Growing up, many of us may remember our moms, aunts, babysitters etc having VHS and eventually DVD's of Denise Austin! You may have even started your day working out with her. When it comes to a fitness icon, she is one of them and we loved sitting down with her last week to talk about how she came into the fitness industry, her success with her VHS, DVD and daily TV Show on ESPN - Get Fit with Denise Austin. We talk about her impact in the fitness industry and serving 2 terms of the President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports and working alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. We also talk about her fitness focuses as well as her work with her daughter, Katie Austin!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be in the fitness industry?
DENISE AUSTIN: Well, I was a gymnast since I was a little girl and got a full athletic scholarship to college and I went to the University of Arizona and and then I got my degree in exercise physiology and aerobics was just beginning. It was the early 80’s and I moved back to California where I’m from and I met Jack LaLanne, the godfather of fitness and he gave me my first start on television. I loved it so much! I was teaching aerobic classes all over LA at the time and of course at that time, we only had little rooms to teach. There weren’t any big gyms. I taught in racquet ball courts and things like that. We really enjoyed the TV part and I got my own show on KABC LA. I got married and then I moved to Washington DC and started on the Today Show. I then had my own show on ESPN and Lifetime – everything just kept going.
When I was in college, I knew that I could teach some type of fitness with music because that’s gymnastics anyhow. So I just parlayed it into a career!
AM: Wow! Thinking back to a number of us who were growing up when you were starting, we did it with our moms – you had TV shows, VHS and DVDs, you were literally everywhere! Did you consciously think to yourself that you were going to have this brand and it’s going to be something where people are going to say, “oh Denise Austin – that’s a thing?”
DA: Well, not really! I didn’t know the name brand back in the day, 35 years ago! But I loved what I was doing because I was getting letters from people telling me that I was making a difference in what I was doing in their lives. It’s such a fulfilling job and to this day, I do it because I love hearing that it changes them and it changes the way that they feel. They have said that I have saved them, their marriage and I have had people cry and thank me. To know that you are out there helping people just made me want to keep being out there and doing more! I figured out how to keep going and it was kind of a “learn as I go” and I helped create some of this stuff!
I was learning as I was going along and I’d say, “oh yes, I can do a monthly segment on the Today Show – yes I can on fitness!” Then it was like, “yes, I can do VHS.” So it just kept going and I work very hard and persistence did pay off. I’d work on weekends and make appearances. I constantly love what I do so I’m a hard worker so that helped!
AM: Well, that’s an understatement! What was the first time like when you created your first video? You knew you were on a set and its production time. What was that like?
DA: Oh it was a dream come true! I was 27 and it was my first VHS. I was able to film it at the first MTV Studios and they were just kind of starting and I used their sets and I was right here in NYC. I had top makeup people for the very first time and I was like ok – I just did it. I had my routine, but I went for it and I was who I was. It was Rock Hard Abs and Rock Aerobics, I had two VHSs out of it and they were hits at the same time that my friend, Jane Fonda was coming out with her VHS tapes. It was a vary exciting time for the industry because aerobics was just starting in the early 80s.
AM: Did you come up with the outfits yourself? As a young girl doing the workouts, the fun part was seeing the style involved. To this day, there are photoshoots that have appeared in the magazine that have taken concepts off of looks that you wore then and then bringing them into present day shoots!
DA: What I did for Rock Aerobics is that I had a unitard and I said to myself, “this is all about the abs – I’m going to do a cutout.” So I cut out my material around the belly button and I used my pair of scissors to cut out the whole around my stomach so that they could see my abs while I was doing my workout. That’s one of the biggest pictures that I had and I saved all of those items. Now my daughter has fallen into the fitness footsteps now. Thank God I saved so many leggings, high cut up the butt leotards and hot pinks and hot lime green! It’s fun because it’s now all coming back – “let’s get physical.”
AM: How do you keep your energy?
DA: You know what? I’m like this. I wake up like this! Everyone asks my kids, “does your mom wake up like this?” I’m like, “yeah if you spend the night with me, you’ll see! Good morning!”
AM: Your a morning person clearly – what’s your flow like during the day?
DA: Yes! It changes if I’m traveling but mostly I get up, I do like my cup of coffee in the morning. I squeeze in my workout on most days for 30 mintues in the morning. I try to get in my workout. I do lots of online, post, my social media, I answer all my messages, do my email and then I make appearances, give speeches. I eat lunch, I eat dinner – I never skip a meal. I just love food and I eat well. 80% of the time, I eat well and have my treats 20% of the time. Evening time, I'm ready to have my glass of red wine - that is my treat and I enjoy that. I have lots of girlfriends, a great husband, 2 daughters and a huge family. Family means a lot to me and so do my girlfriends. So I do many things with friends!
AM: It’s so important to be balanced!
DA: Yes, I eat most everything just all in small bites as it’s all about moderation.
AM: You served 2 terms on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, can you tell us about the council, how you came to joining it and what were your roles and responsibilities by being apart of it?
DA: It was years ago when President Bush appointed me and Arnold Schwarzenegger was the chairman of it. The appointment was made by President Bush 41, God rest his soul as he was the sweetest man in the world and very fit. I was under Arnold as our chairman and we went to schools all over the nation. It was a volunteer job and we were trying to get kids into physical education at the schools which was really hard and we did appearances and Arnold paid out of his own money in every state we went to. I would lead aerobics to young kids and it was the beginnings of this grass roots for the President’s Council. It was a really fun time because we were trying to get fitness out there during the 90’s so it was a very important time you know. We were trying to change people’s eating habits. We were trying to get rid of some of the sugars in people’s cereals. So we lobbied on The Hill in front of Congress and pleaded with them to make changes for the school to get kids moving more and to get physical education back into the schools. We worked hard!
AM: That council was so huge. I graduated in 1997 from High School and starting in my Sophomore year, in addition to the traditional gym classes, you could have aerobics as an entire class. We also had potato and salad bars at our school. Our school system was seen as progressive and a lot of times, we talked about the fact that because of the council, it allowed our school system to understand that this was so important. I appreciate the efforts that you guys did to make this happen!
DA: Your school system was progressive and it was a lot of work, but I’m glad you had that opportunity available to you! We also made recommendations and guidelines with top doctors which was years of work and I learned so much to be around the brilliant minds of medical, health and wellness. I learned a lot which helped me to grow to teach other people especially women and to this day, I still get on the phone and talk to these top doctors all over the country! I use them as great resources to this day. It was a wonderful time and good networking.
AM: Amazing and you also helped launched the Food Pyramid System as well! How was that and what was it like as this is huge!
DA: I sure did! Well, they worked with nutritionists all over the country to come up with this pyramid guide making sure that the sugars were low and that the whole grains and fruits and vegetables that were at the bottom, took up a lot of our plate. They asked me to be the one to kick it off at The Department of Agriculture in Washington DC in this whole glorious building and it was a huge honor!
AM: It’s amazing to hear so many things that you have done and been apart of that you didn’t even think about, but that is the cornerstone of what we know today. How are you so humble about that?
DA: I almost forget that I did it! I’m moving ahead so much that I don’t really think about it!
AM: When you think about how you, Jack LaLanne and Jane Fonda laid the ground work for what fitness videos are, various programs etc. They were the precursor to today’s studio and boutique fitness locations.
DA: Oh I just love what I do! I keep going and I just feel that I do look ahead and my focus now is looking at women that are over 40. I have a Stop the Clock Guide – which is a nutrition and fitness guide for women because this age group has women that aren’t really seen anymore. I truly believe that those in this group - we want to be healthy, we want to be attractive, we want to look good and we want to do everything. That’s why I’m here and I want to tell them, yes we can. I have the best exercises to do away with belly fat after menopause. I know how to firm up your arms so that we look good when we wave goodbye. Muscles work wonders on your metabolism and I know through research that it does work. I believe in it so much because fitness is the best preventative medicine that there is. I preach it and I want my women over 40 to hear me, to learn and to not give up! They need to have a positive attitude about it as many women get clogged down with stress in this age in our life but there is so much to look forward to because we live longer now and we want to feel better.
AM: When you look at ages from 40-50 etc the way you work out when you are in those ages is different then when you’re in your 20’s and 30’s – what are the focuses in these age groups?
DA: Well in your 40’s, I still think that women need a lot of cardio to burn the fat. In the 50’s I focus mainly on target toning exercises because that’s when you start to have your metabolism drop during this age. One of the reasons is because you lack good muscle tone. The more muscle cells in your body, they’re active at rest. So the second you start losing muscle tone, that’s when you gain weight and that’s why the correlation between this in your 50’s is so important. I want to save women right away before it gets away from them. That’s why they need to focus on muscle condition which is what the guide is all about. Then in your 60’s, I hit this age group which is why I do more toning of course, but then I also turned it into stability exercises more core, strength training, stretching and balance.
AM: How important is recover to you in terms of working out?
DA: Very important! I take very good care of myself. I do Epson Salt baths now, I do foam rollers in my workouts, I believe in smoothing out my muscles for less stress. I try to once a month get a full body massage and those are just some of the little things that I do for wellness and recovery. I’m a big believer in eating healthy too! I’ve added in my nutrition guide, new recipes that have a lot to do with Omega-3’s as we need those as we age. Also some great healthy fats to make our skin still look supple and our hair looking fresh. So beauty plays a key role in what you are eating. I add a lot of different elements into the recipes that I make. Everything that I make is quick and easy, because if it isn’t easy in the kitchen, I won’t do it!
AM: What are 3 workouts that you think that everyone should be doing regardless of their age or wherever they are in life that are great for their abs, butts and legs?
DA: Absolutely. Always the simple rule of thumb is something for your upper body – a push up. If you don’t want to do it on the ground, you can do it against your kitchen counter or the office desk. It gets the arms and it gets your chest – so that takes care of your upper body. Mid Section, the old fashioned plank or sit-up it takes care of your belly and that whole core. I like to hold it up to a minute or change it up and do different things like bicycles or anything for your abs. For the lower body, squats and lunges for your hips, thighs and butt. If your knees hurt you, just go half way and do many squats. You can hold onto a chair or a countertop to use it for extra support. So you get something for your upper body, your mid section and your lower body.
AM: How many books have you written?
DA: Oh 12 books and I'm writing a book as we speak!
AM: What is that process like for you?
DA: Oh I’m terrible. It’s the worst job of my life because I talk so much that I would rather talk it, then write it. I feel like I am giving a speech to help women and then, that’s how I write my book – exactly like how I would talk it. Then I have to have an editor for English and then it’s a process.
AM: So what projects are you working on?
DA: Well on my DeniseAustin.com site, I bought back all of my TV shows that everyone used to watch and that they have missed. They now have Denise on Demand for their workouts just like they used to! You can time it so that even at 7am you can go to my website and bam it’s there so that you can stream it. Now I’m working on focusing all of my energies on Stop the Clock because it is so popular. We’re doing challenges on that. Recently, we had a 4 day arm challenge so that you could get sexy arms for the summer. So we’ll be doing some new challenges for the month of July so come back to DeniseAustin.com to see that. All of the challenges are free and I do have an online membership that is under $100 for the entire year. Everything that you want from me from my old workouts, new workouts, old shows, new shows, new challenges and an eating plan. If you need a focus on your meal plans I have this for you and if you need to focus on the way that I eat, vegetarian, gluten-free, heart healthy etc. – we have something for everybody!
AM: Do you and Katie workout together?
DA: Yes! That’s another focus I have! Katie Austin is my little daughter – well she is 25 but we do mother-daughter workouts together. She is doing a tour and I am joining her in some of the cities. I’m very excited about that. This is really fun being able to work with my daughter. She teaches me things about Social Media. She’s the one that got me on Instagram – I had Facebook, but now I have this. And then I try to help her on what I have learned in my industry, focusing on good form and little details. You know, I have 2 daughters. My oldest Kelly, is in the music industry, when I would film my TV Show when they were younger, Katie would stand there by the camera and do it with me. Kelly would be out there looking for shells or who knows what! Katie was always watching and I had no idea after college that that was what she wanted to do. So it was so fun that she loved it, is a natural and she learned from years of being there. Everyday – she was even in a workout video that I did years ago when she was 7 for Fit Kids. She had already filmed videos and been on shows for years.
AM: There is something about when you have parents that are in a business that you can see or be around and how it ends up being a part of your career!
DA: Yes so true! My oldest daughter is a Music Supervisor. She picks songs for movies. My husband is a sports lawyer, but he is a music nut! When she was little, they used to put playlists together so it’s like one focused on what his passion was and one focused on what mine was. It’s kind of fun!
AM: In LA, where can we find you grabbing a bite, shopping and working out?
DA: Yes we had been based in Washington DC for 32 years and now we’re in LA – back home! In LA I like Earth Café for food and coffee, it’s one of my favorite stops in Santa Monica. For dinner, I love Scopa, I just went there in Venice it was delicious and it’s Italian! I do eat pasta, but only from good places – why not? Oh gosh, you’ll see me walking on the beach a lot. You’ll see me doing the Strand Walk which is a 5 mile walk on the strand which is like a boardwalk. You’ll see my husband and I play tennis a lot and we go on bike rides a lot too! We bike ride to Happy Hour as I only have one glass!
I love walking in NY and Chicago. The second that I land, I throw my bags in the hotel and I get out and walk. I don't care what time it is, I get out and walk for 30 minutes. It's a great thing to get out and stretch.
AM: We’re all about #TRIBEGOALS. Who are 3 people that inspire you?
DA: I would say my daughters. They inspire me to work harder to be a good person. They’re watching and as a mom that means the world to me – as my family means everything! I would also say my husband – his loyalty and his integrity to people. I look up to him. In business there are so many, I can’t even just pick one in my industry. There was Jack LaLanne and now I also look up to writers that are really cool like Tim Farris and Dave Asprey.
PHOTO CREDIT | PG 143, 147 + 148 Denise Austin | PG 144 Jaguarps | PG 151 Featureflash |
You can hear Denise Austin's interview later this month on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
We loved Brad Goreski when we first met him on BRAVO's The Rachel Zoe Project as he stepped into the world of styling and being her assistant, he continued on with the network's It's A Brad Brad World and appearing on a number of shows including being a co-host on E! Fashion Police for a number of seasons and during Awards Season on E! Live From the Red Carpet where he gives the inside scoop on who he dressed, who is wearing what and making predictions on what designers we will see on the red carpets. His career has included being a Creative Director at Kate Spade and dressing a number of coveted celebs including Emily Ratajkowski, Demi Moore, Rashida Jones and Jessica Alba to name a few. He's known for rocking dapper style and never being afraid of color and patterns for his clients or himself.
With summer officially starting this month, we took some time to talk about how he got into the industry, how he is inspired to dress his clients, the importance of sunglasses - summer's accessory and last month's MET Gala looks that he loved this year.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did you know that you wanted to be in fashion and ultimately know that you wanted to be a stylist?
BRAD GORESKI: I think I knew from a very young age. I always loved fashion and putting looks together for myself and for my mom. I was always so aware of what everyone was wearing that I feel like this is kind of exactly what I was supposed to be doing. But the real turning point is when I was in college and I was looking for a summer internship and I landed at one in Vogue in NYC and the rest is kind of history. I just knew that it was where I wanted to be. I feel very lucky that I have been able to work in an industry that has been so welcoming to me for many many years now and I feel very very lucky!
AM: How do you get inspiration when it comes to styling your clients?
BG: Social media is such a great place to get inspired. There is everything from the past, present and future available to us there. I follow a variety of different people and different pages. It’s so fun to be able to see something like I noticed an old image of Marilyn Monroe the other day in a great black lace blouse, pencil skirt and heels and just the whole vibe of the setup! I said to myself, “I have to do this with one of my clients this summer.” It was just a really beautiful summery look and there are so many great trends this summer as well. It’s just really fun to keep up with these trends on social media.
