Megan Karp is one of the most inspiring women I've had on the blog. She is a holistic health coach, podcaster, and the founder of Plus Minus Living – a lifestyle blog where she shares some of her passions: style, non-toxic beauty, recipes, and more. I love her monthly newsletters.
We met on Instagram and I quickly felt inspired by many aspects of her. The natural elegance, her passion for health & wellness (especially how easy/doable she makes it look, because it is!) – and her love/taste for style & interiors.
The more I get to meet Megan, the more that I realize that it’s what she radiates from the inside, her warmth – whether online, over a voice note or in person – and a sense of peace and calm that makes her so unique and so special. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she makes everything look beautiful.
This conversation is a deep dive into daily rituals, a thoughtful morning routine, intentional living, and all things well-living/well-being. I hope you enjoy as much as I did, truly.
Name: Megan Karp
Can you share a little bit about your background?
I grew up in a small town in Iowa, and I remember my dad and I would drive an hour and a half to Omaha, NE to visit Whole Foods. These trips were like field days to me – at that time, health foods weren’t yet trending, and even at a young age, health markets were a new world I could endlessly explore.
Also, I was inspired by grandfather, who was a WWII vegan. I admired his commitment to his health, even when it wasn’t popular at the time. Intuitively, I saw his lifestyle as a form of nurturing self-love.
On top of that, I’ve always loved beauty – my mom says I could apply lipstick perfectly by the age of three. It makes sense that I eventually made my way into a corporate position with Aveda, which was one of the first big brands to pair beauty with plants.
Over time I took my love of living well into my home space, creating an environment that feels inspiring and nurturing to my spirit.
I eventually left the corporate world because I felt, in many ways, it took away from my greatest prioritizes – including my health and wellness – and I was fortunate enough to have resources to make that transition work. I’ve blogged since 2010, mostly about food, and I loved it so much that I returned to that.
Today, I share what inspires me to live a life full of beauty, health, and love.
What was your path to intentional living?
I’m still on my path – I believe intentional living never stops. When I think I’ve got this “health thing” all figured out, I find myself refining again. Everything changes, even on an atomic level, so I try to remain open to change in my diet, my skincare, my home, my closet, etc. I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, and paleo – now I attach less to external labels and tune more into my changing self.
What inspired the creation of your blog, Plus Minus Living?
My grandparents never said, “I love you” – instead, they always said “plus-minus,” which means I love you more today than yesterday. This seemed like a natural title for my blog because what I share reflects the theme of adding more health and beauty to my life. I’m a big believer that our purpose on this planet is to evolve, not just in a Darwinist sense, but in the sense of being lighter, healthier, more loving human beings.
Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and freer?
I’d say 80% routine, 20% free. My routine is a little guide to ensure I stay on track and happy, but I also believe not being too rigid and allowing openness to explore.
How do you start your day? Do you have non-negotiables?
The way I begin my day is very important because it sets the momentum for the day ahead.
I always start my day with a Seed synbiotic (for gut health) and a large glass of water. I love hot beverages, so I will drink one cup of coffee followed by hot lemon water followed by ghi zhi tang herbs. Also, I always have silent time in the morning without any technology. Depending on the day, I will either do breathwork or meditate, read a spiritual lesson, and/or journal. After my silent time, I then move/connect to my body (usually yoga or a run). Those are my non-negotiables every single day.
What’s your night routine?
I prefer an early dinner around 5PM so that my food can digest before bed. I like to light candles and dim the lights, and I’ll take a bath around 6PM to warm my body. I follow my bath with all the good oils/moisturizes for my face and body. I (try to) turn off all screens by 7PM, and I’ll often read or journal in bed around 8PM. My husband and I are definitely the early to bed, early to rise couple.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up around 5AM and enjoy my first hour in silence, without screens, sipping hot beverages (coffee, lemon water, herbs). I also take this time to journal, read a lesson, and meditate.
Any time between 7AM-9AM, I will move my body and (often) sweat in the sauna. Usually, I run or go to a hot yoga class.
The rest of the day is always a different combination of work and to-dos, although my husband and I always take an hour together around lunch to eat a wholesome meal and walk our dogs. Some days we take multiple long walks – we both love the combination of nature, movement, fresh air, vitamin D, etc.
We eat dinner early, around 5PM, and I do my wind down routine and get in bed by 8PM.
Do you have a mindfulness practice?
Yes! Morning meditation and breathwork along with yoga are my primary practices. I also believe regular massages and acupuncture have helped me connect my mind to my body.
WELL-MIND & BODY
What is your main form of body maintenance?
Daily movement, even if it’s just a walk! I also get bi-weekly massages. At home, I love using my Theragun, acupressure mat, and taking baths to warm/relax my muscles. Also, coffee enemas. Okay, so a lot of things!
What is your philosophy on food? Describe your typical meal for each these…
My philosophy: Eat mostly plants, as Michael Pollen says – that’s a pretty good rule of thumb. I eat mostly vegan, but I don’t deny myself animal protein if I crave it (a rare occurrence). Honestly, I believe our bodies’ needs differ every day – especially for women, depending on the time of our cycle – so I do my best to tune in and honor what my body is calling for on the given day. Usually, that’s simply a ton of produce.
