Med student starts holistic healthy living website

By Karen Kin

Staff Writer

Jamie Elchert always planned to pursue a career in medicine, but her passion for healthy living recently prompted her to begin the Healthy Hoot, a link-sharing website where healthy eating, fitness and inspiration can be explored and shared.

Elchert,a 2009 graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School, is a first-year medical student at the University of Cincinnati, and said she started The Healthy Hoot after finding similar sites to be less holistic, with potentially negative effects on self-confidence and self-image.

Her experience with blogging began at the end of her sophomore year in college, Elchert said, after she developed an eating disorder and was seeking an outlet for the feelings and emotions related to her recovery.

“I became interested in the healthy living blog community during recovery from my own eating disorder,” Elchert said in a media release about the Healthy Hoot. “By the end of my sophomore year, I started my own blog as a way to talk about my recovery and to get excited about food.”

After becoming familiar with various health and fitness blogs, Elchert said she felt many of them lacked quality content, and limited the material which could be posted. Some sites, she said, require professional-level photography with recipes and exercise, and can bombard visitors with “pictures of super-fit or super-thin people,” which can be detrimental to a person’s approach to and attitude about healthy living.

The Healthy Hoot provides a blog environment without those limitations and expectations.

The blog consists of three categories – healthy recipes, workouts and fitness – and an inspirational page. The inspirational page, according to the media release, covers topics “such as self-love, body image, motivational stories, eating disorder recovery stories, and other stories of triumph.” The Healthy Hoot, Elchert said, “provides an online community of people who understand,” to help people get excited about healthy living in an environment that celebrates wholeness, wellness and fitness with a balanced and non-judgmental approach.

Elchert said the Healthy Hoot has been live for just two weeks. She said the reaction from other bloggers has been very positive, and most feel she is filling a niche in the healthy living community.

The website accepts the submittal of nutritious recipes without accompanying high-level photos, workouts and fitness programs, and “mind-nurturing articles and discussions,” according to the media release.

Elchert said the Healthy Hoot is a way to reach a lot of people with healthy and holistic information, and she hopes it can be a resource for many like-minded people. As she begins her medical pursuit at the University of Cincinnati and continues to build the Healthy Hoot, Elchert said she hopes to inspire and excite people about their health and wellness.