IN HER SNEAKERS with Annie Strachan (a.k.a @clean_and mean)
Introducing the beautiful and talented Annie, the gal behind @clean_andmean on Insta and the amazing blog Clean and Mean. I have followed Annie for quite a few years now and everytime I see a post I actually get so hungry - I would love to try some of her treats, her insta is drool worthy. Annie is so so clever in the kitchen and I see she has an Ebook coming - OMG exciting, I cannot wait!! Enjoy reading through this gorgeous gals In Her Sneakers ...
1. A little bit about you gorgeous ... who are you, what do you do and what are you passionate about?
Hello beautiful girls! My name is Annie and I am the proud owner of Clean and Mean food blog/catering company. Initially, my interest in creating nutritious foods and healthy eating stemmed from my experience and recovery from a long term eating disorder in high school. Nowadays, I super passionate about promoting health, mental and physical wellbeing and all round balance. I not only learnt the importance of fuelling my body with the right foods, but also love sharing my recipe experiments and health experiences with other likeminded females out there.
2. What does health mean to you?
The definition of ‘health’ is by no means a universal concept. Health to me, is an individual way of life; a way of living that encompasses actions and routine allowing you to lead your most happy, productive and exciting life. To me, this means fuelling your body with a variety of good nutrients, exercising regularly (exercise that you actually like doing), sharing and experiencing food with loved ones, and the ability to wake up in the morning full of energy and satisfied with life.
Ultimately, I think that creating an equal balance between mental, physical, spiritual and psychological ‘health’ is accomplished when you find what suits your personal needs. In our society, i think its really crucial to realise that your idea of a healthy lifestyle WILL differ from those around you, and that your patterns of health are different.
3. What does a typical day in your sneakers look like?
Lately I have been absolutely loving my running. I have been getting back into my long distance running and absolutely loving the fresh air on my face in the morning. That being said, I have also recently started getting into Les Mills Sprint classes, and regularly walk around my beautiful city of Wellington as my form of transport. And other than my more intense exercise, I have really been trying hard to incorporate more stretching and yoga poses into my lifestyle.
4. What does a normal day of eating look like for you?
My eating patterns change everyday, dependent on my exercise, uni schedule, and if I’m honest… on my mindset of the day. Sometimes I do still struggle to fuel myself properly, due to letting my stupid head get in the way of things. But all in all, I generally drink a big glass of water before exercising in the morning, and refuel with a big smoothie for breakfast. For my lunch and dinner meals, I generally grab some yummy sushi from my favourite place or choose salads/wraps - food with a vegetarian protein, healthy fat, lots of fresh veggies, and a source of carbs. If I’m home, homemade soups, lots of beans and legumes, vegetable stir fry’s, rice paper rolls (anything vietnamese for that matter), or corn thins topped with goodies are regularly my go to.
Throughout the day, I also try to drink about 2.5-3 litres of water, and generally have 1-2 coffees (I’m now super addicted thanks to my best friend!) and green or peppermint tea.
5. How do you maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and your tips and tricks for others?
I try to talk. I talk to people about how I am feeling, about my thoughts at the time and what my plans are. I think expressing how you are feeling not only lets others know how you are doing, but also lets you realise what you want and helps to meet you health goals. I also motivate myself by writing my (realistic) goals down in a notebook, and try to cross them off as I go along. Getting enough sleep is super crucial for me, and making sure I fuel my body with enough nutritious food is also vital. Exercise regularly, letting yourself rest when you need too, and doing at least one thing each day that is for YOU, is the way that I try to live my healthy lifestyle.
6. How do you deal with stress and pressure in this fast paced world we all live in?
Exercise (especially walking and running) is my go to coping mechanism when I am stressed, as I find it releases all my negative energies and allows me a quiet space to be alone with my thoughts. I also love being around certain people when I am stressed, reading a good book, making a list of the things I need to do, calling mum, listening to music, or going to a cafe and letting myself have some quality alone time. I recently have also been trying to limit my screen time and phone use, which I have definitely noticed has made a huge difference to my stress levels.
7. What has been the hardest part of your wellness journey?
Realising that we are all individual was a huge turning point for me. Yes my recovery and the duration of my eating disorder was incredibly challenging, but for me… maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard when I allow negative thoughts into my head or make comparisons to others. When these take over, I still have some really bad days. But in all honesty, everyones food intake will change regularly, and realising that it’s okay to slip up and make mistakes was something that I need to keep reminding myself of.
8. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and from who?
I have two… Is that allowed? Firstly, comparrison is most definitely the thief of joy. Comparing yourself to another persons health, body composition or lifestyle will never EVER get you anywhere, especially if you are determining your own happiness on achieving someone else health goals. In realising that we are all unique, and in accepting others for who they are (the good and the bad), I think that we also learn to love and accept ourselves.
Secondly, something that my best friend always reminds me of, is that striving for perfection is boring, and spontaneity is the key to life. Spontaneity is being present in the present, and choosing to do the things your brain almost automatically tells you not to do. I don't necessarily mean doing irresponsible things, but doing the things you love and choosing to let lose, is something I consider to be super important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
9. Favourite treat?
Whittakers Creamy Milk Chocolate & Homemade Ginger Crunch.
10. 3 foods you couldn’t live without
Chocolate, Vegetables, and Chilli
11. Favourite way to move your body
Running & Walking, Spinning, any of the Les Mills classes, and a good old fashioned beach workout.
12. Any last words of wisdom …
Health and Wellbeing is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like, and celebrating it for what it is. It is not how much we have, but how much we choose to enjoy, that can determine our happiness.
Go follow Annie @clean_andmean for healthy treat inspo and recipes and stay tuned for her Ebook!
Love and Health,