Courgetti Blogetti

Who am I?

My name is Laura Elfes, sixth form student, plant based Instagram lover and gym enthusiast. I am currently studying towards my A levels. A year full of stress and exams, this blog is to help me release some steam and to share the things I love with people around me. My dad can’t eat wheat so I’m always experimenting to find delicious food for him so he doesn’t miss out. With weird, wonderful ingredients appearing everyday, I love to test them out when possible!

Why Blog?

I wouldn’t say I’m an average health food blogger, first off I’m quite new to the block, never shared recipes, written online, or even taken many good photographs. I am no chef or professional baker and almost all of these recipes required a few attempts, therefore they are well loved! These are recipes that I enjoy making (and eating) and are cooked to my preference, everyone is different so your favourite may not be mine. I am always thinking about food, the next recipe to try or the next food magazine to read. I started blogging to share my excitement over new recipes with people who will want to try them; and at least save my sister from having to listen to yet another dish I am going to be attempting!

How did you discover healthy foods?

Healthy eating started to draw my interest when I started going to a gym, the menu in their café had foods that I had never even heard of and I wanted to understand them. Next, as a Christmas present, 2015, my aunt sent me a Deliciously Ella book and my parents gave me a smoothie machine. From then on, my love for vegetarian, vegan and stunning food bloomed.  I discovered many youtubers, such as The Happy Pear, Joe Wicks The Body Coach and Nicola Whitehead (NicsNutrition). And soon, peanut butter became my favourite food, I was making granola weekly, and my breakfast was no longer shreddies every day! Whilst going through a tough time with food, I developed orthorexic tendenices and it was a worring time. I didn’t want to ask for help as everyone was commenting on how ‘healthy’ my food was, and I loved it. But I gradually realised there was an underlying problem, next to this I had a slight ‘addiction to exercise’. Fortunately for me, these two habits never got out of hand, and I now have a safe relationship with both food with exercise, enjoying both in moderation.

Setting up the blog

Finding the ingredients turned out to be the hardest part. Holland and Barrett is way out of a student’s price range, and also promotes many ‘detox’ diets and extreme health claims which I’m not an advocate of.

I decided on my blog ethos: creating cheap and healthy recipes

Whether I’m in the free from isle in Tesco or finding a bargain in TK max, there are always ways round it! I made it my aim to inspire other poeplemy age to take up cooking, whether at home, at univeristy, college or living somewhere else. I also realised, that making cooking fun AND tasty is the way to get younger children involved, so I set about aiming my blog at a wider audience, to include parents too. A lot of my recipes use normal ingredients as living healthy can be super cheap most of the time. Its just learning how to avoid the marketing and health claims that are seen everywhere.

Why Courgetti Blogetti?

The name came from when I was making courgetti in the kitchen with a spiralizer for dinner, my sister had been helping me think of blog names at the time, she was the real brains behind it! I need to make it clear, I DO NOT support a no carb diet, although I may be named after courgetti, spaghetti would top this anyday! Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @courgettiblogetti to see my lifestyle first-hand!

Why did you join the gym?

Over a 6 month period I had finally found a sport I was enjoying and slowly improving in: running. Although slow and VERY unfit I realised that I loved it. After one run out in the open, huffing and puffing around Poole parkrun (the picture at the top features the Parkrun founder next to me!), I finished my first ever 5k. Yes I had been promised a cake if I didn’t walk, but sure enough I was back the next week, and I didn’t need cake at the end this time!

After suffering knee pains soon after, I was told that my feet had no arch support, which had caused my pain. I had to give up running. I retreated to the gym to complete my strengthening exercises till, one day, the instructor from my mum’s class invited me in to join and I never looked back. I am now at my fittest ever and back into running too, after wearing insoles which help most of the time.  Exercise makes me feel so much better and its my way of dealing with tough decisions or to get away from the world for a while.

Why start this blog?

I’m just here to show you my way of life because if I can help someone find a new gluten free recipe for their coeliac friend or even just be inspired to eat a few more greens, then I’m going to be pretty satisfied. This is me, it’s how I choose to live, learn and grow stronger. I also want to show people that healthy living is cheap, how to avoid emptying your purse and cook hearty, whole dishes that benefit you so much more than processed and packaged food that lines the supermarket shelves!

Since the start-up

Whilst my first few months were solely based on getting out content, within my first year I was nominated for a Health Blog Award in the ‘Best New Blog’ category, to which I came third!