Viral meals movies feed our voracious appetites for viewing fascinating social media content material each day, however there’s far more than meets the attention behind these craveable, intelligent culinary scenes produced by high creators.

Nicole Keshishian Modic has discovered success within the house as KaleJunkie the place she dishes up wholesome recipes, assessments out viral meals developments on TikTok and Instagram to her over 1.5 million mixed followers and opens up about her relationship with meals to encourage others find out how to discover a healthful steadiness.

Behind the viral creator: KaleJunkie

How a lawyer-turned-recipe creator healed her relationship with meals via meals

The Instagram web page for Nicole Keshishian Modic’s KaleJunkie meals account.


From her first viral recipe in 2018 for “life-changing tahini chocolate chip cookies” to a more moderen five-minute spicy cucumber salad that reached 12 million views on TikTok, Modic’s momentum has been what she thought of “a gradual burn” that was definitely worth the anticipate the neighborhood she’s constructed alongside the best way.

At first look of the creator’s vibrant meals web page, you are met with upbeat, informative cooking reels and drool-worthy meals posts that garner tons of of 1000’s of likes per day. However first timers or new followers might not know Modic’s preliminary motivation behind the account. In March 2015 the previous employment protection lawyer began meals running a blog for enjoyable and inside three quick years, left her disturbing, unfulfilling authorized profession in San Francisco to pursue this ardour venture full time.

“It was only a pastime on social media the place I used to be testing out different creators’ recipes, sharing them as I used to be therapeutic my very own relationship with meals,” Modic instructed “Good Morning America.” “What no one knew was that behind the scenes, I used to be struggling — I had bulimia, I had binge consuming dysfunction and it was made worse by the stress of my profession — I by no means noticed a light-weight on the finish of the tunnel, I felt caught.”

One evening Modic’s husband Greg walked in on her binge consuming in mattress: “I used to be mortified, however that was an ‘aha’ second for me as a result of that was the primary time in my life that any individual that I beloved and cared about a lot noticed me in a extremely weak state. And from that second on, my secret was now not a secret. And that was actually liberating for me.”

PHOTO: Nicole Keshishian Modic with her husband Greg.

Nicole Keshishian Modic together with her husband Greg.

Nicole Keshishian Modic

Getting a deal with on wholesome consuming via social media

“I used to be below this impression that I needed to eat all of the inexperienced salads on a regular basis, all of the juice, all of the kale. So, after I was beginning my Instagram account, I used to be like, ‘I’ll name it KaleJunkie as a consultant of all these items that I used to be consuming,'” she stated of her deal with’s origin story. “As I actually dove deeper into this concept of intuitive consuming and consuming in keeping with what my physique is absolutely asking for, it sort of developed over time.”

“That is only a pastime, however my life is being remodeled by consuming with meals made with extra nutritious elements — ‘I am onto one thing,'” Modic recalled considering when she first began out. “Issues I used to binge on and overdue I used to be making extra nutritious and wouldn’t be triggered by them anymore. That was the beginning of therapeutic my relationship with meals, mockingly, via meals.”

Modic created a neighborhood utilizing her KaleJunkie platform as an area to “inform individuals I used to be struggling and what the restoration journey was like,” at which level she stated her Instagram DMs blew up. “Numerous ladies and teenage women got here to me and stated, ‘I am struggling too, I am embarrassed … what did you do?'” Modic stated. “That gave me this sense of goal. I knew that I needed to go away my profession in regulation and assist anyone that was struggling with their relationship with meals, as a result of I knew that if I may overcome one thing that was an enormous a part of my life for 15 years, that different individuals may to.”

“My Instagram began to develop organically, I used to be falling in love with content material creation, however I used to be nonetheless practising regulation and in some way juggling the 2,” she stated of the instances that predated influencer advertising and marketing as we all know it as we speak. Then one spring day in 2018 Modic give up her job to pursue KaleJunkie full-time: “I by no means seemed again.”

Lately her account is “much less concerning the consuming dysfunction restoration journey, although it’s such an enormous a part of who I’m” and as a substitute focuses on creating authentic meals content material from straightforward viral dishes to time-saving kitchen hacks.

Whereas she nonetheless likes to eat “a pleasant loaded salad,” Modic stated, “I additionally love actual meals. “So, though I am now not a kale junkie completely, that identify caught with me. And it signifies a part of my journey. I do not need to change it. I really feel like too typically we run away from our historical past and our struggles and the place we have been, however that’s all who we’re.”

A full-time meals creator’s recipe for achievement

“A day within the lifetime of KaleJunkie is at all times completely different,” Modic stated, “however I’ve tried to streamline my processes during the last couple of years as a result of I spotted that I labored 24/7.” As soon as every week she’s within the kitchen recipe testing; Two to 3 days every week she shoots video and images cooking via these recipes, all whereas doing her personal enhancing; She additionally writes companion weblog posts for her web site and social media posts. And final yr she squeezed in time to publish her first cookbook, “Like to Eat: 75 Straightforward, Craveworthy Recipes for Wholesome, Intuitive Consuming.”

