With Kate from ‘Living Pretty Naturally’
When I transitioned to clean beauty about 4 years ago, I felt incredibly inundated with information. At the time, no one in my friend group shared the clean beauty ethos that I had adopted and I felt that there was still so much to learn. Cue endless Google searches! I then began to look for industry leaders who were making waves in the clean beauty and wellness industry to see how they converted to clean beauty.
That’s when I stumbled onto the wellness and clean beauty blog, Living Pretty Naturally, by Kate. It was a bit of a saving grace as she very simply and effectively helped me to learn how to slowly incorporate clean beauty and wellness into my lifestyle. Not an easy feat as I had long and sometimes stressful days working in wealth management at the time.
It was through her blog that I also learned that beauty is not just about the products that we use, but rather how well we treat our body – whether that means more sleep, a massage, yoga, or nutrition. You really are what you eat, sleep, drink, and think and they all need to be in harmony. However, finding the balance is hard. Like, really hard in today’s demanding world.
That is why I absolutely fan-girled when Kate agreed to come onto Clean Chat. As we all live demanding lives, it becomes increasingly harder to find time for ourselves and find that happy balance. There really is no one better to talk about this than Kate herself. Outside of her wellness blog, she is girl-bossing as the CEO of a growing chess software company. Thus in our podcast we discuss some effective tools and tricks on how to balance a healthier lifestyle while living a busy life. We also talk about some exclusive clean beauty tricks as well as life changing experiences she has had in Bali on a yoga retreat. Also, check out her Instagram – you will feel so inspired to take a health and beauty break!
Raquel: Hello and welcome to the Clean Chat Podcast. I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday on the Clean Chat we are helping clean beauty fans and newbie’s learn a bit more about beauty. If you like to learn a bit more about clean beauty don’t forget to subscribe to our clean beauty fan list on our website at thecleanhub.com to be the first to hear about any news and freebies. Now onto the show.
Raquel: Well hello everyone, thanks for tuning in. Today we have a very special guest Kate, the lovely young lady behind the natural beauty and wellness blog called Living Pretty Naturally. Thanks for coming on today Kate.
Kate: Thank you for having me, my pleasure.
Raquel: So Kate is quite the world traveller, wellness-liver, clean beauty user and entrepreneur. Take a peek at her Instagram, Living Pretty Naturally, it’s pretty inspiring. I asked her on the show today because clean chat is all about having an open conversation about clean beauty or beauty in general. As Kate says on her blog, it’s not just about physical beauty, it’s about creating a beautiful life which radiates from the inside.
I though Kate you could start by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you started Living Pretty Naturally.
Kate: For sure. It’s been kind of a life long journey that culminated in the creation of Living Pretty Naturally. The first foray into that space is through my mother. Growing up she was very into plant wellness and herbal tinctures and ways of healing the body naturally, always staying away from pharmaceuticals when of course it wasn’t necessary. And of course feeding us kids organic foods. So from a very young age I was already interested in the wellness of healing the body and then as I got a bit older, started using makeup and realizing some of these things aren’t so good for you. When I started reading them and getting curious about them, the ingredients I’m referring to. That led to me being really load about it, talking about it to everybody and eventually I decided I’m just going to start writing about it and sharing it with my friends and then that became Living Pretty Naturally which was officially launched I would say six years ago. But it was even before that that I was writing about it and bothering people.
Raquel: That’s awesome. You write quite a lot, there’s different aspects. There’s the natural beauty aspect; there’s the yoga aspect and also the healthy eating that you do. But you also are a CEO of another company, right? Tell us a little bit about that, sorry if I’m pressuring you.
Kate: No, no outside of LPN which is kind of my public life, what a lot of people will see through Instagram and my website. Kind of behind the scenes I’m an entrepreneur and I’m now managing my second company. The first one I left back in Canada before moving to Norway and I’m now running a Chess start-up actually. We focus on the Chess technology apps and creating Chess games and online platforms around the Chess World Champion . I’ve actually been managing this tech firm for the last four years, starting it from absolutely nothing, just an idea into bring it to life and now we’re 12 people and we’re becoming a small business and moving in towards more medium sized firm in the coming year as we go through raising more funds to grow.
