In this episode, Megan chats to Alessandra Macaluso about following our intuition to find our ideal blogging niche and why she chose seasonal eating as her niche. 

We cover information about Alessandra’s niche of seasonal eating and its positive effects on her blog and life as well as tips for finding our own direction, following our intuition, and the importance of niching down into ourselves.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Live For The Season
Website | Instagram

Bio Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the South with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.


  • Find a direction you’d like to take in food blogging (i.e. niche). 
  • A direction can help you drill down when it comes to content creation.
  • Why is the idea of “Niching down into yourself” important?
  • Let other sides of yourself come out to bring a unique flair to your blog – YOU are the niche.
  • How can you incorporate healthy eating and caring for one’s body into your blog?
  • Eating based on the seasons is one way to find natural inspiration for blogging.
  • Eating certain foods in season can lead to improved health and have a higher nutritional impact.
  • Seasonal recipes allows you to support local farmers. 
  • It furthers the “eat local” movement and helps you build relationships in your area.
  • Relax on keyword searches and numbers; let your humanity shine through in your content.

Resources Mentioned

Dr. Will Cole’s podcast episode featuring Teighan Gerard of Half-Baked Harvest 

Live for the Season’s Substack


What A Good Eater by Alessandra Macaluso & Amy Godiwalla

Followed by Amanda Bucci

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron


Click for full script.

EBT455 – Alessandra Macaluso

Intro  00:00

Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.

I’m Megan Porta and I’ve been a food blogger for over 13 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

Megan Porta  00:37

I love absolutely every type of interview I do here on Eat Blog Talk but my favorites are probably the conversations that get a little deep, they go into the mindset answering why we’re doing what we’re doing and how powerful those little mindset tweaks can be not just in our lives but in our businesses as well. Alessandra Macaluso from the blog Live For The Season joins me in this episode. Oh my gosh, you guys, she’s amazing. You’re going to love listening to her talk. She is really passionate about seasonal eating and how that applies in her life and also on her blog. This topic lends naturally to the conversation of what’s intuitive, and that applies not just to the food you eat, but to everything and how that applies to every aspect of your life. I absolutely loved this conversation and I hope you do too. I think you will. It is episode number 455 And it is sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor  01:38

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Megan Porta  02:56

Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater, Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents and many other online publications. Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg. Hello, Ali. How are you today?

Alessandra Macaluso  03:33

Hi there. I’m good. How are you?

Megan Porta  03:35

I’m doing really well. I’m super excited to chat with you. I love this topic. But before we get into it, we want to know if you have a fun fact share.

Alessandra Macaluso  03:45

I do so I guess a fun fact about me is that I’ve been told I do pretty good impressions. Oh, okay. What’s your favorite? I had a feeling you were gonna ask me that. So my favorite is actually my dad. He’s, he’s like, true Italian, you know what you would say off the boat. You know, he came to America when he was like 16. So he never lost that hard accent. And I guess like growing up, that’s kind of all I knew. So we got really used to like impersonating him and then that just kind of like, you know, perpetuated into other people and all that but yeah, he’s just very fun and he takes it really well, so.

Megan Porta  04:24

Well you got to do it first.

Alessandra Macaluso  04:27

So I don’t know if it’ll be funny if you don’t know him. But he so he, you know, thick Italian accent and he puts like H’s where they don’t belong and things like that jumbles words. So I remember one time in particular, he wanted me to go online and check something for him. And he said, on a Sunday, get on the internet and find me that hard article from hoopla. It’s very inspiring. And I about fell over.

Megan Porta  04:51

Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. That H’s that would get me too.

Alessandra Macaluso  04:57

It’s hilarious. And he like I said he takes it like a champ. But I’m you know, I’m one of five kids, so and we do it to him. So I guess you kind of laugh about it.

Megan Porta  05:06

I love that he takes it in stride and that he’s okay with that. 

Alessandra Macaluso  05:09


Megan Porta  05:10

Yes, yes. And then did you I know, we talked before we started recording, you wanted to ask me a question back. So if you want to ask. Yeah, go ahead. 

Alessandra Macaluso  05:19

So I just love what you do. And I think that that’s really great that you, you know, give bloggers this kind of platform. And it’s such a good. Like, I know, I’ve gotten so much out of listening to some of your episodes. But I was just curious, you know, how did you get into this line of work?

Megan Porta  05:33

Into the podcast? Yeah, or food blogging?

