Actress, influencer, amazing cook and business owner Kelly Kruger may be best known for her roles on the as Mackenzie on Young and the Restless and Eva on The Bold and the Beautiful, but helping others improve their wellness is way up on her list of priorities. In 2014, Kruger launched her lifestyle brand Madison Charles and it has since grown from five products to more than 30 SKUs that revolve around the power of essential oils. We recently caught up with Kruger to hear more about the line, which is looking forward to a big 2024.
What is your number-one “hack” for someone starting off with healthier cooking?
Don’t focus on what you “can’t” have. Focus on all the great things you can have. When you have go-to ingredients that are cleaner and healthier, you realize you can eat pretty much whatever you want, as long as you make it yourself. I still eat chips, chocolate, french fries, burgers you name it! I just modify the ingredients and make sure I’m using healthy oils—avocado, olive or coconut—clean, organic meat and gluten-free breads. There is literally nothing I ate before I started cooking in a cleaner way that I don’t eat now.
What is your favorite “easy” meal to make after a long week?
I make a cilantro lime chicken and rice that we all love. I boil the rice in bone broth instead of water for extra protein and nutrients. The chicken is so quick and easy. I make the marinade in a blender in 30 seconds, pour it over the chicken and bake it. Easy preparation and easy clean up. I’ll also chop a salad which I used to not enjoy doing but now it’s become therapeutic— and it is so weird to me to even be saying that!
What is one meal you make when you need a boost of energy?
I love smoothies and shakes. I load up my smoothies with protein powder, greens, fruit, functional mushrooms, sea moss and more so I feel like it is definitely an amazing energy booster, it’s quick to make and you can literally throw in so many healthy ingredients. I also always make a big breakfast every morning that consists of eggs, cottage cheese, avocado toast and apples. It keeps me full for a long time giving me a good amount of energy for the day.
What was the most difficult thing about producing Madison Charles?
When we launched the essential oils line, I truly did not think anyone would buy the products. I launched a T-shirt line of motivational quotes a year before that nobody bought and was concerned it would be the same situation. My expectations were low, so I was shocked when it started taking off with my community and followers. I honestly only made it available on the off chance there was even one person I could help.
I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that we are a family business, so initially it was an adjustment for me to manage everyone’s personalities in a work capacity. To have “work” calls overlap with “personal” calls sometimes made it a challenge for us to stay on track. Madison Charles is a self-funded company and, being ambitious, I have big visions for where I want it to go. In the beginning stages, I would sometimes need to be reigned it. There was so much I wanted to do but we didn’t have the means to do it yet.
What is the one thing about essential oils you wish everyone would know?
They actually work! For centuries, humanity has embraced the power of essential oils in various cultures and civilizations, this is not something new.. there is literally an oil for everything. Before running to get something man-made I always say look to nature first.
Synthetic fragrances are extremely toxic and are major endocrine disrupters and they are literally everywhere, in our makeup, skin care, hair products. It’s hard to get away from them. I wish more people used essential oils more regularly as their go-to scents and incorporated them into daily life and skin care. It is also important to note that not all essential oils are created equally. You need to know your source and make sure they aren’t mixed with fillers or pesticide. The most important thing for me in producing this line was quality and purity. We use the highest-grade, purest form available, so they are guaranteed to be free of pesticides, fillers and are always non-GMO and, wherever possible, we use organic. All of our carrier oils are always organic as well.
Are there any other things you do for wellness?
Working out is super important to me. I like low-impact, but high intensity workouts like Lagree. I love long walks and hikes. I also try to meditate daily and cold plunge but I’m also a working mom of two so time doesn’t always permit. I do make sure to take supplements daily and get out in nature.
Are there any other wellness or self-care brands you really love?
I love Cymbiotika supplements. They are liposomal and incredible quality. They also make a superfood green protein powder and ceremonial-grade matcha I love.
I love using beauty brands like Saie, ILIA, Kosas, Merit, Westman Atelier and Goop. It’s really important to me to stay away from products that have talc in them, but I’m not always perfect. As an actress, when i’m on set, I can’t always get away with it. At the end of the day, my motto is: “Everything in moderation.”