What I Eat In A Day: YouTube’s Ray of Sunshine, Nikki Phillippi

By Lora O’Brien

If you’re clued into the world of YouTube and healthy eating you may have already come across the happy, healthy, seriously upbeat star that is Nikki Phillippi.

Celebrated for her positivity, energy and inspirational messages, it’s not surprising that Nikki has over 1.4 million followers on YT, and a further 513k followers on Instagram, where she offers tips and tricks for thriving on a vegan diet. Oh, and did I mention that Nikki can also dance, sing, and act, too?

She’s the kinda girl you want to be your bestie, (and with her warm approach online, you do feel a bit like she is!) so I was thrilled that Nikki made a little time for me for a little Q+A.

What motivated you to start a YouTube channel?

I have always had a passion for the arts (all kinds) and have always had a desire to create things! To make an extremely long story short, YouTube was not something I ever thought much about at ALL until I felt a calling in July 2010 by God to “get on YouTube”…. that was it! After that, the rest is history! I’ve told the whole story on my YouTube channel if you want to see the long version. It really is a crazy story and I feel so lucky and blessed to get to share my life online now AND have it be my job!

How do you feel watching your first YouTube video now?

I just laugh! It’s honestly kind of embarrassing! While it is fun to go back and look at my past self and   life, I also have to actively try not to get too insecure and pick at myself! I love making videos, but I’m very self absorbed and easily impacted by my previous “selves” – like, “What was I doing with my hair?!” or:”OMG that lipstick!”. You get my drift. It really is cool though to have so much of my life documented.  

How do you incorporate healthy living into everyday life?

I try and make it a part of all my small decisions. Drinking water, getting sunshine and movement, making the best nutritional choices I can wherever I’m at (and not beating myself up for my “mistakes”) and praying throughout the day. I think that living a healthy life takes constant effort, but in my opinion, it’s worth making it a lifestyle.

What’s your favourite go-to meal?

Lately it’s been a veggie bacon sandwich w/ heirloom tomatoes on sourdough bread with chips/salsa and guacamole.

When did you first become conscious of the impact of healthy living?

I grew up always eating pretty healthy and really looking at the ingredients on my food items. My mom got on a health kick pretty young because of health issues in her family and the passion rubbed off on me! In my late teens, I also noticed the way I was eating was impacting the way I felt. That was probably more of the turning point for me and making a conscious decision to eat better and make sure I was taking care of my body physically… not just beating it into the ground for the sake of sports (I was a dancer.). I try and practice self love now in both the way I eat and move. PS: I’ve been a “fake-etarian” now for 7 years…a.k.a. I don’t eat meat and hardly any dairy.

What are your top tips for people looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle?

Three things: Find what you love to do (in terms of exercise) and just do it! If it’s a walk around the neighborhood, do it! Maybe it’s a fun dance class? Take it!

Really look at what you are putting into your body and how you feel afterwards.

Also, super basic, but protect your sleep – get enough of it! And drink water too.


What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

Some of my favorite breakfast recipes are currently avocado toast (although that’s always a favorite and I love finding different ways to eat it!) a green collagen protein smoothie, fruit that’s in season, or maybe my standby favorite….a bagel with vegan cream cheese and an heirloom tomato! Lunch is typically a big salad with lots of veggies or Mexican food. Dinner (which is my favorite meal of the day btw!) changes all the time: Beyond Meat Veggie burgers, veggie packed salads with homemade lemon vinaigrette, sweet potatoes with quinoa or another grain, and the list goes on and on. I’m a self proclaimed “foodie” and I love experimenting with recipes for videos for my channel. And of course just sharing them with my husband Dan.

Favourite winter recipes?

I love making veggie chili with lentil beans. I think it’s the perfect home-warming meal, and paired with sourdough garlic bread it is divine.

Any kitchen disasters you can share with us?

One time I tried to stir fry jalapeños and the whole house filled up with a peppery smoke! Hahaha! We had to stay outside for like an hour…!

What are you planning next, lovely?

I have some things brewing that I am super excited about. I have something SO cool in the works with Eylure too for later this fall! I can’t wait to share!! Also, since my move to Nashville, I am getting more and more excited about music and hopefully putting together an EP at some point soon in the future.

Can’t wait!

How To Eat Like Nikki

Of course, to really eat what Nikki does, just visit her channel and check out her recipes. But we thought we’d add a few recipes we know of that she – and you – would love!

Green Smoothie

Nikki’s not picky – she loves green smoothies in all consistencies and flavours, so we thought we’d share 13 great recipes with you!

Get them here.  

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Since Nikki’s favourite cuisine is Mexican, and since she loves salad, this is a win-win with her! Just look at how this salad is bursting with a huge variety of veggies and flavours!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Bacon Sandwich

The Minimalist Baker uses smoky eggplant and creamy vegan mayo to create the ultimate vegan BLT. Only six ingredients means it’s super easy to make, too!

Get the recipe here.

Tortilla Soup

Oh She Glows has the best vegan tortilla soup recipe on the planet, bar none. Packed with crunchy tortillas, creamy avocado and tangy tomato, no one can resist this!

Get the recipe here.

Vegetarian Chili

Nikki’s all time fave! This is a pretty spicy version, with plenty of garlic and jalepeños. Serve over some brown rice and with cilantro for a nice tang.

Get the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Pecan Vegan Ice Cream

Since Nikki’s based in the American South, how could we resist putting a pecan ice cream recipe here? Of course, this one is vegan, with a base of soy cream and milk.

Get the recipe here.


Lora O'Brien
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