With the most beautiful, vegan creations posted daily, images and recipes to inspire and with her sights set firmly on her vision for the future of her business, Nourishing Amy’s star is rising higher and higher. I caught-up with this gorgeous gem of a human and creator of all of this wonderful deliciousness to discuss plant-based food, self-belief and matcha tea!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and the philosophy behind Nourishing Amy.
I’m Amy, a plant-based food blogger, recipe developer and content creator. I am passionate about food, health and happiness and combining the three to lead a nourishing lifestyle. I believe in sharing vibrant, wholesome and delicious recipes to inspire others to make more vegan recipes.
My food and life philosophies are pretty simple – listen to your body. I believe that when you eat (with a focus on plants and wholefoods), move and rest intuitively, you are on your own way to optimum health and wellness. Feed yourself nourishing meals, snacks and drinks when you want and made up of what YOU feel like. Balance to me is baking indulgent vegan chocolate cakes and having a deliciously creamy and healthful roasted vegetable buddha bowl for dinner.
Eating mindfully is also something I am passionate about. Eating is a huge part of our lives, and the cycle of hunger, preparation, satiation and cleaning is incessant. So why not enjoy the daily rituals? The more time, heart and soul I can put into my cooking, the better it tastes and the more enjoyment I am met with.
I am based in Hertfordshire, just north of London and you’ll often find me in the capital meeting friends for brunch or at work events and meetings. I work from home most days with my cat, Mickey, for company and I love the flexibility.
What’s the inspiration behind Nourishing Amy and for how long have you been creating delicious recipes?
I have always been passionate about food and interested in cakes in particular. I’d always bake birthday cakes, make lots of mince pies with mum at Christmastime and when I went to university, I became more interested in savoury recipes, too. I enjoyed playing around with new ingredients, as this was the time “health and wellness” food blogs were really kicking off. I started trying out a more plant-based diet very organically by switching dairy milk for almond milk and slowly over the next few years I realised how amazing plant-based foods made me feel. I wanted to show others the vibrant, delicious and impressive meals and treats you can make and so I started sharing them on social media. Back in 2016 I only shared very basic images; it wasn’t until last year (2018) that I started to take social media more seriously and began working with brands. As time has progressed, I have also become more passionate about veganism and use my platform to promote this as well as sharing inspirational quotes and messages.
Your images and recipes are so amazing, how do you come up with so many fab ideas?
Thank you! I am completely self-taught and often feel like an imposter amongst talented photographers and stylists. I love both food styling and food phototherapy and love studying theimages that make me go “wow” and think how I can re-create something similar to suit my personal style. Sometimes ideas come very easily, other times I feel stuck in a rut, so taking time out to look at old recipe books, other food blogs and even looking at nature, the outside world and talking to friends and family helps to inspire me.
What’s your creative background and was there a transition between your previous job and what you do now?
I don’t really have a creative background, apart from GCSE level Art at school which I did love! I have always been quite a creative individual; I loved drawing and enjoy calligraphy, but I also loved maths and languages. Everything creative I have developed naturally and organically over time. I took some time out after working in London in the health and wellness/vegan industry to think about life – I was passionate about food but didn’t think a job of creating recipes and being on Instagram was a realistic ambition. So, I still do my Nourishing Amy work part-time and also work in social media, marketing and editorial in London.
Your food photography is so vibrant, has it taken long to hone your signature Nourishing Amy style?
As I mentioned, my food photography is something that has developed slowly over time. I started just with my iPhone and I got my first camera – a friends old one – in October 2018 and started learning how to use a DSLR! I actually worry that I don’t really have a style and it is something I am working on to refine as I want to be recognisable. I also am so passionate about improving my photography, so I am trying to watch lots of YouTube videos to really improve my quality. It takes a lot of playing around and a lot of patience!
What’s a typical ‘shoot’ day like at Nourishing Amy HQ?
