How This Plant-Based-Cooking Blogger, Recipe Developer, and Cookbook Author Stays Productive and Inspired Each Week


Alex Shytsman is the founder of The New Baguette, a healthy cooking blog that features plant-based recipes for beginners, and the creative studio, TNB Atelier.

When Alex was nine years old her family immigrated from Ukraine to America, when she discovered the Food Network and her initial passion for food. Many of the networks stars became her new “friends”, she reflects--she’d run home after school every day to watch her favorite shows.

Alex started her blog as a side-hustle, and incorporated her love for food into her day-jobs, including a role as senior marketing manager for the Natural Gourmet Institute. But at an inflection point with her career, when faced with the decision to have to commit to a new role at her day-job, she decided to take the leap and double down on building her own business.

In winter 2017, Alex went out on her own. Since then, she has authored her first cookbook, Friendsgiving, which has sold 20,000 copies, and co-authored The Complete Vegan Cookbook (set to release this spring); started partnerships with brands like So Delicious Dairy Free and Lillet; shared over 80 custom recipes on her blog, and launched a creative studio.

Alex wears many hats: blog creator, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer, photography instructor, and consultant, online shop curator, author, (and I think we’re still missing a few others!).

Below she shares how she manages her week for max productivity (and sanity):

The key to my productivity during the week is….

….Good sleep! If I don't get my 8 hours, nothing will get done.

I never get any day started without….

...Coffee and a nourishing breakfast (my go-to's are oatmeal, avocado toast, or dinner leftovers with a fried egg on top). It's important for me to eat slowly, sitting down, and without distractions (i.e. my phone). This relaxed start helps set off my day in a mindful manner. I hate rushing through the morning!

The first thing I do to get my week started is…

….make a list of the 3-5 non-negotiable, big picture things I have to do that week. Focusing on the most important tasks keeps me from procrastinating and wasting time on the smaller, less important tasks.

My weekly self-care non-negotiable…

...working out - especially in the winter. It's very dark and cold where we currently live (Syracuse, NY) and the endorphins are like nature's own antidepressant ;)

My favorite time saving hack...

...The Pomodoro Technique.

What I do to jog my inspiration…

...leaf through my favorite cookbooks: Heidi Swanson's Near & Far and the Buvette Cookbook, to name a few.

Behind-the-scenes on-site of cookbook photo shoot in the Catskills

Behind-the-scenes on-site of cookbook photo shoot in the Catskills

I do my best big picture thinking when...

I'm on vacation with my boyfriend--away from my computer and camera and the internet. You have to step away from your day-to-day sometimes and just live your life as a person... not as the owner of your company or an entrepreneur, but just a human being. It's in those moments I find the most inspiration.

I do my best in-the-weeds work...

..before 8am. I'm a morning person and love that flow of energy I have first thing in the morning!

When I feel stuck I…

...go for a walk or call a friend.

Alex with her first published cookbook “Friendsgiving”

Alex with her first published cookbook “Friendsgiving”

If there was an 8th day of the week I’d…

...use it for gathering inspiration. Reading cookbooks, trying new restaurants, watching food documentaries, etc.

InterviewAlison Gilbert