As you know, Angela is my business partner. We started Boutique Fitness in 2011 after she had spent 6 years as a stay-at-home mom and I spent 6 years managing a private training studio in RI.
What you may not know is that we also used to be roommates. In fact, we lived in a big apartment with our (now) husbands, two other friends (both named Chris), Ollie the dog, and Dan the cat (Dantenna because he loved to sit on top of the television).
During this time, Angela and I bonded over conversations about nutrition, exercise, and Murder She Wrote (RIP A. Lansbury).
Soon after Ryan and I moved out, I became a personal trainer and Angela became a mother. A few laters I also became a mother and Angela had her second son. This brought our paths back together and we, once again, saw each other regularly through birthday parties and playdates. And, our conversations resumed…
To this day, she is my person. We are notorious for losing track of time and tasks because there’s always so much to talk about.
I asked Angela to answer some questions about some things we often discuss so that I can share it with you. It’s typically my voice behind these posts, so this time, I’m sharing Angela’s answers. I know you’ll enjoy them, plus it’s sound advice 😉
What are your good-habit non-negotiables? Things you do daily to support your healthy lifestyle – even if you don’t feel like it… your ‘Angelaws’
- Sleep- at least 8 hours
- Walk daily – outside
- Don’t drink your calories, do drink water
- Eat fruit and veg (the more and the more variety the better)
- Multi vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D
- Always learning
- Hug and kiss your family-tell them you love them every day.. and of course snuggle with your dog.
How many specific ‘diets’ have you tried? Which are your favorite (if any)? How do you generally address your nutrition?
I have tried every diet under the sun (I mean every one)- This includes, but is not limited to Paleo, Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting (including 5:2 and eat stop eat), Vegan, Whole Food Plant Based (both a low fat and higher fat version), Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Keto, Vegan Keto, regular old low carb, If It Fits Your Macros, Tone it UP, and even one week on Carnivore (I know, I am actually embarrassed). I do not have a favorite. I can see value for some people, in some circumstances, for all of them. I one-hundred percent understand that some people need to follow a diet to get their shit together. They fall off the rails and the structure can be super helpful. I know that our modern American Food landscape is obesogenic and if you just eat what is around in the amounts that are around, you will become over-fat and sick.
I also don’t think a diet is the answer. Over the last two years, I have found that I have become a lot more relaxed about what I eat. My general approach is to keep it simple.- I don’t do a lot of complicated recipes. I try to eat mostly whole foods and I try to eat a protein source with a good amount of fruit and veg. I mix it up, but always get at least one serve of leafy greens and one serve of wild blueberries every day. I end up getting a lot of fiber in my diet, which I strongly believe is a good thing.
I like the old 80/20 principle. Because the vast majority of what I eat is simple nourishing food, I enjoy “fun food” and more indulgent/rich foods when I have the opportunity and/or it strikes me. I don’t feel compelled to binge on them (which in the past I may have), because I don’t restrict myself. For example, in the past if I ate pizza, I would want to eat ALL the pizza because my mindset was like “this is a splurge and you are not going to eat pizza again for quite some time.” Now I don’t think in restrictive terms at all, and would have pizza again the next day if I felt like it. And because I truly honor that, I don’t feel the desire to stuff myself.
As mentioned above, I am constantly working on my behaviors around food and have come a long way. The big 3 for me are eating slower, chewing better, eating a little less (shooting for 80 percent full rather than stuffed). More than any actual dietary change, working on the big 3 have helped my digestion, reduced bloating, improved my energy and have paved the way for a better relationship with food.
I try not to snack after dinner, and give myself a good 3+ hour window before I go to bed.
How do you structure your workouts? Do you schedule them? How many days do you workout?
I try to workout for about 30 min most days. I workout at BF or do BF workouts typically 3-4x per week. I jog or spin 2 x a week and take a hot yoga Or Pilates class 1x a week and/ or mobility workouts 1-2 x per week. I walk roughly 2 miles most days as well. I usually schedule my workouts/ make a plan for the week on Sunday.
What are your sleep habits? How have you curated your sleep routine?
I am super sensitive to lack of sleep, so I guard my schedule pretty fiercely. Usually sleep 10-6 (although sometimes it’s a little different on the weekends). I don’t have a very complicated routine. I try to get in bed and off screens by 9/9:30 and to sleep by 10. I usually read for that time (from a paper book), or chat/cuddle with my husband, dog, or kids (depending on who is around). I am pretty blessed, and usually pass right out when I close my eyes.
How do you choose your workout clothes? What are your favorites in terms of fit?
I choose workout clothes for comfort. I am super picky about pants and bras particularly (I hate when they are too tight and cut into me or if the fabric feels too constrictive or just icky). I prefer to workout (and just be) in shorts. I like your basic short running baggies. For leggings, my go-to is the Lululemon Align “naked” pants. I love the fabric and the fit works for my body. I have a really long torso and relatively short legs so I often run into length too long and the crotch too short, the Align fit me. I haven’t found another pant that fits as well. I have a fitness pro discount code which helps a lot and they last forever. I also like to wear joggers when I am coaching. Truthfully, after working in this industry for so long, I dread putting leggings on these days.
How much water do you drink daily?
Probably about 75 ounces + what is in my coffee
Electrolytes? Coffee? Collagen?
Electrolytes- yes. I use LMNT 1x a day (most days). Usually split between mid afternoon, and later in the evening. I try not to snack after dinner, so the LMNT helps a lot and I think… helps me sleep better. Coffee- yes. 3 cups per day with almond milk. Collagen (1 scoop per day in coffee).
More about walking…
Well, I love it. Benefits- improves insulin sensitivity (less drastic blood sugar spike after meals, thus less crashing afterwards), helps with my mood/ mental health, seems to give me more energy, gives me “me time” for listening to an audio book or podcast, or quiet thinking time, gets me outside in all the weather (which helps make the winter less awful), anyone/everyone can do it (so I walk alone or with Martin, my sisters, my mom, my dog, my sons, etc.)
Angela was born and raised in Raynham, MA, and is the oldest of three girls. You may have seen her sisters jumping into a session here or there. She is married to Martin, has two boys, Eli and Finn, and two sheepadoodles, Pepper and Pete.
Angela is the one that told me I should watch Bridgerton when the pandemic hit because it was salacious escapism. She is always good for a hug and even better for a high five. Same for a laugh and a cry. When I first heard her speak over 22 years ago, I couldn’t believe that was her real voice (sorry Angela). But now that’s the voice I hear when I need reassurance. She is pretty awesome and I’m sure she’s totally embarrassed by this post 😉