Food & Drink

White Zebra: Leaner. Healthier. Happier

September 15th, 2014
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Talking all things guilty pleasures…my day on a plate, industry pressures to conform, how I keep fit and healthy, motivation & confidence…and true beauty! Thank you Fiona xx

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Grounded & Healthy… Business Savvy Beauty, Kate Johnson shares how she does it!

In the lead up to the fabulous Beautiful You Australia event in Melbourne this weekend, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the radiating and inspiring, Kate Johnson, to find out how she stays fit, healthy and grounded in the world of aesthetics. If you’re local to Melbourne, be sure to check out this event where you will see both Kate and me! Be inspired by a long list of health and beauty experts for a whole weekend. It’s going to be amazing! Over to Kate…

Talk us through a day in the life of Kate Johnson – start / finish and everything in between

My career overflows into my everyday life so each day blurs into one crazy lifestyle that’s a combination of my model, graphic design, youth and charity work. Five days a week I always have an early start with my personal trainer, typically followed by a shoot, interview or meeting, and any number of hours on my computer with my business hat on; managing my online boutique Purfectly Chic and lifestyle blog CHIC NATION. There is preparation for or attending a red carpet event or launch where I can focus on fundraising for charities close to my heart and boosting their profile at events – my next exciting project of course being the Beautiful You Australia campaign ( And spending time with family & friends is somewhere in there too!

Day on a plate- breakfast/ snacks and lunch and everything in between

5am: 1/2 cup rolled oats + 1/2 banana, 500ml of water (before my training session 5:45-6:30am)

7am: 2 eggs, 1 avocado with freshly squeezed lemon, smoked salmon, table spoon of labna + green smoothie (favourite combination is 1 cup of spinach, 1 granny smith green apple, ¼ cup pineapple, mint leaves + 1 serve Nuzest ‘Good Green Stuff’)

Mid-morning: Large cappuccino, full cream milk + 2 raw sugars (yep, not even sorry) Lunch: Sashimi, edamame, pot of green tea

Mid-Afternoon: Trail mix & dried fruit Dinner: typically 250g porterhouse steak or Salmon steak + large portion of vegetables (steamed carrot, green beans, sweet potato) mostly in winter or a large salad portion in the warmer months.

Dessert: (sometimes food I go weak for pavolva, dollop cream & berries or milk chocolate fondue with banana/strawberries

Throughout the day: 4-6L of tap water

Supplements: Juice Plus+ capsules (25 ground fruits, vegetables & grains) am x2 Berry + x2 Fruit, pm x2 vegetable (4 each if travelling).

Are you creative in the kitchen / or do you enjoy simple dishes?

My meal preparation has come a long way since I have invested more time in my health, fitness and wellbeing in the last year. Failure to plan is planning to fail! I’m not quite at the Nigella Lawson stage (and possibly never will be haha) though Jamie Oliver’s ‘15 minute meals’ (and more recently Luke & Scott’s ‘Clean Living Cookbook’) has given me a whole new appreciation to delicious & nutrient dense food for the time poor.

Being a model, which is heavily focused on body image, how do you keep yourself grounded?

It’s taken me more years than I’d care to admit though I’ve grown so much into myself and have learnt so much! I know that there are countless professionals involved doing my make-up, setting my hair, organising lighting and arranging wardrobe, sets, etc…

My graphic design background has given me an understanding of marketing and advertising, and working as a model and going through pageants, I know the tricks of the trade that turn me into the seemingly perfect looking human – despite not waking up looking anything like it. Educating my audience about how it all works is an important obligation I feel I owe to my 15 year old self, which is why I created my lifestyle & model blog CHIC NATION as an educational resource hub to help & inspire others in leading their own happy & healthy life.

When I’m off camera I live by the principle ‘what I do is not who I am.’ Whilst I love the glitz and glamour my profession gives me, it’s not my be all and end all. At the end of the day I appreciate where I am have come from and have a lot to be thankful – afterall, I’m not confined to a wheelchair like my mother and I’m not battling cancer like a lot of my family members.

Do you feel the pressure to conform to look a certain way?