Alessandra Macaluso  05:37

Well, actually, both. But food blogging, I guess, in general, and how that transitioned.

Megan Porta  05:41

Yeah. So to make this very short, I got into food blogging as a way to be home with my boys. I had just come back from maternity leave with my youngest son, and I was devastated working in a soulless job I hated and I was like, I’ve got to make this work. And so that’s why I started blogging, and the podcast, I’ve always, I don’t know, for the past seven years or so from now, I’ve always felt this just pull to teach and share knowledge. And not necessarily saying that I have the knowledge to share. But to I’m such a connector, like I love connecting people, to people and myself to people, like that’s just always been me. And I knew I needed to combine that skill or superpower with food blogging, which I had done forever. I mean, I’m like, I think I’m 14, or my 13 or 14 years, I’ve been blogging forever. So I just knew that I needed to do that. And I was listening to a podcast at the time, who was a huge proponent of build a business around a podcast, and you will find success if it’s something you’re passionate about and if you are a connector. And I knew I was fit all those checkboxes, so I didn’t know anything. I knew nothing about interviewing, podcasting, nothing. But I just started by faith, I was like, I’m going to do this, I’m going to make it work. And I mean, it was ugly and messy in the beginning, I did not know what I… that first year was really hard, just growing and learning all from scratch, like completely from the ground up. So yeah, that’s kind of the history of that.

Alessandra Macaluso  07:22

Wow. Well, that’s, I’m so happy that you are where you are and that you stayed with it. Because I know that those first years are always tough.

Megan Porta  07:29

Oh, they are. I was strangely, I was just thinking about this this morning. On my morning walk. I was thinking how, like, how did I get through that? And how did I keep going? Because it was so hard. Like, there, there were so many days where I was like in tears just like why am I doing this? This is so much work and so much editing and like having to learn how to like, communicate with people I’ve never talked to, you know, like, there’s so much in it, that you don’t see you just you hear the out the the end result, you don’t know, the tears and sweat that goes into it.

Alessandra Macaluso  08:04

But yeah, that’s so relatable. And that’s funny that you say that, because I was just thinking that recently, too. You know, like, Why? Why am I doing this? It’s so it’s so much work. But it kind of reminds me and I hear in you also is like, there is something though there’s something in you that’s pulling you that that enjoys this, right? That really just has that, you know, drive to share and to make beautiful things and share great information. And that’s what keeps you going.

Megan Porta  08:31

Yeah, I’m glad you said that. Because I think a lot of people listening in the food blogging realm can relate to that, because it is so hard at times. And I think we all question ourselves occasionally, right? Like, why did I, why am I doing this? This is so crazy. Yeah. So that kind of leads into I would love to hear about your blog, like, when did you start? Tell us a little bit about it? 

Alessandra Macaluso  08:55

Yeah, so I started a long time ago. Also, gosh, I don’t even know, I want to say that I first started a blog in like, 2009 Yeah, and it’s evolved a lot. And to be honest, I just wasn’t very business about it. That’s just kind of not really, it just wasn’t on my mind. It was more of a hobby. So, you know, in the earlier days and years, really, up until recently, I haven’t really gotten like super focused on like the business side of things. But I just started my blog. It’s called Live For The Season. And it was because I just love everything seasonal. I love seasonal foods, and I love seasonal decor and all that kind of good things. And I love sharing about like what I’m doing and then you know, having a community seeing what others are doing. And I just I love beautiful things and kind of living inside of a season. Especially when I feel like you know, the world in general is kind of always pressing you to like, move on to the next thing go on to the next you know, we’re we’re technically not even over summer yet and we’re already seeing like Christmas stuff and all that. Yes. So for me it was kind of like a hobby and a way to slow down and write. And I’ve always liked writing in general. 

Alessandra Macaluso  10:02

So, you know, back then I feel like there wasn’t so much stress about like SEO and all that stuff like you could really just write as if you were, you know, journaling. And I liked that freedom a lot. And then over the years, leading up till now, my blog has evolved, I’ve put it on the back burner for you know, clips at a time. In that time since I started, you know, I became a mom. And, you know, I’ve got two kids now, and you know, interests have changed. So I’ve always stayed with writing, though, and I’ve always kind of kept it up to some extent. But again, recently is really when I’ve kind of started like, buckling down and learning, like the business side of things. Because again, it became like, well, if I am doing this, if I am going to put my energy here, and I do love it. And it’s been so long. So clearly, something’s driving me to keep going, you know, how can I do it in a way that’s a little bit more strategic and, and rewarding for me from all angles, rather than just like an outlet? If that makes sense?

