This is part of a series of interviews I'm doing with creative entrepreneurs who I find inspiring. I was curious to know how they incorporate healthy habits into their work + life blend. I figured you were probably curious too, so I'm taking one for the team and having great conversations with amazing bosses so I can share them here with you. (Hard work, right?!)
My intention with these interviews is to showcase bosses NOT in the health and wellness industry and shine a light on their habits and routines that help them stay healthy as busy bosses. So, tell us a little about yourself and what industry you're in?
Well first and foremost, I am a mother to three young children that's my main gig and to be honest it's my favorite one!
However, the last 7 years, I have been writing as my side hustle. In the past, I have been published on blogs and in magazines for various interviews and articles but more recently, after some soul searching, I have been writing short stories and essays. I also write over on my personal blog www.laeptitepeach.com for the last 5 years about motherhood, business, and the creative life.
And finally, simply for the fun of it, I also take on clients who need help with their website content, in particular writing their "about" me page. Writing is definitely my passion and where I feel the most comfortable and confident.
As many people know, I got into health and wellness after a health scare of my own. You've mentioned that you have a bit of a wild health tale as well - Is that where your passion for health and wellness came from? Do you mind telling us about it?
My health journey has been an interesting one! When I was 17 (and 115 lbs) I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. My numbers were way, way over the "normal" amount and I was put on a strict diet only to have my "bad" cholesterol drop just a few points. My Doctor told me it was hereditary and I was put on a cholesterol medication.
Fast forward to when I was 22 and had my oldest baby. I had to get off the medication (you can't be pregnant or nursing while on these types of drugs) I had the highest numbers to date. A few years later after reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, I decided I would try to be a vegan. I was also going through a career change, I had been in the wedding industry at the time and writing on the side when I decided it was time to make a change in my life and my diet. I became a vegan and although I felt better, I had gained a TON of weight between not eating the right way and the stress of my day job.
Then back in 2012 my husband and I decided we wanted to have another baby and I knew I had to fully get my life in order. I quit the wedding industry to write full time, went from vegan to vegetarian and started walking and getting into yoga and meditation.
During my second pregnancy, I was the healthiest I have ever been. I ate only natural foods from the earth and nothing processed. Being pregnant motivated me to be super healthy and take care of my body like I never had before. After I gave birth, I was 30 lbs lighter than I was when before I got pregnant. It wasn't about the weight for me, although it was a perk, I felt amazing, my skin was glowing and I felt happier than I had ever been.
I continued this lifestyle change through my third pregnancy as well. Eating well and getting outside for fresh air, even on bitter cold New England days, it transformed my life. Although my cholesterol is hereditary and I may have to go back on medication, I know that I am doing my body right by only putting things into it that are helping, and never hindering. My mind is clear and I can do my best work at home and with my writing.
As you know, my tag line is health fuels hustle. I know you're really passionate about shining a light on the stories of mothers and motherhood. Tell us how you prioritize your health so that you can do all you do as a boss's and a mom?
It's not possible for me to be the best mom I can be and the best at my craft if I am not happy, healthy and full of energy. By nature I am more chill and relaxed. It takes a lot of energy for me to get through my day and I need a ton of sleep - which sometimes seems impossible with three kids! If I have a day where I am eating things I know are not good for my body, I am foggy and cranky. It makes everyone else unhappy if I am lethargic and aggravated so I do it for myself but also for my family.
I stay motivated because I know how crappy it feels to be overweight and unproductive and I never want to feel that way again!
I do it for myself, but also for my family. [TWEET THIS]
I'm pretty sure you're the type of person who thrives on habits and routines? Yes? If so, what are your top habits that make you feel like a total boss?
Oh, I have SO many but here are my favorites!
1. Fire Cider to start the day I discovered this while on vacation 3 years ago and it's the most amazing way to start the day. I take one little "shot" in the morning and it's seriously a miracle drink. It really has helped with my digestion and getting a kick start to my morning. **If you're interested in making your own fire cider, download my recipe at the bottom of this post!
2. Investing in a great coffee mug I splurged on two gorgeous handmade mugs this year. There is something really boss about holding a fancy cup of coffee or tea while you work!
3. My office chair It was another splurge but SO worth it. It encourages me to have good posture while I am writing and is super comfortable.
4. Go outside! The winters are brutal here in the northeast and I can get in a funk easily unless I step outside my office and plant my feet on the ground. Take 3-6 deep breaths and soak in (what sometimes little) sun I can. Being connected to your environment even when it's cold out, can ground you and it certainly humbles me.
5. Scheduling time for yoga It's on my calendar every week no matter what. If I can get more time in then great, but I will have at least one yoga session a week. It's great for my body but to be honest, even better for my mind. I blast out work I am really proud of after a long sweaty yoga class.
6. Read In order to be a great writer, you have to be a ferocious reader! I read every night before bed. It's super relaxing and gets the mind working in a different way. I wake up in the morning full of ideas.
7. More protein! Because I don't eat meat, I have to be really conscious of how much protein I am getting. Sometimes I get a real tough mid- day energy slump. I have a cute little blender that I bring everywhere and mix up a quick protein smoothie when I start to feel lethargic. Here is my recipe...
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 2 Tablespoons of flax seed
- 1/2 cup of frozen berries (blueberry, strawberry, and raspberries)
- 2-5 frozen peach slices
- I teaspoon of raw honey
- 1/4-1/2 cup of almond butter
- *Sometimes I add a probiotic in powder form, and sometimes I add kale.
Blend and enjoy! It's SO delicious and keeps me energized through out my day.
I fully believe that indulging in less than healthy-behaviors once in a while can be part of a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. What is your number one less-than-healthy indulgence?
Oh totally! I am so far from perfect, and there is nothing more fun than a splurge here and there. My favorite thing to do is go out for brunch and just go nuts.
I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast every single morning since childhood, for health (it's fabulous if you have high cholesterol) but mostly for convenience so splurging on a fancy breakfast is so fun. We have an incredible French Cafe here on Cape Cod that has unworldly cafe mocha's, pastries, and an egg dish with a polenta cake that I go crazy for. They also make their own yogurt so sometimes I add the parfait to my order too. The kids love going as well so it's one of those fun treats.
Are there any Desiree Spinner health tips that you want to spread the word about?
I mentioned above that oatmeal is great for helping to lower cholesterol, my doctor says it literally pulls the cholesterol out of you. What's great is you can make it a summery breakfast with fruit, or mix in nuts and maple syrup in the fall so it never gets boring. Also, grapefruit is so underestimated! It's perfect for lowering your "bad" cholesterol numbers. Sometimes I have it as a dessert with brown sugar on top but my favorite is mixing it with soda water in the summer for a fun drink- oh and vodka if you're so inclined and in the mood for a splurge! (**Note from Amy: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with the absorption of your medication, so please talk to your doctor before consuming it if you're on any prescription medications!)
Want to learn more about Desiree? Check out her blog, La Petite Peach!
**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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