“I at all times go away room for a final minute pattern to pop up into my content material calendar,” she stated. “So, after I see one thing that appears actually enjoyable and thrilling — I’ve acquired to maneuver every thing off the plate to attempt to be on the forefront of capturing that.”

Like lots of her fellow meals creators, Modic seen that an increasing number of “developments originate on TikTok” so she’s going to “research what is going on on” and “attempt to think about my very own developments right here and there to be a trendsetter as nicely.”

Aside from a brand new kitchen assistant, Modic stated “I deal with all of it myself as a result of I really feel like I put a private contact on every thing and I can not relinquish management of some issues that I believe make my content material particular.”

“I work within the kitchen each single day and motivation goes up and down. However after I see the enjoyment that it brings to individuals’s faces, that’s undoubtedly the inspiration that retains me going,” Modic stated of the messages from excited house cooks who fall in love with how straightforward it may be to make a sea salt tahini chocolate chip cookie or kale avocado couscous salad. “The entire aim is to introduce individuals to a wholesome life-style and allow them to know that you do not have to sacrifice style or the enjoyment that meals brings to individuals’s lives.”

“If I am being actually sincere, steadiness is absolutely arduous. I’m a mother, I’ve two small boys. That is my job, the content material that I create and the recipes that I create is my ardour. So, looking for that ever-elusive steadiness between all of it’s troublesome,” Modic admitted.

Social media milestones of KaleJunkie

PHOTO: Nicole Keshishian Modic with a slice of cake to celebrate 1 million followers on Instagram.

Nicole Keshishian Modic with a slice of cake to rejoice 1 million followers on Instagram.


Earlier this summer season, Modic celebrated a significant social media milestone — hitting 1 million followers on Instagram — which introduced with it a flood of gratitude for her constant grind during the last eight years.

“I’ve to be sincere — I used to be actually emotional. I’m not a kind of those that blew up in a single day,” she reminded. “I’ve put within the work day by day — researching, doing meals pictures courses again when Instagram was all about pictures, educating myself find out how to use a digital camera and shoot a DSLR for my movies. Additionally, discovering the braveness through the years to return out from behind the digital camera, and present my face in movies,” which she famous was troublesome for somebody “who had suffered with an consuming dysfunction.”

“It actually hit deep as a result of it was a commemoration — a mirrored image of progress,” she continued. “I felt actually honored that I’ve a neighborhood that place their belief in me, that discover my content material beneficial sufficient to advocate to their associates to their households.”

Greatest and worst viral meals developments as examined by KaleJunkie

With billions of views on meals and recipe search phrases on social media, Modic is at all times one of many first meals influencers to showcase whether or not what’s buzzed about is definitely price your time.

She seemed again with “GMA” at a number of the greatest bites and worst flops during the last couple years, noting that the key sauce for a recipe to take off on TikTok or Reels is “simplicity” — dishes that “are actually accessible and simple for individuals to recreate at house” utilizing minimal elements with a fast prepare dinner time and customizable with out altering the general final result.

Modic has seen a couple of developments that regularly take off, together with “snack concepts, issues individuals could make in a pinch, issues which might be excessive in protein, issues which have wellness advantages,” to call a couple of.

“My favourite remains to be these little salmon baked ‘sushi’ cups — they are not conventional sushi — they’re these little muffin cups with rice after which cooked salmon or no matter filling you need,” she stated. “These took off and have been simply so scrumptious.”

She additionally loved the “pickle in a blanket” that used simply two elements — “a chunk of cheese that you just soften in your griddle and also you add a pickle and also you roll it up — that was really fairly scrumptious.”

As for the much less interesting creations, Modic was not a fan of “the cottage cheese ice cream pattern” that “taste-wise was sort of iffy,” and since she stated together with her previous unhealthy relationship with meals, she is in a spot now the place “if I need ice cream, I am gonna go to the the ice cream retailer get a pleasant scoop of ice cream.”

Separating the creator from the content material

“When content material falls flat, it is actually robust — typically it is very arduous to separate your self price from a chunk of content material that you just put out into the universe,” Modic stated.

Over time she has realized when to stroll away: “I simply say, ‘you understand what individuals that aren’t content material creators go to work each day and a few days are nice days at work and a few days will not be as nice.’ It is the identical factor as a content material creator.” She additionally stated she leans on health within the type of walks and Barry’s Bootcamp particularly to “sweat and take my thoughts off work.”

Modic stated constructing the KaleJunkie neighborhood with individuals who have adopted her journey “which have sort of grown up with me through the years and know my life” imply essentially the most from this journey. “I take it actually significantly. It isn’t only a job, it is my livelihood,” she stated. “I take nice satisfaction in that.”

Having grown up in Los Angeles in a conventional Armenian family that positioned worth on seems, weight and food regimen tradition, Modic stated her message to others after years of evolving her relationship with meals, is that it is all about steadiness.

“You do not have to limit something in your life,” she stated. “You may eat wholesome, eat nutritious meals, however at all times make room in life for the issues that convey you pleasure — a balanced life-style is the perfect life-style — crucial factor is that you just’re completely happy and that you’ve steadiness.”