Whipping Up a Plant-Based Empire & Advice for Introvert Entrepreneurs
Whipping Up a Plant-Based Empire & Advice for Introvert Entrepreneurs

“I think there is so much value in showing up as a food founder and sharing your vision and mission and energy with the world. The challenge now is showing up vulnerably. Forward facing and not hiding behind the product.”

- Lauren Montgomery

This week, Elizabeth welcomes Lauren Montgomery, founder and CEO of Monty's, maker of plant-based dairy essentials including cultured cashew cream cheese and butter. Lauren shares her inspiring journey from the fast-paced corporate fashion world to becoming a health-supportive chef with a passion for whole plant-based foods and fermentation. She discusses how her own quest for wellness led her to culinary school and ultimately to founding Monty's with a mission to spread health and create a community of conscious consumers who love delicious, clean-ingredient foods. Throughout the episode, Lauren offers valuable insights on scaling a business, stepping out of your comfort zone, and embracing a growth mindset. She also emphasizes the importance of overcoming fear, utilizing coaches for personal and professional development, and making self-care a non-negotiable part of daily life.

Hungry to try Monty’s? We don’t blame you! Use Code LivePurely25 for 25% off LiveMonty’s.com


    Elizabeth Stein  0:00 

    Hi, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Stein, founder,
    and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. And this is Live Purely with Elizabeth, featuring
    candid conversations about how to thrive on your wellness journey.

    This week's guest is Lauren Montgomery
    founder and CEO of Monty's, a maker of plant-based dairy essentials, including
    cultured cashew cream, cheese, and butter. Lauren is a health-supportive chef
    with an affinity for whole plant-based foods and fermentation. Her mission is
    to spread health and higher awareness and create a community of conscious
    consumers through the foods we eat every day. In this episode, Lauren shares
    her journey to discovering her passion for nutrition, wellness, and healthy
    cooking after her corporate job in fashion left her feeling unfulfilled. She
    later went on to get her health coaching certification and attended culinary
    school at the Natural Gourmet Institute. We talked about the challenges and
    learnings of scaling a business advice for stepping out of your comfort zone, a
    growth mindset the importance of utilizing a coach for personal and business
    objectives, and the need for self-care as a non-negotiable aspect of her daily
    life. Keep listening to learn all about Lauren and to try her products use code
    LIVEPURELY25 or 25% off at livemontys.com. I highly recommend all of her
    products. But right now I am obsessed with her cake jars. And she's
    collaborating with two of my faves, Chef Bay and Need Love bakery*1:33. Enjoy.

    Lauren, welcome to the podcast. It's so
    much fun to have you on today. I'm such a huge fan of the brand that you've


    Lauren Montgomery  1:46 

    Thank you so much for having me, Elizabeth.
    I'm a huge fan of yours. I'm so honored to be here. Truly, this feels like a
    full-circle moment. You've been such an amazing role model and expander for me,
    and I am just so grateful to be here.


    Elizabeth Stein  2:03 

    And I was trying to think this morning of
    when we first met. Do you remember?


    Lauren Montgomery  2:08 

    Yeah. So it's wild. I was working in
    fashion. Maybe 13 or 14 years ago. When did you start Purely Elizabeth? 15.
    Yeah, so right when you started the small event on the Lower East Side I was
    working interning for the marketing director Alexander Wang at the time. She
    had just become a nutritionist through IIN so I was dipping my toe and wellness
    working for her we met you at this tasting on the Lower East Side and I was so
    inspired, it really seared in my mind. I've kind of planted the seed maybe I
    want to start my own food business. So cool seeing how where have progressed
    and come to now.


    Elizabeth Stein  2:52 

    Oh, that's so cool. Well then take us back
    to the beginning because you certainly haven't always been in food fashion was
    certainly where you started. And I suppose you thought you were heading in your
    trajectory. So what were you doing right out of school? And how did you end up
    eventually starting Monty’s?


    Lauren Montgomery  3:08 

    Yeah, so I didn't know what I wanted to do
    for so long. I felt I feel like a part of me was lost trying to find my thing.
    And I took some extra time went to business school, ended up working in fashion
    for a while I worked at Barneys and fashion buying and then for Balenciaga.