No two days are the same! When I am just working on Nourishing Amy work – which is based in my family home – I start the working day quite early, by 7:45/8am with a hot drink and catch up on emails and social media, it’s when I’ll post as well. I’ll have my morning matcha latte – I really treasure this time – and check my plan for the day. I’ll try to have something cooking while I’m shooting something else,but it depends how busy I am! During these winter months, it’s really tough as you’ve got from about 10-2:30pm to be able to shoot in natural light so it feels like a race against the clock each day. I’ll make a yummy brunch dish to photograph and eat late morning. I may photograph some sweets and snacks and then make dinner to be able to shoot and style before the light goes.
My set up is very DIY with chairs and boards propped up in various parts of the kitchen and dining room with styling props scattered throughout the cupboards. I am quite organised, so I always know where things are… and then there is the overflow storage space in the garage, too!
While I’m working, I’ll listen to podcasts or music and I’ll check emails in between but like to sit down once the light has gone with more cups of tea and catch up. I’ll upload and edit photos, eat dinner quite early, carry on with some laptop work and then I’ll usually watch something on Netflix with my parents and some chocolate and tea!
Following your own path takes courage & commitment, how do you stay focussed on your dream?
You’re right, following your own path takes a lot of courage and self-belief. I think it’s a learning curve and a practise every day. We all have a passion if we really sit and think about it and if that passion is strong enough then you’ll be on your way. Being an individual also takes a lot of self-love and self-confidence which isn’t always easy. You need to be able to believe in your work and abelites. Keeping a gratitude list and achievement list is something I like to do to remind me of the great things I have already done to keep me going. I like writing lists in general to keep me focused and divide up the days but also learning to be flexible is also important. Assess what you’ve achieved at the end of the month of week for example and see how far you’ve come and appreciate your hard work. Plan a few things you’d like to see happen for the next week or month – it is all about celebrating the small wins.
What’s your favourite thing to do to help you unwind after a busy day?
Tea is definitely my go-to to unwind. I also like to start my day with some yoga or stretching as I find that really helps me set up for a less stressful day. Some good food, catching up with friends and family and cuddles with my cat, Mickey, all help.
What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on making their dreams a reality?
I would say to really follow your heart. I appreciate that I was in a fortunate position to do so and other people may have to wait for other things to be in place. Talk to your friends and family and listen to their opinions but ultimately but if you feel it in your heart then go for it! Be brave and step outside of your comfort zone – that is where the magic happens.
What 1 piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Have faith in who you are and don’t worry about other people so much.
What’s your vision for the future of Nourishing Amy?
I would love Nourishing Amy to continue to grow and flourish. I really want my recipes to be shared far and wide – I want to develop recipes that people want to re-make and that will become family favourites. I am working on my first ever eBook (eek!! To be released in January 2020) and it would be amazing to do more of those as well as a real cookbook. I want to carry on working with wonderful brands on exciting projects and get more involved in big brand shoots and styling. I also enjoy cooking demos and shows and would love to be involved in more.
I always ask this one: What’s your favourite smoothie blend?
That is such a good question! I probably have two go-to blends: one would be berry-licious packed with frozen berries, banana, spinach, frozen courgette and some vegan protein with almond or oat milk. Or I would go for a peanut butter chocolate blend with avocado in for extra creaminess and some cacao nibs on top. Oh, and I also love a good green smoothie packed with veggies but tastes like dessert!
Which accounts are you loving at the moment and who inspires you?
There are so many accounts that inspire me and each day I discover new creators. Every week I do a #sundayshare where I spotlight posts and recipes that have wowed me. I love Niki from @rebelrecipes for savoury inspiration and I’ve been lucky enough to work with her a few times and our energy and recipe styles really blend well. For something sweet, I love @bos.kitchen – her work is stunning and so pretty. For styling and photography inspiration I love @loveandlemons @lazycatkitchen and I have been a long-time fan of @nourishatelier for beautiful bowls of food.
Thank you so much Amy for being a part of my Inspire series, you are a real inspiration to be and lots of people and it has been great to get an insight into all of the amazing things you do.
Check back in again soon for my next Inspire interview.
All my love & encouragement.