Lauren Toyota is the queen of creating vegan versions of delicious comfort food. She was previously a television personality and host of MTV Canada. Lauren started blogging to share her vegan lifestyle through her popular YouTube channel ‘hot for food’ which has over 450, 000 subscribers and gained over 32 million views. She launched her first cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face. She is an inspiring woman who has done it all. Read on to find out more about her journey!
What did you do in college?
I took a music industry business course at Durham College.
What are the things that matter to you the most?
Definitely spending my time doing something I love and am passionate about. That’s all I’ve really ever cared about. What goes with that is having purpose, enjoying life, making a difference or having an impact with what I dedicate my time to as well!
What does a typical day in your week look like?
Everyday is different. I feel like my time is divided between being creative and doing the things I really love like creating recipes, testing, photography and video creation and doing more administrative tasks (that I don’t like so much!) like accounting, replying to emails, delegating tasks, and writing pitches and production plans.
Are there key people or books that have moulded you?
My earliest influence to explore going vegan was the book Omnivores Dilemma and the documentary Food Inc. Both are by Michael Pollan. He isn’t even vegan, but he posed great arguments for eating a plant-based diet and I just liked his objective, factual approach to diet and the environmental impact that it has.
Tell us something we don’t know about the creator’s work?
While you are always creating no matter what you’re doing, it doesn’t always feel good. So you have to be conscious of where you’re creating from… love or fear. I try to keep that in mind all the time and the way that I am able to get clearer about it is through a meditation practice. I truly don’t think I would be able to do ALL that I do without this daily practice.
What is your experience building your creative vegan youtube channel and now releasing cookbooks?
It’s amazing how quickly time has passed. I’ve now been doing this for a span of almost 10 years. hot for food was created when I went vegan in 2010 and it’s evolved and expanded so much in ways I never even imagined. So I’m really happy with the opportunities I’ve had and the stuff I’ve created. The book process is definitely different than the video content for YouTube. There is an immediacy and time limit to the YouTube channel that comes easier to me mentally. The book is quite challenging because of it’s permanency. Yes, the videos are always online, but I don’t seem to care as much about them and their longevity and relevancy as I do a cookbook. And that’s because I don’t really have to. People move onto the next thing immediately so I don’t get too precious about it. I think that laissez faire attitude to social media and the YouTube channel comes from my 10 years experience from working in media and television.I get it by this point in my life now. Whereas publishing is just a whole new world for me and there seems to be so much more prestige in that industry. It’s taken very seriously. Fabricated or not, I think going into author territory just kind of freaks me out!
Where do you yourself in the future?
I’d like to still be operating under the hot for food brand, but I see it expanding in so many more avenues. grocery products, licensing, and restaurant consulting is just some of what I’d like to be able to do. And perhaps I have carved out a career in cookbook creation. Only time will tell!
We hope you enjoyed it and we thank Lauren Toyota for this interesting interview.
Find and Follow Lauren Toyota:
Website: hot for food by Lauren Toyota
The Behind The Lens Series on Minimedia brings you daily interviews with the most dynamic content creators on the web. People working hard within their respective fields, on the subjects that make them most passionate. We uncover their stories.
To receive your dose of daily inspiration follow us on instagram and sign up to the Behind The Lens newsletter.