A few weeks ago, we wrote about Aussie model Steph Claire Smith‘s struggle with binge eating disorder.
Smith, 24, spoke about her issues with body image and food in a lengthy and emotional YouTube clip, that has since been viewed almost 80,000 times. Our story went bonanza, with heaps of you guys taking to the comments section to express surprise (as well as empathy).
In the clip, Smith (who boasts a huge 1.2 million followers on Instagram) explains that she’s in a much better place than she was at her worst, and cites best friend Laura Henshaw as a huge source of support.
Henshaw herself is a model and has been open about body struggles in the past too.
Having started modelling in their late teens, the pair have seen the ugly insides of the industry and have resolved to live happier and healthier lives, ditching crash diets and taking their fitness seriously (as you’ll see if you follow them on the ‘gram… I swear they’re never not sweaty they titties off at boxing sesh).
The pair have just launched their Keep It Cleaner lifestyle app, a body-positive health program for women which includes daily workouts, wellbeing tips and healthy recipe ideas.
PEDESTRIAN.TV had a chat to the pair to get the long and short of what a typical day of eating, training and living looks like for women who are fit for a living.
PTV: Talk us through an average day in your life.
7:30am: My alarm goes off! I roll around for a bit, check emails or notifications and get back to anyone or anything that’s urgent, then I get up and have a big glass of water.
8am: I’m a sucker for routine at breakfast time, so just about every morning is the same for me. Buckwheat porridge with blueberries, cacao nibs and peanut butter!
9am: I go to Tribute boxing, where I have a 45 min one on one boxing session with Will Tomlinson!
12:30pm: Because a big part of what I do is meetings or getting through emails at cafes or working for cafes, I’m lucky that most of the time I get to eat lunch out! I love a green brekkie bowl with poached eggs, or some smashed avo on gluten free toast with eggs and spinach.
3pm: In the afternoon I always have sugar cravings, and my go-to snack is usually an apple chopped up and served with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter.
5pm: The afternoons are all about taking my dog for a walk and chilling out with my boyfriend Josh.
7pm: Dinner is constantly changing, I cook probably 5/7 nights of the week. I cannot end the day without a piece (or two) of dark chocolate or our Radical Rocky Road and a peppermint tea!
6:30am: Wake up and have an espresso before my workout (I can’t stomach food before I work out in the morning!) I often will check Instagram and my emails before I get out of bed… until I realise I am running late and have to get up!
7am: Workout – I will either run, do a HIIT session, a strength session or a boxing session.
8am: Post workout smoothie: I am currently obsessed with strawberry/banana smoothies! I add ½ banana, ½ cup of strawberries, ¼ cup of Greek yoghurt, ½ cup of ice cubes, 30gm of protein powder and almond milk.
9am: If I don’t have a shoot or meeting I will head to my office.
10:30am: Coffee #2 for the day – I order an almond milk cap (and always make sure they use natural almond milk (not processed) before I order.
12pm-1pm: Lunch I usually have some type of salad I make the night before with chicken or tuna, leafy greens, crunchy nuts, avo and tomatoes.
3pm: Snack time – I always crave something sweet around this time! I usually have one of our Bliss balls and a Kombucha (which is AMAZING for gut health).
7pm: Dinner – I will have some type of lean protein such as baked salmon (am loving baked fish in a bag at the moment) or baked chicken with roasted veggies and salad.
8pm: If I am craving something sweet I will have strawberries and Greek yoghurt and always have a peppermint tea, or our fantastic Rawreos from the KIC program (such a treat!) My partner and I always switch off after this time and put our phones away to spend time together and wind down before going to bed.
Are all of your friends into exercise and healthy eating? Do you have any people in your life who don’t ‘get it’ or try to force you to eat things you don’t really want to eat? How do you respond?
Laura: Most of them are pretty healthy but I used to definitely sometimes feel uncomfortable trying to make healthy decisions in big groups. I think it’s just important to remember what you eat is your choice and no one else’s. Don’t be judgmental on what others eat and just focus on you. If you don’t want to drink – that is your decision. And remember in some situations such as at catered birthdays etc. you might not have a healthy option – and that is OK. Life is all about balance and not beating yourself up if you eat something you usually wouldn’t. Live and eat in moderation and with balance and you will be happy and healthy forever.
