Here at Gardenuity, we are lucky to have the opportunity to connect with some incredible individuals throughout the gardening, health, and wellness communities. This week, we were able to chat with certified holistic nutritionist and professional Broadway dancer, Katie Webber.
Katie shared with us her journey with health and wellness, her relationship to food and eating, and her advice to those who are working towards a cleaner lifestyle. Keep reading to get the inside scoop from Webber’s refreshing perspective on food and wellness. While you are at it, you do not want to miss out on our Instagram Live event with Katie coming up! Stay tuned for more information.
Katie Webber, certified holistic nutritionist based in New York City, is a bright and inspiring individual, who is always cooking up something beautiful and delicious in her kitchen. Author of the cookbook, Fall for You, Webber strongly believes in creating “Recipes for Thriving”.
As a professional dancer, Katie’s perspective on food and enjoying food is uniquely shaped by her experience growing up in the harshly critical world of dance and performance. Webber shares with us that she started off her journey in the kitchen by simply aiming to create dishes that were satisfying to her.
Enjoy What You Eat
Webber brings outstanding energy to the table when it comes to the intention behind eating well. It is rare to find individuals with a large following who are as much concerned with enjoying their food as they are about the goodness that comes along with eating greener foods.
People like Katie are imperative to changing the narrative around dieting and glorifying one type of body image. The reality is that we all need to eat. In doing so, we can eat foods that feed not only our bodies, but also our minds and our hearts. The first step to this type of fulfillment is enjoyment and awareness, which is what Webber shares with us. It’s about taking care of yourself and listening to your body.
“To me, self care is showing up for yourself on the daily; speaking kindly to yourself, and treating your body well.”
Interview with Katie Webber
Q: When did you start your journey in the world of health and wellness?
A: “I began my personal health journey toward the end of my pregnancy about 4 and a half years ago. I was inspired to clean up my diet – I was a soon-to-be nursing mother. I just could not believe how my life changed in a matter of just two weeks after going plant-based. That started my inspiration in the kitchen, trying to make food that was satisfying for me and simple, because I was a new mom. Then, I started sharing my recipes, and that’s kind of how it all began. It was organic.”
Q: With your background as a dancer, what kind of toxic culture do you see being perpetuated around food and eating?
A: “I have what feels like lifelong patterns with disordered eating and body obsession, being a dancer. I love being a dancer, and the community that comes along with it, but there is a built in pressure to look a certain way, to fit into costumes. When you’re a kid, there’s all different body shapes trying to wear the exact same costume. And it’s just not reality either. The pictures we see on social media just perpetuate the problem. There is this unattainable standard of beauty, when really, we all actually know that if you just see someone who loves themselves, then that is truly beautiful. It was so hard for me because I sprouted early. I remember there was this pressure that started when I was so young, and how praised people were for being skinny. I have burned in my mind things that teachers said to me that they probably have no idea, they probably don’t remember at all. I carried that with me, especially in the professional world too; you see people being praised for being thin. I went the opposite way, and I became obsessed with secretly stuffing my face when I could, and feeling like that would be fine because the next few days I wouldn’t eat. That was a struggle for me honestly until well into my thirties, about 5 years ago. It’s a practice. In some ways, I feel like a recovering addict in that I will never be cured; it’s a working practice every single day. It’s about being mindful and present, each choice is the opportunity to choose to serve myself or not.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge you see others face when moving towards a healthier lifestyle?
A: “I think the biggest challenge is that people see a health journey as an on off switch, like it’s black and white. ‘I’m going to start on this day, and I’m never going to eat bacon again’. If people could just realize that weaving a healthier option in here and there, being present about what you’re eating while you’re eating it, or even just speaking kindly while you’re eating, will make the biggest difference. It doesn’t have to be a matter of unattainable standards. I think people struggle with realizing that it is a daily practice; if you overeat something that makes you not feel good afterwards, that doesn’t negate the good work that you have been doing. You haven’t fallen off the wagon; that’s okay, you know.”
“If you overeat something that makes you not feel good afterwards, that doesn’t negate the good work that you have been doing.”Katie Webber
Q: What type of message do you strive to convey through your social media presence?
A: “I really just hope that people realize that eating healthy can be accessible for everyone, you don’t need skills in the kitchen. You don’t need a ton of wacky ingredients, you don’t need hours and hours of prep time. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Something that I hear myself saying a lot is, ‘Simple always wins’. When you just keep it simple, you can’t go wrong.”
Q: In your opinion, what is the most important thing someone can do to take care of themselves?
A: “To me, self care is showing up for yourself on the daily; speaking kindly to yourself, and treating your body well. I do love a face mask and a bubble bath, but to me, the real self care is in showing up for yourself and being consistent.”
Q: What do you do to relieve stress?
A: “I cook. It’s truly meditative for me, I love cooking (but not the dishes). Especially being a dancer, I’ve been working on Broadway consistently for the last 15 years. With the pandemic, it was super nice to have a break. Now, something that I’m grateful for and that I prioritize, one of my biggest stress relievers, is that I move my body every day for 20-30 minutes. I put music on that I love, and what I do is kind of a work out, but at the end of the day sometimes I just dance around, and that’s what I need. Getting into my body, and moving my body is something that I do every day. It was super difficult to get into; having my job and being a dancer, I felt resentful at first, so now it’s been nice to find my flow with making it work at home.”
Q: Do you garden? If so, what is your favorite thing about spending time in your garden?
A: “I do, I love gardening. I wish I had an outdoor space for a big girl garden, but I do just have my New York City apartment. Always, any time of the year, I have herbs in my window. Right now, we have thyme, sage and chives – I need some summer herbs. I also have an olive tree and a fiddle leaf fig, a beautiful monstera, some pothos. I’m not the world’s best gardener, but it means so much to me to have plants and take care of them. I find the days that I go through my house and tend my plants to be so relaxing. My daughter also loves to garden – we plant seeds together. We have some budding flowers in her room right now, it’s something we love to do together.”
If you’d like to hear more about Katie’s interesting journey in coming into her profession in the world of food and nutrition, please join us for our Instagram Live event coming up. You do not want to miss Webber’s unparalleled insight into wellness, as well as tips and tricks for easing into a greener lifestyle for yourself.