AM: What are 3 trends this summer that we should be thinking about in terms of creating our dynamic look?
BG: Well one of the big trends that I’m loving in terms of the summer for men and for women is really bright bold color. Whether that’s a bright red or a royal blue or even something as crazy as a bright yellow. Thinking about bold color is one of my favorite trends! You can do that even in suiting with a blazer or even in shorts.
The second one is florals – florals are everywhere right now whether it’s a bigger floral or more of a micro floral – a smaller one – I think florals for men and for women is a nice summery way to kind of add a little bit of interest to your wardrobe.
Of course, number 3 is always having a good pair of sunglasses. I’m so happy to be partnering with the Vision Council to be talking about sunglasses and protecting your eyes this summer and also the best ways that you can purchase a pair of sunglasses and the steps that you can go through to be thinking about when you are buying a pair of sunglasses. You always want to be protecting your eyes and buying those that protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays. You want to look for that little sticker that we’re all familiar with on your sunglasses that let you know that they protect you from this. You also want to be able to have the right comfort and fit. You want to get a pair of sunglasses that really suits the shape of your face. Then you need to look at your lifestyle. What do you do throughout the day? Are you super active, are you running errands, do you run around with your kids? Next, what’s your style? Are you looking more towards a Marilyn Monroe style that is more vintage and has a cat eye or are you looking to be a little more classic and looking to do an aviator?
AM: These are great points and there are some people that opt not to wear sunglasses! What do you believe are some of the misconceptions that they have that results in them not wearing them?
BG: I think that there are a lot of myths out there about sunglasses. I think that some people believe that if it is cloudy outside, that they are not getting any UVA/UVB exposure. Whether it’s cloudy out or not, you are always at risk of UVA/UVB exposure. I think that also when people look at their sunglasses and see that it has a super dark lens, they think that they are getting the ultimate in protection. The only way that you know that you’re getting protection from UVA/UVB protection is when you see that little sticker that says that. You want to look for it for sure. I think that The Vision Council says that whenever you’re out during the day that you should be protecting your eyes with a pair of sunglasses.
AM: These are great points that we should always be mindful. As someone that I know travels quite a bit, what are 3 things that you tend to carry with you in your carryon when you travel?
BG: Very good question because I am taking off on a flight this afternoon! So, snacks – I always have to have them with me. I like to have my own with me because I like to eat on the airplane and it gets me through. I always have some bars, a little treat, I like to carry some almond butter with me. I always have earplugs with me as well because I like to have just quiet. I also like to have my headphones with me as well. The last flight I took, my head phones fell out of my bag in the backseat of the car and I really had to do some centering work. I was like, what am I going to do for 6 hours?
AM: That is the worst!!!! We have been fans of yours for a long time and love seeing you on E! Live from the Red Carpet. As the Met Gala taking place last month with its focus on Camp, what were your 3 favorite looks from this year’s carpet?
PHOTOS CREDITS | 1st pic BRAVO | 2nd pic SharpShooter |
You can hear Brad Goreski's interview this month on our show, Bungalow SK which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
This month, we talk with John Salley, who had a phenomenal NBA career with 4 Championship rings on 3 separate teams. Post his NBA career, he has been a host of FOX Sports' Best Damn Sports Show Period, a host on a number of shows such as VH1's Basketball Wives and Basketball Wives LA, as well as a number of other hosting and TV appearances. In addition, he is known for his philanthropy, activism and his investments within health and wellness. With his focus on veganism as well as the cannabis sector, he has a truly diversified portfolio. We talk with him about his career, his legacy in the game and his transition into current projects.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was that moment that you realized that you wanted to play basketball and ultimately, go to the NBA?
JOHN SALLEY: At the time, I think that I was 6 years old! I was realizing that everybody was getting up early to go to work and I saw that people were playing games at night and that’s when I knew that was a job that I wanted instead.
AM: As a 15 year veteran in the league and as the first player to win 4 championship games on 3 different teams, what do you think your legacy is in terms of your contribution to the game?
JS: Oh wow. My legacy? Some of my teammates like me, I say it all the time time that everything is just moments in time! For me to be on that stage 5 times and to win 4 of them is an amazing accomplishment and that can’t be taken away. A lot of the people that I talk to say that there are great players and I tell them that there is a difference between great players and champions.
AM: A lot of people during this time of year get a little confused when it comes to buying their father or father figures something for Father’s Day. What are 3 gifts that you suggest so that we’re not just getting in the rut of a coffee mug or a tie?
JS: A tie and a coffee mug is good because next year you realize that you broke that coffee mug or you're still wearing that tie that everyone saw at that Christmas party ha ha! I have this wonderful bald head. God took the middle out so I took the rest out. I love and use the Philips Norelco 6000 Shaver. It protects your skin from getting those cuts and head bumps. It has rings that goes around. It feels good all day. I shave my head so that I can always be smooth and ready.
I also love, as I am a photographer and always take pictures – Epson Workforce BT4750 Printer with an ecotank. Many people take pictures and they leave it on their camera. Sometimes I like to put it in a frame! I like when you can have something in your hands and and know that you have it.
Lastly, you can get the 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player which is available at Amazon, Best Buy, Target etc. A lot of guys have a lot of Blu-Ray collections but I love that you can just sit back and watch all of your favorite.
I love Bumblebee so funny and you can watch with your whole family at anytime! They also have Forrest Gump which I believe is one of the greatest movies of all time – everybody else does too. Tom Hanks got his award because of it – you can do anything in America and that is a proven thing about Forrest Gump and everything counts to the next point. It’s the 25 year anniversary too! Then there is Batman. I mean, you have Jack Nicholson and he was psycho and they played a lot of Prince music which I loved! The movies come along with this player and it's cool that this is what people want to see. That's what I think works for Father's Day.
AM: This time of year also makes you think about what you want to gift grads – what ideas do you have for that?
JS: For a grad – I don’t want you sitting around all day eating nachos that’s not vegan and just watching movies although it’s a great gift to have! I definitely suggest the Epson printer for anybody.
AM: As you transitioned from the game, you’ve been in movies, hosted shows, are philanthropic and you are making serious moves in the health and wellness sector. Why is being involved in this area so important to you?
JS: Well, I have a big foot but I want to leave the smallest footprint on the planet whenever I decide to leave. I believe everything deserves to have life. Nothing needs to be taken from life it just needs to have life. I believe that the best you can, the best energy you put forth, making sure you do something to help society, the world, the planets, and animals – the more you do the more you’re blessed!
PHOTOS CREDITS | 1st + 4th pic JOHN SALLEY | 2nd pic Jean Nelson | 3rd pic s_bukley |
You can hear John Salley's interview now on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
We sat down with Laila Ali, who continued Muhammad Ali, her father’s legacy in the sport, as well as trailblazing outside of it. As a professional boxer who went undefeated in her career, she held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF and IBA female super middleweight titles and the IWBF light heavyweight title. She is a TV personality and host of OWN’s Home Made Simple, participating in Dancing with the Stars, Food Network’s Chopped as well as Celebrity Apprentice. In our interview, we took time to talk with her about the importance of fitness, nutrition and how we can focus on spring cleaning this time of year.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us the moment when you realized that you wanted to be a boxer and eventually parlaying that into TV hosting, nutrition and wellness?
LAILA ALI: So I first saw women’s boxing on television when I was about 17 years old and that was when I first had the idea and desire to become a professional boxer myself. So it wasn’t right away that I took the leap because I was at school full time and I had a business at the time and it took me about a year to start training and once I did, that was it – end of story. Of course I ended with 24-0, 21 KOs and 4 world titles.
So boxing was my first love and I focused so much time and energy on it for about 9 years and then I decided I wanted to retire and to start a family, then I started to think about what I wanted to do next. Right around that time, Dancing With the Stars called and I decided to do the show as it was a great platform for me to show other sides of myself. From there, I just went onto TV hosting and different opportunities. During that 5 year period I began to think about what I was passionate about, what I wanted to do next, and that was really when I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to be able to help other people live their best life. I wanted to help them make healthy lifestyle choices and then I started doing shows such as Home Made Simple which I host, now which comes on OWN every Saturday. I’m able to work with families, make their living spaces amazing, also cook healthy recipes with them out of my cookbook Food For Life and now we’re launching our own product line which is simple plantbased cleaning products. They are available at select Walmart stores and Walmart.com.
So, things have really come full circle, but it was all about really encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle choices and live their best life.
AM: Can you tell us a little more about Home Made Simple’s product extension of cleaning products and why you enjoy using them?
LA: So we have hand soap, we have dish soap, we’ve got laundry detergent, fabric softener, multipurpose spray. It comes in lemon, lavender and rosemary. All of these products are not only safe and affordable, but they are effective and that is the most important thing. I’m all about using products that are good for my family, the environment and Home Made Simple’s products are amazing in that they actually work as well.
AM: We know that you have a number of tips about cleaning your home – especially in a way that keeps it simple, can you share 3 with us?
LA: Now is the time that everyone is thinking about spring cleaning right? We are in my household as well! Some of the things that I like to do is to get my kids involved and what I do is give them a series of chores on a chart. When they have done everything that they need to do, then I reward them. Whatever they are asking me for, I tell them that they can get it once they have gotten all of their stars on their chart. One of the other things that works out really well for me is not to wait for things to pile up. I like to take 10-15 minutes out of everyday to put things in their place. Another tip I have is that whenever you have things that you want to give away or get rid of, clothes that don’t fit anymore – put them in a big bin. I leave mine in the garage and remove them quarterly as it keeps clutter down. Every time you buy things – when you bring something into the household, you take something else out. We all have things in our kitchens and other rooms of the house that can be placed in a bin. I think that when you do that, you’re encouraged to donate items and I think that it’s really good to be able to help those in need or to be able to repurpose those items. That’s how it keeps everything nice and organized. Of course, it's all about using products that you love and that work and Home Made Simple really makes that easy to do with their new plant-based cleaning products.
AM: With it being the Spring and people needing ways to spruce up food options when it comes to supporting their workout, what smoothies and power foods should we think about incorporating into our day to day?
LA: I think it’s very important to be consistent first of all and make sure that you are getting enough rest so that you can do your best workout. Staying hydrated is key! A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to drink water as it enhances your performance, effects the way that you think and it’s really important to do. I like to have a protein shake after I workout. I don’t want to eat and put my body through having to digest food which is more work. I like to have a protein shake and just kind of get everything in and then eat a couple of hours after which is what my routine is.
AM: As someone who I’m sure travels a lot, what are 3 skincare products that you swear by that you enjoy using in your routine?
LA: I don’t think that it’s so much products or about a routine. I make sure that I clean my skin really well every night. I wash my face and I use a good moisturizer before I go to bed. In the morning I like to clean my face in the shower after my pores have opened up with the hot steam and then I will clean my face. I like to use my Clarisonic because it really gets into those pores really well. So those are tips that I have. Water and sweating are actually amazing for your skin. Sweating out toxins and that comes from working out and drinking water. Beauty comes from within.
AM: We’re all about #Tribegoals and the power of tribes which are the source of inspiration. Who are 3 people that you are inspired by?
LA: Well I definitely have a tribe of people that are around me. I think that every successful person does. It takes a team and nobody is doing it by themselves. My husband is part of my tribe and is my best friend, my confidant. One of my best girlfriends is like my person my go to who will keep it real with me and be honest. I don’t want to have yes people around me. Of course I would also include my business associates as well.
You can hear Laila Ali's interview now on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multimedia podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
Athleisure Mag’s May issue is covered by CNBC's Co-Anchor, Morgan Brennan of ”Squawk Alley" (M-F 11am - 12pm). In addition to her daily show, she also continues to cover a variety of sectors including manufacturing, defense and space for the network. While her shoot showcases a number of pre-summer styles at 498 West End Ave #PH on the UWS, we sat down with her to find out how she came to working as a financial broadcaster/journalist, the stories that she enjoys covering, being a Co-Anchor on her show, as well as what she does when she is off set.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background. What drew you to being as a financial journalist and broadcaster?
MORGAN BRENNAN: I didn’t go to college promptly after high school since I was pursuing a career in the music industry. In my early 20s, I had a change of heart and decided to go to school and set out to be...an anthropologist. It was in my last year at New York University that I realized how similar journalism is to anthropology: research, interviews and ethnographic studies, identifying your own biases and then moving past them to realize facts and bigger societal truths, and the fact that every major trend, topic or issue has people at the heart of it. Plus, it turns out that most have a money trail as well, so examining the business or financial or economic angle is fascinating. I also think - now more than ever - it’s crucial for people to have an understanding of how money works and how business drives behavior and at times, change. Finances are a key driver of our lives as human beings so I feel very passionately about the role we play at CNBC to make these sometimes jargon-laden, daunting concepts and phrases associated with financial and economic literacy accessible.
AM: Prior to coming to CNBC in 2013, tell us about where you started your career.
MB: I started my journalism career working for magazines. I interned at Newsweek International in the fall of 2008 (as I was finishing school), fact-checking articles and writing some of my own. The world was imploding, and financial news was breaking news. The following Spring I got very lucky and landed my first job two days after graduation as an assistant for the video department at Forbes Media. It was a difficult time in the world of publishing as the internet was disrupting traditional revenue streams and the industry was downsizing drastically. But that bred opportunity as well. I was able to take on extra responsibilities and work my way up the ladder, becoming a reporter and staff writer who wrote regularly for Forbes magazine and had a multimedia presence online. I also appeared on cable news programs as a guest and that experience helped catapult me full-time into the world of TV business news. Writing is actually essential to TV so in hindsight that foundation was crucial.
AM: Tell us about your different roles/positions at CNBC. How did you transition from a general assignment reporter to a reporter focused on sectors (manufacturing, defense, and space), to Co-Anchor of “Squawk Alley”?
MB: Like so many people I speak with, my path has been shaped by a trifecta of hard work, sacrifice, and luck. The transition from print to TV was tricky, since TV requires thinking in minutes and even seconds, versus days or weeks when working on a magazine feature story. Telling a story on paper is very different than telling one in 90 seconds on live television. Once I understood that, I was able to focus my efforts on more companies, more trends, more events, typically targeting sectors and industries that were little loved or perhaps little understood. It evolved from there, with instances over the years of being in the right place at the right time to cover a major breaking news event – a scenario that would then open a door to more sources and more stories. Anchoring came once I had established a strong foundation of comprehension across a number of industries. I love that I get to do both – anchoring and reporting – and I believe they bolster each other.
AM: As the Co-Anchor of “Squawk Alley,” what is your day like in terms of prepping for the day’s general news, going on air and after?
MB: The way I see it is I get paid to learn and then disseminate that knowledge to others. Every day involves hours of reading, as well as lots of writing, networking, sourcing – and TV and video watching. When I first started working full-time in this business the piece of advice offered repeatedly was to grab sleep whenever and wherever I could. Days can start very early, especially when traveling, and can go very long, especially when in the field reporting on a story. It takes an incredible amount of time, effort and resources to make just a few minutes of live television – and no one does it alone. I have an incredible team of producers and co-anchors that I am grateful to get to work with every day.
AM: How do you prepare for your sector coverage?
MB: Again, lots of reading. Also, I try to keep in constant contact with a wide network of sources operating in the sectors I cover, be it aerospace and defense or tech or anything else I may be tasked with covering. I make a lot of phone calls, read a lot of analyst notes and meet with as many folks as the schedule permits. Listening to its earnings calls is a great way to learn - and quickly - about a publicly traded company.
AM: What are some of your favorite CNBC stories or interviews that you have reported on?
