We are back with another wildly beautiful interview with my most favorite health coach, Marisa Wiewall. I met Marisa 7 years ago at a Pulling Down the Moon Yoga for Fertility Teacher Training. We have stayed connected through social media and I have been so inspired watching her grow an amazing health coaching business. She is a mother to Cecilia, 6, and wife to Paul. I love how she approaches business and family life with simplicity...from the food she prepares, to her beauty routine, to her personal style. Marisa also shares a fresh and springy couscous recipe! Enjoy!!!
Describe your abode.
We live in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood in the center of the city of Chicago, in a beautiful renovated historical house that we fell in love with 7 years ago.
I love living in the city! Chicago has so much to offer as far as cultural experiences, diversity, plenty of green parks and a beautiful lakefront to get my (much needed) nature fix, and last but not least, wonderful FOOD! We love being able to walk to small independent businesses, farmers markets, or have public transportation available easily.
But I couldn’t finish describing my home without talking about our Wisconsin farm. I love Wisconsin, and the farm- this is where we go for simplicity, connecting with nature and relaxation.
So grateful to have the best of both worlds!
What makes you a creative?
As a Health Coach and business owner, I not only have to get creative on how to work with my clients and to motivate them in reaching their health goals, but I am also Ms. Marketing, Ms. Website Builder, Ms. Blogger, Ms. Social Media- so you DEFINITELY have to get creative. It’s tough, but fun though!
Do you have a simple recipe to share?
Of course! So many it is hard to pick, but since we are entering Spring, I will give you one of my Springtime favorites!
ISRAELI COUSCOUS WITH ASPARAGUS, PEAS, AND SUGAR SNAPS
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous (6 to 7 ounces)
1 3/4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
14 ounces slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup shelled fresh green peas or frozen, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and lemon peel in small bowl; set dressing aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until most of couscous is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups broth, increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if too dry.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, green peas, and remaining garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
Add couscous to bowl with vegetables. Drizzle dressing over. Add chives and cheese; toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Where does simplicity show up in your life?
In the kitchen, definitely. I don’t think healthy eating should be complicated and eating delicious foods should be simple- just good quality, fresh ingredients will do the trick!
Seven years ago I stayed at a farmhouse in Italy with my mom and sister for a cooking- mother/daughter trip. They were so proud of their ingredients and only very few of them. They taught us how to cook, but most importantly was talking about the ingredients- its freshness, how it was grown, cultivated and in the case of animals- raised, fed and cared for. Makes all the difference in the world. With cooking, simple is best!
What is your style?
Hmmm, good question. I’m a Gemini, so I have that “double personality” going on when it comes to style. One day I can be very classic, “Banana Republic” and other days I’m feeling very “fashion forward” and like to experiment. So my style is… variety I guess. I find it fun and exciting!
Do you have any daily habits or routines?
Yep! My morning lemon/apple cider vinegar water never fails! Second habit would be filling up and carrying around my Klean Kanteen water bottle and drinking water throughout the day. It has become such a habit, I can’t leave home without it!
How do you stay healthy?
Well, I have to walk my talk. We eat pretty healthy. I don’t buy the junk- to avoid temptations. And I exercise… not because I like it, believe me, but because I know at my age (and up!) you either have to eat like a bird or exercise/move, and I also feel better when I do it.
Also, some sort of relaxation/stress relief is important for my health. I try to meditate, practice some yoga, do breathing exercises or enjoy nature as much as I can, which deeply relaxes me.
What does balance look like for you in your daily life?
Great question. Still trying to find that. I struggle with it a bit; finding myself too busy with work, being a mom, a wife, a farmer, etc.. but slowly I’m learning to draw boundaries- saying no when I need to say no; asking for help when I can, and most importantly- being present with whatever it is I am doing in the moment.
When/how do you feel most beautiful and most aligned with yourself?
I’d have to say when I am my healthiest and fittest. I’m human, I have my days and weeks of getting into a rut, but when I am eating clean, meditating, exercising and sleeping well- boy I feel aligned, focused, and yes, beautiful- inside and out!
What are some of your imperfections and how do you embrace them?
I’m a skeptic. I question everything and sometimes rebel against the norm. I used to hate that about myself growing up (and my dad probably did too!) and sometimes can be exhausting, but I’ve learned to embrace it and see it as a strength now, actually. Can you imagine if I believed all the headlines and even research studies that come out on nutrition all the time?
My daughter has inherited the trait, and although tough for me as a mother- I secretly smile inside with joy!
We are constantly growing and working on ourselves. What are you working on right now?
Mindfulness in parenting. Being present every moment with whatever I’m doing and saying. It is tough for us as mothers who have to multitask! But I am working on it and see the benefits of it as I do it- stronger relationship with my daughter, building trust and enjoying the moments that are going SO fast!
What is your beauty regime?
I’m a bit ashamed of this one… pretty simple I guess. I do take care of my face. I’ve been using Juice Beauty products for a while and have seen great results. In the winter I’ve actually been applying a little coconut oil as well, since my skin tend to get a bit dry. It has worked great! I also try to get a facial a couple times a year. Other than that, I use very simple make up (when I do).
Bottom line is, I think my beauty regime is more about being healthy than high heels and make up!
What are 5 things you cannot live without?
+ avocados (must be the Puerto Rican in me!)
+ chocolate (seriously, I may panic!)
+ my Klean Kanteen water bottle
+ nature (I need to be out in nature, in some way, every few days- it fills my soul)
+ my family… LOVE
What advice do you have for mothers looking to find balance in both being healthy and staying creative.
To me being healthy tops everything. Health is where it all starts. And I think for us moms, we are so busy trying to make our little ones happy and of course, healthy themselves, we tend to neglect ourselves. But as they say in the airplane- “put your mask first before helping others What might look like an act of self-regard is actually the condition for being able to care for the other.
Do what you need to do to practice self-care and self-love, eat healthy, exercise, relax and you will feel more balanced, be a better mother, a better person and a more creative and happy human being- I promise!
Thanks Marisa for sharing a sneak peak inside your cool as a cucumber lifestyle. I can't wait to try that recipe. Yum! If you were inspired by this interview please like and share and comment below! Also check out her website (so beautiful) and all her social media hangouts. See you next time with another creative mama!