Seattle-based blogger Natalie Kelley (@blondegoneclean on Instagram) has a penchant for creating picture-perfect paleo meals, working out and using our Vital Proteins products. Lively caught up with the wellness guru for a wide-ranging chat on her go-to exercises, what she eats before and after a workout, and how she motivates herself to hit the gym when she really doesn’t want to.
We know fitness and wellness are important topics for you. Are there total-body moves you’d 100% recommend to someone just starting out their fitness journey?
I think anyone starting their fitness journey should start with functional, bodyweight workouts. It ensures they get used to movements and can get stronger before adding weights. Adding weights too quickly when starting a fitness journey can cause injury. It’s always better to start with the basics! Moves like bodyweight squats, jump squats, burpees, pushups (assisted or unassisted), commandos, planks, v-ups and shoulder taps are perfect options. Slowly adding in resistance bands and then weights helps make these moves a little more difficult.
What do you typically eat before and after a workout?
Before I work out I typically have a banana with some nut butter or a brown rice cake with nut butter and banana, depending on how I feel! After I work out it really depends. If I work out early in the morning I’ll typically eat a superfood collagen smoothie or cauliflower oats afterwards for breakfast. I focus on getting adequate protein and carbs (since I eat a low-inflammation and 90% grain-free diet, my carbohydrate source comes from fruits and vegetables a lot of the time) post-workout.
Is there a recipe you can’t get enough of at the moment?
Outside of pre- and post-workout food, I cannot get enough of my paleo chocolate chunk pumpkin bread that’s on my blog! I seriously have been making it non-stop. Whether in loaf or muffin form it’s the perfect snack or treat.
How do you overcome a workout rut?
It’s important to remember we ALL get in those ruts and it’s nothing to worry about. Sometimes you’re feeling it and other times you’re not and that’s perfectly okay! When I get in a rut, I totally shake up my routine. I’m typically a treadmill-run-plus-weights kind of gal, but when I feel stuck I like to throw in more plyometric-focused workouts and switch up my cardio. Sometimes I simply get in ruts because I don’t have the time to fully create and write out intentional workouts for myself. In times like this I either outsource to my fitness-loving friends for help with inspiration or look up workouts on YouTube and Instagram and just follow along. For those random off days where I need a little extra pumping up, I listen to “Kanye (Ookay Remix)” by The Chainsmokers. It helps every time! I also remind myself of how much better I always feel after I work out. The post-workout high is so real!
How do you unwind after a long day?
After a long day I love making a cup of tea (I’ve been loving ginger lately!), having a healthy sweet treat or just a bite of 100% dark chocolate, putting on sweats and sitting with a good book in my room with my essential oil diffuser on. I’m BIG on calm environments so I always make my room really zen, especially after particularly long or stressful days.
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Of course, we have to ask: do you have a favorite Vital Proteins product?
I’m 100% obsessed with the Dark Chocolate Blackberry Collagen Peptides and Vanilla Collagen Peptides. I use them every week in my morning smoothies. Right now my favorite recipes with Vital Proteins in them are my pumpkin spice cauliflower oats, my classic chocolate smoothie bowl and my no-bake pumpkin pie bars (all are on my blog!). I seriously use VP in everything because it’s so easy to incorporate without totally changing a recipe. I typically always throw at least a couple scoops in my baked goodies for an extra boost of protein and to help promote my gut and skin health.