I L O V E chatting with mama entrepreneurs who are spreading their passion for wellness and learning about their journeys so I was super excited to swap stories + wellness tips with Noa Ries, a certified personal trainer and the founder of Vie Active (an incredibly cute fitness apparel line--I mean just check out these gorgeously marbled leggings!).
Read on for our Q+A, a workout from Noa, and a Post Workout Pitaya Cherry Smoothie from moi!
Sophie: Noa, I admire your energy and drive so much – you have built a business from the ground up, all while doing something you’re incredibly passionate about! Can you tell me a little about how you started Vie Active?
Noa: Thank you!! I grew up running and swimming laps at Bondi Beach, Australia with my father who taught me that “the body only does what the mind tells it to.” When he died very suddenly in 2008, working out became my therapy, and exercise quickly became more about sanity than vanity. The following year, I left my career in advertising to become a personal trainer. In February of 2012 at 4pm one afternoon, I had an epiphany when I realized I was still in my workout clothes, had not had time for a shower, and felt REALLY unstylish. I thought to myself–why do I have to make this conscious decision every day between being stylish and being fit? Surely I can be both! But as a modern woman (with two kids) I don’t have time for five outfit changes during the day. The following year, Vie Active was launched with a mission to truly fuse performance and style. Vie Active was designed to enable, empower, and inspire women to put their oxygen mask on first and realize the benefits of living an Active Life.
S: We're in a fresh, beautiful new year and many women have set intentions and goals centered around fitness. What are your tips for ensuring that these intentions stay present throughout the whole year, instead of dwindling away by early spring?
N: As modern women today, we work damn hard and we wear many hats at work (business owner, manager, leader, sales, marketing, product development… the list does not end) and at home (mother, wife, sister, friend, chef, chauffeur, counsellor, cleaner, etc.–you get the picture). But the problem with wearing all of these hats is that if you fall, those around you fall too. This is why it is critical and why at the start of this year instead of making New Years resolutions that you won’t keep past February, I think it's important to just focus on putting yourself first. Put Your Oxygen Mask on First (PYOMOF).
When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival? Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask. This is an important metaphor for most modern women I know who run around taking care of everything and everyone else except themselves.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you can experience burnout, stress, fatigue, reduced mental effectiveness, health problems, anxiety, frustration, inability to sleep, and reduced happiness. It’s time to let go of the guilt and the excuses, and put your oxygen mask first by making your own health and fitness a non-negotiable investment in your own well-being.
S: You're a marathon runner + triathlete! What motivates you to workout rain or shine? And what tips do you have for anyone looking to make sure that their workouts absolutely happen (instead of giving in to sleeping in or skipping the gym for brunch)?
I workout for sanity more than vanity and while life certainly does get in the way (I have two kids and a startup business), I try to workout 3-5 x every week. I know that if I do this, I will be so much happier, more energetic, and more focused and productive. I schedule in my workouts in advance much like my meetings so I can plan out my week. My ideal week would have me working out 5 times a week, but often life gets in the way (kids are sick, I have an early call, or meeting) and so I only get 3-4 in. I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t work out at least twice in one week, everything and everyone around me suffers.
S: I've always found that work-out sessions with my husband, Adi, or my friends are the most fun. Any advice on how to inspire friends, sisters, mamas, hubbies–anyone really–to join you on a run, spin sesh, or yoga flow?
N: I think "sweat-working" is the new networking! There are SO many different types of workouts now, and I am all about killing two birds with one stone so I love catching up with my friends or family for a workout. If I want to chat, I'll do a hike or bike ride. If it's more about just having fun together, then we will head to Body By Simone or Soulcycle together.
S: How do you create balance between being an entrepreneur and a mother, while still finding time for self-care?
N: I think work/life/balance is a total fallacy, and if you keep striving for it you end up feeling like a failure. It's impossible to have 8 neat hours of life, work, and rest each day. I know that every day I am going to be compromising one of the areas in my life, but I just try to focus on the positive, know that I am doing my best, and treat myself kindly. I think health and fitness are the best investment in anyone's wellbeing and the flow on effect for everyone and everything else in your life is huge.
N: Sophie, how did you get started in the health & fitness industry and what sparked the idea to found your own company and wellness brand?
S: Philosophie began with me simply wishing that I could have an amazing blend of superfoods and proteins together in one, convenient jar. I didn’t want to run out of camu camu or another individual ingredient and then feel like my smoothie wasn’t complete, so I went all over LA searching for high quality, fair-trade, organic superfoods and then began packing them into mason jars and little bags. I started giving the blends to friends and family and making everyone workout and nutrition guides. One day, I was in the sea in Israel with my husband, Adi, and he turned to me and said, “You should really grow what you’re doing and share it with more people, make it a company.” And since that day, Philosophie has blossomed into something much bigger than I had ever imagined. Our products have helped everyone from George Clooney to my own dad and are continuing to help so many more people discover wellness and feel as vibrant + alive as they can.
N: Through your holistic approach to wellbeing, how do you live an active life and what is your favorite way to stay fit?
S: I love awakening to a morning of intention setting followed by a yoga flow, either at home with my kiddies or at the studio. The rush of a good spin or kickboxing sesh and the beauty and serenity of an outdoor hike or walk also does wonders!
N: Being both an entrepreneur and a mother can cause for a busy schedule. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
S: I love a relaxing Thai massage, swinging by Venice to visit all of my beautiful soul sisters, and then closing the day with something simple, maybe taking an evening stroll in nature, and then having a movie night with my hubby + the kids!
N: As a raw food chef What is your favorite healthy dish to make?
S: I love a powerhouse post-workout salad! After a hard sweat sesh, I’ll toss together mixed leafy greens, fermented turnips, kimchi, sprouted pumpkin seeds, tahini, garlic, and pesto—it’s super nourishing and oh-so-yummy!
N: We love your idea of creating an easier, more inspiring way to maintain health and wellness. What does living a healthy and active life mean to you?
S: Doing everything from a place of love—which means working out because I actually love the movements that I’m having my body do, or eating because I love how the food tastes and how it makes me feel. The moment you do something that’s “good for you” without having any passion for it is the moment you lose your glow. So it’s simple—find recipes for nourishing dishes you can’t wait to make, buy or make natural, non-toxic beauty products that smell and feel amazing, or sign up for a workout class that is the highlight of your day.
Perky Bum Workout
Who doesn't want a perky bum? It's an area that we, as women, always focus our workouts around with the goal of having that perfectly lifted tush. Noa shares her favorite moves so that you can achieve your goals this weekend...no gym needed!
Post Workout Pitaya Cherry Smoothie
After Noa’s hard sweat sesh, I love whipping up this rejuvenating + oh-so-yummy smoothie! Pitaya (also known as dragonfruit) is packed with vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium (a key mineral that promotes healthy bones and muscles!), and the anti-inflammatory cherries prevent post-workout muscle aches and pains. Toss in a spoonful of Berry Bliss for an added boost of plant-based protein and a powerhouse blend of organic acai, goji, pomegranate, camu camu, mangosteen, and maca!
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen dark cherries
- ½ frozen banana
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 Pitaya Plus Dragon Fruit Pack
- 1 handful organic spinach
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Bliss Coconut Butter
- 1 tablespoon Berry Bliss Superfood + Protein Blend
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth + creamy. Pour in your favorite glass and enjoy!