Today her blog Oh She Glows – a food blog full of healthy vegan recipes – receives more than a million visitors each month, but when she first started, Angela Liddon’s blogging was just her way of chronicling her road to recovery from an eating disorder.
Her 10-year struggle had begun at the age of 12 and led to a 20-pound weight gain in university. After graduating from the University of Guelph in 2006, with a degree from the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences in family studies and psychology, she went on to pursue a master’s degree at York University, but the stress of graduate school combined with a research job that left her feeling unfulfilled took a toll on her body.
“I decided to start the blog because I was really struggling in my life,” says Liddon. Inspired by other healthy living blogs, she was also compelled to help other women develop healthier relationships with food and their bodies.
She soon began an online vegan bakery, Glo Bakery, which featured homemade energy bars made by hand with names like “chocolate brownie bomb.” She made all of her products in her Milton, Ont., home and packaged them herself. Finding a market for her baked goods was made easier by her readers, many of whom became her customers.
In 2011, Liddon was approached by an editor from a major publishing house to write a cookbook, and the first physical copies of Oh She Glows hit bookshelves on March 4, 2014. Oh She Glows was selected as the Chapters/Indigo book of the year in 2014. Her second plant-based cookbook Oh She Glows Every Day, featuring 100 scrumptious full-page photographs, was released in 2016. It quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. In 2017, both her new cookbook and her blog took home gold prizes in Taste Canada’s Awards ceremony.
Liddon continues to inspire both men and women to make healthy lifestyle choices. She has recently released the Oh She Glows app which contains healthy plant-based recipes, many of which are the result of experimenting with different ingredients and modifying family recipes to make them vegan-friendly.
When it comes to food, she has “learned to love again.” She no longer counts calories and has got rid of her scale. With hard work, counseling and persistence, she was able to overcome the eating disorder that so affected her younger years. Fitness is also a part of her routine, now. She began running and has participated in half-marathons; her attitude toward exercise shifting from a focus on burning calories to having fun, which helps keep her motivated.
Liddon says one of the biggest mistakes people make with their diets is the quality of food they eat. “Everything is packaged into 100-calorie convenience foods. If you read the label and you see what’s really in it, most of it isn’t even real food. You have to ask, ‘what am I putting in my body? If people focused more on eating whole foods, vegetables, nuts and grains, they would feel a lot better.” Liddon is also trying to use more local foods in her recipes, including those harvested from her own vegetable garden.