To kick start off our Inspirational Beauties section I want to start with one of my favourite and most inspiring healthy eating and clean living gals… Katie Lanigan, founder of Gluten Freelance (http://glutenfreelance.com.au/). I am lucky enough to call Katie a friend. She is one of the most genuinely fun lovin’, down to earth girls I have ever met. Her commitment to health and clean living makes you want to clean out your fridge, load up her website and recipes and run to the supermarket to get started on at least trying to imitate her inspiring ways. We sit down for a chat; I hope you are left just as excited as I am about your next meal.
How did Gluten Freelance get started?
I started gluten freelance as a creative outlet but mainly it came about due to the requests and interests in my food posts on social media. As well as being a freelance writing service the concept behind gluten freelance is to inspire and create awareness around how fun, abundant and simple gluten free, clean recipe creations and living can be. People are really cluing on to the fact that what we feed our bodies fuels are minds, lives, souls and that it tastes good too!
I was working in the fashion industry which I love, but my role as an editor in chief for a fashion mag was just not ‘feeding’ my soul and I wanted my words and my writing to have substance and essentially help other people out. Making the switch to do more health and wellness writing was liberating and one that I am pleased I took the plunge into.
What’s your favourite part of your work with Gluten Freelance?
Easy – hearing feedback from others! Inspiring other people is freakin awesome! Whether someone stops me in a café, yoga studio, or comments on my social media pages it is a beautiful thing when you hear from other people sharing that my contribution and work has inspired them, informed them and assisted them in some way. It makes me want to do more, be more and keep giving MORE! It has also helped my self-discovery and abled me to practice what I preach. I have become even more mindful and intuitive with food and recently made the switch to a fully vegan diet as well as gluten free lifestyle. As a creative person I have realised making up recipes, experimenting and being playful with foods I can eat is another form of creative expression and I embrace it. Like a painter takes to a blank canvas, or choreographer to music, I go with it every other day and see what comes up and what I can intuitive and artistically create.
How much does diet affect the way you feel and look?
SO MUCH! You are what you eat.
I have friends, family, strangers ask me how do you keep it up? How do you do it? Etc etc… My response is usually well firstly “because I made the choice too.” Mainly though I tell people really- “the more you do it the more you will want to do it.” It is about consistency. When you strip away the crap, ditch the processed, nasty, life depriving foods, the white sugar, artificial flavours, gluten, wheat and take it back to basics you feel enlightened. It becomes addictive and routine. It becomes your lifestyle. When you eat simple and eat fruits, veggies, plant based, nourishing foods you really won’t want the packaged, greasy, fatty, sugary stuff.
I personally feel more alive, less emotionally drained, switched on and just cleaner. I enjoy and love the way I eat/drink. My skin has never been better and organic, health food shopping and farmers markets literally make me giggle and jump up and down like a school girl! It excites me…
I went to Malaysia a few months ago and noticed how strong my relationship was with clean/wholefoods. I found lots of fruit/coconuts etc sure, but it was a struggle most of the time as far as food goes and I did not feel as good in myself or about myself as I usually would and I also noticed it made me moody, irritated and a little emotional, not to mention the gut pains! When I arrived home was when I decided to become fully vegan.
A day in the life of Katie…talk us through it.
It changes from day to day but let’s go with today…Monday.
I work at lululemon athletica around 4-5 days a week but Mondays are my set days off to get to my writing commitments and other things for my business and myself.
Morning – Wake up and go to hot yoga or move my body in some way. Have a green smoothie or smoothie bowl. Almond milk latte and get to my emails and whatever writing commitments I have.
Afternoon – Sees me editing, uploading social media pics/recipes/articles, recipe testing, attending meetings, preparing my amazeballs for café, and snacking my way through it all with healthy/brain food snacks.
Night time I either go to yoga if I couldn’t make it in the morning, prep my food and clothes for the morning ahead and make dinner for myself or me and my fiancé if he is around.
If I don’t have commitments at night I like to switch off with a movie, (my guilty pleasure is Keeping up with the Kardashians) a cup of tea and some Pana chocolate. I don’t let myself work late at night anymore as I end up staying up all night! I have created balance and “me” time which was a real challenge but I got there.
I also work within the community pillar at lululemon too. I love my job, the opportunities, the people, the yoga and the challenges. It is all aligned and I am one busy bee.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Hmmmm big inspirations – my mum inspires me, as does my brother and my fiancé! As far as mentors and big inspirations goes I LOVE Jodhi Meares, Sarah Wilson, Fullyraw Kristina and my friends inspire me. I try to keep my environment as inspiring as possible these days. I just started reading #girlboss too so I know that is going to inspire the pants off me! I’m just influenced by people who are creating great things, have courage and go after what they want.
Best beauty tip/secret? Drink loads of water, eat clean and coconut oil baby! I use it all over my body, face and hair. Best tip? If you get dry lips in the cold and windy weather like me, scrub them with an old tooth brush and coconut oil.
Less is more for me. I don’t wear make-up during the week days or ever use heavy makeup. I use coconut oil, rose hip oil, lip balm, tinted moisturizer, soap free organic (but not super expensive) body washes and face scrubs. Friends of mine have an AMAZING body scrub I love called Frank Body. It is a coffee scrub that exfoliates dry skin, leaves it feeling smooth, reduces cellulite and just smells freaking delicious! I have sensitive eyes too and just recently had eyelash extensions for the first time. Love it! Mascara just runs off my face. Bat your Lash in Melbourne is awesome.
What’s your favourite way to nurture/nourish yourself? Yoga class.
What’s your best piece of advice to anyone looking to change his or her diet and lifestyle for the better?
Keep it simple. Commit, be consistent and look to Instagram for some inspiration. It is everywhere and it is accessible! Really remember it is about creating healthy habits, not restrictions. There is always a healthy substitute to your comfort foods – just come see at gluten freelance! ☺
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Gluten Freelance?
I would love to create an app with accessible vegan/sugar free and gluten free recipes. Keep inspiring and elevating the health and wellness community and for my next eBook I would love to work on creating healthy recipes for kiddies! DREAMS? To have a gluten freelance magazine and be the CEO and editor in chief.
5 words to describe yourself? Compassionate. Silly. Determined. Strong. Loving.
And last but certainly not least motto you live your life by? Be you! Everyone else is taken. I’m a quotes girl too, I like “your attitude determines your direction,” and “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
For more from Katie make sure you follow her on instagram @glutenfreelance
Like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreelance
And of course stay up to date with all her recipes at http://glutenfreelance.com.au/