We are so excited to be joined this month by Chris from Sweet Simple Vegan, who shares his wisdom on all things slow living, following your passion and building a foodie brand. Chris and Jasmine have a huge following (check out their Instagram: @consciouschris and @sweetsimplevegan) and are working to encourage more of us to adopt vegan principles in our daily lives. Whether you want to go vegan or just live a less animal product-heavy lifestyle, they will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen, and to be more mindful in the everyday.
And we bet that the mouth-watering pictures below will have you rushing for farmers’ market veggies and some luscious vegan recipes. Just look at the colours in those meals, the freshness just bursting out of the bowl. Totally yum.
Thanks so much for joining us, Chris. We are delighted to have you here.
Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
Jasmine and I (Chris) are bloggers, food stylists, and photographers with a focus on the vegan lifestyle. We share recipes, tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life free of animal products, and different videos sharing our everyday lives. We started working together about two years ago, when we merged both of our blogs into one; now we both work on Sweet Simple Vegan together. When we met, we both shared a passion for food and veganism so we clicked right away. When we started dating, we realized how well we worked together and how much our content improved, so it was the perfect fit. From then on, we’ve been spending our days together cooking, styling, and shooting for our website and creating social media content.
If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?
One thing we would tell our younger selves would be to not worry about the little things in life. In other words, we will be cliched and say ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’. We know how easy it is to get caught up and overwhelmed or discouraged by every little thing, but it’s important to keep your head down, stay focused, and keep your eye on the bigger picture. Everybody starts where they are and nobody is going to be the best at what they do as soon as they start. When we started doing food photography we would always get so frustrated when things didn’t turn out as we envisioned, but the more we practiced, we were able to refine our craft and improve. Enjoy the journey and the process, when you look back and see how far you’ve come, it will all be worth it!
What is it about slow living and the simple life that you find appealing?
Slow living and the simple life is appealing because it gives you the opportunity to be mindful in every aspect of your life, from your food to your personal relationships. Slowing down and savoring the moment really helps you appreciate all that you have so much more.
How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment?
Finding balance between content creating and sharing with being in the moment is definitely an important but difficult skill to master. We enjoy sharing the different aspects of our lives, but at the same time, it’s essential to take some time for yourself offline. We always find at least a day or two every week to disconnect and relax. There is a time and place for everything, so it’s important not to feel pressured to share every little thing in your life.
Who inspires you?
We have so many inspirations, but first and foremost, our parents have been a huge influence on both of us. So much so, that we just released an ebook titled Planting Our Roots which focuses on veganizing traditional family recipes we grew up enjoying.
In terms of creative influences, bloggers such as Minimalist Baker and Pinch of Yum have set a very high bar for food blogging, which has served as a large inspiration of ours.
What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?
Our essential homeware items definitely revolve solely around the kitchen. Our high speed blender, food processor, and standing mixer are our everyday go-to appliances. Also, we’ve been incorporating more pressure cooker and rice cooker meals into our recipe repertoire recently, and we’ve really been enjoying the ease and simplicity of it.
What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
This is a tough one to answer! We hope to still be blogging and creating content, but on a much larger scale. We strive to start our own business to educate people on how to create a successful brand/blog. We also aspire to travel the world while blogging to add another dynamic to our content.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
‘Wild’ is subjective I suppose, but the most adventurous thing we’ve done together was set off on a two-week road trip last summer with no real plan. We had a basic idea of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, but didn’t really book any hotels or places to stay. We just kind of figured it out as we went and it turned out to be such a gratifying and beautiful experience. We drove from Los Angeles, through Arizona up to Colorado, and back through Utah and Nevada, back home to LA. The highlights include seeing a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater, visiting various national parks such as Zion, Arches, and the Grand Canyon, and almost running out of gas in a town of 200 people in middle-of-nowhere Utah. Truly some unforgettable memories were forged on this trip that we will hold with us for the rest of our lives.