Last week I introduced you to 17 health & fitness pros who talked about what makes them feel healthy and amazing! This week, I want to showcase 15 thriving women — ladies who prioritize their physical and mental well-being so that they can be the heroes (she-roes) of their life!
Smart women know that when they take care of their needs they are better equipped — having more strength, stamina, and peace of mind — to handle the challenges of everyday life. (A healthy & happy woman can do more for those she loves!)
Read what they do to stay healthy, fit, and feeling beautiful. Next to some of their ideas I added ‘Facts’ supporting their good habits. Try them out and adopt the ones that make your life better! 😀
Meet Alessandra! She’s an investment manager in Milan.
She says, “I love to go to the gym three times a week and play tennis once or twice to maintain my health and beauty.”
She says, “I like to eat fruits before my workout and a cereal bar after.”
Fact: Your body metabolizes the simple sugar in fruits quickly giving you usable energy to kick butt at the gym!
Alessandra says, “my favorite natural beauty products are Argan oil, jojoba oil, and aloe gel. I use these oils before going to bed on wet skin. Sometimes I mix them with aloe gel in the same quantity. I find them fantastic as anti-aging !”
Fact: Argan oil is high in antioxidants good for inside and outside body health. Antioxidants fight free-radical damage which may cause premature aging.
Meet Angela! She’s a mother of 3 and a pioneer chef!
She says, “I love kettle bell and club bell workouts because they hit so many muscle groups, and get my heart rate up in 30 minutes. I feel pretty empowered swinging around a cannon ball, too. I also love the TRX cables, with its space-saving utilitarian workouts that can be used for all levels. My other favorite piece of equipment to throw in the mix is a bosu ball. I can get bored easily with repetition, so I often drop-in on yoga classes.”
Angela says, “Being a mother of three, sprinting from class to work to dropping-off/picking-up kids, a nice hot shower is the most beautiful thing. I love scrub my skin with some epsom salt to exfoliate my skin in the shower. I use tonic of water, raw apple cider vinegar, essential oils and a few drops of baby shampoo (for emulsifying mixture) to clarify the oils in my hair while I do my salt scrub. I also can’t live without 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream for tired, puffy eyes. ”
Angela takes health food and drinks to another level! She says, “lately, I’ve been making cold-brewed coffee in my French press, by steeping ground coffee beans, dandelion root, ground cacao and chicory root. In the mornings, I will melt coconut oil, pastured ghee and a piece of 85% dark chocolate with my spice/herb blend of ground cardamom, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, ashwaganda with 8 oz hot water. I add approximately 4 oz of refrigerated homemade cold-brew coffee, and top it off with coconut milk. It may sound strange, but it’s like a chai cafe au lait.”
Fact: Dark chocolate has as more antioxidants than blueberries! Indulge mindfully and reap the benefits of naturally increased energy, better mood, and fighting free radicals in the most delicious way!
Meet Angie! She’s a full-time working Mom who’s always down for an adventure and good eats!
Her favorite workout is running. She says, “I have a passion for running. I used to despise even the idea of running but as time passed and miles were ran I quickly fell in love. At first it was another workout added to my routine to lose weight but it has become something so much more than that to me. There’s just a feeling that overcomes me that I can’t quite explain.
All I know is that I’m out there giving it my all, pushing and competing with no one else but me. I can look back at the streets I’ve ran and say “I did that!” and feel like a super bad ass about it!” She also says, “I like to do home workouts, yoga, hiking, and recently I found joy out of kickboxing!”
Angie enjoys essential oils! She says, “My favorite oil for beauty is tea tree oil. I have frequent breakouts with hormonal acne and tea tree oil does wonders on targeted areas on my skin. It calms the redness and dries out those pesky pimples! I’ve also recently tried out African Black Soap, it’s great for those who have sensitive skin and have trouble with acne, oily skin, rashes, etc.”
Angie can’t get enough of her amino acids! She says, “Alpha Aminos by Cellucor is hands down my favorite supplement of all time. No matter if I run or do a gym workout I am always chugging down some BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). Not only does it enhance my endurance and helps with muscle recovery, but it also gives me that extra push so I could perform at my best. Other than that I drink loads of coffee for energy!”
Fact: BCAA’s are naturally found in food — especially meat, dairy, and legumes. It helps with exercise performance, reduces muscle break-down, and prevents fatigue.
Meet Audra! She’s a wife, mother of 4, and a human resources professional.
Her favorite workout is walking. She says, “I love breathing in the fresh air and looking at what’s around me and appreciating it. After a good walk, my mind feels clear and recharged. I can add intensity by adding hills in my route.”
