Hi Everyone! I am so excited to share this interview with my beautiful friend Melissa Wood who is the creator of Melissa Wood Health. She is absolutely stunning, kind hearted, always smiling and extremely motivating! Melissa was the girl who convinced me to get my first colonic two years ago and she was also the person who got me into meditating. There is so much you can learn from Melissa from plant-based meals, to how she balances work and being a mom, as well as her low impact workouts. Read along to get the scoop!
Tell us a little about you & your background in wellness.
I’m a mom, yoga and pilates teacher, mediator and thriving on a plant-based diet. And I’m now sharing all my workouts excessively on my website! I started modeling 10 years ago when I moved to New York and was always told I needed to loose weight which led me to feeling like I was never enough. I had such an unhealthy relationship with my body that lead my to having an eating disorder. One day I woke up and knew I couldn’t live like this anymore. I started seeing a therapist that made me realize it wasn’t about the food it was about the anxiety in my thoughts that was causing me to do this. Through the process of healing myself, I became a health coach. I realized that taking the best care of myself and helping others feel the same is what really lit me up. I loved coaching but I knew I was only just scratching the surface. When I started sharing my workouts online and my workout philosophy, I knew I had found my true calling.
When did you realize this could be your profession & career?
When I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. And waking up excited to start everyday.
You are always glowing! How do you balance your business and being a mom while maintaining that amazing glow?
Thank you so much, I promise you I was not always this way! I try to have fun with everything that I do. I find that in itself helps you glow from the inside out. I try to balance things by becoming less of a multi-tasker. If I’m with my son I focus on being with him or if I’m in the office while he’s home, I try to focus on my work even though at times he’ll come in but I just roll with it.
When and why did you decide to make the shift to plant-based? Did you feel better immediately?
When my skin was really broken out and I was talking to doctor after doctor and taking prescription after prescription to help it, I knew that it was linked to something deeper. I started meditating and reading a lot on plant based nutrition, watching documentaries and slowly started eliminating animal foods from my diet. I think it started out as trying to heal my skin and then in return I felt better, looked better and my body found it’s happy weight. Then it just went even deeper, every time I looked at mine or someone else’s plate I was reminded of how the food got there. Watching documentaries and seeing the process of how these animals are tortured and all injections they get, I just don’t think this is a necessary aspect to life. But I get it because it’s one of the biggest money making industries in the world. On top of that it’s destroying the planet! It feels good to not support that.
What does a day of eating look like for you?
I start my day with warm water with lemon and a probiotic. I have either a huge green juice, huge spirulina smoothie or huge bowl of fruit. Then for breakfast part two I’ll either have oatmeal cooked in water, add coconut milk and maple syrup and coconut flakes or avocado toast on ezekiel break with sea salt and nutritional yeast. Then for lunch I’ll have a huge salad with loaded veggies and I choose either quinoa or sweet potatoes to give it more substance. I go for a vegan dressing or my simple salad dressing. For a mid-day snack, I’ll have a big green juice (kale, celery, romain, cucumber, lemon and lime). For dinner I’ll have quinoa stir fry with loaded veg, if I didn’t have quinoa already (not that it’s bad, I just can get bored). Another options would be my romaine tacos.
When do you meditate? How can people who don’t meditate get started?
Now that I have a child, I meditate the first chance I get when I’m not with him, usually when he’s at school. Before I would meditate first thing in the morning. I fit it in in the morning where I can. Maybe one day I’ll wake up before him (I really love my sleep so this isn’t often!) Sometimes I listen to a guided meditation while I’m doing my makeup or walking to a meeting if for some reason my regular practice couldn’t happen that day. Of course things come up but I really try to make it happen everyday because it makes such a difference. Here’s a free 10 minute meditation for those that are new to the practice.
How do you stay so fit, eat health and look fabulous while on vacation?
When I’m on vacation I don’t change my eating habits that much. Food for me isn’t a source of comfort anymore. I think once you shift your mindset with that approach to food, your whole attitude changes. I don’t care if it’s a holiday dinner, event or vacation, I don’t look at the situation any differently. On vacation I may have a little bit more to drink than usual but not much because I’m not a big drinker (I don’t do hangovers!) and I say this because I did for so many years, I will not do that again.
Your body is banging! What is your favorite workout to tighten up quickly?
OMG Thank you! My favorite type of workout is my full body yoga / pilates series that takes 30 minutes. My approach is very simple, the MWH method uses slow controlled movement to create long, lean lines throughout your entire body. I did HIIT for years and it never agreed with my body. Switching to this approach has literally transformed my body into a completely new bod.
Favorite restaurant in New York City? In the world?
My favorite restaurant in NYC is ABC kitchen, they customize a vegan entrée beautifully. Their kale salad and portobello mushroom are my favorite dishes. ABC kitchen all the way!
I like patron silver with club soda, two lemons, two limes or 1942 on the rocks.
Chips & guac. Forever.
Best kept healthy secret?
Best advice for someone who is looking to clean up their diet?
Start a meditation practice daily. I know this sounds crazy for a food recommendation but 99% of the time the issue with the food is never about the food, it’s something deeper. Once you get to a grounded peaceful place with yourself, your relationship with food will shift. I’m living proof of this.
Where to find you?