I'm so excited to share with you the new series on the blog titled, PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE. It showcases people who are making a difference around the world and who, through their platform, are inspiring others with their message. The first person to start off the series is Annie Jaffrey.
Annie Jaffrey is a beauty and health blogger. She started her YouTube channel in February of 2011, while living in New York, with the goal of sharing information about health and beauty. She wanted to create a space that was "Annie's" - a happy, creative and inspiring environment where girls could get tips, be entertained and forget about their daily stresses.
I first came across Annie's YouTube channel about a year ago. After watching half of her video, I immediately subscribed. Something about her seemed so genuine and relatable. Someone I could totally see myself being friends with.
Annie was kind enough to do an interview for Metanoia Living, where she goes into great detail about her passions, dreams and inspirations.
1- WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL?
I had been following a few channels for about 6 months or so before I built up the courage to start my own. I loved the positive and creative message these girls were sharing, and I thought it would be so fun to have an inspiring creative outlet like that. I also had a big passion for health, well being and self care, and thought my advice might be helpful to some.
2- WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT INFLUENCING OTHERS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA?
I enjoy when people reconnect with themselves. We live in such a busy world, that sometimes we forget about ourselves, and taking care of our bodies, our mind and our health. It might just take one little nudge for a person to make the connection between body and mind, but sometimes a little nudge is all we need.
3- DID YOU EVER ENVISION THAT YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL WOULD IMPACT SUCH A BROAD AUDIENCE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD?
I never really thought of it that way, and still till this day, I try not to focus on numbers or growing my channel but rather focus on the inner growth and content. I am so happy that my videos are watched worldwide and it is very humbling. I hope that with my success, I can bring love and mindfulness to everyone watching.
4- YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND BLOG FOCUSES ON BEAUTY AND HEALTH. IN THE PAST MONTHS, YOU HAVE INCORPORATED A MORE VEGAN LIFESTYLE IN YOUR VIDEOS. WHAT MOTIVATED THAT NEW DIRECTION?
Learning about veganism changed my life in so many positive ways, and my blog and YouTube channel naturally reflected those changes. After dealing with a health scare earlier this year, I decided to adopt a mostly raw, high carb, low-fat, vegan diet, to help my body recover to the best of its ability.
After incorporating this new lifestyle, I felt so amazing and experienced some awesome benefits, such as, increased energy, clarity of mind, better sleep, more consistent positive mood, and improved digestion. Plus I was eating all the delicious fruit (bananas, mangoes, dates, apples etc.) and plant-based carbs (rice, potatoes, corn, pasta) I cared for- averaging around 2500-3000 calories daily. I felt like I had stumbled upon a gold mine and was totally puzzled as to why I hadn't heard of it before.
I also learnt about the horrific reality of how animals are treated, enslaved and killed - just for us to eat a sandwich. It's not worth it when we have all these abundant beautiful plant-based foods, which actually serve our bodies in a positive way, and at the same time, enables us to stay slim and disease-free long-term (no calorie restriction, no deprivation). I want to help spread awareness of this lifestyle so more people can experience the benefits, the liberation and self-love that comes with it.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in harmony." - Mohandas Gandhi
5- IN LIFE, WITH ANY TYPE OF CHANGE, YOU ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO CRITICISM BY PEOPLE WHO MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR JOURNEY. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT NEGATIVITY AND NOT LET IT AFFECT YOU?
I understand we are all on our own journeys, and I can't expect everyone to be accepting of mine or where I am, and that's ok. I know that I am doing the best I can for my body, for my home (this planet) and for fellow beings. I also feel the best I ever have - physically, mentally and spiritually, so why would I let anyone's criticism interfere with that? It's too good to shake!
We've always got to do what makes us happy. Don't be afraid to do something different, and remember to listen to your heart - not your habits. As with anything you're passionate about in life, you have to always believe in yourself and in your values. Always respond with love and be the light.
6- WHAT ADVICE DO YOU RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS SEEKING A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE?
Take it day by day, and ease yourself into the process. If you want to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, take it meal by meal, and start with breakfast. Once you get the hang of it (however long it may take you), move on to lunch and eventually dinner and make sure you are consuming enough calories.
It is equally important to get educated on this lifestyle and learn about the benefits, the science, the research studies etc., so you are knowledgeable and feel fully confident about the new direction you're taking. I have a resource page on my blog with lots of great links to inspirational and super informative YouTube channels, documentaries, books, Instagram accounts, and videos. "Forks Over Knives" is a great introductory documentary to this lifestyle.
So much of what we've been taught about nutrition has been for the good of big corporations. It's time to re-educate ourselves on nutrition and regain our health, both physically and mentally. The food we eat is of course super important, but there are other areas that are just as important, like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, keeping active, surrounding yourself with positive like-minded people, minimizing daily stresses, bad relationships, etc. Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you.
7- YOU ARE ALWAYS SO ENCOURAGING AND UPLIFTING IN YOU VIDEOS. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO STAY SO POSITIVE?
It's the best way to feel, so I choose to feel that way. It may sound too simple, but there's no "formula". Happiness and having a positive mindset are all about this one very moment, right here right now. It is a choice and we must choose it every single day. It's not what happens to us, but how we react that matters.
8- WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR AUDIENCE TO WALK AWAY WITH BY VISITING YOUR CHANNEL?
I hope they feel positive and uplifted, with perhaps a stronger feeling of confidence that they can do and accomplish anything.
9- YOU'VE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL IN AN INDUSTRY THAT IS HARD TO BREAK INTO. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN PURSUING THAT SAME DREAM? OR ANY DREAM FOR THAT MATTER?
Persistence and always following your passion. When you're passionate about something, it shows and it is positively infectious. No matter how popular or unusual your passion is, go with it and the right people will appear. Have faith that the universe/ God/ the higher power will guide you to the exact situations and opportunities you need to fulfill your dreams. We have to whole-heartedly believe in ourselves and that our dreams are possible, that's the first step.
The second, is putting in the work and effort. There's no way around it, but if you're doing something you love, it won't feel like work.
10- WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF ADVICE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN- OR FAVORITE QUOTE?
I love quotes and inspirational sayings - there are so many good ones to choose from, but off the top of my head, I really like this one on success by Will Smith:
"You don't set out to build a wall. You don't say 'I'm going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that's ever been built.' You don't start there. You say, 'I'm going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall."
It's the small things we do every day that define us. Put attention to detail and never feel rushed.
11- WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH NEXT?
I love what I am currently doing on YouTube, and I feel like the best is yet to come! I am so happy to have gained such a great group of interested, curious and like-minded viewers. and my goal is to keep sharing the message of health, vitality and love. I would love to expand into other areas such as writing a book, opening a restaurant, and creating a plant-based community. I see lots of possibilities for the future!
12- LASTLY, WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I've been inspired by so many great people! To name a few, Freelee (The Banana Girl), Gary Yourofsky, Anthony Robbins, Durian Rider, Fully Raw Kristina, Loni Jane, Louise Hay, Dr. T Colin Campbell, Kerry McCarpet, Tim Shieff, along with many others. I am inspired by people who aren't afraid to go against the mainstream way of thinking (well-known or not) and follow their hearts in such a steady-set culture. It takes a lot of courage and I admire them for that!
I had such a lovely time with Annie. I can honestly say, what you see is what you get with her. She is just as sweet and compassionate as she appears in her videos. When you speak to her, her mission to inspire is apparent. She is passionate for what she does and is appreciative for the opportunity she's been given.
Truly an inspiration!