Natalia LaLonde is a model, influencer and wellness expert based in Los Angeles, California. By Eleanor Klein.
Tell us a little about you & your background in wellness.
I think I inherited my passion in wellness from my great grandmothers. My great grandmother was always interested in wellness – she was making fresh carrot juice for breakfast out in Flint, Michigan before I was born. My great grandmother on my mother’s side was living off the land and drinking fresh coconuts out in the countryside of the Philippines.
When did you realize this could be your profession & career?
I realized this could be my profession after having modeled for years, and enrolling in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. The courses there taught me that there is a business in health coaching – and that there is a career in influencing and guiding others in making healthier choices.
When and why did you decide to make the shift to plant-based? Did you feel better immediately?
I shifted to plant-based because I took a class at University of Michigan called the sociology of animals – I thought we would study an animal’s role in our family structure, but instead, we studied how animals are objectified in society, and the nature of factory farms.
Paul McCartney wasn’t wrong when he stated “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarians” I couldn’t look at meat the same way after taking that class.
What does a day of eating look like for you?
A day of eating for me generally looks like: Wake up – have a glass of water, make a matcha or coffee loaded with superfoods (shilajit, ashwaghanda, Chaga, Dragon Herbs Diamond Mind Tincture) and almond milk, and MCT oil.
My first meal of the day is around 11/12, and consists of carbs like fruit, oatmeal, or coconut yogurt with some cacao nibs, then I have a large lunch around 2/3 consisting of avocado toast and a salad or a large salad consisting of leftovers from the night before over greens
Dinner is around 6 PM and I’ll have vegan pizza, or kimchi dumplings I’ve been obsessed with making lately. This is more of a snack for me, with my largest meal being my first mid-morning meal and mid-afternoon meal
Your body is banging! What is your favorite workout to tighten up quickly?
Pilates, pilates, pilates! I owe all my toning to pilates and working with my trainer, Justin Gelband. He helps strengthen and lean out the tiniest muscles in your body. He utilizes a combination of pilates, yoga, martial arts, barre and capoeira to target every micro muscle in the body.
Favorite restaurant in New York City? In the world?
Favorite restaurant in New York City would have to be Plant Food and Wine. Their vegan lasagna and hot fudge sundae is out of this world! It’s great for plant-based, and to take your non-plant based friends – all eaters are often impressed with the food there.
My favorite restaurant in the world used to be Grassroots Pantry in Hong Kong – they have shut down! they had this incredible lions mane pad thai that I have to learn to make myself since I haven’t eaten there in years and I’m still craving it!
Anything spicy with tequila. And the earl grey martini at the Pegu Club. I shake my head with delight every time I have a sip!
Popcorn! I recently found a brand called Bjorn Corn that is popcorn from an organic farm popped by solar panels! I love the spicy version.
Best kept healthy secret?
This isn’t exactly a secret, more a hard fact – that the secret to good skin and a healthy body all boils down to diet! I firmly believe that one can get the priciest face products and have the best trainers in the world, but if that’s not paired with a healthy diet, then they’re at a huge disadvantage!
Best advice for someone who is looking to clean up their diet?
Eat local, eat natural. If you can’t pick it from tree, pull it from the ground, or for those meat eaters – kill it with a spear – then don’t eat it. Nothing in a package, avoid sauces and strange ingredients one can’t pronounce. Stick to the outside perimeter of the grocery store, and don’t go down the inward aisles. This is a great start!
Where to find you?
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