jess who is changing lives through her health coaching. And it’s also why I introduced you guys to Primally Pure, created by an amazing woman named Bethany. And why I’m constantly talking about my esthetician and sharing my experience with my micropogmentation artist. Not only have these women changed MY life, but they are changing other people’s lives every single day. These women are making the world a better place.
QVC is also supporting and celebrating women daily. QVC believes that if a woman can dream it, then that woman can take a dare and do it! And that’s why QVC supports a ton of female-made brands and products. On QVC, you’ll find amazing women-made brands such as Tarte, IT Cosmetics, Mally, LUG, and Lori Greiner. And in honor of honor of International Women’s Day, QVC and participating vendors will donate a minimum of $230,000 to benefit Nest, a global nonprofit committed to the social and economic advancement of women by supporting female artisans who might not have the resources they need to flourish.
Check Out Some of My Favorite Female-Made Products on QVC
Women are changing our world for the better. They are speaking up, they are speaking out, and they are taking action. And today on International Women’s Day, I could not be more proud to call myself a hardworking, strong and confident woman.
Thank you to all the women out there that are believing in themselves and encouraging other females to do the same. The future is bright because of you.
Thank you to QVC for letting me share my story