Megan Porta  10:57

Yeah, it’s funny, when you are blogging so long, you do have to find a way to be strategic so that you don’t burn out. Because how do we say, like, I started in 2010, and I, I’m not sure how I’m still doing this, it’s such a long time to carry this right. Like, yeah, to be consistent. And I’ve had to find ways to to be strategic, just like you’re saying, in order to carry on, and you do kind of adapt your journey, like you’re required to otherwise we’d all give up after a while. 

Alessandra Macaluso  11:28

Right? Right. So true. 

Megan Porta  11:31

Okay, so here you are in 2023, you’re still doing it, you’re still at it. And I’m curious about your niche. So when you started out, what were you writing about? You said you were doing more like, you know, diary style, which I think we all did, back then how has your niche changed over time?


Gosh, it’s shifted so much, I feel, you know, I’ve kind of it’s shifted in, in waves really ebbs and flows, I guess. So started out like that kind of food was really the always the common thread. So I should say that from the beginning, you know, food, for me has always been a common thread. I’ve always enjoyed entertaining, you know, I was the one in my early 20s, you know, my husband and I had moved to the Charlotte, North Carolina area. And we didn’t know anybody. And we were living in a building with like, tons of young people partying, this and that. And it was always me who was like, let’s have a cook night, you know, trying to get everybody over so that we could like share recipes and like entertaining. So I would be like decorating and all that kind of stuff. So I focused a lot on that. And that was again, still running as a common thread. 

Alessandra Macaluso  12:37

But then when I had my kids, similar to you, I was like, watch time, all of a sudden just became so precious, right? Like, yeah, you know, one because of course, you’re enjoying your babies. And then on the other hand, it’s like, it’s so consuming. You know, being a parent, being a mom, especially in those earlier years. It’s all consuming, it takes everything out of you at least that’s how I felt, right? So I figured, well, I don’t have the time right now to be like blogging recipes and doing all these things. So I’m just going to blog about motherhood, you know, and about my life. And my writing changed a little bit there. Because I had a lot of parenting style articles. And I used to write for I had some success there, which was great. I used to write for Scary Mommy, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that website. Yeah, remember that? Yeah. So I was doing a lot with Scary Mommy. And then I had some articles on Huffington Post. And TODAY Parents and things, and I loved it. I thought it was great. I met a lot of really wonderful people through that medium. And it kept me writing which, you know, was super important to me. And actually, let me backtrack a little bit before I had my kids. I wrote a book about wedding planning. And, yeah, and it was just about, like all the craziness that goes on with planning a wedding and like all like the real deal things that like no one tells you and just like how insane it could get, and here’s how to navigate it. And I think another common thread for me is like, the way that I deal with things is through humor, and a lot of ways. So a lot of like what I write about and what I’ve written about in the past is like just making light of things that are otherwise pretty hard. So my writing kind of went, you know, that direction, and always in and out with food always in and out of sharing recipes. 

Alessandra Macaluso  14:15

And then, so a few years ago, and when 2000 came along, and like the world shut down, right? And everything went crazy. Right, a couple months after everything shut down my oldest child, Penelope, she’s 10 Now, but she was six going on seven at the time, and she was diagnosed with leukemia. Oh, yeah. And that was just a crazy time. And that was two and a half years of treatment. She actually just came up on her one year of being off of chemo and all that so that of course, you know, shifted my attention and, you know, everything was just focused on her and her healing. But through that, you know, food again was still a common theme for me and I’ve always eaten healthy and when my son was born, he had some allergies and things like that some sensitivities, and I was nursing him. So we did like, the whole 30. And I got off of like, you know, I just started eating really clean, and his allergies cleared up. And I think that that was the first time in my life that like, I saw the power of food that it wasn’t just like, a fun thing anymore, but it was like, wow, it you can actually see it healing, like right in front of my eyes, you know. So that was very, for me, that helps me like kind of clean up what I was eating. And then that affected, of course, the ingredients I was using, and things like that in my recipes. And then when my daughter got sick, a lot of what we focused on was supporting her body, you know, supporting her body. A lot of the drugs that these kids have to have are hard on them, you know, especially like, you know, she had to take heavy dose steroids for a long time. And bone health was top of mind for me. So like, you know, I just was eating even healthier, and just developing recipes. And I wasn’t sharing these recipes on my site. Because, you know, during that time, it was really very much like survival mode for us. Yeah, but I was doing it. And food was a huge part of my life and my healing my daughter’s healing process. 