Coming from a business background and already having a career spanning across three continents; I’ve come from a ‘take no prisoners’ approach, rather than ‘I’ll do anything it takes’ as most impressionable teens do when trying their hand at modelling. Take me as I am or watch me as I go sort of thing. Admittedly I haven’t personally come across any clients who’ve told me I need to look a certain way, though I have coached and mentored a number of aspiring teenagers/models who have. There will always be a suitable client; it’s a matter of standing up for what you believe in (or you’ll fall for anything) and finding the niche that you fit into. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes (and ages)! As my profile has increased the only legacy I’ve wanted to leave young girls ‘because of you I didn’t give up.’ I achieve that by leading by example, and because I’m focused on watering my own grass, I’ve not needed to stop and compare myself to what others are doing.

How do you keep fit and healthy? / Do you have a regular exercise regime?

I have had a regular gym/fitness routine since I was 15 so the ‘healthy lifestyle’ has always been a huge part of my life (I can thank my parents example for that). Over the years, especially switching careers from business to modelling (and now a mix of the two haha) it’s been a matter of fine tuning what works for me. Your body is your most priceless possession – what you put in is also what you get out! In the lead up to my International competition in Florida this past July I upped the ante with my fitness routine and enrolled myself in Blake Worrall-Thompson’s 6 Weeks to Sexy program. Needless to say I’ve lasted a lot longer than six weeks and am hooked on the results!

Blake has been a constant source of motivation and inspiration, and his fitness coaching has encompassed all facets of health from strength training and cardio, to wellbeing and nutrition during the program. The 5am starts five days a week took a little to get used to though I wouldn’t have it any other way now. Crazy I know!

To think I’ve even flown abroad/interstate during the program – and the food guide and alternate training times have been more than accommodating for my hectic schedule. No excuses, hey!?

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Ohhh I have plenty! I have a sweet and savory tooth for just about everything, though one of my best redeeming qualities is self control. I keep all kinds of treats in my pantry – sometime I feel like eating all of it, other time I won’t touch it for months. I’ve never liked the negative connotations associated with food. Cheat days, naughty food, sometimes food; sure they’re all labels for conversation though I’m a firm believer in life being too short to be feeling guilty about food – or obsessing too much over counting calories. Food is made to be eaten so enjoy it I say. Do consider moderation though, that’s my only byline :)

What drives your motivation?

I’ve always been a self-motivator. Having the example at home in my fiercely independent mother and devoted father does that to a person. Something as simple as a school run on November 10, 1992 was the difference between seeing my mother as a fully functioning and able woman in the morning, to a quadriplegic; unable to do the day-to-day activities most take for granted, in the afternoon. She went through years of rehabilitation and I saw her slowly but confidently become ‘at peace’ with her condition. Whenever I’m tackling the inevitable ‘first world’ problems in my day to day life I just have to put things in perspective. How I was raised set me up for life – I don’t expect anything from anyone for the work I didn’t do. It makes me appreciate my achievements even more!

You like to travel, what’s the biggest thing you have learnt during your travels (in relation to body confidence and beauty)?

I love to travel – it’s the only expense that makes you richer! Being out of your comfort zone is a little uncomfortable at first, but you know what!? That’s when the magic happens. When things don’t go to plan, where you get lost, lose your luggage, get sick, or injure yourself. You find out all kinds of things about yourself you didn’t know you were capable of. Independence, self-reliance, appreciation, flexibility, teamwork – these are all traits you learn when you’re not at home attached to the apron strings of Mum and Dad’s credit card. There’s a sense of accomplishment and gratification that comes with owning your situation; and particularly when you prefer off the beaten track like I do… there are no power points for hair straighteners, no mirrors for makeup and no one who cares about what you look like. When you can start seeing yourself for what you offer the world and how you make other people feel – that’s the beauty in travel!

If there was one thing you could tell all women out there to help them see their true beauty and to have body confidence, what would it be?

My philosophy for my lifestyle blog CHIC NATION is “Life is not about striving for digital perfection – it’s about being a better version of you, today and every day.” Always remember that true beauty comes within and that inner-beauty is the most resonating kind of beauty.


Kate Johnson is a Celebrity Ambassador for Beautiful You Australia, a groundbreaking event aiming to redefine beauty and how women view themselves. You can meet Kate in person at the event in Melbourne! She is a long-term youth worker and founded CHIC NATION; a unique lifestyle & model blog dedicated to youth self esteem and inspiring others to lead a healthy & happy life; as a platform for her charity work with the Touch of Goodness Foundation.

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Shot on location in Manly, Sydney by Natalie Roser Photography. Wearing Lorna Jane. Hair by Kevin McKenzie Hair London & Model Essentials.

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