When we interviewed new mom and fitness expert, Jen Purdy, on the set of our new Find Your Perfect campaign, she impressed us with her short, sweet answers and Zen sense of calm. It’s rare to meet a young working mom with such easy, unvexed vibes. Safe to say her cool, calm, collectedness derives at least in part from the fact that she eats clean and works out regularly, right? And because we know how hard it is for normal humans to stay on track with both fitness and nutrition, we pressed her for her best advice on how she does it. Read on for real-life tips that you can take to heart.
SS: It can be so hard for moms to take time to do things for themselves—like working out. How do you stay motivated?
JP: I set a time to do it, and then stick to it, because you can always make excuses. I also find that eating healthy helps me stay in the fitness mindset. And buying fun workout clothes helps. And then, I stick to quick workouts—otherwise I get mom guilt. I believe that if it’s good for me, it’s good for our family, but it has to be quick, like 20 or 30 minutes.
That’s SO quick.
Yeah, but it’s enough. If you eat healthy and work out you’ll be in great shape. It’s not easy, it’s something I strive to do and it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes there’s not enough time or you make excuses. The trick is to just try again the next day.
Did you stay active while you were pregnant?
I did. I went to the gym almost every day, and when I wasn’t at the gym I was at yoga. I took a lot of photos at the gym to motivate myself. I went to yoga two days before I had my son. I didn’t want to go, but I knew it was for the best.
And afterwards—did you do anything in particular to get back?
Initially, getting back into shape was eating healthy, working out, going on walks. And then I started doing 30-minute full-body workouts that really got me back on track.
So many people struggle to eat healthy. Can you tell us exactly what you eat in a day?
A lot of people think they need to count calories, but I’ve learned that it’s really about choosing the right foods. You can have carbs, but in moderation. And all carbs are not created equal. You can have your carb oatmeal, which is great, but what are you putting in it? Sugar? Syrup? It’s about eliminating those things that you don’t need. So, for breakfast, I’ll eat oatmeal with berries and cinnamon, no added sugar. You get used to it, and then you don’t need the extra filler.
And for lunch?
For lunch, I’ll have a salad, or either chicken or salmon with veggies on top. And then for dinner some sort of carbohydrate, like brown rice, with a veggie, and chicken. I just try to eat healthy and every now and then, splurge. If I’m craving a cookie, I’ll have a cookie.
What about healthy snacks?
The best thing I can say is: be prepared. Bring along fruits and cut-up vegetables. I also make homemade hummus, and buy individual packs of guacamole. Those are healthy and filling.
Thank you, I think it’s so helpful to share concrete tips like this. Let’s end with the fun stuff! What are your makeup must-haves?
My go-to eyeliner is Bobbi Brown. I can’t live without it, in black. My go-to bronzer is Laura Mercier. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of MAC eye shadows. For lips, Estee Lauder, Giorgio Armani, and YSL—I love their colors.
Do you do anything to keep your skin healthy in winter?
Because it’s so dry, I just apply so many layers of lotion, morning and night. I have to constantly moisturize my hands. And I use Vaseline on my lips all the time.
Want more real-world beauty advice? See our article on 5 Must-See Beauty Tips from Sun Mee Chomet.