How Editor-in-Chief Cristina Cuomo Stays In Killer Shape

 

After having her third child, Cristina Cuomo, the former editor-in-chief of magazines Manhattan and Beach (which she also founded), struggled to get back into her pre-baby shape. “I took up surfing, spinning and Ashtanga yoga practice, which is quite rigorous, but I was having trouble with the front of my abs. My rectus abdominis had split open,” says Cuomo. Frustrated, she decided to try a session with Erika Bloom, the hyper-toned  (just look at those arms!) founder of Erika Bloom Pilates.

 

“Our Pilates method is like nothing you’ll find in other studios,” says Bloom, who opened her first studio in 2003 and became an instructor after she was sidelined by an injury as a dancer. “In our approach we take modern research on biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology and apply it to our teaching of the exercises and our creation of client programs.” Bloom completely customizes the workouts to each individual client, which she believes is a key component to her (and their) success.

 

@erikabloompilates assists @cristinacuomo on The Reformer

 

For Cuomo, it certainly was: “After three childbirths, I needed to strengthen my profoundly deep-seated muscles that were failing me. I met with Erika, took one look at her, and I was sold,” she says.

 

Currently busy penning a book for Assouline about surfing, Cuomo fits in one to three private sessions a week in Bloom’s NYC flagship, which opened in 2011 (there are four other locations in Connecticut, Long Island and at the Amanyara resort in the Turks and Caicos). The difference it makes is notable not only in her physique (her abs are hella tight) but in her surfing (“I perfected my pop-up” she says) and other physical pursuits like spinning (she loves Soul Cycle) and yoga. “Even when I sit at my computer writing and editing for hours, I make sure to engage my abs and get up and move around often,” says Cuomo.

 

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To fuel her active, face-paced New York City lifestyle, Cuomo follows a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Every morning she makes a tonic of celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon (which she shares with her eldest daughter Bella) and sips green tea throughout the day. “I make cashew milk at home which my son, Mario, likes to heat up with honey at bedtime. I eat any kind of foul, fish and lamb for protein and every kind of vegetable and fruit,” she says.

 

Cuomo, who is also in the midst of founding her own website geared toward a clean-living, fitness-focused audience, doesn’t believe in going to extremes—or living with deprivation. She enjoys herself during the holidays and then makes January “dry” (non-alcoholic) and limits her consumption of deserts. “I never fast or juice. We are meant to chew and consume protein. Chewing, or mastication, is necessary in the digestive process, the release of vital saliva enzymes, and good for your teeth, among other reasons,” she says.

 

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Bloom, meanwhile, starts her day with eggs and avocado for breakfast and a few bites of apple or blueberries as she prepares her children’s lunches (she’s a mom of two). Between clients, she’ll sip a smoothie with matcha, coconut milk, pea protein, and hemp protein and grab a soup for lunch. Dinner is often salmon, broccoli and yams in the winter and a salad of salmon, red cabbage, almonds, cucumber, and micro greens in warmer months.

 

Up next for Bloom? Expanding to a new location in downtown NYC and continuing to develop her in-home program in Los Angeles, which she started last year at the behest of Bloom’s bicoastal clients. There’s also a capsule clothing collection with fitness brand Asteria, which she also sells in her NYC flagship. And all of this, of course, gets juggled into the demands of motherhood. “My priority is to maintain balance,” she says.

 

We’re guessing there’s a Pilates move for that.

 

 

Follow Cuomo on Instagram: @cristinacuomo
Follow Bloom on Instagram: @erikabloompilates

 

Trying to get healthy in 2017?

If you think about it, January isn’t the most intuitive time to try to adopt a healthy new lifestyle. It’s cold, the days are short and the nights are long. Those aren’t exactly conditions that make you crave lighter, fresher foods or pre-dawn workouts. And yet January is a great time to adopt healthier habits—whether that means hitting your favorite fitness classes with more regularity, saying no thank you to dessert or taking on a meditation practice.

Why?

Because after the celebrations and indulgences of the holiday season, pretty much everyone feels like hitting the reset button. And those frigid and dark conditions? They’re also not all that conducive to socializing, which means there’s less pressure to go out and meet up, so it’s easier to take three to four weeks for yourself for focusing on establishing healthier routines.

Maybe think of it as the gift you give to yourself. Carve out the time and space you need to make those healthy changes and…here’s the important part…allow them to become your new way of life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years with my own body, it’s that HEALTH IS HABIT. And while bad habits may be difficult to break, good ones aren’t that hard to start. The key, of course, is sticking with them. Here are my five tips for turning your well-intentioned New Years resolutions into lasting lifestyle changes that help you feel confident, happy and healthy all year round.

 

Try new cooking methods.

Here are three things you need to have in your kitchen to cut a bunch of excess fat from your diet: Cooking spray (I love coconut oil cooking spray for its clean taste and higher smoke point), baking sheets and parchment paper. Instead of sautéing veggies, try roasting them on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. I also cook my egg-white omelets in a cast-iron pan coated in cooking spray instead of using a knob of butter. Last, I love cooking my fish, chicken and turkey on baking sheets wrapped in parchment paper. The meat stays tender and moist and it helps seal in the flavor if you’re using spices and herbs for flavor.

