Mary is a Greek-American food blogger who turned her passion for veganism into an entire lifestyle. I had the chance to have a chat with Mary as she discusses everything about her food philosophy.
You can find Mary’s amazing vegan recipes and her e-book vegan cookbook on Instagram @upbeetandkaleingit.
Mary could you introduce yourself to the Greek City Times Community? Tell us about yourself.
Hi everyone! My name is Mary Papadimos and I’m a 29-year-old Greek-American food blogger living in Tampa, Florida. I’m married to my amazing husband, Alex, who is a second-year general surgery resident.
My passion for veganism and blogging began over six years ago. I started my blog and Instagram account during my second year of grad school. What first started as a hobby quickly transitioned into an entire lifestyle and brand as I began to work with food and wellness companies.
My heart and soul went into developing recipes and sharing foods and products that I loved all while completing graduate school.
Eventually, I graduated with a dual JD/MBA in May 2020 and knew exactly what I wanted to do afterwards- turn upbeetandkaleingit into a full-time job instead of practicing law. That’s exactly what I did and I have not looked back ever since, I adore what I do on a daily basis. Developing recipes and sharing veganism with my amazing community brings me the utmost joy.
What is your food philosophy?
I one hundred percent believe in nourishing your body with as many plant-based wholesome foods as possible, but I also believe in balance. While my husband and I eat really healthy on a daily basis, we still enjoy my desserts and indulging in anything we want on occasion. I definitely don’t believe in depriving yourself but I do feel my best when I focus on eating a majority of whole foods.
How did you get started eating a plant based diet?
During my last year of college, I saw a documentary that showed the horrifying conditions under which factory farmed animals are raised. It really rocked me to my core and I became disgusted with the lack of humanity, filthy conditions and awful treatment these animals endured. That made me never want to eat meat again, or even fish! I first went vegetarian but then made the final transition into veganism while in grad school. While I believe a vegan diet when done properly is the healthiest, I am one hundred percent vegan for my animal friends. The voiceless need a voice and I’m here to speak up and show people just how amazing and easy it is to be vegan.
What challenges did you face?
If I had a dime for the amount of times people mocked veganism, I would be a very wealthy woman. At first, when people judged me or made negative comments about going vegan, I took it too personally. Now, it doesn’t both me one bit because I live my truth entirely and stand strong by my convictions. I never found it challenging to actually eat vegan other than going out to restaurants, which is something I only did on occasion anyways. I have always enjoyed making 95% of my meals at home.
If you could give one piece of advice to new vegans, what would it be?
You’re doing an amazing thing, so don’t get discouraged if you happen to mess up along the way. Also, utilize as many resources as possible such as blogs, websites, books and any pertinent information to making your transition to veganism comfortable and well-rounded.
Why do you blog?
I blog because it’s not only my job, but also my passion. Reaching hundreds of thousands of awesome people around the world brings me so much happiness. Watching people make my recipes and tag me in posts is super rewarding, and the support from my upbeetandkaleingit community is unmatched. Working with food brands is amazing and I’m constantly looking to expand my culinary and baking skills. Most of my job doesn’t feel like work to me because it’s so fun.
What makes your website/profile different to all the rest?
Although there are tons of vegan blogs out there, it’s hard to beat mine when it comes to ease and convenience. I want people to see how approachable veganism is and to me, that means not complicating recipes. My brand encompasses an easy cooking and baking style along with real ingredients. Life is incredibly busy these days but making food shouldn’t be stressful, so that’s something I really focus on.
What’s your next for you? Goals and dreams?
I plan on continuing to grow my brand, upbeetandkaleingit. That means expanding my blog, Instagram and tiktok to reach more people. I would love to continue working with amazing food brands and eventually create my own line of vegan desserts. Having my own tangible product is the end goal for sure.
Be sure to try some of Mary’s recipes. I have and they taste divine!!