The Belle of Balance

October 2013
Written By: 
Ashley Burkholder
Photographs by: 
Christopher Nelson

April Dendy’s food blog is inspiring others to live healthy without skimping



Forget the world. Cyberspace is April Dendy’s oyster. In February, this corporate lawyer by day and blogger by night found a way to channel her newfound passions through the web.

“I didn’t really grow up cooking, I just always liked good food,” she says, picking at one of her favorites, an Ahi tuna salad tossed in yuzu dressing at Sobaya (Dendy's version of that dish is pictured above). “Food that’s good for you, but still tastes amazing.”

The Myrtle Beach middle child, 32, an associate counsel for Burroughs & Chapin, needed an outlet from long hours at the desk over contracts, leases, negotiations and lots and lots of paperwork. So it started with a fondness for food—healthy food from local ingredients—which was spawned by hours of following other foodie blogging well-knowns in the industry, as well as her rigorous research on restaurants whenever she travels. And, thus, her blog, “Barbells & Bellinis,” was born after she realized she could do the same thing as her predecessors. And the self-taught foodie does it amazingly well. Her healthy, hearty recipe recreations and originals have been linked on big-time blog sites like foodgawker, TasteSpotting and BuzzFeed.

Dendy was also one of 56 chosen to be featured on Greatist for her Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Guacamole. At press time, she was awaiting news on whether or not her breakfast pie recipe won the national Pillsbury Baking contest.

Her secret? Great food visuals, thanks to her newfound photography hobby, and her honest candor on living a balanced life.  “I try to promote the 80/20 rule because you can’t deny yourself the things you love,” says Dendy. (Two of hers: wine and bacon.)

The other half of her balanced life is her fiancé, Scott Doane, a certified personal trainer and the owner of BeSTRONG Training Systems. It’s how they met, actually; he was her trainer.

“Lucky for me,” she continues from her blog, “my desire to be healthy and my vanity are far greater than my distaste for working up a sweat. So I weight train three days a week, and have just started practicing yoga one to two days a week.” She also recommends the 5K runner app for training.

Dendy is most happy in her Murrells Inlet kitchen or at the gym, shopping at Costco or playing with her Cane Corso, King.

Follow a daily balanced life with Dendy at