Q&A with Niki Webster from Rebel Recipes
Take a look at this great interview with the author of Rebel Recipes, Niki Webster!
Discover the person behind the Rebel Recipes blog.
When did your passion for healthy eating begin?
I think I've always instinctively preferred healthy food. I grew up with my mum cooking traditional meals of meat and veg and although they were home cooked I never really liked stodgy meat centred meals (my poor mum must have despaired!). As soon as I could, I started cooking for myself and experimenting with different flavours, and gravitated towards plant based eating. However at the same time, I had a turbulent relationship with food and was incredibly controlling over my diet. It's taken a long time, but for me plant based eating has enabled me to realise that you can eat real food in abundance, rather than abstinence. And for me eating healthily is not only about how it makes you feel but it’s also about eating the most delicious food you can.
Please tell us about how you adopt a healthy lifestyle- what is a typical day like in your world in terms of activity?
My typical day if I'm in the office usually goes something like this: I get up at 6am and check my social channels with a glass of lemony water, get ready for work then make breakfast and take pics of my breakfast. I usually prepare a healthy lunch for work from whatever I have in the fridge like veggies, pulses, hummus, seeds, etc. Unfortunately working in marketing means that I spend most of the day sitting down so I always make sure I do at least 30 minutes of exercise in the evening. I like to do something quick and effective like T25/HIT workout or a run and weights. I used to spend much more time exercising, but now I have to train 'smarter' as I'm so busy in the evening with my blog, projects and studying. Luckily, my husband is a qualified yoga teacher and martial artist, so I can usually encourage him to do some training with me!
What made you decide to go vegan and how long have you adopted this lifestyle for?
I've never liked meat and I’ve always felt better eating lots of veggies, grains and pulses, so adopting a plant-based diet feels very natural for me. I believe that everyone is different and there isn't a perfect way of eating, you need to listen to your body. The most important thing is to eat as much 'real' food as you can which will nourish and energise you.
At what point did you decide to start a blog?
I started my blog in January 2015 after years of procrastination and believing that I couldn't do it, but as soon as I started I loved it and I haven't looked back. The best thing is connecting with so many like-minded people and having the opportunity to be creative everyday. I absolutely love creating recipes, experimenting in the kitchen, food styling and photography.
How long did it take to gain momentum from your readers?
It took a while, it's not enough to put your heart and soul into producing content for your blog. Unless you tell people by being very active on social media it's difficult to reach people. One of the best things for me is the amazing feedback I get and when people recreate my recipes and post them on Instagram. I feel so honoured.
Why go organic?
I believe that it's important to eat organic and seasonal fresh food as much as you can as it means you're minimising chemicals and maximising nutrition and flavour. I heard something the other day which I thought really brought the organic message home - why would you want to eat food which has been sprayed with strong pesticides and chemicals to kill bugs. If it kills them, what is it doing to you?
What is your favourite recipe from your site to make at home?
The recipes I make over and over again are my banana flapjacks and they're one of the most popular recipes on my blog. They are incredibly easy to make and you can throw in whatever you like - nuts, seeds and any fruit you like and they always taste delicious. Another favourite is my buckwheat flatbreads which I eat dipped into hummus or as a pizza base.
You are the winner of this year’s Soil Association BOOM Awards. How do you feel?
Amazing! I couldn't have been more surprised and happy when my name was called out. It's such an honour to be recognised for my blogging by The Soil Association.
What’s next for you?
I'm really excited about so many things; developing my blog and photography, holding more workshops and classes. I'm always developing new recipes and I would love to publish a book. Watch this space.