MB: I have been blessed to be able to travel all over the U.S. to report on stories. So far I’ve visited 46 states. Among my favorites: being the first person to broadcast live from Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet factory floor as the program was facing scrutiny from President Trump due to costs; live play-by-play coverage of SpaceX's first-ever Falcon Heavy rocket launch, from Kennedy Space Center; and the short documentary I did with the CNBC Investigative unit that focused on illegal home-sharing activity on the Airbnb platform, a project that involved five months of research and reporting and required quite a number of field shoots.
AM: When you wake up, what are 3 sites/apps/platforms that you go to to connect with what is going on financially to jump start your day?
MB: First stop is CNBC.com to see where different markets are trading. Second stop is Twitter to see what’s trending and what the financial and media folks I follow are talking about. After that, I start clicking through articles on the homepages of news sites like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters and Axios. I also receive hard copies of newspapers every day because I think it’s important to visually see what’s made the front page and where (and I still like to hold paper in my hands and make notes with a pen.)
AM: When you’re not at work and taking downtime for yourself, what would we find you doing?
MB: When I’m not working, I’m focused on my other job: raising my amazing (and saucy) three-year old daughter. It is very much a team effort but I try to unplug from my phones for at least an hour a night on workdays to focus all of my attention exclusively on her and the family. I’m also a big Broadway buff. And recently, I’ve been trying my hand at cooking and baking. I make a mean muffin.
AM: Living in Westchester and working in NYC, where can we find you grabbing a meal, shopping and/or working out?
MB: When my husband and I moved out of New York City a few years ago I was nervous about the change; I had been a city dweller for the better part of 16 years. I’m happy to report what millions already know: there is great food, great culture and a great sense of community in the suburbs too. In Westchester, I’m a big fan of the Cookery in Dobbs Ferry, the Inn at Pound Ridge, and for pizza, Johnny’s in Mount Vernon is a must. I currently belong to Equinox because I like the peer pressure of group classes. When shopping, I am in need of adult supervision when visiting Target, Stew Leonard’s, or HomeGoods. I’m also a big fan of diners and will travel for really good coffee, which I drink black, many times a day.
AM: As someone who is a foodie, what are 3 restaurants on your list that you have yet to try, but are looking forward to?
MB: If only it were just three! Definitely Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan; D.O.M. in Sao Paulo, Brazil – which I’m hoping will happen soon since we have a family member from that city; and Osteria Francescana in Modena, a region of Italy that’s highly underrated for its food and from where some of my husband’s family originates. One of my favorite docuseries right now is “Chef’s Table,” on Netflix, which profiles renowned chefs from across the globe, so I have quite the inspired wish list thanks to that.
AM: During our photoshoot, we listened to a 90’s Hip Hop playlist. What are 3 of your favorite songs in this genre?
MB: 90’s hip hop is the best hip hop! But as someone who came of age during that decade I may be partial. Honestly it’s too hard for me to answer because I love music, from classic rock to 80’s pop to grunge. In terms of 90’s hip hop though, I’d say anything by 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan or A Tribe Called Quest. (I may also know all of the words to “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa.)
AM: As someone who is always on the move and travels often for interviews, what are 3 items you take in your carry on?
MB: I never leave home without a wireless charger. I also always pack an extra set of clothes, since there have been instances in which breaking news or a last-minute assignment has meant I was on the road for longer than initially anticipated. The other item that’s especially handy is a blanket scarf because airplanes can be chilly and you can use one as a blanket or pillow in a pinch.
AM: Is there anything else you want to share?
MB: I have been very blessed to receive some great advice from accomplished individuals. But one example in particular I love is: don’t take yourself seriously; do take your job seriously. I believe that’s the secret to success - work hard and be willing, and try to have fun along the way.
Our cover shoot took place at 498 West End Ave #PH on the UWS of NYC. This 2 level home has great views of the city and is near a number of restaurants, shops and more! We chatted with Louise Philipps Forbes of Halstead to find out more information about this listing that is currently on the market.
ATHLEISURE MAG: The views and natural light at West End Ave #PH are amazing, tell us about the features of this unit.
LOUISE PHILLIPS FORBES: Set atop a quintessential Upper West Side landmark constructed in 1910 by Neville & Bagge, this 3,646 sf 5 bed, 4.5 bath newly constructed full-floor duplex is a rare combination of prewar craft and contemporary artistry. Thoughtfully designed by CetraRuddy Architecture to accommodate a 21st century lifestyle, this exceptional home has spectacular finishes and grand proportions. The premium grade details that grace the interiors impart a pervasive sense of quality, where space and light mix with elevated materials to infuse traditional forms with inventiveness.
The keyed elevator service to this topmost unit opens up into a warm and inviting foyer. Upon entering the penthouse, the new oversized windows welcome an abundance of light from all directions, keeping the home bright and airy, as you mentioned. The solid white oak floors in a custom 30-inch square rift-and-quartered parquet inspired pattern, accentuate the dining and living rooms.
Designed to deliver equal portions of elegance and functionality, every facet of the kitchen exceeds the highest standards while also delivering innovative design concepts - from the outstanding millwork in custom chocolate-stained oak with contrasting cream-colored ceruse, to a single-slab marble hearth wall that conceals the range hood. Outfitted for the most seasoned cooks, the kitchen also showcases Calacatta countertops, Miele appliances, a 48-inch Bertazzoni gas range, and a Gaggenau warming drawer and wine refrigerator.
An expansive wrap-around terrace, at its longest spanning close to 90 feet, makes for a covetable outdoor space ideal for lounging as well as hosting cocktails and dinner parties against the backdrop of an exquisite panorama f the Hudson River.
AM: What amenities are offered in this building for residents (common areas, services, etc.)?
LPF: Among the many amenities of 498 WEA is a fitness room with cardio workstations and an exercise area. For the younger set, a delightful activity center with an ingenious wood-peg wall allows kids to express themselves to their heart’s content.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that is directly around this building (Wholefoods, workout studios, eateries, etc.) and what neighborhood is this considered?
LPF: Flanked by two beautiful parks, the Upper West Side is one of the greenest neighborhoods in Manhattan. A favorite with families with its great elementary schools, safe streets and plethora of playgrounds, the vibe of the Upper West Side is relaxed, yet lively. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to frequent along Amsterdam Avenue, and Broadway. The wide, tree-lined streets also host many mom-and-pop stores, some of the best Jewish delis in the city, Zabar’s and Levain Bakery. Cultures abound as this coveted neighborhood is the home to the American Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the West Side Community Garden.
AM: For those interested in this unit, how can they get more information?
LPF: For more information on this home please head over to Halstead.com/19162124
AM: Do you also represent other units in this building as well?
LPF: Yes, as the exclusive broker for new development in this building my team represents new units as they become available. We just launched a fully renovated 2,093sf 3-Bed, 2-Bath residence on the 8th floor with the same designer details and notable features.
AM: Can you tell us about the artwork that is featured in this apartment?
LPF: The artwork throughout the two-story home has been thoughtfully curated by an interior designer to help highlight its architectural features and, of course, the view.
AM: Where can readers find out about properties that you represent?
Athleisure Mag's May cover story was shot by Paul Farkas, using Canon Mark IV; and selected Canon lenses: EF 50 f/1.2 L, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, and EF 70-200 f/2.8 L II.
MAKEUP & HAIR CREDITS
MUAH Bamike Ogunrinu utilized a number of products and tools in order to create the makeup and hairstyles that are in this cover editorial with CNBC's Co-Anchor of "Squawk Alley".
PREP | BIODERMA Micellar Water | REBELS AND OUTLAWS Love Potion | DRUNKEN ELEPHANT B-Hydra Intensive Hydrating Serum | TWINMEDIX Pro:Refine Eye Correction | TWINMEDIX Pro:Refine Moisturizer | BITE Agave Lip Mask |
FACE | MAKEUP FOREVER Ultra HD Cream Foundation KEVYN AUCOIN Contour Book Volume 3 | ILIA Essential Face Palette Warm | MAKEUP FOREVER Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer 20M | BROWS | BENEFIT Foolproof Brow Powder 3 | IT COSMETICS Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil |
OUT AND ABOUT LOOK | EYES // STILA Eyes are the Window Shadow Palette #mind | LIPS // CHAPSTICK Total Hydration Moisture + Tint #Rose Petal |
FITNESS LOOK | EYES // NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder | LIPS // PAT MCGRATH | MatteTrance Lipstick #Femme Bot |
RESORT GLAM | EYES // COZZETTE Infinite Eyeshadows #Aquamarine | LIPS // MAKEUP FOREVER Artistic Rouge Light Luminous Hydrating Lipstick L304 |
HAIR PRODUCTS | IGK Laidback + Intern |
HAIR TOOLS | Hot tools ¾" – 1¼" + 1" Nano Ceramic® Salon Flat Iron with Extra-Long Plates + Nano Ceramic® Tapered Curling Iron – Large
Athleisure Mag's Celeb Fashion Stylist, Co-Founder/Creative + Style Director Kimmie Smith focused on looks that incorporate a number of pieces that will become go-to's in your closet with the onset of warm weather.
OUT AND ABOUT // PG 25 + 26 | SOCIALITE CLOTHING Playsuit in Tobacco | QUPID Ankle Booties | AMATOSTYLE Domenica Cream Leather Cord with Python Tassel Necklace + Novella Python Earrings | LAGOS 18K Caviar Gold Large Dome Statement Ring + 18K Bar 7 Gold Bracelet |
FITNESS LOOK // PG 16- 22 + BACK COVER | BEYOND YOGA Burgundy Sports Bra | WOLVEN THREADS Moonlight Mandala Leggings | HOKA ONE ONE Women's Bondi B | LAGOS 18K Caviar Gold 35MM Hoop Earrings, 18K Caviar Gold Diamond 7 Rounds Stack Ring, Caviar Gold Ring + 18K Caviar Gold 35MM Hoop Earrings |
RESORT GLAM LOOK // FRONT COVER + 29 - 33 | OLIVIA VON HALLE Delphine Muse Full Length Dress | GOOSEBERRY So Chic Sweet Sunrise | LAGOS 18K Enso 30MM Circle with Linear Drop Pendant Multi Length, 18K Enso 30MM Circle with Linear Drop Earring, Black Caviar Ceramic Diamond Pave 14MM Ring, Black Caviar Black Ceramic Diamond7 Link Statment Ring 9MM Bracelet + Black Caviar Black Ceramic 2 Diamond Link 9MM Bracelet |
On today’s episode of #TRIBEGOALS, we have our interview with Athleisure Mag’s 2019 April cover girl, Trinity Fatu aka Naomi, of the WWE and E!’s Total Divas! We talked about how she has always had a love for performing, her days as a cheerleader for the Orlando Magic and that moment when she realized that she wanted to be a WWE Superstar! We delve into her successful career in the WWE, Wrestlemania and a number of the women’s matches. We also talk about the coupleship with her husband Jonathan Fatu who is one half of WWE’s The Uso’s as Jimmy Uso as well as her love for Beyonce!
Earlier this month, we had the honor of sitting down with one of our culinary faves at NYC's The Kitchen Table in NoLita with Gail Simmons. In addition to her role at Food & Wine Magazine, she is also known as a judge on BRAVO's Top Chef. We talked with Gail about her journey in food journalism, the importance of working throughout the food industry to gain invaluable knowledge of professional kitchens, Top Chef history, food diversity, how she maintains calm when planning for guest arrivals for food celebrations, key ingredients in her kitchen this Spring, where we can find her shopping in Brooklyn and more!
ATHLEISURE MAG: So tell us about your background and how you came to work in food journalism?
GAIL SIMMONS: It’s sort of a long story and I have always started with a love for food. I graduated from college and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career and everyone else seemed to know what they wanted to do with their degree out of college. All I knew was that I loved to cook and I loved to write. But back then, that wasn’t necessarily a one plus one equals two situation. People were just starting to cover the food world. The term food media back then just meant writing for a handful of magazines or a couple pages of newspapers and there wasn’t the kinds of opportunities that they are now. But I knew that cooking was my passion and so I got a job first as an intern in a magazine and as an Editorial Assistant in a newspaper as sort of a lifestyle food and travel section. I realized that in working everyday around all of these different subjects that food is really what I am more interested in. Then I was given this really great piece of advice that anyone can write as you can practice on your own and that’s what you have editors for, but if you want to differentiate yourself and really make a mark in the food world then you really need to understand the professional kitchen and learn to cook.
So I picked up, packed up and moved to NYC and went to culinary school and from there I worked in a few really tough, but incredible professional kitchens as a line cook and always with an agenda that I wanted to write about it and knowing that I never wanted to be a chef in a kitchen full time. When the time was right and I had a lot of experience and felt that I really understood how to cook well properly with a good foundation, I moved back into writing first with Vogue Magazine as an Assistant to the Food Writer and then for a chef doing events, marketing and PR all sort of learning around the events of the restaurant industry in every different aspect of what it takes to work in the food industry. About 15 years ago, I landed at Food and Wine Magazine and I’ve sort of been there ever since.
AM: That is a journey and what was the moment while you were on this food journalism track that you realized that you wanted to enhance your brand and make that jump into TV as well?
GS: I didn’t actually. I never ever consciously thought, I want to enhance my brand as a personality – the word brand, was never in my language or in my purview. I never thought about going on to television it was always about writing and publishing for me back then – 14 years ago. I did a little bit of food television in my early days on behalf of Food & Wine because often morning shows would need someone to talk about recipes, wine trends from the magazine or what we were doing for our spring issue ,so I was the one that would often go on because I had the cooking and marketing background to go on and be able to do cooking demos and to talk with the anchors and the hosts. So that sort of became what I did for the magazine and about a year into my job at Food & Wine, BRAVO came to Food & Wine with this idea of a reality show about the lives of professional chefs and they wanted to call it Top Chef and they wanted to partner with Food & Wine to teach them about the world of food and cooking and in exchange, they would put one of their editors on the judges panel and so they screen tested me and asked me to do it and I have been doing it ever since. I never meant to do it, I never sought it out, but we also certainly never knew that it was going to be a hit show and that it would last this long. We’re going into our 17th season and it doesn’t seem like it is going to be slowing down.
AM: We love your authenticity and in doing the research to chat with you, it was amazing to see how many areas of this industry that you have touched to immerse yourself in this space. Clearly this is why you can speak about so many aspects of it due to your knowledge.
GS: For me, everything I did up until now, and what I continue to do, feeds into my experience and my knowledge. I don’t think that I could have ever gotten the job on television had I not done all of those things. I think that being able to speak to the real life of professional kitchens, which is what our show is about – we want to speak fairly and honestly in a constructive way and understand the work that chefs do. I think that you need to have a working knowledge of that to come across to your audience not only as authentic, but in a way that the audience of a show can identify with you because the audience can’t taste the food. You really become the taste buds for your viewers and I think that all of the work that I have done and before leading up to Top Chef helped prepare me.
AM: What led to you creating cookbooks and what is that process like for you when you’re making them?
GS: I think that these days, cookbooks for me was a very natural offshoot for everything that I do and finding a place where all of my favorite recipes could live that shaped me and make me who I am and recipes that I have learned and brought home from my travels that have become staples in my household and I wanted to just share those with everybody because I am asked for them so often. It was a great opportunity to put them in one place.
The process was rigorous. It took me 2 years to write my most recent book. 2 years is sort of par for the course and sometimes it can take many, many more. From conception to publication, so it was an all encompassing process. It was so much work in every aspect – testing, developing, testing, rewriting the recipes, editing etc. Writing all the head notes, the introduction, making sure that they are accurate having someone else retest for that accuracy. I really wanted to make sure that every recipe in the book not only sounded delicious, but was absolutely attainable for everyone to make at home.
AM: That’s intense. Going back to Top Chef, we have had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Brooke Williamson and Chef Richard Blais previously in Athleisure Mag as well as on Athleisure Studio’s podcast network show – Athleisure Kitchen. What is it like for you as a judge to be on Top Chef? What is the process like for you and how do you get yourself prepared for those moments that are taking place?
