AURA Mind & Spirit Series – An interview with Kate Marshall
JP – What do you get when you mix a fitness buff, risk–taker and a businesswoman?
Kate – I got the absolute pleasure of working with AURA Nutrition this summer, and part of that was interviewing Kate. I really thoroughly enjoyed her responses. We talked about fitness, nutrition, local hot spots and beauty (of course!). Kate shared some really wonderful insight regarding the mental mindset when it comes to fitness and nutrition (hands up if you’re your own worst enemy like me). Keep reading for a wicked discount code on AURA products, some incredible Vancouver-area recommendations and some encouraging words that will make you want to “Start today. Repeat tomorrow.”
JP – First and Foremost, you and I are both from North Van! Do you have any tips on recommendations for all my local North Van babes looking to add some fitness into their lives (bonus if it's beginner–friendly!)?
Kate – WELL, we are blessed to have nature literally at our doorstep in North Vancouver. My favourite little (beginner-friendly) area is Lynn Loop in Lynn Valley. Walking, running, hiking… you can do anything here. I also like to do a little invigorating cold plunge in the river areas. It’s pretty cool how developed lower Lonsdale is getting for wellness activities too. There are so many AMAZING studios (RIDE Cycle Club, Lagree West, Modo Yoga) to visit and get sweat or stretch on at. One thing I always say is everyone was once a beginner. No matter what activity you are attempting, that activity is FOR YOU… and not for someone else. So just go slow, at your own pace, and give yourself credit for doing something that benefits you.
JP – You're kind of a big deal in the Vancouver fitness world. Was it a natural progression to branch out into nutrition and supplements?
KM – It was 100% a natural progression. I wanted to speak to women that were “like me." Trying to show up as their best selves daily, either running a business, taking care of their family, going to school and doing their best to keep their nutrition on point… but finding a line of “everyday lifestyle supplements” proved to be quite hard! I wanted clean, nutritious, simple ingredients that I could incorporate into my routine, something ritualistic that was EASY.
JP – As a business owner and entrepreneur, can you share some roadblocks you've encountered in your business career and how you overcame them?
KM – Wow. This is such a massive question. I’ve gone through too many “roadblocks” to name. I’ve found myself crying on the floor, rethinking my entire life and “regretting” choices I have made that led me to where I was. I’ve gone from being incredibly financially secure to make a few risky business decisions that left me broke. Like seriously BROKE. So broke that I had to sell my first home 18 months after purchasing it home and move back into my mother’s basement at the age of 27. I believe that there isn’t such a thing as motivation and that it is your HABITS that determine your ability to overcome obstacles. Your habits and level of determination to continue build momentum, and that in turn builds motivation as you begin to really SEE what is possible. HABITS & DETERMINATION = MOMENTUM & MOTIVATION.
I think one of my biggest and most REAL roadblocks has been downplaying my greatness. Not going after what I truly think I can accomplish because I am afraid of alienating myself from my friends, family and community. It’s like putting on the brakes, right before the breakthrough. I think I have “fear” based around what people will think of me if I truly break out of the norm and GO FOR IT. Like really, really go for it. Like, become so insanely influential and successful, that I’m unrelated to most. It’s a roadblock that I’m still navigating right now. I’ve recently linked up with two amazing mentors (seeking mentorship for the first time in my life), and am starting to spend more time with people who make me question my “why”. This is allowing me to think bigger, grander, with more confidence. Stay tuned.
JP – Which AURA product were you most excited to initially develop and why?
KM – Our most simple product, the ENERGY MCT! It’s made from one, simple ingredient; 100% sustainably sourced coconuts. MCT stands for Medium-Chain Triglycerides and is converted into energy for the body and brain faster than they would be converted to calories stored as fat. One simple ingredient offers so many benefits; better brain and memory function, improved energy and endurance when performing an exercise, weight loss and weight management, as well as lowered blood sugar levels, just to name a few! I personally took the MCT oils prior to developing this product, and they ALWAYS caused digestive upset, plus they were so messy and oily! I love our ENERGY MCT because it travels well, and I can literally take a scoop just mixed with a little water on the go. Since I’m always trying to lower my caffeine intake, this is a great option for a boost of energy that I can also feel great about taking. I’m hoping to make the term MCT a household term, and remove the idea that MCTs are just for Ketogenic bodybuilders!
JP – AURA is incredible female–centric (who run the world? Girls!) Which is so refreshing to see. How are AURA products created to keep female health and wellness as a priority over other brands?
KM – Nutrition profiles. Let’s look at our protein supplements specifically for this one. Males need a different breakdown of macronutrients (fats, protein, carbohydrates) compared to females. We have created proteins and cater the macronutrient make-up to the nutrition that your everyday woman on-the-go needs. It’s not to say that a male can’t consume the product, it’s just that it’s meant for your everyday woman (not to build bulky muscle or cause weight gain).
Gut health. We now know that the gut is truly the brain of the body. Our products are boosted with digestive enzymes or probiotics to help with digestion. Our products are also curated for optimal bioavailability in the body, meaning your body can absorb the nutrients quicker and in a complete way, for optimal nutrition!
Ingredients. WHOLE, all-natural ingredients are used in every product. We don’t add fillers, artificial ingredients or flavours. We are conscious of calories and cost but will not sacrifice quality over either of those items. We are aware that information is readily accessible on all products, ingredients and processes for products in the health industry. We are completely transparent about the entire process from sourcing to packaging, to landing in your smoothie.
