Six or seven years ago, in her early years in college, breakfast for Liz Falcigno was likely to be pastry with a side of super-sweet latte. While her big Italian family always ate well Liz says, she wasn't paying much attention to what she was eating when she first went away to school. "I was doing the typical college kid routine," she says, "but, after a while, I realized that I was just not feeling right." She started working out, avoided junk foods, traded sugary breakfast cereals for oatmeal and, within a few weeks, she began to notice a difference.
In 2013, when she moved home to transfer to Quinnipiac University, Liz started a blog to chronicle her shift to healthier food choices. As friends and family began asking for advice and food suggestions, she experimented with recipes in her family's kitchen, and continued building the blog while in school full-time and interning at Subway's corporate headquarters.
After graduating with a degree in marketing in May of 2015, Liz took a paid position at Subway and then moved to a job with an ad agency. As her blog readership grew and food brands began to notice her work, she realized the business potential in food blogging and recipe development. "In 2016, I made a commitment to myself," she says, "that, within a year, I would make the blog and website my full-time job." In order to achieve her goal, Liz had to teach herself food photography, getting up at 4:30 in the morning to practice her photography skills while she was also working on recipes and creating twice-a-week blog posts.
Her hard work paid off. Liz left the corporate world in January and now devotes herself full time to her company: The Clean Eating Couple (www.thecleaneatingcouple.com
). The other half of the couple is her boyfriend, Tyler Marino, who taste tests and assists with photo shoots. Liz posts three new recipes each week, and has an audience of fifty thousand monthly blog readers, plus another forty thousand who follow her on various social media outlets. The website generates income through ads and sponsored content. Liz also works with food brands and retailers such as Whole Foods using their products in some of her recipes and working with them on food photography and recipe development. She also does cooking demonstrations for specialty grocery stores.
"I'm working all the time," Liz says, "but I love it, especially the actual cooking. I feel very lucky that my path was so clear to me early on—I knew that I could not sit at a desk every day. And I would not be where I am without Sacred Heart, where I learned how to face challenges and was taught that there is nothing you cannot do or be if you focus and work hard.”