Audra says, “I love pure coconut oil. I use it as a moisturizer, make up remover, in my daughters’ hair, and it is the best cuticle oil. I love the healing properties including calming my eczema.”
Fact: Coconut oil has antibacterial properties making it a natural way to get clear skin.
She says, “my favorite healthy meal is scrambled eggs with fresh avocado. I call this my power breakfast. Sometimes, I might splurge and add a gluten free sausage like Aidell’s chicken apple sausage with kale and sun-dried tomato.”
Meet Elyse! She’s a writer, Huffington Post blogger, mom, and new grandmother!
She says, “I adored Pilates. If I could keep Jeanne and her reformer under my bed, I’d be ecstatic. But, for a daily and more practical exercise that consistently enlivens, walking is my choice. Whether on noisy urban streets or the stillness and beauty of the park, walking is my favorite.
Even when feeling lethargic, I know once I start walking, my energy changes. Knowing myself, I do not hold myself to a pre-determined amount of time, steps or pace. Just walk, I tell myself, and soon I am moving and finding delight. It’s worked for me for over 50 years.”
Elyse says, “A skin care routine works well for that instant feeling of being beautiful. I’ve tried different products with different results but it’s the application itself that I enjoy. Taking the time to stare at my changing face in the mirror while applying the product is a balm in itself.”
Fact: A positive self-image not only bolsters confidence, it also contributes to the overall well-being of a person. A person with a good self-image is generally less stressed, makes better choices when it comes to food and activity, and has a brighter outlook on life.
She says, “I still love kale and quinoa. Drink? Hmm, does campari and orange count as healthy? If not, how about coconut water, it’s still a favorite.”
Meet Irina! She’s a mother of two amazing kids and a full-time Legal Secretary in San Francisco.
She says, “I work out during my lunch hour at a local gym 4 times a week. My favorite classes are Pilates, Bare and Cardio Strength and Alignment. It works with my schedule and fits perfectly with my lifestyle. I find that I am very motivated to exercise in a group environment or best of all, with friends, and so one thing you will surely never see me doing is going for a run or getting on a treadmill. I always try to have fun while I am working out, so it never feels like a chore.
On the weekends, I am usually on the run, spending a lot of time with my younger daughter, keeping my house in order, or running errands. If I have free time, I love to go biking with my family. For me, that is a perfect way to spend quality time with kids, enjoy fresh air at the park and get some cardio work done all at the same time!”
Fact: Varying your activity helps you to be more successful in staying fit because 1) you will have many options, 2) you engage the mind in different ways for each activity so you will not get bored, and 3) you will use different muscles in the various activities challenging the body and preventing over-use injury.
Irina says, “Spending time with my family, eating healthy, exercising, reading an awesome book, seeing my friends, and going on trips — all these positive things make me feel most beautiful because I strongly believe that true beauty comes from being happy and complete inside.
Also, I have put myself on the challenge of drinking a lot more water and I can totally see a difference in my skin condition and general health already!”
She says, “my favorite healthy foods are quinoa, edamame, kale, broccoli, nuts, beans, and avocados. I do not eat meat or poultry and I found these healthy vegetarian foods to be excellent alternatives that are high in protein. They are tasty and really good for you.
What I am crazy about right now is this little place called Native Juice Co in San Francisco. They make the most delicious smoothies and bites I have ever tried. They use ingredients like dandelion, spinach, kale, parsley, ginger, mint and lavender infused coconut milk, mixing it all up to taste absolutely heavenly. Their menu is built around foods you can find at the local farmers markets that are grown organically in California, and like my favorite Helen Cavallo would say, “Now, That is Fresh!”
Meet Jamie! She a sales & marketing professional and a passionate animal advocate.
She says, “Dancing and hiking are my favorite movement activities because they are fun and a great way of tricking myself to get a good workout. Plus, it’s always fun to take the dog hiking and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Riding the exercise bike is currently my favorite exercise, because it is convenient and I can watch TV, the workout goes by so quickly!”
Fact: Studies have shown that owning pets may improve the health of its owner. Through petting and snuggling a pet you release the ‘bonding’ hormone Oxytocin which makes you feel good, connected, reduces stress, and lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Dog owners tend to lead more active lives because they take their pets on frequent walks.
Jamie’s go-to natural beauty product these days is Burt’s Bees Firming Lotion. She says, “It helps with the dry Colorado weather and they offer great vegan product options.”
Jamie says, “There’s nothing like a glass of cold water after a workout to make me feel great. I also love avocados, banana/peanut butter/jelly sandwiches or if it’s a morning workout I’ll have Cheerios for breakfast. It also depends on the season, in the summer I’ll be happy eating watermelon!”