GS: I mean we have been making this show for so long that we have gotten it down to a science. It’s a great process though as we have a great crew that has worked with us for so many years and everyone really understands what every episode takes. So we’re a pretty fine tuned machine. I would say that the most important part of what I do is balancing - being constructive and fair with the challenge that is being presented every episode and making sure that I am speaking to that challenge and what all the different chefs that are doing. The great thing about the show is that we travel to a different city every single season so I always do a little research about the place because the location is going to inform so much about the cooking, the ingredients and the history. You know, the history of Charleston is going to be different then the history of Boston which is going to be very different than the history of Kentucky or California. I think it really plays a role and is what differentiates our show from all others.
AM: It’s also so inclusive to food diversity from a geographical standpoint. This season’s Top Chef was in Kentucky and one of our Co-Founders is from Indiana and many of the recipes that were made this season were also indicative of areas she grew up in and which allows audiences to connect from that standpoint as well.
GS: Exactly there is a lot of food overlap and that is what makes our show so fun. You don’t have to be a great cook to identify with loving food or understanding the history of this country. Food plays such a great role in that and in our families in the way that we eat, the way that we go out, the way that we celebrate and we try to stay true to the locations that we go to.
AM: How would you define, your style of cooking?
GS: I think my cooking is spontaneous and changes with a season. I’m a mom and I think my food has changed a lot since I became a mother. I want flavor and I want it to be healthy and easy to make because I don’t want to give people recipes that will take them 3 days in the kitchen and I certainly don’t have time to dedicate that. So my style really calls from all of my travel experience and my childhood which has a lot of influences. People always ask me, “what’s your favorite thing to cook?” I never have one favorite thing, it always depends on the time of year, where I traveled to last, the ingredients that I am most excited about and then ways that I go about organizing them and being the most efficient in the kitchen to get the most flavor by doing the least to the great quality of food that I have.
AM: Because you have done so much in the food industry, are there other projects that you would love to be a part of that you have yet to tackle – but would want to?
GS: I think there are so many things. There is so much travel that I want to do and I think that giving back to the community that helped me for so long is really important to me and there are so many ways to do that right now. Cooking is such a life skill, so not only does it nourish people, but it teaches people to translate that skill into a job anywhere where they are. Certainly, there are so many things where food applies to our lives, whether it’s politics or math and science. Teaching my child to cook, you become some conscious of that and so just teaching is always in the background for me, whether it’s through books or in television championing my industry, and giving back to my community through all of these different channels is always top of mind and there are always more things to be done.
AM: With Spring being here finally as we see the leaves on the trees – there are so many Spring holidays coming up and reasons to just come together just because. What are some trends taking place in the kitchen that we can incorporate right now into our dishes just to change things up?
GS: I think that Spring is just the most exciting moment in the year because we have all just been in hibernation for so long and I got real cozy with lots of soups and stews over the winter but I am ready for bright new ingredients. I am really excited about bringing all of those fresh herbs, fresh flavors, different fruits and vegetables into my diet that I haven’t been able to get all winter long. But I also want to be efficient with what I am cooking and because there are holidays in the Spring where you are cooking for a crowd often of all ages with family and friends with Easter and Passover – you really want to optimize your time in the kitchen. My entertaining strategies are always about finding recipes that you can be organized with and prepare as much as possible with in advance, so that when guests do arrive you’re just doing the minimal to get food on the table so that you can spend time with them.
AM: People come by unexpectedly sometimes. What do you suggest that we should always have in our fridges so that we can ensure that we are always ready as sometimes you never know when Auntie May comes by!
GS: Yes and there’s nothing to eat – it’s true! I mean I think with a few simple ingredients, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are ways to use them so that you’re picking ingredients that are versatile. A few products that I love are having lots of fresh herbs in my fridge and lots of citrus as they can be added to lots of things from pasta to cottage cheese. They can be turned into so many things in so many different ways. Or even eggs that they can go on top of. I love keeping good quality dairy products as they are always in my fridge. As I said, herbs and citrus, cheese, eggs, and then as much fresh ingredients as possible. So if you have salad greens or you have a few key bowls of berries, you can make 100 different things. Breakfast for example, is a time where I feel that people run out of ideas. There are a ton of things going on in the morning or if you’re entertaining in the morning there is a lot you have to do so quickly. If you have people over for brunch for Easter for example, if you can think a little ahead of time – you can make a really beautiful statement with minimal work. One thing that I always advocate is big batch cooking. I love making granola for example and I make it a week in advance in a big batch that I can eat throughout the week and I can have it as my go-to to put on top of things in the morning. Or just eat it as a handful to grab and go as a snack. When you have granola and some fresh berries, granola in the fridge and cottage cheese, then there you have the perfect protein packed, versatile and easy breakfast parfait that looks great and beautiful for everyone.
AM: When you are planning for 8-10 people that you know are coming for a dinner party, people get overwhelmed with the idea of tackling this – what do you do?
GS: I always make sure that I make my list and be organized. I can never underestimate how important that, is especially when you have guests arriving. Try not to do too many things and remember that you can ask for help. I think that people forget to do that. If I’m having people over, I want to think 2 days out about what I can do and then 1 day out, what I can do. Sometimes that feels daunting – no one has 3 days to make a meal, but I’m not talking about major cooking. Just marinating your meat in the morning so that 8 hours later when you cook it, it has all that flavor that is already done. That’s just 20 minutes in the morning and then you’re ready to cook as soon as guests arrive and it’s the same when you’re making your dressings in advance if you’re making a salad. I love making bowls – grain bowls for example, so doing things like making the dressing in advance, washing the lettuce, if I’m using quinoa or another grain like that – cooking it in advance really takes 15 minutes and then it’s cooled and ready to go and it’s in your fridge and all you’re doing is really assembly.
AM: What are 3 ingredients that you always have in your kitchen that are really good for versatile dishes?
GS: I would say that right now it’s fresh herbs, lemons because I use every part of the lemon from the juice to the zest and Hood Cottage Cheese because I feel it is the most versatile dairy product that I have that everyone loves and you can do so many things with it.
AM: Do you have some recipes for those of us that are busy and running around that are easy to satisfy and easy to make as well?
GS: One recipe that is my go to because it’s great for lunch, it’s great for a snack and it can feed a crowd and it’s easy to batch it up for 10 people or to just have a personal bowl of when I need something that is healthy and really satisfying – I make a really delicious Mango Avocado Salsa. Lots of lemons, lots of lime juice and lime zest and fresh cilantro tossed with fresh mango and avocado and I put it on a base of Hood Cottage Cheese with Black Pepper in a bowl. My little trick is I always make a little well in the center of the cottage cheese using the back of my spoon and I pile all the salsa right in the middle so that when you’re dipping you’re getting a little of both and you’re not searching for one ingredient or the other. I find that it’s a great after school snack for my kids, it’s a great appetizer for a dinner party or the perfect quick lunch for me on the go and it really doesn’t require many ingredients.
I talked with you about the grain bowl which is another one to make in advance and then the granola that I make all the time for breakfast for parfaits. Because if you have some fresh wash berries in the fridge, you can have your granola that you made before and all you have to do is layer it on together.
AM: Are there other ways that cottage cheese can be used beyond what someone would think is their “traditional” use?
GS: I think that cottage cheese is having this renaissance moment because people are rediscovering it from their childhood. First of all, it’s packed with protein which is a bonus, it can be used the same way that you use other dairy products. I love it in smoothies, I can use it in place of ricotta for pasta and lasagna. My kids love it and my little baby loves it for breakfast in the morning. It has texture and a rich creaminess and it's a great item to have around.
AM: You’re based here in NYC, where can we find you working out, grabbing a meal/cocktail and shopping?
GS: In NY the options are endless and I live in Brooklyn – I love my neighborhood. It’s a quiet treelined neighborhood in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of great places to eat nowadays. I’m really obsessed with eating at a lot of places with fresh little small plates and a glass of wine so there’s a great wine bar close to me called June that I love and another wine bar with great food called Frank’s Wine Bar. When I’m in downtown NY, where we are today in NoLita – I love eating at a little Middle Eastern spot that has really fresh fast casual food called In the Dez, it’s delicious and right up the street. That’s where you can see me grabbing food.
Working out - now that the nice weather is out, I can pick up running again. I love running, but I don’t like running indoors so winter is kind of out for me and I take a break from running. But I live near the Brooklyn Promenade so running from my house to the Brooklyn Bridge is sort of my go to run when the weather is nice. If not, then I’m a spinner so you can catch me at SoulCycle.
And shopping – what kind of shopping?
AM: Well whatever, whether it’s for clothes or food – it’s so open!
GS: I mean, that’s a tough one! Shopping – I’m shopping for lots of things all the time! Let’s see, I love Veronica Beard for clothes, she’s a great designer that I wear a lot from these days. For food, what I love about my Brooklyn neighborhood is that it’s so old school in that instead of going to big huge grocery stores, there are small shops so I have my local butcher that I love, there is an amazing Middle Eastern store that I get all of my spices and things like pita and fresh bread and things like that. I’m at the regular grocery store buying all of my pantry items too.
AM: Your makeup is always great and you have great skin. As someone who travels a lot, what are 3 skincare products that you use?
GS: I have really dry skin so traveling definitely takes a toll. But I am also someone that doesn’t use 50 products a day because I’m someone that has to get up and go and I am always in a rush. So 3 products that I love my under eye I believe in helping as much as possible because tired is real. I’m a big fan of Drunk Elephant Vitamin C under eye cream that I use all of the time. There is a really beautiful store here in NYC and there is another in Boston and in a few other locations possible in DC, and It’s called Follain that has the most non toxic products from body to face to make up and hair products that are not only good for the planet, but with ingredients that are pure and all natural – so I use a lot of their products. I love Naturopathica skin care. I use a bunch of their products – I love their Daily Moisturizer and there’s this Body Balm that I absolutely love OSEA. They carry it at Follain so I get it there, but I initially got it as a gift and I’m obsessed with it. I love the smell, it’s rich and luxurious and really a great natural and beautiful skincare product for your whole body.
AM: You’re very busy. How do you take time for yourself to just recharge and disconnect?
GS: It’s a hard thing to do and it requires actual carve out time on the calendar for sure. Working out and clearing my brain is really important. I have to force myself to do it, but for me, it’s not about losing weight as obviously staying healthy is important. It’s about clearing my head and destressing because I know I will feel better at the end of the day if I can. I love that I live in NYC and I don’t have a car and that I can walk everywhere as I find that therapeutic. Cooking is also something that lets me relax at the end of the day. There is nothing that I like more than anything at the end of the day, relaxing with friends where I can sit around the table and I can cook for them and destress and really connect with the people that I love the most and that to me is taking a great time for myself. Once or twice a year, I like a really good massage and date night with my husband is also nice every once in awhile! We forget to do it, but when we do it’s always important.
You can hear this interview with Gail Simmons May 3rd on our show, Athleisure Kitchen, which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast shows.
Athleisure Mag’s April celebrity cover is Trinity Fatu who goes by the name Naomi in the ring as a WWE Superstar as well as being on E! Total Divas! We had the chance to hang out with her while she was here in NYC for WrestleMania which is the WWE’s equivalent to the Super Bowl. In addition to a fun shoot at The Loft in Flatiron and Limelight Fitness Club, we sat down with Trinity to talk about her journey from studying dance, being a NBA Orlando Magic Cheerleader, transitioning into the WWE, her love for performing and entertaining, sharing her personal life on E! Total Divas, endurance in the business and her coupleship with her husband Jonathan Fatu, who is a WWE wrestler under the name Jimmy Uso, and is half of the tag team The Usos.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to coming to the WWE, tell us about your background as we know that you were an NBA cheerleader previously with the Orlando Magic.
TRINITY FATU: Yes! I started dance at the age of 8 and I studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern and hip hop up until the age of 18. I competed nationally and once I was 18, I was too old to compete and graduated high school. So it was time for that next chapter and from there, I auditioned and went to the Magic from there. I wanted to go to Alvin Ailey Dance School, but at the time I just wasn’t mentally prepared and honestly, I was just scared to leave home! I had never been away from home so I ended up doing community college and stayed local and ended up doing Magic.
I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t go, because I don’t think that I ever would have gotten into wrestling and then I would have never met my husband and so on and so forth! It all kind of worked out how it was supposed to. I also come from a very musical family. My father is a musician – he’s a guitarist, my uncle is George McCrae.
AM: Shut up!
TF: Yes he had the song, “Rock Your Baby” in the 70’s and some other songs! Yes it’s just the ability to perform and entertain is in my blood and in my family’s so it was inevitable for me that I would do something in entertainment. One year, I had 12 jobs working through temp agencies and just trying to find the right job for me. But I was never satisfied with a 9-5 job. It had to be something that involved me being with people and being active. Socializing and working with people is that I ended up realizing that I like to do.
AM: So what led you to going to the WWE and what was that process like?
TF: So at the time, I was still an Orlando Magic dancer and the wrestling show came to the Amway Center one night and I ended up just wanting to watch the show. My girlfriend and some of the dancers told me about it and we ended up watching the show. When I saw the women perform, I was in awe and blown away by the entire show. I didn’t know much about wrestling and let alone that women had a role in it as much as they did and that they could do all the things that they did. It was a 6 woman tag that I saw and I mean they were killing it and they looked so beautiful. I knew right then that it was something that I wanted to do and that I could do!
So from there, I talked to my friend who knew someone that knew someone that knew someone. I went around asking questions to figure out how to get a try out. Fortunately, at the time, the developmental was in Tampa which was only an hour and a half away. I literally drove one weekend to Tampa to do a try out and then 3 months later, I finally heard back from them and they told me that I got a development deal and that I could start training. Then I left right from home a few weeks later, moved to Tampa and started my wrestling journey!
AM: Did you have a mentor when you were coming up through the system?
TF: Well I met my husband (Jonathan Fatu who goes by the name Jimmy Uso in the WWE) and it’s crazy because he was there a few months before me. But when I first got there, my husband was one of the first people that I met and so he has always been a mentor to me and my guidance through this whole thing. Norman Smiley who still develops and trains new talent now. Dr. Tom Prichard is also a former wrestler, as well as Dusty Rhodes – developmental is diff
erent now with NXT because I came through a different name. Mine was called FCW. All the guys that came around at that time, I felt that they all had some kind of influence and help. But most definitely would be my husband.
AM: What does it mean to you to be a WWE Superstar?
TF: It has become so much of who I am and my identity at this point. When I came in, I was just looking for a transition, I had been cheerleading for a few years and I just wanted something new and to express myself creatively. I had no idea how big wrestling was and what type of platform that I would be on and that I could make a career out of it! At the time, it was something to do at the moment and to just get me to that next chapter of my life until I figured out what I wanted to go to school for and how I would make a living. I was just thinking of doing something that kept me performing and when I got into it, realized how incredible an opportunity that it was, how massive it was and how global it was and the effect that it has on people – I completely fell in love with it, the lifestyle and it came apart of my life. That's when I realized that it was something that I wanted to do.
So to me, this was my life and it is my world. At this point, it’s like everything – it’s how I take care of my family, how I found my purpose, it’s how my husband and I bond over it. It’s become so entwined into my life that it really is everything to me! I take pride and appreciate the responsibility to not only represent African American women, but to be a role model for all women on this platform
AM: Well we got the chance to do our photoshoot during WrestleMania – for those who may not know, can you tell us what this is and how important it is to your year?
TF: Wrestlemania is our Super Bowl! It’s our biggest Pay-Per-View of the year. People travel all over the world to come into town to see our WrestleMania. It’s what we work towards all year to be on that show and to be on that Pay-Per-View. The best of the best is on WrestleMania.