    Elizabeth Stein  3:26 

    Oh, good old Barney's.


    Lauren Montgomery  3:30 

    So long ago, um, but great experiences for
    me understanding how to run a business, I've always had so many passions, I
    love art and fashion and a lot of what I learned has extended to what I'm doing
    right now. But I would say there was a part of me that still felt like it
    wasn't my thing. It wasn't the thing that I felt was sustainable for my life
    and I was gonna keep pursuing and was my end all be all. And I've always really
    been interested in nutrition and wellness and it's something I have practiced in
    my personal life since high school. I've always been this hypersensitive person
    for better or worse I really learned early on the inputs that I can put in my
    body and how they affect me. And that's always been a through line throughout
    my life in nutrition and my excitement for that and making my own healthy food.
    And so kind of fast forward working in fashion and this like fast-paced
    corporate lifestyle, which was rather unhealthy honestly, for mentally
    physically, a lot of things. I really just felt called to, like I said, kind of
    dip my toe in the wellness world. I started interning for this woman and
    Alexandria Wing on the side and then I ended up getting my health coaching
    certification through IIN. That really like opened me up to realizing that I
    could align my personal and professional values and that work can look any
    particular way. I think I was very stuck and had blinders on and like, you work
    hard, and you climb up the corporate ladder and it really opened me up. That's
    what really made me believe anything was possible. I started meditating during
    that time, that's become a huge part of my life and opened everything up.


    Elizabeth Stein  5:28 

    Did you think you were gonna do health
    coaching? Or what did you think of that program?


    Lauren Montgomery  5:32 

    I wasn't sure. Honestly, I was still
    putting the pieces together. I did coach a couple of women and learned that all
    of us are facing digestive issues. And a lot of us are looking for dairy-free
    alternatives that actually were like the common thread. And I feel like I
    always wanted to create a tangible thing. I didn't know what that was. And I
    didn't want to force it because really, this was born out of a passion of mine.
    And so I just kind of followed my curiosities, got feedback from people, and
    really just yet tuned in to what ultimately I wanted. That's what I was seeking
    was like, what would make me happiest? What would make me the most present?
    What would be that thing that I would get lost in? I feel like my sister has
    always really inspired me. She's an architect. And she like, nerds out on every
    building. When we walk somewhere, it's like, the history of every building. And
    I'm like, I want to find that thing that I am. So all consumed in. I feel like
    once I decided to go to culinary school, I went to Natural Gourmet Institute,
    which is a supportive culinary school, and focused on applying nutrition
    learning the technical skills of healthy cooking working with my hands, and
    being present in the kitchen and really creating like vehicles for nutrition,
    which is actually very uncommon culinary schools that are focused on health-supportive
    cooking, which is my second week of culinary school, I was like, this is my
    thing. We're like, meat making dairy-free cheeses. And the food science classes
    are what interested me the most. And I was like, This is my thing. This is my
    spiritual assignment. This is my calling. I'm going to start a nut-cheese
    business. And at the time, I was like, I didn't really believe it. It was kind
    of like, like a crazy idea. Is it possible? Can I do it? Am I capable of
    starting my own business? Do people even want this thing? And I guess further
    to that, I had been dairy-free for as long as I can remember at least 15 years.
    I don't subscribe to labels, but I am mostly dairy-free. I just feel better
    eating that way. And so do a lot of people I find. So that's kind of really
    where it started. I right after culinary school. I was like, stuck on this
    idea, experimenting, having all my girlfriends come over for cheese tastings
    all the time. I worked at a vegan restaurant, right after culinary school making
    all the nut cheeses for them. Did my externship at Blue Hill where nobody…


    Elizabeth Stein  8:15 

    It's just amazing.


