Q & A with Lex Daddio of Restoring Radiance

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Lex Daddio is a food blogger whose vulnerability and realness are such an inspiration to her many followers. On her blog, Restore Your Radiance, she shares her story of healing from eating disorders through intuitive eating and really listening to her body's cravings. I've been following her for a long time and was so excited to get the chance to interview her. Lex lives in Richmond, VA and in addition to writing about and photographing her food journey, she has her own line of tank tops and candles that encourage others to "restore [their] radiance." 

Q: What inspired you to begin your wellness journey?

A: It all started 5 years ago, when I was going through a severe binge eating disorder in college. I just wanted to be free, to feel good, and to be happy. Recovery took time and looks different for everyone. At first, it led me into a battle of trying to be perfectly “healthy”, and it turned into an obsession. As well as an additional eating disorder and I was even more miserable! However, this is where I studied nutrition like crazy, and learned SO MUCH and I’m grateful for that time! Now, I have found freedom, I don’t struggle with an eating disorder. I practice intuitive eating in my everyday life and truly don’t have restrictions anymore. I eat everything, even though for years I thought I was allergic to every food out there. Turns out, I’m not, and my digestion was just so out of whack from the disordered eating so it needed time to heal! Food is amazing and I love it, but it’s not the main focus of my life anymore. It’s the icing on the cake, and full of enjoyment, and I’m thankful for it! But, life is so much fuller now, full of people, hobbies, joys, and so many other little things. I don’t believe wellness is about food, I think it plays a role, but it’s just a tiny part. Wellness to me is SO MUCH MORE. It’s about my mind, it’s about self-care, it’s about finding joy in the everyday, it’s about people and memories and so many things! That’s where I am today, and I feel better than I ever have!
 

Q:  "Getting into" health and wellness can be overwhelming. Where should someone who wants to eat healthier start?

A: There is so much information out there, it can be SO overwhelming. I’m all about simplicity as well as a big advocate for intuitive eating over “eating healthier”. I think there are ways to learn to incorporate beneficial things into your life, like adding veggies or fruits into meals or changing up your grains and proteins for variety. My number one is quality over quantity. I’d rather enjoy something so delicious and high quality then 5 of something that are okay and low quality. It’s your body, treat it well! That may mean having a salad sometimes and it may be having pizza other times! I think it’s all about how you feel, so eat the way that makes YOUR body feel good. We are all different so we have to find our own ways!

Q:  What tips do you have for people who are busy but want to take good care of themselves? 

A: I think something I would never skip is taking care of your body, not only from the inside, but the outside! Treat yourself well! Take a bath, do a face mask, move your body because you WANT to not because your trying to burn calories to eat more, read a book, pick up a new hobby, journal, go on a picnic, walk in nature, get a pedicure, watch a show, and basically just SLOW DOWN. We are all busy and life moves fast. It blows my mind, but remembering to be slow and present makes all the difference. You only have one life, so enjoy it! 

Q:  How do you find balance between your work and personal life? 

A: This one can actually be pretty difficult, but I’ve definitely found a better balance just recently. Most of my work is on my phone, so I can basically work anytime. I’ve found things that help me are things like, leaving my phone in the car or in my purse if I’m having coffee or a meal with someone. This way I’m not tempted to check my phone and I’m able to enjoy present time with that person. I also turn my phone on airplane mode everyday from 8pm - about 7-8am.This is so I can have a mental break, and well as spend time with my husband. I tend to turn work off after he gets home from work around 5pm, unless I’m doing an instagram story of dinner! I usually just film but don’t respond to anyone at this point in the day because it’s time for my husband! Also, no phones at mealtime, EVER. Helps me to focus on the food, and the person if someone is easting with me. I also tend to take off most weekends. I post something here or there if I wanted to, but other than that I barely check what’s going on, and I definitely don’t answer emails! I find having a routine during the week, like getting dressed everyday, and starting some work around 9am really helps as well!

Q:  What are your top three favorite filling snacks?

A: This is a hard one for me; they’re always so different! When it comes to snacks, I prefer sweet so either a peanut butter perfect bar, fruit & nut butter (like dates, a banana, or an apple), or a sweet of some sort (chocolate chip cookie, brownie or something I’ve made homemade or get freshly baked from a bakery!)