I've been receiving a lot of questions about my own routine lately. I'm never quite sure what to say. Partially because I'm always careful not to be offering advice beyond my training and partially because I am so beyond imperfect. So this is simply me sharing my experience. How I approach my choices feels very simple and second nature, but when explaining it I realize there is a lot more to it. To give some background, where I am with things today is the result of a long process of trial, error, education, and maturity along with my training and evolution as a teacher. Over a decade ago I decided I was so exhausted from the roller coaster I kept putting myself on. I was tired of feeling guilty about food, tired of thinking about being skinny, tired of feeling restricted, tired of dreading exercise and I was tired of failing diets. So I started setting very small goals that I knew I could handle, like "drink water before every meal" and when I got that down I set a new one like "Move everyday". Along with these goals, it has been a lot of years retraining my brain to think differently about food and why I exercise. It was important to me that I value the actual doing as much as the result and to learn to love my body in every phase. I'm not a robot and life can never be perfectly controlled. Loving my body when I'm a few pounds up after eating baguettes in Europe or after a stressful month of moving ;) matters to me. This is my life after all. I'd like to enjoy it. And a major part of doing all of this for me is to be happy. Hello?! So I can't emphasize enough the mental and emotional aspect. It's not just food. Why we eat matters. Why we move matters.
How I move // I do Pilates 4-5 times a week, vinyasa yoga 1-2 times a week. What's important to me is that every day is different. So a week could look like this: Monday: very classical Pilates workout, Tuesday: jump board, Wednesday: flexibility focused flow on the reformer, Thursday: Vinyasa yoga, Friday: Pilates reformer workout, Saturday: Chair and Cadillac work. Sunday: rest (always). I'm not overly concerned with traditional cardio anymore. I walk with my kids a lot and try to make my practice challenging enough that my heart rate rises. I workout early mornings, nap times, during preschool, and rarely at night (unless I'm going to a class).
How I eat // I basically take a little bit of what I've found valuable from every diet ever created to make my own. I go for food that hasn't been messed around with too much (organic, non-gmo, grass-fed, free-range, wild, local or homemade when possible). I am pro plant-based, healthy fats, good sources of protein, greens, whole grains and lots of water. I try not to exclude entire categories of food. I don't have any particular food sensitivities and I care way more about where the food has come from and how it has been grown/prepared. I love a good thick yogurt (greek or Icelandic). I put almond butter in everything (muffins, brownies, cookies). I drink super greens. And I do not shun bread (but always whole grain). I've also found many better ways to do bread (ancient grains, sour dough). And when I eat carbs, I try to balance it with protein and fats too. I really like good food. So it is important to me to find delicious ways to enjoy foods that do good things for my body. Prepping food for the week (washing fruit, chopping and roasting veggies, baking healthy items to eat on the go) has been a game changer.
I avoid // Things that have no nutritional value and/or happiness value. I try to never say never. I do avoid overly processed foods and poor quality animal products like the plague. I notice a big difference in my body when I'm not eating healthy-ish snack foods and opt for homemade or whole food choices. I avoid sodas (the exception being Bai5, I'm not perfect). Artificial sweeteners. Ya know, chemicals, I try to avoid those. Food or exercise that I hate. Teachers that yell (sorry, not my thing). Things that make me feel bad about myself.