So, to be on that and to share the ring with the greats like John Cena, Randy Orton and all of these incredible Superstars it’s definitely one of the biggest events of the year to perform live in front of 80,000 people at Met Life Stadium, one of the biggest and known stadiums around the world. It’s epic and it’s massive and to just be in that environment to feel that adrenaline from the audience – it’s something that you can’t get anywhere else!
AM: Are there additional matches that we should keep an eye on that are also significant throughout your year?
TF: I am most stoked about the Women’s Main Event. It’s the first time in history that we’ll be main eventing at WrestleMania. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair as well as the Fatal 4-Way Women’s Tag Team Championship Match for the first time ever as well. So the women, it really is an evolution they are just killing it and they are going to raise the bar. So aside from the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania, you can also look forward to these other women’s matches that are going to be awesome.
AM: In addition to being a wrestler for WWE, you are also on E! Total Divas which we are a fan of. How did you come about getting on this show and how important do you feel that it is to amplify your brand as well as to showcase your personal life?
TF: Well the original cast was handpicked by the company – Vince and at the time, I had a tag team partner, Ariane Andrew known as Cameron. They thought that we would bring a different dynamic to the show and we were a contrast to The Bella Twins at the time for our angle. We worked against them at the time and her and I had a great chemistry. They were right about all those things at the time and that’s why initially we were selected for the show. I was apprehensive at first. I used to be very private and protective of my personal life – I mean now with social media and so many opinions, so many critics – I was protective of that. But I also saw the bigger picture, the platform that we were being given and I did want to be able to tell our story as women in the business as well as seeing the other side of us. To see how hard we work, that women can do it and to motivate others. I knew that there would be a different audience that we would be able to connect with and reach out to that we can’t always do with wrestling. That’s why along with speaking with my partner at the time, we decided to go ahead and do it together. It was a package deal, we had to do it together.
AM: That’s what makes the show so interesting to see you guys in the ring, prepping for it, coming off the ring and to see your dynamics when you’re with your colleagues as well as your personal life. Watching you and your husband talking about your business as well as your personal life. It’s something that is applicable to people regardless of what their jobs are. The dynamics of a coupleship and how you live day to day is a great component of this show that we get to see in your dynamic and it really strikes a cord as we watch it and can completely relate!
TF: I really wanted people to see that because there is only so much that you can know about me when watching, RAW or SmackDown. I just knew that with the girls that I was working with, with the show we’re on and the company that was backing us that it would be an empowering show and uplifting one for women. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do that.
AM: So what is an average week like for you as you could be prepping for your next match, maybe you’re going into tapings, doing a charity – if there is such a thing in terms of average, what would it be?
TF: Well we’re moving and traveling 5 days a week and we have appearances weekly with radio stations, charity events, signings and our show is each night. We perform, we fly into town, perform for the show and then drive to the next city, and we do that about 4 days a week and on the 5th we’re traveling to get back home to recharge and do it all over again, year around – there is no off season.
I think that the toughest part is the travel. You would think that it would be the wrestling and the physical part, but that’s the best part and easiest part. When you calculate and think about all the hours that it takes to get there just to perform for 10 minutes and for the women, you’re fortunate if you get the 10 minutes – it’s good! The hard part and the most energy draining portion is the traveling. Being on the road so much, you’re away from home, friends and family. But that is part of the lifestyle.
AM: Since you do travel so much, what are 3 must hav3s that you have with you in your suitcase whenever you’re on the road?
TF: I always have my travel blanket, because I am always cold no matter where I am or how warm it is. I am always just cold! I’d also say my makeup bag and just lotions and moisturizers – all of that good stuff since traveling a lot really dries your skin out. Sunglasses for those days when I don’t want to put makeup on.
AM: Who would you say are your go to people in the WWE squad?
TF: Other than my husband and my brother-in-law (Joshua Fatu/WWE’s Jey Uso) his twin. As far as girls, I would say Lana, Natalya and Tamina Snuka. We all kind of broke in around the same time and have been around each other for the last few years. We have experienced the ups and downs together which has naturally made us bond and be very close with one another.
AM: Because you do travel so much, how do you maintain your coupleship with your husband – do you have date nights?
TF: Yes! We always try to make sure that we tell each other to never stop dating one another. We are always together, but I feel like we’re always in work mode. The hard part is being able to turn it off – not to talk about work, not to talk about wrestling and really just tune everything and everyone out and just focus on each other. We’re together all the time, but there are so many distractions. We’re together, but we’re not. We get to the arena and we’re there for 12 hours a day. Sometimes, I don’t see him all day because he’s preparing or he’s meeting people and getting ready to do the things that he needs to do. I'm over here getting my match together or filming for Total Divas. Then we get into the car and we have whatever amount of hours to drive and I’m asleep or he’s asleep. It’s finding that quality time.
AM: Our Co-Founders are a couple and they totally get this – it’s a balancing act!
TF: I know! A lot of people don’t understand like how can you be together that much, but then you don’t have time? You just have to live it to explain it because it sounds ridiculous!
AM: We had the chance to work out with you a few years back at TapOut gym and some of your fellow Superstars. It was great to do some of your routines that were simple and yet effective to get a great physique! What are some routines that people can get into their workouts that they should pick out that you do?
TF: For me, I just eat in moderation, I have a really bad sweet tooth so I pretty much eat what I want, but I just watch my portions which works for me. I just do a lot of cardio. I’m not a stickler for any kind of regimen. I just get in there and really do what I want. I don’t really lift heavy with a lot of weight. I do more of a full body workout and lots and lots of cardio. I do at least an hour of cardio the 5 days that I’m on the road and then when I’m home, I’m off. But if I eat bad, it just means that I have to work harder in the gym and if I eat better, then I don’t have to work as hard. So I just try to always balance things out. For the most part, it’s just eat healthy, a balanced diet. I feel like as long as you’re active and moving, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re using your body and making it do something, you can feel when you’re working and when it burns. You can feel when you’re tired. I feel like as long as you’re pushing your body to do something, you will be ok! If you're working, your body will work. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
AM: So have you watched the release of her film Homecoming on Netflix?
TF: Girl, you know I did! I watched it like 5 times! I have been watching it everyday since it came out on repeat! I think that she is the greatest thing that has ever walked this Earth!
AM: She doesn’t quit!
TF: No no she doesn’t and I will not tolerate anything bad that is said about her! I will pop off on anybody that does. She is truly amazing and my idol – her work ethic, her personality and you never hear any bad stuff about her. To be in the entertainment business for so long and to just have that kind of character – it’s insane to me. She is a great feminist and humanitarian – I just love her.
AM: How do you take time for yourself as you’re schedule is beyond busy.
TF: Honestly, I don’t have much down time to myself. I do have a little room in my house that I call it my Little Lounge – it’s my She Shed. It’s very yoga like and bohemian. I have my pillows on the floor, the colors are warm and it’s very cozy and relaxing. I’ll get up there and relax and turn on my meditation music and nature sounds, write songs, think and relax. That’s probably the most that I feel to get away. I don’t like to go anywhere because I’m always gone so my home is the best getaway and vacation. We’re gone over 300 some days out of the year traveling. My home is my sanctuary. I go up in my little room and have my me time.
AM: We’re all about tribes and #TRIBEGOALS those who inspire us, who are 3 people that do this for you?
TF: Oh yes – one would be my Uncle Buck. He’s my best friend. He’s always on my Instagram. He has been an uncle and like a father to me since I was born, my whole life. We just have a really tight bond and relationship. He has always been there for me. He is a huge supporter has always been at every dance competition, every track meet, every prom – always there and still there. He really is my best friend. My mom – I mean just watching her strength growing up and being a single parent and just how gracious she has been my whole life. My mom can do no wrong in my eyes and I would probably say Beyonce and Michelle Obama!
AM: How would you define your personal style when you’re going out with the girlfriends for drinks vs date night vs just hanging out?
TF: I would say that I am very funky and spontaneous. For gym flows and my days off, I’m always very comfortable in sweats and a hoodie. For a date night, I like to be extra spontaneous – sometimes it’s a freakum dress and other times it’s an elegant dress. One day I could be dressed like 80s and retro and then the next day, I could want to be classy and in some designer stuff. I love rave clothes, funky, bright colors. I’m all over the place. Whatever I see, I like and I’m not set in a certain style. I do like to be loud and different. I have never been afraid to stand out. I would just say spontaneous and to just keep it fun.
AM: We’re a big believer in that if you don’t feel comfortable with what you’re wearing – no matter what it is, it’s not going to look right!
TF: That’s so true. I remember one day waking up and I had spent 5-6 hours getting braids put in but the next day, I just took them out because I didn’t want my hair like that anymore – I wanted a bob or a fro ha! I’m just like that and have always done that!
AM: We know you’re based in Florida, where can we see you grabbing a meal/cocktail, shopping and working out?
TF: Well nowadays, I shop online. I also like the simple stuff where stores have a lot of options so I like Forever 21, love Topshop, American Apparel, Fashion Nova, House of CB. I really love Fashion Nova which is taking over my closet because it’s affordable, it always fits and you can find so many things that fits my style. With what I do, I can’t wear something once it has been on TV and I can’t be caught wearing it again. I like to mix and match them with my style for whatever I am going for at the moment.
For food, I love Ramen noodles so Jinya Ramen Bar I could eat that everyday! They are a ramen bar and only major cities have them, but I love them and you can catch me there! I also love shopping at Whole Foods.
I workout everywhere. My husband and I have talked about getting a gym membership, as when we’re home there are a number of gyms but then when we travel, those gyms may not be in the cities that we are going to! Sometimes we’ll be in the Midwest and there won’t be a LA Fitness, they have Planet Fitness so we get to the town and look up the gym and we just take a day pass. When I’m home, I just train at our home gym in my garage.
TRINITY'S SWIM LOOK | SOUL OF A HIPPIE Sundown Kimono Floral Pastel | MEI L'ANGE Ella Ruched Maillot | Sequin Jewelry Turquoise Color Karma Tassel Necklace | LOVARD Gila Necklace | REVO Sunglasses | VIA SAVIENE Cut-Out Ring | QUPID Peep Toe Booties |
TRINITY'S OUT AND ABOUT LOOK | LOVE BINETTI EY: Sweet Dreams Sleeveless Cotton Dress | NAGICIA Bamboo Framed Donut Ring | QUPID Peep Toe Booties |
TRINITY'S FITNESS LOOK | HANRO Touching Feeling Crop Top + Touching Feeling Boyleg | CARTON OUTERWEAR Clear Hooded Jacket |
TRINITY'S EVENING LOOK | F21 Plunging Maxi Dress | MIRIAM HASKELL Necklace |
On today’s Athleisure Kitchen, we head downtown in New York’s NoLita neighborhood to The Kitchen Table to sit down with Food & Wine as well as Top Chef judge, Gail Simmons. We talk about her food journey and the array of jobs that she took on in professional kitchens to understand the industry in order to be an effective food journalist. In addition, we talk about her unexpected transition into being a TV personality, how it’s like to prepare for being on the show as well as what’s currently in her kitchen as we continue through the Spring in making new dishes, welcoming guests into our homes for Spring celebrations and what key ingredients are in her kitchen for this time of year!
Check out the latest issue of Athleisure Studio for additional episodes.
We’re in the thick of The Tribeca Film Festival which is filled with panels about movie/TV shows, showing new films, honoring films that have been successful, an array of parties and more! With so many options, it’s worth checking out a number of films that cover various topics and interests. This season, we enjoyed seeing Ashe 68 which was presented in VR and is an immersive way to understand iconic tennis player Arthur Ashe who broke barriers while winning a number of titles in his career. We also enjoyed seeing the Virtual Arcade which had an array of VR, AR and other technological ways to experience moves and TV shows.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
In today's episode of #TRIBEGOALS, we talked with undefeated boxer, Laila Ali who continued her father's, Muhammad Ali’s legacy, by excelling in the sport as well as trailblazing outside of it. Laila embraced being a TV Personality by hosting OWN's Home Made Simple, participating in Dancing with the Stars as well as Celebrity Apprentice. We took some time to chat with her about the importance of fitness, nutrition and how we can focus on Spring Cleaning during this time of year.
Check out the latest episode on Athleisure Studio’s podcast network
This month's issue focuses on love in many forms. When we talked with music producer, rapper, composer, philanthropist and businessman Drumma Boy, it was clear that he has a love for music, fashion and the ability to bring people together. We chatted with him about how his life started infusing with diversity in music, the important role that producers play in Artist Development, his upcoming projects with Too $hort, Musiq Soulchild, his musical work with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, his business in Atlanta and his must hav3s that you will find in his studio if you're ever working with him.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Clearly music heritage runs in your family. What was it like to be infused with such insights and talents growing up?
DRUMMA BOY: Coming from my mom, she used to always tell me stories about plugging the record album into the speaker and playing Isaac Hayes and all of that. I was young, but from her doing that, I would have these dreams of hearing music and when you would put your hands over your ears it sounds like this beautiful sound. Like you know it’s coming from somewhere, but you don’t know where! So in real life, even right now – there is a beat swimming in my ears. There is music in my ear and I have to transfer that to actuality which is what the recording process, beat making and all of that is. And to me, that’s the writing of music.
That’s the best way that I can understand Beethoven. By losing your hearing, you can still hear. Your brain can hear. Even if I muted my ears or covered them where I couldn’t hear anything – I could still hear the music. That process transfers into writing music.
AM: What was the moment that you realized that producing was going to be the way that you worked musically?
DB: That inspiration came from my brother, Ensayne Wayne who was older than me and was recently shot and killed on Feb 10, 2018. I remember being 12 or 14 and he took me into the studio with him and he was working with Three 6 Mafia and all of these different artists through Memphis. Just going through all of these different studios was amazing. I remember that the first studio I went into, it was like I was in a spaceship. I was like, “man all of these lights!” I knew that if I could transfer the orchestral knowledge and the ability to write, compose and to arrange and to put that with this Hip Hop – I could have my own sound! That’s how I came into the game making beats.
I was motivated by Ensayne Wayne, Jazze Pha, and a lot of the legendary cats that were doing it at that time.
AM: How would you define your style?
DB: I call it a pot of gumbo, there are so many different styles of the music in it. Mama would make the best from the scraps. She had some leftover chicken, black eyed peas and whatever and cooked it down in one pot and stretched the food out. Like gumbo, my style is a little bit of blues, a little bit of country, a little splash of rhythm and blues, and you have a bit of hip hop and a pinch of orchestra. Just all of these genres of music like jazz, bluegrass, funk, oldies but goodies. I loved Isaac Hayes, operas and orchestras as well as plays and then I could run out into the street and hear Three 6 Mafia. Then I could go downtown to hear the blues like BB King. There was so much history musically that it was just destined.
AM: What artists and groups have inspired you beyond a lot of those that you have mentioned? Do you get inspiration from EDM artists?
DB: Yeah I mean, I always respected the DJ. I DJ’d parties when I was coming up and I would do things here and there. As a DJ, it’s about spreading good energy because people just want to have a good time, dance and have fun. As a DJ, when you have that repertoire and that ear for what people really want to hear you can infuse that energy. So for me David Guetta, Tiesto, Flosstradamus.
When I met Flosstradamus in Atlanta, they told me that I needed to get in on EDM and doing my first song Hulk Smash Remix which hit a million streams on Spotify – it’s a blessing to get that genuine love with independents and pushing heavy on that party side. When I first released Hulk Smash Remix, Dan Bilzerian picked up the record and put it behind one of his videos and I was like, “damn this is my first time even playing around with EDM!” It was just mad love!
AM: What’s involved in producing? How do you work with your artists to your vision and the artists’ vision come together in a true collaboration?
