By Lauren Chiarello
Lauren Chiarello is quite the impressive (female) role model: she is a two-time cancer survivor, founder of lifestyle site Chi Chi Life, and an events and fundraising guru, all in addition to her role as an exhale Core Fusion Barre Teacher. Busy does not quite cut it! But Lauren lives her life with a grateful heart, and shares her nuggets of wisdom along the way. So what’s a Day in the Sweat Life like for Lauren? Read on.
1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I head to the bathroom to get ready, and read my @buddhadoodles card on the mirror: “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh
2. What is your go-to workout?
Not surprisingly, my go-to workout is Core Fusion Barre classes at @exhalespa. Our classes embody the mind-body connection, and build core strength with a focus on sculpting the thighs, glutes, and abdominals. The work is super effective, and if you practice 3+ times a week, you will undoubtedly see tangible results. The method has been life-changing for me! Outside of exhale, I truly enjoy the athletic and inspirational energy with @emilyhopeturner @soulcycle, the uber challenging megaformer work with @caitlin_krause @sltnyc, and the crazy tough circuits with fellow cancer thriver Dennys Lozada at @fhittingroom. I am also a runner, with several half marathons and 2 full marathons under my belt. Next up? The Big Sur Marathon Relay in April. I can’t wait to run along the stunning rugged coastline!
3. What does a typical day of meals and snacks look like for you?
I have been a vegetarian since I was 14 years old, so I am constantly searching for new tasty meals and snacks to try out. If I’m near a @diginn, I will scoop up the small veggie plate for just $6 – best deal in town with all of the yummy, fresh, local in-season goodies. About once a week, I treat myself to a @juicegeneration peanut butter acai bowl. Heaven on earth! Large colorful salads are a big part of my daily meal plan. I am mindful of balancing my meals and portions throughout the day to keep my energy level high. I usually snack on almonds, Quest or Luna bars, a Shakeology smoothie, red peppers/carrots/snap peas and apples/oranges.
4. What is your favorite indulgence?
Oh dear…there are many! In the food realm… I love desserts. Since a child, Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream has had my heart. I also swoon over NYC hand-crafted, artisan @vanleeuwenicecream. They have two dreamy vegan flavors that are my fave, among others — banana nut & peanut butter choc chip. When I’m trying to reign in my love of sweets, I devour “Activate” @eatpops – which are made of beet, apple, and carrot. In the pampering world, I love massages. With leading such an active lifestyle, it’s important to have rest days, and restore the muscles.
5. What is your healthy living philosophy?
Balance. Dare greatly. Fuel your body with clean, plant-based food. Move your body – everyday, in a way you love, in some capacity. Discover what makes you come alive, and hold on to it tightly. Let your mind rest. Be kind to yourself.
6. Do you meditate?
I’ve dabbled in meditation but I don’t have a formal regular practice. I am a natural born planner, and creator, and doer, so I have to fight to stay in the present. Fitness helps me with this. Staying active calms my mind. I try very hard to soak in each moment – each day is such a gift.
7. What can we find in your gym bag?
I always have multiple changes of clothes with me – both workout and business casual. I call them my “costume changes!” In a given day, I could change my outfit up to 6 times – going from teaching class, to client meetings for my event planning / fundraising work, to private training sessions, to taking class. I also have snacks and my exhale @swellbottle in tow – this beautifully crafted bottle keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Pure magic!
8. What is your favorite active wear brand?
You can typically find me in UK-based @sweatybetty gear. Their pieces are unique, super functional, and transition smoothly from the studio to the street. Sweaty Betty’s mission truly resonates with me — to inspire women to find empowerment through fitness. As a 2x Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer survivor, fitness has been critical to my path of recovery. During my 6 months as a Sweaty Betty Club Coach, I always aimed to inspire others through my teaching. Believe you can and you will.
9. What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
My fiancé, Russ, and I snuggle into bed, and talk about the things we’re grateful for that day. Small, big and anywhere in between. NYC can often be overwhelming and tiring, but it is so critical to reflect on the magical pieces of the day.
10. What or who inspires you?
Oodles of things and people inspire me, so this is a toughie! People living their passion truly light my soul on fire – like business coach guru @marieforleo, and @moreloveletters trailblazer @hannahbrencher.
My heart lifts up when I have new students in my class. When people have an open mind and heart to try something new, their lives will infinitely expand. (I talk more about this on my blog here.)
My fellow cancer survivors inspire me daily. They are living life to its fullest – starting businesses, getting married, having babies, hiking massive mountains, and running marathons. We were given a second chance at life, and never take that for granted.
In honor of her fellow survivors, Lauren will be teaching #BarreForSurvival — a Core Fusion Barre class dedicated to raising funds for Cycle for Survival. 100 percent of the proceeds will fund rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Class will be held on Saturday, February 20 at 2:30pm at exhale Central Park South. Students can join this special class with a $30 donation – beginners are welcome! Juicy bonus — students will receive a $50 spa credit + a $10 off class coupon to exhale. Just a few spots are open — RSVP here today!