Katie Brown, a self-obsessed food and health junkie is on a mission to help teach others how they too can feel good, without restricting things they love. In between training as a certified health coach, Katie openly admits to who, like many of us, used to struggle and obsess about being skinny and has found a path forward in how to live a happy and healthy life with food, not without it.
Real Food with Gratitude was launched in 2017 as a place to go to find easy and healthy-ish recipes, learn about new health products and/or gain ideas for your own health journey. This site is about how to go from feeling unhealthy most of the time to feeling good all the time, in no time.
Hey Katie, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hi, I’m Katie Brown, a food lover who grew up with 2 chefs, learned that college and weight gain is a real thing and slowly gained a passion for treating my body and mind better by learning about health and wellness through food, diet, and exercise.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I was a big partier in college who did not sleep much, hardly ever worked out and ate at the dining hall for every meal #college.
After I graduated, I still struggled with my weight and did lots of diets and yo-yo-ed with my weight but never was happy with where I was because I never felt good. After a few years, I got fed up with working out all the time and restricting myself and never actually losing any weight that I made a change, started an Instagram to learn as much as I can, share my recipes and hold myself accountable.
Over the last 18 months, both my Instagram and business have developed into more of a ‘healthy food lifestyle’ brand and less about ‘recipes.’ I love showing people it’s about what is in your food, not the numbers associated with it that matter. We don’t have to be afraid of fat and carbs and there is so much more to life than counting numbers.
What is a day in the life of you like?
I wake up around 7.30am every morning (unless I’m teaching an early fitness class), immediately check my email and Instagram (I know, I know, a habit I really need to break), immediately chug 8oz of room temp water while making my 16oz of Bulletproof coffee then sit on my couch to catch up on emails or post to Instagram.
I am a highly routined person so I love starting my day off this way to allow my anxiety to stay low and my mind to stay focused
What was the concept behind launching Real Food with Gratitude, LLC?
I started this account as a place to keep my recipes and have my friends see them. A few weeks later I used to help keep me accountable on my 2-3 month Weight Watchers trial (aka 1 of many yo-yo diets I went on). After a couple of months of no change, I was getting frustrated and really started zoning in on other food Instagrams. I became enthralled with what they were doing/eating/etc. I started to take on some habits of those I saw and with that, learned over time what worked for me. Yes, I tried a few fad products and diets through that but overall, I kept going back to, just eating real food. At that point, I changedInstagramgram name and since then (about 18 months ago) it has transformed into what it is today.
How is Real Food with Gratitude, LLC funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded ect?
There is not a lot of expenses because it is a brand that is basically me showing my life and my food. So thankfully not a ton of overhead but I do work with brands and gratefully get paid to talk about my favourite products to help others learn about healthy products!
How are you are helping your clients to eat real food and live a balanced lifestyle to keep their mind, body, and soul happy and healthy?
I help people understand that is it more about the ingredients and less about the numbers associated with it. It’s important to eat balanced (fats, carbs, proteins and lots of veggies). This will keep you full, keep you full and keep you fuelled for anything that life throws at you.
Can you give us 3 useful tips to help us go from feeling unhealthy most of the time to feeling good all the time?
- Drink more water
- Movement every day
- Eat less processed foods
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Hopefully married and in a new house that I will be able to have an awesome large kitchen space, a darkroom for film photography (for fun!) and an awesome outside area to take photos. But more seriously- doing what I am doing now (but being able to reach a lot more people) because that’s what I truly love.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of Real Food with Gratitude, LLC?
I am hoping to hire someone to help my brand and do more behind the scene things such as take photos of me, help with videos, etc. One thing I do know is that I will always be the one responded to direct messages and interacting with my followers because I find that to be one of the most crucial and critical parts of people getting to know me. If I do hire someone it will be to help with administrative things or set up.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Comparison trap and fear. Explaining what I do to others can be really challenging especially for someone not in my age generation.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I hired a local business coach right before I quit my corporate full-time sales job and used her for about 6 months to help me with my vision and honestly just to tame some of those fears and doubts we all have when we make a big leap
What outlets do use to market Real Food with Gratitude, LLC?
Instagram (of course), my website, Facebook, word of mouth, partnering up with local businesses and national brands.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
Continuously engaging with other like-minded females and individuals Instagram and also trying to connect with as many real people in real life as possible.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about diet and nutrition and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
It is thought of that you have to eat salads and hard-boiled eggs for every meal, count macros, restrict yourself and then work out all the time to consider being healthy. I am here to tell you, that’s the opposite of healthy. Health looks different for everyone but it’s about feeling good by eating real whole food and listening to your body.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
Work smart, work hard and for people to have more of the opportunity to work from home (and actually get shit done)— so that they have the opportunity to do more of what they love. You will never work a day in your life if you love what you do (this statement couldn’t be truer!)
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Not to take things personally and if you do the work, the results will follow.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Put yourself out there. The worst that can happen is, no and you will miss out on opportunities that you don’t ask for.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
This is something I am not the best at. I tend to work a lot and put work first. But in terms of creating a balance, I put my phone on do not disturb at certain times to fully be present with who I am with or what I am doing. I know this is something I will continuously be working on and always willing to take advice on this!
The highlight of your career so far?
Traveling to LA alone to attend to largest food expo conference (solo- physically and financially!) Also, ending my first year in business this month way above what I was projecting twelves months ago.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Finding out that I have inspired someone through Instagram. When my followers interact with me and seem genuinely interested in what I am saying. I am there for them so knowing that they are listening is truly rewarding.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Real Food with Gratitude, LLC?
Having others who started their accounts after me greatly surpass me in followers/engagement. I did not start this account to focus on those numbers (but unfortunately, business is a numbers game and those numbers matter in certain instances). With that, I have been down on myself on what am I doing differently/wrong and that is a black hole you really just don’t want to go down. I always have to remember that I am ME and that’s what I bring to the table.
Another challenge I have is, sometimes I can get in my own head with food or body image (because, yes I am human too) and that is something that I struggle with because people my position are supposed to have it all together and be 100% healed and I just don’t think that is realistic. So, that can be tricky sometimes.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?’ By Mark Hyman
How do you measure your own terms of success?
If I am making a difference and if people believe in the things I say because that’s what truly matters!
Lastly, what is next for you?
My goal is to continue to grow personally and professionally. Continue to work on myself so that I can continue to help others through health coaching and my Instagram brand.