“When I started my Instagram a few years ago, it was a private account. I had 1 follower, my nutritionist who I was working with to recover from an eating disorder. Not realizing that my Facebook and Instagram were connected, my friends soon found my account. I considered deleting my account but realized that on the platform there were so many people going through the same thing, so I made my account public instead and put more effort into it. I was really doing it for fun until about a year and a half ago. Youtube came later and then a website which made me feel like okay – this is all legitimate now! The timing was around the time that veganism became more normal, but what was really helpful was having a focus. Thinking about the content I wanted to share and what I want the look and feel to be has helped me streamline over time. There were a lot of accounts sharing wellness content and food pictures, but I had a more particular focus. For me, it's veganism of course, but also self-love and recovery, and holistic living with elements of yoga. I think that having that targeted niche within wellness helped.
I also had experience with portrait photography, so I applied that knowledge to my food photography which was a big advantage. In terms of food styling, I have always favored a particular look--very clean, minimalistic, bright and crisp. I also completed a raw vegan course within Matthew Kenney's culinary school program, that included elements of styling. I focus on highlighting florals, colors, and seasonal ingredients. It takes a while to find your aesthetic.
People always ask me for food styling tips which surprised me at first because I thought people would only be interested in the recipes themselves. For smoothie bowls, the thicker the consistency the better because that way you really give yourself the time to style them and it has enough texture to hold up toppings. I really try to figure out the colors I want to use and toppings before I make it so I’m not scrambling. I’ll put aside toppings in little bowls and I usually try to limit it to 2 or 3 main colors. I like including a superfood and keeping the toppings simple and clean. Sometimes you see these beautiful smoothies, but then they’re covered in nut butter, cookies, protein bar pieces, chocolate chips and overloaded with toppings and then they’re no longer really healthy and the flavors become masked. I try to make sure that mine are functional, and that they still look and taste good. The hardest thing for me to style is salads. I eat so many of them, but, you know, you can only make leaves look so good. Unless you’re using microgreens as the whole salad base or something, I find it so difficult.
Before, I used to take inspiration from healing properties of foods, so I’d create a recipe targeting hormonal health, or cold symptoms for example. I still do this but now take my inspiration from seasonal ingredients. I’ll go to the store or market and buy something like a yellow dragon fruit or kumquats and I’ll try to use that as my star ingredient, then focus the rest of the dish around that in terms of color and taste compatibility. I use fruit and veggies that are beautiful and like to highlight them. I also think about a color palette in my dishes which helps me figure out what I’m going to use and how I’m going to style.
My morning routine? I’m a very, very early morning person and my mornings are pretty packed. My ideal mornings are very packed but in a productive way. Most days I wake up around 5 or so naturally and try to do a little bit of movement. Maybe 10 minutes of yoga to get the blood moving. I’ll drink about a liter of warm lemon water usually but I just cannot bring myself to do apple cider vinegar shots. I’ve been trying for the last week – it’s just terrible. It’s so awful, I don’t know how people do it!
Next, I take vitamins and have a matcha latte, maybe just a handful of nuts if I'm doing an early morning workout. I prefer working out in the morning. It gets it out of the way for me and really wakes me up better than coffee. I do hot yoga, boxing, or soul cycle and have breakfast afterwards. That’s usually something like a smoothie. My favorite protein powder right now is from Amazing Grass. I basically only use theirs. My personal favorites are the peanut butter, which is a Whole Foods exclusive flavor, and chocolate peanut butter, which you can get anywhere. I've never actually enjoyed a protein powder before and always used to try to mask the flavor, but these actually taste really good.
I’m trying to be more routine about the vitamins I take because as a vegan there are things you need to be more on top of. B-12 is important and I take it every couple of days, but not every single day. I supplement milk thistle because my sleep quality is not great and it's specifically made for supplementing and supporting liver detox, which happens overnight, so when you don’t get enough/quality sleep it helps. Supposedly, it also helps with eye bags, but I don’t know about that. I use Hum Nutrition. It’s called Wing Man. I also supplement zinc because I have a weak immune and lymphatic system so that helps me.
I became fully self-employed in January. What has been interesting is playing different roles that all tie together instead of just doing one thing. For example, I do recipe development and photography for brands and this has no connection to the Veggiekins blog whatsoever. They are assets created for the brands' use and won't show up on my social channels, but it's still relevant to the work I do. Writing for different health publication sites has also been interesting. It’s not something I ever thought I would do and when I started I was kind of like, “Huh - I’m not a writer!” but it happened as a natural extension of blogging on my own site. I also do a little bit of consulting and event planning for brands, which came about through my experience in building my own brand and hosting my own events.
I feel like social media is changing so much, but I can never get away from why I started Veggiekins. Even if I were to shift to focusing more on just yoga or wellness, I think food and veganism will always be a big part of what I share. It will be interesting to see where it all goes. If I don’t know what to post, I can look to my audience to gauge what they want to see. That’s been interesting to navigate – creating content you want to create versus creating content for other people and their interests. It’s such a weird space and I feel like it’s all so new, but it’s so nice to be able to grow with it and see how it changes for me.”
You can find Remy on her blog Veggiekins and on the below platforms:
If you loved this interview and want to see more, be sure to check out my interviews with Sophie Jaffe and Sonja Dahlgren of Well and Vibrant.