Nqobile Mtshali shares with us her journey to starting her blog, Browngirlhealth and what she hopes to achieve with it.

Browngirlhealth is a blog and a documentation, on a brown girl trying to live her most healthy life on a vegetarian/ veganish lifestyle. The blog features recipes that are specifically created to be cost effective or low cost. The blog shows that you can maintain or switch to a vegetarian/ vegan diet on a budge and that being healthy is a lifestyle, not a diet.

What made you start this blog?

I started browngirlhealth when I was in my honour’s year at Rhodes, I had moved into the post-grad village and had to cook for myself. The allowance I received was the exact amount I needed for groceries. This didn’t give me much room to do other things like go out with friends. So, I decided to try being vegetarian and see if it worked out cheaper, and it did for me. I would take pictures of my meals and post them on my Facebook and Instagram, and people would ask me for recipes. That’s when I decided to start the blog on Instagram so that I could start sharing the recipes and that people would easily find them. And when I was looking for ideas on what to make for dinner or lunch on Instagram or pinterest, it was hard to find a page or a blog run by a black woman. I at least wanted to be that one in a million blog that another black woman could find when she was searching for vegetarian/vegan blogs.

Where do you get your recipe inspiration?

Affordability mostly inspires my recipes. People are always saying that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is expensive. My recipes use simple inexpensive ingredients most of the time, things that are already included in the grocery list every month. I think this shows people that eating healthy or being vegetarian/vegan can be feasible without burning a hole in your pocket.

Have you always had an interest in food and health?

I have always been interested in physical health and sports. I only really became interested in food in my honours year when I started the blog. The academic in me never wants to start doing anything without knowing the facts about it. Changing your diet is a big thing so you always want to educate yourself and know why and how. As I read up more and especially on changing to a vegetarian lifestyle, I discovered the impact food has on your body. It’s amazing that by just changing your diet, it makes a big difference to how you feel in your body.

What are some of your go-to nutritious snacks?

My go to snacks are fresh and dried fruit, my home made granola bars and yoghurt and muesli.

What has been your biggest challenge starting this?

Time. This has been on of my biggest challenges, running a blog or page needs a lot of time especially if you are meticulous about what your work. I never want to put out a post or article that’s mediocre. So, trying to balance posting recipes, recipe testing and my job has been a real challenge.

What are you hoping to achieve in your food career?

What I am hoping to achieve in my food career is educating myself on nutrition and possibly getting a qualification in that. To develop more recipes that are not expensive to make but are also healthy and taste good. I also really hope that browngirlhealth ends up as an online store where people can order frozen meals and raw juices.

Do you have a favourite recipe to share with us?

Definitely the roasted red pepper sauce and pasta, I love it because of how easy it is to make but how tasty it is also!


You can find Browngirlhealth at @browngirlhealth  on Instagram and Twitter