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You may know Ayesha Curry as the famous NBA wife of Stephen Curry, but she is also a savvy business woman, devoted mother, and a true inspiration for anyone trying to find a healthy lifestyle. With a wildly successful cookbook, popular website, Food Network TV show, and an Instagram account boasting 4.5 million followers, it’s safe to say she’s got her hands full.
But how does she do all of that and still stay healthy, balanced, and calm? Ayesha kindly shared her secrets and advice for making it all work while also enjoying her life. Oh, and she’s probably the nicest person ever BTW.
What’s a typical day for you like? I know you’re very, very busy and that impacts pretty much everything.
Yeah, I feel like as of late no one day is like another. That’s been the toughest thing for me: trying to find a routine when the days are so crazy and so different every day. I pay attention to what and when I’m eating. Since the New Year has started, I’ve been trying to work out five to six days a week, and I’ve been successful thus far.
Overall, trying to make sure at the end of the night we just connect. That’s been big in trying to formulate some sort of routine and be able to find balance (if there’s such a thing).
You mentioned that you try to eat at specific times. How do you do that and how do you make that easier with your food choices?
One thing I learned a while back, especially as a woman, is that we’re supposed to be snacking throughout the day. For a long time, I would skip breakfast, maybe eat lunch, and then have a giant dinner. I learned very quickly that that’s just not the way our bodies work. For me, it was remembering to have something right when I wake up in the morning, even if it’s small. Then make sure I get snacks throughout the day and have a light lunch and a decent-sized dinner, but it didn’t have to be something enormous.
One thing that’s been really convenient for me has been ZÜPA NOMA and their cold soups — their whole motto is “whole without the bowl.” I know a lot of people think it’s weird to drink your soup, but it’s actually delicious and amazing and full of nutrients. For instance, with breakfast in the morning, nine times out of 10 I will forget or just don’t have the time. Grabbing a soup, like their cucumber avocado fennel, has been amazing for me. It’s a little sweet but it’s full of good fat because of the avocado. I’m jump starting my day. I feel like making sure I get that little bit of breakfast in the morning makes the rest of the day better because I’m remembering to have a snack, when it’s time for lunch, and when to grab another little snack. It’s just that kick-start you need to get going.
So, you always choose soup on your most hectic days?
Yeah, I do. Especially as a snack when I’m trying to be health-conscious, it’s the easiest choice for me. I’ll do a small snack too, like some almonds — I’m intolerant to a lot of nuts, so almonds are really the ones I stick to. And I’ll do pumpkin seeds or sunflowers seeds, or a yogurt. But it’s really the easiest choice for me; I just grab it and go.
Do you have a philosophy or general guideline for eating healthy, as well as trying to balance eating healthy with enjoying food when you’re out and about?
I feel like balance does exist when it comes to eating. I think for me it’s about not stressing, and realizing that it’s not going to be perfect all the time, and I am going to make bad food choices sometimes. But if I can make those good choices most of the time, those small little changes and small decisions will ultimately make for big change. That’s been the biggest thing for me, not stressing out about it or being miserable by not enjoying the things I like. I enjoy those things in moderation and then generally make the good decisions.
What nutritional lessons do you hope to instill in your daughters?
The biggest thing for me is cooking with my girls. That’s really what I hope to instill in them — especially right now when they’re so young (they’re 4 and a year and a half). Cooking is an easy way to build a relationship with someone — just by cooking with my girls it opens up lines of communication and helps build that kitchen confidence in them so that when they get older they’re more prepared to cook a meal for themselves at home.
Cooking at home is half the battle. Everyone eats out sometimes, but at least attempting to prepare a meal at home — whether it’s through meal prep or making dinner — is just so important because ultimately you know what’s going into the food. You can control the salt, or sugar, or whatever it is, and that’s taking a step in the right direction. That’s been the biggest thing for me is making sure I cook with my kids and give them that knowledge of how to move about the kitchen and what the ingredients are and things like that.
Oh, my absolute favorite recipe in the book is my Mom’s brown sugar chicken. That’s just because it’s so nostalgic. It’s like my childhood in a dish. That’s the “special occasion” meal because it’s not necessarily the healthiest.
On a night when we’re trying to be a little more health-conscious and pressed for time, I love my apricot salmon dish because it’s a one-dish meal and it’s done in 15 minutes. It’s salmon, the glaze is three ingredients, and then I can layer in whatever vegetables we have on-hand — it’s usually some squash, or zucchini, onions, corn, sometimes mushrooms, but everything cooks together and it’s really good. The whole family loves it, and the kids eat it as well. Kind of winning on all ends with that one.
How do you manage all the stuff going on in your life? You’ve got this bustling career now and two very young children.
Yes, it’s been a little bit hectic the past couple of years, but I try to involve my kids as much as possible with what I’m doing. Luckily I’m in the food business, so that’s easy — and I know this can’t be the case for some people depending on your job. I get to be at home in the kitchen and I just try to get them involved.
But for me, it’s really separating certain aspects of work from home. Trying to put my phone down and disconnect when I do have those moments with the girls. I feel like sometimes our phones can overshadow everything. You have your email on there, and anybody can access you at any time these days. I really try at a certain point in the evening to cut everything off and just engage with my kids. I think it’s helped a lot with trying to find some sort of balance with them.
Speaking of social media and phones taking over, how do you balance sharing your life on social media with maintaining your privacy?
Our most precious moments we tend to keep to ourselves these days. Ultimately, there’s such a thin line between what to share and what not to share. What it comes down to for us is generally what makes us happy — we tend to share things that make us happy or things that we feel enlightened about and we want other people to know about. We want to make sure we are putting out good energy into the world.
Because you’re in the public eye, how did your experience as an actress before this prepare you for all of that pressure and attention?
The obvious answer is that the acting background helped a lot with my show, the on-camera stuff. It helped me also have thick skin, especially with how brutal social media can be these days. In the acting world, you’re told no, or that you need to be a certain kind of way so often that you develop a thick skin and I’ve kept that with me along the way and I think it’s helped a lot.
The biggest surprise personally has been the fact that I was so worried and nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to do it all and still maintain a healthy home life. I surprised myself by being able to manage that, and manage it well with the kids. I’m still here all the time, and I’m engaged in doing all the things that any mom is doing. There are times when it’s stressful, but it hasn’t been as crazy as I thought it was going to be. It’s pleasantly surprised me and so that’s been personally my biggest surprise.
And professionally, just how receptive everyone has been to everything I’ve put out there. It’s hard because my brand is myself, and so you’re taking a big risk when you put yourself out there. Like when I’m putting out my recipes, it’s been overwhelmingly exciting and I’m very grateful.
Do you have any secrets to balancing everything in your life?
The biggest secret is knowing that you’re never going to feel like you’ve got it all together — and that’s okay. There will be messes, and you can clean them up later. Some things you need to let go and just not stress about. It’s easier said than done, yes, but if you can get to that point it makes such a difference.
Just putting things into perspective — when you have your health, and you’re doing what you love, and your kids are good, all the other stuff is minuscule compared to what you have good that’s going on. I try to put everything in life into perspective and it keeps me going, keeps me moving.