Intimate Conversations with Wellbeing Explorers - Martina Zand

The woman you are about to meet has one of the biggest beating hearts I know...... and more often it beats stronger for her community that surrounds her.  

She radiates love, kindness, generosity, health and wellbeing like no other I have met and makes transformation of your being accessible, realistic and achievable.  She honours this one precious life and ensures that her clients do the same.  Anyone who has worked with or for Martina will vouch strongly.

So here she is - I would love for you to meet Life Is Coming From Me’s latest Wellbeing Explorer - Martina Zand.  

Martina is the brains and beauty behind Martina’s Kitchen and also Owner and Founder of Alive Shanghai; Shanghai’s best boutique fitness studio for getting results and feeling damn good about yourself! 

I speak about Martina through personal experience; my experience as one transformed woman whom has been graced by her expertise and kindness.  Martina is the kind of chick you don’t want to share with the world, because she is just that darn good, but you have to share her, because knowing her transforms your life — and we all are deserving of that.  

So please grab a green smoothie in Martina’s honour and a note book and pen….. and jump on board the whirlwind of change this lady can bring to your life. Regardless of your location - wait till you see all the free 'love' on her blog. This blog post is perfect for a Friday - to kick start your weekend on the brighter side of life xx  

And when you have finished cooking her recipes, or have taken away a thing or 2 (more like 2++) from her nuggets of wisdom and realise you are hooked - head over to her blog - (there is at least another full Sunday of juicy content over there.

Enjoy x

Due to the large amount of content Martina has shared with us, this post will form two posts! Life is Coming From subscribers will receive 1 bonus recipe for free! Make sure you are signed up to receive the love.

Q&A with Martina

Wellbeing exploration is…….

"constantly seeking new ideas and learning all I can to personally grow and make my work even more interesting and holistic. It’s all about finding the healthiest, most energetic and vibrant me." 

How did your journey to wellness start?

Looking back now, I would say my journey to wellness started when I was 18 years old and had a severe knee injury, which ended my dancing career. Ever since then I have been learning everything I can about how to take care of myself on many different levels. 

What are your top 3 wellness tips that you can’t live without?

1. Make restful sleep a priority:
Most of us run on too little sleep and too much caffeine. However, no matter what else you do wellness wise, nothing will help if you don’t get plenty of restful sleep: a good 8-9 hours a night will do. You should be able to jump out of bed well rested in the morning and not drag your butt to the coffee machine. 
2. Take care of your digestion
Quite a few steps of cleaning up your diet go into this - like more fiber, more water, less meat and processed foods.  However, in the end it is all so worth it!  No one can function on a high energy level when you are literally full of shit… sorry :-) (so not like martina to swear - she must be serious!)
3. Take “you time” every day
Especially women. Women tend to have the helper syndrome, we make everyone else a priority, be this helping out friends, family or our partner.  If we were to take care of ourselves as well as we do of everyone else around us, we would be very well balanced.  So try to take you time every day - even if it it’s just 2 minutes to close your eyes and take a deep breath. 

We are never alone; what do your clients typically come to see you about?

Both in nutrition and exercise the number one goal is always weight loss.  There are a handful of cases with diseases, illnesses and injuries for rehabilitation, but weight loss is usually on everyone’s mind.  I try to shift the focus away from a number on the scale to a more holistic overall picture of health: being able to run up stairs without getting out of breath, staying injury free for many years to come, and feeling alive and energetic on a daily basis. 

What does a day in the life of Martina Zand look like?

I am a morning person and get more done before 9am than most people do all day. I am often up before 6am to workout.  This can be a run, calming yoga, a session of Pilates, or weight lifting - it depends on my mood.  Afterwards I calm myself down with a meditation and journaling.  Then I make a fueling breakfast and either see early morning clients before they head to work or I get most of my creative writing done at this time. 

Since I am lucky to be very flexible with my work, I tend to come home for lunch and do my food prep for the rest of the day. 

Afternoons and evenings are often spend with clients and teaching classes. 

My dinners are kept light and easy and then my bedtime rituals starts: put away all electronics, spend quality time with hubby, a hot shower to ease my muscles, read a good book, give myself a foot massage or some Reiki, and finally fall asleep before 10am. 

Who is your ‘wellbeing’ mentor, how do they fuel your inner fire?

I have been extremely privileged to be surrounded by many mentors on my wellness journey.  I consider everyone who enters my life to bring some new wisdom with them: teachers, students, clients, colleagues, friends, and family. 

I think the most important thing is that you never stop learning.  I always try to learn from people who are experts in their fields, helping me become better at my work and my own wellness journey. 

What wellness ‘topics’ are you most interested in at present?

Being pregnant for the first time at the moment, I think the topic I am trying to grasp the most is how to take it easy on myself.  I am a very disciplined person in order to help motivate others on their journey.  This is the first time in my life I really have to pay attention to my body every single minute: listening to my body and making the best choices in the moment - not beating my self up and being ok with those choices.

When people ask you about how to best improve their health and wellbeing, what primary 'takeaway’ do you give them?

I never give the same advice to everyone.  I always start out by asking questions about their health and wellbeing, to then find out what advice will suit them best.  This can be ideas on how to cook certain ingredients, how to schedule your workouts more efficiently or tips to squeeze in some you time during a busy work trip.

What ingredient can you not live without in your cooking? And why?

Only one ingredient?!?!  That is so difficult!

I would say extra virgin olive oil, I use too many bottles to count every year.  It’s the perfect healthy oil for dressings, sauces, dips, cooking, and even skin care.  In my nutrition sessions, the most eye opening topic is usually the day we discuss fats and how they do not make you fat.  We need health fats to function properly in our daily lives. Your brain and memory only work with fats.  Your skin will only look glowing and healthy with fats.  Your inner cleansing will only happen with the help of fats. I could go on forever :-) 

If you could only have one tool in your kitchen and your gym what would it be?

In the kitchen, a sharp knife is the most important thing.  I hate nothing more than stale knives to cut tomatoes and they splatter all over the place. 

In the gym, I would say a mat.  While I am obsessed with small fitness equipment that is portable, I do believe you can get an amazing workout just using your own bodyweight.  A mat is all you need for comfort on the floor. 

What was the best advice you’ve ever been given?

"Follow your heart - everything else will fall into place"

What is next for Martina Zand?!

My life right now is all about getting ready for Baby Zand to arrive.  The journey of my pregnancy has been nothing like I expected, so I am thinking I should give myself some space and time to also get used to being a new mommy.  I have recently closed down my fitness business and am just focusing on my blog and nutrition work until the baby arrives.  There are many ideas for new projects for next year, but let’s wait and see!