Alessandra Macaluso  16:07

But during that time, as well, I knew that I wanted to do something to help with the stress, you know, of caregiving, and just life in general through the pandemic. So I wanted to do some natural things. So I actually got into something called Qigong, which I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it before. But it’s basically like a moving meditation practice. Oh, yeah. And it’s really the foundation for like all martial arts. So if you can imagine, like Tai Chi, Qigong, very much about like centering the body, getting in touch with the body, moving in a way that kind of like, helps bring the stress down and bring your body back into balance. And that became fascinating for me. And food plays a big role in Chinese medicine and looking at the body as a whole. You know, whereas, you know, obviously, Western medicine is great, and we need it for many things. But we tend to look at things in silos, but with Tai Chi, Qigong, and things like that you look at the body as a whole and what’s going on in a person’s life as a whole. So I found that really fascinating. And a lot of my recipes. Now, it’s funny how it kind of lined right up with my blog for the season. But a lot of my recipes now are seasonally based. And then I like to give like little tidbits about like, why this is good for you to eat this, especially during this time of year, if that makes sense.

Megan Porta  17:24

Yeah. Oh, that’s so interesting. Okay, I love how it kind of lined up naturally. Isn’t that funny when those serendipitous things happen? Yeah. So can you spell Qigong? Because I want people to be able to research that. Sure.

Alessandra Macaluso  17:37

It’s, it’s spelt kind of funny. So it’s Q-I-G-O-N-G. 

Megan Porta  17:43

Okay, and it’s pronounced Qigong. 

Alessandra Macaluso  17:45

Yeah, the Q-I is another way to spell chi. So yeah. 

Megan Porta  17:48

Okay. So interesting. I mean, I love that concept. That sounds very intriguing. And like something we could all probably benefit from, right? Yeah. And then did this carry over? I’m assuming like, it just kind of folded into your blog. Now, do you write about healthy living, healthy recipes? Now, what do you focus on now?

Alessandra Macaluso  18:08

Yeah, so I stick with the theme of Seasonal Recipes. And it kind of naturally like lens into, you know, for example, like we just came out of summer. So over the summer, I had a lot of zucchini recipes. So I have, you know, really delicious recipes. But then I also share, you know, why what zucchini does like for so for example, every season in Chinese medicine, you eat differently, you prepare food a little bit differently. So in summer, zucchini is considered a cooling food. So a lot of times we think of cooling food, you might automatically think well, that means it’s cold. And that’s not the case in Chinese medicine. Cooling food just means that it helps it has cooling properties. So it helps pull excess heat from the body. And in summers, like we have that big, you know, fire energy, like that big expansive energy. So so we want to be eating things like cucumbers, zucchinis, and things that help pull the excess heat out of the body and keep us balanced. So again, it’s like kind of natural when you think about it, like it’s very intuitive. That like that kind of makes sense, right? Because depending on where you live in the world, a lot of times like that what’s most abundant at that time, right? So it would make sense that that is what’s you know, good for our body, it could be good for our bodies at that time of year. So it kind of is a very natural, intuitive way. It feels like a very natural, intuitive way for me to develop recipes and blog about them. And then I like to add little tidbits, like in my blog posts about like, why this is good for you based on Chinese medicine and that kind of thing. But I don’t I don’t like overload with it. I do lead seasonal classes that are just for Qigong and Tai Chi. And that’s something like it’s through you know, you can sign up through my blog, but it’s something that’s separate. But in my actual like recipe posts, I just will put like maybe a paragraph or two about why this food is good for you what it can do for the body, because I find that you know, a lot of us now like we love food, especially if you’re in this industry, right? But it’s less about like, you know, I just feel like eating this and more about like, you know, I want to be a little bit more intuitive, a little more intentional about what I’m eating and why. And I think especially after the last few years, I don’t know about you, but I feel like for me, it’s put more of a spotlight on the health aspect, right?

Megan Porta  20:21

I think for so many people, I think that’s so true. Yeah. So I love this idea of just kind of intuitively eating and thinking about food. And that means probably being seasonal. But this also makes blogging easier, too. Because if something is in season, it’s more abundant, and just makes more sense to blog about.

