Fuel your fitness with tips from this active health coach.
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It’s back-to-school time and, as a student, you live a busy life. I know I do! Somewhere between back-to-back classes, late nights, due dates (and attempting to fit a fitness class in between breaks), the last thing you should have to worry about is what you’re putting in your body. Choosing—and living—a beneficial plant-based diet can be simple and easily achieved.
Here are some of my favorite tips and recipes that can help you embrace a healthy plant-based eating regimen, giving you that much-needed energy boost to sprint across campus.
Mixing up a filling and nourishing smoothie in the morning will keep you focused throughout your school day. I like to use a Nutribullet—you can quickly take the blender cup to class with you.
- ½ cup granola*
- 1 cup hemp milk
- 2 spoonfuls of hemp protein powder
- 3-4 leaves (purple or lacinato) kale
- 1 banana
- ½ green apple
- 2 ice cubes or a handful of frozen berries
*I like to use granola made with oats, dates, and sunflower seeds. I avoid granolas with added oils and sugar.
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, sip and enjoy!
Tip: If you’re not in the smoothie mood, steel-cut oatmeal served in your school’s cafeteria is a great option, too. Pair it with berries or a banana, and you’re good to go.
For lunch and dinner, the salad bar is your best friend. You can make your own salad and top it with some nutritional yeast, black pepper, and olive oil. Try pairing your salad with a plant-based soup or special the cafeteria is serving. And don’t forget to check out the plant-based options your school is serving—like vegan pizza and veggie burgers.
Have a kitchen in your dorm? Roll up your sleeves and make dinner! Living a plant-based diet can be a lot of fun when you’re looking for new recipes to try and improving old ones.
- 2 Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
- 1 spoonful of black bean hummus
- ½ cup of pico de gallo
- 2 handfuls of chopped kale, spinach or romaine lettuce
- ½ avocado
- 1 handful sprouts
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the tortillas on a large non-stick pan for 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove the tortillas and spread the hummus on them. Place tortillas on plate and add the rest of the ingredients (in no particular order). Fold and enjoy!
- ½ sweet potato
- 3 handfuls of your favorite kind of leafy green
- ½ of an avocado
- 2 tablespoons of hummus
- Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes and place into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes (or until tender). Remove sweet potatoes and let cool. Thinly slice avocado, and set aside. Place leafy greens, sweet potatoes and hummus in a medium-size bowl, adding the avocado on top. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Feeling hungry throughout the day? Some good mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks include fruit and veggies, such as carrots, celery, cucumber or plant-based yogurt (like coconut or almond yogurt). My must-have snack is a handful of blueberries with ¾ cup of coconut yogurt—it’s full of probiotics. Plus, blueberries are one of my favorite fruits.
After a long day of classes, I am usually in the mood for a sweet treat. My oh-so-satisfying plant-based dessert option is a few pieces of 72%+ cacao dark chocolate. If I’m feeling more adventurous, I’ll break up two dark chocolate almond butter cups and add them to ¾ cup coconut yogurt. Yum!
Eat better, feel better. That’s my mantra. It’s important to stay focused and plan what you want to eat for the week so you don’t get caught off-guard and indulge in something that might not make you feel good. Surround yourself with people who value living a healthy lifestyle. Get inspired about how much your body will appreciate the nourishment you give it!
Even if what you eat is not entirely plant-based, the most important thing you could do is add greens to your meal to make it more nourishing. Think of a plant-based diet as what you can add to your diet more than what you take away from it.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.