Steph: I think most people are on board with it these days, and a lot of my mates (even my mum) have certainly jumped on board and love coming to me for advice. No one forces me no, most of the people I surround myself with are supportive and non judgmental people so they just wouldn’t.
Do you ever have moments when you really, really feel like something that isn’t usually considered ‘clean’? Like do you ever have cravings for something you know will make you feel shit, but you eat it anyway?
Laura: Of course! I eat much more relaxed on the weekend and if I am craving hot chips, a burger, chocolate, ice cream etc. I will have some. I don’t deprive myself and always listen to my body. Unhealthy foods are a sometimes food for me – I couldn’t live on them because I would have ZERO energy and not feel like myself but one-two bad unhealthy per week will not make any difference! I am a strong believer in the 80:20 rule. One bad meal will not undo your progress, just like one healthy meal won’t undo an unhealthy lifestyle.
Steph: Of course! All the time! Cravings are completely normal and natural! It’s all about portion control, I only ever feel sick if I over eat, and that’s with healthy stuff or naughty stuff. If you eat cleanly 70-80% of the time, you cannot feel guilty treating yourself to things you love for the other 20% of the time! It’s just about knowing when to say yes or no to yourself… I don’t have a certain amount of days or treats per day that I go by, I just listen to my body. My favourite naughty treats are movie buttered and salted popcorn, cheese platters and wine!
Does your eating change at the weekend, compared to during the week?
Laura: I always eat more relaxed on the weekend. As long as you aren’t bingeing on the weekend – treat yourself but don’t over do it so you wake up feeling lethargic and unmotivated on Monday. Moderation is key!
Steph: I’m a little more relaxed on the ‘cleanliness’ of the food I eat over the weekend, but that’s just generally because I’m with friends and we’ll go out for dinner and drinks etc. I think it’s important to have fun on the weekend, even mid week! I work really hard and look after my body, so I have to look after my mind by treating myself and having fun!
Your new program is called ‘Keep It Cleaner’. There has been some wariness from dietitians about the term ‘clean’. What does clean mean to you? What makes something not clean?
Clean to us just means unprocessed. Clean is fresh, simple, unpackaged foods. But as we preach all the time … ‘it’s all about balance’. We still have non ‘clean’ foods and we still do eat packaged and processed foods… it’s just about reducing the amount and having more of the good stuff!
When you experience feelings of guilt around food, what are some methods you use to feel better?
We remind ourselves how hard we work on our bodies every other day, and that it’s okay to slip up and overeat or eat naughty things time to time. It’s a long journey to get to a point where you have a good relationship with food. Being a fitness model and someone look to as the ‘ultimate picture’ of health, do you feel a lot of pressure to project a perfect image?
Do you feel pressure to eat certain things when you go out to restaurants or cafe?
We definitely have in the past, but not anymore. It’s the same as not caring if a fan comes up to either of us while we’re at Coles in our Ugg boots with wet hair and no makeup, we don’t care what other people think anymore. We’re just normal girls!
Can you tell me a bit more about the BTS of KIC? How many people are in your team? Who do you work with for recipe development? Do you have dietitians on board?
What started as a team of two has grown to a team of over 30 and we’re so excited about that! Not because it means less work… because it doesn’t! But because of the reach we are able to have now with such an incredible and intelligent team is amazing, we’re able to do things we’ve always dreamed of!
Our recipes are a mixture between our own original recipes and then recipes we’ve developed with our KIC food team, checked over by our dietitian Lisa Middleton and then all made pretty for the photos by our food stylist Peta Gray.
Be honest: do you think the modelling industry is changing towards a ‘healthier’ standard? What state do you think the modelling industry will be in in say, ten years?
We definitely think that in Australia it’s heading in the right direction for sure! We hope that internationally it gets better and it’s definitely on its way, so in ten years we hope to see a lot more relatable women as the supermodels of the world, people who reflect a healthy lifestyle and promote a number of different body types.
Where do you see KIC in five years?
Worldwide! We see it as a lifestyle! We don’t see it as the Steph and Laura show… we want it to be seen as a way of life in every aspect of life!
So there you have it, folks. Healthy is most definitely in.