Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith are the hugely successful modelling duo behind health and wellness lifestyle program Keep it Cleaner. I caught up with the girls over breakfast at Darling Cafe to chat about the new look program, and find out their favourite places for brekkie in Melbourne. Introducing Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith x

Congratulations on the impending launch of the new look Keep it Cleaner ladies! Could you please give us a rundown of what the program is all about, and what fans can expect from the new version?

L: Thank you! We are so excited to finally release it after what feels like 100 years of secret work (we wanted to make sure it was perfect for launch).

You can expect the same values and beliefs from our old website, but so much bigger and better. We are so proud to have created a space for young women to be inspired by from our entrepreneurial section, improve their confidence with our tips on self-love and become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves with our daily workouts and meal plan. We wanted to create a space with everything a young woman needs to be the best version of themselves.

S: Thank you! We’re honestly so excited. We believe there can never be enough resourses for living a healthy lifestyle. So, we expanded our old website so we could share even more information, inspiration and advice.

We’ve targeted it towards young girls, but it’s a program anyone can benefit from. We’re under no specific category other than ‘learn to love yourself’ and ‘eat cleaner and be active’. We have no short cuts or quick fixes because ours is not a weight loss program; it’s a program to live by to help you become healthier and happier.

Steph Claire Smith Laura Henshaw

Laura and Steph

We’d love an insight as to how it all works behind the scenes – do you both work on different areas of the site or do you work on it all together? What inspires the program’s content?

L: We work together on all of the sections. Steph and I have the same goals for Keep it Cleaner and both believe and trust each other in our business. We both put together the recipes, the workouts and all of the extra content. The only thing we did separately was the filming of some of the workouts (we had to take breaks to get through them all – they are killers!) The content is inspired by what we would want to see online and being the best possible influence for young women as we can be.

S: We pretty much work on all of it together – we like to make sure we’re both across everything so it reflects all of our values and ideas. We’re lucky we agree on most things, and certainly have the same ambitions for the brand.

What would you say has led you to prioritise your health and fitness? Have you always had an interest in leading a healthy lifestyle, or is this something that has developed over time?

L: I have grown up in a healthy family, however I really started prioritising my fitness when I started running my own business, modelling and going to uni.  I realised that unless I looked after my health, I wouldn’t have enough energy to get through all of my work. I eat healthy and exercise for how it makes me feel – full of energy, confident and strong.

S: I’ve always been active, but haven’t always loved healthy foods. I was one of the lucky kids who had an incredibly fast metabolism and could get away with eating anything until I was about 18. So, I suppose my metabolism changing, but also entering the modelling world inspired my healthy diet. Through eating a well-balanced diet with no sugar, I found I had more energy, my mood was better and my skin was clearer.

What motivates you? Do you have any life hacks when it comes to finding motivation on the days when it feels like a bit of a struggle?

L: My biggest life hack is to not think about it and not to expect to be motivated every time you work out. If I only worked out when I was motivated, I would only workout out 10% of the time. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes of working out to get your motivation back – but remember it will come to you! (Just maybe not when your alarm goes off at 6am.)

S: I remind myself that you will never regret a workout, you will only regret the ones you didn’t do ­– that tends to get me off the couch. I think when I have too many days or even weeks off healthy living I get agitated because I’m not doing right by my body. I notice I get lethargic and moody, so I use that as motivation to get back into it.

What advice would you give to young women (or men) who are struggling to meet their health goals?

L: Change your mindset when it comes to your health. Sometimes, we get into negative mindsets about exercise and eating healthy and are motivated by physical reasons only. This can lead to fad dieting and yo yo’ing with your weight. Start exercising and eating healthy for how it will make you feel, implement balance into your life and don’t deprive yourself of anything. Having this mindset will make it easier for a healthy lifestyle to become something you have forever and not just for the period of an “8-week challenge”.

S: Just keep at it. It’s a long process, but every little step you’re taking is a step closer. Unless you’re following the wrong routine. It’s very important to remember you can only aim to be the best version of yourself, so find your best routine that works for you. Don’t try and look like someone else by copying what they eat, or how they exercise because they are genetically different to you.

 It looks like you’ve got some exciting collabs in the works with Boost, and Keep it Cleaner Grocery – can you give us any hints as to what we can expect from these partnerships?

L: We can’t give away too much but we can say that we are making being healthy more accessible for everyone in a few amazing ways. We cannot wait to share it all.

S: We’re just trying to make healthy living/eating even more accessible to everyone. We know some people use the excuse that it’s too hard, so we want to show them that it can be easy.

Food is obviously a big part of the program and leading a healthy lifestyle in general, what are your top three spots for a healthy breakfast in Melbourne?

L: Hmmm… I would have to say PentaLegacy and Left Field.

S: Melbourne is great because it’s very rare that you can head into a cafe and not find a healthy option. My favourites (at the moment) are Short Straw,Left Field and Little Big Sugar Salt!

And your favourite spots for dinner?

L: Feast of Merit for a nice dinner, and Tommy Ruff for a more casual healthy and delicious meal.

S: I LOVE Japanese. My favourite restaurant would have to be Ichi Ni Nana! I do love Tommy Ruffs fish bar, too.

Last but not least, best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

L: Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.  I really believe in this quote. You can do anything you believe in if you work hard enough for it.

S: Only aim to be the best version of YOU – not somebody else; otherwise you will continue to be disappointed. You must learn to love yourself.

Sign up to the Keep it Cleaner program at www.kicgirls.comfollow Keep it Cleaner on Instagram at @keepitcleaner, and keep up with girls on the gram at@stephclairesmith and @laura.henshaw

Interview by @lizlyons_

Steph Claire Smith Laura Henshaw

Steph and Laura