Updated: Jan 13, 2022
We got to sit down with Alli Michal (certified nutrition specialist & Soul Cycle instructor), to chat about ways to properly fuel our body and why it's important.
How did you get into the health and fitness industry?
I’ve been an athlete and a dancer as far back as I can remember, and grew up in a family that cared about health and well-being. My younger sister was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at a young age, and I had a good friend pass from cancer shortly after high school. I remember being so curious and intrigued with the connection between their mental health and physical health. Then as a collegiate athlete, I suffered an injury my freshman year, and it took a huge toll on my body, as well as my energy and overall demeanor. I partnered with our strength and agility coach to dive head first into my recovery and rehabilitation. This was before HIIT workouts, boutique fitness, and functional nutrition took the western world by storm, and I was fascinated with his ideas and philosophies! We manipulated my diet, eliminated certain foods, recalibrated my macronutrient balance, implemented a unique, intense workout regimen that included cardio, interval training, strength training, agility training, to name a few! Experiencing my transformation - not only physically, but mentally - quite literally changed my life. I took a huge interest in integrative medicine, the link between the brain and the body, nutrition, and an overall holistic approach to healthcare. I still laugh remembering a conversation with my thesis advisor, who very adamantly suggested I not pursue that path.
Almost fifteen years later, I am a full-time fitness professional with a masters degree in integrative health and nutrition. A mentor once told me, “as long as we live, people will continue to invest in their health, that’s an industry that will stand the test of time.” I’ve been in private practice since 2015, and love the continuously evolving world of holistic health.
What are the benefits of drinking a smoothie?
Smoothies are the express lane of nutrient consumption. Let’s state the obvious - they are wildly convenient, transportable, and delicious. For anyone struggling to consume sufficient servings of fruits and vegetables each day, a smoothie is a great way to get a concentrated dose of macro and micronutrients through a large helping of produce in a few sips. To dive even deeper, when the blender blades cut through the produce, transforming it into a delicious pureé, it quite literally begins the digestive process for you! The produce starts to get broken down, enzymes are activated, making it much easier to process and digest in your body.
What is the best thing to put in your body before a workout? How can South Block support that?
Ideally before a workout, you’re looking for any food that can be quickly broken down and easily accessed for energy. Carbohydrates are your number one go-to. Things like toast, fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, granola… anything that will give you a dose of (natural, NOT artificial) sugar. Your body needs roughly 120mg of circulating glucose at all times to
function, so if you’re burning through your glycogen (stored glucose) during a workout, you’ll feel fatigue kick in, or that “hitting a wall” sensation. Your body can consume, break down, and utilize carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables super easily, so long as you have between 30-60 minutes to digest! Most of South Block’s smoothies or juices are great pre-workout options. Keep the main ingredients to strictly fruits and veggies - too much protein or fat will slow down the digestion process and realistically won’t fuel you through your upcoming workout. Throw back a Dino-mite, Activate, or Cure juice, or a Golden or Mermaid smoothie!
What is the best thing to put in your body after a workout? How can South Block support that?
Post workout is all about replenishment and refueling! Still include your carbohydrates - we all need to work together to reverse the bad reputation the media has forced upon carbs. After your workout, you’ll also want to include a solid serving of protein. Your body is working to rebuild muscle tone that has been broken down, and will need protein to do so!
It’s important to remember that there’s a good deal of protein found in certain vegetables, but other sources such as eggs, collagen, plant protein, or traditional whey
protein are great sources. There’s a 45-minute window of vulnerability following a workout where your body is in dire need of replenishment and your metabolism is high, so try to grab something quick within that first hour following your exercise! This is where some of South Block’s protein-packed smoothies will come in handy. Or choose your favorite smoothie or bowl and add a serving of your preferred protein. Bonus - give the avocado toast with egg a try - the chili flakes are *chef’s kiss*!
What is your favorite way to move your body?
Lacing up a good old fashioned pair of sneaks with my two-legged human and our four-legged side kick and getting some fresh air, whether that’s a scenic walk, run, or adventurous hike.
What is your favorite South Block item:
Smoothie: Super Green + Ginger
Acai bowl: Killer B. Bowl
Juice: Recovery Shot
What does it mean to BE YOU?
This chapter of my life is about having integrity in my authenticity, trusting the person I have worked so hard to become, holding myself accountable to what I believe is important in this life, and prioritizing my relationships and how I treat others.
How can people contact you?
P.S. Use Code BEYOU22 to get 22% off your online juice order.
*Code valid only online through 1/31/22