My Fave Top 3 SM Influencers

And they just coincidently happen to be Asian. Honestly, I don’t seek out Asian influencers! But since the pandemic started I’ve been surfing more on social media channels and keep coming back to these three. Maybe like others, I have a love-hate relationship with SM. I gave up Facebook about five years ago because I felt that people (including myself) were just trying to impress. I liked Instagram better because I was able to focus on food and find a community with similar passions…at least until Meta took over and changed the algorithms so it was hard for me to see genuine posts and was only being shown the top-liked posts, even from people I wasn’t following. Now I use SM carefully and gauge how I feel after using it—did the posts inspire, make me laugh, make me feel better about the world? Maybe that sounds cheesy but time is so precious so why waste time scrolling if my mind doesn’t benefit.

Research shows that Instagram and TikTok carry risks for young women. One nutrition example is clean eating, which is perceived by most to be a healthy eating pattern. It has a large following of young SM influencers sharing recipes and diets that are “clean”; the problem is that it can cause extreme food restrictions under the guise of health. It’s a dietary purity that falls into the category of orthorexia, an obsessional or pathological preoccupation with healthy eating that negatively affects mental health.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

I see several young women in the clinic with eating disorders who lean toward clean eating, believing it is a safe and healthy path. What they don’t realize is that the extreme fixation on food hasn’t changed, only the focal point. I’m not an expert on eating disorders, but through my experience I’ve learned that true healing from ED comes with feeling freedom around food. It’s ok to want to follow a healthy eating pattern but when you set strict rules that can never be broken, it crosses over into disordered eating. This is why, even though I know SM is a risk for some, I’m sharing my favorite influencers who I believe have healthy relationships with food. They truly enjoy eating and cooking, but not in an obsessive manner. They’re open to trying new recipes or meals in restaurants but also have their everyday home-prepared go-tos. They don’t think about food or meal planning all day, but enjoy planning a meal and eat when hunger arrives. Of course I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but I believe the messaging they present is positive and inspiring.

Malama Life

Sofie is a lifestyle vlogger practicing the slow intentional life and minimalism. I love the meaning of Malama: to take care of, tend, care for, preserve, and protect. Her quiet short videos are filled with insight and wisdom.

Nutrition by Kylie

Kylie Sakaida is a TikTok sensation with her easy meal and snack “shorts,” but you can also follow her on Instagram and YouTube. She’s a registered dietitian with solid clinical training. Her feeds offer quick videos on general nutrition and diets but what I love most are the shorts (see 2nd one below) with simple fun food ideas. They remind me that prepping a nutritious yummy meal doesn’t have to be a big deal or take a lot of time.

Michelle Choi

I didn’t want to like Michelle. The first few videos I watched I thought “she’s too pretty, her life is too perfect, she’s too smug.” But she kept popping into my YouTube feed and I gradually found her videos addictive. One main thing I noticed is that I always felt more lighthearted after watching. I love her genuineness and dog Dobby. She goes about her days, has a lot of friends, and lives a fairly upscale lifestyle in NYC, but doesn’t really make a big deal about any of it. It’s her normal. She often shares her meals and cooking, which you can tell she absolutely delights in (she dances around the stove or squeals after a bite of delicious food). Her short vids are a fun escape and remind me that there’s a lot of everyday things in the world to discover and appreciate.

So I have to say it: GO Asian Girl Power! πŸ™‚ Do you have any favorite vloggers/bloggers/influencers that inspire you? Please share.

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