Kindhearted, painfully stunning, and chock-full of wellness know-how, Courtney Arndt is the real deal. It’s not often you run into someone who checks all the boxes.
I remember the first time I met Courtney in Hawaii. She was so stunning that it physically shocked me. You know that moment when you see someone so radiantly beautiful that it takes you a second to come back down to earth? That’s basically what happened. Now, what I didn’t expect was to, over time, find that her looks were just one of the many things that make Courtney beautiful.
Over the last ten years, Courtney has been modeling and traveling the world. She recently released her highly-anticipated cookbook Head Over Meals, a mindfully crafted way of eating. The recipes are meant to be an experience in the discovery of your perspective and relationship with food rather than restricting calorie intake or extra gym commitments.
Prepare yourself for your next girl crush, and new favorite meals. Keep scrolling for the interview.
Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a little about yourself.
CA: I’m originally from Hawaii, now living in LA. I’ve been traveling and living in different places for a while and have been working in the modeling industry for over ten years. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about self-love and acceptance. I started to write about things of interest; relationships, transformation, purpose, and paying more attention to things that excited my soul. One of them being cooking, I decided to launch an ebook of recipes because I’ve always been passionate about food and the direct effect it has on us.
How has your experience and relationship with food and body image evolved with a career that’s so heavily critical on appearance?
CA: Everything starts with the mind. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for a long time and battled with my relationship with food, which I would say is the ultimate act of self-love. Being mindful of what you are putting in your body and feeding yourself is essential to how you feel and think. I want to be a role model of a healthy lifestyle and a self-love advocate. With my career in the modeling industry, my heart would break to see young girls starve themselves and live in guilt or shame. Many young women have issues with dieting because of societal views and the media.
I know practicing mindfulness and living with intention is of paramount importance to you. What are some of the essential practices you’ve integrated into your life to support your lifestyle?
CA: Mediation has had such a positive effect on my life. It really supports me when setting an intention for the day and keeps me focused on the present. I do a lot of visualization for things I want to attract in my life; it works.
How do you approach wellness?
CA: It all starts with the Self. It’s your responsibility to take care of your body, mind, soul, and the environment around you. Self-love is a real cure for a lot of unhappiness and unhealthy habits we may have. I cannot stress it enough; you must love yourself fully to take on any passions in life and love. I’ve really let go of how people see me or what they think of me. I had to get over that to be mentally sound in this business. You’re constantly getting rejected, and you can’t let it get to you. I’m focused on how I feel, making myself a priority, and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
How has cooking inspired you, and how has it become a form of self-care for you?
CA: My mom loves to cook. She cooked all the time when I was growing up. I’ve been cooking ever since I was young and always came back to it as a hobby. I just loved the entire process. From picking out fresh ingredients at the shop, prepping and handling knives, the chemically balanced dance of flavors and aromas creating a final product. Food brings people together, and it has a way to heal. Cooking is a therapeutic and creative release for me.
What inspired your love for creating these balanced and sustainable recipes?
CA: I wanted to challenge myself by making very flavorful dishes while still following the guidelines of the slow carb diet. I’ve recently gone through a massive transformation, and I feel like I figured out some secret that I couldn’t wait to share. I was tired of feeling tired, mentally exhausted, and in all honesty, bloated. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t hitting my physical goals because I’ve always eaten very healthy. I’ve tried it all from juice cleanses, going vegan, not being vegan, to intermittent fasting, and this is the only thing that’s worked for me.
What’s your hope for people who participate in Mind over Meals?
CA: I’m hoping people will be more mindful of where their food comes from, what they are putting in their bodies, and how that can affect them in numerous ways. I’d love for readers to learn how to navigate wellness, and self-acceptance through these meals, and hopefully, gain some confidence.