Alessandra Macaluso  20:41

Yes, yes, I used to stress out a lot about, oh, gosh, like, what recipe should I post next? And I don’t know. And, you know, I have to think about it and do some research and figure it out. And like, I find that if I just loosen up a little bit, and just tap into intuition, you know, and go to the farmers markets and look what’s fresh right now, then it gives me at least a jumping off point. And then it makes it so much more manageable for me to start writing from that place. You know, if I’m at the farmers market, and I see loads of beautiful heirloom tomatoes, perfect. You know, I’m going to take those tomatoes. And then now I have a jump off point. Right. So now I can come up with a few tomato recipes. And the beauty of that is that it tends to line up with what a lot of people are searching for anyway, you know, online. So it kind of helps in a lot of different areas.

Megan Porta  21:31

Yeah, absolutely. It just makes everything more seamless. And intuition leads to creativity, right. So if you’re just like leaning into what is at the farmers market, you every time I go to the farmers market, I’m so inspired like, oh, the creativity just feels like it’s flowing through me. 

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Megan Porta  23:00

Where you don’t need to necessarily be a like a seasonal food blogger, right? Like you can do this whether you’re a seasonal blogger, or like a veggie focused blogger or not.

Alessandra Macaluso  23:13

Oh yeah. 100% I think like I said it would be more helpful because people are searching for those recipes seasonally, you know, like you’re gonna find people searching for pumpkin recipes, you know, in the fall way more than you would be like in the dead of summer or be you know, beginning of spring. Yeah, does that makes sense?

Megan Porta  23:30

Yeah. And then during the winter, I know that winter at least where I’m at I live in Minnesota. It seems like nothing is in season in the winter. So I don’t find a ton of inspiration. What do you recommend for being inspired with kind of winter themed recipes?

Alessandra Macaluso  23:47

Yeah, so winter is a lot of those hardy kind of cozy recipes like crock pot meals or like soups and things like that anything involving like root vegetables, anything that you could think of that you can cook for a long time you know on a pot those tend to be really good for winter. And then you know looking at like the Chinese medicine side of things you know winter is is really good for kidney energy, believe it or not. So for me yeah so for I wind up you know doing research and then building recipes around like what would be good during the wintertime what’s good for the body in general, right? Of course everybody has to take their own specific body into account so if you have allergies and things like that, you know of course don’t you don’t need to eat everything that it says but you can use it again as a jumping off point. So Wow. Okay, so these foods are good for my body in winter, they help support my kidneys and kidney energy. I’m gonna go from there. So that’s kind of what I do and I find that like those hearty or slow cook kind of recipes tend to be the way to go in the winter.

Megan Porta  24:50

If there is somebody listening who this sounds intriguing too, but their niche has nothing to do with like maybe veggies or you know, like, they really don’t know where to start with this, but they want to lean more into this kind of intuitive eating, eating seasonal concept. Where do you think they should start?

Alessandra Macaluso  25:10

That’s a great question. I think point A would probably be starting with your own, like, start where you’re at, right. So like, I know, and I’ve been all these people on all parts of my journey. So like, there was a place where I was ready for like a whole 30 type thing. So if you’re in that place, and you’re like, I want to clean up my diet, and I just kind of want to like eat super clean, and you’re feeling good about that. The whole 30 is a really good place to start. One, because it’s so good for you to kind of like clear everything out of your diet and take like a 30 day, little mini detox, right. But also, because there’s a lot of people searching for those things. So if you’re a food blogger in general, it could be kind of fun to like, Hey, I’m gonna take the next month. And I’m just going to do some healthy, whole 30 recipes. But the other jumping off point I would say is to do a little bit of research around seasonal eating, and see what resonates for you, you know, it’s hard to do, like I said, if you’re trying to, like, you know, start, you know, a lot of smoothies, and it’s like the dead of winter, you know, so I guess like take a take a cue from like the season that you’re in, and you can start there as well, you know, like heading into fall healthy, I’m going to look for healthy pumpkin recipes. And then maybe you can start blogging, things like that. A big jumping off point also is like losing the inflammatory foods. And those tend to be gluten and dairy for most people. So if you just want to say like, Hey, I don’t have the capacity to do the whole 30 this month, I have too much going on. Just say, okay, I’m gonna see if I can eliminate gluten and dairy. That’s it, you know, I’m just gonna go from there. And then kind of see where that leads you.