Raquel: That’s awesome, we’ll have to bring back on the show to talk a little about that another time, about raising funds. That would be fun. That’s awesome, so obviously you live a really busy schedule of busy lifestyle managing all these things. How do you manage living a healthier lifestyle and then manage work as well?
Kate: Yeah, I mean that’s an ever on-going process of checks and balances and prioritization. Certainly for me one the keys is my yoga practice and my meditation practice. I need that to be able to do everything that I do. It’s like my sanctuary, my time of coming down, grounding down. The problem is always it’s the first thing that we tend to let go of when things get overwhelming and really busy. It’s so easy to say, Oh I’m going to sleep in, I need more sleep and just rest. Those are all good things but if it becomes a pattern where you let go of the things that are actually grounding you, it’s important to come back to them. Certainly making space and time in a hectic lifestyle, no matter if it’s 10 minutes of meditation in the bed before you even get out or going having your yoga practice of morning walk and just being away from the technology and away from your inbox and business to get clear. Both for yourself and because you are more creative and inspirational when you have grounded down into yourself.
So that’s my number one and the number two is prepping food. Cause it’s so easy when you’re busy to grab the easy lunch and when you’re at work or on the go with meetings. One of my key things is prepping my food before travel because I’m travelling a lot before flights. And cooking a lot for dinner one or two nights a week so I have meals for the coming few days. So those are very two key areas for balancing.
Raquel: Yeah, I think that you’re right and I actually listened to another interview you did recently. You purposely wake up early because it gives you time to have to yourself, to have your thoughts together and I think that’s so important because you have to have your own time because like you said, once you’ve start your day and you’ve hit the ground running your life becomes this crazy thing and you can no longer start thinking about calming yourself. Does that make sense?
Kate: Absolutely, I mean as much as I try to stay present throughout my days, running a small business it’s like putting out fires, it’s meetings that are not planned it’s phone calls that take a lot of time and you just go into the modus of getting it all done and making sure it’s done well and right that you don’t always take the time to check in ‘How am I feeling right now’. How are things going on in my heart and my physical body, in my mind. Sometime I’ll do little 10 seconds of meditations , like when I go to the washroom I’ll take extra time washing my hands and just being in that space before I run back up the stairs and get into the meeting and get into my documentation or emails or whatever it is.
Raquel: It’s getting that peaceful mind state so you can continue to rock you business kind of basically.
Kate: Exactly and I think when you have that space it really helps. Some people would say you can be using that time for working more, you run a start-up you should be always living the business. That stepping out part allows me to be creative and if I don’t do that stepping out part and the reflection part, then I just stay on the same track without innovating, without changing. I think that’s the case for a lot of leaders in their companies is that they need to step back, do the self care, do the work to have some space in a way that generates a more creative and open way of life.
Raquel: Definitely, and I think that as we talk about beauty it’s not always about serums. It’s about how you feel inside, for you to feel inside there are a lot of things that you have to juggle and I think that that’s where you do a really good job is kind of helping people to live that sort of life. It’s getting enough sleep, it’s eating well, it’s finding time for yourself, make plans for yourself or your day, meditate, it’s like a comprehensive thing, beauty. Once you feel that you are calm and you’re at peace with yourself then I feel like that helps you with your skin looks better, you don’t get stressed as easily. Stress plays a huge factor in how your skin ages. And Obviously beauty doesn’t mean not aging, I’m just saying if you’re trying to slow down the process definably you need to start living about a more comprehensive wellness lifestyle. And just feeling good in yourself, I think. What do you think about that?
