An introduction + FAQ about me and The Nordic Kitchen

 
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Hello friends! How are you doing? We just came back from Indonesia and the jetlag is real, to say the least. I will definitely need a few days to come back to my routines and ofc to process all the amazing experiences from our trip. I will also put together a blog post about it and share with you. I also have a billion (well, almost) new recipe ideas because the food in Bali was just incredible. But more about that later. Today I want to share a bit more about myself. One of the best things about blogging is to connect with you through emails, Instagram messages, and comments. There are a bunch of questions that I get asked quite often, so I thought why not put together some of the most frequently asked questions in a blog post?

I guess a few of you have read my about me-page (I can see that in the statistics so don't deny it! ;) but I thought, why not also share a bit of who I am in this post?

About me, my education and my work 

My name is Sofia, as you probably know, and I live in a 3-room-apartment together with my boyfriend Kalle in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m originally from a city called Linköping (about 200 km south of Stockholm) but I and Kalle moved to Stockholm in 2013. Between 2010 and 2015 I studied medical biology and nutrition at the university. It was during that time I started this blog. After graduating, I worked at a supplements company for about a year. Then I started my own business + started working part-time for another supplements company (vegan & natural products). I’ve been working like this for 1,5 years now and I love it!

Working as a photographer and recipe creator can be a bit lonely, so I love that I get to meet a lot of people in my other job. I decide when I work, as long as I work as much as I should each month, and this is perfect for me. I’m a super creative person and a regular 9-5 job isn’t really my thing. I need variation and a lot of space for my creativity in order to feel good. This is something I’ve figured out as a grown-up, but realizing this has made all the difference in the world. Now I have two jobs that I absolutely love, and both jobs allow me to be creative and that is absolutely amazing.

Two interests became one 

Since I was a kid I have loved cooking and baking. I spent hours making cinnamon buns, gingerbread cookies and blueberry pies with my mum when I was little. In elementary school, I started to learn more about healthy food and what healthy food really was, and I became super interested in it. During the three years in high school, I was the one who cooked most of the food at home. I have no siblings and my dad passed away when I was 12 so it was only me and my mum. Cooking was a great way to de-stress after a day in school, but also a way to take one thing off of my mum’s to-do list and help her manage everything. I loved it, so it was a win-win for everyone.

Being 14-19 years old meant a lot of studying, hanging out with friends and trying to figure out what to do for a living. I knew I wanted to study at the university and I worked so hard to get the grades I needed to get a spot in the medical biology program. Whenever I needed a break from it all, I went out to photograph whatever caught my eye. It was a great way for me to focus on something completely different, to not have to think so much and to just follow my heart. Does this make any sense? Anyway, I got my first camera when I was seven years old (my dad was really into photography) and I had loved it ever since. In high school, I put a lot of time and effort into developing my photography and editing skills (for fun) and at the university, I realized that food could be photographed and so I combined my interests in cooking and photography and well, this blog is pretty much the result of that.

Now let’s head over to the FAQs, shall we?

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Food Photography & blogging

How did you learn photography? 

I’m completely self-taught. I started out with analog photography, then I used a compact digital camera before I bought my first DSLR camera. Practicing is key and remember that having an expensive and amazing camera doesn’t automatically make you a great photographer :)

How do you edit your photos?

I use Lightroom to edit all my photos. After years of trial and error, I’ve finally found my style when it comes to editing and to save time I’ve created a few presets that I almost always use when I edit. For example, I have a couple of food filters, travel filters, and a couple of nature photography filters. Having presets like this saves a lot of time when editing.

Where do you take your photos?

I shoot all my photographs in our kitchen (or sometimes I use our living room).

Any advice to someone who wants to become a food photographer/food stylist? 

Practice, practice, practice. Play around with props, get to know your camera and figure out what style you like. I’ve spent hundreds, probably thousands, of hours editing and re-editing photos in Lightroom. It has been frustrating at times, but I’ve learned a lot on the way. So, use Pinterest or Instagram as inspiration and figure out what you want your photos to look like. Do you want them bright and colorful, or dark and moody? Buy props that match your style and start creating :)

Do you work full time with The Nordic Kitchen? 