    Lauren Montgomery  8:17 

    And really like, the most amazing
    experience that has taught me so much about working in the kitchen and the
    technical skills and the precision and execution of what I'm doing now. So I
    kind of like putting these two things together. And I feel like at that point,
    I felt that crossover of, okay, I have the skills and a clear vision of what I
    want to create. I want to elevate plant-based cheese in a way that it hasn't
    been done before. I've amalgamated all of these experiences. And just like I'm
    overcome with sharing my passion for this thing that I created ultimately, for
    myself, a clean ingredient, cashew cream cheese. And it was born out of a
    personal need and a passion and just my presence of you know how I feel making
    this thing. And I'm still shocked every day. I'm like, people love it and into
    more and more stores and I'm like, oh my god, it's just like I love it. And
    that is really the best feeling. Totally


    Elizabeth Stein  9:24 

    Totally. I feel like it never gets old.
    It's still like wait, you eat my product.


    Lauren Montgomery  9:31 

    Yeah, it's just amazing how I think in that
    regard. I've never been driven obviously by money or anything like that. I
    think the way that I want to expand and my goals for getting my products into
    more places really come from this desire to touch more people and connect with
    more people. And I think that's really what motivates me every time somebody
    comes up to me, and it's like I have your product and I love it. And I feel
    like, it's amazing just to be able to make an even bigger impact than I have
    ever dreamed in that way.


    Elizabeth Stein  10:09 

    I feel the same way. And I was going to IIN
    and starting to work with clients. And it's like, okay, you can have 10
    clients, and this was impactful, and you were helping to change their life. But
    then to be able to have a product where you're doing that at such a greater
    scale is just so amazing. So you have this idea of coming out of culinary
    school. And obviously, it seems like a pretty big challenge to start a plant-based
    cheese, butter, all the things. Like what did you do? What were those steps?
    Because I think so many people get lost in the idea of this huge lofty goal.
    And it's really all about taking small incremental steps. So what did you think
    about it? And what did that look like?


    Lauren Montgomery  10:57 

    I feel like that's the most asked question.
    I feel like the first step was just going for it, like doing things before
    you're ready, I attribute a lot of getting out of my own way getting out of
    that fear through a lot of coaching and inner work. And I was working with a
    coach at that time. And I really attribute that experience a lot to helping me
    just start I think that the hardest part is thinking we need to know so much
    more than we actually do. We learned so much throughout the process of just
    doing and experiencing. And there you can never know, I'm sure you too, you're
    just learning every day, something you haven't experienced. And so really,
    yeah, just getting out of your own way, starting, it doesn't have to be perfect
    before you start it can be a work in progress. So many things have changed
    since I started. And I feel really proud of just starting my products, and
    everything looks so different than five years ago. But I really just made one
    step at a time, I shared my products with people, I started going to markets
    and getting feedback and doing demos and just showing up and talking to buyers.
    And it was helpful having the technical skills to make it. In the beginning, I
    was making it myself and just kind of like making it and selling it and going
    to grocery stores and doing that whole thing. Getting feedback, and tweaking
    the product. And so it was still very much a work in progress when I started
    and it still is. I'm like constantly perfecting. But yeah, if I hadn't worked
    to get over that fear hump and perfectionism before, then I probably wouldn't
    have started because I'm still perfecting. So I would say, yeah, just start
    definitely ask for advice and look to others who know more about you than
    certain things, but also trust yourself and follow. Just follow every little
    step, make a step towards your goal every single day, and show up perfectly.


    Elizabeth Stein  13:17 

    I love that. What were some of the things
    for you that you were working on with this coach? And what were some of maybe
    the exercises? Or was there anything specific that really helped you to kind of
    get over that fear mindset, and really into that growth mindset?


    Lauren Montgomery  13:35 

    I feel like the biggest thing is you have
    everything within you. And I think coaching is essential. I feel like the
    biggest thing is someone reflecting back to you what you already have. That can
    be any type of coaching or therapy, whatever works for you. I feel like I
    really thrive off of external accountability and having somebody reflect back
    to me, my BS. It's kind of very simple at the core. I think just like, every
    week, we would set goals of like, what I wanted to achieve that week, what
    stores I wanted to get into kind of reframing. I still wanted to play it small.
    And I was like, oh, I can't do that. And just like helping to reframe, oh,
    actually, everything is possible. Maybe just think about it in a different way.
    And it just really kind of gave me that confidence to get over that fear hump
    and just step into this version of myself and really just go for it. I think
    that anything is possible, right? So I think we're just, we're just constantly
    getting in our own way about things and we need other people and connection and
    coaching to help us realize that we have everything we need inside of us. And
    we're so much more powerful than we can ever imagine.