Megan Porta  26:43

I experimented with whole 30 a few years ago. And I actually have, like, I haven’t done it since I just did it that once. But I have a few recipes that fell into that category that still do really, really well. Which is kind of funny, because I am not, by any means a healthy food blogger at all. But they do great. So I love that just see, like, put it out there and see what happens. Yeah, with whatever. 

Megan Porta  27:08

Yeah, there’s people looking for it. 

Megan Porta  27:10

Yeah, there are. And I imagine so when you mentioned the farmers markets, I thought of this, this is a really great way to support those industries, too. Like I love supporting farmers markets and local farmers and all of that, right? 

Alessandra Macaluso  27:24

Yes, so for me, personally, I, I’ve always been like in love with that idea. I don’t have a farm, right. But I’ve always had a garden. And I’ve always loved the idea of just growing something for myself. And that for me started with like a pot of herbs on the like little balcony area of this building that my husband and I lived in when we first moved to Charlotte, I didn’t know what I was doing, you know, but I was like, Hey, I love the fact that I can plant some basil and then just go get some when I want to make a recipe, you know, that kind of led me down the whole farm path. And then there are some there are a lot of farms here in North Carolina. So we did something called a farm tour. And it like, you know, you go you start at one farm and you talk to the farmer there and they just kind of show you around. And I just became like that I just love it. So I made friends with a lot of them. And then they’re at the farmers markets, many of them are at the farmers markets. So you know, you go to these farmers markets, and then you get a little bit more connected with your community. So now you’re it’s a different experience. Not that there’s anything wrong with the grocery store. But I think for a food blogger, especially it’s a different experience, when you are just grocery shopping and kind of like checking off your list and going through the aisles. Versus when you’re going like straight to the source and you meeting the person that grew your food. And you’re taking beautiful candid videos and photos of the food right there on the farm. I think that it makes not only your writing more interesting, but it makes it deepens your experience. And as a writer, you know, as a as a recipe writer, a food writer, as someone who loves food, it kind of like brings you just one level closer to the whole experience. And it for me, it just really really inspires me to create even more.

Megan Porta  29:06

I love all of that that you just said. And I’m always surprised when I go to a farmers market how inspired I get and I’m not I mean, I love vegetables. But this isn’t my message. This is not my blogging message. But I still I go and I’m like, Oh my gosh, like heirloom tomatoes are so beautiful and ripe and yum. It’s like inspiring inducing, like creativity just flows. So take a walk around your farmers markets, if you can be inspired. And then something else you said earlier, you’re talking about just allowing this sort of intuitive blogging, intuitive eating, to tap into your creative energy when you’re writing because we all get hung up on the SEO and like the structure and the the blog posts of this stilted writing and you know, like that whole side of it. So I think being inspired by an heirloom tomato can add creativity to your writing. Does that make sense?

Alessandra Macaluso  30:05

Oh, yes. 100% I feel like you know, we can do keyword research and SEO as much as we possibly can. But if we sound robotic, then we’re not adding, you know, we’re kind of like diluting our essence, you know, and I feel like that, with so many bloggers, you know, and everything out there so much material out there, it’s all great, but who are you, right? Like, your readers are gonna resonate with you. Because if they can get the same information somewhere else, then sure, like, they can get that anywhere. But I think what makes each of us unique, and what makes each of us have like, our own special little home on the web is your voice. So I think that kind of not ignoring that aspect. And allowing yourself to do things that inspire you and keep you creative and breaking up the monotony of like the whole left brain side of blogging, anything that you can do there to just infuse your essence, who you are your life experience, I think can only can only make your blog that much better.

Megan Porta  31:04

I’m curious, do you kind of adhere to this mindset outside of your blog and eating so live for the season, for me implies kind of living in the moment or experiencing the present moment? Do you do that pretty well outside of what we’re talking about?

