What to Expect in 2017
At the beginning of every year I like to sit down and think about what I’d like to accomplish for the year. It’s a little thing, but it helps to give some direction to my life both personally and professionally (which, with Downshiftology, is so intertwined).
Travel goals always seem to be the first to pop into my head – and this year visions of Greece, Costa Rica and Denmark keep fluttering around. Let the manifestations begin!
But as Downshiftology continues to grow, I find myself uber excited about ALL the potential and things I could be doing for this little space on the interwebs. Meaning, things for you. Many of those ideas are driven by your responses to my recent subscriber survey (a million thank you’s) as your feedback is abundantly helpful in shaping the content on this website.
So today I’m breaking down the messy, not-yet-thoroughly-vetted, but exciting things in my brain for Downshiftology this year. Concepts, goals and aspirations. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Prioritizing a Flexible “You” Diet
When I started this website two years ago I was eating a more paleo-ish diet. And before that I’d done six months of AIP (autoimmune paleo) to help reverse my autoimmune symptoms. But over the last few years I’ve learned HEAPS about my body and my individual triggers. That’s allowed me to be more flexible with my diet and be as inclusive with healthy, whole foods as possible.
I’m 100% strict when it comes to gluten-free (as a celiac) but other than that, I take an “n of 1” approach – a term used in my former healthcare career meaning that a single patient is the entire trial. A single case study. Because let’s be honest, there’s no one else like you (from a genetic, ancestry, microbiome, environmental standpoint).
So in 2017 I challenge you to find the foods that work best for you – which may be (and likely are) different from other members of your family and your friends. And that’s okay.
Today, I do eat some grains, small amounts of dairy and yes, even sugar. So I cringe when people ask me, “are you paleo?” “vegetarian?” “vegan?” “grain-free?” – because well, yes and no. Many of my recipes fit into those categories, but at the end of the day I’m on the Lisa diet (which can fluctuate daily). But by gosh, it’s working out pretty darn well.
So how does this relate to my recipes? Well, think of it this way. Use my recipes as an inspiration board for ideas, but modify them and the ingredients used to what suits you. For instance, on my latest recipe for Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats I purposefully made those dairy free. But if you eat dairy, feel free to swap that in. And if you want to add meat to my vegetarian Black Bean Mexican Pizza – awesome.
You do you – always.
A Variety of Recipes – with a Focus on Simple
According to your survey responses, the majority of you are gluten-free, followed by dairy-free….and then, “no specific dietary restrictions, just a focus on whole foods.” I love that.
I do eat some dairy so in keeping this website authentic, you’ll see a few dairy recipes. But, you’ll also see heaps of dairy-free recipes and just the widest variety of recipes possible. There was a definite theme in the survey responses for easy, fast, non-fussy meals. And I’m with you 100% on that.
On a separate note (but still related), I learned a lot about SEO last year. And that’s important because I want my recipes to get “found” on a Google search as easily as possible. But with a recipe title like Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (a crazy long title) – here’s the problem. Google doesn’t know if it’s brownie recipe or an ice cream recipe so minimizes it’s ranking due to Google-bot confusion. Uh oh. In hindsight, that recipe really should have been split into two – a brownie recipe and an ice cream recipe. It should have been simplified. Lesson learned.
But where I’m going with this is that you’ll see a trend in 2017 on simple recipes, that won’t seem overwhelming or fussy. More slow-cooker meals, plan-ahead meals, on-the-go meals and easy breezy lunch and dinner meals.
More Videos and Interaction
I love that you love my videos. You guys have no idea how nervous I was when I started filming, thinking just my mom (and maybe my brother) would watch my videos. But my videos have been watched over 30,000 times – and I’m just getting started!
When I started videos last year I took a very intentional approach to NOT do the fast-motion, overhead-style, 30-second food videos that you see on Facebook. Perhaps they’re fun to share on Facebook, but they don’t really help you in the kitchen – which is what I want to do.
My “healthy basics” videos are super popular so I’ll keep doing those. And now that I have an actual kitchen to cook in (yay) you’ll see more recipe videos as well. If you haven’t realized it yet, all the photos in this post are from my new apartment. I don’t have furniture yet, but by golly I have a kitchen!