 

Make spices and garnishes your friends.

If the food you are eating isn’t delicious, your meal won’t give you pleasure and you won’t feel satisfied. Many chefs (and most packaged foods) rely on the triumvirate of salt, sugar and fat to make food taste good, but you can easily—and painlessly—cut back on those additives by replacing them with spices. I love tossing my zucchini noodles with crushed red pepper and garlic, stewing my cauliflower with curry and roasting my carrots with cumin, for example. Another easy way to add an extra element of pleasure to your meal (so you run less of a risk of feeling deprived) is to pretty up your plate. Invest and use nice tableware and take a little extra time to sprinkle on herbs, spices or other colorful edibles like pomegranate or pumpkin seeds.

 

Pick a time when you work out and stick with it.

Habit is routine and routines work. Your body gets used to working out at a certain time, just like it gets used to having coffee in the morning or an herbal tea before bed. I like to work out early in the morning before my children (and business associates) get up because I know that at that hour nothing is going to get in the way of me going to the gym. It was hard in the beginning getting up at 5 am, but after three to four I got used to the routine.  Now if I don’t work out early in the morning, I don’t feel right.

 

Trick yourself into a good workout.

On days when I really don’t feel like going to the gym, I tell myself “I’ll take it easy today.” Once I’m ten minutes into my workout and starting to sweat, my energy completely shifts and I’m ready to hit it hard.

 

Sip carefully.

I used to drink a lot of my excess calories in the form of cocktails, wine, or so-called healthy beverages like green juices (many of which are loaded with sugar and devoid of fiber). None of these calories contributed to my feeling of fullness and so it was easy to forget about them. If you do nothing else but make a commitment to drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water (and no other beverages) a day for two weeks, you’ll be surprised at the results. An extra tip: Try sparkling water with a few dashes of bitters if you’re like me and like to have a cocktail at night.

5 Healthy Travel Trips from a Globetrotting Model

 

Moving to Asia hasn’t been easy. Cultural differences, a different language, being so far from friends and family. None of it has been easy, but there’s one thing I have figured out: Keeping fit and eating right.

 

I thought following my nutritional plan would be impossible in Bangkok, where I’m working as a model, but I managed to figure it out, despite it taking a little creativity and extra work (there are no super-convenient pints of pre-separated egg whites or Trader Joe’s stocked with pre-riced cauliflower).

 

On Day One, I arrived in Thailand jet-lagged and with only two concerns— where’s the supermarket and do they have chicken breast? This was my first trip, so I had no idea what to expect. I was worried about how I would fit my diet and lifestyle into this new culture, but my trainer, Heather Marr, assured me that we’d figure it out together. My first mission was to scope out the supermarket. The most common way to eat in Thailand is to go out for street food, so the local supermarkets aren’t overly stocked. I remember going back to my apartment my first day with a can of tuna, some semi-familiar looking vegetables, and a desperate feeling wondering how I could keep this up for three months. The next day (while very lost on our way to castings), my roommate and I stumbled into an international supermarket. I found all the essentials—chicken breast, egg whites and olive oil spray.

 

My next mission was to scope out the gym situation. Our apartment fitness center was no Equinox, but luckily my workouts don’t require much equipment. I had a treadmill, my jump rope, and an open space—I was set.

 

While still being able to keep a version of my old routine, I really began to enjoy all of the new experiences Thailand had to offer. I was introduced to tons of new fruits and vegetables, which definitely made food prep exciting, and I got more creative with my exercises: No Step Mill means getting to climb up and down the stairwells of Thai skyscrapers for an hour. One of my favorite things was to enjoy a treat meal and eat like a local, then create my own version of the recipe that fits into my everyday diet.

 

 

Writer and Model @connermurphy
Writer and Model @connermurphy

 

 

But just as I was getting the hang of Thailand, my work took me to Taiwan and China. Most apartment buildings in Taipei and Guangzhou don’t have fitness centers and gyms aren’t overly popular. Healthy imported foods are difficult to find and, unless you read Mandarin, good luck deciphering those ingredient labels. Still, I do my best, which is the most important thing. Wherever you are—making smart food choices and getting exercise may not be easy, but it is possible. Here are my top tips for maintaining your healthy lifestyle while traveling for work (or fun).

 

Tip One: Before you go, do a Google search for international supermarkets. Local markets are great for shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, but the international ones tend to have better quality meat and are stocked with some items that are tough to find in local stores.

 

Tip Two: Pack a jump rope and a compact foam roller. Neither take up much space. The jump rope lets you get in your cardio anywhere, anytime, and the foam roller helps keep muscles loose after your workouts.

 

Tip Three: Find the nearest gym and ask the manager if they offer day passes or week passes. Many gyms do even though it isn’t advertised.

 

Tip Four: Pack plastic containers (you can fill them with clothes) and measuring cups for easier food prep.

 

Tip Five: Pack the non-perishable food items you can’t live without. I’ve had trouble finding Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and no-sugar nut butter overseas, so now I know to pack that.