Reduce stress in your life — take a moment to look at what elements of your life are leading to the most stress and set up an action plan to create the supportive environment you need to feel strong and secure within yourself.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kara Landau. Kara is a highly respected Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Author, and Founder of the prebiotic gut health brand — Uplift Food — Good Mood Food, based in New York City, USA. Mondelēz, the world’s largest snacking company (behind Wheat Thins and Oreos) recently invested a stake in her company. She’s a previous spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, and now the nutrition advisor and media representative for the Global Prebiotic Association, Kara confidently engages with the media globally and presents at industry and consumer conferences around the world. Specializing in the connection between diet, gut health and mood, and the vital role of prebiotic fibers and resistant starches; Kara is regularly requested to provide expert opinion on gut health in the USA & Australia. Digital and traditional media covered, include: Shape, Elle, Elite Daily, Bustle, Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, MSN, Yahoo, and more. Founding Uplift Food — Good Mood Food: The world’s first dietitian created functional food brand to focus exclusively on the mood supportive benefits of gut healthy prebiotic fibers and resistant starches. The first signature product, the Daily Uplifter, has been designed as a 100% natural plant based organic powder with nutrients at levels supported by science to have a positive effect on both gut health and mood. Kara’s mission it to continue to educate, inspire, and make eating a prebiotic rich diet easy and enjoyable to all those that she can encounter.
Thank you for joining us! Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
1.Eat more fiber and prebiotic-rich whole foods in order to nourish your gut and support your mental wellbeing.
2. Reduce stress in your life — take a moment to look at what elements of your life are leading to the most stress and set up an action plan to create the supportive environment you need to feel strong and secure within yourself.
3. Get outside in nature, move your body, and let your mind switch off from the constant stimulation.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
It would have to be within the last 12 months when I was accepted into a top food accelerator in NYC, leading to me connecting with the Mondelēz International SnackFutures team, to pitching an incubator to them, to ultimately securing the first ever investment from their company. The constant up-hill push to bring a dream to life, and the support that has been provided as I shared my vision, was astounding and heartwarming, all at the same time.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think believing that just because you have an incredible product that stands out in a crowded market, people will “understand” the benefits and feel a need to try it was a mistake I made. Being in an area of gut health that is cutting edge and having an education piece required in order to convert the masses to become consumers, I have learned that there is a true process involved that takes a monumental amount of time, energy, people, and funding.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
I am trying to help more people access the missing nutrient, prebiotics, from their diet. Prebiotics have the power to nourish the gut health and ultimately support mental wellbeing. My goal is to help people live their happiest lives, using the power of nutrition to get them to this place. Knowing that prebiotics are lacking in the food supply and that stress is at an all-time high, my goal is to educate and empower people to be able to access products that fill this gap in their diets.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mentor and dear friend, Rod Curnow, who is the CEO of the Click Foundation, a not for profit that helps raise awareness and educates the public on epilepsy, has been instrumental in pushing me to live my truth, keep pushing forward, and to surround myself with those that understand me. This man has lived multiple lives, producing films, setting up advertising agencies across the globe, lecturing at universities and much much more. Besides literally pulling together a production crew to film a pilot episode of a television program I had an idea for, all out of his own free will and back pocket, just to help me try to see a vision come to life — so too has he helped in the more personal ways — when I previously lived in Melbourne I recall us going on almost weekly coffee or brunch meetings where I would be presented with a blue folder filled with newspaper pull-outs and digital article prints that were relevant to my industry or information that could help motivate me as a female entrepreneur. This source of energy has never gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
It would be focused around providing a safe space for people to connect with others, isolation is a silent killer and feeling misunderstood, unheard, or alone, can all lead to stress and inflammation in the body, which negatively affects our health. I would want to encourage people to be vulnerable and feel safe enough to ask for help so that they can grow and become the best versions of themselves.
What are your “3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- You will be tested emotionally more than you know possible. The uncertainty and pressure that is constantly on your shoulders as the leader of an organization, which you have to both manage and defuse in order to present confidently and calmly, will test you emotionally, no matter how calm or secure you usually are in life.
- Your personal relationships will be tested. The deeper you get into running a company from the top level, the more it can hit home, and the dynamic of the relationships you possess will be tested. Understanding how this may affect those around you, and their responses to it can help you understand who has the capacity to support you versus who can not, and hopefully help save everyone a lot of strain as time goes on.
- Things will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect. From product development to sales — it is essential that you place reasonable targets and expectations on yourself so that you don’t feel you are constantly chasing your tail or falling behind.
Do you have a “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would it be? (Let another “woman in wellness” know that you respect her as a teacher and guide! )
I really love Rachael Devaux from @rachaelsgoodeats — She too is a registered dietitian and has created such a powerful positive brand where she both educates and introduces new products to her countless followers online, but also promotes an overall healthy message and set up a café too. I love that she isn’t afraid to share new and interesting ingredients and products with others, and also simultaneously shares the importance of moving and strengthening your body. Overall, she has a fabulous message to help women feel strong and nourished, and I would totally love to take her to brunch!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Definitely mental health — I feel our mental health impacts so many elements of our lives, and that when we are not calm and content in our thoughts we are unable to achieve what we are fully capable of. Knowing the negative physiological effects stress can have on our lives and the way it literally can lead to illness beyond that of the mind adds another layer as to why supporting our mental wellbeing should be at the top of our list of self-care activities.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for all of these great insights!