Inside My World: An Interview with Caitlin Greene of @starinfinitefood
I'm excited to introduce you to one of my favorite foodies on Instagram: Caitlin Greene of Starinfinitefood. Caitlin, a Boston-based private chef, photographer, and food stylist runs on of the most beautiful and inspirational accounts in wellness out there. She's the reigning queen of making healthy food look like the most gorgeous eats imaginable and is an inspirational role model for body positivity. I hope you enjoy my interview with Caitlin!
- How did you come to start your blog after working as a chef and when did it start to gain traction?
Well for starters, I was not always in the cooking field as a career. I worked in marketing and public relations as my first corporate jobs after college. However, when my dad got sick about 5 1/2 years ago, I left my corporate job, because well, I was not happy! I worked for a wellness company for a while, I got my license in personal training, I went back to school for a bit, I taught middle school for about one school year, I started a dog walking company (which I still own and manage) and I began cooking privately for a couple families. From there, I began doing some private catering on the side. Although it was not always my profession, I grew up in a family of chefs, and I’ve been cooking since I was 6....(side note: pancakes were my first...clearly I still love them.)
I suffered from an eating disorder for a few years, and when I began my journey of healing was when I began my Instagram. It began as my own record of healing, and it helped me to repair my own relationship with food. Though I cooked for others, I had developed a personal disordered relationship with food. My account introduced me to my new found passion...food photography. I started to share healthy recipes and then I launched my own food blog in January 2017. Over the past year and a half it has evolved into something much greater and become not only my full-time business, but my passion. I get excited to wake up and do my job everyday! I still do private cooking on the side, and I spend my days creating recipes, styling food and taking pictures.
- You have some of the most consistent, yet mesmerizing posts on Instagram. How did you learn food styling and what tips you would give to beginners?
Thank you so much! You are very kind for saying that. It’s a good question. Honestly, food styling has always come naturally to me...long before my Instagram. I think part of it is the chef in me, and part of it is it being my creative outlet. I always like to make food look beautiful and balanced. Even in college when my boyfriend at the time and I lived on a budget, I always had a knack of making a box of macaroni and cheese look like something much more gourmet. I think it’s because I put the time into it...cooking is my therapy and I’ve learned a lot through cooking for others throughout the years. I’ve cooked for a lot of picky eaters, but I have learned when you can make something visually appetizing for someone who may not typically step out of their food “comfort zone,” they are much more likely to try it...and lets face it, if it tastes good too then they’re also going to eat it and enjoy it.
My tips for beginners would be to play around and have fun with it. Treat a plate of food like a piece of art...move things around, adjust angles and see what is pleasing to the eye. What has helped me to evolve as well is to look through food pictures and pick out some favorites. Then I spend time thinking about “why” something catches my eye. For one, yes I want the food itself to look delicious, but also I want the plate to look exciting and balanced. Think about complementary colors, textures, shapes etc. It is certainly a learning process, but if it is something you enjoy then the more your practice the more you will evolve...just like anything in life. Trust me, I am still learning every day...and I still create things that I don’t love. But, I take those moments as learning curves.
- Walk us through your favorite morning routine including any foods you love?
I’ve always been a morning person, and typically am up by 6 am every day, a lot of mornings even earlier. To be honest, I haven’t had to use an alarm in years. I typically lay in bed and stretch for about 15-20 minutes before washing my face/brushing my teeth etc. I drink a glass of water with some magnesium, take my probiotics and my supplements and drink a glass of wheat grass juice. Most mornings I head to the gym or out for a bike ride early for about an hour then come back and make breakfast. I am a big breakfast person, and that can vary food-wise. However, some of my favorite staples are eggs with some veggies, sweet potatoes, sometimes smoothies or toast or fruit. I also love pancakes and waffles haha. If I’m not super hungry and eat a small breakfast, then you can bet there will be a second breakfast a couple hours later.
- You have such a gorgeous, healthy glow. Can you walk us through your skincare routine and your current favorite products? (please be specific)
Thank you I appreciate that! I must say that skin care first comes from the inside out. You can do as much as you want topically, but it’s about how your liver and you digestion are functioning...one big reason I drink wheatgrass first thing in the morning is because it’s super helpful for liver detox and functioning. Also, I eat a lot of vegetables and healthy fats in my diet. Saturated fats are big for your skin and for your liver...as much as they might get a bad rep...we need more of them! Animal fats are wonderful for us, or for vegans coconut oil is great as well. As far as what I put ON my skin, I’m actually pretty basic. I use Acure Organics as my face wash, apple cider vinegar and water for a toner and usually just some coconut oil for a moisturizer.
- I love the breadth of recipes you post and the advice you give out on a regular basis. Where do you get your inspiration?
I gotta say, most of my inspiration comes from within. Being a cook is in my blood...and I’m a creative person naturally. I can’t really help that. I always like to be producing something new (to a fault sometimes). I think I’ve even mentioned a couple times I’ve had dreams about new recipe ideas from time to time...but my process typically starts with a small idea. Sometimes I think of a flavor then I head to the kitchen a build a dish around that flavor. Other times I have a whole dish in mind and then work out flavors as I begin cooking...my kitchen is usually a disaster when I create because I’m a visual person so I like to see all of the food options I’m working with. Other times inspiration comes from food I may have tried once or twice out at restaurants or dishes I see browsing through Instagram. On many occasions I see something delicious and say “I want to do a healthy makeover on that or create a new flavor twist.”
- What are your intentions for the year? What does the future of Starinfinitefood look like?
That’s an excellent question. My intentions are to expand my business on a few levels. I’d like to begin incorporating more of myself into my Instagram feed, as I love to connect on not just a food level. I also have a few projects I’m currently working on that I am not quite ready to share! However, if they work out they will be fun! I’m beginning to do more work outside just my Instagram, and I and also potentially thinking about creating an E-book or a workshop. Things are very much still in early stages though. In the meantime, I will continue to create and share!
- Is there anything else you would like to highlight about your work or would like people to know about you?
Hmmmm...I guess I just want to share that I love what I do! Leaving my corporate job and a very large consistent paycheck was a risk, but I would not change it for the world. I also want to add that I try to provide a variety of recipes, from vegan recipes to paleo, etc. Though I don’t stick to a strict lifestyle, I cannot consumer gluten or dairy so you won’t find those in my recipes typically. I’m always open to suggestions if there is a specific recipe someone wants to see. Also, I’ll just add that I’m a very open person...if anyone has a question please feel free to reach out. I do my best to respond promptly. And to all of the other food bloggers and influencers...keep inspiring, because I’m inspired by so many people every day. Instagram is a wonderful community.