Meet Jen! She’s a Merchandise Planner.
She says, “my favorite workout is boxing because it’s such a high energy and intensity workout! I love the cardio and the fun of getting to hit a bag while toning up muscle.”
Fact: Kickboxing is a great total body workout improving muscle tone in the legs, arms, and core.
Jen says, “I feel beautiful when I’m in my workout attire. Growing up I was never into sports nor was I athletic. In fact my cousins would joke and call me ‘kobe beef’ because my muscles must have been so tender from the lack of stimulation haha.
It wasn’t until after college that I embraced working out. I hired a personal trainer to get me started and now I enjoy workouts on my own. When I am dressed and ready for a workout it reminds me of how much I am no longer ‘kobe beef’ grade and I love being and feeling tough! I know I am taking my health into my own hands and the best part is I am enjoying it!”
Right now, Jen is loving Quest bars. She says, “They are great for protein 20-21g per bar, amazingly low on sugar 1-2g, and taste good! For the days I workout at night I usually have one on my drive from the office to the gym and it fuels me through my workout and prevents me from overeating post workout.”
Meet Jessica! She’s a 5th grade teacher and samba dancing queen!
She says, “dancing salsa and samba are by far my favorite workout methods!
Salsa because I can connect deeply with people without having to say a word, just using my body, and one dance is never the same. Samba because it’s so intense and forces me to focus on every single body part without thinking I’m “working hard”. They both help me let go of all my worries, laugh hard, have fun, and be social – which are all things I need in my life!”
Her favorite healthy drink is coconut water.
Fact: Coconut water is a great way to quench your thirst after a serious sweat-fest! It will replenish your energy and electrolytes lost from sweating.
Meet Joy! She’s a working executive and TV addict!
Joy says, “I like interval training — mixing cardio (ellipticle or sprints) with core and strength training. I’ve found that a 30 min workout that incorporates cardio in-between focused weight training is more effective than running for 1 hour or doing a cardio machine for 1 hour. ”
Fact: Interval training and high-intensity training (HIT) improves endurance performance in some cases faster than traditional continuous endurance training.
Joy likes having a sun-kissed glow! She says, “I like to spray tan, use tinted moisturizer, and occasionally sunbathe to feel beautiful.”
Fact: The most natural way to get your much-needed Vitamin D is by spending time in the sun without sunscreen. 10 minutes a day of unguarded sun time helps with synchronizing your body rhythms, strengthen bones, supports immune system, improves mood, and protects against certain cancers and age-related diseases.
Joy enjoys more protein in her diet. She says, “I’ve learned to eat more protein when before I thought more protein = weight gain. So I’ve tried to find better protein shakes for post workouts that have little to no sugar, high protein and fiber, without any bad ingredients.”
Meet Karina! She’s a city girl running at the beach!
Karina’s favorite exercise is running. She says, “I love to run because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Throughout the years I’ve done everything from Spinning, Bar Method to Boot Camps and have never really gotten the results I’ve been looking for, but with running I usually feel lean.
My favorite part of running is clearing my head while running along the beach. Also, I just started Pilates about 1 1/2 months ago and it’s killer — love it! I’ve added Pilates to my exercise regimen to give me variation and to tone my arms as that’s the only muscle I don’t feel I’m working out while running.”
Karina feels beautiful when she’s wearing perfume! She says, “I love a good perfume especially because you can change it up by your mood. For something girlie I love Dior Cherie, for something bold I love Carven and for something sexy Lanvin.”
Her favorite health food is grilled salmon. She says, “My wonderful husband prepares it 3x a week. It’s a great protein to stay lean and when I want to splurge I make salmon tacos with corn tortilla and a delicious tomatillo/sour cream sauce.
I’m also obsessed and LOVE the Green juices from Kreation Juice along with the awesome tonic shots — it’s a little shot of joy! When my days are crazy and I don’t have time for lunch a good veggie drink fills me up and keeps me going till dinner.”
Fact: Wild salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which help lower triglycerides (blood fat), decrease stiffness and joint pain, improve mood, and may help prevent Alzheimer disease and dementia.
Meet Kim! She’s an ICU nurse on leave while she cares for her 2 little monsters!
Kim prefers HIIT workouts and training outdoors. She says, “I have a few (exercise) apps on my phone to help and often do a park workout while letting the toddler run around! I look really out-of-place and notice other moms talking about me sometimes, but setting a healthy example and fitting in workouts where I can (while spending as much time with my kids as I can) mean more to me than people’s judgment.”