    Elizabeth Stein  15:11 

    I think for me going to IIN was such an
    amazing experience. While I didn't have a coach like that felt like coaching to
    me and really giving me the confidence of like, anything is possible, you can
    go after anything you want in life, like this is your one life to do it. And
    you have full responsibility to make the life of your dreams. And so whether
    it's a coach, or just a supportive friend, or somebody, a spouse, anything, I
    think that's such a crucial part of the journey to get you the confidence to do
    something that is blocking that fear.


    Lauren Montgomery  15:50 



    Elizabeth Stein  15:52 

    So another thing you mentioned as part of IIN,
    and this journey, it sounds like was meditation, and how has that played a role
    for you? And what does your practice look like today?


    Lauren Montgomery  16:04 

    Yeah, it's changed a lot. I started
    meditating seven or eight years ago when I did IIN. And it started with guided
    meditations. And really, I feel like I've experimented with a lot of different
    types. Breathwork and I really got into Transcendental Meditation several years
    ago. And then only this past year, I started going to this meditation center in
    Venice which focuses more on present time awareness. I feel like I've kind of
    gone through this progression, if you will, everyone has their own journey. And
    I don't recommend any particular type of meditation, it really is like, trying
    things, figuring out what works for you. But I guess what I found in doing more
    of just this present moment, being with what is a type of meditation and not
    necessarily TM, which is more concentration, meditation focused, and you're
    using a mantra to kind of get to a different level of consciousness, if you
    will, almost like this kind of flow state and non-thinking, which I think a lot
    of people have kind of some misconceptions around what meditation is. And I
    feel like it really is just being with what is and accepting how you're feeling,
    accepting what's going on noticing everything that's going on around you. And I
    feel that's when I've made the most like, “progress”, I want to say, like, I
    hate using that term, but just feeling like I'm suffering less. I think like,
    this meditation coach that I work with now talks about, you don't really notice
    the day to day, every day, I meditate for 20 minutes I'm I sit and be present
    and notice and accept and do all the things and I don't notice everyday kind of
    the progress that I'm making, but you look back five years and you're like, wow,
    I'm suffering less. There's still a lot of shit going on yesterday production
    went wrong, all these things, life is gonna happen, no matter what, nothing is
    going to change around you. Only you can change yourself how you react and how
    you show up. And so it is cool to see the perfect example or practice that
    extends to everything in your life. If you are consistent and show up for
    yourself every day, you'll notice. Eventually, you'll see the benefits from it.
    So I think that's the biggest thing. It really extends to everything that I do.
    And so I stick to it.


    Elizabeth Stein  18:50 

    Yeah, I love that. So do you do it in the
    morning? Give us your daily routine.


    Lauren Montgomery  18:56 

    I feel like my morning ritual is the most
    important to me. I am definitely an early riser. I love waking up at 4:30 am - 5
    am. I definitely inherited that from my dad and just being in the stillness of
    the morning before everyone wakes up and making my perfect maple-sweetened
    coconut cream latte. And spend an hour just sitting, meditating, doing my
    morning routine, and really just being mindful and caring, having that like an hour
    in the morning that extends to everything I do throughout the day. So I find that
    to be kind of the most important time is just like setting up my day for
    success, setting up me, framing my mind, and showing up with the energy that I
    want for the day. Every day looks different. So having that consistency no
    matter where I am has been critical. And I really find that because of that
    practice, I feel like I am able to handle kind of everything that I'm thrown
    at, throughout the day, which is ever-changing, as you know as an entrepreneur,
    I'm in meetings, I work mostly remotely. But when I'm in production, that's
    obviously a whole different schedule. So every day is different. Especially
    now, as we grow, we get into more stores, there's more travel, and I'm kind of
    all over the place. But I feel like my meditation practice really helps me to
    stay grounded and keep a level of consistency throughout my day, every day. So
    I find that time to be the most important.