Alessandra Macaluso  31:18

So I would probably I would probably rephrase, you know, I wouldn’t say that I do it well, but I try all the time. Like, I didn’t really have a huge emphasis on it. Like I try. You know, I’m by no means like, you know, an enlightened person who lives in a moment, although I wish I was, but it’s definitely not me. But the beauty of it, yes, I do put a lot of focus in my life about trying to just be present right now. Because things are so fast. And they’re only going to get faster. And it’s it’s funny, because earlier, before we got on this call, I had, I had saw somewhere about a tool, it was through Photoshop beta, and like all these amazing things that you can do. I mean, right now, I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen it in so many ways, like between AI and, you know, Chat, GPT, and all those ways that we can, like, make our blogs better and look better, and this and that. I think that that’s all awesome. But I think even more, so that makes me pull harder to slow down a little bit. And to like, get grounded and really just try to do everything I can to to live in this season. And seasons mean a lot of things. So seasons, meat can look me in the literal seasons, right? But they also mean like, this season of motherhood, I’m in, you know, when my kids were small, and I was losing my mind, and I felt like I couldn’t get anything done. And, you know, it was so hard a lot of days. But it’s a season. Right. So can I live in that season? Same? You know, when my daughter was sick, that was a hard season, you know, some seasons are terrible. But you know, I have this funny analogy. Like if I could share it with you. Yeah, it was at the start of the pandemic and virtual school had been happening. And so my daughter at the time just turned seven, and my son at the time just turned five, and he was expected to start kindergarten virtually, which was just absolutely awful.

Megan Porta  33:06

Crazy. Yeah. Okay.

Alessandra Macaluso  33:08

Picture of five year old boy, right. And I will say like, my five year old boy is just so extra energetic that like, I mean, you meet him and you’re like, Oh, my God, this kid has the power of small city, like, so much energy. And you know, so my husband was trying to work from home, my son is in the other room at the dining room table, which constantly like sit out, you got to sit down, you got to watch your teacher, you got to log in you got, you know, and then my daughter was there. And thankfully she was you know, she was okay at that moment. But she was still not feeling great. You know, she was on a lot of medicine. It was hard. And my husband Greg was getting frustrated. And I was getting frustrated because I was still trying to work and my son’s literally bouncing off the walls. So finally, with my husband, I both yelled at the same time, my son’s name is Ciro. So we both yelled, “Ciro, get back on your call.” I just remember I stopped and I was like, did I just tell my five year old to get back on his call? 

Megan Porta  34:01

Here like what kind of world am I living in?

Alessandra Macaluso  34:03

Oh my god, but it means like just a minute of like changing my lens. I stopped and I thought about it. And I was like, Okay, in this moment, my child is just being a kid. Right? Yeah, my daughter is fine. She’s, she’s going through something really hard. But right now in this moment, look at her like, she’s, she’s fine. She’s doing great. You know, my husband and I we have a roof over our heads like, so I guess what I’m trying to say is that me trying every day to practice living in the moment and then also infusing that into my blog has 1,000% to answer your question to your point, like, you know, bled over into life in general where yes, I do try and all those times, little reminders, I fail and try again a million times. But it’s a really good lighthouse for me, if you will.

Megan Porta  34:48

Yeah, no, I think that’s such a big piece of just being happy in life and being content with what, whatever season you’re in like you’re saying, no matter what’s going on around you just to kind of stop and take in and surrender to the present moment and just be okay with it. And that bleeds over into our blogs and our businesses. So the more content we can be in life and just living in the moment, as much as possible, I think the better off our businesses will be too, which is one of my main messages here in the podcast, but like you Ali, I’m no expert, like, I struggle every day with it. But do you have tips? Any just kind of general tips for people who are on the path of like, okay, yes, I see that this is a really important piece of being a happy human and a thriving food blogger. Yeah, just anything to give us some encouragement or inspiration as far as like, being as present as possible.

Alessandra Macaluso  35:49

Yeah. So I think a good starting point for that is to allow who you are to kind of spill out over into your blog, like, don’t be afraid to, you know, share something about your, whatever you’re comfortable with, of course, you know, not saying that you have to be totally vulnerable to the internet, right. But like, allowing, like what you’re going through in life to kind of be illustrated on your blog, and to kind of, like, get you going and to lead as a jumping off point. Because again, like, I think, especially as a food blogger, or anybody that’s kind of in a specific niche, we tend to really, like, try to just stay focused, and like not veer off course, and this and that, but then I think when we do that, we take the human element out of it. And at the same time, like you were saying earlier, like, we can become less inspired by that, you know, inspiration is kind of harder to come by, when you’re just trying to, like, fit yourself into a box. And we’re so much more than that. We’re so much more dynamic than that. So kind of not being afraid to allow your interests to kind of just show up there, you know, and just showing up as you are remembering that, you know, this we are we are living beings, right, like, this is a snapshot in time, but like, we’re, we’re ever changing, we’re ever growing, getting inspired. So kind of like inviting your reader to come with you on whatever journey it is that you’re on, and trusting that they will find you that they’ll connect with you. And also in that process, like kind of not being afraid to also lose some followers here and there. It’s okay. You know, it’s nothing personal. But I think again, sometimes we can really get really caught up in numbers. And you know, who’s following us. And, you know, I don’t want to disappoint and this and that, I think, I think at the end of the day, if you’re coming from a good place in your heart, and you are sharing what’s specific to you at the time, it led it at such a level of authenticity to your writing and your blog. And it’s so relatable to the reader.

