Vanelja offers feel-good inspiration combining wellness and pleasure. Our business is to help you thrive and unleash your natural well-being providing creative solutions for eating healthy and feeling good.

Creator of Vanelja is Virpi Mikkonen, leading healthy recipe designer, health coach, author of 5 cookbooks and an entrepreneur specialized in beautiful nourishing food & natural lifestyle. Known for her highly visual and joyful approach to wholesome food and feeling good, she has gained a wide success among the foodies & wellness seekers around the world.

The whole story

My Story

Like every great story, this one also starts with a mystery. After graduating from the university with a degree in Journalism and working several years as an editor and producer in Finland’s biggest fashion magazine, I found my passion in wellness and healthy food due to arising health issues with my skin and stomach. Despite of endless examinations I couldn’t get any real solution for my state and symptoms like rosacea and IBS from the Western medicine so I started my own studies about nutrition and wellbeing. I got madly fascinated with the roots of our food and how our diet affects our body and mind and how to balance ourselves through nourishing food.

For a big time party girl and candy lover who had never been interested in cooking before, the switch to gluten-free, dairy-free and naturally sweetened unprocessed wholefoods was a huge lifestyle change. But deep down I knew it had to be done. I taught myself to cook and within a few months I felt reborn. My health issues faded away, I was full of energy and inspiration and found my passion in designing healthy alternatives to sweet treats and comfort food.

I started my first wellness blog in 2009, which quickly became a widely popular and a pioneering blog in the health food scene in Finland. Year later I studied to become a Health Coach and at the same time, during my maternity leave I decided to take a leap of faith and start my path as an entrepreneur.

I taught myself photography, made my first cookbook and founded Vanelja in 2015. Since then I have worked as a recipe designer and food photographer, released 5 cookbooks, 2 of them globally and worked together with amazing brands and people around the world. Vanelja has been awarded in the Saveur Food Blog Awards as well as in the Blog Awards Finland and Instagram has picked Vanelja’s account to its Suggested Users List. Still the biggest award for me are the people who I’ve met through my work, the readers of my books and my followers on social media, who are the ultimate reason I do this. I believe the key to true happiness is to serve in a way that brings pure joy to myself as well as others.

So there you go, now you know my story in a nutshell. And whoever you are, I’m happy you’re here. Take a tour on my site, come and follow me on Instagram and drop me a message and let me know how can I help. I would love to hear from you!



Virpi Mikkonen Vanelja Wellness workshops

Wellness Sessions & Workshops


Vanelja provides well-being content for businesses and events, offering guided meditation, mindfulness, and presence exercises and workshops. Drawing from my background as a health coach, meditation, and mindfulness teacher, along with my extensive experience in the field of wellness, I tailor sessions to enhance overall well-being for both individuals and groups.



Coaching & Mentoring


Virpi Mikkonen guides individuals to unlock their full potential. Ready to take that step toward your dreams and elevate your journey? If the answer is YES, I’m here to help. Leveraging 15 years of valuable experience, connections, and knowledge, I mentor based on “Everything I Know” to expedite your path to success. Whether you’re at any stage in life or business, let’s work together to turn your dreams into reality!



Social media collaboration

Vanelja designs content to its customers and produces recipes, images and videos either to the customer’s own use or by collaborations in Vanelja’s own channels with exceptionally high reach. 


Food Design & Menu Concepts

Vanelja provides tailor-made recipes and menus for the use of companies, restaurants and brands. Partnerships can entail designing recipes based on company’s products, designing a whole menu or parts of it, giving guidance and consulting on decoration and presentation or participating in a product development.