    Elizabeth Stein  20:48 

    Yeah, I could not agree with that more. We're
    totally on the same page. I have a get up at five. And it's like that quiet
    time is so nice. And you can travel all over. But at least you have that time.
    So as we were saying, before we even got started. We both have a crazy travel
    schedule if you're going back and forth from New York to California. How do you
    stay healthy and in your routine? Any great tips around that?


    Lauren Montgomery  21:14 

    Yeah, I want to know yours too. But I would
    say like, as free-flowing as I am and kind of all over the place, I really
    stick to my tried and true things. I am such a creature of habit. And I would
    say that extends to everything that I do. I think it looks like maybe to other
    people that I'm traveling and doing all these different things. But I really am
    very adamant about my meditation routine, my self-care practices, what I eat,
    no matter where I go, I'm like, not the type of person that goes and travels and
    is like, oh, I'm gonna go out to dinner and splurge. I am so grounded in my
    health practices, and I feel so good. And I carry that with me wherever I go.
    So I feel like no matter where I am, I'll have my morning routine and
    meditation practice. And what else do you do in this morning routine? I ended
    up I definitely meditation is the focus of it. But I would say I read, I just
    kind of prime myself for the day, a lot of it really is just being and doing
    nothing, which I think is the most productive. I feel like I end up starting my
    day pretty early, like front-loading any work that I have to do. But yeah, kind
    of going back to travel and the way that I eat, I feel like I always eat what I
    would consider immaculately no matter where I am. And I feel like I have all my
    favorite spots that I go to, I'll bring ingredients or food with me. If I feel
    like there's gonna be no clean alternatives. And I also don't drink. I feel
    like that is a huge part of my life. And how good I feel. So yeah, I think
    those are probably the main things I do work out every day. I feel like
    movement is super important to me. I feel like I should have probably said that
    first. That's the cipher meditation movement every day. Lately, I've been doing
    mostly hit workouts and also super into running. I kind of just go with what
    feels right. I kind of go through different phases. But yeah, movement
    meditation, eating clean all the time. There are never off days.


    Elizabeth Stein  23:46 

    Well, I think once you start doing that,
    you feel so good. It's like, well, you don't want to deviate from it. Because
    you know how good it feels to be doing it.


    Lauren Montgomery  23:54 

    What are some of yours?


    Elizabeth Stein  23:57 

    Definitely, my morning routine is like a non-negotiable,
    including working out no matter where I am. And even if that's like walking for
    15 minutes, just at least do something. It's a total nonnegotiable for me, and
    then trying to eat as healthy as possible. And packing all the snacks. I mean,
    right now I'm totally into trying to get more protein in. So I just started to
    eat like chomps meat sticks, which is something I never would have thought I
    would ever do. But a good way to get protein and some bone broth. I've been
    taking that with me traveling as well. Packets of bone broth.


    Lauren Montgomery  24:36 

    Yeah. And I'm definitely focused on protein
    too. I know it's like trending, but I really do see a difference. I feel like
    really over the past six months, I've probably doubled my protein intake. Yeah,
    and I'm not purely plant-based, but I guess I'm leaning that way. And I feel
    like I never really in the past made a concerted effort to hit certain protein
    goals. And so I don't I don't want it to necessarily be like the focus. But I
    do notice a difference when I get I've been like doubling my protein, right protein
    intake over the past six months, and I feel so much better and stronger and
    able to maintain muscle. And it really is the magic.


    Lauren Montgomery  25:22 

    And keeping it longer, I think is another
    one too, for sure. So let's get into product because we kind of skipped over
    that. And for people who don't know your product, let's talk a little bit.
    First of all, I want to hear how I mean certainly you went to culinary school,
    you learned the intricacies, but it's like really hard to make delicious, plant-based
    anything. So how did you crack that code and tell us about someone starting new
    with your products, which are they starting with?


