Inside the Mind of a Fordham Food Blogger

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COURTESY OF TESSA BURNS

Tessa Burns, FCLC '23, uses her Instagram account, @therawalmond, to show that it's not hard to be healthy.

By MAGGIE MCNAMARA, Staff Writer

Have you ever been mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, past the ads and the travel posts and the birthday shoutouts, only to stop suddenly when you see a picture of a meal that looks so mouth-wateringly delicious that you feel your stomach growl? 

In recent years, you may have noticed your feed flooded with picturesque eats: rainbow bagels, runny egg yolks, colorful pizzas and, of course, avocado toast. Food accounts on social media have been rising in popularity for good reason: Nothing beats a beautifully laid-out meal, even if you can only feast with your eyes. 

I recently sat down with Tessa Burns, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’23, who runs the health-food Instagram account @therawalmond, to ask a few questions about what it takes to maintain a food blog.

Q: How long have you had your account? Why did you decide to make it?

A: I made my food account the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I realized that I was just putting a lot of bad stuff into my body, so the account was a way to make myself healthier.

Q: Do you have a food philosophy?

A: I believe in everything in moderation. Also, I believe it’s unhealthy to restrict your diet.

Q: What goes into making a post for your account?

A: If I’m going grocery shopping or trying out a new restaurant or recipe, I know that I’ll post about it later, but that’s about as planned as it gets. Some days, I know I want to make at least one pretty meal so I can post it. I never really write out my captions or anything, so a lot is spur of the moment.

Q: What are your goals for your account? Is it just a hobby or would you like to take it further in the future?

A: My account is mostly for fun and to show people our age that it’s not hard to be healthy, and that healthy food can be delicious too. I wanted to be a nutritionist for a while, and that’s definitely still on the table.

Q: What type of content do you post? Is it strictly limited to food or other things too?

A: It’s mostly food, but I also post about workouts, fitness and other general health-related topics. If I come across a quote that’s meaningful to me, I’ll post that, too.

Q: How has going to college and living in McKeon Hall impacted how you run your account?

A: I really struggled adjusting at first without a kitchen, but I bought my own pots and pans and started utilizing the upstairs community kitchen to meal prep. It’s also super fun to be in the city where there are so many health restaurants.

Q: Do you have any favorite food bloggers who inspire your account?

A: Yes! @shutthekaleup, @rachlmansfield and @rachaelsgoodeats are some of my favorites.

Q: Do you have any favorite foods to eat/photograph?

A: Nut butter! I love baking, so anything like that. Also, Hu chocolate, hummus and Lesser Evil popcorn.

Q: Favorite spots around the city?

A: So many! Juice Press, Butcher’s Daughter, Hu Kitchen, Two Hands Cafe, Butler Bakeshop, Honeybrains, by CHLOE and, of course, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Q: Lastly, what’s your favorite part about running your account?

A: The community. I love meeting people who are also passionate about living healthy. It’s great to connect with other like-minded people who share the same values as you.

Note: responses have been edited for length and clarity.