Running a health and wellness blog was always going to be on the cards for Nicola, founder of The Unrefined after she overcame certain challenges in her life. After cutting out refined foods from her diet, Nicola noticed an incredible changed in her mood, skin and energy levels. This change inspired the health and wellness blog she now runs, The Unrefined.

“I was mostly impressed with the difference in my skin so decided to start posting about the lifestyle change. I would post about food, recipes and my favourite skin care.” Nicola says.

After a few months dedicating herself to the unrefined diet, her instagram account started to grow and out of the blue, a cafe in Brisbane contacted her asking for her help in developing a “healthy” granola recipe to appear on their menu. It would later be titled “The Unrefined Granola” and go on to be a huge success, so much so that Nicola decided to launch it as a product.

“Today, The Unrefined has a manufacturer and goes through hundreds of kgs of granola per month. The company has also launched a jewellery line, eBooks and is looking to further expand in the fields of health, beauty & fashion.” says Nicola.

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While her instagram and blog focuses on health, wellness and mind blowingly delicious food Nicola mentions that her relationship with food hasn’t always been on the best of terms.

“Throughout high school and up until I was 21 I suffered from anorexia and binge/purge disorder. Despite being severely underweight, having a heart arrhythmia (from vomiting so much) and being very much controlled by my bitter thoughts towards food; I was very much in denial about my illness.”

While studing a Bachelor of Health Science at university, she remembers having an epiphany that made her realise just how much damage she was doing to her body.

Obviously it wasn’t as simple as “snapping out of it”. I underwent quite a bit of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and eventually retrained my body to digest food and fear no food groups.

While practicing healthy eating as much as possible, she definitely does not condone food restriction, with fried chicken or chips being her guilty pleasure!

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When asked what were three top tips were for starting a blog, she listed the below as being her must-do’s. Nicola also mentioned how important social media is, and how it significantly it contributed to the success of The Unrefined!

1. Be Consistent

“I’m guilty of not doing this but I can’t stress how important it is! Put yourself in front of your audience as often as possible. This is what I did when I first started the blog and I know it made all the difference in growing my presence. I also notice that if I stop posting for a period of time my engagement drops.”

2. Post Quality, Original Content

“Anyone can repost, not everyone has the time to create quality, original content. Create the content that brands repost and I guarantee you’ll start seeing traction. “

3. Be Authentic

“Be yourself because everyone else is taken! Authenticity is gold and it is the key to building an audience that trusts you. “

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In regards to advice she would give people who are wanting to make their passion their business, she says planning is a huge aspect, as it keeps you accountable and allows you to define your vision. Perservence is also crucial.

“If you can overcome everyday obstacles, your own self-doubt and what people may think, you are on your way to success.” says Nicola.

Nicola’s success was hard earned, and did not come with out experiencing a few challenges along the way stating the self-doubt was one of the main ones she had to overcome.

“Sometimes when you are the face of a brand or business, you can become overwhelmed with what people may think or “what ifs”. I think believing in yourself is everything.”

To finish off the interview we asked Nicola why she loved being apart of family:

” is definitely a platform that I love because everything is transparent and both the company and the influencer are protected”

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