It’s easy to get lost in the world of Instagram influencers. With an abundance of content creators in virtually all areas of interest, it can be difficult to find accounts that genuinely resonate with you. Ksenia Avdulova, the founder of Breakfast Criminals (@breakfastcriminals on Instagram), knows all too well the importance of breaking through the noise and creating meaningful content. She uses her sizable Instagram platform to share beautiful photos of her superfood meals paired with inspiring captions to encourage her followers to engage in their own routines of self-love.
Before she was a notable Instagrammer and food blogger, Avdulova experienced her fair share of setbacks. After growing up in Moscow and then relocating to New York, she had her dream apartment, job, and an American visa. But Avdulova thought she lost it all when her visa was not approved, and she was told to leave the country within two months. Yet instead of dwelling on all the negative, Avdulova decided to choose to focus on practicing self-love — she started performing small acts of self-love every day, like eating superfood breakfasts and practicing meditation and yoga.
“At the time, superfoods, wellness, and nutrition were becoming part of a bigger conversation, and I personally was becoming interested in it,” she shares. “One morning I was meditating and the name Breakfast Criminals just came to me. So that’s when I started posting my different breakfasts each day on Instagram.”
Once she started posting daily content, she gained thousands of followers within months. She has since accumulated tens of thousands of followers who she hopes to inspire to practice mindful nourishment. Her recognizable açaí bowls are scattered over an abundance of Instagram feeds, and on her website of the same name Avdulova even has a designated guide to crafting the perfect açaí bowl.
Avdulova is also the proud founder of a podcast series called “Woke & Wired’ that explores ways to increase consciousness and positive impact in the digital age. Additionally, she has created her own line of heart-shaped ceramic bowls which are a staple on her Instagram profile. With her Heart Bowl brand she hopes to inspire others to begin their day by practicing self-love through preparing a beautiful, nourishing breakfast for themselves ― a small ritual that encouraged her to carry on through a difficult time in her own life.
We sat down with Ksenia at The Assemblage’s Nomad House to learn more about Breakfast Criminals and the rest of her mindful endeavors, as well as her hopes going forward.
You created your famous Heart Bowls to inspire people to begin their day with self-love. What does self-love mean to you?
For me, when I was at that pivotal point in my life where I thought I had lost everything, I just started asking myself what I could do every single day to be present with what I do have, instead of focusing on the things I don’t have. I took up the ritual of making a superfood breakfast every day and taking the extra moment to make it beautiful and serve it to myself with love. So I think it’s quite simple: self-love is just taking a deep breath and being present. If it takes having a ceramic Heart Bowl in your kitchen to remind you of that, then that’s great.
Why do you think Breakfast Criminals gained a large Instagram following so quickly?
I really believe that food can bring together a community and create change. It’s a pathway to so many other more profound awakenings. When I started Breakfast Criminals, it was about asking myself “What is something that has impacted me and that I care about so much that I could talk about every day and not get tired of it? Something that really makes me feel alive and passionate and present.” And for me, that was food ― healthy food and breakfast food and food around the world. So I was just doing what I love and people resonated with it.
What has been the most rewarding experience of working on your Woke & Wired podcast?
Everything. I’ve realized that there’s a lot of conversation to be had about our state of mind, our consciousness, and how that gets reflected in the work we create. And those are the exact conversations I have on the podcast ― what are the consciousness and spiritual practices that really allow us to feel activated and connected to our highest potential? And, how can we use social media to express those discoveries to create impact and reach people? It’s my favorite subject to talk about. So, the fact that I get to talk about these things with some of today’s thought leaders and share it with people across the world is mind-blowing and so rewarding. I know it’s just the beginning because the conversation of business and consciousness in one sentence is only starting to gain traction. I think Woke & Wired is riding the wave of something massive.
What do you hope to do next with Breakfast Criminals and Woke & Wired?
I’ve always been the kind of person who knows exactly what I want and exactly where I’m going. But lately, I’ve been so much more open to the idea of being present wherever I am, doing what brings me joy, being of service, and being kind and loving. That’s all I care about at the moment. Tomorrow I might wake up and tell you I’m building an empire, but right now, I am just simplifying and getting back to the roots of why I do what I do. Which is ultimately about staying present, self-connection, and self-love. We’ll see what happens from there.
What does your ideal day consist of?
My ideal day is consists of rituals that connect me to deeper parts of myself. This morning instead of jumping into work I did yoga, and that felt amazing. Every Friday my routine is to come to The Assemblage and leave my tasks behind, and be here in the community to participate in the cacao ceremony and meditate. As long as I create time to have some sort of observance each day, whether it’s a yoga class or taking five additional minutes to sit with my morning matcha latte, enjoy it, and set intention for the day, those small things make the biggest difference.
If you could’ve given your 15-year-old self one piece of advice what would it be?
Do what makes you happy. Don’t be influenced by what you think you should be doing or what you think is going to be successful. Root everything in the idea of unconditional joy.
This article is part of our content series in partnership with The Assemblage — New York City coworking, coliving, social spaces and natural habitats to those exploring the evolution of humanity through positive impact. For a complimentary day pass to work from the NoMad or John Street location, book a tour here using the code ‘ass3mbleEM’