Branding. This one was so simple for me. Have you ever walked into a supplement store and been SO overwhelmed by harsh, in-your-face branding, or bright pink containers that are “for women”? Why is this the case, that as a woman, we have to be marketing to through pink and purple? I wanted to deliver a clean, elegant brand that ONLY had the information you need to know on the label. Nothing extra. Something that wouldn’t be intimidating to pick up and look at, and something that you are proud to have on your office desk as work, or sitting on your counter at home.
JP – What advice would you give a new mom who's just starting on her journey to get fit and live a healthier life and feels overwhelmed just trying to make time for herself... Asking for a friend? ;)
KM – Two words, GO SLOW. Start by drinking one cup of water, start by incorporating one healthy meal, start by doing one push up, start by walking one lap, but MOST importantly:
One mantra I always repeat to myself, “Five minutes is better than no minutes”. This can be incorporated into anything in life, but definitely when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and body movement. Right now, I’m using that mantra to propel my reading. My goal is the read one book per month… and I often make excuses if I can’t sit down for 30-60 minutes and read. I often find that 5 minutes leads into 10-20 minutes and I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Let’s even break this down further…. “One minute is better than no minutes.” What can you do for one minute right now, that your future self will thank you for?
JP – Similarly, what advice would you give someone who is intimidated by the intensity that can come with trendy cycling and fitness classes?
KM – again, GO SLOW! Have you ever walked into a yoga or fitness class, and judged someone next to you for the effort they are putting in? I’m not talking about admiring them, I’m talking about JUDGING THEM. I’m hoping the answer is hell no, you have not. I believe we get too caught up on what we THINK others are thinking… but when you break that down, no one is really ever thinking about what you are doing, they are concerned about themselves, and ONLY themselves. If that person does happen to be judging you, do you even want that type of energy in your life? I’m hoping that answer is another, hell no. You never know who else you are inspiring in that room, but most importantly, just do you, for you!
Also – COMMUNICATE WITH THE TEACHER! Let them know this is your first class, or you are just getting back into it, or you are recovering from an injury. Communication is key, and you may immediately feel better letting someone else know where you are at in the moment.
JP – AURA just launched WILD OCEAN MARINE COLLAGEN... Are there any other exciting new launches down the pipeline you can give us a teaser for?
KM – YES THERE IS. I’m most excited about two products we are rolling out; our Faultless Green (a Lentein https://lentein.com/#sectionAbout based complete green protein) and our Plant-Based Collagen. Both are going to be game-changers in our daily wellness regimes!
JP – Let's talk food for a minute – what is your guilty pleasure or favourite indulgence?
KM – Dark chocolate and peanut butter. Literally, a bar of dark chocolate, and covering each bite with some delicious peanut butter. I’m also a huge fan of Sour Patch Kids! Yam fries with delicious dips…. Vegan mayo/aioli, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce… dips, I’M INTO THEM. I also like getting a tub of dairy–free HALO TOP ice cream and eating the whole pint (sorry not sorry)… they have a toasted coconut one that is INSANE. Shall I go on? LOL. I like my treats.
JP – Can we have a moment to bond over beauty? Walk us through your must–have beauty products (skin/makeup/hair/etc).
KM – YES, YES WE CAN. I try to use a minimal number of ingredients for my skin. I use (mainly) a washcloth and warm water to cleanse my face, with an actual face wash every 3 days or so. My mom said I was literally born with crows feet and smile lines… so I’ve been using age defence items for as long as I can remember (I used to steal my mom’s retinol when I was 11, no joke). For the last few years, this is mainly what I have been using:
Eminence, Manoi Age Correcting Exfoliating Cleanser (every 3 days)
Eminence, Neroli Age Correcting Eye Serum (I use this daily at night)
Eminence, Red Currant Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 (I use this every morning)
Eminence, Stone Crop Hydrating Mist (this stuff is AMAZING! I use whenever I need a boost of hydration, definitely nightly)
Body – I use a charcoal detox bar of soap that I got from Galiano Island Soapworks and LUSH Cosmetics Cup O’Coffee Body Scrub. I’m going to make my own coffee scrub once I’m done with this one though! For a moisturizer, I use NOW Pure Grapeseed Oil or organic coconut oil. I try to put it on when my skin is still wet from the shower and pat it dry!
JP – Lastly, let me toss a scenario at you: It's your day off and you have nowhere you need to be and nothing you need to do – how would you spend your time?
KM – I would drive the Sea-to-Sky highway solo leaving the city around 7 am, grab an almond milk americano, pop on an amazing playlist (my fave thing to do is curate mood specific playlists on my Spotify) OR a podcast, and drive straight to Scandinave Spa in Whistler for a full day of hot/cold pools, wood-burning saunas, self-guided yoga, reading and relaxing. On the way down, I would stop at Zephyr Café in Squamish and eat a delicious house-made vegan burger and grab my fave Zephyr cookie.
If I could teleport, I would spend the day on a secluded beach on the Baja California Sur, off the coast of La Paz on an island called Isla Espiritu Santo with a small group of my favourite humans. Snacking on fresh ceviche and guacamole, laughing (have to ramp up those smile lines), loving really hard and bronzing our skin to the max. I highly recommend checking out Isla Espiritu Santa if you have never heard of it.