Food is one of the primary needs to sustain human life, and the internet is playing an important role in changing the way we consume food. We are living in a time where people are becoming more aware of what they feed their bodies. Foodie enthusiasts and bloggers have opened up their kitchens to show the wonders of food. They’re one of the main protagonists that have influenced people to change their eating habits.
During December 2016, I caught a flu-like bug that floated around (side note, I rarely get ill). I wanted a natural remedy and asked my friends on Facebook for suggestions. I was surprised by the extensive list of recommendations flooded in! But when I saw Tish Wonders commented, I knew right away what to try first and off to my local store I went.
I stumbled upon her food blog four years ago; I was drawn to her food photography. I loved the arrangement of her food and how the beautiful and vibrant colours of the ingredients complimented each other. I explored her posts further and found that she was thoughtful with her words. She would explain what the health benefits are and why and when such foods should be consumed. I have always lived an active lifestyle, but I knew from that moment that I wanted to eat more healthily.
She is now causing quite the stir on the internet, with thousands of followers on multiple social media networks. She has successfully launched her first eBook – Plant-Based Wonders, and to top it off on 9th, March 2017 she will be hosting her first supper club!
Let’s meet the food artist behind this soul-nourishing and gratifying food, Tish Wonders.
Kofi: Congratulations with the successful release of your eBook – Plant-based Wonders! It looks like you’ve put your heart and soul into it – what was the journey like creating it?
Tish: Thank you! Oh boy, it’s been a long journey. I’ve been wanting to put a recipe book out for a long time, a long time meaning years but always found a reason to put it off. I had to shed that perfectionist streak in me and just do it. I began writing and shooting pictures for the book in August 2016. Plant-based Wonders was released in November 2016 – www.tishwonders.co.uk/ebook.html. I was going through a very personal and challenging period in my life while writing it. I feel that creating this body of work saved me at my lowest point. I would wake up, tell myself that this little book needs my undivided attention and get to work in the kitchen. It was a real test of strength.
At the time it was as if a higher power took over and gave me the tools to shine my light and complete a body of work that today I am so proud of!
Kofi: What made you want to write this book?
Tish: I want to encourage people to connect and engage with their food and not just only share recipes. Food and what we eat is such a personal act, so my real aim is to teach people how to eat intuitively rather than be told what to eat. I want to change the perception that eating vegetables and other plant-based foods is dull and lifeless when in actuality it’s the total opposite! There is so much to explore whilst eating plant-based foods, and my book showcases just how versatile and flavoursome meals can be. I feel that this eBook is the foundation which I am now able to build upon.
Kofi: Challenging times are synonymous with entrepreneurship – what have you learned about yourself since you have started your brand, Tish Wonders?
Tish: I’ve realised difficult times are unavoidable and are a part of the process. I instantly see challenges as rich opportunities for personal growth. Being a creative and not wanting to do things by the book you have to be willing to embrace challenges; setbacks and times when things seem to be crashing. I’ve learnt that timing is key. Tish Wonders has ultimately been in the making for over ten years. This is how long I have been practising my craft, way before social media and sharing food pics. All of those years I was quietly practising, I am now aware that I was unknowingly building up to something that I am now able to make a career out of and be the creator of my journey.
Cooking for me has always been my therapy, my little escape to get lost and switch off from the outside world. The kitchen is my blank canvas where I get to create magic from my soul. Ultimately, my passion for food and my desire to serve and share is what keeps me going through challenging times. Somebody wrote to me recently saying that they had lost the will to prepare food and had zero appetite, but after watching one of my cooking videos, it inspired them to get up and prepare some food.
As small as this may sound, these are the little things that mean so much to me and give me the motivation to continue sharing my passion.
Kofi: Would you say that you’re using your platform for positive social impact?
Tish: Yes. I have learnt just how important my voice is. If I have ever had any doubt that me sharing my food, recipes, etc… was pointless, that has changed as of late. I receive so many inspiring messages from black women of all ages thanking me for displaying what is evident as a ‘void of representation’ within the ‘eating with awareness’ community. I feel that with platforms like mine there is a small shift taking place, but we still have so far to go.
Kofi: Your YouTube videos are very insightful, and I love the way you connect food with health, how has eating plant-based changed your life?
Tish: Thank you so much! I still feel quite new to YouTube, and I am humbled by the feedback I get from my content.
Once upon a time, I used to hide the way I eat and felt like an alien preparing my greens on University campus!
Eating plant-based has become so mainstream now, and I love that people are more aware and interested in this way of eating.
My first awareness of plant-based foods came about when I was 16/17 and had terrible acne. My body rejected prescription pills (thank goodness!), and an inner voice just told me to deal with the root problem. There was only one way I could improve my skin, and that was through changing certain eating habits and changing my mindset. This was the first experience where I saw the power of plant-based foods.
There is also a constant state of balance even when times get tough. Food allows me to connect with source and keeps me in sync.
Kofi: While growing up, how did your environment shape your passion for food and cooking?
Tish: For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a passion for food, not necessarily plant-based food.
Growing up in inner London, my estate was surrounded by ridiculous amounts of chicken shops, Chinese and pizza take outs. Stepping out of my home was like entering fast food heaven, and honestly, I ate it often! However, inside my actual home, I always had a sense of what real food was thanks to my mother.
I gaged an understanding of real food from a young age. When I was 19, I moved to Hackney and discovered a local farmer’s market. I started to learn about seasonal and organic produce, and this was the catalyst for the significant shift regarding my thoughts on food!
Kofi: Your food looks flavoursome and colourful. What about food do you love the most? (cooking or eating, or both lol)
Tish: Thank you. I love both! I believe they go hand in hand. The whole process of creating a meal is quite mesmerising for me. I love that every single time you cook, you will create something unique. I love that cooking gives you the opportunity to quite literally showcase your personality or perhaps a particular mood you’re in at that particular time. Cooking for me is an experience that encompasses all senses! How exciting is that?!
Kofi: Looking at your social media you seem to visit St Lucia often, how has time spent there influenced your style of cooking?
Tish: My father is from St Lucia and spending a lot of time in St Lucia, I have a great appreciation for what REAL sun-fired, untouched food is. There is no shortage of food in St Lucia; you are met with mangoes, avocados, soursops, breadfruits, coconuts, lime trees and so much more growing everywhere. The local markets are filled with spices, fresh herbs and home-grown foods. For me it is heaven on earth; it’s a very special island. My Grandmother shares stories with me of how they used to make their coconut oil, and that’s all they would cook with. Watching how my Grandmother can create magic from anything has influenced me a lot. She is one of my biggest inspirations. Her passion for food is like no other.
Kofi: And now the public will have the chance to taste your flavoursome made by yours truly at your first ever first supper club in London – What can people expect from this experience?
Tish: Guests can expect an evening filled with a vibrant atmosphere, good music and of most importantly delicious and colourful plant-based cooked with love.
Click here to buy tickets and find out more information – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tish-wonders-supper-club-tickets
Click here to buy her eBook: Plant Based Wonders – www.tishwonders.co.uk/ebook
“We don’t act on our dreams because we are often consumed by our fears; but our fears manifests from inaction.”
Subject – Tish Wonders