This Friday we are super excited to share our latest interview with the lovely Margaux from Margaux. Mango. Margaux talks to us about her passion for travel, and what made her want to share more about her vegan lifestyle with others. We are big fans of her Instagram and Youtube that continues to grow as Margaux shares her message on how quick and easy it can be to be vegan!
Hi Margaux! Tell us a bit about your childhood and background and how you feel that has influenced you today?
I was born to a French mother and Australian father and grew up as an expatriate child, which saw me living in four different continents from Europe to Africa. Living and travelling around the world at such a young age really opened my eyes to some of the world’s biggest issues. Later as a young adult, thanks to family, friends and the Internet I started to learn about issues related to Veganism. It first began with me hearing about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and soon I was a passionate vegan for countless reasons such as ethics, including poverty, species conservation, climate change and the environment. I really believe that being exposed to so many different people, cultures and ways of living as a child has made me far more open minded to different ideas and also much more able to question things.
When did you decide to start up your Tumblr and Youtube and why?
I started promoting veganism and plant-based eating back in January 2015! It was actually my good friend Bonny who originally inspired me. We had been travelling together in Queensland and we were staying at my grandmother’s house, and she was answering Tumblr questions. Although she had only started up a few months before she was already helping so many people and I remember reading the questions with her and helping her answer some and wanting to help people myself. So a couple days later I started an Instagram and a few months later a Youtube and Tumblr. Instagram has always been my main social media platform, but I started up Tumblr purely to answer people’s questions as I found it was much easier for people to ask questions and remain anonymous. I started Youtube to show people how to eat vegan, as I was always getting specific “what do you eat in a day” “how do you eat vegan” “how do you eat healthy” etc, and I found making what I eat videos was the easiest and most effective way to show people!
When did you start to get great feedback from your Youtube channel and it really started to grow?
When I started to be myself and to stop trying to emulate others. I find people are the most interested in what I eat and I find filming what I eat in a day videos my favourite too. I’m a very private person and so I don’t like sharing a lot about my life, but I love sharing what I eat as my main message is to eat a plant-based diet! So when I started concentrating on what I eat in a day videos I found that that’s when I got good feedback and people messaging me asking me for more, as they found them great for ideas and inspirations. I also love getting messages when people tell me that my videos really helped them understand how to actually eat a vegan and whole food plant based diet.
What were your biggest challenges starting up your Youtube channel?
YouTube is still something I’m working on, I’ve changed a lot since I started making videos. One of my biggest challenges would be to have confidence in myself, I often cringe at myself when I watch myself (I think a lot of us do!) and so one of my biggest challenges is to push past that and upload anyway! Anther challenge is that I am not talented at making high-quality productions nor do I make fancy food, that’s not me, and for a while, that really held me back.
But I’ve started to learn that I’ll never get anywhere unless I am just myself. So I’ve turned that weakness into a strength and the way I see it my videos are simple and no fuss and make me much more relatable. I think someone can watch one of my what I eat videos and be like that’s simple! I can do that! I can eat vegan too, it’s easy. That’s my aim.
What first made you go vegan?
My uncle had cancer and my aunt told me about how they were treating it through diet; she told me about plant-based diets and the China Study, and I was mind-blown. I went home, bought the book and within 10 pages I had completely changed my diet. As time went on I also obviously learnt all about the ethics and environmental reasons behind veganism too.
Was anything a challenge for you when first going vegan?
I’ve never had trouble being or staying vegan. I guess the main thing in terms of actually being vegan was to find out what to eat, there was a lot of trial and error before I found what works best for me! I did also get a lot of people I used to know make fun of me etc but I’ve always stood by my beliefs so it never made me reconsider veganism or anything.
What has been the best thing about being a vegan YouTuber?
Helping people. Helping people go vegan, helping people stay vegan, healthy people get healthy, just helping people. Which in turn helps the animals and the planet.
What’s it like being vegan in the city you live in?
I live in Melbourne, although quite far out from the city, so I rarely venture there! But it is so easy being vegan as Melbourne has a huge vegan population. There is a suburb called Fitzroy and although it is over an hour from me I sometimes go there as it is pretty much vegan capital with a street filled with vegetarian and vegan restaurants; from Thai to ice-cream to nachos to burgers to Vietnamese to anything you can think of! There is even a cruelty-free store. I am pretty much a whole foods kinda girl though so I don’t eat out very often, but I do love a doughnut here and there! In standard supermarkets, it is also really easy to find speciality vegan foods like tofu, veggie sausages, yoghurts, ice creams etc!
Why do you think there has been such a rise in Veganism over the last few years?
Yes! I’ve only been vegan about 4 years but since then there have been so many more cafes and restaurants all over Melbourne that have opened that have either a completely vegetarian menu or have lots of options for vegans which is awesome! I have also noticed it all over the world not just in Melbourne either. When I go back to places that I haven’t visited in a couple years I am so shocked at how many more options there are! Just last week I was up in Queensland and just in one town I go to there was 2 new vegan restaurants! The same goes for France, every time I visit there seems to be an explosion of new vegan/vegetarian-friendly places! It’s gaining momentum!
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in many different things and people but one thing that inspires me is kindness and generosity. I know it may seem cliché but when I see people be kind, whether it be with their words or their time or anything else I feel inspired. I also find hope really inspiring, when I see people making a difference or things getting better in any aspect of life that really inspires me as I start to think change is possible!
What’s your average day like?
On a work day I will get up around 7 am, I try to get at least 9-10 hours of sleep a night, drink lots of water, and maybe go for a run or a bike ride if I’m up early enough. Then I tend to come home and make breakfast and lunch for work. I then eat breakfast in the car on the way to work, as it is a long drive. After work I’ll come home and have dinner and spend time with my boyfriend; we’ll either just hang out, watch a movie, play a board game, or if it’s a nice night we might go down to the beach or even for a walk or a run together!
On my days off I love to exercise and go for longer rides, and spend my afternoons with my boyfriend and down at the beach when it’s warm! These are the days I post on Tumblr, Instagram and sometimes film What I eat videos!
Do you think you have a work/life balance?
These last couple years 100%. Since I graduated from Uni a bit over two years ago I’ve spent almost more time travelling than working. I have been so lucky to be able to work and save and travel. I am awesome at budget travelling, probably because I’ve travelled so much in my life that I know how to do it cheap! It used to be a big problem for me, I’d always be giving something up, either my exercise or my social life – sleep was the one thing I would never compromise. I am definitely getting better though!
What’s the best part of your job?
At the moment I’m working in the cycling industry for a couple of specific brand dealers. The best part about it is getting people on the bike and getting fit. Cycling has been a big part of my life these last couple years so It has been fun to work in the industry. I am always surrounded by really fit people and that’s definitely a big motivation for me! Working here has also allowed me to travel quite a bit as they’ve been really flexible with me, which I’m so grateful for. I am definitely ready for something new though!
What words do you live by?
My all time favourite word is “Ahimsa”, it’s Sanskrit and means peace to all living beings. That’s a really important word for me because it’s so easy for me to show compassion for animals but I find it a lot harder towards some humans. This word reminds me that we are all living beings and helps me be a better person.
What’s next for you?
I have been so lucky to be able to find jobs that I can take time off from to be able to travel. Travelling is one of my biggest passions and I am definitely addicted. There are so many things I want to do so at the moment I’m debating whether I’ll go travelling again this year, whether I’ll move overseas or whether I might even go back to Uni! I would love to work in climate change and at the moment my friend and I are actually just starting to work on launching an environmental vegan climate change challenge! It’s all very new, but I am pretty excited about it!