Megan Porta  37:46

Ali, this is so beautiful. I want to invite you back on the podcast, because I love your perspective. This is so great. And 

Alessandra Macaluso  37:54

Thank you.

Megan Porta  37:55

You hit the mark on so much that you know just how your, your perspective on your blog and in life in general, kind of are woven together. And just this whole concept of being mindful and being in the moment and how it’s all tied together. So so beautiful.

Alessandra Macaluso  38:14

Thank you.

Megan Porta  38:15

Yeah. Is there anything you want to touch on before we start saying goodbye?

Alessandra Macaluso  38:18

I think we did pretty good. I just…

Megan Porta  38:21

We did you did awesome.

Alessandra Macaluso  38:22

Oh, thank you. I have I do have a quote to share, just like inspiration. So there’s a there’s a good book I’m reading or rereading. Now I tend to do that. It’s called Followed by Amanda buchi. And I don’t know if you’ve seen it or heard of it. I have not read that. So it’s not specific to food bloggers, but it’s the content creators guide to being seen, facing judgment and building an authentic personal brand. So she cut like, I had this huge sigh of relief when I read this part I’m gonna share with you know, she talks about how you know, the the, the advice, the hard and fast advice is like you need a niche, you have to drill down, drill down drill down, right, you have to get as specific as possible. And that never felt right to me. So I read her book. And when I got to this part, I seriously had to put it down and just like take it in. So she says you are the niche, following your fascinations, creating content that’s rooted in your expertise and personal story. And then bringing all of your quirks and other interests to the table ultimately creates your own unique niche that no one else exists in.

Megan Porta  39:25

Okay, I just got goosebumps. So cool. I love that.

Alessandra Macaluso  39:30

Isn’t that amazing? I just absolutely love that. I think it builds trust and I really think it’s what I needed to hear. So hopefully that helps.

Megan Porta  39:38

Doesn’t that just make you feel so unique? It makes me feel like there it doesn’t matter who I’m quote competing with ever because it will never matter. I’m me. You’re you like there’s no one that can compete against either of us because we’re uniquely us.

Alessandra Macaluso  39:53

Yes. And then it takes that pressure off. So now like you’re not looking at everybody’s competition like you’re looking at everybody. It’s just their own beautiful expression of themselves. They’re the only ones that can produce the content that they are producing. Just like you, you know.

Megan Porta  40:06

Oh, okay, this was amazing. And I hope to have another conversation with you again, seriously, anytime you are inspired by anything mindset wise or anything that would help food bloggers, please let me know because this was one of my favorite conversations I’ve had. Thank you so much for being here, Ali. 

Alessandra Macaluso  40:22

Oh, I love that, mine, too. Thank you so much for having me. 

Megan Porta  40:26

Yeah, so we’ll put together a show notes page for you, Ali. If you want to peek at those head over to Tell everyone where they can find you, Ali.

Alessandra Macaluso  40:38

So you can find me on my blog at you can also find me on Instagram. My Instagram handle is @missp290. And that was after my daughter. Her name is Penelope. Oh, yeah. So you can find me there you can find me? Where else can you find me on Substack @livefortheseason, I just started my substack where I’ll be giving a little bit more information for like those who want to take a deeper dive into what we talked about with like seasonal eating and that type of thing. So yeah,

Megan Porta  41:06

That’s cool. I just had an interview right before yours was a conversation about substack. And I was actually going to mention it when you were talking about just creative writing and being you and so that’s really funny that you’re doing that. Yeah, we’ll have to let me know how that goes once you get more into it. 

Alessandra Macaluso  41:08

I will for sure. 

Megan Porta  41:24

Yeah. Well thanks again so much, Ali for being here. And thank you for listening today food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

Outro  41:33

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat BlogTalk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.

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