We’re already into the third month of the year and so much has happened already! Exciting new projects are on the horizon, my workshops have taken off again and there’s something special to celebrate… Welcome to this edition of The Cooking Yam blog series, I think you’re going to like what I’ve got to share with you!

Time Flies!

January and February went by in a flash, and so much happened for me on the business side of things! One of the biggest new developments was my official start in The Studio business programme at Loughborough University – and that has involved more investment in my business, as well as so many exciting plans for what’s to come over the next couple of years. Alongside that my workshops have taken off again, with trips down to Sussex and Harrow launching these in February, and it’s inspired me to expand my workshops to offer them to even more people! I love delivering these sessions and having the opportunity to share my passion with people from all different walks of life, and so it would be amazing to be able to offer these sessions to even more people across the country.

There have been a few challenges to overcome (to say the least!) already this year, with many of them being business-related, and then others coming down to my own stubbornness and work ethic! Going through such a busy phase at the beginning of February was tiring and stressful, but the buzz that I get at those busy times reminds me that I’m definitely in the right line of work. What I have learnt, however, is that I’m the worst for putting pressure on myself, and that it’s okay for me not to work every hour in the day to achieve something. So if there’s something I’m going to work on through spring, it’s managing expectations – my own and others’ – so that I don’t lose the passion for what I do due to overworking. GOAL SET!

Getting Flash!

Anyone that knows me knows that one of my favourite hobbies is photography, but it’s something I haven’t dedicated enough time to for a while. I’m so happy to share with you that thanks to the new photography kit I’ve bought for business use, I’ll also be getting back into photography and spending more time getting snap happy! Travelling and photography go hand in hand, so what better way to pass time on my trips away than taking a few shots of the best landscapes too? I’m already craving my next getaway so that I can test out my new kit in a beautiful vista, but for now at least the humble canals and lakes of Loughborough will be my practice ground until I can hop on a plane to somewhere further afield.

Another bonus of having the new photography kit is the new content that I can create for my blog! Even though my food photography has improved by miles since I first started out, there is still so much more for me to learn, and with a craft like food photography to combine two of my passions, I can’t wait to get started on a couple of brand new foodie projects over the next few months. Without saying too much, think recipes, think collaborations, think project! That’s all I’m saying for now, but all will be revealed in the next few months!

Celebration!

It’s time to look back and recognise a big milestone in the history of The Cooking Yam. Would you believe it’s now been 2 years since The Cooking Yam first began?! So much has happened since then: graduation, launching my business, my trip to Miami, projects with amazing partners in the nutrition industry… and so if the last 2 years are anything to go by, the future is looking pretty bright! I have plenty of plans for how The Cooking Yam can grow over the next few years, and it all starts with a few small stepping stones and expanding my team. I’m pleased to announce that a brand new website is in the pipeline for launch in a few months’ time, and I’ll be collaborating with one of the best writers I know to development brand new content! So there’s plenty to look forward to this year; I knew 2020 was going to be a good one!

Live and Learn

I hit the ground running when January came around, as I always do! And though I made a productive start to the year, this led to a touch of burnout. I love what I do, but sometimes it’s easy for me to get carried away, especially when I’m working on so many different projects. So after a bit of time out to look at the bigger picture of what I’m doing, and crucial conversations with my closest friends and family, I’m back to my happy place again with a clearer idea of what I want. This goes for my career, the business, and what I want out of life in general. Most importantly I’ve recognised how crucial it is for me to factor in time out, even in the busiest of times. And so that’s why I’m so looking forward to having all these exciting new business developments in place – hopefully they’ll give me a better balance of the workload, especially with having a bigger team to work with. And of course there will definitely be another trip away coming soon, just to give me that extra bit of a break that I need!

So the message I’ll leave you with this post is this:

How often do you take time out for you? It can be easy to get caught up with work, university, family commitments and social media, and we can often sacrifice our own health and happiness. It’s the start of a brand new month, so my challenge for myself and for you, is to find something that is truly for yourself and makes you happy, and do it as often as you can this month. Whether it’s travelling, solo cinema trips, exercise or a bit of self-care, it’s so important to stay in tune with yourself, so don’t be afraid to be selfish!

Until next time,

-TheCookingYam

Written by TheCookingYam

I'm a BSc Sport and Exercise Science Graduate from Loughborough University, and also work as a Nutrition Advisor and recipe developer for organisations such as British Swimming, Colour Fit and Bam Organic. I'm passionate about all things food, health and fitness, and have an ambition to share my knowledge with others. Qualified with Grade Distinction in Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Sports Nutrition to support my interest in food and health for active individuals.

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