Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week meet Joy McCarthy, the Toronto food blogger, cookbook author and holistic nutritionist behind the blog Joyous Health
Name: Joy McCarthy
Blog name: Joyous Health
Where were you born? Mississauga, Ontario
Where are you living now? Toronto Ontario
Why did you start your blog?
The short answer is because I want to inspire, guide and teach people to live healthier, happier lives.
The longer answer is that I suffered from various health challenges in my late teens and early twenties. I was starting to lose hope because no doctor could help me get to the bottom of my hormonal imbalance which caused amenorrhea, anxiety, hair loss and more. They just suggested medications which made matters worse because they simply masked my symptoms. It was when I turned to natural health that my life was completely transformed. This inspired me to go back to school to study holistic nutrition because I realized that if my health issues could be resolved, I needed to learn more so that I could educate and empower others with unresolved health challenges. That’s why I started my blog in 2009 to share my story and to inspire others to live more healthfully and joyously through food and a healthy lifestyle!!
How did you decide on your blog name?
I wanted to create a name for my brand and blog that was true to me (my name) and encapsulated what joyous health was all about – empowering and educating people. In my previous career which was marketing and advertising, my nickname in the office was “joyous”. Joyous Health was the perfect fit!
What do you blog about?
I blog about food, family, natural health and how to have a healthy lifestyle.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
My blog is my business and my passion!
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
This is a really tough question to answer because I’ve written over a thousand posts and I would say every single blog post I write encapsulates what is happening in my life at that moment. I go back and forth between recipes and more personal blog posts. But a recent recipe that really encapsulates my love of food is this one: Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad.
But if I had to pick one that isn’t food related, it would be the story of my daughter’s birth. That was definitely the most personal blog post I’ve ever written.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
This!! Chickpea Tuscan Pasta. Why? Because it’s sooooooo delicious!! 🙂
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Just like most people I’m sure, finding time to make writing a priority. I love writing very much, it’s a creative outlet for me and it’s the best free therapy, just like being in my kitchen. But running a business, managing social media and being a mama certainly has its time challenges. I try not to be too hard on myself and if I can’t get two posts out in a week, then one post it is!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
As a holistic nutritionist I don’t always share the popular mainstream views that other people have about health and wellness. For example, If I have congestion, my first answer isn’t to pop some medication to alleviate it or get a doctor’s appointment. This means that from time to time (it hasn’t happened in a long time) but once in a while I get comments on the blog or social media from people who don’t like what I have to say or perhaps disagree with my POV but instead of just simply saying that, they are unkind in some way. So the lesson I’ve learned here is not to take comments personally. When you put yourself out there in the public eye, some people don’t see you as a “real” person which makes it easier to say things you wouldn’t normally say to someone in person. That being said, I’ve been very lucky over the years and the large percentage of my community 99.9% is AWESOME!
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
I’ve had the opportunity to write two cookbooks with a third one on the way. If I didn’t start my blog, my publisher would have never found out about me and Joyous Health and Joyous Detox, my first two books would have never come to be!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
For recipe in a pinch, I like PaleoLeap because the recipes are super simple and easy. I LOVE the NYT food section. Minimalist Baker's food photos and recipes are divine and chriskresser.com because I get to really geek-out on his posts. I follow a lot of instagrammers just for their food photos!
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
DEFINITELY PIZZA!!! However, you wouldn’t catch me at Boston Pizza or Pizza Pizza because it doesn’t appeal to me at all. If my hubs, daughter and I are going out for Pizza, it’s definitely Pizza Libretto and if we are making it at home, this is our favourite pizza!!!
What are you working on next for your blog?
I’ve just turned 40 on December 29th so I’m working on a blog post about that and I’m also in the process of getting a post together for a new pizza crust recipe, I know… shocking! Haha.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Even though I travel quite a bit as you’d likely see on my Instagram, my favourite place to be is a home. I’m such a homebody. I love being in my kitchen, creating meals for my family or sipping tea on my couch and napping on a Sunday afternoon (if I’m lucky). They say home is where the heart is and that’s definitely true for me.
What makes your blog unique?
Me. 🙂 There’s no other Joy McCarthy or Joyous Health out there. My blog is unique because I share tidbits of my life and health tips for better living with every post and recipe I share.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
I really enjoy the newsletter to find out what’s new and what’s happening and I also love finding out who’s got a cookbook so I can go out and buy it! And of course, the recipe roundups always give me inspo!
Follow Joy and Joyous Health on Social Media