With nearly 50 thousand Instagram followers, Nicole is a Gold Coast girl getting some attention. A model, author, designer, school teacher, raw food chef and following her own admissions to battling with food, a public spokesperson for healthy eating. Her website Nicole Joy Inspire, offers a rare honesty that many female followers have found motivating and relatable. Having published two successful cookbooks, ‘Life’s too short for diets’ and ‘Eat dessert for breakfast’, she is about to launch her own App, Healthy Pick, and has recently branched out into designing sports apparel. Lunch with Liz caught up with this raw food wizard at the best vegan restaurant on the Gold Coast, Greenhouse Factory, Kirra.
WHERE WE WENT: Greenhouse Factory, Kirra.
WHAT WE ATE: Mini Raw Pizza – dehydrated flax meal pizza base topped with raw Napoli, pesto, almond feta, olives, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and topped with fresh greens $16. Planet Plate – based on macrobiotic principles, a nutritionally balanced plate that includes organic brown rice, two protein sources, seaweeds, pickled salad and organic raw greens $19. Tostada Bowl – organic buckwheat shell filled with quinoa, chilli corn bean, brown rice, red quinoa, raw shredded vegetables, house-made avocado salsa and cashew sour cream $18. Soft Taco Duo – Mexican spiced mushroom and walnut meat, topped with blackbean quinoa salsa, fresh crispy vegetables, guacamole and house made sour cream served in an organic corn tortilla.
WHAT WE SIPPED: Nutty Narna – natural peanut butter, banana, majool dates and nut mylk $8.5 Gin & Rosemary $15
WHAT NICOLE WORE: Spell Byron Bay skirt. Bardot top.
WHAT LIZ WORE: Zimmerman.
Which title do you relate to the most – Model, Author, Cook, Clothing Designer, Motivational Speaker?
“I struggle with that! I can’t put myself into just one category. A friend of mine has told me that I need to call myself a multi-passionate-creative, so I am running with that. Even though it’s a mouthful!”
What do you attribute your online following to?
“Perseverance. Not taking no for an answer. I mean I’ve still got a lot to learn and achieve and I don’t think I am at the pinnacle of my success, I believe and hope there’s still a lot more to come, but so far it has been consistent. One of the things I’ve learnt, especially with having a blog and Instagram is consistency is key. There’s a science behind the art of posting daily, at peak times, sending a newsletter weekly, etc. I have had a tendency in the past to change my mind a lot, but now I stay on top of my consistency for credibility.”
How hard was it to admit publicly to your struggles with food?
“Very hard. I remember the night that I woke up and thought – I have to share my story, this is part of my journey, I need to share it. It was harder admitting it to my husband and family, because they were so taken back, they didn’t suspect it at all. So that was the first big step, although a very important one. Now it’s something that a lot of people relate to me easily about. It’s a point of connection. Unfortunately we live in a world where the percentage of men and women who suffer from eating disorders is really high. Now it forms a part of my work when I go and talk to teenage girls about healthy body perceptions and respecting your body. I have a place from where to start and relate to them.”
Has your approach to food changed since getting married?
“Adrian would say yes! Cooking for one is so easy for me! So many people say cooking for one is such a hassle and I’m like ‘what? It’s the best! You just get to cook whatever you want, for you, whenever you want, and your way!’ The thing is, before I got married, I really wanted to be on Master Chef so I was practicing 3 course (not healthy – this was prior to clean eating) dinners, every night of the week. So Adrian thought ‘this is the best!’ Then not long after we got married I went on this whole big clean eating bandwagon and turned everything around and he was like ‘um what happened to the girl who used to cook me 3 course meals during the week?’ So yes, there’s been a change! Now I am all about balance. I’m not Vegan, Paleo, or some other title. I’m just more aware of eating consciously, feeling less guilt about what I eat and more pleasure. Looking after myself and being healthy, 80:20 rule is a good one. I don’t deny myself treats.”
Would you agree that you don’t have to be a celebrity to build a brand around your persona?
“Definitely. Although it’s become more challenging to do so, because I believe the market is quite saturated now, with your Insta famous models, but you definitely don’t have to be famous to build a successful profile. If you’re consistent with whatever message it is that you are giving out and you’re not lying to your audience (by lying I mean you are not posting things just for money, that you don’t believe in). You need to stay authentic to your own brand and true to yourself. I think we’re now in a day and age where it is probably easiest to become famous if you’re not a celebrity! If you take good selfies and you’re good in front of a camera, these days chances are someone will notice you. Crazy right?!”
What tips would you offer to someone writing his or her first Ebook?
“Number one, make sure you believe what you’re saying. Have a good message. Be authentic! Be prepared to put a lot of hours into it, because it will take a long time. Source a good photographer. There are so many resources out there like Elance, where you can get offshore developers to help you at a really good price. You can outsource a lot of the work. So as long as you’ve got your key messages and some pretty pictures it is totally possible. A picture does tell a thousand words. I’ve seen an improvement myself between more visitors and better quality photos on my site.”
How much money can you make through becoming an online author?
“The biggest thing to do is line yourself up with lots of affiliates selling your book for you (they get a commission from the book sale) and that way the marketing and work load is shared and spread organically. It helps to give away links to your ebook to people you know are in that field and get them to review and or recommend it. I wouldn’t go into it thinking ‘you’re going to make loads of money’, unless you’re selling a bikini diet because I hear they go really well!”.
You’ve written thousands of recipes, do you have a favourite?
“My raw Snickers recipe takes the cake”.
Your favourite recipe for terrible cooks such as myself?
“There’s no terrible cooks just ones that haven’t learnt yet! Frittatas. Anything egg based is so easy and tasty.”
Your advice for those that struggle with speaking in public?
“I get this question a lot and I struggle with it! Because I have never had this fear of speaking in public in the slightest! So I try to relate to it in that I have other fears. I’d say the first thing is know your content and be prepared for curveballs. Don’t try to be a comedian, you don’t have to tell jokes unless they come naturally. Know that the people you are speaking to want you to be good, they don’t want you to suck. So enjoy your message and have fun with it!”
What’s your number one tip to getting over 40 thousand Instagram followers?
“Post yourself in a bikini! So true and so painful to say. Tits and ass shots get so much attention! I’m only joking, that is not what I recommend at all – I would like to say inspire people through a true and consistent message. Know that you are beyond your likes. I could sit here and say, use your hashtags, get shout-outs, etc, but it can become so consuming, and really when you knuckle down and go ok, what am I worried about, I’m worried about people double tapping a phone, just so I have an extra heart on my photo! When you put it like that, you realise it really is nothing to worry about. Your amount of followers and likes does not define you.”
Nicole’s books can be purchased at http://www.nicolejoyinspire.com/new-healthy-eating-cookbook.html