[dropcap]T[/dropcap]oday we have a special guest at Eat Well NZ – Gala Darling. In case you didn’t know already, Gala Darling is a New Zealand girl taking New York by storm. Listed by Fashionista as one of the ten most influential style bloggers in the world, Gala blogs about a magical mix of fashion and lifestyle advice and preaches radical self love. Visit Gala here
Here’s how Gala Darling aims to eat well, be healthy and keep fit.
What is a typical day’s eating for you?
At the moment, I’m on day 9 of the Clean Program, started by Dr. Alejandro Junger. It’s a 21-day program that eliminates all foods that are potential allergens, which gives your digestion a break & allows your body to release toxins. It sounds kooky but it’s wonderful & also, wonderfully effective.
So at the moment, a typical day’s eating is a smoothie in the morning (loaded with supplements, & the smoothie itself is cacao & cashews & coconut… Completely amazing!), a piece of chicken or salmon with a salad (spinach, onion, cucumber, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, celery, balsamic vinegar) for lunch, maybe some guacamole with nut/seed crackers as a snack, & another shake for dinner. It’s pretty great, actually. I could eat like this forever!
What foods are your fridge and pantry staples?
Lots of fruit & vegetables. We always have a huge box of organic baby spinach, plenty of avocado, balsamic vinegar, coconut water, & almond milk. We like to keep the fridge stocked with salmon & chicken breast too, they’re easy to heat up & create a quick meal. I love raw foods & often have wonderful raw snacks, like macaroons or ice-cream. Snacking is a big part of how I eat, so I need to have seaweed rice crackers in the house, as well as apple wedges, almond butter, baby carrots & garlic hummus. I also love soup! There’s this brand called Amy’s & they make a split pea soup that is Clean-approved, which I recently discovered. It’s excellent!
It’s so obvious but I’m really learning that the way to keep on track with what you eat is to ensure your fridge is stocked with good, healthy choices. Otherwise, especially in a place like New York City, your hunger & desperation when faced with an empty fridge will have you ordering pizza in no time flat!
What is your favourite way to keep fit?
I’m really fortunate to belong to a gym that I adore — David Barton. http://www.davidbartongym.com I work with two different trainers a minimum of three times a week & sometimes more; it just depends on my schedule. I do a little cardio, but it’s pretty much all weight-training. I just started boxing, too, which I absolutely LOVE! I didn’t expect to find it as much fun as I do. I also walk all over Manhattan — great for the legs! — & own a bicycle which I love to take out, too.
One healthy habit you never let slide?
I have a massive smoothie for breakfast every morning. It really sets me up to eat well for the rest of the day. I also guzzle enormous amounts of water, & usually squeeze lemon into it!
Favourite healthy meal?
Guacamole with anything! I am a guacamole addict.
Favourite food indulgence?
I have a pretty major sweet tooth, & when I leave it unchecked, it can run rampant. Huge ice-cream sundaes, cupcakes, chewy candy… It’s shocking! Thankfully, in a city like New York, you can find a healthy(ish!) alternative for pretty much everything. You can get vegan or even raw ice-cream sundaes which will blow your socks off, super-healthy smoothies which taste like the best chocolate milkshake you’ve ever tried, & vegan gluten-free cupcakes. It’s so amazing! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating what you love, but it’s best to minimise the damage as much as you can. I’m lactose-intolerant so taking the vegan option whenever I can really helps me feel good.
Many girls/woman struggle with maintaining a healthy body image – you seem to have this nailed! What do you think is key in having a healthy body image and learning to love who you are?
I think one of the most important things is learning — or training yourself — not to compare yourself to other women. Most of our self-loathing or negative body image stuff comes from wishing we looked more like Zooey Deschanel, or that we had Beyonce’s ass. All the wishing in the world won’t make this happen! You can only improve on what you’ve got. Once you finally realise that, on an emotional level as well as an intellectual one, you can start to truly appreciate your beautiful body.
What are your top tips for coping with stress?
I make a lot of lists, which helps me keep things straight! I also believe that adding physical exercise to your life solves a lot of problems! I never believed in exercise when I was younger… I hated it, in fact, & would do anything to avoid it! But as I get older, I realise how valuable it is. Also, as a creative person & a business owner, my livelihood depends on my being happy & healthy! I’m so much more productive, effective & up-for-anything when I’m exercising regularly. It cures any bad mood instantly!