Meet Vincci, author of Ceci n'est pas un food blog. Like Jessica she is a busy, bright, talented student who soon will be entering the Dietetics profession. I'm thrilled Vincci took the time to answer my questions so thoughtfully and articulately. So pull up a chair, make your self comfy, and get to know Vincci, a soon-to-be dietitian with Food Sense as well as nutrition knowledge.
1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I think blogging for me is an outlet to explore my interests in food, cooking and writing and has allowed me to develop a budding interest in photography. I love experimenting in the kitchen and I love sharing the results. Recently, I've been altering a lot of my recipes for baking to make them healthier and I also hope that when I have more time I will write more nutrition-related posts as opposed to just sharing recipes.
2. What has blogging helped you learn about yourself?
This is a pretty hard question, because I feel like I've learned more reading other people's blogs as opposed to writing my own. I think that, in a way, my blog has helped me formulate my position on how nutrition relates to food. I recently read a blog entry that argued that foodies and dietitians don't usually see eye-to-eye and I have to disagree. There is so much to get excited about taste-wise when it comes to healthy eating, like experimenting with new foods and recipes, that I definitely want to make a part of my practice after I graduate.
Speaking of becoming a dietitian though, one thing that really worries me is that I can't wax poetic about nutrition the same way that other blogs out there do and I really hope that my interest in food as opposed to nutrients/the more science-related part of nutrition doesn't hinder my future career.
3. I'm not surprised a Dietetics student cooks such healthy and delicious food but I am amazed that given your full-time studies, you are in the kitchen so regularly AND then you write such interesting posts about your culinary experiments and adventures. Can you share some time-management skills? (Or do you just not sleep?)
4. You're invited to a potluck. What do you take?
I always end up bringing some sort of dessert to potlucks. My mom actually frowned upon that once because it isn't "real food" but I think I've become known for my baked goods amongst my friends. When I was in high school, I always made these chocolate chip cookies to bring to parties; in university I've brought brownies, beet chocolate cake, cheesecake brownies, cupcheesecakes... I would love to "branch out" into other sorts of things, but baked goods just tend to be a lot easier to transport!
5. What is your favourite comfort food?
6. What is your most dog-eared, sauce-spattered cookbook (ie., the one you use the most)?
7. What are your 3 favourite blog posts and why?
1) A Revelation
My dad is someone who I don't get spend a lot of time with; he has been flying back and forth between my birthplace of Hong Kong, where his business is, and my hometown of Calgary ever since we've immigrated. His medical emergency really affected me and the fact that out of this situation he realized the huge impact that his diet has really gave me a boost of confidence in the dietetic profession. I unfortunately don't know if my dad's been keeping up with a better diet now (he is a very busy man), but I've applied to do part of my internship in Hong Kong next semester so that I can spend more time with him and hopefully help him get on track in terms of a healthier lifestyle.
2) I'm Just Trying to Rationalize my Poor Eating Habits
If this were better articulated, I'm sure you could argue that this may be the beginning of my own sort of eating manifesto. I think it's very easy for dietitians and nutritionists to just focus on nutrient needs in terms of grams of carbohydrates or milligrams of sodium, but to the average person, this has no meaning to them; people don't eat nutrients, they eat food. I strongly believe that the first step to healthy eating is to get rid of as much processed foods from the diet as possible; not only will this make it easier to fall under a healthy pattern of eating nutrition-wise (for example, you won't have to concern yourself as much on the sodium front) but I think the non-nutrient elements of food, processed or not, play a role in our health in ways that we have yet to discover. In this entry, I also talk a bit about allowing yourself to eat foods that aren't necessarily "healthy". I think it's important for people to allow themselves to "indulge" because food should not just be a source of nourishment; there are psychological and social aspects to food that no nutrient can provide.
3) Holiday Baking: Dorie Greenspan's Spice Roll-out Cookies and Royal Icing
This was a fun little cooking adventure! I rarely ever cook when I'm at home in Calgary, let alone have it so well-documented! I'm still a little bummed that I messed up the icing recipe and jealous that my 10-year-old sister made better designs than me.
8. Do you have any tips for Dietetics Students who might be thinking about blogging?
If you want something that's less vague, I would certainly suggest reading other blogs as a start. It will definitely give you ideas of what's out there, and maybe give an idea of how you'll add your own voice to the mix. Once you've got your blog started up, don't be shy about telling people about it! Comment on blogs that are similar to yours and tell your friends what you're up to; all these people can give you valuable input.
9. What are your dreams and goals (that you're comfortable sharing) for after internship?
Thank you, Vincci. I was impressed by your blog when I first discovered it last year, and with this interview you have reinforced my opinion. In five years, I can't imagine where you will be but I know what you'll be doing: positively influencing the way people eat. I also suspect you will accomplish all your goals if you can be patient with yourself and work on them sequentially rather than simultaneously. (Easier said than done, I know.)