Singer/songwriter Jewel experienced trauma and health problems during her childhood. But she learned to eat well and take care of her body, and credits these practices, along with her simple, rural childhood on an Alaskan homestead, as keys to overcoming anxiety and living a happier life. Of their natural lifestyle, “my dad used to say, ‘We were raised with sickness, but also with the cure,’” Jewel remembers.
Now, Jewel is dedicated to helping others go from surviving to thriving. She co-founded the Wellness Your Way Festival, which came to Denver for the first time in August, with a lineup of celebrity fitness classes, nutrition demos, mindfulness techniques, and expert mental health advice. We asked Jewel and a panel of other wellness experts to share their best health and wellness tips. Here’s what they had to say.
- Jewel, singer/songwriter, mom of one
- Cobi Jones, former major league soccer player and analyst for the Los Angeles Galaxy, dad of two
- Denise Austin, fitness expert and author, mom of two
- Joy Bauer, nutrition/healthy lifestyle expert and author, mom of three
- Katrina Scott, personal trainer, co-founder of Tone It Up fitness community, mom of one
What are your favorite quick and healthy energy snacks?
I love thinkThin bars, KIND bars, and Power Crunch bars. I take them everywhere! I’m also a fan of a handful of raw almonds.—Jewel (J)
It changes between Greek yogurt with some crushed pecans, to a piece of fruit with some type of jerky.—Cobi Jones (CJ)
To this day, my kids still love green apples with almond butter, but my favorite quick and healthy snack right now is half of an avocado with a touch of salt. It’s so easy to eat anywhere—I even eat it right out of the skin with a spoon.—Denise Austin (DA)
Smoothies are a great way to get little ones to slurp up antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies. When my kids were younger, I’d let them have fun tossing all sorts of produce into the blender to whip up their own tasty, good-for-you creations.—Joy Bauer (JB)
I always have a Tone It Up protein bar with me in my purse (or diaper bag). It energizes me with 10 grams of clean, plant-based protein. I’m obsessed with the Birthday Cake flavor right now!—Katrina Scott (KS)
Is there a healthy food, practice, or exercise that you have tried, that you didn’t like?
Burpees aren’t my favorite. But seriously, I don’t believe in any food practice or philosophy that’s restrictive or makes you feel guilty. I don’t like the term “cheat day” because it’s not cheating to enjoy ice cream or a glass of wine with girlfriends—that’s called enjoying life.—KS
I’m not a fan of cycling. I know people love it and I’ve tried it, but never got into it. I’m more of a motorcycle girl!—J
I struggled with yoga. I was told it relaxes and centers you. Well, when they say relax in Downward Dog, my arms are shaking and I’m pouring sweat. Not so relaxing for me!—CJ
The Keto diet. I tried to do it but it was really hard for me. I love good, healthy carbs from fruits and vegetables too much.—DA
To date, I haven’t met a healthy food or exercise I didn’t like.—JB
What’s one simple practice that you do almost anywhere, when you feel stressed or angry?
The 10-second breathing meditation is a personal favorite of mine. I never have an excuse not to do it because who doesn’t have 10 seconds? 1. Sit up in a comfortable position. 2. Follow your breathing. 3. When you breathe in, count one. 4. When you breathe out, count two. 5. Going up to 10 and then back down to zero. This is a simple practice that calms my nervous system and drops me into the present moment. If you drift off into thought that is great and normal.—J
I do some pushups (if practical) to get rid of the nervous energy. Also it’s a mini workout. After that, I try to take 20 seconds with deep breaths and focus on some recent good/joyous moments that have happened.—CJ
I always recommend that people focus on their posture when they feel stressed. The best thing to do is take a deep breath, sit up tall, and relax your shoulders. Just by stretching, you’re lifting your back nice and tall, which provides space to each vertebra and reduces the tension in your neck. This will relieve tension headaches and any feelings of stress in your body.—DA
I often turn to deep breathing—inhale slowly to the count of four and then exhale slowly to the count of four. Do this for a full minute. This helps ease stress, anxiety, tension, and nerves. Another trick I use is to mentally detail the three things I’m grateful for (my family, my health, my job). That instantly puts whatever I’m stressing about into perspective.—JB
I put the phone away, shut my laptop, and just breathe. When I’m with (my daughter) Bella, I know it’s not good for her to feel any stressful energy, so being present with her and practicing gratitude is number one. We’ll sing, go for a walk, read a book, or FaceTime her grandmas.—KS
What’s your favorite way to get exercise?
I love going on walks and hiking with (my son) Kase. There are woods behind our house with a stream. It’s always such an adventure. It’s fun letting him lead because I get to experience the walk through his eyes.—J
Playing soccer with friends. With my family, it’s walking the dog and going on hikes. It’s so easy to do in LA, and I imagine even more so in Colorado!—CJ
My family and I all enjoy walking and hiking together, especially right before dinner. It gets us up and moving and it minimizes how much we later eat for dinner. We also travel quite a bit, so we make a point to go on walks in each new place so that we can see more culture and really feel the beat of the city.—DA
I like to take a one-hour power walk outdoors every day. I love the fresh air and scenery. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, I’ll walk on the treadmill instead. It helps me clear my head, get balanced and stay active. When the kids were younger, we used to regularly ride our bikes together, go on nature hikes, or walk through the neighborhood as a family.—JB
I love to squeeze in a workout at home using the Tone It Up app. Depending on what I’m feeling that day, I’ll choose a HIIT, strength training, or yoga routine in the On Demand section. The app also has a postnatal On Demand channel that’s perfect for new mamas. I also love to go for long walks with my husband Brian and baby Bella. Some days, our workout is just crawling around at the park or the house, and that’s OK too!—KS
What’s your advice for inspiring kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle?
I always recommend getting kids in sports at a young age. It’s not only a great way to learn the importance of being a team player, it also creates a discipline and desire to continue to stay active. I also think that it’s important for parents to set a good example. If you are taking daily walks and incorporating activity into your routine, so will your children.—DA
Lead by example, of course. If (kids) see you eating it, doing it, enjoying it, they will, too. Kids pay much closer attention to what we are doing than we think. Just remember how much you can picture moments of your own parents.—CJ
My number one tip is to speak their language. If your kids are into sports, show them that eating high-quality, wholesome foods will make them a better athlete—stronger, faster, more competitive. If their priority is academics, teach them a healthy diet consists of foods that will boost brainpower. Have a teenage daughter? Let her know the key to radiant skin and glowing hair is right on her plate. You get the idea! And, keep it fun. When my kids were young, I made dinnertime more exciting with theme nights—for instance, we did “breakfast-for-dinner” complete with a pajama dress code (stuffed animals optional). I served Mexican taco stations with salsa music and sombreros. If you make cooking fun and get the kids engaged and involved in the kitchen, they will grow up to enjoy it. Allow them to choose the theme or recipe, ask them to select a new vegetable to make. Doing so gives them a connection to the meal and the foods they’re eating.—JB
Lead by example. I treat my body with love and respect and talk to myself positively and I hope Bella sees that. She already sees me exercise and fuel my body with nutritious foods. She hears me and my girlfriends speak about our bodies with love. By example, I want to show Bella that leading a healthy lifestyle is fun and that she can be a part of a community of strong, healthy, supportive women. Since I’m new to motherhood, I’m sure I’ll learn so many more things along the way. It’s just the beginning!—KS
Kase loves to do what I do with me, so I think the most important thing is living a healthy lifestyle yourself, and sharing the stumbling blocks along the way.—J