Breakfast: usually my go-to green juice recipe, avocado toast, or a ton of berries. I tend to eat the lightest in the morning.
Lunch: usually a loaded green salad with lots of healthy fats and fiber and sprouted grains. Sometimes I’ll do a big veggie omelet mid-day too.
Dinner: salmon is my favorite, but I’ve been eating a lot of veggie stir-fry’s and chickpea pasta recently too.
Snack: I love a good banana boat! Banana, almond butter, coconut chips, and cacao nibs. If I’m craving a pack of protein, I’ll make a smoothie with vanilla protein, frozen banana and spinach, chia seeds, nut butter, and almond milk.
How do you stay fit & healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?
I try to move my body every day, even if it’s a walk. Yes, exercise is a big part of my life and routine.
Do you have other practices that contribute to your overall health? For example, drinking celery juice on an empty stomach, intermittent fasting, etc.
I fast at least 12 hours every day, and depending on the time of my cycle, I often accomplish a 16-hour fast (eating from 10AM-6PM). I eat (and drink) a ton of hydrating plants, drink a lot of water, and try to sweat most days (a natural detox and exfoliant).
What do you do when your body needs to recover?
I rest and nourish my body. I have learned to be more gentle with myself and not force myself into anything that feels extreme. That might mean an “off day” and eating more hardy foods. Again, I tune into what feels right.
What is your idea of beauty?
As I get older, I believe beauty comes from a shining spirit – this is what keeps us bright, young, and glowing. When it comes to skincare products and makeup, I take a less is more approach.
What is your favorite ritual?
My quiet morning time without technology – so essential for my mental calm and clarity.
What is your skincare routine?
Morning: Wash my face, apply iS Clinical’s Vitamin C pro-heal serum, then top with Vintner’s Daughter oil and Aveda’s mineral SPF.
Evening: Wash my face, then I’ll alternate between Revision’s retinol or iS Clinical’s Active serum (both exfoliants), and then I’ll moisturize with either a facial oil, cream, or both (if I’m dry).
What are your favorite brands and products, skincare-wise?
1. Youth to the People’s Superfood cleanser – cleansing without drying.
2. Vintner’s Daughter Botanical Serum – love that it’s oil-based/moisturizing, and it smells heavenly.
3. iS Clinical’s Active Serum – the most performative product I’ve used (adds glow and perfects skintone).
5 things always in your bag – my mini-Mason Pearson brush, a good lip balm, hair tie or clip, wallet, and car key. That’s it.
What is something you are particularly excited about now
Our trip to Sonoma, California this month. I feel so grounded, spiritually, when I am surrounded by farmland, natural beauty, and slow living.
Sofía: Megan, I’m a big fan of the content that you share on Plus Minus, as well as on Instagram. I love your approach to health, beauty, interior design, and style amongst other things.
How do you structure your workdays and stay consistent creating such beautiful, intentional content?
My life is my work – I don’t have create much structure, because I simply share what I love and how I live. Otherwise, when I have a specific project, I will plan ahead of time. For example, if I have a product photoshoot, I’ll coordinate a time with my sister-in-law for photos (she’s a photographer) and get a bunch of content in at that time for future use. If it’s my newsletter, I will work on bits and pieces every day leading up to the due date. Just depends, but it always feels natural, and I’m so grateful for that.
What does the process of working with brands look like for you?
From the beginning, I’ve made a promise to myself to only work with brands that deeply resonate with me. This often means slower growth, but I am more concerned with connecting and building trust with my people.
When it comes to the actual work itself, it really depends on the brand. Sometimes it’s whitelisting ad, like I just did for Brightland olive oil, where I’ll earn income for 60-seconds of video content. Usually, though, it’s a commission-based partnership. I’ve only been doing this for a year or so, so we’ll see what other opportunities come my way!
How do you deal with lack of inspiration or moments of procrastination?
We’re not built to always be inspired and productive – so when those days hit, I accept it, and I focus on a small win for the day. If I don’t feel like exercising, I’ll walk my dogs for 10 minutes. If I don’t feel like writing a blog, I’ll do a small update on my website. Micro-wins are just as important as the big accomplishments, because each adds to your self-trust, your confidence, your inner narrative that you did something that day.
What does “Well-Living Is Well-Being” mean to you?
I love this question – it reminds me of the idea that many of us identify as a “human DOING” rather than “human BEING.” We often are focused on the future and distracted by tasks that bring us out of the present. However, our wellbeing stems from living well in the present moment.
“Rapid Fire” Questions
Facialist or favorite treatment: Deep tissue massage, always.
At-home beauty tool: Dry brush.
Workout wear: Lululemon’s Ebb to Street bra tank and Align leggings.
What are you watching: Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds.
What are you reading: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
What are you listening to: The rain falling?
What are you cooking: Tonight? Veggie stir-fry with kimchi rice and spices.
Favorite place to travel: Santa Barbara, CA – where I was born. Also, the most beautiful place.
Favorite hotel: Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma, CA.
Favorite restaurant? Sorghum and Salt in Charleston, SC.
Last meal that truly impressed you: Mushroom fricassee – an appetizer made with lion’s mane mushrooms, polenta, garlic, lemon, and chive.
Necessary indulgence: Dark chocolate, and occasionally, a really good Pinot Noir.