    Lauren Montgomery  25:53 

    Yeah, so I make cashew cream cheese and
    butter. It's the cleanest ingredient cashew cream cheese, butter, and butter on
    the market. The cream cheese is just made with cashews, colors, and sea salt.
    And the butter is also very simple. I use almond oil, coconut oil, and cashews,
    really the magic is in the fermentation that's kind of going back to what I'm
    most passionate about is the culturing process and the food science. And so
    that really is the magic, I think I ultimately set out to create a product that
    was really clean and didn't have any preservatives or additives. And I didn't
    want to just create an alternative, if you will, or a substitute for cream
    cheese, there's a lot of them out there. And I feel like actually, it's harder
    to do more minimal simple things, products like these. And I attribute the
    amazing flavor and kind of the magic of this product to the fermentation
    process. And that's what gives it all of that amazing flavor. And that's what
    makes it taste like real cream cheese and butter because it's made from real
    cream, cheese, and butter. And so that is what I've always been most excited
    about learning about and all of that. And so that to me is just like a fun
    process of experimentation, and trying different cultures and different types
    of cheese and making them in a more traditional way, versus how they're kind of
    approached on the mass market now, which is let's get the same texture and
    flavor using natural flavors and starches and all of these things where it's
    just like going back to basics of real food and traditional processes, right
    fermentation, which is used for preservation and flavor as long as we know. And
    that really is the magic is like sticking to my guardrails of keeping simple
    ingredients and making a product with a process that I'm really stoked about.
    And I feel like that's why it keeps on getting better and more refined. Because
    I'm learning more about it and talking to food scientists it really helped me
    kind of refine that process in the way that I want to with the same integrity.


    Elizabeth Stein  28:16 

    Well, they're amazing, and they taste just
    like the real thing. So you've done an incredible job. What's your vision for product-wise
    what the future holds? I mean, I certainly love the collaborations that you've
    been doing in the jars. I know I should.


    Lauren Montgomery  28:36 

    I really do want to stay focused on cream
    cheese and butter and these daily essentials that we eat every day as a
    creative person and someone who's really excited to develop new things all the
    time. I have a lot of ideas. I do some other types of cheeses for private label
    clients, and I'm constantly experimenting and having all my friends try
    different things. I just developed this feta and just be a private label
    project. But yeah, I do feel like there's some value in staying really focused
    on the brand side I think there's a certain level of quality you can maintain
    as you grow. A lot of these brands do every different cheese under the sun. And
    that's fine. Everyone has their own approach. I really want to be the go-to plant-based
    dairy essentials. Cream cheese and butter are the products that people eat
    every day and maintain their exceptional quality. And that is what Monty’s is
    known for. But yeah, I do these other fun projects on the side. The cake and
    jars are an amazing way to showcase our maple cream cheese frosting, which we
    just launched a couple of months ago. And that was really my original idea to
    really show the customer how these products are so versatile and can be used in
    everything and so I really created that line in particular, to showcase the
    maple cream cheese frosting and how you use these things in so many different


    Elizabeth Stein  30:07 

    Well, they're delicious. So as you've been
    going through this journey, when we were talking. At the beginning, we talked
    about how you are in the kitchen one week, and then elsewhere the following
    week. And so it's a lot the entrepreneurial journey is a lot, and you are
    certainly in the throes of it, what's been some of the biggest challenges that
    you've had so far and the learning from them?


    Lauren Montgomery  30:34 

    I would say, I feel like kind of the scale-up
    process has been difficult. I've been doing this for five years now. And only
    in this last year, I've kind of found the unlock. I always said, I really only
    want to be as big as the product allows. A couple of years ago, we tried
    scaling up too fast and furiously and had some issues. And so I pulled back
    honestly over the past couple of years and recalibrated, found my vision, and focused
    again on what I wanted to create and bring to the world and kind of took my
    time and started talking to people again, and figuring out how to scale the
    product with the same integrity and bring it to more people. And that took
    quite a lot of time. I think that this is just like a different fermentation at
    scale a different ballgame without additives and all these different things. So
    I would say that has been the biggest challenge is getting it to more people,
    and figuring out how to do it in a way that really maintains the integrity
    because a lot of people will tell me like, do this, change this, add this and
    I'm like, no. Then I'll just stay, I'll stay here. And I'll, this is fun for
    me. So I really feel like I figured out that unlock over the past year. And I
    would say kind of what we were talking about before, I feel like I am so
    focused on my work and what I want to create that I feel like it's a blessing
    and a curse for my personal life and everything is so intertwined with what I
    do, I really approach this very holistically. I found my passion, the thing
    that I want to spend all my time doing. And I feel like it's changed the
    environment around me and the people around me as I go. And as I go on this
    journey with kind of the utmost focus, this being the forefront of my life. So
    I feel like that has been something I've been working through, if you will, you
    know is like really coming to terms with a lot of things changing because of
    that, and kind of being okay with this is my path and not everyone's gonna be
    here along the ride. So, yeah, I would say, that's kind of another challenge.


