Katie Brown // @realfoodwithgratitude
HELLO DOLLS (and dudes)!! I am so excited to welcome such a dear friend to the blog for todays #bossbabe interview! I met Katie obviously through Instagram, but we became soul sisters after officially meeting at Expo East last fall. Katie is a breath of fresh air. I appreciate her sarcastic sense of humor and her tell-it-as-it-is attitude. I have gone to Katie more times than I'd care to mention for general life advice, and she's always put my worries at ease. She's a pretty incredible human. Katie is the creator behind the incredible account, @realfoodwithgratitude. She works as a full-time blogger, health coach, fitness instructor and SO much more. The woman wears MANY wellness-related hats...but always keeps it real. I am so thrilled to welcome her onto the bloggy today! xo
Tell us a little bit about yourself! I'm Katie Brown aka @realfoodwithgratitude. I reside in Richmond, VA- born and raised and never left (sad)- except for college- 2 hours away and James Madison University. I met all of my best friends there (in my sorority- eye roll, don't judge- they are what keep me grounded and help shape me into who I am today). I studied in Florence, Italy for a semester in college- for the art and food- I was an art history and photography major. Also, because am OBSESSED with traveling (but only for a short period of time because I get anxious to get back into my routine). I have a house on the water where I basically grew up and its straight up MY HAPPY PLACE. My brother and mom are both chefs- BE JEALOUS; so I have always loved food and learned how to cook early on in my life.
What is your zodiac sign? I'm a Gemini...can't you tell from the answer above? I get bored QUICK, you better keep me on my toes and some say Gemini's have multiple personalities (I unfortunately agree with this).
What inspired you to start @realfoodwithgratitude? During/after college life I straight up STRUGGLED with "being healthy". I would try to eat the MINIMUM then straight binge on the weekends like I've never eaten before in my life, that went on for about 5 years. In 2016, I was ALWAYS sick, aka my immune system hated me and then had emergency surgery to have a uterine fibroid removed at the end of the year and was in bed for a month- this spiraled me into starting my Instagram to lose that weight and somewhere to put my recipes and spare my friends from constantly snap chatting my food. Lets just say it snowballed from there.
What does a day in the life of Katie look like? Pause: I quit my full time sales career (I was in sales for 6 years after college) to start my own Food/Health&Wellness business - Real Food with Gratitude, LLC. My business consists of 4 parts; food blogging through IG and my website, food photographer, Health Coach and Fitness Instructor.
Unpause- my alarm goes off around 6:08am- I drag myself to the studio down the street to take either hot barre, hot yoga or a hot HIIT class. [I'm also a Barre Instructor and love teaching others how to get stronger (mentally and physically) through the art of Barre] Moving on--I make Bulletproof Coffee every.single.morning; that's my breakfast (not because I have to, but because I'm not normally hungry in the morning and its a great way to start my day with fat, proteins and carbs with a boost of nutrients!). I spend a lot of my day either emailing to market myself, making do-to lists (I feel like I do this a lot), brainstorm about content and some recipe testing, lots of active-ness on IG (will get more into the later), hopefully a food photoshoot here and there and probably teaching at least 1 fitness class.
What is the best part of what you do? The hardest part? The BEST part is being in CHARGE and in CONTROL of my day, my timelines, my decisions and my overall LIFE. However, the hardest part may be the SAME thing; because I am in control of all of those things and no one else, I have to constantly make sure I'm doing exactly what I said I would by the time I said I would do it. You learn a lot about your mental capacity and what you can and can not handle- it's an awesome experience.
What does your current fitness routine look like? I work out between 5-6 days a week. Mostly barre everyday and then I will throw in a yoga class and or a HIIT class. When I started teaching hour classes in a heated room a few months ago, I had to start really listening to my body to make sure I wasn't overdoing it by being in the studio too often, etc. Aka my routine had to change up a bit depending on how often I was teaching that week.
You have grown your Instagram account SO quickly. What would you say are your top tips for people looking to dive into this industry? I feel like I have read every article/blog/story, etc online related to "HOW TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT". Going off what I read & my experience my top tips are, GET OUT THERE-you wont be able to grow if people don't know you exist. You have to put yourself out there - be "ACTIVE" on Instagram. Sounds dumb AF but like and comment on like-minded accounts (and this is LITERALLY all I did for the first few months)- I still do it today, just a lot less. Unfortunately, its not something you can do "half-ass", you kinda have to go ALL IN.
What is the biggest message you want to share through your platform? I want people to know that living a "health lifestyle" doesn't mean eating lettuce every day and constantly looking forward to your next cheat day. Its about, eating what makes you FEEL good and that it actually can be FUN, EASY and extremely doable. Fuel yourself with the foods you love, in a healthified version. We live in a super processed world and we have to find ways around it. Be open to trying new products that keep you excited about your at home meals and help keep your life and eating habits from getting stale (pun intended). If you need to make a change, just START SMALL. Do something small each day to start developing new routines or shifting your mindset. Do trial and error to figure out what makes you feel fueled or makes you feel blah and slowly go from there. Oh and MEAL PREP IS KEY (prepare all your fave ingredients- lots of greens, roasted veggies, a protein, etc and keep them all separate in your fridge + fun snacks and this allows you to make a different type of meal with it everyday- so you dont get bored!!)