Name: Jenny Blakeney
Company: Real Food Scout
Instagram: Real Food Scout
How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up eating a highly processed food diet, and spent most of my 20s continuing those poor habits. I wasn’t aware I needed to change anything, until I got pregnant. It was the first time I had actually thought about what I was putting in my body. A constant diet of Coffee, Croissants, and Coke’s wasn’t going to cut it anymore. So I slowly began to make some changes, eating less processed food and cooking more from scratch. But I had two young babies 14 months apart, and I couldn’t spend hours in the kitchen, so she created practical ways to simplify life in the kitchen. Real Food for Real Life is what I call it.
What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
Through my website, workshops and online courses, I guide people how to eat more Real Food and less processed junk, and show tips and strategies for simplifying life in the kitchen. The Real Food Scout brand is all about Real Food for Real Life.
How do you define success? Do you consider yourself “successful”?
Success is a tricky one. I mean I would have said I was a success the day I started volunteering for Jamie Oliver. I was passionate about something and I took action. To me that is success. So to define success for me, would be to say that when you find what you love to do, start now. Most of us are waiting for this future for things to be ready, don’t wait, it’s all a continual process and journey just like food, so start today. As for the day to day, I am continually working, tweaking, and evolving my business to come up with ways that reach my audience in the best way possible. Everyday is different and some days feel successful and some days don’t, but that doest stop me from pushing forward.
What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
The daily messages I get from people who tell me I changed their life in some way, with a recipe or a tip and simplified their personal food journey, it just doesn’t get better than that.
What have been some of your mistakes? What have you learned from them?
Um, I think I make them all day, every day. The only way to grow and improve is to try something. Take a risk, test the waters, and then adjust and move forward. Making a so called “mistake” is the only way to learn and improve, so bring on the mistakes!
What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
Every day I’m just trying to reach more people and grow my audience. I’m so passionate about food and getting the word out that real food can be simple and can simplify your life and better your health too. So, for me, it is really just about growing the brand so I can help more and more people. The more of us are on board with real food, the faster we can change our broken food system and tragic health epidemic.
When was the last time you were overwhelmed and cried from something provoked by work?
Usually every 4 weeks, like clockwork. Hah. It’s a cycle, pun intended, but there is a quote I love about the creative process, emotional roller coaster. “This is awesome. This is tricky. This is shit. I am shit. This might be okay. This is awesome.” I just love that because it is so true, it flows like that constantly, so it is helpful that when are you down, you’re usually not there long.
How has your career affected your personal life/relationships?
I feel really lucky to have such a wonderful support system and friends that encourage me and my business and passion. It can be hard to balance because every time I see food, I’m thinking or ways to incorporate it into my business, and I see food a lot because food is everywhere, all day long. I rarely take a minute off or away from work, but my business has allowed me to meet some amazing people in the real food community and that has been a real joy in my life.
Have you ever thought about giving up? What provokes those thoughts?
I do, I have moments all the time. It’s the nature of the beast for sure because I’m trying to motivate people to change habits and old programing around food. It’s really challenging. It was and still is challenging for me personally because of my food history. Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming upstream, and beating my head against the wall, and then the added extra challenge of fighting against the huge, powerful, influential food industry. This is when those friendships in the real food community really help out, because we are all working “alone” so to speak, but our voices are all working together. We will continue to grow and will make an impact on our food system and our health. I just keep believing and celebrating the small victories.
What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
I eat well, most of the time, and I go to bed early, so sleep well. Really well. I don’t stay up extra late to finish things or push through, I chose sleep 98% of the time, and it all gets done eventually, but me on a bad nights sleep is just a wasted day ahead and usually a day filled with poor food decisions too. So sleep is a top priority for me.
What makes you happy?
My kids, cooking and eating with family and friends, scouting out new real food approved places to eat and just a good hard laugh with friends. I love to laugh and I make a effort to do it a lot. I even have this bracelet on my arm that says laugh to remind me to not take things in this life so seriously, just laugh. Shake it off and laugh. Hard.
What advice would you tell your 21 year old self?
Stop rushing. There is no finish line, and there is no end. The journey is all you’ve got, so just enjoy every little detail of your days, they go fast.
What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
People assume I eat “healthy” all the time. I don’t. They assume my kids eat “healthy” all the time, they definitely don’t. It’s also assumed a lot of the time that I am a nutritionist and I have no interest in that right now. My interest is not talking about the vitamins. minerals and calories in certain foods, my interest is in getting us to eat more vegetables, more real, whole foods, less sugar, better quality packaged foods for real life, and making all of that easy, practical and fun. We don’t need nutritional degrees to eat real food.
What is your favorite quote?
Less is More. I believe less of most things really simplifies life and brings a lot more wonderful things to life as well.
Jenny’s 10 Day Online Dinner Boot Camp is going on now
Click here of more details http://program.realfoodscout.com“