You can also expect to see more lifestyle videos. Things like…meal prep videos, morning routines, FAQ’s, how I pack food for travel, even travelogue videos. But if there’s something specific you want to see, as always, let me know!
The feedback on live videos (ie – Facebook Live, Instagram Live) was mixed. I really like the idea as a way to engage with guys, in real time, but I understand it’s also very new to most people. I’ll probably give it a try in the next week or two and see how it goes. Keep your eyes peeled in the weekly newsletter for the days and times when I’ll “go live.”
More Community and More of You
I don’t know how I’m going to do this yet, but one thing’s for certain – I want to create a bigger, more engaged and collaborative Downshiftology community. This website started as a very personal site, growing from my personal story. But the concept of “taking life down a notch” and simple, healthy eating is as much about you as it is me. Especially with 200K of you reading this blog every month (holy smokes, pinch me).
I love to see when YOU create my recipes, tag me on Instagram or Facebook and send me emails with how much you loved a certain recipe. I also love when you pop me an email and tell me why you subscribed to Downshiftology and share a snippet of your story. Because the honest truth is that sitting behind a computer or camera all day long can get lonely, but getting to know you guys on a personal level makes it feel less so. And I love that.
So I’m not yet sure how this is community angle is gonna take shape, but it’s a definite priority for 2017.
I’m Going Back to Corporate – Sort Of
Since I left the corporate world full-time three years ago, I honestly didn’t think I’d ever have any desire to go back. But here’s what I’ve realized – there’s a big difference in doing it by choice versus necessity.
Today, Downshiftology is my number one focus, but over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of consulting for healthcare companies that I admire and wholeheartedly believe in. And honestly, it’s been the best of both worlds. I get to work on this website (my passion) daily, but also engage in some seriously cutting-edge science stuff that’s beyond cool.
Recently, I was approached by a company in the genomic space. And here’s what piqued my interest – they’re focusing on genomic testing for autoimmune diseases, where you could track and measure changes in your body’s inflammation levels through an easy, finger-prick test. Seriously. How could I say no to that? So I’ll be consulting with them on marketing strategy and hopefully I’ll be able to divulge more in the future.
A Big ‘Ol Website Redesign
I’m so thrilled to tackle a website redesign – a massive undertaking – later this year. I’m in the queue with a fab website designer who will take my jumbled mess of ideas and help to add organization, cohesion and beauty.
Website’s morph over time (mine is no exception) and technology is forever changing. So a website redesign will help to make the content on Downshiftology easier to navigate, make the videos easier to watch, build in that sense of community and incorporate ALL of my brain-buzzing, notepad scribbling ideas. I can’t wait.
Your Comments Mean the World to Me
And lastly, a few comments from this year’s subscriber survey, on what you like about Downshiftology. Your genuine support means the world to me. Big virtual hugs all around! xo
- Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication!!! I am super lucky that I came across your blog, and I look forward to all of the wonderful recipes, tips, tricks, and insights to come.
- I love your videos! I wait for them every Wednesday! I’ve shown them to a bunch of my friends or send them via text. My mom loves them also. I’d love to see more complicated dishes in there. Like your spinach dip, and desserts!
- So glad I came across your website; the information on casava flour was important to begin with and the recipes, your cheerful blogs and videos are just what I need. Congratulations, my helpful friend! My very best wishes for all that you do in the future.
- LOVE your upbeat attitude and style! :)
- Keep up the good work. I traveled internationally several times last year after changing my lifestyle due to Hashimotos and Celiac. Your book had great tips and I made several of the recipes to take on the flight. The muffins were a lifesaver at the end of a 9 hour flight. I am getting ready to go to Hawaii and need to pack a meal for the flight. I think I am going to do your charcuterie plate. I haven’t tried the cassava rosemary crackers yet.
- Your enthusiasm about health, wellness, and life is contagious and inspiring. Also, I love love love your recipes!!!!!!
- How you put so much effort into sending new recipes to your subscribers for free.
- Your friendly personality and great recipes. I’ve learned a lot from Downshiftology. Thank you!
- Easy to follow recipes that work! And are delicious, of course!
Anything else you’d like to see on Downshiftology this year? Let me know. And don’t forget to subscribe for the latest recipes, videos, content and weekly notes from me.