Rachel Mansfield’s site (http://rachlmansfield.com/) offers gorgeous, crisp photos of breakfast, dessert, and snacks on marble counter tops. Her look, vibe, and recipes have gained a huge following and it’s that rare combination of approachable authenticity and innovation that make her nibbles so thrilling for readers.
Originally from New Jersey, the current Manhattanite lived in a healthy household growing up, where brown rice always won over white. But it wasn’t until about five years ago that Mansfield became interested in organic, whole-foods eating in a bigger way. Now, she’s obsessed with creating food that isn’t just healthy, but yummy too—and far beyond the kale and spinach realm. Plus, she’s nuts for granola (with nuts, without, grain, no grain…oh my!). Read on for her helpful hints on creating nutritious food that zings your taste buds, as well as why she loves the Instagram crew.
SBS: Why did you start your Instagram page?
RM: I was fired from my job over a year ago. At that time, I had started my page, but it wasn’t paying my bills. My passion was the recipes and Instagram, and I couldn’t think about getting a full-time job with that at the back of my mind. I had just gotten married, I had just moved into the city and my parents and husband urged me to take two months off. During that time, I went full throttle and put my heart and soul into Instagram. It worked.
SBS: What are your tips for healthy eating in the busy city?
RM: Meal prep is the one thing that keeps me sane. Having a plan ahead of time is key. It doesn’t have to be exact, but having things on hand is so important. Before I even started blogging, I always had a ton of healthy snacks and granola. I keep them in stock at all times. Then, if I’m out with my friends late at night, instead of giving into pizza, I already have healthy options in my pantry!
SBS: How do you stock your pantry to help in this way?
RM: When it comes to grocery shopping I go to Whole Foods, usually once a day, or Trader Joe’s for recipe ingredients. For healthy meals on the go, I love Sweet Greens, Hu Kitchen and Beyond Sushi. Living in NYC there are so many options!
But if I go to suburbia, I come prepared with my own food. It’s annoying in some ways, but I’d rather know I have nutritious snacks and ingredients than be worried. I always pack a grain-free granola plus a grain granola. Then I have nut butter, nuts, fruit, trail mixes and banana bread.
SBS: What’s always in your home?
RM: If I’m at home, my late night snack is whole cereal or granola with nutmilk or spoonfuls of almond butter. I always keep apples, bananas, fresh berries, or if they are on sale, kiwis or peaches. I also have lemons, arugula, zucchini, onions, nutmilks, kombucha, pasture-raised eggs, hummus, almond milk cheese, bone broth and kimchi. And collagen peptides are my new secret weapon!
SBS: How do you suggest other Instagramers grow their brand?
RM: You want to be consistent. You don’t want to be bouncing around between looks. If you’re known for an aesthetic, it’s not that you want to be narrow-minded, but you want to be reliable. You’ll grow a following based off of your ‘thing.’ From a style standpoint, I’m known for my white, bright, crisp pictures on a marble background.
SBS: What is helpful about social media and Instagram? What are the downsides in your opinion?
RM: Connecting with others and building a group of friends is so wonderful. I talk to a lot of friends I’ve made through blogging and Instagram every day! It’s brought me so many experiences, from working with amazing brands to building a community.
The biggest downfall is comparing yourself to others. You see so many things that look so beautifully curated. But you have to do your own thing and stay authentic.
SBS: What are some trends you love? What are some you wish would go away?
RM: I wish juice cleanses would go away! It’s not good to miss whole foods for seven days. I also don’t love all the added sugars and salts in juices or foods. You wouldn’t know the difference if they weren’t there.
I love collagen peptides for my nails, skin and digestion. I put that in my lemon water! Bone broth also has a lot of collagen and protein. Turmeric for inflammation is wonderful too, and I love that people are learning about that.
SBS: How do you grow your community online?
RM: One of the key aspects is engaging with others. You want to start conversations with other people, whether that’s replying to comments people leave you on the post or commenting on a beautiful bowl you see. Sometimes I meet up with these people, too!
SBS: What do you hope your site brings to the food blogging world?
RM: I hope it brings a sense of realism. I try to be as authentic as possible. It offers delicious food with easy ingredients that taste good. That’s simple.
Two Rachel Recipes!
Banana Spice Muffins:
Toasted Quinoa Superfood Breakfast Bars:
Rachel’s NYC Favorites:
Restaurant: Cafe Clover, The Little Beet Table, The Fat Radish, Rubirosa and Gramercy Tavern
Dessert Spots: Pressed Juicery for Freeze and Hu Kitchen desserts
Fitness Studios: Barre 3, FlyBarre and Flywheel Sports
Fun Activity: Walking around and exploring TriBeCa, Nolita and the Bowery
Calming Activity: Manicure and pedicure at JINSoon