You might not have heard of her, but Michaela Vais (aka ElaVegan) is kind of a big deal within the vegan community. A food stylist, recipe creator, and author, Vais has amassed a gigantic following online, with more than one million fans on Instagram alone.
Her rise to fame was fairly quick, having started her Instagram page in June 2015 and accompanying blog by December 2016. “Being creative in the kitchen and eating healthy vegan food is my passion,” she writes on her blog.
Being creative also means experimenting in the kitchen. “I must say that I love to experiment in the kitchen and I guess that I am an intuitive cook,” she shared in an interview with Spoon University.
According to Vais, before becoming a food blogger, she was actually making homemade cosmetics and soaps. “Sometimes a recipe failed but most of them turned out amazing and many soaps were really beautiful,” she notes.
“One day my friend (who also made soaps) sent me photos of her homemade bread and other dishes. I sent her photos of my food creations and I think that was the time when I started taking photos of my food.”
But while she turned to cooking as a full time gig later in life, her vegan lifestyle was adopted early on. How early? According to Vais, she stopped eating meat altogether when she was only six years old and became fully vegan in September 2011. Vais describes her choice to go vegan as the best decision in her life, not only for moral reasons but also for health reasons.
“I want to spread the vegan message and inspire people from all around the world with my vegan recipes,” she says. “Eating plants is not a sacrifice, it’s a pleasure and a conscious choice to honor your body, mind, and soul”. If you’re contemplating veganism, her blog and Instagram page are a good place to start.