September 25, 2020
Holistic fitness coach Marisa Chaela has big plans for the future. “When I’m 80, I want to still be able to go on adventures, be strongly independent, and do pull ups,” she says. “I want to be able to live life to the fullest for as long as possible.”
Accordingly, Chaela’s philosophy is all about the long game. “A healthy lifestyle is not only important for looking and feeling your best now, but also for still being able to kick ass when you’re 80,” she adds. As a recent MIT grad, her science-based approach informs everything from her nutrition to her social time, and she’s dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge with her audience on YouTube, where she’s known as MissFitAndNerdy.
A key tenet of her approach to healthy living is centered on being tuned into what foods and routines work for you as an individual. “It is important to remember that there is no ‘perfect diet,’” says Chaela. “Humans are bioindividual. What works really well for one person might be detrimental for another. Everything from our ability to absorb certain key nutrients, to our exercise, to internal/external stressors, to the environment can affect how a particular diet will affect our bodies.” When she was still in college, negative experiences with diet culture hindered Chaela’s relationship with food and exercise. After finding the holistic health community on YouTube and digging deeper into research on fitness and nutrition, she developed her individualistic approach. “You can make a case backed by multiple scientific studies for or against literally any food,” she explains. “This is why it is important to try things out and experiment and find what works for YOU and not fall prey to the dogma surrounding different diets.”
Though her routine is built around deliberate, educated choices, she also recognizes the importance of giving herself some grace, especially over the course of quarantine. “Between cooking fresh and balanced meals, exercising, getting in regular movement throughout the day, prioritizing sleep, and including stress management practices, a healthy lifestyle can sometimes feel like a full-time job,” Chaela says. “But I just remind myself that doing the best I can is always better than doing nothing at all.”
Read on for a sample daily menu that fuels Chaela’s pursuit of a long, healthy life.
Breakfast: My favorite part of my routine is starting my day with a fun beverage. Some of my favorite morning elixirs are kombucha, bone broth, an adaptogenic latte, or a simple coffee. I love a BIG post-workout breakfast. It fuels me up and keeps me full for most of the day. My current obsession is my chocolate frosty smoothie bowl made from steamed then frozen sweet potato, cauliflower, and zucchini with some full fat coconut milk, lots of Regeneratively Grown Organic Cacao Powder, and some fun add-ins like nut butter, avocado, flax seeds, and hemp seeds. Some of my other go-tos are a giant veggie and egg scramble or oatmeal.
Lunch: Since I have such a big breakfast, I don’t usually have lunch.
Snacks: I don’t always snack, but when I get hungry during the day, I will usually reach for some fruit or nuts.
Dinner: I also love a big dinner. I like to focus my dinner around vegetables and protein. My secret for vegetables is to cut them into thin pieces and cover them in nutritional yeast! Add some salt, pepper, onion, & garlic (and some paprika if you want a little kick) then roast them in the oven at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes. Delicious.
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