Justine Fontinell, a board-certified health coach, and her sister, Flannery Fontinell, a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and International Board-certified lactation consultant, teamed up to become the Full Belly Sisters: a blog specifically designed to be a resource for women, pre- and post-pregnancy.
The duo’s extensive health experience gives the blog a special voice and authority, and Full Belly Sisters not only offers information pertaining to breastfeeding and childbirth education but also shares recipes in conjunction with nutrition and wellness coaching.
We caught up with Justine to get a behind-the-scenes look at Fully Belly Sisters, her favorite creations, and her recipes.
The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Justine Fontinell: The Full Belly Sisters blog provides simple ways to create healthy food that is both delicious and beautiful.
How’d you get started?
My sister and I launched our company, Full Belly Sisters (FBS), about five years ago. It’s a unique health venture for women before, during, and after pregnancy, and well into parenthood. My sister is a nurse and I’m a board-certified health coach. I started the FBS blog in order to share tools and healthy recipes with my wellness clients. Since then, the blog took off and it’s become my focus!
What are some foods you can’t live without?
Avocado, cheese, eggs, salad, and chocolate are a few staples in my life.
Are there any foods you can’t stand?
Coffee. I know, I’m a weirdo! I love the smell of coffee but hate the taste.
What is your proudest post?
Probably my Green Grilled Cheese Sandwich made with spinach, artichoke, and smoked Gouda. I’m proud of its creativity and the inventiveness of technique. And it’s a good example of what I try to do on the FBS blog: Take classic dishes and pack them with healthy ingredients and great flavors.
What is your biggest blog blunder?
I sort of fell into this whole blogging thing and am always learning — and making mistakes — as I go. I didn’t know anything about search engine optimization and getting my blog seen! I still have trouble keeping up with all the social media…
Do you have a memorable comment from a reader?
It’s always wonderful to hear positive feedback from readers! Just today, I got a great comment on my recent Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pretzels recipe:
“For a few years now, I've made three cookies total for the holidays. Two of the three recipes are family staples and the third is always a new one. This year, these were it! It was nice to have a relatively easy recipe in the mix of my other two that take a little more effort. And YUM! They are delicious! I'm also psyched to be bringing a gluten free option, (totally gluten free as I substituted sea salt for the pretzels on half of them.) Thank you! We always love your recipes!!”
What’s on your cooking playlist?
It kind of depends on what I’m cooking, what the weather is like, what kind of dish I’m working on… I love dancehall reggae for summertime cooking, old soul and funk for party food prep, and Lite ‘70s rock while I’m baking.
What are some other blogs you love?
I adore Smitten Kitchen — the recipes, the photos, the whole aesthetic. I also have a lot of blogger friends with fabulous blogs: Life Currents and A Dish of Daily Life are two of my favorites. Every recipe I’ve made of theirs turns out fantastic.
What are some food apps you love?
Instagram, for foodie inspiration.
What is the best thing about blogging?
Making my own hours, working from home, and always feeling inspired to develop new and delicious recipes that my family will love.
The worst thing?
Waiting/hoping for feedback on a new recipe — I always want to know that people have tried my recipes and that they enjoyed them!
Is there a recipe you’re currently obsessed with?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made my Brown Butter Cinnamon Churro Rice Krispie Treats in these last couple of months. They’re such a hit with kids and adults.
What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
That I feel nervous every time I hit “publish” on a new post. It’s hard to put your creations out there and hope people like them.