A way of life Exercise, diet give young exec balance
Lauren Stuart says she grew up “playing every single sport there was.” So for the 26-year-old founder of her own company, Eco-Logical Enterprises, and executive director of the Greater Baton Rouge Clean Cities Coalition, fitness has always been a way of life.
These days, however, instead of soccer, volleyball, swimming, basketball and cheerleading, Stuart stays in shape with an intensive workout program, jogging and yoga. She also likes to ride her bicycle, when the weather cooperates, to work or wherever she’s headed.
“I like to just bike around town,” says Stuart, adding that she’s been known to wear shorts under her dress and stash her heels in her backpack when she pedals to work. “It just takes a little forethought,” she says.
When it comes to serious work-out time, Stuart says she follows the CrossFit program, a core strength and conditioning regime with explosive bursts of activity.
“It’s a faster paced workout so you finish quicker,” says Stuart, who likes to visit the CrossFit website to get the workout of the day. “They have recommended moves and separate moves for men and women. That guide really helps me stick to it.”
A typical CrossFit workout might be 20 lunges with a Kettlebell (weight), 10 leg lifts on a bar, eight pushups and then a quarter-mile run.
“Then I repeat it all three or four times,” says Stuart, who does a CrossFit workout a couple of times of week.
“I can do it in about 20 minutes, so it goes really fast,” says Stuart.
On days when she doesn’t do the intensive workout, Stuart says she tries to jog or do yoga.
Beyond exercise, Stuart keeps fit through her diet.
“I really got into nutrition at about (age) 12 or so,” she says. “I took the time to figure out what I liked best. My friends would make fun of me because I would bring a packed lunch. I don’t eat fast food. That’s about my only diet rule.”
And, while she eats healthy, she stresses that she doesn’t eat bland.
“I take pleasure in eating,” she says. “I want to enjoy my food, not just have it be fuel. I really enjoy cooking.”
One of her favorite concoctions is granola.
“I eat granola everyday for breakfast,” she says, noting she also uses it in her Peanut Butter Granola Balls, which she eats before or after a workout.
“They’re fuel, but they also taste great,” says Stuart, who also likes to whip up breakfast burritos, with such ingredients as potatoes, black beans and cheese or perhaps bacon or sausage. She freezes them in individual servings.
And, because she’s lived in Baton Rouge since she was 12, Stuart says she has a hard time saying no to bread pudding and crawfish etouffee.
“I think that’s where fitness and diet balance come in,” says Stuart. “If you’re active and healthy, you can indulge from time to time.”
(from “Cookbook for Electro-Chemical Energies” by Hanna Kroeger):
4 cups rolled oats
¾ cup wheat germ
1¼ cup fine, unsweetened coconut
¾ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
1¼ cup nuts
¾ cup sesame oil
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ cup honey (warm)
11 oz. raisins
Mix all dry ingredients, except raisins. In a separate bowl, mix all liquid ingredients. Add liquid ingredients to dry. Mix well. Spread on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 225 degrees for 1¼ hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly browned. While still warm, pour into a bowl to cool completely. When cool, add raisins. Granola may be frozen.
Peanut Butter Granola Balls
½ recipe of Granola
Instant nonfat dry milk
In small batches, mix 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1/3 cup dry milk to coarse consistency. Add approximately 2 tablespoons granola. Form into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Roll each ball in powdered milk.
Stuart says the recipe is not exact and can easily be adjusted to fit your taste.