As a Nutritionist focusing on Chinese Nutrition Therapy and owner of SEXY FOOD THERAPY INC., Melissa Ramos’ high-heeled approach to health helps people feel sexy from the inside out. She is a regular expert on CTV’s The Social, a TED speaker and has been named one of Canada’s up-and-coming health and wellness stars by FLARE magazine. Ramos is an official health blogger for HUFFINGTON POST and has appeared on CBC’s, Steven & Chris, CHUM and Virgin Radio and was named Woman of the Week from Women’s Post Magazine.
First off, tell us how you first got involved with nutritional food blogging.
Well for starters I’m not a huge fan of the term nutrition blogger because blogging is just a facet of what I do and not who I am. I do believe blogging is tremendously important however if you’re trying to position yourself as an authority, I believe in business you really have to learn how to adapt in an ever changing environment. I began my journey writing probably back when I was in school when I lived with three other women in what I called, The Estrogen Den. My focus back then was to write about how I emotionally ate the right way through my dating stories. Since then Sexy Food Therapy has really changed in terms of content, offerings and marketing objectives.
Tell us a bit about the work you’ve done with Branding and Buzzing.
I’ve done quite a bit with Branding and Buzzing to be honest! I’ve worked with them on a program for Thai Kitchen Canada, where I won the title of Thai Kitchen Canada’s Brand Ambassador for 2014. Plus I’ve produced videos as well for various brands. Working with Branding and Buzzing has been great because I’ve had the opportunity to connect with brands that I believe in and are happy to promote.
What does Social Media mean to you?
Connection. It’s really all about connection and depending on the social media avenue that you choose, it simply allows you to connect with people on a much wider level. Social media has been rapidly changing so while people have generally been complaining about changes with Facebook, etc., I see it as an opportunity to become more innovative and creative on how I choose to use social media as an effective tool to connect with my tribe.
What blogger or blog(s) have been your biggest influence?
My influence really comes in piece meal from all over, from Australia to the US. I think people in Toronto tend to get pigeon holed with Toronto, but there’s more to the world than just this city, so look and think bigger. I love seeing sites that inspire me visually because I’m motivated by creativity and art. One great new site that I love these days is Garden Heart (funny enough a Toronto gal). Her photography is absolutely stunning. Other people I enjoy following is Melissa Ambrosini in Australia, Diane Sanfilippo in the US and who’s the author of NY Times Best Selling Book, Practical Paleo. There’s a ton of great people out there, so I do my best to connect with people who are playing at a much higher level.
What do you think makes blogging in Canada different than the US?
I think Canadians can be quite conservative in their approach versus the US. I also think that again, people in certain cities like Toronto won’t look past their city and get caught up in that. What I find happening in the US is people tend to play much bigger and I find that incredibly inspiring.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the food blogging industry?
Be you. Stop thinking you have to fit into a specific mould and just do you. When I came onto the scene people thought I was nuts with Sexy Food Therapy because it was a sassier approach. I used my so-call “weaknesses” to my advantage. So my klutziness and dramatic little personality is something I put out there rather than feeling like I had to repress it.
What upcoming social media trends do you see in the blogging industry?
You need to pay to play. People have moaned about this for a while now, but I think the true marketers ( because I hate being called, “a blogger”) will win if they boost specific content that they create. Facebook organic reach is dead so boosting blog posts strategically is a must. And blogging with a purpose is a necessity.
How do you see influencer marketing evolving in the next few years?
I think brands are definitely seeing the value that influencers have to play. What I think will happen is that influencers will need to be more creative on how they use their powers with brands. Maybe it isn’t just blogging. Maybe it’s through instagram, or live-streaming through Meerkat or Periscope, but influencers will need to step up their game on HOW they’re influencing brands that goes beyond a blog post.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
That I’ll continue pushing the creative envelope.
What do you do when you aren’t attending events or writing?
NOTHING. Literally, sometimes I need to turn my brain and phone off. I’ll shut my laptop, ignore calls and messages and just refuel with my pup. I’d love to say that I’m out socializing but truly, I’m more of an introvert that my videos have me pegged for. So relaxing at home with Netflix and my dog is one of my favourite things to do.