By Eleanor James
St. Mary’s senior and food enthusiast Madeleine O’Toole recently created a blog called Granola Grrl. As an off branch of her Instagram, @granolagrrl, she has decided to take her passion to the next level.
Two summers ago Madeleine O’Toole (‘18) established the Instagram profile @granolagrrl and started posting pictures of delicious meals. After receiving positive feedback, Madeleine decided it was time to take her project to the next level and start the blog, Granola Grrl where she now shares new and healthy foods found in local restaurants as well as recipes that she creates on her own.
The Granola Grrl blog is divided into three categories: foodie, recipes and nutrition and lifestyle. The foodie section highlights local restaurants, places that help give back to the community and spots with unique atmospheres. Each post highlights interesting facts about the venue and recommends an option tailored to specific tastes. Her recipes and nutrition section focuses more on affordable foods and simple recipes that Madeleine herself produces. She is still playing around with her lifestyle section, but plans to include ways to live a healthy and happy life while still eating yummy foods.
Madeleine attributes the inspiration for her blog to her family’s questionable eating habits. She says, “my family members were not healthy eaters, and when I realized that my addiction to French fries needed to be scaled back, I decided to try something new.” She described an enlightenment of sorts in 9th grade in which she realized that there is a balance in eating healthy food and delicious food.
Madeleine gives credit to the expansion of her blog to her extensive work experience in the food industry. Having gained knowledge about the ins and outs of restaurants, she feels that she has achieved a better understanding of the creativity and thought that goes into making a dish. Madeleine shares that “working at City Silo and the Grove Grill has not only provided me with the financial means to support my passion but it’s also given me a connection to the food I share with my community.”
With her blog still in the fledgling stages, Madeleine hopes that bringing her hobby with her to college will allow her more time and freedom to post, as well as the opportunity to integrate more of her own original recipes. The extra time after graduation will enable her to focus more of her energy on creating recipes and discovering new places to share with others. Her goal for the blog is that it will be an outlet for anyone interested in healthy living — herbivores and omnivores alike. Madeleine encourages her readers to try living a healthy lifestyle and to be open to trying new and interesting foods, because you might be surprised how delicious healthy food can actually be with the right care, concern and Instagram filter.