Interview Lifestyle

Steph and Laura from Keep It Cleaner on healthy balance during silly season

Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw – the fabulous duo behind Keep It Cleaner – have shared their advice on balancing health and fitness during summer – the season where there’s an unapologetic increase in house parties, more cocktails with the girls, and temptations for swapping fitness with air-con in bed. The girls spoke with Chattr about the importance of maintaining goals, their tips for staying motivated, and their favourite healthier alternatives.

Can you tell us about the importance of maintaining our health and wellness goals as we move into the end of the year?

S: 2020 has been totally different when it comes to health and wellness goals – I think if there was one thing that this year has taught me, it is to take the pressure off myself. That said, I have always loved this time of year. Normally it means spending time with friends and family and enjoying lots of delicious food and drink. So, while keeping your health and wellness goals is important, so too is to enjoy yourself – particularly at the end of this year! Keep It Cleaner has always been focused on lifestyle changes that are accessible, fuss-free and easy to adapt to no matter where you are in your wellness journey or what your personal idea of a healthy balanced life is! At the end of the day, when it comes to maintaining goals around health and wellness it’s important that they’re sustainable and flexible to your lifestyle. What are some of your best tips for keeping motivated in party season?

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L: I think the easiest routine to stick to as we get into Christmas and NYE is just to keep your body moving. Try at least once a day to do this, even if you don’t feel like it. A gentle walk or even a slow yoga class is something I personally lean into when I’m feeling like I don’t want a big work out session. The end of the year can often also be a little hectic, so I would also recommend keeping your meditation regime in place – taking time out for you is really important and can help de-stress. My key take out of 2020 is the power of meditation – I swear by it and find it just as important as exercise. What works for me is setting really simple (and achievable) health and wellness goals. There is a great sense of personal satisfaction when I tick them off. But if for whatever reason, I don’t hit those goals it is so very important to not beat myself up about it.

What are some of your favourite alternatives for alcohol mixes/conscious cocktails, naughty foods we are more likely to eat in summer like burgers and ice cream, etc.?

S: Keep It Cleaner is all about balance, so we don’t believe that you should deprive yourself of the things you enjoy. If you want the ice cream and cocktails, go for it, everything in moderation! In the Keep It Cleaner app, we have lots of recipes that will also hit the sweet spot. Our classic chocolate cake recipe is one of my favourites and it’s dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free and such a hit with the whole family. For drinks, maybe try a fresh juice or play with a new smoothie combination. I absolutely love fruit especially over summer, so fresh fruit smoothies or juices become my go to when I’m looking for a drink that’s not just water, and that’s not alcoholic.

What are some of the worst habits people pick up during the silly season (that you’ve heard from your audience/following)?

L: I think people feeling guilty is a really bad end of year habit. It’s Christmas after all – enjoy yourself and don’t be too strict. 2020 has been so tough on everyone and it’s okay to have some fun and enjoy yourself (within restrictions) – just remember to be kind to yourself. I find leaning into a support network is really important, especially if you are struggling to keep to your health and wellness goals. What’s so good about KIC is that when you sign up to the program you become part of a supportive, respectful and kind community. Everyone shares their personal stories and it’s amazing when we see our community help motivate each other during difficult times.

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Will you introduce a KIC challenge (like you did for this month) for summer?

S&L: Our Keep It Cleaner challenges are all about getting back into a routine, and making healthy changes you can sustain long term. We loved this month’s challenge and watching the community band together and reach their goals! We had such amazing feedback so we’re certainly open to doing them again! Stay tuned!

Is eating well and maintaining fitness just as important as the other to stay healthy during the summer/silly season?

S: At Keep It Cleaner we are passionate about living a holistically healthy lifestyle. That includes enjoying delicious food, moving your body and focusing on your mental health through things like meditation or journaling. It is all about finding a balance that works for you. It’s okay to have fun and not be too strict on your goals. It’s all about listening to your body, being kind to yourself and embracing balance!