She says, “my favorite natural beauty product is organic Argan oil. I use it on my face and all over my skin really, and it leaves it glowing. I also try to drink a gallon of water or more a day to stay hydrated not only for breastfeeding, but to keep my body healthy. It makes my skin glow, my lips look fuller, my eyes clearer and brighter. I can’t say enough great things about drinking enough water!”
Kim finds eating healthy tricky because of her schedule. She says,”I try to stock the fridge with fresh fruit and love to make egg muffins (eggs baked in a muffin tin with different fillers; sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, cheese etc.)”
Fact: Eggs are a popular source of protein, but what’s not so well-known is that the yolk is full of omega-3 fats and Vitamin E which helps your immune system, skin, and eyes. Studies of pasture-raised eggs to that of caged-hen eggs have shown to have 200% more Vitamin E.
Meet MJ! She’s a Dental hyGenius!
MJ loves to try new things! She says, ‘I like to be challenged mentally and physically! I believe we are naturally competitive whether it’s between your peers or with yourself.
I’m currently obsessed with pole fitness and was recently introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Mixing the art of pole and mental strategy of BJJ makes me feel powerful, sexy, and confident.”
Fact: Martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Kung Fu to name a few are a great way to stay fit. They improve balance, coordination, agility, endurance, and functional strength.
A little makeup makes MJ feel beautiful. She says, “When in doubt, I turn to mascara, blush, brows, and lipstick to make me feel beautiful. I also like to dance around in my underwear — it makes me appreciate my body.”
MJ’s drinks C4 for her pre-workout drink. She says, “It gets the job done!”
Meet Sasha! She’s a mother, wife, chef, and dragon slayer!
Her favorite workout method is to combine a few formats. She says, “I like to mix up aerobic activity, weight lifting, and exercises using my own body weight. I do love to move fast, to sweat, and push it to the max. I love to see my biceps pop, I love how the body looks right after a workout.
Sorry yoga, one day I will grow up to be more patient and I am sure I will enjoy sun salutations as well. A simple walk in the early morning with some upbeat music makes me very happy and ready for a long day too!”
Sasha’s favorite healthy beauty habit is drinking water. She says, “It feels as if whatever happens to our bodies — its health and well-being — it all depends on WATER. It helps to clean our bodies from toxins which we are loading on every day and night, it hydrates our every cell, it helps us heal faster during colds, food poisoning and so on.
Another natural beauty I currently adore is grapefruit. Besides providing all the fabulous vitamins it keeps our smiles white and gorgeous.” 😀
Fact: All the food you eat, including the tea, juice, and coffee you drink contribute to your daily water consumption. However, when you have a choice to hydrate — water is the supreme choice because it has no sugar! Stay hydrated to support body functions, mental clarity, and clear skin.
Sasha enjoys protein shakes after her workout. She says, “I always go for chocolate whey protein shake. Mine does not have much sugar, but tastes sooo good and it “feeds” and helps to heal my muscles. I like to add some blueberries, flax-seed and bee pollen to it.”
Meet Tracie! She’s an aspiring ‘warrior priestess’! She’s up for anything that makes her feel powerful and strong!
She says, “My favorite exercise right now is a power clean. It involves precision, strength, and every single muscle in your body, including your mind.”
She says, “my favorite natural beauty product is Lavender Witch Hazel. It’s a refreshing face toner — sweeps away dirt and oil and doesn’t dry out your face!”
Tracie’s favorite ‘health food’ is a toss up between smoked oysters and sardines. She says, “They are a super power packed protein that makes salad taste amazing!!”
Fact: Bone density decreases as you age, maintain bone health with weight training, walking, and foods like sardines. Sardines are a healthy source of good fats, minerals, calcium, and one of the few foods that provide Vitamin D helping you have stronger bones.
Support your healthy habits by hanging out with like-minded people. Create a sisterhood from the women around you to share your health, fitness, and beauty ideas. Support each other — that’s what friends are for! (Girl power!)
If you have some tips for your sisters not mentioned in our post — share! Let’s help each other have the best lives we can 😉 (Thanks for sharing!)
The products, suggestions, and views expressed by the women featured in this article do not necessarily depict the views of InspireYouthful.com. If you use or follow any of their personal examples or suggestions — you do so at your own risk.
Remember — always listen to your body, rest when you need to, and do what feels good!
Sources and more about the ‘Facts’:
Featured photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Sujin Jetkasettakorn
More about Argan oil: http://www.med-health.net/Argan-Oil-Benefits.html
More about owning pets for better health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1774745
More about oxytocin: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/touching.makes.you.healthier.health/
More about sardines: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-sardines-3983.html
More about high-intensity training: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/hiit-vs-continuous-endurance-training-battle-of-the-aerobic-titans
More about omega-3: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet
More about eggs: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=92