DB: Well when I say produce music, I mean it starts with the vibe, the music and the energy of the room. Sometimes the artist may be pacing back and forth even when the music starts playing. Then we might come and bring in more energy like singing a vibe or coming up with concepts with adding in words here or there. Throw a bar or two in there. I mean producing – I look at it like I’m in therapy. The artist may not be in the mood to do the job in a certain way. I’m telling them that we need to go about it in this way or that because that is what the record label is saying. I’m telling them that they need to do something uptempo, but they may have come out of the hood and they’re about Trap. T hey may have negativity going on in their lives, they’re frowning, frustrated, they’re on the phone arguing and I’m like, “hey put the phone down – let’s get some drinks, we might have to go to the strip club, or whatever to get your mind off of that so that we can take the good energy and go back to the studio.
So now it’s been 7 hours, but it comes down to that one moment that you can capture. As a producer, we capture moments and when that artists gets into that rhythm – we capture that. That will be the best presentation that will be the best presentation that you record and then you will study that to see that it’s a hit or a smash and as you perform, it’s a completely different ballgame when game when you do that. As a producer, we’re really about artist development, enhancement, choreography, concept, theme, messages, stories etc and really giving that dedication to a successful artist.
AM: What artists are you working with that are coming out this year that you’re really excited to work with?
DB: Right now, we’re heavily working with my label Drum Squad Records. We just signed an artist Kdogg, 17 out of Memphis. He just comes from the mud, that bottom and you can just hear his struggle in his music. We released his single on Apple Music that you can download now called No Turning Back. We’re also working with Scott King a very cool artist out of Atlanta whose voice is his message. Also go get The Pimp a Too $hort Album that I just did 2 tracks on: Ain’t My Girlfriend and Tables. There are so many different artists it’s hard to say. I just went in with Kevin Gates. We’re working on DJ Drama’s new album – there’s no telling who he will drop on a track. He might pull an artist from Toronto, another from NY and an artist from the West Coast. I just got off the phone with Jeezy, he’s working on some exclusive things so I’m definitely excited about that as well. I’m all over the place!
There are so many great songs I’m working on with songwriters, I’m working on 2-3 albums and I’m about to drop my album, My Brother’s Keeper – another rap project that gives more details into my family and how we plan to continue the legacy of my brother. It will drop on 2-23 which is Insane Wayne Day in the city of Memphis. I’m also executive producing Musiq Soulchild. When I say that it has been some of the most amazing music I have made in my life! I’m very excited about that as well!
AM: Who have you yet to work with that you would like to work with?
DB: I’d say John Legend. I’ve always wanted to work with him and I’m a real jazz and R&B hip cat. I haven’t had the opportunity to really showcase my expertise in that world. Beyonce would be another one as well. Rhianna is also in there too!
AM: We know that you work with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. How did this come about and how do you approach the projects that you create with them season to season?
DB: Man with the Memphis Grizzlies they just wanted energy and me and DJ Paul did a rap project collaboration back and forth called Clash of the Titans and we did a song called We Don’t Bluff, which is the message behind Memphis. We don’t take no shit and it was just an amazing run for the city and the people don’t understand how big the Grizzlies are for our youth in our community because there aren’t too many things to do. They took Liberty Land which is an amusement park, we don’t have any water parks, not too many community centers or things of that nature. So there’s not a lot of things to do for the youth and one of those things is to go to a Memphis Grizzlies game. So to be able to create a record like We Don’t Bluff, to sit floorside with them and it’s been a 3-4 year process – it’s been a blessing. To be able to support them and to just believe and to share that message that someone can get it done is great.
AM: We also know that you have worked with Grey Goose – how did that come about?
DB: We have a lot of chemistry and a lot of love. They reached out and wanted to show some love so although it’s not an official deal, they respect what I do and appreciate it. It’s been a relationship that continues to expand and I am open to future opportunities with them as well? It’s a great non exclusive relationship.
AM: What is the House of Fresh, what do you carry there and how did it come about?
DB: The House of Fresh – well one of my first jobs when I was 14/15 was selling shoes and they put me in the Com bat Zone which was where the cheap and ugly shoes were. Nobody wanted to buy those $9.99 shoes and the retailer put you there first because they felt if you could do well there, then you could make it to the Shoe Pit. Everybody wants to buy the Jordans and other hot shoes that are in that area.
In a week, I probably sold the most $9.99 shoes because I was good at selling in the Combat Zone. So they saw that and let me go to the Shoe Pit. Within a month, I was the number 1 sales person. You got a $500 bonus every time you came in as the #1 sales person. That incentive made me push for it. I did it by selling accessories with them. You came in for shoes, but I said let’s dress that up and I let them know about sneaker cleaners, hats, etc. When you come into the store expecting to spend $200, you leave spending $500 or $700.
That energy, I liked it and I liked making people happy. Touching people through music has always been my things, but fashion is also the other. I started selling my own clothes because people wanted what I was wearing. When you look at my pictures on Google, you’ll see me in Drumma Squad gear. My own custom, extra large waist and oversized clothes. We would have it all over and people would buy it. I used to sell it out of my trunk and one day I thought what could I do with the relationships that I had with these clothing labels? So many of the lines would send me free packages. I knew I was bigger than a sales rack and a walking billboard. I looked at how I could expand the relationship and I saw a location and said if I can get it, then that's it. House of Fresh is an actual house that is on a busy street in the middle of Midtown Atlanta with a lot of walking traffic. I called Reebok, this one and that one and they said that they would send their shoe reps in. My music relationships with Ludacris, 2 Chainz played well for love and support as well.
I’m also excited that we’re opening Pre-Game, a Bar, Grill and Lounge. It’s on 899 Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW in Atlanta. It’s right down the street from the Mercedes Benz and we plan on being open right before the Super Bowl.
AM: What are three key things that you truly believe in in terms of the success of your career?
DB: I believe in the importance of watering relationships. You get so many contacts, but it’s important to circle back from time to time to ask them how they are doing. I love to share the message of loving practice. Loving to get up every day and to practice - whatever it is that you want to do and enjoy that process. It’s the ultimate confidence builder. I also believe in having multiple revenue streams of income. I feel that these things have been instrumental in my success.
AM: Your hands are in so many pots, how do you take time for yourself?
DB: Well it’s weird. The music saves me. I’m up every morning 8/8:30am and I start out with breakfast and getting the proper nutrients, fruits and of that nature and I just think/brainstorm on what I want to accomplish for the day. I start getting phone calls and I attack the priorities. I zoom in on the top things that I have to do and I have that schedule. Usually House of Fresh, Pre-Game Lounge and everything that I have to do business wise is orchestrated between 9am - 2:30pm. By 2:30/3pm I’m all studio. I’m not so much on the phone so people can just leave a message and I’m there until 2:30/3am. I come home, I get about 3-4 hours of sleep and then repeat. It’s a dedicated process, but I find it very effective.
AM: What are must hav3s that you always have in the studio when you’re working?
DB: I would say company is one thing
that you have to confirm – ladies in particular – to know when you have a hit. It’s when they move or not period point blank. If someone says, “ooo I like this.” You know we have a hit. When you get a lot of chatter and no one is paying attention, then that just confirms that I need to go to the next beat. Another thing is candles. We’ve been supporting a brand, 1122 Candles for the simple fact that they’re natural and soy – there are no chemicals when they burn. They also have a great scent! My third thing is the fun – I have to have fun. That’s one thing I do. I’ll do something silly or just try something out for no reason and that turns out into something incredible.
AM: In Atlanta, where can we find you grabbing a cocktail/meal, working out and shopping?
DB: I work out at Heat Gym. I work out with my trainer shout out to Mr Shut Up and Train on Instagram. As far as grabbing a meal you may catch me at the STK or at Paschal’s. It’s a really well known Southern wine and dine spot. For shopping, you will find me at Phipps Plaza as I love that it’s exclusive and you can get right to the point and get out without being stopped by too many people. Every now and then I might run into Lenox Square to stop by Zara and see what they’ve got.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Drumma Boy
When it's coming from a place of love and concern, we're all about a straight shooter. We've been team Dr. V since we first saw her years ago on BRAVO's LA Shrinks, where we were introduced to this Clinical Psychiatrist that was never shy to tell you how it is and to call you on your crap! We continued to follow her as she appeared on a number of daytime, primetime and reality TV show spots, including as a host on WE TV's Marriage Bootcamp. We took some time to talk with Dr. V about her job as a Clinical Psychologist, the power and importance of communication, her new book Bad Advice and of course being on Marriage Bootcamp.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We fell in love with you on BRAVO’s LA Shrinks as well as on the The Real Housewives of NJ and on WE TV’s Millionaire Matchmaker and Marriage Bootcamp! Can you tell us how you came to Clinical Psychology as a career and then how you were able to parlay that into you being on Reality, Daytime and PrimeTime TV?
DR. V: You know I knew from a very young age that I was very equipped to solve problems. So I kind of went from the stoop to the screen. As I sit here talking with you, I think about how I used to sit on my neighborhood stoop and solve problems. It was a very working class neighborhood where all the houses were connected – row homes. So it was the kind of place where people would gather out front in front of people’s stoops.
I remember being super young like 4-5-6 and hearing people discuss their lives in very intimate ways! I mean a lot of shit goes down on the stoop for sure! So I would listen and it seemed like people would have this idea that somehow their problems were unsolvable. At a very young age, call it naivete or hopefulness, I never saw it that way. I always thought that the problems could be solved and I would go into my own head and solve the problem.
Like I’d be like, “wait let me tell you how shit goes – this is not a big problem.” I would go inside myself and be like, this is easy guys, it can’t be this hard. By the way, this is very different than giving advice. Because when you’re young, you’re able to use and even when you’re older – you use what’s called Executive Functioning in your brain. It’s when you’re able to re-engineer problems. I think that at the end of the day to get back to your first question, I had a very early development of that in my brain of Executive Functioning and being able to see problems and than rearrange them, which is different then giving advice. I don’t even like to give advice by the way – I stay away from it.
AM: We like that you make that distinction because hearing you say that – definitely is a difference and to do so at such a young age and to understand that is phenomenal.
DR. V: It’s the idea that solutions and advice are different. I think that when you come from it at that perspective, how can we work together to find a solution as opposed to “I’m the expert, I know better than you and you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Fuck that – we can work together and find solutions. I think that at the end of the day, that’s how I got started in Psychology and it was at that young age – I knew I was able to re-engineer my own problems and other people’s problems.
Taking that a step further, I sought after higher education. You had pointed out Clinical Psychology which is different the Counseling Psychology and other forms. Clinical Psychology just means that it’s research based and as a science lover, I love doing research. But at the end of the day, it’s really just that I was dumb enough to take the longer route – that’s really what’s happening! You tack on another couple of years for your dissertation, so a lot of doing the same things, just the degree of Clinical Psychology which is a PHD has more of a research focus where Counseling Psychology has more of a counseling focus – talk therapy. So that’s really the only difference there. I love research, I love doing it, collecting other people’s research. Anyone of those degrees, they can also share that same love of research – it’s just required as a PHD in Clinical Psychology to do the research for the degree.
So how I found myself, I was there on the stoop re-engineering everyone’s problems and I gained enough confidence to tell people what if you did this or what if you did that? And I think that coming from a very working class Italian neighborhood where there was a sense of community, the volume was turned up and we never had enough of anything but love and emotions – I think I developed a way of communicating that I had to be super clear. I had to make my point super clear and it has to land! Because for Uncle Rocky to take in my advice or my solutions – it has to land. Because of that, that was Prime TV talk as it has to land and it has to make an impact. If not, it’s not entertaining or there is no reveal or whatever entertainment words we use.
I think that is how I find myself in front of the screen and I battle on a regular basis – my own shyness. I know it doesn’t come off that way, but I am a very shy person.
AM: We would have never guessed that!
DR. V: Oh yeah! I am incredibly shy and I have had to really talk myself through my own levels of courage. Obviously as I have gotten older, it’s gotten easier as I will be 47 and I am sitting in this bath of “I don’t give a fuck” – but I battle this on a daily basis in front of the camera. I battle this by getting so into the process that I forget that the camera is there. I immerse myself into the person that we are talking to or the project that we are dealing with and I really have to forget that the cameras are there and I am able to cope better with my shyness and I can hone in on the person I am talking to?
AM: How important is communication with the person that you are talking to whether it’s a significant other, a friend etc?
DR V: Well communication defines the relationship. It is the key to every aspect of our lives. Communication, if we were to think of it as our form of expression and creativity, it leaves us room to be able to take in feedback about our communication. Your sense of self expression isn’t my way of self expression. The way that you communicate is not the way that I would creatively do so. The words that you choose, the metaphors that you give and how you choose to communicate with someone else is really quite magical. Communication and how we communicate in the world defines who we are, defines the relationship, defines our friendships and really is the most important ingredient in life!
I don’t like when people say, “that person can’t communicate effectively.” It just means that you can’t hear their message. Communication is co-created. We don’t realize that as humans we help each other feel things. As we sit on the phone with one another, we help each other feel things and this is what sets us a part. We’re almost contagious to each other. Communication seems like it’s such a simple word, but to me it’s more then just that word and it embodies so much more! It embodies the self expression, how you perceive yourself and others – it’s creative. It’s a creative endeavor.
AM: It’s a great point as for years we use to say, “this person isn’t an effective communicator.” One day we thought, we should try to figure out what this person is saying as they are making a point, they seem to believe it, perhaps we’re just not getting it. So we started re-engineering. Hearing that this person said x and then trying to get the meaning behind it really makes us understand what you just shared as they had a different method and that it is a creative process to understand what is being said.
DR. V: Right and then from that place, you’re able to go to where I excel with solutions! You’re able to find the solution. If someone isn’t communicating effectively if we use that word, you’re immediately put on your heels, you’re set off, you’re turned off – when you categorize it in that way. We need to be more curious and ask more questions instead of having this knee jerk judgement. There is nothing more that makes things go wrong then taking a cruise on the SS Judgmental! Once people begin judging each other, things go wrong. When we get curious and ask questions, you’re better able to understand the person you’re talking to. If you’re curious in a genuine and relaxed way – I have been in situations where I was curious but being a bitch and I was asking questions only to hide my annoyance and that wasn’t good! But when you do it genuinely, that person gets curious too and then they relax too!
So when we talk about communication, it’s obviously one of my favorite topics – I see it differently. Usually when people are bringing it up, they mean it in a, “we just don’t communicate well” kind of way. That’s when I say, “we have to ask more questions.” We’re allowed to help each and other. My husband and I have been together for 22 years and I think it was about 5 years in where I would create narratives for him. I would write him in an email, which is a little condescending haha – I’m not going to lie. This would take place during an argument where he would go to his respective work and I would go to my respective work and I would say let me help you. In quotes I would write what I wanted to hear and he would write back, “wow I didn’t know it was that easy as I would have said that to you. I just couldn’t find those words and didn’t know the words you wanted to hear.” This would go on for 3-4 years about what I needed to hear. A lot of people would say, “that’s not genuine – he should know what you need to hear.” But no, not at all. Sometimes it’s ok to help people figure out how to love you. Because that is a creative endeavor. Many people say that men and women have different language styles, but I don’t believe that. I think everyone wants the same thing. Both men and women want to be loved and to love – everyone wants it. How people get there is very different and men aren’t pushed or taught to be emotional leaders, “boys don’t cry” – this sort of toxic masculinity has infiltrated our society to a point where it has stopped men’s growth to express how they’re feeling. Men get this bad wrap for not expressing how they are feeling and women feel like they have to consistently be the emotional leaders or that we’re all emotional brains and we’re crazy – no it’s just that you don’t understand her – she’s not crazy.
