A few of the questions I’ve received over the past few years:

“The Happiness in Health”? What?
Back in January 2010, I didn’t put a lot of thought into the name of this blog. Peter and I brainstormed some names, from the somewhat clever (e.g. “Health of Nations”, which is unsurprisingly already in use) to silly (e.g. the Mandarin words for “eat good food”, which was not only taken, but impossible to remember). Late one night, I typed “thehappinessinhealth” into the search field on a hosting site, saw it was free, said “heck, why not?” (out loud, of course), and bought it then and there. As time passed, The Happiness in Health came to embody one of my strongest beliefs about ourselves: that health and emotion are tied together in a package called “well-being”, and that each will affect the other, even if we don’t consciously realize it.

But now your abbreviation is THIH. That’s not even pronounceable.
Sure it is. Say “thee-uh”.

Look, it was either THIH, THH, or HH. Would you rather sound like you’re perpetually on the point of saying “thick” or “huh”? Because I would totally be on board with that.

Why is your name not “The Awesome RD” or something with RD in it?
When I began this blog, I was still a dietetic student and thus couldn’t use the RD designation. After I passed the RD exam, I thought about changing the name of the blog to something with “RD” in it … but here we are, several years later, and I’m still THIH. Laziness? Lack of know-how on how to move a domain name? A combination of both? I think you can guess. Besides, being an RD is only one facet of my awesomeness.

How did you get into dietetics? Didn’t I read you had studied physics before?
Correct, dear reader. You can read more about my journey from physics to nutrition on my Guest Posts page, as well as my Becoming an RD page. I’ve received many emails from readers with specific questions about what studying and training to become a registered dietitian is like. Since becoming a registered dietitian, I want to pass this knowledge on! I’m happy to answer any questions about dietetics, nutrition, schooling, etc. I’ll even answer questions about physics if you’d like, although I can’t guarantee the accuracy of my answers 🙂

How do I become an RD? What do dietitians do?
I get many, many emails every weeks with variations on these two questions – so many, in fact, that I put together a page just to answer them: Becoming an RD. Check it out for a step-by-step guide to becoming an RD, FAQs about dietetics, and my experiences as a dietetic student and registered dietitian.

Why did you start blogging? How do I start blogging?
Before beginning THIH, I read many food and nutrition blogs for fun. I was impressed with how influential many bloggers were, and how this influence could be used for good (or for evil, intentional or not). I wanted to throw my voice into the fray and become part of a food and nutrition community that spans distances, while sharing what I’ve learned about nutrition and (I hope) leading by example. However, since I began blogging, I’ve discovered that what I like best about blogging is having my own little project where I shape how the site looks and what it says. THIH is a reflection of myself, particularly the part of myself that I present to the world when I interact with people over the Internet.

As for starting your own blog: I would recommend looking at the blogs you enjoy and thinking about why you like them. Is it the way they look? Is it the factual information they present, or the personality of the blogger that comes through, or both? If you find something you like, ask the blogger how he or she developed that particular feature. Food and nutrition bloggers are generally very helpful – they were in your shoes once!

A few other tips:

* For the love of blogging, just go with WordPress as a blogging platform from the start. I can’t tell you how many bloggers have said to me: “I wish I had started my blog on WordPress”. Transferring from another, less user-friendly platform to WordPress is a pain in the patoot. Of course, if you are a whiz at website-building, HTML, etc., feel free to do whatever the heck you want.

* Speaking of HTML: don’t be afraid to use it! I taught myself a bit of HTML by using this helpful site and made all of the modifications to the basic template used by THIH. Be patient and experiment. Of course, if you’re short on time you can always pay someone to design your site, but where’s the fun in that?

* Whether or not you buy a domain for your site or use a free host (e.g. wordpress.com) is entirely up to you. If you’re starting a business, by all means go for your own www.awesomename.com – otherwise, you may want to go for free hosting while you figure out if blogging is something you want to continue long-term.

* Back up your blog regularly. I can’t stress this enough. BACKITUPBACKITUPBACKITUP. When you think about how much work you are putting into your website, it would be silly not to back it up often. Find out how to back up your WordPress site here, here, or here.

* When writing content for your site, be yourself! If you’re bored with what you’re writing, your readers will be bored while reading it. Think about what you’re truly interested in and write about it. There may be a million other similar blogs out there (ahem, food and nutrition blogs), but only this one will be YOURS.

* Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments.

Who designs your website?
The basic template for The Happiness in Health is Hanami by Mignolo, with all modifications done by myself (albeit slowly).

How much do you weigh/How tall are you/etc.?
I’m 5’6″ and I wear a size 9 shoe. I enjoy food and I sometimes eat too much or too little – and that’s okay. I don’t give out information about my weight because I feel that our society has too much of a fixation on weight. On THIH, I don’t talk a lot about the role of the media in the pressure to look a “certain” way, but I’m well aware that the pressure exists. I prefer to focus on the positive aspects of food and nutrition and demonstrate by example that I respect my body and my health. I’ve been fortunate to always have a healthy relationship with food, and it’s my wish that all of you do as well.

Are you and Peter for real?? Why do you have so many crazy things in your kitchen?
Yes, we are for real. We enjoy spending time in the kitchen. People have their priorities – ours happen to involve a lot of specialty ingredients and single-purpose equipment.

How did you make your header?
My sadly unspectacular answer: Powerpoint, my go-to design tool. I created all of the sidebar graphic links that way, too. Hey, if it works, it works! I suppose I’ll learn other graphic design programs someday … when I have more time …

Update: I made the current header in Canva – so modern of me!

Previous headers on THIH:





More to come!