We are so thrilled to introduce Irish supermodel and international sensation Laura O'Grady who kindly agreed to chat with us about all things health and modelling. For those of you who don't know Laura, she is only 19 years of age and has already made her stamp on the world of International modelling. Having walked for brands like Saint Laurent, she has visited cities like Paris, London New York and the rest. Having had a couple of opportunities to speak to Laura, we honestly cant express how genuine, honest and down to earth she is. She has such a positive, bubbly, charming attitude to life and we have no doubts she is going to have many years of success and we cannot wait to watch her take over the world and represent Ireland.
Hi Laura, Thank you so much for speaking to us here at BikiniBrawn. As one of Ireland's most successful exports and models we are beyond thrilled to chat with you about health. Do you feel there is a huge difference between Ireland and other countries when it comes to fitness and health. Do you think we are falling behind the rest of the world ?
There is a difference between Ireland and some countries, but not so much of a difference to countries in Britain or even perhaps parts of the US. I think Ireland is a country which loves its comfort foods, it may sound stereotypical but white breads and potatoes do make a regular staple in many diets of my friends and family, but we also have a lot of emphasis on home cooking which I think is good. Irish supermarkets and health stores are also wising up and stocking up really well on gluten free, dairy free, vegan and organic foods which is a good development. Overall, I don't feel we're falling behind, rather just developing at our own pace. Personally I admire the french way of eating most. For them its not about buying expensive (maybe to some 'pretentious') ingredients or being really healthy all the time. The french eat a little of what they fancy, and have a huge emphasis on natural, homegrown food and cooking which I love. When I was there, everything I ate was grown locally! Really admirable I think, and I love browsing farmers markets in Paris.
One of Laura's many healthy meal photo's on Instagram
As someone who is naturally tall and thin, what would you say to young girls out there who have also grown up
tall and slim and are really self conscience about it ?
I would say that you have to realise in terms of body image its nearly always a case of 'the grass is always greener on the other side.' There are slim girls out there dying to be curvy and fuller figured and visa versa! Personally, I hated being skinny when I was about 16, but now I'm really happy with my figure, just because its the only one I've got so I might as well like it, haha. It just makes life a lot easier. I always think of it like this, if I don't like something and someone else says they like it, I'm almost forced to try and see what they like about it and what is positive about it. Its a similar idea with confidence. Negativity will only attract negativity so whether your tall and slim or the complete opposite, just fake it til you make it I think!
What is your all time favourite health food or healthy recipe? Maybe one you could share with us and our readers ?
I love so many health foods and try different recipes so often that I couldn't possibly write them all! I love cauliflower crust pizza, pancakes made without grains and with almond flour, I love homemade nutella made with unsweetened cocoa and natural hazelnut butter, I make cakes (like the brownies I have pictured) that are free of wheat dairy and sugar. I just love to cook! Its difficult though when I'm travelling as sometimes my accomodation doesn't have the best facilities or utensils, So my favourite breakfast recipe at the moment is overnight oats because its so quick and easy. Basically, in a glass jar I put some gluten free oats over a layer of almond butter with a few splashes of almond milk or coconut yoghurt. Add in whatever mix ins you like, such as berries nuts or sweeteners, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight in the fridge. The mix will thicken and become like a big oatmeal cookie. Its so delicious and makes a good pre-made breakfast for me to grab on the go and fuel a long day of shooting or castings.
Laura's delicious brownie's ( Recipe coming )
Have your learnt any new recipes during your travels abroad, or picked up any health food tricks from
fellow international models ?
I have definitely picked up tips and tricks from models in terms of healthy eating. Most models I know eat little and often rather than sitting down to three big square meals a day. Many incorporate good fats into their diet like nuts and avocados and so many models I know do not eat late at night. I personally try to stop eating four hours before bedtime. Also, models walk incredible distances. We do castings all over huge cities and do them via public transport so usually if I can avoid the tubes and subways I'll walk if I have the time, even if it means I end up walking for miles. We never really are 'based' in one place so we all do a lot of running around!
Laura Enjoying a healthy Breakfast while writing to her Gran, Could this girl get any more lovable
How do you prepare for upcoming shoots or runway shows
Truth be told, I don't exercise as much as I should, but before fashion week I definitely ramped up the workouts. I ate mainly a plant based diet so lots of veggies and nuts, and cut back on meats and processed foods. I've been a pescetarian for six months now too which I feel has benefitted my health a lot, as I eat so many more vegetables and healthy fish like salmon and tuna. In terms of exercise, my aim was toning and not weight loss so I started swimming alot. I would get into the pool and even just do stretches under the water to get my legs long and lean for walking the runways! When I felt too lazy to leave my house, I would also just grab a jump rope and skip in front of the TV, or do stretches while waiting for the kettle to boil. Its the little things that add
Laura looking tall, Lean and absolutely
stunning walking for Saint Laurent at Paris
How do you find balancing a healthy lifestyle with travel and a busy schedule ?
