Continuing our fitfluencer interview series, we chatted with nutrition coach and personal trainer, Lestraundra Alfred to get her thoughts on the importance of staying balanced in today’s political climate and her podcast, Balanced Black Girl.
The Body Department: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m a 29 year old Seattle native, podcaster, and media entrepreneur. I am the host of Balanced Black Girl Podcast, a platform dedicated to providing wellness resources specifically for women of color.
What does your morning routine look like?
Peaceful! Upon waking up I like to have a big mug of warm lemon water and glass of green juice first thing. Then I like to meditate (guided meditations on the Calm app are my favorite), journal, and read. This helps me feel calm and grounded before I tackle the day.
When and what made you serious about wellness and fitness?
I first started getting into fitness while working my first desk job in college. I noticed how lethargic I felt sitting at my desk all day, and realized by moving my body and eating whole foods, I felt better throughout the day. I’ve loved health and wellness ever since!
Tell us more about your Balanced Black Girl podcast!
I spent years working as a personal trainer and fitness blogger, and in so many instances found myself being the only Black woman in the room at numerous wellness events and workout classes. However, I knew I wasn’t the only Black woman interested in improving my health, and felt inspired to create a platform that speaks directly to us and our shared experiences.
Since May is Mental Health Awareness month, what are some best practices and methods when managing anxiety?
Finding a good therapist to talk to has been the best thing I could do to help me manage feelings of anxiety. Having a subjective person to talk to who helps you understand your thoughts and feelings is so helpful. Additionally, journaling, going for walks, and spending quiet time alone have been really helpful for me.
Do you feel like there is heightened sensitivity regarding anxiety and depression with millennials?
I think there is a greater sense of awareness, and a desire to address deeply rooted traumas among millennials that other generations didn’t necessarily have the insight to address. For our generation, we do face a lot of challenges navigating adulthood in a turbulent politial environment with fewer financial resources, more student loan debt, and environmental concerns that didn’t impact other generations. All of these things definitely take a toll on our mental health.
Where do you predict the wellness/self-care industry will head to?
The wellness industry is becoming more authentic, and diverse, but still has a ways to go. I’m excited to see where it goes!
Are you an advocate for CBD? If yes or no, why?
CBD is a tricky subject, and one I often feel torn about. While yes, there can be some definite benefits, traditionally people of color are criminalized far severely for marijuana-related offenses and have been for decades. Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for great Black-owned CBD brands to support.
How do you cope with days that are overwhelming or tough? What helps you bounce back?
That’s usually when I know it’s time for me to take a break. When I get overwhelmed, I like to take some space from what is overwhelming me often by getting outside, listening to music, and taking a walk. When I get back I often feel refreshed and ready to break down what’s overwhelming me in a more achievable way.
At The Body Department, we’re all about the balance between mind, body and soul… what is your own favorite self-care ritual?
Affirmations! As part of my morning journaling ritual, I like writing down affirmations related to whatever is weighing on my soul each day. It really helps me start the day on a more positive note.
All images courtesy of Sarah Wolfe Photography.