Inspiring Health Pros
Chrisie Spain – Yoga Instructor, health coach
& Co-founder of The Willow Life
Chrisie is one of my dear friends and business side kick. When we first started brainstorming together to figure out a way to combine our loves for wellness, our meeting lasted for 3 hours and the only reason we stopped was because we had to pick up our children from school. I’m sure if time didn’t matter we would have been there all day long. That has become a theme of ours, we can’t seem to have a short meeting because we just get caught up in all of our fun ideas. Chrisie has taught me so much about living a healthy and happy life. We definitely make a great team and I am so honored to be able to have her along for this ride. She is such a caring and inspiring coach and you can see that with each client that is blessed to work with her. She is also one heck of a wife and mom. Her family is her top priority and when she talks about them she lights up. It is so sweet to see!
What is your occupation?
Yoga instructor and holistic health coach
How did you choose this career?
I become a yoga teacher because yoga literally changed my life. I felt called to share with others how much slowing down and meditation can positively affect your life. Our bodies are essentially a vehicle for our soul, so becoming a holistic health coach helped me bridge the gap between nutrition for the body, mind, and soul.
What do you love about what you do?
I love teaching yoga and sharing the healing benefits of the practice. We live in such a fast paced world and yoga gives us an opportunity to slow down and live from a place of deeper connection with ourselves and others. I became a health coach because I have always been interested in nutrition and I enjoy helping people live healthier, happier lives through cleaning eating, movement, and a positive mindset.
When you first started living a healthy lifestyle, did you have a mentor or did you find more success doing it on your own?
I have always enjoyed healthy eating and exercise, but my healthy lifestyle was elevated when I became pregnant with my 3rd daughter and started practicing yoga. I quickly discovered that health is beyond what we are eating, drinking, and moving and extends to our mindset and stress reduction.
What pushes you out of your comfort zone?
Honestly, public speaking is so hard for me and I guess I didn’t really think things through when I decided to become a yoga teacher! I read a quote when I first starting teaching that said “Life begins when you get out of your comfort zone.” Speaking in front of large crowds has helped me get out of my own way, stop over thinking and worrying about what people think, and just be in the moment. I feel the most present when I am leading a class.
What kind of workout do you do, how many days per week do you workout, and for how long?
I take long walks with my dog everyday and try and take a couple yoga classes each week. I also take a dance fitness class one day a week. Exercise needs to be fun or I won’t want to do it!
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
For breakfast I usually have a smoothie. I’ll share the recipe for my favorite one that’s loaded with plant based nutrition!
Lunch is typically a salad, avocado toast, or dinner leftovers.
Dinner is usually a one pot dish like soup, stew, or curry. I have 3 kids who have lots of activities in the afternoons so I try and make dinner during the day so all I have to do is reheat and we can all sit down and eat as a family.
I’m not a big snacker, but if I am needing something I will grab an apple or handful of nuts.
What inspires you to live a healthy and active life?
I want to live a long active life versus just being alive for a long time.
How do you stay motivated on a daily basis?
I am motivated by my kids. I want to have energy and a positive mindset to parent my best.
How do you handle unhealthy cravings?
Drinking water helps me avoid unhealthy cravings. But I also try and deconstruct my cravings – am I bored, sad, mad, tired, etc. I also allow myself to eat things I enjoy like a couple squares of dark chocolate or a small serving of ice-cream. I do not believe in restricted eating.
What would you say is the key to balancing it all?
I don’t think that we can balance everything perfectly. I do my best everyday, but I have learned that I need to have a lot of grace and set realistic expectations for myself. Balance looks different for everyone.
What is your favorite workout apparel?
Lululemon is my favorite!
If you could only pick one exercise or movement to do everyday that would be amazing for your body, what would it be?
I think walking is the superfood of exercise. Its cardio, strength, and can also be a form of meditation.
What advice would you give to people to be their healthiest and best self?
Be authentic! Do what works for you. There is no one-size fits all way of living. To live a healthy life, your actions need to be in alignment with your values.
Please share your favorite healthy recipe.
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 handful of spinach
1/2 small cucumber, peeled
1 TBS almond butter
1 TBS flaxseed
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp spiriulina
1 scoop collagen powder
1 cup coconut water
Blend in a high speed blender and enjoy!