This week’s Healthy Her Way feature is wellness guru and matcha maven Alison Wu.
Stylist and blogger Alison is all about healthy living; she focuses on eating a plant-forward diet that includes fresh, organic, and local (where possible) ingredients, and if you’ve seen the inside of her fridge—a Smeg that’s in the dreamiest kitchen ever—or pantry, you’ve probably felt some serious envy. How can someone eat like that all the time? Well, luckily for readers, Alison also develops recipes on her blog, Wu Haus—and most of them are actually way simpler than they look! Her incredible layered smoothies and colorful bowls are way attainable and have definitely served as inspiration when I am dragging myself to the kitchen to cook dinner.
Alison is open, though, about the times she doesn’t make choices she loves for herself, like when she’s not eating food that’s exactly fit for the ’gram or when she struggles with self-love. In March, she wrote this candid nugget about her Instagram feed: “Everything I share here is an authentic expression of who I am and what I love, but is by no means a full picture of my life. When I’m stressed or overworked, sometimes I skip meals or make poor decisions like eating a piece of toast for dinner like I did on Saturday night. This whole weekend, I was so focused on other things that I let healthy eating fall to the wayside.” Been there, sis.
Feeds full of picture-perfect shots sometimes feel unrelatable, but if you read Alison’s captions or her blog posts, you’ll quickly see that she actually shares a lot about the parts of her life that some people hold closer to the chest: thoughts on marriage and friendships, her wellness journey, selfies with skincare issues, and honest accounts of when she feels she didn’t do her best that day.
As she wrote on that post in March, “I slip up. I make bad decisions. I neglect self care. I let my impulses take control. I am human.” What’s more relatable than that?
A Day in the Life
What does your daily routine look like?
My husband and I usually end our days around 6:30 p.m. and begin prepping dinner to our favorite playlist of the moment. Eating nutrient-dense, nourishing meals is incredibly important to us. I’m a big proponent for understanding what your body needs and feeding it accordingly. For example, in times of heightened stress or anxiety, we’ll cook warming, grounding foods that balance the chakra—muladhara or root—to bring us back down to earth.
My husband usually helps me cook, and we chat about our days. To begin the unwinding process, I’ll prepare a cup of calming tea using herbs like chamomile, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, and cinnamon, which all have comforting effects on the nervous system. I use tea time to unplug from my phone and computer and focus my attention on the present moment, read an inspirational book, or write in my journal.
Creating a bathtime ritual is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care. I love making over-the-top baths with florals, citrus, and crystals and really taking the time to relax my body and my mind. I’ll skim through a book of poetry or just close my eyes and let my senses take over. I love to prepare a castor oil pack with a stress-relieving essential oil blend and apply it for 20 to 30 minutes while lying in bed reading a book or catching up on the news.
One of my intentions for 2018 was less scrolling, more page turning, so it’s important for me to disconnect from my phone before bed in order to fully relax.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
- Slowing down and listening to my inner voice
- 3 liters of water a day
- 8 hours of sleep a night
- Quality time with people that bring me joy
How do you stay inspired?
I’m constantly gathering inspiration from my surroundings: nature, shapes, texture, interiors, fashion, fantasy. If I’m going through a period of feeling uninspired (like we all do), I try to be gentle with myself, remind myself that inspiration ebbs and flows. There’s so much in the world to be inspired by. Honestly, sometimes it’s overwhelming! A lot of times I find getting quiet, disconnecting from technology, and immersing myself in nature inspires me the most.
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What are your favorite apps?
Whose Instagram is on your radar?
What are you reading, watching, or listening to?
What is your bucket list travel destination?
Well, I just got back from Puglia, Italy, and that’s all I can think about. Next maybe India or Australia.
Would you rather explore space or the ocean? Why?
Space. Seeing all the plastic in the ocean would make me depressed.
What’s your coffee order?
All about the matcha! My favorite is the one I make at home with coconut butter, collagen, adaptogens, cardamom, and ½ a Medjool date.
What piece of advice has impacted you the most?
Our thoughts shape our reality. I always keep that in mind, especially when I’m feeling down and find myself in a cycle of negative thinking.