Modelling since she was 14, Alyssa Riley has notched up some big time coups in her career including being a runway model for Paris Couture Week and appearing in campaigns for Saks Fifth Avenue and Guess – all of which require someone to cut a pretty impressive figure. Luckily for Alyssa, her love of fitness and organic eating means she does just that.
Previously discussing her relationship with health and body image, Alyssa tells Bare Necessities: “This industry is cutthroat. We have a lot of pressure to keep our measurements on point to fit the samples. Also, if you’re shooting mainly lingerie, you need to be very toned because you’re so exposed! I’ve accepted my body, I love having a womanly shape. I’m focusing on staying healthy and strong and consistent as opposed to losing weight and dieting. I’ve found I feel much better, and it actually helps me stay looking my best to live that way.”
To find out a little more about her take on food and fitness, we tracked Alyssa down to talk us through her typical Day on A Plate and weekly workout schedule…
I always make a pot of my favourite coffee from a small coffee shop in Michigan near where I grew up. (Checker Records, favorite blend: Def Leopard)
~ While the coffee brews I make a fresh celery juice – it’s hydrating and helps detox your body.
~ If I have a day off, I’ll take my dog Beau for a long walk before having breakfast.
~ My favourite breakfast is steel cut oatmeal made with cinnamon, cashew milk, manuka honey then topped with fresh berries.
I’m usually not an early morning workout person, I prefer afternoon workouts. My favourite workout at the moment is the Tracy Anderson Method. I take classes at the 59th St. location 2-3x per week. I use to do ballet and dance growing up and the TA method classes incorporates a lot of dance movement into the workout, which makes it really fun! If I have a busy work schedule, I try to run 3 miles before or after work and do a quick ab workout followed by a long stretch to lengthen my muscles.
Throughout the day I drink a lot of water, usually a litre+, and will grab a black iced coffee midday to keep me going. I carry trail mix that I make myself…
Alyssa’s Trail Mix Recipe:
Equal Parts for all ingredients, I do 2 cups of each for a large batch that lasts me the whole week.
~ Roasted almonds (unsalted)
~ Dried cranberries
~ Pumpkin seeds
~ Dark cocoa chocolate chips
~ Raw cashews
~ Raw pecans
I bring my lunch with me to most photoshoots so I can control the ingredients that I’m putting into my body. I try my best to eat all organic.
My go-to lunch is:
~ 2 hard boiled eggs
~ 1/2 avocado
~ 1/2 tomato
~ 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
~ Season with sea salt and pepper
(The eggs are full of protein and the avocado with olive oil are healthy fats that make me feel full for my day)
I take a probiotic after lunch, it’s too harsh on my stomach in the morning so I prefer to take it midday. That’s the only supplement I take unless I’m feeling like I’m getting sick – if that’s the case, I take echinacea, Zinc, and vitamin C 2x a day.
On a day off, my favourite place to go for lunch in the city is the Butcher’s Daughter. I get the Vegan Kale Caesar with “chicken” and extra hot sauce.
I’m a big fan of early dinners – it gives your body time to digest your food. I love to cook! My go-to dinner (especially in the summer) is baked salmon with a ton of veggies. You can bake them all together on a cookie sheet, so it’s super easy and healthy!
I cook for 2 (My boyfriend and myself)
~ 2 fillets of wild caught salmon
~ 4 red skin potatoes
~ 1 sweet onion
~ 1 zucchini
~ 1 yellow squash
~ Cut the veggies into bite size chunks, toss with 2 tbsp Olive oil and season with pepper and sea salt. Arrange on a cookie sheet placing the salmon filets in the middle. Drizzle salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
~ Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the fish and veggies
Bake at 375 for 20-30 min until veggies are tender (I like my salmon medium so remove sooner for rare cooked fish). Serve with a glass of white wine or a lemon water depending on the day… 🙂
My new favourite thing is Mochi! I buy it at my local wholefoods, I like the strawberry flavour. I also LOVE ice cream – I go at least once a week in the summer for ice cream. My go-to is Moosetracks (I get a cup, not a fan of cones – I think they taste like paper, lol!) I also love salty snacks, Veggie Straws zesty ranch flavor are my go-to movie or midnight snack.
I love summer time! Especially BBQ’s! I eat clean for the most part during the week and let myself eat whatever on the weekends. I love a cheeseburger with corn on the cob (slathered in butter of course) and white wine or rose. Also, can’t forget the Aperol Spritz! It’s my favourite summer cocktail – refreshing and a little bubbly!
All images: Lys Riley