Skinnygirl fans, you are in luck! This week, in conjunction with OpenSky , I was given the opportunity take a look inside the life of the superwoman Bethenny Frankel. Ever since I read Bethenny’s book Naturally Thin, I have been hooked as she and I have a lot in common when it comes to eating well and listening to your body. Not only is she an incredible author, TV celebrity, mother and successful businesswoman, but she is also hilarious and extremely blunt which I love.
Take a peak at how amazing this woman is for yourself in her interview with OpenSky below. Enjoy!
You’re a new TV host, Founder of Skinnygirl, 4 time NY Times best selling author and chef, but if you had to describe yourself beyond that to someone, what would you say?
Well, I’m most definitely a businessperson, but I’m most proud of being a mother. Ever since I had Bryn, I make all my decisions based on what’s best for her so that’s how I define myself first now.
It seems like everybody’s biggest challenge for living a healthy lifestyle is time. What’s one simple thing time-starved women can fit into their day to live a healthier lifestyle?
What I tell women is there’s no way you can be the best mother, the best wife and the best businessperson if you’re running yourself ragged!
The best thing you can do to keep healthy is to keep hydrated. Even if you have one hand on your blackberry, your baby bouncing on your lap and your ear on a conference call, you can still manage a few quick swigs of water. I even struggle with it personally because I don’t love water, but your body needs it to detox and to keep things moving if you know what I mean. So my alternative is knocking back club soda.
Summer’s here so we’re all thinking about baring more skin. Can you share one of your best secrets for getting a more toned body?
There’s honestly no secret. I believe in watching what you eat and exercise in moderation. Otherwise you go on one of these crash weight-loss regimens and you give up by Day 4. You can’t keep it up! And then you end up beating yourself up. If I eat a burger for lunch, I’ll have a salad for dinner. If I don’t have time to do 40 minutes of yoga, I’ll take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a little further away and walk a little extra. Moderation is key.
With your incredibly busy schedule, how do you find the time to cook at home?
My schedule is crazy but I always make it a point to make Bryn a home-cooked meal every day. I started out in catering so cooking is what I enjoy. And I swear, it’s easy…as long as you make it easy. Don’t say you’re going to make beef Wellington and a baked Alaska for a weekday dinner with the hubby—make turkey burgers and 30-minute brownies instead.
What are a few easy tips for gradually moving toward a healthier lifestyle?
The easiest way to start is to get rid of all those processed foods in your kitchen. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it. Fill your fridge with real food instead. If you really need those potato chips, buy chips that are the most natural. (Hint: Check the ingredient list and it’ll be the one with the least ingredients.) If you really need that booze, make a Skinnygirl cocktail so you’re not downing all those calories.
With all of these extraordinary experiences on your resume, what made you decide to work with OpenSky as your next move?
I love giving women practical solutions that can make their lives a bit easier. It’s like having boozy brunch with my girlfriends and talking out our problems. But OpenSky is a way to bridge that gap between recommending something great and giving my fans a way to actually buy it.
What kinds of products and advice can your fans expect to see you offer on OpenSky?
Well, you definitely won’t get recipes for cardboard chicken. I mean I want you to actually like healthy living. I’m planning on showing you practical products and awesome tips that you can actually use in your day-to-day routine… And some of my Skinnygirl favorites, naturally.
I send a big thank you to OpenSky and Bethenny for making this interview possible. Hope you enjoyed!
Last week, I was given an incredible opportunity from OpenSky to interview (via email) bestselling author and health activist Kathy Freston. Not only is Kathy absolutely stunning as is evident from her photo above, but I admire her approach to living well in all aspects of her life. Talk about practicing what you preach! Not to mention she is completely down to earth and “real” with her advice; totally the kind of person I’d love to sit down with at a little cafe and chat “girl stuff” over some exotic tea. Below, Kathy dishes about her new book The Lean, her personal wellness journey, the scary four-letter word D-I-E-T, and her “get healthy” secrets. I’ll turn it over to Kathy from here.
Kathy, it’s such a pleasure to be able to speak with you. I actually had the privilege of hearing you speak at the IIN Conference in NYC this past fall, as I am on my way to becoming a Certified Health coach myself. Were you always interested in health and wellness? What motivated you to make this your career?
KF: Hi Rachel, great to meet you, and I love what you are doing! Very cool! As far as my interest in health, I have always had a craving to grow and get better, whether that meant getting healthier, or happier, or more connected to the world around me. I made it my career because I became obsessed with how diet can change your life on so many levels: it’s not just about being slim or having a lot of energy, but it’s also about living with a great sense of purpose. There’s nothing more exciting, for me, than to have a career which helps people achieve all these diverse but interconnected goals.
KF: The reader can expect to lose weight, seriously improve their energy, clear up their skin, and get better digestion. But more than that, they will become more in tune to their inner power, their ability to be movers and shakers in the world. There is a lot of body-soul connection that will come out of this process.
In The Lean, you provide a 30-day plan for healthy, lasting weight loss goals? Is this something anyone can attain?