No, I don’t. I work half-time as a brand manager for a vegan/natural supplements company and the rest of the time I spend doing all sorts of work related to The Nordic Kitchen.

How do you make money with the blog? 

I get this question a lot. I make money through sponsored posts on the blog and Instagram, and through freelance work (recipes, photos, written content etc) for magazines and companies. I also sell prints, work on events and host workshops.

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Food & Diet 

What’s your diet like?

I follow a whole foods plant-based diet, which means that I stuff my face with fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, and superfoods. I avoid refined sugar and processed foods. So, a wholesome lifestyle with tons of healthy foods (and desserts ;).

Do you take any supplements? 

Yes, I take a plant-based omega-3 (from algae), vegan vitamin D3 during the winter months + vitamin B12 and iodine.

Do you use any green powders or superfoods? 

Yes! We start every day with a green shot consisting of chlorella, wheatgrass and ginger. Then we have a matcha latte and in the afternoon I often have a cup of golden milk or a velvet latte. If I make smoothies or smoothie bowls I often add some nutrient-rich powders to them as well, like spirulina, pitaya powder, maca powder or beetroot powder.

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Personal 

How old are you?

I’m 26, soon 27. I’m born in 1991.

Where do you live?

I live in Stockholm, Sweden, together with the love of my life :)

Do you have a degree? If yes, in what? 

I’m a nutritionist (dietitian) and also a medical biologist. I studied medical biology for a little over 3 years, then nutrition for another 2 years + some courses in sustainability and journalism. So I studied for about 5 years and have two different degrees. For those of you wondering, medical biology is an education to become a medical researcher so you basically learn about the body, different cells, how cells communicate in a very detailed way (lots of molecules and stuff) and of course pathology. I’m such a nerd when it comes to the human body, I love to learn how different cells function and how we can use food to treat (and prevent) illness.

For how long have you and Kalle been a couple?

We’ve been together for a little over 6 years now :)

Do you have any pets? 

Yes and no. I used to have a cat (Elvis), but he lives with my mother now. When I moved to my first apartment, he came with me, but he didn’t like the apartment life so when I moved to Stockholm he moved back in with my mother. Let me just say that he’s the king of that house XD

Also, someday I’m going to buy (or adopt) a Samoyed dog - I’m so in love with them. But that will have to wait a few years.

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Traveling 

I’m traveling to Stockholm, what should I see and do? 

You should definitely check out my Stockholm guide for all my Stockholm recommendations :)

Which is your favorite trip so far?

Our month-long road trip through New Zealand!

What is your favorite thing to do when traveling? 

Watching animals (in the wild) I guess. So far I’ve been swimming with dolphins, hanging out with elephants at an elephant sanctuary, seen sperm whales, giant turtles, albatrosses, lions, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, monkeys, sea lions, seals, penguins, iguanas, and hippos. Yes, I keep track ;) Left on the list are koala bears, kangaroos, baby turtles, flamingos, and sloths, oh I have to see a sloth one day. Ok, you get it - I’m obsessed with animals :D

I also love to see as much of the local nature as possible - waterfalls, jungles, beaches etc. Neither me or my boyfriend like big cities, so shopping is not on the list. I also love talking to locals to learn more about their day-to-day life. Often they also share a few hidden gems that you can go visit. Talking to locals has helped us find some of the most amazing places, like hidden waterfalls and volcanos in Mauritius and New Zealand, a coffee plantation in Indonesia, a number of hiking trails in Norway, Italy, and New Zealand and a bunch of amazing little villages in Greece and Norway.

If you didn’t live in Sweden, where would you live?

Probably in Norway or New Zealand. I looove Bali too, but my body doesn’t like the hot and humid climate so I don’t think that would work :P

Ok darlings, I think that's it. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me and I'll answer them too :) <3

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