It definitely takes getting used to. In New York I find it harder to eat healthily because health food is very expensive there and they do fast food really well! Its all about the preparation really. I have lunch boxes and pre bag snacks that I can take on the go. I just baked up some healthy gluten free oat cookies to take out with me, and I have little boxes of nuts and avocado to take on the go too. If I can do anything the night before the prepare for a busy day, I do.
Chatting with you the other day you mentioned you struggled with Motivation, Which we found so refreshing and Honest. The reality is everyone struggles with inspiration from time to time, What do you do to pick yourself back up and get back on the healthy road ?
Absolutely, its part and parcel of a healthy eating journey really! Fashion week only ended a few weeks ago, and because of how indescribably MENTAL fashion week is, everyone involved with it usually ends up eating alot more junk than usual, so that threw me off for a while. If you eat really really healthily all the time then fair play, but I don't think its normal or realistic for many people! Personally, my job is a motivation. It is part of the criteria to be in good healthy shape and I work as a model full time in London, New York and Paris so I want to take it seriously. When I was in school the feeling of eating healthily was what motivated me though. I felt proud of myself when I had been getting all my fruit and veggies in, and had so much more energy too. A bit of an indulgence now and then is fantastic, and so enjoyable, but doing it too often leaves me feeling sluggish and rubbish. Thats what helps me pick myself up after a bad period!
Laura in Revs Magazine
We always see you posting on Twitter about chocolate treats, tarts and also loads of healthy snacks, it is amazing to see a model with such a young, healthy and genuine approach to social media and food.
I think the thing is with healthy eating is that you need to eat your favourite foods to stay on track! I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth which I indulge quite a lot but in small amounts! Anyone who follows my social medias will know how much adore frozen yoghurts and so I eat them quite a lot, but I have learned how to balance it with healthy meals and plenty of water, green teas and long walks! If your eating healthy alot of the time, there is NO reason why you should be able to have a little of what you love. Deprivation is the number one recipe for failure in my opinion. Portions are key!
There is so much more to modelling than people think, Having a great body, The walk, the posing the personality and of course the Hair and Skin, Do you have a beauty regime or favourite beauty product to keep you skin glowing ?
I love natural products so everyday I slather my face in skin food by Weleda. Its thick and great for winter! I also love Irish pale skin, so I wear suncreen every day (yes even in winter!) Ive just bought a factor 30 to wear throughout winter. I wish more girls would embrace their milky complexion, a tan is lovely but being pale is too!
Would you focus more on Healthy eating or exercise, or do you like to combine them ?
I think its definitely more about healthy eating, but exercise is integral too. I find combining them has the best results, but sometimes when I don't have time to exercise I find I can still stay in shape by eating really healthy! If I eat lots of rubbish, I'm never at my best even if I do exercise.
It's hard to see pictures of models in the magazines and not judge yourself, whether you're 13 or 50. What should people remember when they see those photos?
Remember that the girls in magazines have completely different lifestyles to the normal magazine reader and that everyone has different genes, none more superior to the other. You have to find what works for you in terms of health and beauty, comparing yourself to other peoples standards will never work. Its like if I compared myself to Beyonce, I'd always be left feeling a bit rubbish! haha, but I don't because she has such a different background, lifestyle and body type to me. To be honest few normal models are photoshopped to look completely different than they do in real life as many assume, but models have different priorities and more time to work out and concentrate on that aspect of their life.
What was your most important life lesson or possibly a piece of advise passed onto you, that you could you share with us and our readers ?
Be happy, do what you love and be yourself. Theres nothing nicer than someone who's happy in their own skin!
How do relax when you are not working or busy travelling ? Do you do yoga, mediate or maybe just hang out with
friends and family.
Family and friends definitely come first when I'm not working! I rarely am home in Dublin now because of travel and work, so if I can escape home to see them I love to. Other than that I love to read and watch movies and draw. Try get some normality into my day!
Do you have a Fitspiration ( Celebrity Body inspiration ) ?
Karlie Kloss is someone who I think is fantastic, not that she is someone everyone should aspire to, but she has gone from someone who was quite skinny and very tall, to now having a really strong and toned body. She has made the most of what nature gave her and stayed true to her natural physique which I admire. Besides, I saw her working out in new york and her body is incredible! She has the longest legs known to man!
Laura's Fitspiration Model Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss is also a huge health advocate,
She has also appeared on Model Jordan Dunn's
Youtube cooking show, Baking one of her Recipes
Do you think Mental Health is just as important as Body health ?
In all honesty, I think its slightly more important. Mental health is crucial to our wellbeing and happiness, and its why it makes me so sad that people feel they cannot talk about it. I would hope no one would ever be ashamed to discuss and difficulties or insecurities they have because everyone has them at some stage of their lives (although to varying degrees) but there is ALWAYS someone to listen!
Laura enjoying a coconut water ice lolly
Make sure to Follow Laura on Both Twitter and Instagram, Follow her international adventures and also check out her health posts
Laura on Twitter : https://twitter.com/lauraogradyy
Laura on Instagram : http://instagram.com/lauraogrady94