Interview

New Year, New You: Zuleyka Silver

What is your general approach to nutrition? “I try to eat healthy and organically clean, which usually means higher quality that is more expensive. It almost sounds like a privilege thing because not everybody has access to organic food, plus, it comes at a premium. A salad at a fast-food place shouldn’t be $5 while you can buy a burger for a dollar.”

What do you typically eat in a day? “First thing in the morning, I drink lots of water to hydrate myself, which I think is a very important way to start my day. For breakfast I’ll do overnight oats, which I love, but if I’m in a hurry, I’ll have a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter and slices of banana. Coffee is definitely a must. I’m not a big lunch person, so I’ll have snacks throughout the day, such as a variety of fruit, even pomegranates, and also Greek yogurt with trail mix in it because I think adding trail mix makes it more fun. Sometimes I’ll even do a smoothie. Dinner really depends on how lazy I’m feeling. Last night I had this delicious bok choy dumpling soup that I picked up at Whole Foods and warmed it up in the microwave. Or I’ll throw something together like arugula, olive oil, sea salt, Manchego cheese, sliced avocado and grilled chicken, which makes a really substantial salad.”

What is your exercise routine? “I like to change up my workout because I get bored easily. I used to always do Pilates, which is still great, but I got bored. For cardio I either take a spin class or walk for an hour on an uphill-climb treadmill because I think it’s really important to get the blood flowing. I also get in a little bit of weight-lifting and strength training. I’m also trying to get outdoors more by hiking.”

How do you keep yourself motivated when your heart isn’t into working out? “I try to keep emotions out of it. Instead of giving in to, ‘Oh, I don’t feel like going to the gym today,’ look at it as a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. So it’s not what you feel, but what you know you have to do.”

Do you use apps or YouTube videos in your fitness plan? “I’ll listen to Jocko Willink’s podcasts for inspiration. He was a Navy SEAL and is now a motivational speaker. He preaches that discipline equals freedom and I like that.”

Zuleyka’s Top Three Tips

•“Diet is a four-letter word to me because it sounds so constricting and daunting. Just think of it as making healthier choices for eating.”

•“If you feel intimidated about going to a gym for the first time, then do easy workouts at home. Dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and a yoga mat for stretching are an inexpensive investment, and then watch workout videos for free online.”

•“Don’t deprive yourself. It’s all about making healthy choices. If I want ice cream, I’ll buy the organic kind that is free of food coloring and other stuff or I’ll eat one little square of dark chocolate at the end of the day.”

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