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A Healthy Delicious Life: Keri O’Meara

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in A Healthy Delicious Life | No Comments

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Meet Keri. Keri is a pilates, yoga and movement teacher, and an amazing one at that. I met Keri about a year ago and we became fast friends and collaborators, bonding over important things such as our favourite place to brunch. Keri is a self-professed anatomy nerd and for that reason I deeply trust her as a teacher. She just opened MuseMovement Studio at Queen and Shaw, a gorgeous pilates and yoga studio with some of the best class sequencing and playlists around. If you go, chances are you’ll see me there. Anyhoo, I started this interview series to give you a glimpse into the different health routines of health leaders because there is no one size fits all approach to health or life. What I love about Keri’s approach is that it is balanced. Make sure you move three times per week, make sure you laugh, make time for an amazing brunch, and don’t be shy with the hemp hearts. Yup, that’s a pretty Healthy Delicious Life. xo Andrea

How do you define how you eat? (e.g. paleo, veg, vegan, omnivore, plant based, etc.)

I definitely don’t fall into a definitive category. I try to eat as clean as possible but I eat everything. For awhile I was on a gluten-free and anti-inflammatory diet to try to alleviate stomach pains and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (which I have had since I was four). In some ways, and for a while it made me feel great, until it didn’t. It was so restrictive that it stressed me out and I got a lot of stomach aches which is what I was trying to fix. I also lost a lot of weight, which I didn’t really have to lose. I try to avoid sugar, eat lots of greens and proteins and I am addicted to nuts and seeds, they go on everything.

I really try to listen to my body on all things including what to eat but, to be honest, I’m still trying to figure that one out. It seems to constantly change, with age, with season, and with stress and activity levels. I strongly believe in emotional physiology. It helps having Andrea as a friend, always excited to share her knowledge, advice, support and recipes and to back me up that sometimes the best thing you can eat is the thing that brings you comfort. It’s all about balance.

How long have you been health conscious?

Because of my RA I have always been conscious of my health but not health conscious. I’d say when I started doing Pilates 7 years ago, an awareness of my body was developed and I was introduced to a world where taking care of myself was a priority. It’s part of being embodied. It’s been a long road to get me to be mindful about what I eat. I worked in the restaurant industry for ten years and developed a real love of rich food and it was hard to let that go. Foie gras and baguette sounds sexier than hummus and carrots but it does not feel as great!

“Foie gras and baguette sounds sexier than hummus and carrots but it does not feel as great!”

What motivates you to be healthy/do this for yourself?

The feeling of freedom. Freedom to move, to be free of pain to feel light happy and full of energy.

How do you wake up in the morning? (rituals, music you listen to, etc.)

I am so big on my morning rituals. I drink two glasses of warm water with lemon upon waking to, ahem, get ‘er moving while the coffee is on. With my coffee I get back into bed a write in my journal for about half an hour. This is so important to me and it’s taken some time to make this habitual. But now that it is, it’s never a question to wake up early so I can do my writing meditation.

Describe a day in the life of you.

Its all changed in the last six weeks since I opened my yoga and Pilates studio MuseMovement. After writing I get ready and go to the studio usually for about 9 every morning. Then I teach all day. Typically I am teaching about 5-6 classes a day between group classes and private clients. In my in-between time, I take meetings or do admin, marketing, emails, etc. I try to get out of the studio to do this, either walking up the street to the Tampered press on Dundas or even just sitting in some of the public spaces in the Artscape building where my studio is. I had to give up my membership at Octopus Garden Yoga Centre for a while, its just too busy right now but I do make sure I move at least three times a week. It helps that I have awesome teachers at my studio so I can take their classes and I also just make sure I self-practice. I try to mix it up between yoga, and Pilates on both the mat and the reformer machine. Moving keeps me sane so I have to make it a priority, especially when I am this busy. I love my work and the community that is building at my studio and that already exists in the Artscape Youngplace building. So my days end with a feeling of real gratitude. In the evenings I am either hanging with pals, or my man, eating dinner, sipping wine (not every night…I’m 34 and I can’t do that anymore!) and giggling and winding down. Many nights I meditate for about 20 minutes and then I try to end my days with the time to read that I gave to writing at its beginnings. I usually end up falling asleep 2 pages in.

healthydelicious.ca healthy delicious life

“I make sure I move at least three times a week. It helps that I have awesome teachers at my studio so I can take their classes and I also just make sure I self-practice. I try to mix it up between yoga, and Pilates on both the mat and the reformer machine. Moving keeps me sane so I have to make it a priority, especially when I am this busy.”

How do you typically eat in a day?

I move a lot during the day so I typically have two breakfasts spaced about two hours apart if I can. I’ll start with a bowl of homemade granola (the key besides Bobs Red Mill gluten free oats is a milieu of nuts and seeds and LOTS of shredded coconut) and follow it with a shake – Andrea’s Green Mango Beauty is a fave. On the weekends BRUNCH is a must! My number one favourite place is Union on Ossington.  The poached eggs and polenta with no tomato sauce and a side of bacon is my jam.

For lunch I’ll have a big salad with protein, fish or chicken, or, leftovers from dinner. Sometimes I’ll get a salad from The Goods (thegoodsisgood.ca) which is really yummy and filling and packed with goodness for your body and soul.

I need a snack in the afternoon but don’t always have time. I try to make another shake that has beet and cacao in it to give me and afternoon boost or walk down to Fresh and get a cold pressed juice, or I’ll have a gluten-free nut bar. Today my boyfriend brought me chouxquettes, small flour pastries from the Tempered Room, and while they were the best thing ever (I am a sucker for pastry) I definitely can’t do that every day.

For dinner again it all depends on the season and whether I go out or not, but some sort of protein with salad usually. Tonight I had trout with white rice and spicy kale. YUM.

What’s the HEALTHIEST thing you do each day?

Meditation, hands down.

What’s your favourite ‘superfood,’ the food that gives you the biggest sense of well being and energy?

Hmm… can I say coffee? Just kidding. Honestly I am still trying to figure this out. I do love a good juice or shake in the afternoon. They seem to give me a nice boost for evening classes. Also hemp seeds. I put them in everything. My fave is throwing them into a veggie soup for added texture and protein.

What’s the most DELICIOUS thing you do for yourself? For example, how do you treat yourself? How do you indulge?

I’ve just started getting weekly reflexology foot massages. 30 bucks for an hour in China Town. It’s amazing. It’s also very enlightening, it tells you a lot about what’s going on in the rest of your body. We need to give our feet more love.

What’s your chosen physical activity? Why do you do it?

Yoga and Pilates. They both leave me feeling empowered, strong, connected to my body, blissful and ready to take on the world.

Who inspires you?

My boyfriend. My friends. People who are committed to growth.

Can you share one of your favourite (healthy) go-to recipes?

I love salads. Here’s my philosophy: the more you put in a salad the better.

  • Arugula and mixed greens – they come in boxes now, you know.
  • Avocado – use a whole one if you like, they are good for you.
  • Hemp seeds – don’t be shy.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds – all you have to do is throw them in a pan and wait until you hear a popping sound and then toss ‘em on the salad.
  • Roasted almond slivers
  • Currants
  • A sprinkle of finely chopped leeks
  • A sprinkle of dill
  • A piece of trout (baked or on the barbie) – put a touch of sesame oil, a touch of olive oil, lemon, maple syrup, Celtic sea salt and pepper and cook. (Or just grill some halloumi!)

Delicious!

Anything else you want to add?

Move your body, move your mind, move your heart.

xo

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