Chillin’ with a Chickpea in the City: Addie Martanovic

So you know how I like to feature lovely humans? Well, this week I’m featuring a lovely chickpea!

LOL. Okay, but seriously. I’m obsessed with this girl.

Remember when Instagram added Instagram stories and the whole world freaked out and none of us knew what to do? Like, should we use these? Do we like them? At first I wasn’t really sure what to do about them either, but what I did like about Instagram Stories was the fact that I was finally seeing the faces and personalities behind so many of the food accounts that I loved. Before, I knew a person by their meals, but now I can attach a real human to those meals. Addie from Chickpea in the City was somebody I immediately became intrigued with. Not sure if this is creepy, but everyday I would scroll through my stories hoping she put up an Insta-Story on her walk to work/school/the gym/wherever. I found myself either laughing at or nodding my head vigorously in response to everything she said.

It quickly turned into one of those things where she was my friend but she didn’t know it. You know what I mean? HA. I just basically always agreed with her, and I loved hearing her daily thoughts and opinions. Aaaand she’s quite clearly very down-to-earth and real, which is my #1 need in a human. She’s just one of those girls you wanna be friends with!

Anyways, then Addie started saying exactly what I was thinking – CAN WE JUST DELETE SNAPCHAT AND USE INSTA-STORIES ONLY, PLEASE?! Everyone else says, “Absolutely not! I love Snapchat!” But not Addie. Love <3

Anyways, this girl is a total boss. She’s young and hungry, literally and metaphorically. Her blog is insane – so many amazing recipes, and she has a ton of restaurant/travel reviews that you definitely need to check out. She’s a college student, but she somehow still finds the time to kill it at her internship, create fabulous recipes, maintain her blog, stay active, travel, and explore new places. She literally does it all. Obviously, I need to know her secrets. Ready to find out?

Introduce yourself!

Hi! My name is Addie Martanovic and I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio but have been living in Chicago since 2013. I moved out here for school (I attend Loyola University) where I’m currently a senior public relations major. I’ve been interning for a gluten-free baking company, Simple Mills, since this past January and also worked at Whole Foods for a bit this summer (dream job for a food blogger). As I’m sure you could tell already, I have a huge love for healthy food and wellness.  

When did you first get into health and wellness? What got you interested?

My passion started the middle of my junior year of high school, after I went through a change in my friend group and was consistently drinking, overeating processed foods, and just abusing my body. At the time I was heavily into going to concerts (think All Time Low/Paramore) and found Courtney Swan’s tumblr page (@realfoodology) where she would always post really informative facts about health. I started reading more and more, and one thing led to another!

How did you first get into blogging?

My freshman year of college I was alwaaaays taking photos of my food but only every now and then posting it to Instagram. My second semester I started writing healthy restaurant reviews for my school’s newspaper under the title “Healthy City Eats,” and by that summer, all of my friends said I had to start a blog. Eventually, the blog happened and I quit writing for the paper, ha!

How did you come up with the name of your blog? I love it.

I often always think of this question and am so stumped! When I created the blog I asked for my uncle (who is a tech geek) for help in all of the blogging areas, including my name. Somehow we both came up with it together. Maybe it was for my mad love of hummus? Haha, that’s what I just tell people now anyways! 🙂

Do you have any tips for someone who wants to start/grow a blog?

It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is so worth it! If you’re passionate about something and could literally ramble/talk about it for hours, dive headfirst into it. Be ready to invest: in the blog itself, a proper domain, a quality camera and backdrops/props (if you’re a food blogger). At the end of the day, it’s not about how many followers or viewers you have, it’s about the engagement and the people you meet through it along the way!

What’s it like working for Simple Mills?! What do you do?

Literally a dream come true, especially being able to use the products and create my own recipes out of them. My freshman year of college it was my goal to work for a local food company who focused on using real, simple (no pun intended) ingredients. I’m their marketing intern currently and I work on their blog posts, assist with Pinterest, and set up their social media weekly.

You’re doing a million things. How do you balance everything – work, school, blogging, social life, exercise, eating…?

I set a ton of alarms and have numerous reminders on my computer/calendar. Especially for the morning, I always try to set aside 30 minutes before my classes, work, or workouts to make sure I eat breakfast. I have tried working with planners and agendas but half the time I try to just balance out my life as the day comes. Because I’m still in school, I set up my workouts and social life around my classes. I’m lucky most of my best friends are bloggers so whenever we get together I am able to do a workout, blog, and/or socialize all at once.