    Elizabeth Stein  33:10 

    Yeah, I think certainly, I can definitely
    relate after 15 years, and it's still just being my identity, it's like, you
    put your heart and soul into this, and you give it your everything. And it's
    really, I think, a learning challenge along the way of how, how sometimes to
    not make it be everything, but also I never believe in the word balanced. So
    there's certainly no way that this is balanced. But there have certainly been
    times over the years where I feel like that is literally the only thing I can
    think about. And that's also not healthy to write. So I don't know if you've
    had those moments of like, how do you not just think about this thing all the
    time and have a little bit more diversity of that perhaps?


    Lauren Montgomery  34:00 

    Totally. No, I mean, I think about this all
    the time, this is my life. And I really feel like I've had moments throughout
    the past few years of doing this where I've like taken a little step back and I
    haven't made it my full focus and I'm not as happy and I feel like that's more
    out of balance than me giving 100% of my energy towards this thing that
    actually like I freaking love and live for and that makes doing a lot of other
    things and being this kind of person that does other things. I don't do other
    things. This is my life. It is hard to date and to bring somebody else into the
    fold because this is all consuming and I feel like it may come off as selfish
    but this is the world, this is the nut cheese world. You can come to it if you
    want. But yeah, there is a certain level of focus I think it takes to do
    something that we're doing. And I want to be proven wrong that it's possible to
    have it all, I guess, but I'm curious what your thoughts or experiences are on


    Elizabeth Stein  35:16 

    I'm right there with you. I think that I
    feel like it is all-consuming. I am on the road all the time, as we were saying
    before, it's like when I come home, and have a couple of days, I just want to
    be relaxing and alone and have quiet time. I'm an introvert too. So it's like,
    I need that space. Imagine having somebody else there right now just isn't
    necessarily what I need right now and feel like I can show up as the best
    version of myself. And running this business. That is something that is so


    Lauren Montgomery  35:52 

    Totally. I agree. I'm also an introvert, I
    think people find it surprising because I think a lot of this work in showing
    up in this business has challenged me and like made me more extroverted and
    able to come on here and speak to you, I can't imagine like, five years ago, me
    coming on here and being like, let's do this 100% Me too. Yeah. And so I think
    it's just as much about this inner growth and inner work that we're doing. My
    business ultimately is making me into a better version of myself and challenging
    and forcing me to get out of my own way and face these challenges and
    discomforts. So yeah, I think it really is the biggest, most rewarding
    challenge of my life. And I feel like I keep coming back to that. This, to me,
    is the most important thing. This is why I'm focusing all my energy on it. And
    kind of like what you were saying, I feel like I because I am an introvert I'm
    doing all of these things with my business, and it's so rewarding. And so
    forward facing, but then coming home, I'm like, in order to preserve my energy.
    And to get back to equilibrium, I need to sit in silence for three days and not
    talk to anyone and meditate and like, get back to the energy that I want to put
    into my business. And so when I talk about, I don't know, dating somebody or
    and I talked about this with my therapist, I'm like, I want it to be like
    somebody that I feel like I can meet alone with like this alone together. And
    if I'm like, Is that even possible? I don't know. But I do value my alone time.
    So much. So that feels like the balance to me right now where that's okay. But
    that my life is consumed by Monty’s.


