Welcome to this new monthly, community-style series featuring a flourishing woman who lives with intention and passion. We believe in the power of stories and that no woman is ordinary. You were placed on this earth for a reason, so let your light shine!
Meet our first lovely woman, Lindsay! Lindsay Surowitz is a San Diego native and the personality behind the colorful and inspiring Weeknight Bite. I instantly was attracted to Lindsay’s encouraging personality and the way she passionately lives each day (oh and her adorable golden retriever Penny just sealed our friendship)! She keeps it real—balancing daily workouts with chocolate chip cookies—and her nutrition tips, scrumptious meals and bubbly spirit will add some sparkle to your day!
<< Mark your calendars for January 23 at 11am PST where Lindsay and I will be hoping on Instagram live for a fun little “coffee chat.” >>
Women Who Flourish: Lindsay Surowitz
Your social media presence is just SO bubbly, but that is truly who you are as a person! How do you keep that positivity alive not just on social media but also in your own life?
That’s so sweet of you to say!! So, there’s this thing that my dad has literally told me for my entire life, and I guess it’s always stuck with me. He always says that we get to choose to be happy. It may sound overly simple or cliché, and of course, we don’t always have control over everything that happens in life, but we do get to choose how we face the day. So I guess my “default” has always been to be pretty happy and optimistic. There are so many things that I feel so lucky to have in my life – my family, my husband, our health, my pup, supportive friends, a job that I LOVE, the amazing vibes of San Diego… all of that makes me feel happy and inspired!
Social media is an interesting thing and there are definitely times when we all just need a break because we don’t feel like putting on a happy face every day, and that’s ok! But for the most part, Instagram has helped me create such an incredible and supportive community that has made me realize that we’re never really alone in what we’re going through! I really love the community I’ve been able to connect with through social media – without that, my business wouldn’t exist like it does!
How would you define healthy living?
Letting go of the rules, diets, calorie counting, tracking, and stress, and learning to simplify and focus on eating real food that fuels your body and makes you feel your best. Also – making sure your to-do list includes things like exercise, sleep, FUN, and quality time with your people (not just emails, work stuff and errands). All of these things come together to create a healthy, balanced life.
You often talk about balance—indulging in a chocolate chip cookie without feeling any guilt but then choosing healthy foods the rest of the day. For any women struggling with guilt associated with healthy living, what is your encouragement to cultivating balance and enjoying life without the guilt?
Yes! Unfortunately, there’s so much guilt associated with food, especially when we’re “trying to be healthy”, and most of the time, the nagging guilt is worse for us than the actual treat. I will forever be the nutritionist who will tell you to eat that daily treat if it’s something you love! In my opinion, it’s all about making swaps or “upgrades” to our favorite foods and cravings so they fit within our healthy lifestyle and we never have to feel deprived. For example, if you’re a chocolate girl (like me!), rather than telling yourself no, find some brands (like Hu Kitchen, my fave) that use healthy ingredients, taste delicious, and will satisfy your sweet tooth without a ton of sugar. More of salty lady? Remember nothing is really off limits – even enchiladas can be health-ified! When you’re making “upgrades” like this at home and eating real, healthy food 80% of the time, it gives you a little room to indulge in that real deal restaurant dessert or homemade pasta every once in a while, without the guilt!.
I’m also a huge believer in preventing guilt by having a plan. Say you know you have a friend’s birthday dinner this weekend at one of your favorite Italian restaurants. Decide ahead of time – what is going to be your splurge? Is it going to be the bread, a cocktail, the pizza, the dessert? Maybe you decide you’ll skip the bread because you’d rather have some pasta or split a dessert with the girls. When you make the choice and plan for it, you’re in charge, and that removes the guilt from the equation. Last thing… We need to change the way we think about indulging. So often we call it a cheat meal or worse, a “cheat day”. Who ever felt good about cheating on anything? I like to call it a treat to take away that negativity!
You have recently opened up about dealing with a bit of anxiety over things you can not control. How have you learned to manage this and do you have any tips for staying positive?
When I feel anxiety coming on, I try to refocus on things and activities that make me feel calm. Baking, working out, bubble baths, acupuncture, playing with Penny, or getting into a good show always make me feel better! Laying flat on the ground with my feet up on the wall for a few minutes is also a nice little trick that gets my body into a relaxed, parasympathetic state! I just started using the Headspace app and going through the Managing Anxiety meditations – I’m totally new to it, but at the very least, it forces me to just chill out and breathe for 10 minutes a day! But there are also times that I just want to let myself feel the feels. So I’ll sulk if I need to or sometimes I’ll just get all my feelings out on paper – writing everything down is always really cathartic for me. Then I just try to focus on the things that I’m grateful for and that pushes me to be resilient and get back into a positive mindset.
You are very active in working out and also enjoying your workouts. Do you have any encouragement for women who struggle finding a workout routine they love?
Find something you love and look forward to so it doesn’t feel like a chore! I’ve tried everything, and there are some workouts I dread (like running) and others that I love (like pilates or walking Penny while listening to a podcast)! If you’re feeling uninspired by your workout routine, try changing it up and trying something new – I just went to a dance cardio class with my best friend and I was in a full sweat by the end, but I didn’t even notice that I was “working out” because we were just laughing and having fun the whole time!
What are some practices or routines you do each day that you believe are directly tied to your success?
During the week, I have a pretty solid morning routine that sets me up for healthy and productive day. I start almost every morning with either a workout (pilates, training, or a 30-minute peloton spin) or a walk with Penny. Post-workout, I make a smoothie full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and that keeps me full for several hours, helps me reduce my sugar cravings, and sets the tone for the rest of the day. When I start my day this way, I’m so much more productive and focused (I’m not thinking about snacking or mindlessly wandering into the kitchen all day!) and notice a huge difference in my energy level.
Another “practice” I swear by is sleep! Sounds obvious but it’s a major one. I’m a huge proponent of getting my 8 hours in each night – this of course helps with my energy level, but it’s also so important for hormone regulation, balancing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and increasing focus!
What does it mean to you to flourish?
It means growing, thriving, and blossoming into my best self. I’m down for some serious flourishing this year. 🙂
If you were a taco, which flavor and toppings would you be and why?
Ooo I’d be a grilled fish taco in a Siete grain-free tortilla with a giant scoop of guacamole! (Not sure if that’s what I’d be, or just my ideal taco to eat, but let’s go with it).
What is one quality you look for in a friend?
They show up. For the good, happy, fun times, and more importantly, for the hard stuff – they show up and they’re in it with me when I need them most. I’m so lucky that my best friends are all that way – fiercely loyal, supportive, loving, and strong.
What is one thing you say no to and why?
Wearing jeans when I could be in yoga pants, ha! Also, aluminum in my deodorant, calorie counting, and mean people.
Favorite time of the day?
My morning podcast walk OR my evening TV binge-watch with my husband.
Your word for 2019?
I love this question! 2018 was my resilient year. But I’ve decided 2019 is going to be my year to crush it, so how about… SHINE.
Thank you Lindsay for sharing your heart and passion with us!