Annie Clarke takes a three-prong approach to her healthy lifestyle.
The basis of her blog, and now newly-released book, ‘Mind Body Bowl’, is that wellness will flourish when you focus on it in all aspects of your life.
Clarke was inspired to kickstart her journey to eating (and moving) well when she had poor health and wanted to find balance in her lifestyle.
Her ethos hopes to guide others to connect their body with their mind, as she says: “By linking mind and body practices together and applying some small changes, it is possible to set yourself on the path to wellness and greater happiness.”
For the latest interview in our ‘Fit Fix’ series, we chatted to Clarke about what a typical week of workouts looks like for her, as well as how she fuels herself and stays motivated.
Talk us through your week in fitness.
“I work out in the gym four times a week, doing a combination of weight and HIIT training. Sometimes I like to mix it up - I love boxing and sometimes I run too. Usually my workouts last around an hour, although sometimes I make them a little shorter and try to work harder.
“I split my weight training in to upper and lower body but mix up the exercises and use different equipment like free weights, kettle bells and barbells. It makes me feel empowered, especially when I feel that I am getting stronger.
“I practice yoga as many times as I can during the week, but I try not to treat that as a workout and more just time for me.”
What’s your favourite type of workout and why?
“It’s hard to choose one. Weight training helps me to feel strong and HIIT and boxing helps me to feel fit.
“Yoga gives me the opportunity to connect with myself, and running is a good excuse to get some fresh air.”
Do you have rest days?
“I definitely don’t work out every day, but it also depends on my schedule for that week. Sometimes I’ll have a day off because I have a busy day teaching and with meetings. Other days it’s because I just fancy some time to chill and so I’ll do just that.
“It really depends on how my body is feeling, although I usually choose to skip the gym when my schedule is full.”
What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?
“I generally try to keep a well-balanced diet so I don’t think too specifically about my training, but if I am doing lots of exercise and a strenuous yoga class then I make sure to eat a little more and try to add in more protein.
“My meals change every day but I will most likely have porridge or a smoothie in the morning, a hearty salad at lunch and a veg-based stir fry in the evening.”
What are your pre and post-workout snacks?
“I usually workout before breakfast or just before dinner, so I generally just eat my meals around that.
“If that isn’t the case, I make a smoothie with plant-based protein powder, energy balls or a couple of dates with nut butter.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?
“I learned to eat in a way that suits my body, which isn’t about being restrictive.
“Also, that I’m a total nut butter addict: my favourite thing is a bowl of crunchy granola with nut butter, almond milk and chopped banana. It sounds silly, but that really hits the spot for me.”
Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going?
“'Everything happens for a reason’ - That’s my life mantra.”
Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for?
“I think goals can be really helpful to get motivated, but generally for me it is about feeling good in my body and in my mind.
“I don’t like to be restrictive, but I also like to feel confident and strong in my body so I train to feel fit and strong and confident in myself rather than to hit specific fitness goals.
“I want to continue working on feeling strong in both my body and mind. And to keep trying new things, because its important to have fun, too.”
What’s your ultimate workout track and why?
“It changes all the time - I usually just put on a Spotify playlist and see what happens, but recently, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ came on while I was on the treadmill and it just made me want to have a dance break.
“So that’s top of my list right now.”
Find out more about Clarke’s book ‘Mind Body Bowl’ here.
‘Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each week, we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going.