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Ohio State student bloggers cook their way through Instagram

St. Patrick’s Day inspired smoothie bowl topped with strawberries, granola, pumpkin seeds & chia seeds. Credit: Courtesy of Jenna Bresnahan and Abby Pence

Abby Pence and Jenna Bresnahan met last year on Facebook in hopes of becoming roommates. Now one year later, they’re sharing more than just a dorm room.

Pence, a second-year in health sciences, and Bresnahan, a second-year in nursing, created a food blog, “fitandfoodiess,” on Instagram and has steadily gained a following with more than 800 followers in just two months.The roommates post pictures of their food creations, share recipes with their online following and even try new recipes from other food bloggers.

“We like to try healthy restaurants but we always saw recipes on Instagram and we would come to each other and say we need to make this,”  Pence said. “Randomly one day we said, ‘Let’s make an Instagram account.’”

Within days, the bloggers said their account had already garnered interest from followers in the types of recipes they were going to share next. Their newfound fandom encouraged the pair to continue posting pictures of their creations along with healthy recipes.

It’s no surprise that most of Pence and Bresnahan’s followers happen to be fellow students.   Because of limited space and kitchen facilities while living on campus, Pence and Bresnahan have mainly featured easy-to-make breakfast and brunch recipes on their page to encourage other college students that healthy eating is still possible while living in dorms.

“We make energy bars and bites that people can make in their dorm or something easy and we will post it and someone will ask for the recipe,” Pence said.

Other recipes on their page include smoothie bowls, almond butter cacao bars, banana oat muffins, whole grain chocolate pancakes and avocado pesto toast with hemp seeds.

Next year, Pence and Bresnahan will be moving out of the dorms and into an apartment where they will have their own kitchen to make even more dishes with a variety of tastes and flavors. They plan to extend their food blogging to lunch and dinner recipes as well.

“We just want to have a website so we can post our recipes,” Pence said. “Because right now everybody will be like, ‘What’s your recipe?’ and we have to individually send it to people or post it on the Instagram post whereas if we had a website, we could go to it and start a blog.”

In a world of endless food blogs and websites, the pair seems to have found a niche among a demographic usually not associated with proper eating habits. Encouraged by the responses they have received already, Pence and Bresnahan hope to keep growing and inspiring college students to eat healthy and enjoy it at the same time.

“We have also had a lot of direct messages from people saying that they have been going through a tough time or a couple have said they have had eating disorders or that they are having trouble in college, and then saying how our page has inspired them,” Bresnahan said. “I think that is really heart-warming to know that we can make that happen.”

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