How RVAFitFoodie turned her darkest hour into Instagram inspiration

Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 07, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- Austin Kitchen is aptly named.

The Richmond woman relishes time in the kitchen.

It is the favorite room inside her Scott’s Addition home.

Every day, she invites thousands of guests to join her for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Austin is the founder of RVAFitFoodie.

An Instagram feed which details what's on her personal menu.

"Most of the ingredients that go into my recipes are organic or are all natural," Austin said.

From smoothies in the morning, to veggie dishes at night. People are, eating up her simple, healthy recipes.

Austin Kitchen, in her kitchen.

"I have five minutes and I’m showing them this is how you can do it and be healthy," she said. "It’s all about balance and figuring out what works for you."

In just three months, Austin has attracted nearly 8,000 followers from Richmond to Paris.

The 26-year-old woman isn't a trained nutritionist. She works for RVA Chamber.

"I live on a budget," she said. "I don’t have a million dollars to spend on groceries."

Austin admits eating right has not always been a priority.

Her approach to healthy living grew out of a dark chapter in her life.

That chapter began August 17 2015, the day a doctor diagnosed her with cancer.

"For me, it was very personal and I didn’t know how to handle it," she said. "I started to cry and asked her what are the percentages of me living. Is this something people overcome?"

After successful surgery to remove the cancer, Austin made a decision.

"It was a moment of my life where I said something has got to change... but mostly because I want to feel better about myself on a day-to-day basis," she said.

She now incorporates a more balanced lifestyle of nutritious food and exercise.

"Once you get into this habit, it is very hard to go back to eating a certain way," she said.

RVAFitFoodie was born after a growing number of friends and strangers started asking for eating tips.

Austin Kitchen is RVAFitFoodie

"I never wanted to be that person that had their phone like this and selfies all of the time, but it ended up happening," she laughed.

Austin is pleasantly surprised by the popularity of her recipes

This RVA Fit Foodie has changed inside and out.

But what is she most proud of?

Inspiring others.

"I think they enjoy following someone who enjoys life and being positive," she said. "I now look at my life completely different than I did back then. I now have so many hopes and dreams for me and those around me."

Natural, no gluten, little sugar, and lots of love. Ingredients for success in Austin's kitchen of life.

"I think every day I’m humbled that I am here and healthy."

Each week Greg McQuade profiles people in our community. If you know someone who should be featured in his weekly "I Have a Story” segment, send him a note.

View this post on Instagram

Feeling humbled & a bit nervous to be featured on @cbs6 tonight at 11pm & tomorrow between 6-8am. This is the first time I've talked more in-depth about the Cervical Cancer I was diagnosed with back in 2015 but more importantly, how I turned my experience into a way to help others during their journeys. All of my passion for health & fitness stems from my appreciation for good health that can so quickly disappear. In the moment I was diagnosed, I thought my world was falling apart but here I am today just hoping to inspire & be inspired. Thank you to everyone who has been such a positive encouragement since I began RVA Fit Foodie. I get inspired by each of you daily 😘 . Special shoutout to the support system that got me through that time in my life >>> my parents, family & best friend. . Watch live @ (click on "Watch Live" tab)

A post shared by Austin Bailey (@rvafitfoodie) on



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