Each of our Pro features celebrates the inspiring success of influencers from diverse industries, starting from the early career, remembering the big break, looking at the industry today, and opening their little black books to divulge their ultimate product kit. 

How she got into health and fitness…

I am from upstate New York, a town called Ithaca, which is a very intellectual, kind of hippie town. There’s a big emphasis on health, the environment, eating locally, co-operatives, and exercising. I grew up being very physical, like riding horses and dancing, and my parents were the health-nuts that sent me to school with rice cakes and carrots [laughs]. So it hasn’t ever been a challenge for me to be healthy since I’ve done it my whole life.

I went to NYU for college where I studied theater. I always wanted to be an actress, and I’m still dabbling a bit, but more on that later! After I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles and co-founded what is now a pretty successful theater company with some of my best friends from college and ended up leaving and moving back to New York to be in a play, which is when my life really changed direction. As my day job, I had been waiting tables for a while, as every actor does, and ended up quitting after I got a job acting on a T.V. series. When I was on the show, I became best friends with one of the other actresses on the show. When the series got cancelled, she knew how much I hated waiting tables and how passionate I was about health and fitness, so she told me she’d pay me to train her.

How she grew her personal brand… 

From there, it was a lot of word-of-mouth. My first client told a friend, who told another friend, and so on and so forth, and before I knew it, I had tons of clients. At that point, I started teaching part time for a dance-fitness studio where I had a really popular class that I taught on a jump rebounder, like a little trampoline. That got me a mini-cult following- I got some press clippings from that- and all the while, I was still exploring acting. I would be training one day, then acting on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy the next. One of my first clients introduced me to my now-husband, and since we got married last year, I’ve been shifting away from acting a bit. How many times can you test for a pilot and be runner-up without letting it affect your self worth? It’s hard on your soul.

On training and touring with Selena Gomez’s Revival tour…

I started working with Selena almost two years ago, and in my last year of transition, the opportunity to go on tour with her came up, so it seemed like such a perfect opportunity to throw everything behind me and just leap. It has changed my life in every way. I met a group of people that I love so much, all while seeing so much of this amazing planet and getting to do what I love.

Why there’s not one magic solution to getting healthy…

So many people want the answer, or the recipe, so that they can say, ‘Okay, five days a week I have to eat x, y and z to be fit’ [laughs]. That is totally opposite of the way I approach health. In my opinion, obsessive behavior breeds negative energy, so whether it’s obsessively counting calories, or obsessively weighing yourself, nothing good comes of it. When I was younger, I worked out like a junkie- an hour of cardio, then a kickboxing class and then a bunch of abs. Now, I do a lot of yoga, a lot of dancing and trampoline work, hiking  or the pilates machine, so it’s not ‘I have to do 45 minutes of cardio every day’. It’s the same with my eating! I remember when we first left for Revival Tour, everyone was so shocked that I ate sandwiches and drank wine. I don’t like rules because that breeds the obsessions. If you forbid yourself from eating hamburgers, all you’ll want is hamburgers! Instead, eat the best quality hamburger you can find, and then stop when you’re full. I love living by the French girl motto of joie de vivre. All the French women are so chic and look fantastic, but they don’t restrict themselves. Your body can tell if you’re putting all of this pressure on it to look a certain way, but as soon as you relax and let yourself enjoy life, you’ll be shocked at the amazing things your body will do. Your body reflects how you feel inside!

If you’re in a food and fitness rut…

If you’re struggling with eating healthy, I always say ‘eat for your skin’. If I eat McDonald’s, I literally feel like it comes out of my pores! You just have to make it a priority. The same goes with fitness. if you get stuck in any routine- food or workouts- that’s not good for your body, either. Working out and eating healthy shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you’re not happy at your SoulCycle class, maybe you need to go hiking, then do 10 minutes of toning on the trails while staring out over beautiful California. There’s no black and white way to be healthy, it’s so personal. There are so many resources, though, like ClassPass, DVD’s, even free videos online.

On finding balance with food…

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to have steamed broccoli for every meal. I focus mostly on greens and protein, and obviously organic and from the farmers market. If I am going to eat junk, I’m not going to eat a box of Oreos, I’m going to get an amazing, fresh chocolate chip cookie from somewhere on Third Street. Instead of living on plain, unsweetened yogurt during the week and then gorging yourself on the weekends, make it a lifestyle choice. Make a really yummy egg scramble during the week with a piece of toast, but you don’t need a pile of it. When you go out with your friends, go to a great pizza place, not Dominos, have a slice, and then eat tons of green salad. Don’t deny yourself!

I train Kristen Bell, and on her new show, The Good Place, there are all of these Frozen Yogurt shops in heaven. One of the lines on the show talks about how humans always take good things and ruin them just a little bit, which is kind of how I feel about frozen yogurt. Like, there are so many amazing ice cream brands out there, but instead of having a small portion of really great ice cream, people eat pounds of frozen yogurt because they think it’s ‘healthier’. I bet if you had a little bowl of Strauss Ice Cream instead of a huge amount of froyo, you’d feel better, because at the end of the day, you’ll still wish you had the ice cream.

