Emilie Hebert walks into Garden District Coffee and orders a glass of tea. She sits at the only empty table, pulling out her laptop to get to work. Better known as Miss LSU or as the foodie behind the blog “Emilie Eats,” Hebert’s extracurricular activities span a wide range. From chopping handfuls of veggies for recipes to donning her crown for public appearances, it’s no surprise that Hebert is constantly busy.
She started her vegan food blog only a year ago and found quick success and recognition for her tasty recipes and passion for veganism. This is verified by numerous collaborations on her blog and an Instagram account with 23,000 followers. In addition to her Internet fame, Hebert has also gained local success by winning the Miss LSU-USA pageant in April.
Hebert claims to be a Type-A personality, and she takes her commitments seriously. She loves to connect with others and finds that the blog and her Miss LSU engagements offer plenty of opportunity to meet with people.
“Every time someone emails me or comments that they made one of my recipes and it helped them eat healthier, it really drives me to do more,” said Hebert, smiling over her ice-cold glass of tea. “I’m making a difference in whatever small way I can. It’s kind of the same with Miss LSU, because it’s a platform for me to talk about what I love.”
Although Hebert lives a vegan lifestyle now, she grew up in the South, surrounded by meat and seafood at the dinner table. Her mother made sure she was always fed a well-balanced meal, and taught her to love and take care of the environment. Hebert’s passion for healthy eating gradually transitioned into veganism, as she ate meat less and less while living in a dorm on campus. After watching the documentary Cowspiracy and seeing the issue from an environmental standpoint, she decided to go vegan the very next day.
While there are a few places in Baton Rouge that offer vegan entrées, veganism is still the minority among standard diets. Hebert combats this by calling restaurants to make sure they have options for her or by eating at home.
“I like to cook meals at home a lot, really because I just like knowing what’s going into my body,” said Hebert. “It can be hard, but if you plan well, it’s a lot easier. If you can do it here, you can honestly do it anywhere.”
Along with her blog, Hebert’s Miss LSU title has become an instant networking opportunity that has exposed her to creative individuals with a heart for the local community. Her role as a university ambassador has allowed her to spread her passion for veganism and healthy eating, while being a voice for LSU. These opportunities, she hopes, will help lay the foundation for a future in food and communications.
“My dream job would be doing public relations for Whole Foods because I spend so much money and time there,” Hebert says with a laugh. “Blogging is fun and flexible, and I love to travel. So possibly having a job that combines both would be the dream.”