AM: We were going to ask about the difference in love languages between men and women. But we like hearing how you were able to articulate what you said and what you wanted to hear reminds us that when we're talking to our significant other, we’ll say that we know you said x, but what I actually here is y. This makes the conversation a lot longer to break down the components of what’s said vs felt vs what we should do.
DR V: Right it becomes a creative endeavor. When you’re saying what you heard and what was felt it actually entails a vulnerability. So not only are you attempting to have better communication, but your partner is learning about you, who you are, what makes you tick and your deepest vulnerabilities which invites them to do the same. When we talk about men and women and their differences, men are not able to show their vulnerabilities as a society. They are uninvited to that party usually. So when they get with someone who is an emotional and has a creative expression of how they use language and are able to communicate what you feel, these men are like, what the fuck?
I have so much empathy for that struggle and form of expression and I don’t believe that we’re talking in different languages. Everyone knows what it’s like to be sad, hurt or to feel vulnerable and both men and women feel that. It’s how we express those emotions that matter.
AM: With us being firmly in the New Year, a lot of people are looking at their resolutions, being their best selves etc. What is the best way for people to optimize their lives without feeling the pressures of changes that may not have taken place or come out the way that they had hoped?
DR. V: Wow well patience is it’s own kind of confidence. It takes patience with other people and ourselves to attain goals. It’s a trust in your self and in the process. If you have fallen off of the wagon or have fucked up, it’s never wrong to start again. It’s always right to start again!
AM: So you released Bad Advice last fall. What led you to writing this and tell us more about this book!
DR. V: Look, I was just tired of hearing things repeated back to me – bad advice. Theories are very important! How we walk through the world and how we define our world is through theories and words. If those theories aren’t correct and are in fact, scientifically wrong – where does that leave us? I was inspired to write this as I’m just irreverent in general and I love to punch holes in things. I just got tired of hearing these one liners that seemed to have blown up even more so on the Internet like: “Just be yourself”, “You can’t love anyone until you love yourself”, “Expectations lead to disappointment” or “Follow your bliss” – it’s like birds flying! Because we’re passing around this bullshit more and more, I got curious about it. Is it really true that you can’t love anyone until you love yourself? Is that true? In the event that you need to hear, just be yourself – does that help? Is it helpful? Do expectations lead to disappointment – is that true – I got really curious! I found these statements and of course, I have my own hypothesis. I collected pieces of Bad Advice that enjoy the shit out of me and I debunked them in the book with heart and humor and it’s a super fun read. It’s one of those books where my hope is you get done reading it and you say, “you’ve never thought of it that way.” Then I have done my job as an author. My favorite books were always those that I would close them and be like, “Oh my God I never thought of it that way – that is so interesting.” You’re able to affect how people view the world.
AM: How long did it take for you to put that together?
DR. V: I would say that while the writing process was 2 years, it’s a lifelong project for me. There were so many pieces of Bad Advice that I didn’t include that I am still collecting them.
AM: Will there be a part two?
DR. V: Yes! I feel that I have been doing this my whole life. I am a very curious person and I always ask myself, how do I know this to be true and forget about bad advice – I’m just curious about the world. What we know – how do we know this to be true and forget about bad advice. Who is the messenger – who is saying it, why are we saying it and who is coming from? I ask myself things like this all the time.
AM: How can someone identify when bad advice is being given to them?
DR V: When it denies your humanity. When it denies what you feel. For example, “Nobody can make you feel bad without your permission” – that’s a chapter in the book. That is like the worse advice that I have ever heard. I get it. My mom used to say it to me when people would make fun of my name. We say it because we want to help people but what it does – I mean when was the last time you gave someone permission to hurt your feelings?
AM: Um never!
DR. V: EXACTLY! Like I will give you permission to hurt me? It doesn’t make sense. So when it denies your humanity and how you’re feeling then you know it’s bad advice!
AM: You’re so right. I mean I can see why we say it because we’ve all heard it from other people who meant it from a good place. But when you think about it, it’s kind of taking a knock at you and you’re internalizing it!
DR. V: You’re right and so for a split second, you’re put in a an area of denial and those emotions come back double fold because you’re trying to hold back from what you really feel. When it comes to relationships, “you can’t really love anyone until you love yourself.” Look, we are meant to love people that is what humans do. So you’re going to love people and your self doesn’t give a fuck about what you think of you. It also creates a “series of events” first I love me, then I love you it implies that love is linear and it’s not – it’s co-created. But we hear love yourself and we’re all the while being conditioned to self hate! Self hate is very real, but the concept of self love – no one tells you how to love yourself. Do you know why? It’s because it’s impossible to love yourself the way that you would love someone else because it’s not supported by brain circuitry. You’re going to love other people and that’s just what will happen – it’s what we do. It denies your humanity – you will love people regardless – you may not love them well, but that’s not what we’re talking about.
AM: How do you prepare for your work on WE TV’s Marriage Bootcamp, especially with all of the different personalities that are involved? How do you ultimately get them to the relationships that they desire?
DR. V: Well bigger personalities require bigger jolts. They require different methods. So, the goal of Marriage Bootcamp is to provide a cellular experience which jolts the system. What I love about the show is that my goal isn’t to keep the couple together. It’s my hope, but it’s about choice. Is this the person that you should be with? It’s about re-engineering that problem – is this the person for you? With all the evidence given to you over the last 10 days, do you want to be with this person? It’s about giving the couples the information they need about themselves and the relationship and asking them to make a choice.
My hope is that they do, but then again staying together is not always the right choice. It may be that they need to live a part. This is what I love about the show – our stakes aren’t in whether the couples stay together, but that the right choice is being made for the person and the couple.
How I prepare for the show, well before those 10 days, I get a lot of sleep. I don’t sleep for 10 days!
AM: We’ve been a fan of the show for years, but we can only imagine how it must be to be there in your position. With such big personalities how do you take the space you need so that you can do the best work for them?
DR. V: Well I’ll tell you. I have been in the field for – I started volunteering at Mt Sinai at 20 – I’ve been doing it a long time, 25 years. You really do learn how to separate yourself and it came naturally over time for me. I know when I need to restore myself and when I begin to become a judgey asshole. I’ll say wow, “I really need to take a break because this person is really getting on my fucking nerves!” Because you can’t help people if you can’t find something to love about them. That is the truth. You have to find something about them that you love and that you like. If you don’t like them – you can’t help them. It’s an incredibly professional and profound thing to admit that this person is tapping into something in me that I don’t like. I need to take a step back and to restore myself and grow from that. That’s what I love about the work because I am consistently growing and being pushed to my own limits season after season after season. I love that – whatever field can I grow and learn in a fun and chaotic way haha!
AM: Everytime we see that you’re back for another season we’re like she’s still hanging in there!
DR. V: Haha Dr. V is still alive! It’s funny because when people are put in a therapeutic environment when they may attack me or say something to me – I feel their pain. They are really talking to pieces of themselves. I feel like I have a deep empathy for that.
As a side note. You know what’s funny about Marriage Bootcamp? That show is so fucking crazy and YET when I watch it on TV – they actually make the drama LESS! They don’t even need to make it more dramatic like a lot of reality shows do. They don’t edit it a certain way to make it more dramatic. I was there – I know that that was way more intense than what they are showing. I think that is what has made the show last for 13 seasons, because the drama is already there. So they don’t have to do much!
You get to see some of your favorite personalities in a different light. Like Brandi Glanville on Marriage Bootcamp was not the same Brandi Glanville on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. People who follow her and love her got to see her in a different way and that’s amazing to me.
AM: You’re based in LA – where do you love grabbing a meal/cocktail, working out and going out for a little shopping?
DR. V: Let me tell you – I love a good diner! I’m from Philly – I did my education in NYC and there is nothing to me that beats a good diner. Kitchen 24 in Hollywood is open 24 hours. I can go there and get egg whites and feta. If I am working late and I need to wind down, I can get a margarita at 3am in the morning – it’s the best place on earth – it’s like my mother’s kitchen! There is nothing like a good diner.
I love to cycle and I feel that at my age it’s so great because you’re not compounding your joints. I’m a big SoulCycler and I do that 2 times a week. For shopping, I love style but I’m not much of a shopper. I’m not one of those women that get up and say, “I’m going to go shopping.” I can’t handle that, but I do love shopping online. I don’t have to shop, they just send shit to me, “we think you’ll like this.”
AM: Are you a beauty girl and do you have 3 must have products that you enjoy using?
DR. V: Ok I want to tell you that I recently decided to go from a rose kind of color to more of a peachier color for my face, lips and eyes. I’m completely obsessed with Stila Cosmetics that has these Liquid Eyeshadows that are glitter! The Bronzed Belle for brown eyes and a little olive skin is so gorgeous! Girl, I got the small one - the travel one and I keep it in my purse – that’s how much I love it! That’s my shadow and I like that it is so glittery and pretty. I’m obsessed with MAC’s Spring Sheen Shimmer Blush and it’s the most beautiful, peachy shiny and luxurious look!
AM: We love a peach moment!
DR. V: I know! Peachiness adds a beautiful alive and awake color. The right peach shades just are natural but then you’re wearing makeup. Then I just recently changed from Chanel’s Foundation to Santees – no. 280 and it’s beautiful! I know you said 3 but the 4th one popped into my brain – so you know it’s the winter months and you want a little color on your face. I am in love with La Luxe The Face and it is an illuminating and self tanning drops. It can be placed in any moisturizer or even an exfoliant that you put on your face at night – you can control the color with the amount of drops you put in. I love that you can just have it in your moisturizer. I use it as night and I get up and I love that I wake up with color on my face! It’s beautiful and one of my favorite products!
AM: We believe that your vibe is your tribe from a #TRIBEGOALS perspective. Who are 3 people that you look to for inspiration?
DR. V: I find that people in my immediate environment are inspiring. When I am feeling unlovable and I can think of nothing good about myself, I turn to my husband. There is so much unconditional love I can turn to him and he is able to help me see me through his eyes. That is a really beautiful thing when you can count on someone to recenter you. Then, the hopefulness of children. I have a 10 and 12 year old boys and a 2.5 year old daughter. The hopefulness of kids is just so inspiring me and when I am feeling a little cynical, I hang out with them! That spark of hopefulness is boom right there! I am also 1 of 5 so I have a few sisters and one brother and there is nothing like the love that a sibling has! No one can get under your skin or build you up like a sibling. I feel that as I have gotten older, I have relied on my immediate relationships to bring a sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment and I’m really happy about that. I value these relationships with my life!
When it comes to culinary competition shows, BRAVO’s Top Chef is one of our favorites. We enjoy the quick fire challenges, restaurant wars and watching competitors navigate across the show. We also like finding out about their restaurants and often seeing them re-appear on future seasons or other shows. On season 10, we were introduced to Chef Brooke Williamson, who came in second only to come back in season 14 - to win it all! In addition to these accolades, she is the Co-Owner and Co-Chef at The Tripel, Playa Provisions, Hudson House Bar, Da Kikokiko, Small Batch Icecream and Triplikit in Southern California. We find out more about her creativity, how she got into the industry, how she keeps fit and it all together.
Hands down, BRAVO's Top Chef is one of our favorite culinary competition shows. In addition to seeing talented chefs come up with creations on the fly, Restaurant Wars and cities being showcased - it's being introduced to chefs and their restaurants that we are constantly making a note to visit when we are in the midst of our travels. We have quite a list of our favorites that we have enjoyed seeing at Cochon555, culinary events, and of course interviewing as well in Athleisure Mag. This month, we chatted with Chef Brooke Williamson who was second runner up on Season 10 of the show and won it all when she came back for Season 14, we talked with her about her start in the industry, being the youngest chef to cook at the James Beard House, being a Restaurateur of a collection of restaurants and more!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be a chef?
CHEF BROOKE WILLIAMSON: I don’t really remember that moment because I was so young and I was probably 6 or 7 years old when I realized that I wanted to be a chef. Then it became a thing that I just worked towards during my whole childhood so I don’t have one defining moment – it was just something that I knew I always wanted to do.
AM: Where did you train and what were restaurants that you worked at starting prior to the first restaurant that you opened?
CHEF BW: Well, I didn’t go to formal culinary school, I did take some cooking classes in my teens at a little cooking school called Epicurean but otherwise it was all restaurant training. My first kind of formal culinary job was at Phoenix at the Argyle Hotel under Ken Frank on Sunset and then I was there for about a year and a half and moved onto Michael’s in Santa Monica and moved up to Sous Chef like within a year so it all happened very quickly within a year. But I think that personally it’s because I I had been cooking my entire life.
AM: How do you define your style of cooking?
CHEF BW: I don’t really – my husband, Nick Roberts and I have several different restaurants and they are all very different from one another. I would say that the one constant throughout is seasonality and locality. I would say that we try to cook with seasonal, local ingredients as much as possible. I think that with both of us being native Californians we just naturally gravitate towards a lot of produce and just kind of work from there. All of our restaurants are very different just conceptually so I don’t have a definitive answer for that.
AM: It’s amazing that at the age of 22, you were the youngest chef to cook at the James Beard House, what do you remember preparing for that to take on such a big task?
CHEF BW: I think that at that age, I kind of didn’t know the magnitude of what I was doing which may have helped me with my composure. I knew what the James Beard House was and what an honor it was, but I didn’t understand the magnitude of what it was.
AM: When you opened your first restaurant, what is the first takeaway that you took from it that you learned from that and how did it inform how you went about opening and managing your future ones?
CHEF BW: Well my husband and I opened it when we were very young. We were chefs, we were not restaurateurs. We didn’t know what the difference was and we learned very quickly that we went into a space that we didn’t do a ton of research on the lease or the history of the location. I think what we took out of that was probably the most expensive culinary education that I could have had! That’s what I consider it – your first failed restaurant is such a learning experience and I’m so glad that it happened the way it did and I had something to fall back on by the time we closed the doors, but I can’t even count on 2 hands the number of takeaways from that. I just became more business savvy and understood how important the business side of a restaurant was.
AM: Can you tell us about each of your restaurants because they have a different feel to them – so walk us through the worlds of your restaurants!
CHEF BW: So the oldest restaurant which is currently open is Hudson House which has been around for 10 years and has morphed a lot since we have first opened it. It is still this warm gastropub kind of feeling. It’s sort of the first gastropub in the Redondo area of its kind and it’s changed a lot. It’s matured a bit as we just did a facelift on it so it looks more mature and more modern than it ever has. The menu has changed a lot and it still has that neighborhood feel to it. Then, The Tripel opened 2 years after that which is kind of a craft beer bar with upscale bar food. We have a couple of signature burgers which is what we are known for at The Tripel. Then we have Playa Provisions which is just down the street from that which is a 4-in-1-concept, we have a whiskey bar, a sit down seafood restaurant, a café that serves pastries and coffee in the morning through lunch, and then an icecream counter where we make all of our own icecream in nostalgic flavors. Then in Playa Vista, we have Da Kikokiko which is a fast casual Hawaiian concept – we serve mainly poke bowls, musubi and shaved ice and Dole whip as well. We have an icecream shop in Mar Vista which is a bit of an offshoot of Small Batch Ice Cream which is in Playa Provisions. We also have a retail store called Tripli-Kit as well that is specialty kitchen related goods.
AM: Do you think that you will open additional restaurants and concepts in California and also do you think that you will open up in other cities down the road?
CHEF BW: I would say if history tells correctly, we will probably continue in California. We do have this tendency to remain very local because my husband and I are very hands on and I like to be able to visit every place within a day if I need to or to get anywhere where I need to be or if I have to be. I’m kind of a control freak that way – I wouldn’t rule out opening a place out of state, but if we were to do something that wasn’t hyperlocal, then it would be an extension of something that we already have. That way we would feel that we would have control over from afar as well.
AM: Seeing that you and your husband are both chefs and restaurateurs and run your business together – how do you maintain how you work with one another as business partners as well as to maintain your coupleship?
