Zoé Raissakis didn't plan for blogger fame, but her blog Wildblend has been gaining momentum in Brisbane and beyond since she started it up last year.
You may already be familiar with her blog, where Zoé inspires people to “live an active, happy, healthy and wholesome lifestyle, and to eat wild foods to nourish their bodies and their souls”. (If not, get following right away for an endless supply of delightful, healthy treats to drool over!)
Most of her recipes are gluten-free, grain-free and sugar-free and Zoé is focused on using unprocessed, seasonal produce sourced locally where possible.
Find out more about the health junkie, including her favourite dish and the biggest misconception about her:
When and why did you start up your blog, Wildblend?
I got started in 2014 when I decided that I wanted to learn more about nutrition, functional fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle. I used my blog, Wildblend as a way to share my passion for real food and ‘healthified’ recipes. I didn’t have any expectations because I envisioned it as a fun project to connect with other people, especially women, over my love for Paleo, CrossFit, raw vegan desserts and the latest health craze.
I got into CrossFit three years ago when my girlfriend took me to a local box and I was immediately hooked. I loved everything about the vibe, the people and the movements. CrossFit offers a unique form of camaraderie, which is very powerful and compelling. I’ve met some of the best people at CrossFit boxes all over the world. I am training to be healthy, have fun, improve conditioning and become as fit as possible. CrossFit does that for me.
My first Paleo experience was through a Whole30 competition at my CrossFit box. I had no idea what I was doing but I loved the results I was seeing after three months. I’d never been so lean in my life! From there I did a lot of experimenting as I’m curious by nature and always need to try and see what works for me. Today I don’t strictly adhere to Paleo because I don’t want to be controlled by a “diet”. I’ve created my own style of eating based on the things I’ve learnt and follow a ‘real food’ lifestyle. I eat a grain-free and dairy-free diet, but I’ve stopped referring to myself as “Paleo” or anything like that because it’s too limiting. I focus on low inflammatory foods and try to avoid processed foods at all costs.
What is your favourite topic to write about?
I’m a health nut and bio-hacker and I am totally addicted to podcasts about bio-hacking and nutrition. I get excited about stuff that helps your biology to perform at its best. So I love learning and writing about food hacks that curb sugar cravings, foods that improve your hormones or what to eat to avoid depression. The recipes I create look pretty on the outside but what I’m really passionate about is the medicinal power of food and how we can become happier and healthier versions of ourselves through eating real foods.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
This is a tough question because I love all food, but if I had to choose it would be steamed salmon with guacamole, kale and red cabbage salad, sweet potatoes and tahini.
How have you built your following? Are you a big hashtagger or do you prefer to engage with people directly?
I do a bit of all; I use specific foodie hashtags and like to engage with my followers directly but I think there is no secret sauce to build a great following. I believe in authenticity, FUN and doing what you love. If you are yourself and do what you love people will come running your way!
Name 7 things you can’t live without….
My family, my friends, coffee, avocados, the ocean, Internet access, exercise.
What’s the biggest misconception about you and why?
Phew that’s hard! I’m not sure, but I think people sometimes forget that bloggers are human. I don’t eat super clean 24/7; I cheat, I struggle, I fall off the real food wagon too. Beautiful curated photos create this bubble vision of someone’s life when really all I’m doing is trying to tell a story. Behind the scenes I’m a normal girl with random cravings and bloating issues like everyone else.
If you could invite any five people in the world to dinner, who would you chose? And what would you cook?
Oh I love this question; it would be so much fun! I would invite Lewis Howes (former professional football player), Tim Ferris (author and entrepreneur), Dave Asprey (founder and CEO of Bulletproof), Dr. Sara Gottfried MD (author) and Chalene Johnson (physical fitness personality), and cook up a magical real food feast followed by a raw vegan cheesecake treat.
What’s your top food styling tip to create the perfect Instagram shot?
I think it’s very important to discover your own style; whether it’s using the same backgrounds, props, filters, colour-combinations etc. It all boils down to what inspires you and gets you in the zone. That’s my number one tip - find what works for you and own it because the only thing in this world that is unique is you, so get on that!
What’s next for you and your blog?
I have quite a few things planned for the next couple of months. I am currently working on an ebook, which I want to release by November this year. I’m also planning a Wildblend event series, which I will kick off while I’m in Europe for the summer. And I’ve just been offered my first cooking classes in Europe where I will focus on Paleo nibbles and raw vegan treats. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
My favourite place for breakfast is….
Sourced Grocer and Primal Pantry in Teneriffe and Plum Tucker in Red Hill.
On a Friday night you’ll find me...
doing yoga in the park, chilling out at home or relaxing on the beach on the Sunny coast preparing for a weekend of climbing in the Glasshouse Mountains (I’m not really a party girl).
I always take out-of-towners to….
Bunker coffee in Milton, Powerhouse in New Farm, South Bank by the river, Kangaroo Point for a climb.
Cats or Dogs?
Sweet or Savoury?
Sneakers or Stilettos?
Early mornings or late nights?
Coffee or tea?