Five camera lenses—three video, two photo—are trained on Kourtney Kardashian, to say nothing of the paparazzi snapping away from the bushes. But you wouldn’t know it from looking at her: She sits on the floor in an airy oceanfront hotel room in Montauk, N.Y., calm and not the least bit self-conscious. As film rolls and producers strategize to capture her every move, Kardashian kibitzes with her hairstylist and makeup artist as if they’re all merely enjoying a casual day off at the beach. Of course, this scenario isn’t out of the ordinary for the 35-year-old reality star, who has done nine seasons of E!’s hit show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, plus several spin-offs, like this summer’s Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons. In fact, she rarely gets much of a break between shooting and the sisters’ business ventures, including their Dash boutiques and clothing lines for women and children.
Having so many plates spinning can take a toll on Kardashian and her own growing family—her partner, Scott Disick, their two kids (Mason, 4, and Penelope, 2) and a third on the way—but it’s also exactly what inspired her to make changes to protect her household’s health a few years ago. Along the way, Kourtney has developed passions that all those cameras have largely overlooked: organic food, Ayurvedic cooking and the paraben- and phthalate-free Kardashian Beauty line, which has, she says, “a longer list of no-no ingredients than Whole Foods.” Getting the rest of her famous relatives on board with her clean-living efforts has been challenging. “I pick apart everyone’s pantries,” she says. “They think I’m super-annoying.” We, however, were more than happy to hear about her wholesome pursuits. Now she reveals her favorite natural kitchen tricks, the gentle products that maintain that Kardashian glow and the spiritual tradition that keeps her steady.
Watch the behind-the-scenes video of Kourtney at the Natural Health cover shoot!
NATURAL HEALTH: Healthy living is not exactly what you’re most famous for. When did you get so interested in it?
KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN: I was not raised this way—people just weren’t as aware of healthy eating as they are today. When I got home from school, my snack was a bag of chips or cookies, and as an adult, I didn’t even know what organic meant—I’d just go to the market and buy the same things my mom bought. I didn’t really have any thoughts about it before I had my kids. Starting off, I was big on breastfeeding; I nursed my first for 14 months and my second for 16. That was important to me. Then I began making their baby food myself, all of it organic. After that, I was super cautious about what to introduce into their diets. I called a bunch of the restaurants in my neighborhood that I had assumed served all-organic food, and so many didn’t!
NH: Have you maintained these standards as your kids grow?
KK: We definitely make exceptions, like if we’re at Disneyland. But we eat organic when we can, and I try to keep healthy food and snacks at home, where I have the most rules and restrictions. I saw my mom making meals for my kids, and I said, “This is the cheese you use? This is the butter?” But I guess that’s just part of going to Grandma’s house.
NH: How did you learn about what to eat?
KK: I got really into Ayurveda and did the Panchakarma cleanse [a detoxification treatment involving massage, herbal therapy and other procedures]. Through that, I met my yoga teacher, who taught me her way of preparing food. We would do yoga for an hour and then she’d stay for another hour and cook with me. That’s where I got all of my rules. In our house, we do everything whole: whole milk and full-fat cheeses. And I use ghee and coconut oil for cooking. I turn to my Ayurvedic friends for health advice when it comes to my kids, too. If Mason or Penelope has a rash, I’ll look into natural treatments first. But they have their pediatrician, and I’m not afraid to give them medicine if it gets to that point.
NH: Interesting. Have you changed your diet now that you’re pregnant again?
KK: I try to eat pretty healthy, but I think it’s fun and important to listen to your cravings. I develop a thing for Nilla Wafer cookies every time. I have no idea why! I’ve also been into cheese and pickle sandwiches. Everyone thinks I’m gross when I order them.
NH: Ha! Are you still doing yoga?
KK: I did yoga during my last pregnancy. I was anxious, and it just helped me feel calm. There are lots of good yoga studios out here in the Hamptons, so I might start again. (Read 5 Healthy-Living Secrets from Kourtney's yoga teacher, Leila Johnson.)
Read the full interview in the September/October 2014 issue of Natural Health, on newsstands now!