CHEF BW: It’s the only way we have ever known each other. We met each other in the kitchen many years ago so it feels very natural to be in business together which is a struggle for a lot of couples that didn’t start out that way, I think. We know each other in a business sense very well. The hardest thing is juggling the parenting with the business. We want to stay active and engaged as parents as we juggle our busy days with the restaurants and with what we do. It’s really been the hardest part but we have somehow managed to make it work. We’re very fortunate that we have one another that we can kind of play off of and understand each other’s lives and the fact that we don’t want someone else raising our child. That mindset about what we want our lives to be is really helpful.
AM: What are 3 signature dishes that if you had to select them from across your restaurants – what should we try?
CHEF BW: Well, Hudson House we just completely redid our menu and in 10 years we just shifted things to a slightly overall Asian feel. There is a lot of Asian influence but it stil feels like a gastro pub menu. There are a couple of items that we will never be able to get rid of so we put it on a secret menu as we knew a lot of people would be mad with us if we didn’t still offer it. The Hudson Pretzel Burger and we do these Brown Sugar Pork Ribs which people go crazy for.
At Playa Provisions, I would say the Lobster Roll is something that we are pretty known for. The Crab Claw Pots, which is a snow crab claw with a crab cake at the end of it and then the whole thing is fried. That has become a signature staple as well as our specialty pastries. We do a Unicorn Cake it’s a special order. It’s a rainbow sort of pastel layer cake that is decorated like a unicorn and is filled with sprinkles which we sell a couple a week.
At The Tripel, I would definitely say that The Tripel Burger is a go to staple that we are known for on that menu. It’s duck confit, ground pork and beef with truffle cheese and apricot jam on an onion brioche bun.
At Da Kikokiko the spicy tuna bowl and the spam musubi, although we do a really good salmon musubi which sells almost as well, and of course the shaved ice. People come in just for the shaved ice.
I would say that our signature staple flavor that we have over at Small Batch, which is also my son’s favorite, is Mint Oreo or Chocolate Malted Crunch which is kind of a play on the old thrifty Junior flavor.
AM: You were asked to collaborate with a brewery to create Girl Grey. Where did this idea come from by having these interesting flavors of the Belgian style ale, the almonds and earl grey tea to come together?
CHEF BW: I knew I wanted to do a Belgian Tripel style of beer as it is my favorite style of beer and it is also why the restaurant is spelled T-r-i-p-e-l in the style of this Belgian beer. So it felt like it made sense to do a Belgian Tripel beer and then I used my chef brain in the sense that I thought about flavors that naturally went well with a higher alcohol creamy aged ale. There were probably 7 different flavor ideas and combinations that were on the table. That’s the one that really stuck and we made a sample of it, tasted it and that is the one that we went with.
AM: Is it still available?
CHEF BW: It was a one time release so I’m sure that there is some stashed away, but I don’t know if it is still purchasable from the brewery.
AM: We know you also did a sour beer with them, do you see yourself doing collaborations like this?
CHEF BW: I would totally be up for it! I felt like it was a one time collaboration that they were looking to do, but if they came back to me, and were interested in doing another flavor with me – I would totally be down to do it.
AM: So what led to you to the decisions that brought you to Top Chef for Season 10 and after having all of the experience from that season, what made you say that you would come back for Season 14 where you ultimately won that one?
CHEF BW: Well the first time it was a really difficult decision. I had a 4 year old at the time and I had turned it down several years before and then finally said yes after seeing what it had done for the previous chefs, that the platform creates for chefs who do well on it. I felt it was a personal challenge to do something that was out of my comfort zone for myself, but I also felt that now more than ever – the restaurant business is a difficult business and I felt like anything that you can continue to do to stay relevant and to let people know that you are out there and waiting for them to recognize you is worth doing! Of course, you don’t know how you are going to do or come off when you do something like that, but I felt that I was relatively unconcerned with my personality coming off in a terrible way so it was more of a personal challenge to see where we could take this.
AM: For season 14 was it more of a nobrainer?
CHEF BW: No it wasn’t because I felt like, what were the chances that I could do better than second place? On a personal note, it was a much more difficult decision. Professionally it was more of a no brainer. I saw first hand what it did for my business and what it did for me. But personally, the thought of going back and being eliminated first, second, third or anything less than winning would have been a total disappointment to me. So I kind of went into it with that mentality which helps and hurts in several ways.
AM: In terms of your Top Chef squad we see you with Richard Blais on the show and we see you with other chefs from the show for your appearances etc. When you are not in those areas, who from the show do you hang out with?
CHEF BW: I feel like I made a lot of really good friends from the show. They’re people that I would consider closer personal friends that I made and keep contact with on a very regular basis. Kristen Kish is one of my very best friends that I stay in touch with, Casey Thompson is one of my closest friends and I have a plethora of other people – I’m good friends with Shirley Chung, Kelvin Gillepsie - I could go down a list of people that I have kept in touch with on a regular basis and I would say a handful of people I stay in really close contact with and consider them my closest friends.
AM: We know that you have done a lot of TV from Top Chef, MTV’s House of Food, and Esquire Network's Knife Fight – what are upcoming shows that we can expect to see you on?
CHEF BW: I haven’t done a ton of shooting lately. I did an episode of Top Chef recently that just aired that I judged.
AM: We loved seeing you on there with your Christmas Sweater – so cute.
CHEF BW: Haha yeah my Ugly Christmas Sweater.
AM: You have so many accolades under your belt from being a chef, restaurateur, whisky aficionado, beer creator – what else is on your list that you want to add to that you have yet to tackle??
CHEF BW: Not really, there are areas that I feel like I want to do better in. I would say that the way I feel about my life and career is that I have done a lot of things pretty well. I would love to say that I do more things very well. I’m kind of at a point right now where I don’t have to do more stuff to do more stuff. I want to make sure that what I am doing is really quality. I don’t feel like I need to expand my horizons. I want to make the restaurants that I have open are doing the best that they can and that the people that come in are having great experiences as often as possible. I want to be more present in my restaurants, my life and as a parent. I don’t feel like I need to branch – I feel like I need to branch in.
AM: That’s a good one. I feel like a lot of times we do bite off so many things and branching in is a good thing.
CHEF BW: Totally, I mean – when it comes to my health and mental, physical, wellness, my parenting and my friendships and that there have been things that have suffered – not dramatically because I have been stretched too thin and I just want to do everything a little better.
AM: We know that you are an avid SoulCycler and you do fitness and various workouts – why is this so important to you to have this as a part of your lifestyle?
CHEF BW: One because I feel like I physically need to maintain my health in order to live the lifestyle that I live and to do the things that I do. The travel takes a lot out of me when I do the appearances, dinners and stuff like that. I’m not a great traveler so just maintaining that and some sanity is really due to my exercise regimen and I can really feel it when I don’t exercise and I don’t get that energy out in the right way – I feel like my life suffers. Even from an energy standpoint to maintain the energy to do it all. I feel like it’s so important to maintain sanity.
AM: You recently cycled through Italy to tour their countryside as well as to enjoy the foods of the region. Did you have to train yourself to do that kind of cycling as it seemed like you were on your bike quite a bit to get everywhere!
CHEF BW: I think I had to train myself on how to be on a real road bike which is not a no brainer! It’s actually a scary piece of equipment and if you don’t use it properly, it can kill you. I felt that I needed to up my game on how to be on a real bicycle outside and not on a stationary bike like I was used to. It was also about sitting on a saddle for such a long period of time that’s really where I struggled the most sitting on those bike seats. It seems like it would be nothing when you’re talking about biking hundreds of miles – but it’s not nothing!
AM: How many hours were you on this bike without a rest?
CHEF BW: I mean, we would stop for coffee and when we needed to stop. But, we were with a group of people and I wasn’t going to be the reason why we were taking so long. Especially since I was technically helping to lead this trip. We would go for a couple of hours and stop for a cup of coffee and then go another couple of hours and stop for lunch and then it was a quick ride to whatever hotel we were staying at. The difference between a 45 mins or hour SoulCycle class and 5 hours in a bike seat is huge!
AM: Since you do travel so much, what are 3 must haves that you bring with you regardless of where you are traveling to?
CHEF BW: If I am taking a flight, I always have Flopsy my stuffed rabbit that I take with me that I have had since I was 4 in my carry on! If I get on a flight, I’m going to have Flopsy. I’m not religious at all but have a Saint Christopher that I travel with as well. Those are the kind of things that I don’t get on a plane without having those. The other thing is that I travel with snacks always. I’m always the one that travels with a ziplock gallon bag full of snacks because I feel like unnecessary travel hunger just adds to the stress of travel. I also hate having to grab a bag of Doritos because there isn’t a banana. I always have a little pot of lavender scented balm or something that smells good. Usually it’s lavender scented as I am a bit of a high anxiety person and smells really help me. I also love Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker Chapstick.
AM: We love the throw back!
CHEF BW: I actually mentioned that I had them and I couldn’t remember where I said it, but I couldn’t find them anywhere and Target stopped carrying them – specifically the Dr. Pepper flavor and Lip Smacker actually sent me a 6-pack where I am currently on the last stick.
AM: So where can we find you grabbing a meal outside of your restaurants, working out and doing a bit of shopping?
CHEF BW: Oh my gosh those are so different questions! Alright so, I don’t often grab a cocktail outside of my restaurant. I grew up in Los Angeles, I was a total bar hopper at 20/21 I was sitting at the Vermosa Bar sitting by myself just after work drinking a Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks on a school night – loving it. I feel like I got that out of my system and that I don’t need to go to bars just to go to bars anymore. I have a child that I appreciate putting to bed at night and I can have a really good cocktail at my own restaurant. I’m not a bar goer. When it comes to eating meals outside of my restaurant, we generally go ethnic. Generally Asian, we do a lot of sushi and go to Kanpai in Westchester a lot. We go to Aiara for Thai food a lot we go to ASAP Phorage for pho – so we do a lot of Asian food and we like to keep it local.
I definitely am a SoulCycler but every so many months I do this Boot Camp with Lacey Stone and I love her. She does a 2 week boot camp called Reboot which I am actually doing and it’s 2 weeks of no drinking, eating super clean and I prep all my own meals. I still go to my spin classes, but 3 days a week, I go to her Boot Camp in the morning and the next one will be at The Wall - so I’ll be there.
AM: We love The Wall.
CHEF BW: I’ve never been there.
AM: It will definitely be good to check it out.
CHEF BW: I like shopping online – I’m not a huge shopper. I don’t like to try things on. I do like to see things in per son. I don’t like to go on shopping excursions. When I see something that I like in a store, I often buy it on an impulse and hope it will fit as I don’t like returning things. I’m not a huge shopper so I actually prefer that when my conditioner is getting low, I like to go on Amazon and order it and would rather have Amazon deliveries every single day!
AM: It’s like Christmas every single day with a new box – but you know exactly what’s in there!
CHEF BW: It’s amazing. By the time I decide that I need to buy something, it always takes me a couple of days to get to whatever store it is anyway, so I can have it on my doorstep without having to go anywhere!
AM: How do you define your personal style in terms of what you wear when you go to work and what you wear when you’re going out with friends or for a date night?
CHEF BW: They are all very different from one another. I love fashion, I love clothes, I love shoes. I also am not someone who will make themselves look great every time they leave the house. I work out a lot. I wear a lot of workout clothes, but I also try not to make that my daily outfit and try not to fall back on that for my go to. I work out in work out clothes and try to care about what I look like when I am going out someplace else. I love to be comfortable. I love overalls, love jumpers and am a big fan of being comfortable and also having a cute outfit on. I do love getting dressed up and am the first person to say that I am going out to dinner to a nice restaurant and that I am excited to put on a pair of heels and a dress, especially because my everyday life means I’m dressing down in jeans, a button down flannel or long sleeve shirt. So when I get dressed up,
I love getting dressed up.
AM: I can only imagine how busy you are. What’s your morning routine like to get to your restaurant?
CHEF BW: I’m very fortunate that in a sense, my husband is a morning person because I am not! So on a weekday, my alarm goes off at 6:20am or 6:18am don’t ask. I start by complaining that I have to get up and my son will come one eyed down the hallway into our bathroom because he is not a morning person either and he found that his morning routine needs to include a shower. My husband will get up and make coffee and usually that’s how I am able to get out of bed because he makes me coffee. Then I am a workout first kind of person. If it is my turn to take my son to school then I will take him and head straight to a SoulCycle class which depends on whether I am in a bootcamp or not. If my husband takes him, he goes to a trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so he can’t go to school before that so on Tuesday and Thursday, I can kind of take my time a little bit and go to whatever class I want to as opposed to the one that is closest to the school. I’m a take-a-class-kind-of person usually but if I can’t, I have a Peloton bike at home and if I can’t pull it together to take a class then I will take it from home. Or maybe I will go for a run if I am on a running kick which I haven’t been for a while. Then I shower and get as many things as I can get done so that depending on where I have to be and when – before one of us has to be home to pick up our son from school.
AM: How do you take time for yourself with such a schedule that you have?
CHEF BW: I consider that when I workout, that that is time for myself and that I don't know if everyone considers it that. Working out is me taking care of myself and working out to keep myself sane. So me scheduling a workout into my day is really my way of taking care myself.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Chef Brooke Williamson | LEFT IMAGE courtesy of TOP CHEF -- "Naughty and Nice" Episode 1603 -- Pictured: (l-r) Richard Blais, Brooke Williamson, Padma Lakshmi -- (Photo by: Michael Hickey/Bravo)
Make sure to follow our new multimedia podcast network, Athleisure Studio and specifically our show, Athleisure Kitchen. You can get the latest episodes when they drop by following and listening to us on your preferred listening platform (Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, etc). You can hear the full interview with Chef Brooke Williamson on Athleisure Kitchen when it drops in Feb.
Read more from the Jan Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Seasonality and Locality with Chef Brooke Williamson in mag.
Singapore was but a memory as the competition moves onto Thailand! An early exit takes place leaving Colton grappling with why she wanted to leave and of course more girls feel the need to spill details that they think that Colton has to know about. With Hometowns looming closer and closer, its inevitable that tonight’s episode gets a bit messy.
01.28.19 | Sometimes engaging in the cattiness may send you home and other times a weird sense of tension doesn’t mean that you go home! We’re not going to lie, one of our faves exited stage left this week in Singapore - next week, it’s onto Thailand!
01.21.19 | The third rose ceremony took place tonight, but before we could even get to it - one of the ladies was eliminated during a group date due to a lack of chemistry. The pageant ladies continue to bring drama which leads everyone to want them to go on a 2 on 1 date. Three additional ladies were eliminated at the end of the night. Next week, everyone will move onto Singapore!
01.14.19 | With a second rose ceremony completed, we saw a Camp Day, the world’s strangest toast which almost caused one of the ladies to go home on her birthday, a winning sleep over and lots of noise! In the end, 4 people were sent home so of course, here are the ladies who you can expect to see in week 3!
01.07.19 | After the first rose ceremony, here are the girls that will be back next week and the 7 that were eliminated. After 3 hours of a premier filled with live viewing parties, various members of the Bachelor franchise and more, we were introduced to a lot of personalities that we embraced and those that were completely cringe worthy!
12.06.18 | On Jan 7th, right after the Golden Globes, ABC’s The Bachelor begins its 23rd season where Colton will look for his perfect match from a series of 30 fabulous girls. In addition to watching throughout the season, make sure that you follow along with us on Twitter (@AthleisureMag) as our Co-Founder/Creative + Style Director, Kimmie (@ShesKimmie) shares her commentary on what’s going on with a number of our friends who also enjoy watching the show!
Get to know who will be on this season as well as who is eliminated each week!
Read from the latest issue of Athleisure Mag