Learning to cook is really fun, and you learn a lot about what feels best for your body. There are millions of ways to make the foods you love healthy. If you know you love pizza, then you can make it healthier by using butternut squash and topping it with tons of veggies. Knowing about food gives you so many options. I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbooks- they’re really good. Gratitude has a great book as well, but I’m the queen of not following recipes. I usually read through and figure out what I do and don’t like from recipes, then riff on them to make it my own.

On losing food guilt…

When you feel guilty for eating certain foods, you do more harm than good. It stresses your body out, and you’re going to have such a hard time digesting whatever it is if you are cringing while you swallow it. You won’t enjoy it anyway! If you want to splurge, commit to it.

How to dress up your water so you actually drink it…

I’m big on alkaline water, but I know it’s controversial. To me, it tastes better and I drink more when it’s alkaline versus when it’s not, so that makes it worth it! Water in general though just does amazing things for your body. It’s hard to get in the habit of drinking it though! Most people aren’t water drinkers inherently, so you have to find ways to make it more fun. Selena doesn’t really like drinking water, so on tour, we would dress it up: add some lemon, slice some grapes or use a cute straw! Anything you can do to make it more exciting helps. Half of the time, people confuse hunger with thirst, so something I like to do is drink a bunch of water before I sit down to eat, and then most of the time, I realize I’m not as hungry as I thought I was.

Her favorite health secret…

Everyone is so busy right now, so the last thing people have time for is taking an hour for themselves, really turning off. You deserve to watch an hour of your favorite show every once and a while! It’s good for your mental health. Shapehouse is an amazing concept because it locks you in a bed for an hour without your phone, and it really forces you to be present. It’s an urban ‘sweat lodge’ where they wrap you in infrared blankets for an hour, you lie on a bed and just really sweat everything out. How fun is it to watch an hour of television during the day with no distractions, all while doing something so good for your body! After I started going, my skin got so much better, I lost weight in stubborn spots- it really sets you in this detox mode where you sleep and function so much better.

What’s next for her…

My focus right now is just growing my brand. I’m working on a book proposal, focusing on wellness, but I’m still really figuring out what my brand is. I don’t want to be Tracy Anderson and open a bunch of studios, I’d rather play to my strengths which is more of a personality because of my acting days. I want to help people feel like the best versions of themselves.

Amy’s ideal beauty kit…

Fresh’s Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil is great for taking off makeup at the end of the day. It just smells clean, which is what you want from an oil. It’s also great for dry cuticles! I try not to wear makeup everyday, but when I do, this is what I use before I wash my face to get it ready for cleanser.

I see Christina Radu for facials when I can. She’s unbelievable! Her face scrub is amazing, and I use it for two minutes like she says. Most people just smack on some exfoliant and wash it off without really doing anything, so I gently scrub for a few minutes in tiny circles every morning.

I have a few serums I use, but iS Clinical’s Youth Serum is one of my favorites. It gives you that youthful, glowy skin that everyone’s so into these days, which I love.

EltaMD’s Tinted Moisturizer is the best. I use it instead of foundation, and it makes your face look like you just naturally have great skin, not a ton of makeup on it. It’s also a brand that so many amazing dermatologists recommend, so it won’t cause breakouts or anything like that.

Earth Tu Face Balm is such a magic, miracle balm. You can do anything with it. Put it on your cuticles, on your cracked heels, on your lips- it’s all organic and works better than any balm I’ve ever used.

Natural deodorant just doesn’t work as well as ‘regular’ deodorant, but it’s also not going to give you cancer, so that’s a compromise I’m willing to make. Weleda’s Wild Rose Deodorant is the one I’m using now. It smells so good, like real roses, so if I can spray that under my arm instead of something with a bunch of chemicals, that’s so much better.

Rajua’s Voluminous Shampoo smells so good on your hair, almost like patchouli. There’s no bad chemicals or sulfates, which is really important to me. I only shampoo two or three times a week, and I don’t really use conditioner because I have such thin hair. I get my hair wet everyday since I workout, but I’ll just rinse it with water, and then every few days I’ll use shampoo, and occasionally shampoo. I need a little build-up to hold any curl or style!

Because my hair is so thin, I need things to make it dirty after I do shampoo it. I use Kerestase Volume In Powder when I’m curling to give my hair some grit and hold, and then throughout the day, I’ll spray Frederik Fekkai Blow Out Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo to keep the volume. I throw the small size in my purse, and whenever I feel like I need something extra, I get right up into my roots and do a few sprays. There’s no white residue, and it really pumps up the flatness.

Credits

Photography
Greyson Tarantino