How I Get Sh*t Done: Amy Simmonds

Today on the HIGSD, I wanted to switch it up a bit! As you may know, I get to interview awesome women and men in the fitness and health community on a weekly basis. I love interviewing people, it’s one of my favourite ways to learn new things!

And this week, I wanted to introduce you to one of my faves in the HIH community, fellow contributing writer, Amy Simmonds! Amy is a Kinesiology Major, a Holistic Nutrition student, runner, Crossfitter and seriously amazing baker (she shares an amazing muffin recipe at the end of the post and it’s seriously one of my all time favourite healthy recipes)! Amy is known on Instagram through her handle/blog, @TheWholeisticWay. For Amy living the ‘WHOLEISITC WAY’ means looking at life and health from a holistic way. “It means approaching your well-being from all angles, and realizing that it’s all just one giant, beautiful and amazing puzzle.”

I met Amy last summer during the Healthy is Hot meet up, and she’s always supported me through Instagram dms, and supportive comments! Today we chat about fitness trends, how she stays motivated through her hectic schedule, and SO much more!

Q: What is your favourite trendy wellness/health/fitness fad/trend?

A: I might be going against the grain a little here, but I'm not a big fan of any 'trendy' wellness fads. I truly believe that the 'secret sauce' to health and wellness doesn't mean taking on the latest and greatest wellness trend, and truthfully, keeping up with all of the new and fun fads can be a little exhausting, not to mention expensive. Personally, I really limit how much 'extra' stuff I use and do on the daily. I've attempted in the past to incorporate some of the latest 'fads' into my routine, and have found it to be overwhelming and ultimately, not sustainable. Sticking to the basics is my favourite wellness trend - wholesome foods (organic where possible), fresh water, regular activity in the form of both aerobic exercise and resistance training, limiting stress and prioritizing sleep.

(That said, I am a huge fan of turmeric and try to incorporate it into my cooking as much as possible. The anti-inflammatory benefits are incredible, and it's such a delicious and warming spice that is perfect for our cold Canadian winters.)

Q: What's your least favourite trendy wellness/health/fitness fad/trend?

A: The carnivore diet. Enough said. 

Q: What's your favourite way to get your sweat on?

A: If you had asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have easily said weight training. But now that I've made the transition into my 30's (gasp!), my body generally needs a variety of exercises to feel its best. (Not to mention some rest days.) 

I love a super loud and sweaty spin class (Spinco being my favourite), as well as a challenging CrossFit class to really push me outside of my physical comfort zone. Some days, especially in the summer, I love to go for a long run outside, and some days I love a MetCon class. (Academy of Lions in Toronto has a pretty awesome MetCon class.) My body definitely reacts well to resistance (weight) training, but I can never deny the benefits of aerobic exercise and love how I feel after a really sweaty workout. For me, variety and consistency is key!

Q: How do you stay motivated at the gym?

A: Great question! Motivation is always something I've prided myself on, but lately, especially during the winter months, it's been challenging to find that extra level of motivation. I'm always motivated by the benefits of physical activity for my body, not to mention how I feel and look when I am consistently working out. Generally, my body just feels so much better when I am eating well and exercising, and not to mention my mood is a lot better too. 

Over the last couple of years I've had to work on my mental health a little more than I have ever had to do in the past, which has also been a reason why sometimes I've had to say 'no' to the gym, and instead listen to what I really needed. In the past I would have ignored those signs and worked out anyway, but now I have learned to pay attention to what my body, and my mind, is telling me. 

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Q: We both work a 9-5, write our own blogs, and contribute to HIH. How do you find time to get it all done?

A: Not to mention I am also studying to get my Holistic Nutrition certification, as well as a daily 2.5 hour commute! So it's challenging, to say the least.

Two bigs things work for me: prioritizing and removing distractions. Again, this is something that has come with age, but I realize now that it's unrealistic for me to do everything. (Unless of course, I didn't need sleep.) So prioritizing my commitments has become important for me. There are a few things that never change within my priority list: work, exercise, cooking, and sleep. Those are always high priority. The other items tend to change their level of priority. For example, right now my Holistic Nutrition program is high on my priority list, so that's something I at least try to work on every day after work. Other items like my HIH blog posts, my personal blog posts for The Wholeistic Way, hanging with friends and general personal time tend to come and go depending on the day.

Another big one for me is removing distractions. Once I remove distractions, like Netflix for example, I can get so much more done than I need. (I've never been a big TV show person anyway, so this one is easy for me.) As well, I make sure to use my time as wisely as possible. For example, if I know I need my evening to study or write a blog, I'll make sure to workout at lunch. (Luckily my full-time job allows me that flexibility.) I also utilize the time I spend on the train to write blog posts or catch up on personal reading or self-development.

Finally, I always make sure to listen to my body and my mind. If I'm feeling that I need to relax or have some downtime, I don't punish myself for wanting that and instead do it! There is something so freeing about listening to what you need to make yourself truly happy and healthy. It's the best feeling! 

Q: What's the one recipe you've shared on your blog that you make the most?

My Blueberry Lemon Flax Muffins, they are amazing, incredibly healthy and make the perfect little snack!

Follow Amy on Instagram