Kate: Yeah you nailed it on the head there. I mean when I’m stressed and not taking care of myself the first thing I notice is acne on my chin, like my body will speak and I know that is that case for everyone. When we’re not digesting our foods properly, when we’re constipated and haven’t been eating well or we’re really stressed and not sleeping enough and the system isn’t functioning. The skin is like your siren that goes off it’s like you can’t ignore me. There’s spots on your face or premature lines from stress or sometimes grey hair and those things, they’re not a big deal when it comes to as we age that’s natural process and there’s so much beauty in the aging process as well but it’s when it’s being sped up by unhealthy choices and unhealthy lifestyle that we see it in our body and in our energy and in our glow. A lot of the times, people always say pregnant women have such a glow that’s probably for many reasons but also I think because they’re really focusing on self care and I think that’s a part of it. When you focus in on yourself and taking care of yourself first you’re able to give more and be more of a glowing being in your life.
Raquel: You’ve mentioned before, obviously you live a very busy lifestyle but sometimes at the end of the day your just like I have to stop now and take care of myself.
Kate: For sure, it’s setting limits and priorities. I’ve had weekends where I’ve come home from work after a crazy week on a Friday and I say to myself I need some space this weekend and I’ll turn off my phone from Friday night to Sunday night and I will meditate and make good food and go for a walk in nature and just me offline. Sometimes I’m not active on my Instagram I’ll just close down and shut off from my emails, shot off from the business, shut off from my blog and really prioritize that. Those are in situations when I feel overwhelmed but on a day to day basis it’s also about taking a lunch break and eating a healthy balanced meal and making time for things that are important to me and prioritizing those in certain evenings like going to yoga or teaching yoga and then working late another night to help balance that.
Raquel: Speaking of yoga and also you were speaking of meditation, I know you travel the world going on these wellness retreats, by the way they look fabulous. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Kate: Yeah, I think yoga is a big part of my self-care practise. I’ve been practising for some years now and became a teacher a few years ago as well and part of the reason I did that is because I recognized the benefits that it had for me in being able to live in a higher vibration if you will. The retreats are certainly, like other pieces of my self-care, taking myself out of the environment I’m in to really connect with myself and not be distracted by anything. Sometimes my Instagram distracts my but (laughter). But heading off, I go to Bali quite frequently I’ve been to Hawaii a few times in the last year and a half. It’s going to these types of places that really allow you to just be around a vibe that really relaxed and not bought into too harsh of a commercial culture and focusing on nature and yoga and eating well. I find that these are really nice re-sets for me. So doing them a couple times a year, and sometimes more frequently is a nice way for me to get that energy back up and go back at it into my business.
Raquel: That’s awesome, where’s been your favourite place to travel to?
Kate: Gosh, I go back to Bali so much it would almost seem wrong to not say Bali because there’s just something magical about that place. As soon as you land you feel the energy there and the people and the culture. It’s such a beautiful place both with the nature and the people you meet. But I have to say I also really like Maui in the Hawaiian Islands, it’s very beautiful. I also really enjoyed Sri Lanka and there’s lots of places on my to-go list.
Raquel: If there’s somebody who wants to try out a retreat for the first time, where would you say would be the best place to go to transition to that? When they’re just trying to learn a bit more about mindfulness and yoga.
Kate: I think the first time when you’re going stay a bit more local. Perhaps if you’re in the U.S, California has a ton of great retreats and yoga spot, Esalen Institute. If you’re in the UK you can be going up into the mountain and being out in nature that way, same within Norway where I’m living now there’s beautiful mountain retreats. So I would say start a bit more local so it’s not such shock both culturally and lifestyle if it’s something you’re not used to. If it’s something you’re used to, taking that extra leg of international travel can also be eye opening and full of self discovery. Especially if you’re going alone and I highly recommend taking at least one of those trips a year where you are alone and you’re not travelling with your partner of your best friend or your kids so you can really come home to yourself. That is super important.
Raquel: I’ve never done that and I think that that’s such a great idea. I think everyone is kind of afraid to be alone to be honest. I think that finally just turning everything off and finding yourself that way is definitely needed. Yeah I should do that.
