Passionate about plant-based living and protecting the planet, lifestyle blogger Niomi Smart believes it’s the little tweaks we can make that will help save the planet
For author, blogger and YouTuber Niomi Smart, her content has always been based on her personal passions. Her book Eat Smart, shot onto the Amazon bestsellers list based on pre-orders alone, testament to not just the skill that went into creating easy-towhip- up plant-based dishes, but the trust that Niomi’s followers have in her to produce a good product. Three years on and, while food is still a big element of her life, Niomi want’s to explore her other passions in life – sustainable fashion and skincare.
I became fascinated in natural and organic skincare products because I was passionate about a plant-based diet. I thought to myself, if I’m so conscious about the foods I’m eating, then it makes sense to be conscious about what I’m putting onto my skin. I’ve got sensitive skin myself and I know that a lot of people have skin issues because of the chemicals in some products, so I would love to create a sustainable, eco-friendly and natural skincare range that catered for everyone.
I think people can be a bit put off about how hard and expensive it can be to find natural products that work. One of the most important things about buying a product is that you want it to work properly. When I buy something for my skin I want it to improve it. I’ve tested a lot of products over the years and one of the things I’ve often been disappointed in, is that they sounded great from the label, but they didn’t really have a positive affect on my skin. If I was to do my own range, testing the products myself would be a huge priority for me.
To be honest, I didn’t think going plant-based would be a ‘forever thing’, I just wanted to try it. I did it the way people probably wouldn’t recommend – overnight. Before that, I pretty much ate everything; meat, dairy, the lot. One week then turned into a month, then into a year and now it’s been seven years! I listen to my body and, at the moment, being plant-based is working for me, so I’m loving it. Before Eat Smart, a lot of my friends and family members were asking me for recipes.
Then people online started suggesting that I put them all together in one place in a book. That was what made me think ‘yeah, I could do that’. At the time, I thought it would be a small scale thing, just something that could give people access to the recipes. I didn’t think it would be published, as such. Coincidently, a publisher did get in touch! The book was launched three years ago, but I still get sent photos of the dishes that people are making.
I’ve learnt to always carry a tote bag as much as I can – those net bags that roll up into nothing are great cross-body bags. It’s all well and good thinking, ‘if I’m going food shopping then I’ll take a bag with me’, but obviously a lot of the time, you can forget to pack one. It’s useful to already have a bag on you. Finding a local refill shop is also really handy. I’ve recently found a few local ones near to me and I take a few muslin cloths of different sizes, or empty jars to decant produce into. In terms of beauty, Holland & Barrett and The Body Shop are now launching refill stations – so I’ll definitely be visiting those.
I’m conscious of not being on my phone constantly, so at events and dinners I try to keep my phone away. I don’t like staring at a screen all day, every day. It’s a massive part of my job, don’t get me wrong, but in the evenings I leave my phone in a different room and that helps me wind down. I’m also trying not to look at it first thing in the morning, so I can set myself up for the day better.
I think that people will only crave something if you give them snippets of it. I like to let people in on a lot of things; my YouTube channel and my Instagram account are all lifestyle. When it comes to my personal life, I think that people will only want something if you give them parts of it. So if I keep my personal life private, people are never going to feel like they’re missing out, like my relationship, for example, I tend to keep to myself.
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