Welcome to Next Gen of Wellness, our spotlight of the nine up-and-coming icons you need to know about *right now*. Here, healthy-living guru Alison Wu shares her mindfulness tips, nutrition advice, and routine-simplifying hacks.
You gotta love a resourceful friend. You know, the one who has just the right advice, just when you need it. And Alison Wu—the Portland, OR-based stylist, recipe developer, and founder of Wu Haus—is that friend to the internet right now. She's basically the healthy gal you'd want to hit the farmers' market with, to get the most out of your haul (because she can then guide you to create some seriously delish—and beautiful—bowls).
And, in just one recent Instagram example, solved a major dilemma for matcha lovers: How to make the buzzy beverage on the road, without hauling a blender around? (Answer: Pack the blender ball you use for protein shakes. Genius!)
So what are her go-to daily practices and products? And how did she become such an amazing source of advice? Read on to find out.
1. How did you get into wellness, and what's your personal mission in the wellness space?
When I was 15, I decided to go vegetarian. Around the same time, I started practicing yoga. Both of these lifestyle changes helped me start to see the connection between what we eat and practice and how we feel on a daily basis. I’ve dealt with a lot of digestive issues my entire life, so this also forced me to look at what I was putting into my body and how I could improve my overall health through eating well, exercising and being mindful. It’s been an almost 17-year journey. I’ve learned so much about myself and about overall health and well-being. And it’s so humbling because I’m still learning new things everyday.
I aim to empower and inspire people to take control of their health through daily practices that support overall well-being. I focus on interesting, colorful, easy recipes that make healthy eating fun and enjoyable. I also encourage exploration of self-care, mindfulness, and spiritual practice.
2. Why do you think people have started prioritizing wellness in the last few years?
In lots of ways, I think it’s become necessary. We are all dealing with enormous amounts of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Stress causes a myriad of health-related issues, and I think people are beginning to realize how much they can do on their own to help deal with all sorts of stressors. Overall, I think the consciousness is changing. There’s greater emphasis on being healthy, both physically and mentally, and feeling good in the body you have. I love how much self-care and self-love have shown up in wellness conversation. It’s less about how many green smoothies you drink in a week, and more about how each of us can move towards balance, greater acceptance of self and others, and a more mindful approach to living.
3. What does a typical day look like for you? How do you stay productive?
I wake up around 6 or 6:15 a.m. I usually drink a glass of water before enjoying a cup of matcha or hot tea with my husband. We sit in the living room and read, listen to music or chat. About five times per week, I head off to a morning workout class. If I’m not working out, I usually meditate for 20 minutes. If I am working out, I’ll meditate when I get back. After these morning rituals, I start my day. Usually catch up on emails, figure out my schedule for the day, and what I need to accomplish and what meetings I have, etc. I practice intermittent fasting almost every day, so I don’t eat my first meal until around noon. I’ll break for lunch, usually shoot some photos of what I’m eating to share on Instagram. Afternoons are usually spent shooting and planning content for my blog and Instagram, running errands to prep for content shooting, working on any special projects I have on my plate, more emails, usually a phone call or two. I typically work until around 6 or 6:30 p.m. when I start to make dinner, and I eat with my husband around 7. Then I clean up the kitchen and the rest of the house and walk my dog, Tilly. Then I spend the last couple of waking hours of my day doing a variety of things, usually hanging out with my husband and our fur babes, reading, writing, sometimes working. I try to be in bed by 10:30.
4. What are a few of your favorite wellness essentials?
Meditation and my spiritual practice. Movement practice. Three liters of water a day. Eight hours of sleep a night. Matcha. My adaptogen pantry for making potions and elixirs. My Vitamix. Produce that's fresh, organic, and local if possible.
5. What do you think the future holds for wellness as a movement?
I hope the consciousness and mindfulness continue to grow. I think it’s absolutely imperative that people start to look at how their practices and what put into their bodies affects themselves as well as Mother Earth. We have a responsibility to be conscious consumers, to think about who we are supporting and what we are consuming on a daily basis. So much of wellness talks about the journey of self and what we can take and do to feel and be better, but I think we need to shift focus a bit and think about where all of it comes from, to be grateful for what the Earth provides us while also recognizing our footprint, and to be more selective when we're deciding what we consume.
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