When a young woman embraces herself in both mind and body the possibilities of her success are endless. Laura Henshaw, the co-creator of the trendy new protein powder Four Protein, shares her incredible journey to total self-confidence. Henshaw is big on healthy living and natural energy foods but positive energy from others and hit songs from music icons like Beyoncé and Rihanna are also a part of her healthy lifestyle. “Seeing how hard other people work for their goals and dreams is a huge driver for me.” The 23-year-old model and fitness guru is at the brink of her entrepreneurial game and her grit for sharing what she knows and loves with others is just our luck.
YHM: How did you come up with the idea to not only start her own company but break into the health and food industry?
Laura Henshaw: I was so sick of all the protein powders available on the market that were either bland or grainy but healthy or delicious but full of artificial junk. I wanted to create something that tasted good without all the nastiness. I feel if you are really passionate about something no matter your age, you can make it come to life if you work hard enough.
YHM: What were your methods and development for creating Four Protein?
LH: The process was definitely ridiculously long and I failed so many times before I was happy with the product. I’m a perfectionist and I did not want to put it out there until I loved it 100% myself. I think there was a fourteen day period where something went wrong every single day and I remember at that time thinking I was in way over my head but I pushed through and I’m glad I did. I have learned so much about myself and so much about failure. You cannot succeed without failure.
YHM: Speaking of success, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, like managing your blog FoodFitandRepeat.com and school. How did a law student end up transitioning into blogging and modeling?
LH: I was actually at an engagement party when my first agent approached me to come in and meet with her. I was 19-years-old at the time and was studying full-time. I remember being nervous when I went to my first meeting. I never really thought I could be a model, but it ended up going really well!
I then modeled overseas in Milan for 3 months and decided to start my blog with my spare time as I had deferred university and needed something else to channel my energy into. I am so passionate about health and fitness and it is really awesome to be able to share this. I feel lucky to be able to model, but I think it is important to have other things to focus on at the same time to deflect from some of the negative pressures in the industry.
YHM: Tell us more about what it was like starting your blog.
LH: FoodFitandRepeat.com was inspired by my love and passion for leading a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to share with everyone how easy it is to be healthy and how delicious healthy food can actually be. I feel so many people are scared of eating healthy because it would be boring or tasteless when this is not the case at all! All of my recipes are traditional favorites you would have at home, but just a healthier alternative and they focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it.
YHM: What has blogging taught you about yourself and others?
LH: Blogging has taught me how much I love sharing my passion for health and wellness and helping others. I am very humbled by how many people follow my blog and I think it is important I’m as real as possible with them and honest about my thoughts and feelings. I try to make sure I send a message that promotes being healthy for yourself on the inside and your overall health instead of eating healthy for sole physical purposes.
YHM: As a model, how do you deal with the pressure to keep up with industry standards and stay body-positive?
LH: This is one of the hardest things for me with modeling. I went through a stage where I was so self-conscious and questioned myself all the time. One day I came to realize that if I kept comparing myself to others and focusing on the negatives about my body, I would never be confident in my skin. It isn’t always easy, but now I’m really happy with who I am and my body.
I know if I’m eating nourishing foods, exercising, and have energy that I do not need to worry about anything else. Instead of focusing on parts of my body I may not like I focus on what I love about it. There is no such thing as perfection because no matter how thin you get, you will still find something you want to change. Being confident is the most incredible trait a woman can have.
YHM: Do you have any mind and/or body goals for this year?
LH: I can honestly say that I have finally come to a point in my life where I am so confident and happy with who I am. My main goal this year is to try to help other women come to this realization as well and help them to love their body and to be confident in their own skin.
YHM: Who are your fitness icons?
LH: Serena Williams is my biggest fitness icon. She is absolutely incredible and such an inspiration for women in sports.
YHM: What are your current go-to healthy snacks?
LH: My favorite healthy snacks are Greek yogurt and berries, a handful of nuts, or my healthy Four Protein amazeballs. The recipe for my protein balls is in Steph Claire Smith’s Keep it Clean eBook [which I also co-produced.]
YHM: People often skip breakfast, even though it’s noted as the most important meal of the day over and over. Do you have any tips you can share on breaking this bad habit?
LH: I don’t know how I would get through the day without breakfast! I think one of the main reasons people skip breakfast is because they don’t think they have time in the morning. A lot of my recipes are able to be prepared the night before and all you have to do is grab it from the fridge. You can eat it on the go or at your desk when you get to work. It is all about preparation and dedicating time to your health.
YHM: What’s next for you?
LH: I have some really big plans for Four Protein and I’m really driven to make my dream for the brand a reality. There are lots of things in the works and I am so excited to share it with everyone!
By Yegide Matthews | Feature Photo: Ed Purnomo, Kitchen Photo: Nick Walters