Austin Kitchen lives a balancing act. As director of leadership and engagement for the ChamberRVA in Richmond, Virginia, she works to bring talent to the Richmond area. She also runs a food and fitness blog that has amassed more than 20,000 Instagram followers.
Kitchen’s journey to a healthier lifestyle began in 2015, after a bout with cervical cancer. The intensity of the disease caused many to think this could be detrimental to her heath, possibly leaving her without the choice to have children. But after a risky surgery, the cancer was eradicated, and Kitchen used the experience to change her priorities in life and landed on a new goal: find balance that leads to happiness.
“Balance is not just about what you eat or how you work out,” Kitchen said. “It’s about how you’re treating your body and whether or not you’re taking care of yourself—making yourself a priority.”
Kitchen doesn’t allege that she’s a nutritionist, but the honest portrayal of her journey has inspired others.
“I can’t tell you enough how much I love her platform and everything she shares,” one Instagram follower said. “She stands for such a positive and balanced lifestyle.”
Of all of Kitchen’s creations, she says her favorites are smoothies—which have included everything from sweet potato to white chia seeds. She also has photos and recipes for a variety of foods, like pasta, tacos, and her famous pancakes.
“It was really about finding food that made me feel good instead of always feeling that my energy was low,” Kitchen said. “Once I got into finding these recipes that make me feel good, it became a habit.”
Although Kitchen’s full-time gig at the ChamberRVA is her priority, she wants to expand the RVA Fit Foodie empire. She sees herself posting more recipes and workout ideas, as well as encouraging women to find their own balance.