In This Interview... check out my go-to healthy snacks & workout techniques that will get you leaner and happier!
NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
AC: I actually had a really unique fitness upbringing that I feel very fortunate for. My parents were fitness center owners and my dad was an avid runner, so before I was even three years old he put me in my first road race! So, needless to say, I grew up in the gym lifting weights and training very hard-core as an elite athlete. It wasn't until I got much older that I realized how abnormal my intensely athletic childhood was, but I wouldn't change a thing – it allowed me to travel, meet amazing people, learn about grit, determination and pushing yourself to achieve dreams and goals. I was able to run cross country and track on scholarship for the University of Alabama, so I truly feel blessed to have had parents who instilled in me that fitness, health and wellness are a part of everyday life!
NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
AC: Great question! I am a juicing/smoothie-making queen! My morning ritual is
preparing a colorful, lush, vibrant, organic beverage so I get my body raring to go, right off the bat, and ready for an amazing day. I swear I can feel my cells and DNA soaking up the vitamins and nutrients from a fresh juice! I have some of my favorite recipes on my website, http://www.alysoncharles.com, but a few key ingredients are chia seeds, coconut oil, raw cacao powder (for smoothies), "Garden of Life" Raw Protein Powder (for smoothies), cinnamon and bee pollen. I honestly don't know what I would do without my juicer and Vitamix blender! I also love to drink hot tea, warm lemon water (sometimes with raw organic honey and cayenne pepper), kombucha, coconut water and filtered water. Snack-wise, I love freshly made, organic guacamole, raw cashews, and I'm really obsessed with "Off the Farm" whole fruit bars for a quick, scrumptious and healthy grab-and-go snack option!
NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
AC: What works for me is knowing what a spiritual and soul-enriching practice exercise and eating/drinking nutritiously is. I know that each time we engage in an activity, whether that be taking a walk in nature, chanting, cooking with organic ingredients, meditation, playing beach volleyball with friends, etc. we are raising our vibration to an optimal level, which in turn, allows us to be our best selves and live our best life! Wanting to connect with nature, be of service to others and really experience the most amazing, uplifting and powerful life possible is what keeps me energized and excited about living well. Knowing you are worthy of an abundant life, worthy of having a fit, lean body and worthy of allowing in joy, bliss and peace are big keys! All of those things are our birthrights!
NMF: How do you change your body? What are your fitness favorites?
AC: I've pretty much tried it all, but a couple of fitness secrets that work for me are doing a blend of high intensity interval training, bikram yoga and longer, endurance workouts that can be as simple as an hour walk in nature. For intervals, I set up my interval timer and make a list of exercises that utilize different muscle groups and then power through an intense, but quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that I do right in my living room. Some of my favorite moves in the HIIT circuit are reverse pull-ups, dips and abs – all utilizing my Lebert Equilizer Bars, jumping rope, wall pushups, high knees, plank variations, mountain climbers and squat jumps. Highly effective workouts don't need to be time consuming and fancy, I find that blending powerful intervals with hot yoga and then a longer endurance day in nature is the perfect magical mix for keeping your body guessing and letting the pounds and fat slide away. It's all about balance and allowing your amazing body to experience different kinds of movement and fitness so that all of your systems are activated, strengthened and harmonized!
I wish all of your readers the very best in health and life, and no matter where they're at with their current level of fitness or weight, I hope they can be grateful for and think positive thoughts about their body! It's all about focusing on where they're heading, solutions, positive vibes and energy as well as being grateful for what they've already got!
Love Alyson's favorite quote, check it out! “Be the change that you wish to see in the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi