Amelie is a vegan blogger and YouTuber from Tahiti, now living in France. She calls her plant-based transition a health, ethical and environmental awakening, and loves to share her healthy plant-based lifestyle and passion for nutrition, fitness and helping others! We chatted to Amelie about how she got started blogging, plant-based life in Paris and more!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I never know where to start with this question! So, I’m 25 years old, born in France and grew up in Tahiti (hence my name!). I studied business and graduated in financial accounting in Canada, have lived in Portugal and Australia and am currently living in Paris. We’ll see how long it lasts as it seems that I can’t stay in one place too much!
After working shortly both in accounting and auditing, as well as in communications for a few companies, I soon realised it’s not what made me happy. That is why I decided to dedicate myself full time to producing content on social media (that is, Instagram, YouTube and my blog), selling my recipe & tips ebook and inspiring people transition to a healthier, plant-based or even vegan lifestyle and encourage people to be more in tuned with their body and mind.
When did you start food blogging on Instagram and what inspired you to start?
I first started using Instagram in 2014, but it was to find inspiration initially. I followed a well known fitness/diet program back then and I started connecting with other people that were also doing it. From there I got interested in all things ‘healthy lifestyle’. At first, I was into the ‘clean eating’ trend which often consisted of eggs, chicken and green beans! I went vegan in mid-2015 and started blogging more seriously in 2016, which was when I started my blog and YouTube channel.
You are such a positive advocate for plant-based living. What led you to this lifestyle choice?
Thank you! I’ve always said I was an animal and planet lover but somehow kept eating animal products. I was never the biggest meat eater, although sometimes ate chicken and mostly fish in Tahiti. I didn’t like the taste of honey, eggs nor most yogurts, so I guess I had an easy starting point. I loved cheese though, especially french cheese and never imagined drinking hot chocolate without cow’s milk or ‘giving up’ on my favourite recipes. I remember when I was younger I had asked my mom why we ate animals and that it seemed weird, but then I never gave it a second thought.
Later in 2014, when I became super interested in health and nutrition, I got my diet to what I believed was ‘super clean’ which consisted of no processed food, but still eating animal products. It gave me a lot of food anxiety, especially when going out to eat or when I was invited, I would be so picky and often left hangry!
In 2015, I lived in Bondi Beach which is pretty much vegan paradise! Then I started eating more and more plant-based, until a point where I felt great benefits for both my health and fitness performance. I also saw the amount of food that vegans could eat, and I felt a bit jealous, I must say!
Soon after I started following and met a bunch of lovely vegan people, and they inspired me to watch documentaries and read books about nutrition, health, ethics and the environment. One day it just made sense: my thoughts (veganism is awesome) and my actions (not being vegan) weren’t aligned and I couldn’t live with that paradox anymore. I wanted to show others how great veganism and plant-based eating was and the only way to do so, in my opinion, was to live it!
Where do you get your recipe inspiration from?
It’s a happy mix of family recipes that I try to veganize, restaurant dishes that inspire me, especially from my travels, as well as creating a meal from accessible seasonal fruits and veggies, or simply what’s in my fridge at that time. I’m also definitely inspired by the awesome community on social media, to name a few, I love following: Andrea from Earthy Andy, Loni Jane, Ellie from ElsasWholesomeLife, Angela from OhSheGlows, Ellen Fisher, Tess Begg, Christina from AddictedToDates, and Bonny Rebecca!
You are a talented yogi! Tell us about how you got into yoga and why you love it?
Thank you! In my opinion, anyone who’s doing yoga is a talented yogi. I was an avid fitness person (sometimes working out twice a day) and then unfortunately injured my spine, with three herniated discs, in November of 2016. I then had a break from exercise for about 2 months. The only way to get back into moving for me was a more ‘gentle’ workout with less impact. That’s why I started yoga! I was also inspired by all of the amazing poses on instagram and let’s be honest, I wanted to be able to do the same.
I started yoga by myself for a few weeks but eventually gave up. A few months later, a friend visited and encouraged me to come to a yoga class with her and it was love at first sight. I’ve been practicing regularly ever since. Now that I’ve reintroduced some fitness into my routine and yoga really improved my mobility, core strength, and breathing, especially for running. It’s amazing to see how the poses can progress by simply showing up to your mat regularly. I’m applying this concept to life now – that is, practice makes perfect.
You are lucky to live in the beautiful city of Paris! Do you find it difficult being vegan in a place that is renowned for its meat and dairy? Tell us about the vegan community there?
It is surprising but Paris is actually awesome for vegans! There are new vegan restaurants opening every month. French Brasserie, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Healthy, Boulangerie (bakery), Crèmerie (where ‘cheese’ is made) – we’ve got it all. I’ve never felt like I am missing out of anything and even when I eat at regular restaurants, I always find something to accommodate (big salad, veggie pizza or pasta etc) and it has never seemed to surprise or annoy anyone.
Veganism is becoming more and more popular here, and in a cosmopolitan city like Paris, it’d be horrible business not to have vegan options. What’s good in France is that people are very aware of seasonal and fresh, quality produce and some amazing dishes can be done plant-based in any place – even some Palaces have vegan HighTea.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Acai or a good PB/banana smoothie bowl in the hot season, and oatmeal in winter for sure.
You serve up some pretty amazing dishes in our Coconut Bowls! What has been your favourite so far?
Thanks! I’ve done so many that I can’t even remember which I prefer. I would have to say the Tahitian Raw ‘Fish’ Salad (from my ebook) is my favourite because it literally felt like I was eating in Paradise, and was so stoked about how my veganised raw fish turned out too.
What is your favourite thing about your Coconut Bowls?
They make all the dishes super Insta-worthy and always get tons of compliments! It also helps me to feel more grounded (helpful in Paris!) because I’m eating plants out of a plant material.
We are so excited to have one of your recipes included in our cookbook ‘Vegan Bowls’. Tell us about the recipe you chose and what it means for you to be apart of the book?
I’m so excited too! The recipe I’ve made is the Tropical Lilikoi with Protein Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Smoothie Bowl – that’s a long name but it tells lots about me. Tropical because it gives a sense of Tahiti, protein kick because this is a perfect post-workout meal, peanut butter because I’m a big foodie, and I love my food to taste the bomb while still being healthy!
I can’t thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to be in this book along 99 other talented foodies. I’ve already tried many recipes which turned amazing and I’m so happy to be working with a company that have the same values as me – a big thank you!
To learn more about Amelie: @amelietahiti