“I love a great food shot and I follow a lot of food blogs,” Mitchell told PEOPLE at an event for Royal Caribbean International in New York City on Wednesday. “But if I ever find out that you don’t really eat that food, and you just used it for a photo, that’s when I get a little angry—not only because you’re wasting it, but because someone like me could have enjoyed it.”
So when you’re scrolling through your feed and see the Pretty Little Liars star, say, scarfing down an egregiously large bowl of truffle pasta, it’s not just for the ‘gram. “I don’t do a lot of food photos, but if I did, know that I ate it, and it was amazing enough for me to post it,” she said. “I will never just order food to take a photo and then not eat it.”
Mitchell also takes issue with those who have aimed that same criticism toward her. “You know what, I will out-eat anybody. Come at me,” said Mitchell. “I eat all my pizza and all my friends can attest to that. I am the biggest foodie, but I work my ass off at the gym. I burn it off. Everything in moderation for me.”
Beyond her most indulgent meals, Mitchell—who partnered with the cruise line to announce the revamp of their private island CocoCay in the Bahamas—has become known for her carefully-curated travel content. Certain videos from her YouTube series Shaycation! have racked up over 2 million views and counting.
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“It all came about really organically,” she said. “I realized with my job that I was getting to travel a lot to all of these amazing places and I wanted to share it with everyone.”
And lest you think she became a social media powerhouse with ease, Mitchell wants you to know that she’s put in the work. “I would be lying to say ‘Oh, I just take it on the Instagram app and I pop it up.’ No! There’s a lot of time that goes into it,” she said. “I curate my feed as I would an art gallery of myself. I’m trying to show all different facets—my love of travel, my love of food, my love of fitness. A lot of bright colors. I spend so much time curating it.”