KF: Oh yes, we all have within us the ability to get to a good, healthy place… it’s just a matter of getting on the right track. Once we start making small (but significant) changes, a momentum kicks in and the pounds begin to come off. It’s actually easier than you might think when you approach it from the angle of “progress, not perfection!”
You mentioned readers who follow your plan can experience permanent weight loss, increased energy, improved digestion, and even clearer skin, among other results. That’s amazing! I know digestion issues and problem skin in particular are concerns for many women. When did you start noticing these positive changes for your self? Can you give an example of a turnaround you’ve seen in yourself, a friend, or someone else you’ve helped?
KF: Ok, I’m going to get a little personal here with you: before I undertook this process, my digestion was so bad that I looked 9 months pregnant sometimes! I couldn’t zip my jeans I was so bloated, and the gurgling going on in my belly made me unable to relax because I was so worried what people must have been thinking. I also had zits around my jaw line … and although make up covered it, I still felt unattractive. When I started changing my diet, all of that went away. I haven’t had a pimple in at least 8 years (I think they were caused by hormones in meat and dairy, and the hormones played havoc with my system) and my belly is finally flat. There is a married couple who is featured in The Lean, who, collectively has lost 300 pounds by leaning in. So the effects of this way of eating are pretty profound.
The word D-I-E-T can be scary to some. What’s your take on this four letter word and what would you say to someone who may be discouraged in their battle to lose weight and make positive changes?
KF: When I think of the word diet, I think of white-knuckle discipline, where you force yourself to eat super plain food that you don’t like, and you go to bed hungry. And it usually lasts only a few months at the most, and then you cave and go back to your favorite foods (which make you gain weight). I don’t like diets, because they are no fun, and they’re not sustainable (and many of them are really unhealthy for you, like the high protein, low carb ones). But when you take the pressure off yourself and simply leeeeeean into little changes, and introduce all sorts of delicious, fiber rich food, it’s not that hard. You feel fulfilled that way; you are getting all kinds of hearty and satisfying food, so you don’t feel lacking. You find your way, without all the hardship and rules. And you get to enjoy all your favorites – like burgers and burritos – but just healthier versions of them. Life is to be enjoyed after all, and I believe we should all celebrate our food traditions with friends and family, but just upgrade them a little.
What’s piece of advice would you suggest for someone who’s just starting off or may be intimidated by making the first steps in losing weight and becoming healthier over all?
KF: Just set your intention to lose weight, nudge yourself forward a little by taking the first steps in The Lean, and then let the momentum kick in as you continue to lean!
What are your top 3 “get healthy” secrets you’d recommend starting now?
-Eat an apple a day. The fiber fills you up and keeps your blood sugar steady. The pectin from apples is actually twice as good as other fiber, because it leaves your stomach twice as slowly so you feel fuller longer. Eat one before a meal and you’ll eat far less calories!
-Drink 8 glasses of water, 8 times a day. Keeps your metabolism running optimally. And it’s called pre-loading: people who drink 2 cups of water before meals in a study lost 5 pounds of fat more than people who didn’t drink water in a 12 week period. Easy peasy!
- Add 2 Tbs ground flax seeds to your food every day (in a smoothie or soup, for instance, or mixed in with oatmeal); the fiber adds volume to your food and fills you up so you are satisfied for hours. And flax has a powerful antioxidant in it called lignans, which are cancer preventative.
Do you have a personal favorite healthy breakfast for the springtime you’d recommend to my Healthy Chicks readers?
KF: I make a big pot (I use a rice cooker, actually; they are inexpensive and require zero cleanup) of brown rice a few times a week and put it in the fridge. I put about 2 cups in a bowl for breakfast, sprinkle chopped dates and raw almonds on top, and then drizzle on some agave nectar and warm soy or almond milk. It’s unbelievably fulfilling, and I feel powered up for hours from it. (And it keeps things moving, if you know what I mean!) I love this Soy Milk Maker because you can make fresh soy milk, almond milk, rice milk or cashew milk in minutes and also makes porridges and soup!
What’s something that the average person may not be aware of, that you wish they knew about living a healthier lifestyle?
KF: Here’s the thing: once you get yourself slightly nudged over to a better track, living a healthy lifestyle becomes super fun and easy. It’s not hard, and you don’t sacrifice anything at all. You just keep opening up to new levels of feeling good. Just start with the easy stuff, and then the momentum will take over!
Big thank you to OpenSky and Kathy for this incredible opportunity. You can find more about Kathy’s healthy tips and suggestions over on her OpenSky profile, or purchase your exclusive signed copy of The Lean today. OpenSky is a social network for shopping, where experts and trendsetters recommend hot tips, savvy advice, and all of their favorites things for you to indulge in. I highly recommend you scurry on over to take a peak if you haven’t yet.
Disclaimer: Though I stay away from processed food/red meat, and stick mostly to organic, all natural lean chicken and fish, I myself do not follow a vegan diet, although I do enjoy vegan food options. While I admire Kathy’s approach, this piece is solely an informative interview and is not meant to take the place of your nutritional needs. Vegan diets may not jive well with everyone, and my approach to healthy living includes finding what works right for you.