BOSS LADY ALERT: If you aren’t already following Melissa Wood Health, do so immediately! She’s not only extremely beautiful, she’s also INCREDIBLY inspiring, and has continued to help us explore new practices since we started Insta-stalking her back in the day (i.e. meditation & plant based diet!). Equally as inspiring is her journey to where she is today, as a lifestyle of health + wellness didn’t just come over night. And, we love how she manages to stay so real despite all of her success. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to pick her brain … our main takeaway: we should all strive to be a little bit more like Melissa.
Was fitness (+ health) always a part of your life?
It was. The first thing I ever bought myself when I was 15 was a gym membership. Although it’s always been a part of my life, I didn’t have the healthiest relationship with it.
How did you get your career started?
I started out as a model and had a very unhealthy relationship with myself. Through my struggles with acne and overcoming an eating disorder, it lead me on this path and made me realize the most important thing was feeling good about myself and in my own skin.
What have been your biggest challenges in this industry?
In the beginning, it was not comparing myself to everyone who was already successful. My current challenge is just endlessly staying true to what I believe and sharing that message even when people completely disagree.
What does a typical day of business look like for you?
Every day is a little bit different. But as soon as I drop Benjamin off at school, I come home, meditate and film a flow. Then I shower and get ready for the day whether I’m working from home or heading to the office. I schedule my workday around Benjamin so that I’m gone during most of the time he’s napping. Some days I’m in the kitchen, making recipes. I’m actually in the process of a major website relaunch (stay tuned for the big announcement!) This is what has been consuming all of my time lately.
What is your workout routine?
I workout from home about 4-5 days a week to film flows and share my workouts which mostly highlight 20-30min full body flows. I’ll take an occasional yoga or pilates class in addition depending on the week. My workout style focuses on slow, controlled movement combing yoga and pilates style sequences to create long lean lines throughout your entire body.
Meditation: can you give some advice to beginners?
I usually meditate everyday for at least 20 minutes. My best advice is just do it! Don’t judge your practice or your thoughts. The confusion with meditation is that people think you’re not supposed to think, which is nearly impossible. Once you get past this, it’s much easier. I have a free 10 minute meditation on my website to guide you through if you’re just starting out.
Let’s talk about that morning smoothie. Do you start every day with this?
My beauty boosting, energizing spirulina smoothie is definitely my go-to. However there are mornings that I just have fruit or a green juice instead.
How long have you been plant based and what are the biggest benefits you’ve experienced?
Over two years, and eating this way helped cure my acne, increased energy and made me truly find my happy weight.
What tips do you have for someone looking to switch to a plant based diet?
Watch Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy, What the Health and read The China Study. Focus on adding in more fruits and vegetables to your diet instead of focusing on food you’re avoiding (not what you can’t have). It’s a mental shift. Lastly, look at this time as an experiment. You’re trying something new, see how you feel and listen to your body. Keep it to yourself, because if you decide to have something else you can feel guilty. It’s all just a shift in perception.
How often do you eat out, and what are some of your plant based staples?
I eat out pretty regularly. I always start with a salad and ask for a vinaigrette dressing and make sure there’s no cheese in the dressing. If I’m at a restaurant that isn’t vegan or vegetarian, I always ask what they offer. If not, I resort to three side dishes and create my own entree.
How do you avoid overeating? Has this ever been something you’ve struggled with?
Yes, I had a binge eating disorder. I really overcame this by understanding where this feeling of anxiousness was coming from and why I turned to food for it. The thing that has helped me more than anything with this is meditation. A daily practice is so important to find more stillness in my body and naturally you become less anxious. I found food wasn’t my crutch anymore.
Do you weigh yourself?
What are three supplements you highly recommend?
Morning Probiotic, catalyst gold (head over to my website for a special discount code) and liquid B12.
Any other advice?
Regardless of what space you’re in or creating, own who you are, don’t compare yourself with anyone else’s journey. Stay true to yourself and what you believe.