    Elizabeth Stein  37:45 

    I love it. So you mentioned about like,
    putting yourself out of your comfort zone and doing hard things. And I think
    that's my total mantra. It's behind my wall, my basement, my workout space. And
    that's how I think about everything. And so curious to hear right now. What are
    you working on, personally, that you're trying to get out of your comfort zone?
    And what's hard right now for you?


    Lauren Montgomery  38:08 

    Yeah, I feel like, honestly, this is a
    perfect example. I really feel like honestly, social media, too. I think there
    is so much value in showing up as a food founder and sharing your vision
    mission and energy with the world. And that honestly, has been the biggest
    struggle for me, I think, in creating a tangible food product, it really almost
    kind of was like, okay, let me share my energy with you through this thing that
    I created. That's enough. But then I feel like the challenge now is showing up
    vulnerably and forward-facing and not hiding behind the product. It's like,
    this is me and all my imperfections. And I feel like that is kind of the next
    big challenge I want to face in my life like the fear of being seen the fear of
    showing up this is me, I am cream cheese and butter. But I'm also more than
    that. A human. So I think, yeah, working through that is something that's
    really important to me. And I feel called to kind of move through as of late
    and to also realize that it's so important to make a bigger impact, especially
    with what we're doing. I think our products are one of a kind and really what
    we're sharing is the energy that we're putting in them. Even more so than the
    product or ingredients. It really is the energy with which you create something
    and so you kind of have to share yourself. How do you move through that like as
    an introvert?


    Elizabeth Stein  39:50 

    It’s definitely a challenge. I mean, I
    think it's something that I do. That's been the big thing for me this year if I
    had to move out of my comfort zone and show more have that and I think it's all
    about the small steps. So it's like what's the little thing I can do today that
    in the grand scheme might not seem so big but something small that's gonna help
    get me there? Okay, we're gonna move to some rapid-fire q&a. Three things
    that you're currently loving. It could be a product, a show, anything.


    Lauren Montgomery  40:31 

    I'm not going to be as quick as you want. I
    really love the wiliest
    protein powder*40:36 right now. I love Akasha Sea Moss. I've been taking
    that every day. I put that internally, the little sea moss packets are so good.
    And then I also use this
    Algeo of say algae oil. I love those. Those are the three things I'm
    using religiously right now.


    Elizabeth Stein  41:01 

    Favorite words to live by?


    Lauren Montgomery  41:05 

    Trust yourself, everything you have is
    within you. Everything you need is within you.


    Elizabeth Stein  41:16

    Favorite productivity hack.


    Lauren Montgomery  41:18

    When you don't know what to do, do nothing.


    Elizabeth Stein  41:22 

    Oh, I like that. A favorite book or podcast
    for growth.


    Lauren Montgomery  41:30

    Wherever you go, there you are.


    Elizabeth Stein  41:35

    Favorite business moment. Can only pick
    one. I know there's a lot.


    Lauren Montgomery  41:39 

    There are so many. I'd say right now. Right
    here right now. Thank you for having me. This means a lot.


    Elizabeth Stein  41:46 

    Lastly, what is your number one non-negotiable
    to thrive on your wellness journey?


    Lauren Montgomery  41:53 

    Spending time alone, reflecting, meditating
    every day, staying consistent.


    Elizabeth Stein  41:58 

    Amazing. All right, Lauren. In closing,
    where can everybody find you, and what's next?


    Lauren Montgomery  42:06 

    we're really working to get into a lot of
    different stores now. You'll be able to find us more and more stores in the
    coming months. You can find us online at livemontys.com. Our Instagram is @montysync,
    @thefulllaurenmonty. You can find us in stores at Erawan, and Bristol Farms now,
    we just got into Gelson’s and some amazing bagel shops too. You can check out
    the full list on our site.


    Elizabeth Stein  42:34 

    Amazing. Thanks, Lauren for being here.


    Lauren Montgomery  42:36 

    Thank you so much for having me.


    Elizabeth Stein  42:37 

    Thanks so much
    for joining me on Live Purely with Elizabeth. I hope you feel inspired to
    thrive on your wellness journey. If you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget
    to rate, subscribe, and review. You can follow us on Instagram
    @purely_elizabeth to catch up on all the latest. See you next Wednesday on the


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