Kathy Smart, and the importance of vegetables

I recently came across Kathy Smart on Twitter.

after a quick glimpse at her website, I knew I had to speak with her to learn more about her.

As detailed in her Twitter bio, smart is North America’s Gluten-Free Expert.

Smart is a TV host, chef, best-selling author and Owner of “Live The Smart Way” Expo.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Smart to learn more about how she got started in the business, and what her journey has been like.

Q: Kathy, how did you get started with this business? Did you always know that you wanted to be a chef and/or TV host?

kathy1A: At the age of twelve, I was diagnosed with Celiac. As a child, I made the connection that if you change what you eat, you can change your life.

This realization impacted me in such a huge way that it determined my career.

I decided early on that I wanted to become a nutritionist, chef and personal trainer so that I could help as many individuals as possible that suffer from food intolerance and/or allergy issues.

I grew up watching Julia Childs, and always wanted to have my own TV show. I still have cassette tapes (I’m really showing my age here) of me at six years of age pretending to be the host of a TV show.

Q: That is so endearing! I love old home videos. So, where did you start: TV or behind the blender? Can you explain a bit about how you got to be doing everything you are? It sounds like you must be so busy!

A: [chuckle] I first started at four years of age. My mom taught me the style of French Canadian cooking. The way that I got on to TV was almost a total fluke.

kathy6I did a charity calendar cookbook back in 2008 for the City of Ottawa to raise money for the food bank.

CTV and Rogers TV heard about it, and I was asked to go on TV. I kind of “fell in to TV,” as it felt very natural for me.

I feel very comfortable in front of a camera, and my behavior and demeanor doesn’t change when I’m in front or behind it…I’m just myself, and the camera seemed to like it!

Q: That’s great! What is your favorite thing that you do: is it cooking, writing recipes, being on air, running the Expo?

A: My favorite thing to do hands down is writing recipes.

I love putting on classical music, yoga pants and literally creating art with food in the kitchen. It is therapy for me.

Q: I totally agree. Cooking is therapeutic for me as well. What was the first year you did the Expo? How has it changed over the years and what are you most looking forward to seeing at next year’s event?

kathy4

double fudge brownies

A: The first year of the expo was 2015. Many people think it has been going on longer due to the tremendous success that it has had.

In regards to next year, I am most looking forward to seeing the individuals that own incredible businesses again. They felt like fast-friends when we met at the expo, and I can’t wait to reconnect next year!

Q: When did you publish your first book? How was it received in the market?

A: I published my first cookbook in 2008. It sold out in one month. The next cookbook that I published was in 2010, and I remortgaged our house to do it, as I self-published first.

kathy2

Smart meets with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and talks to him at 24 Sussex after receiving the Leading Women’s Award for bringing gluten-free awareness across Canada

At the time, I had recently found out that my husband and I were unable to have children, so I decided to give life through a different means on this earth – through the creation of delicious recipes!

Q: Wow, that is so touching. Thank you for sharing that with me. So, what happened after that? 

A: In 2010, I did the first “Live The Smart Way” cookbook and filmed the TV show at the same time with Rogers TV.

The book has sold over 25,000 copies since, and has been the passport for me to travel and teach all over the world, from Bali to Italy, to Aruba and even getting to be on the Dr. Oz Show!

protein pancakes

protein pancakes

Q: Wow. That’s incredible. So, I have to ask – what is your favorite recipe in your cookbook? 

A: Protein Pancakes! I love pancakes.

Q: You are obviously very passionate about living a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. What is the best piece of advice that you could give people struggling with work-life balance or struggling to adopt a healthy diet?

A: Eat vegetables like it’s your job.

Start with that; it’s a simple and sure-fire way to get you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

Q: Do you have a favorite brand when it comes to gluten-free products? 

kathy5A: I have many favorite brands, so it is hard to choose! If I had to pick one, I would say my favorite is my own personal brand.

I have a line of gluten-free cereals and flours that are low glycemic, high protein and healthy!

To learn more about Kathy, I encourage you to connect with her on Twitter!

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