Kate: It can be daunting at first to take and that’s why also going local is a bit easier if you go your first time. It’s become one of my favourite things to do, like going to Costa Rica by myself was just an amazing experience. I did Sri Lanka by myself, I’ve done Bali by myself and every single time I’ve had an experience that just moved me in ways that I wouldn’t of had if I was connected with a partner of another friend in that experience because you’re more open. You experience more, you meet other people and you have no way of distracting yourself from going in and that can be scary at first but also really a relief when you get it. You go, ‘Oh this is kind of comfy’,
Raquel: Yeah, can you tell us about one of your experiences that kind of changed you?
Kate: Yeah I guess after a really harsh break up I had a couple of years back. It was my first trip to Bali, I guess this was four years ago now and I went and arrived thinking, I was told actually by someone when I first got on in Bali because careful what you wish for on Bali because things will come to you fast and furiously. There’s an energetic portal here and I though, okay , I didn’t think anything of it but coming out of a break-up and really wanting to find love again. I asked the universe when I was down in the ocean, please point me in the direction of my next love interest and it was like a day later I met this guy and that went on for a year where we were having a long distance relationship and cross boundaries travelling to different countries and meeting each other. I remember thinking darn it, I should have been more specific like not right now like maybe in a year (laughter). And while that didn’t work out it’s still an experience that’s very dear to my heart.
Raquel: Wow, that sound amazing. So you mentioned a couple of tips earlier about finding time for yourself and also prepping food, are there any other wellness tips you have or beauty tips you have for our listeners?
Kate: Yeah, I mean I think with the green and natural beauty, because it can mean so many different things, I love for people who are new to the space to understand how simple it can be to transition and not to feel like it’s an all or nothing kind of way because that can feel daunting right? Like throwing all of your products that you spent so much money on and so what I’ve always recommended is as you go through the transition towards cleaner beauty is to take your products as you run out and replace them with something new and green and natural. Resources like yours and Living Pretty Naturally can help guide someone to the right sort of products when they’re first transitioning. the other thing is how easy it is to create so many natural beauty products at home. It is crazy how much you can do in your kitchen with a few oils and having different herbs and something as simple as a body scrub you can create in 5 minutes using sugar and coconut oil and essential oils. Something like blush you can do beetroot, yeah I’ll often cut a piece of beet and just put it on my cheeks because it stains.
Raquel: Wow, do you have a blog on that?
Kate: I haven’t but maybe I should.
Raquel: You defiantly should. I’ve heard of people making skin care products but never, obviously beetroot is natural and I know natural beauty products use these sort of things but I’ve never seen people physically do it.
Kate: Yeah because when you notice when you cut beet you get these really pink stained fingers and it stays for a little bit so if you’re not washing your face its’ not going to come off for a while.
Raquel: So true, it’ll stay all day.
Kate: Yeah and it’s a great universal colour actually, it can work on any skin tone actually. And of course Aloe Vera, like I love cutting open the plant and rubbing the plant around my eyes when it’s raw because it’s so potent. Oatmeal masks, that was like the first thing my mom ever taught me was honey and oatmeal and if you’re not a vegan adding is some yogurt or even like a nut yogurt like cashew yogurt or something and putting that on your face to help settle it and then it works as an exfoilator when you take it off. It’s really easy to miss out on all these super easy opportunities right under our noses and I want to inspire more people to get excited about doing stuff like that.
Raquel: yeah definitely. I think you are very inspiring, you have a lot of really good information which we’ll link in our blog as well. So thank you again for coming on our show, if somebody wants to get a hold of you where can they get a hold of you at?
Kate: The best place is usually through my blog and my email which is just firstname.lastname@example.org or the contact page on Livingprettynaturally.com.
Raquel: Yeah, her Instagram as well. Check it out it’s really cool and you’ll be really jealous. It’s going to make you want to change your life and become a wellness blogger (laughter) .
Kate: (Laugher) Or run a tech start-up.
Raquel: You’d never know she runs a tech start-up by the way, you would think she’s just a peaceful person on the beach all day but no, behind the scenes running businesses. So thank you again for coming on our show and thank you everyone on the Clean Chat for listening I hope you have a great day.