Community | 26 Apr, 2021

Below The Surface With Pheobe Joseph

by Christina Almeida

New beginnings are all around us, and no one is more familiar with the concept than #PildoraFam member, Phoebo Joseph (Pojo for short). Since she was 16, Pojo has been carving out opportunities for herself to hold conversations about food positivity and spread the joy of a good meal. Through her channel and lifestyle brand, Models That Eat, Pojo and her guests disrupt the modeling industry’s toxic relationship with eating through the power of personal narrative. But you don’t have to be a model to relate. A vegan herself, Pojo approaches food through a wider lens, and also touches on holistic health and sustainability as well. Her latest new beginning, Models That Eat: The Podcast, shares the same goal as her channel, to host authentic and healthy conversations about our relationships with food and our bodies. 

The Now caught up with Pojo about Earth Day, the Models That Eat podcast, sustainability, and her fave Pidora product. 

How can we view Earth Day as a new beginning? 

Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and reevaluate our relationship with the environment. I typically like to look at the places where I consume the most (such as in my pantry, beauty cabinet, or closet) and see where I can make a positive change with sustainability in mind. A good example would be looking at my skincare routine lined up –– which products have plastic or non-recyclable packaging? Is there a low waste or more sustainable product I can replace that with? What are my next steps to get that in motion?

Did you do anything special for Earth Day? 

For Earth Day, I brought my trash grabber on a long walk, and cleaned up as much as I could! I hosted a cleanup once for one of my favorite brands, and ever since it has motivated me to incorporate that into my routine walks. I want to be in nature and connect with Mother Earth!

It seems like you have some new stuff going on! Tell us about the Models That Eat podcast! 

Yes! So much happening right now. I recently launched Models That Eat: The Podcast on all streaming platforms! The podcast is a space for models to talk about their relationships with food and their bodies. We are dropping a new episode every Monday with some amazing future guests, so stay tuned! We also have some environmentally conscious products coming to the site that I cannot wait to share!

Any sustainable practices you’re practicing that you would like to share with us?

I recently dove head first into refilling my pantry essentials at a local refill shop! I absolutely love the shopping experience now, knowing I am supporting a small business that cares about the environment. I really wish there was more access to shops like these across the world, and now one of my long-term goals is to invest in businesses like that! I have also been composting regularly and reducing my waste in the kitchen through mindfulness tactics. I love some of the cool chefs online that teach how to use the food scraps you’d usually toss in ways that are delicious and effective.

Any products you’ve been loving recently? 

I have been loving Shea’s CBD products from Pildora’s shop –– CBD has really helped me cope with anxiety and shift into a more relaxed state of mind. 

Photo Courtesy of Shea

How important is coping with anxiety for your work?

To me, learning to cope with anxiety and finding tools to help myself is crucial in my line of work. I find that if I don’t bring myself to a relaxed state before working on my content, I can’t show up in the way that I’m supposed to for my platform. That’s why I love CBD and products like that! They’re easy to use, reliably regulated, and I know the effects I’m signing up for every time I take it: a grounded and positive calmness.

As funny as it sounds, experiencing anxiety in itself is unsustainable!! We deserve clarity and relaxation, no matter what the day has to offer us.

Can you tell us a little about your journey into veganism and sustainability?

I went vegan when I was 16 after going on a fishing trip in the Bahamas. I was so in awe of the culture there, and how many people on islands like that are so connected to their food. However, when I realized that I myself couldn’t even kill the fish that I was catching, it made me think about my personal ethics involving my diet and food-related decisions. I decided that I did not want to be responsible for the death of animals for my own consumption.

I say all of this recognizing that this is not everyone’s experience –– everybody’s relationship with food is so different, and so it is important for me to clarify that although you have full control of your diet, I don’t expect everyone to go vegan, or at least for the same reasons. I am grateful for the way I was introduced to the world of sustainable practices, and feel like my gateway into a vegan lifestyle was one with a long-term foundation.

What would you say to someone that doesn’t know how to make the first step into vegan life and sustainability, or who might be intimidated?

Sustainability has become such a watered-down word due to greenwashing and exploitation of the term in marketing, so I think the most important thing to remember on your sustainability journey is to be open, kind, and willing to learn. It will open you up to a more liberating life, where you stand tall and proud of all of the decisions you make. The same goes with veganism, too! Explore all of the reasons why people may choose this lifestyle, and see if one or more points ring true to who you are inside. I am always here to help if anyone needs some advice!