Doing all of that, you must get stressed sometimes. How do you manage that?

Exercise is my top endorphin, especially a hot yoga or spin class. Also I love listening to music, which sounds pretty generic but in the past few months I think music has affected my mood so heavily. I am addicted to Soundcloud and Spotify (you can follow me under my name), probably thanks to my spin instructors.

A lot of college students feel like they don’t have time to workout or eat healthy food. What advice would you give to them?

If you care enough, you can make time for it, truly. The moment you start changing your diet and workout regime, it slowly will just become a lifestyle. Even after a super long day of class and work, I’ll make food at 10p.m. for the next day, whether it’s breakfast or lunch or both. I’ve found that group classes have helped motivate me a ton in the past few years. If you find a friend that loves to workout just like you, it makes it 10x easier (and more fun).

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your college experience?

Your experiences in college matter so much more than anything you’ll learn in the classroom. I’ve had three internships through my four years and those have been the best things I’ve taken away from my education. By getting involved in groups and clubs around campus, you can find your passion and best friends more than by going to parties or from a professor’s lecture.

I know you struggled with disordered eating in the past. What helped you overcome it and how do you stay balanced now?

I think starting my blog and befriending people who struggled like me was what really helped me overcome it. I think it’s one of those things I’ll always struggle with but I’m at such a better place now than I was when I was 18. I actually remember reading The Balanced Blonde/Jordan’s story about overcoming orthorexia and realized then that that was what I experienced. The summer going into my junior year of college I did yoga about 5 days a week and I think that really helped me mentally as well. Now I try to stay balanced with the food I eat by not letting certain foods get to me or freaking out if I have a scoop of ice cream. The hardest part used to be if I went a few days without working out, but now I look at that time as crucial and valuable for my body to rest.

What’s your exercise routine like?

I go to a spot in downtown Chicago called Studio Three which is a three-level building that has HIIT, yoga and cycling. I try to do at least 2 of each during the week but right now I’m on the HIIT 2x a week and spin 3-4x a week train. I always try to do morning classes when I don’t have school or right after work, it’s the best time!

I know you love to travel! What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to?

California, hands down. I love Palm Springs and Newport Beach! I also loved Kansas City, Missouri when I went two years ago. Such a cute up-and-coming city.

What’s one health trend/belief that you wish people would stop buying into?

Unrealistic food porn, I cannot stand it. It’s not realistic whatsoever that someone can eat an almond butter-based bar covered in more almond butter with a foot long turkey sandwich and banana “nice cream” on the side. Ya feel me? 🙂

What’s your favorite go-to, quick and easy meal?

If you follow along on my Instagram/blog you’ll know how bad of an addiction to tacos I have. I had this for lunch this afternoon actually but scrambled eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, spinach and some other vegetable with avocado on top in 2 corn or grain-free tortillas. So easy. So good.

I love that you do restaurant reviews on your blog! What are some of your top restaurant picks?

Cafe Gratitude hands down is my favorite, although Chicago lacks it. 🙁 But others I love are Sweetgreen, Ema (favorite mediterranean spot), True Food Kitchen, Café Clover (in NYC), and The Little Beet Table.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?!

Pistachio & Honey ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Oh my god, it’s life-changing. But because it’s so pricey and I try not to do dairy too often, I love a thick acai bowl or a chocolate banana smoothie with cacao nibs on top!

What are your plans/goals for the future? Post-grad?

I am going to move closer to downtown Chicago than I live right now, hopefully. I am crossing my fingers to work for Simple Mills full-time because I love them as a company so so much, and of course keep blogging on the side, maybe full-time one day down the road!

Tell me what your current favorite recipe is!

Because Thanksgiving is coming up, I’ll tell you my go-to is Hummusapien’s Green Bean Casserole. I’ve made it for my family the past two Thanksgivings and they are obsessed. I also love this smoothie I started making when I was a sophomore in college which is super simple! Here it is:

  • 1 frozen pear
  • ½ frozen apple
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Handful of ice
  • 1 scoop of vanilla plant-based protein, usually Vega

How DELISH does that sound?! HUGE thanks to Addie for letting me pick her brain! To find more of Addie’s recipes and to learn even more about her, visit her blog and follow her on Instagram! Tell her I sent ya, and send her some love! XO

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