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Blogger Spotlight: Ful-filled

Real food and a full life are what drive Bella, the brains behind Ful-filled, to make her nutritious, delicious creations, meant to be "prepared with love and eaten synergistically."

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Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
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Meet Bella!

Bella is a food blogger, photographer, stylist, workshop host, and one of the newest members of the SideChef community.

“It’s hard to believe, but our food blog Ful-filled has blossomed into a full-time job. My hubby and I started our own electrical business 10 years ago and we still own it to this day. Recently, our roles in the electrical company have shifted and therefore allowed me to focus more on food blogging, styling, and photography almost full time, which I am so excited about!”

The inspiration to start Ful-filled came from several different things. When Bella first started learning about the modern-day food industry, she became extremely discouraged by all the unhealthy, unethical practices. From hazardous additives and factory farms to mono-crops and pesticides, the facts were overwhelming.

“As I started searching for ‘the perfect way of eating,’ I was absolutely distracted
and deceived along the way. Jumping into one ‘food box’ after the other left me totally lost and my hubby really frustrated. He has always been a much more steady and grounded person than me. His opposition to me constantly recalibrating our ‘food beliefs’ played a pivotal role in making me accept the fact that I, in fact, did not know everything.”

Long story short, Bella and her husband reached a point at which they were going to just eat real food. This meant getting out of her head and learning to trust her own body.

“Our bodies know what they need. We just need to quiet down so that we can respond to their needs. At this point in our journey, my hubby kept saying that we should write a cookbook so that we could share what we create in our kitchen with the world. Both of us love food and cooking and I had been a long-time reader of food blogs. We had never considered having a food blog ourselves, but there came a day when I realized that the path to sharing our cooking with the world wouldn’t be though a cookbook (maybe someday, but at least not as a starting point); we were supposed to start a food blog!”

Coming up with a name for their blog was not so easy. Everything they thought of was already taken!

“One evening I was walking into our kitchen and I heard the word 'ful-filled' (not audibly, but within my soul). I immediately looked up the definition and we knew that ‘ful-filled’ would be the name of our food blog; that domain name just happened to be available, so it was meant to be!”

What was your favorite childhood meal?

When I was a child I loved so many different foods, but, if I had to choose my absolute favorite childhood meal, it would have to be pizza! It was what I wanted every year on my birthday and, to be honest, I still love pizza just as much as when I was a kiddo. The only difference now is that I love to make it myself at home!

What's in your bag and what are your kitchen essentials?

The contents of my bag are pretty simple. I always have a pair of reading glasses, shea butter moisturizer for my hands, my audio wireless headphones, a bottle of water, matcha & granulated honey, and the most important items, of course, are my planner with my favorite pen!

My kitchen essentials include matcha tools because we start every day with a hot matcha latte!

Our Vitamix is probably the most used kitchen appliance we have. From soups to smoothies, we use it every day! And we use glass jars and lids for everything from drinking glasses to food storage, so we definitely could not do without those!

What is the best or weirdest thing you've ever eaten in your travels?

While I have not done much traveling in my life, I am fortunate to have spent a lot of time in Hawaii and in my hubby’s homeland of Greece. Once again, I love so many different kinds of food, but I would have to say that the best thing I have eaten in my travels would have to be freshly harvested figs over authentic Greek yogurt while we were in Greece. Figs are my absolute favorite food ever! If I was on a deserted island, this is the meal I could live off of for every day of the rest of my life!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

There are many accomplishments that I am grateful for, but to narrow it down and keep focused on our blogging career, I would have to say our Matcha Milk Bread Turtles are, by far, our greatest blog accomplishment to date. The inspiration for this creation was a perfect combination of events that came together at the same time to manifest these adorable little treats! These matcha turtle rolls are extremely popular and are a food that puts smiles on people’s faces, and being able to make people happy with our food creations is a dream come true!

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Matcha Milk Bread Turtles

Ful-Filled

Adding a filling of finely chopped white chocolate to the matcha milk bread turtles made all the difference that elevated these sweet rolls to greatness.

Describe your dream kitchen.

Since we do plan on moving back to my hubby's homeland of Greece, I dream of having a kitchen with modern amenities but that still reflects the old world architecture of the Greek culture. I absolutely love wooden-beamed ceilings; they add such character and warmth to space. An open, clean design that allows for family and friends to gather around is the most important aspect of my dream kitchen because cooking with and for our loved ones is our passion!

My perfect day would be...

Spent with my hubby and our dog, going for a walk & or relaxing at home together. It's the simple, quiet times I love most.

I believe any problem can be solved with...

Love and truth.

When I need liquid courage, I drink...

A matcha latte!

My guilty pleasure is...

I don’t like to look at food as something to make you feel guilt. I believe that a truly healthy diet means we feel free to enjoy ourselves without feeling guilty or like we are cheating! That said, I love a good homemade chocolate chip cookie with a cold glass of milk!

I wish I had the superpower...

To be able to teleport, because who wouldn’t want to be able to instantly be transported across space and distance. It would make life so much easier!

What are your favorite recipes on the app, and why?

I have to say that our Roasted Chestnut Ice Cream is one of my very favorite recipes. When I first imagined roasted chestnuts in ice cream, I could not believe it had not been done before! It's a total flavor revelation and probably my all-time favorite ice cream flavor! I also love Lady and Pups’ 15-Second Creamy Scrambled Eggs. I am constantly blown away at how Mandy thinks outside of the box to create revolutionary recipes, and these eggs are crazy simple and crazy delicious!

GLUTEN-FREEPEANUT-FREE

Roasted Chestnut Ice Cream

Ful-Filled

By simmering the roasted chestnuts in milk, they become nice and soft so that they can blend into a perfectly smooth puree that is the foundation for this ice cream.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

15-Second Creamy Scrambled Eggs

Lady and Pups

This method creates a creamy and custardy texture that is delicious and takes no time at all. Gone are the days of low and slow scrambled eggs.

What is your advice to people who aspire to be in your field or do similar projects?

The most important things are to be authentic, find your purpose, and focus on your goals. This industry has so many different facets, and having a career in the food blogging/photography/styling realm looks different for everyone. I think understanding your goals is very important as it will help keep you focused on the path that you are to walk in this industry.

I really hesitated when it came time to start our food blog because I wanted everything to be "perfect," but the best thing you can do is to just start doing it--whatever it is--because it is through practice that you learn and develop your skills and abilities.

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