I often get asked questions in my Instagram Direct Messages and thought it would be fun to answer them in this format.
“You said that you were an athlete in college. What’s your opinion on Paleo for athletes?”
I was! I played soccer at the University of Illinois from 2009-2013 and wish I was more aware of what was working for me versus what wasn’t. We met with a, Now, that’s not always a reality for me these days but I am AWARE of what works for me now. nutritionist and stuff but I have never felt better than when I was eating Paleo. Obviously they stressed less sugar, more vegetables and lean proteins but do a little more research on gluten, dairy, and even nightshades. For a current athlete, I would stress low- inflammation foods and plenty of iron. I was usually iron deficient and always on anti-inflammatories.
“We live in GB. You said you had friends here. Are they people that used to play with Jeff?”
One of the best parts about our time in the NFL are the friends we’ve made. Football is unique in that no team is the same from one year to the next and the stress and the circumstances surrounding our men’s careers kind of bond us together in a short amount of time. My husband has a couple former teammates and even a coach in Green Bay but we also have a friend from the PAO that we have kept in touch with!
“I’d love to hear tips on how your started your blog!”
I feel like I took a very non-linear road to where I am today! It actually started out as a way to share my life: engaged, planning a wedding, straight out of college, no- job, living with my (soon-to-be) husband who played in the NFL. It was random, inconsistent, but still entertaining! I then realized I had time to cook since I had no job so I started cooking and sharing what I made on my blog. I started doing less personal pieces and more food. Then I started reading food photography books and studying whatever I could. Then I got pregnant hahaha. It was during this time that I realized I needed blogging for the outlet and to do something for me. Motherhood was hard, being a wife can be stressful and being a stay- at-home mom wasn’t my initial plan for my life. It was during this period I learned to work smarter, started studying how to schedule and share content, how to pitch to brands (still working on this piece) and decided just what I wanted the blog to represent. I then rebranded from TheNewMrsAllen.com to FirstandFull.com. My advice would be know what you want out of the blog as early as possible because it’s a lot of effort for no return if you don’t. Level up when the time is right. When my blog design wasn’t fit for multiple recipes and I didn’t have a logo but was trying to contact brands, I knew I needed to present a more put together image. Content is king but make sure your site is attractive and speaks to the brands you aspire to work with. Also be consistent to build your base. I started out posting twice weekly but realized it wasn’t necessarily helping my traffic. The key was to reshare old content and make it fresh. I now post new content once a week and share share share on my instagram.
“What team does your husband play for?”
We are blissfully team free right now! We are settled into our new home in the Dallas area, close to family and enjoying our time together. Football is a huge part of our lives but I know I am grateful to have my husband for more than a couple months and the kids are over the moon.
“How do you film your cooking videos?”
Do your kids eat healthy? If so, how did you get them to try things?
Kind of. I pick and choose my battles. I try to let them help me in the kitchen so they can then take credit for the dish and are more apt to try it. I try to get them to take 3 bites of everything on their plate. If they do, we get a little treat. It could be 1 marshmallow, a couple bites of a cookie, popsicle, movie, helping me do something. If they don’t, there’s no punishment just no treat. I typically feed them what we are eating but yes, they eat boxed mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks. It’s a work in progress. I try to offer healthier snacks and always say yes to fruit, yogurt, and cheese sticks. Hard part is, my husband loves chips and I like crackers so we just want them to be better than us! We try to save any fast food to be special occasions with the grandparents but they love Chic-Fil-A, McDonalds (to my dismay) and corndogs.
“How do you stay motivated to eat and workout when life gets crazy?”
I don’t. I’m not super human. The first thing to go when I get overwhelmed is usually my workouts. I almost always prioritize sleep and know that when I’m exhausted, I’m most likely to hurt myself while working out. I’m also not great about clean eating when life gets hectic– I tend to skip meals and nibble. I finally started eating breakfast daily but it is constantly a battle of making good choices. I am motivated by well fitting clothes and earning homemade cookies.
“Does Jeff cook?”
Yes! Jeff can cook. He makes the best hot wings you will ever have with his signature wing sauce and know his way around the grill!
“How do you know you’ve created an original recipe?”
You don’t! Did you know you cant trademark or own the rights to a recipe? There are so many ways to make everything so the key is to put your spin on it and if you want to share it, share how you do things because everyone is different!
“Did you move? Do you still live in Houston?”
We moved about 7 weeks ago from Houston! We bought our dream home in the Dallas area (where I am from) and couldn’t be happier here. It can be hard to put down roots in the NFL so we decided to do it near family, enroll the kids in school and take it from there.
“What do you use in your hair?”
My favorites hands down is DevaCurl. I have linked all my hair products and tools here.
“What is that skillet you are always using?”
What are 5 kitchen tools you cant live without?
For more of my kitchen favorites, check out my Amazon Store!
Why did you decide to start The Cookie Society?
I love making cookies and they are pretty dang good! It’s something I had been dreaming about since I had my son and I just thought, WHY NOT?! I was sending hundreds of cookies to my husband teammates and butter is expensive so… I can’t wait to bring you something you have probably never seen before. Make sure you sign up for our mailing list for all things Cookie Society
“Will you have a storefront?”
Not right away! I want to keep overhead costs low to begin.
“How often do you do Whole30? What is your food freedom like?”
I have done one Whole30 and a mini-reset. I plan to do them when I need them, not necessarily as a scheduled thing. My mini-reset was done because I was feeling guilty for some recent food choices and that is NOT what I want to use it for. Every meal felt like a punishment. That’s not going to work for me. My food freedom looks something like this: Whole30 breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner with a loose paleo meal in there somewhere. I cook with natural sweeteners like honey, maple, and coconut sugar but am aware of how much i’m adding. I’m not always perfect but I do like cheese so if I deem it worth it, I have it. One of my favorite rules is, “would I be willing to make it from scratch if I want it?” So if I want pizza, I make it from scratch or buy GOOD pizza; no need to waste bloat and lethargy on bad food. It also involves occasional taste tests for thecookiesociety.com.