Plant-based chef, influencer and model Emily Kate Armato is busting myths that a vegan diet is not good for health and wellness.
Those pushing back against the meteoric rise in veganism often claim that vegans lack vitamins, iron and proteins, and these affect everything from skin quality to bone strength.
Emily – like most scientists in fact – is having none of it.
She set up Glowing Plants to show how to cook healthy plant-based meals and as a result, look and feel great.
In a short space of time she has attracted more than 118,000 Instagram followers, and many more on other social platforms.
Now based in New York, Emily grew up in Australia and New Zealand and has been vegan since the age of 17.
She has worked with many of the world’s top brands as a model and latterly, an influencer, and is passionate about the benefits of plant-based living – so much so that she is now writing a book on the subject, too.
‘I wanted to inspire others’
Emily says: “I am living proof that a plant-based meal plan is not only an ethically-kind option, but also the key to glowing skin, luscious hair, and natural weight loss.
“When I began Glowing Plants, I wanted to inspire others to incorporate more plant-based meals in the kitchen and live a kinder lifestyle for our animal friends, and show people that it didn’t have to be complicated.
“Now Glowing Plants has grown beyond recipes and has become more of a wellness-plus lifestyle platform, about teaching folk how to live healthier lives, leading to more energy and a positive mindset.
“I am happy to be finally working on a lifestyle cookbook. I love that every recipe is a science experiment – one of my favorite things to do is take popular worldwide cuisines and replace animal by-product ingredients with vegan versions.
“Many people don’t know how versatile vegan dishes are, and you really can create any recipe you want to with the right measurements of ingredients.”
‘I was told that I was too fat for Fashion Week’
Emily’s kitchen experimentation began as a teenager. “I became deeply fascinated by foods and the science behind veganizing different dishes, which led me to become a plant-based food chef,” she recalls.
However, working as a model, travelling to many countries and adhering to strict diets, also made her aware of the need to create a healthy balance.
“I remember calling my agent in tears because the agency I was with on assignment had put me on a strict diet of only 400 calories a day.
“I was so exhausted, starving, and feeling inadequate, and she said to me: ‘Em, don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful the way you are, we love your curves, so please don’t lose them.’
“That meant the world to me after months of being told that I was too fat for Fashion Week.
“She gave me my confidence back and I’ll always be grateful to the Tamblyn Team for being one of the few agencies that built me up instead of making me feel worthless.”
Image remains important as an influencer, in the sense that Emily proves a plant-based lifestyle is good for both physical and mental health.
She chooses carefully which brands to work with, and believes this is an important take-home for any aspiring eco influencer.
“My top tips would be to research your favourite brands and the kind of influencers they work with, get an overall vibe for their style and what their brand’s values are, and if that correlates with what you believe in, try to emulate that in your feed before reaching out to them.
“At the end of the day, you have to stay true to yourself, and what feels good to you. Then your ideal audience, who share the same values, will follow.”