Michele Promaulayko is well versed on well-being. As the former editor in chief of Yahoo Health and Women’s Health, and the author of Look Better Naked and 20 Pounds Younger, she is considered a health and wellness authority. Currently the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, Promaulayko believes (guilty) pleasures should never cause guilt and red wine is an essential. Read on for more of our candid conversation.
Wellness Inspiration: I’m so lucky to have so many people in my life who support my well-being and who inspire me to live my healthiest life. Chief among them is Dr. Lipman, of course, which is why he served on my advisory board at both Women’s Health and Yahoo Health. I love how he dispenses with the BS and just gets to the heart of what matters. He has little tolerance for outmoded ways of thinking. At the same time, his demeanor (and charming South African accent) are so calming. A few more of my mentors and gurus (whom I also count as close friends):
- David Kirsch is a veteran authority in the fitness and wellness arenas—and a walking advertisement for his business and methods! I work out at his private training facility, Madison Square Club, several times a week.
- Dr. Whitney Bowe is a rock star dermatologist who knows that your skin’s health is a function of your entire system, which is why she integrates stress management and nutrition into her lifestyle recommendations.
- Lauren Roxburgh is a fascia expert who has taught me so much about our body’s relationship with gravity and how alignment is a key to “growing younger” and living a pain-free life.
- Daniela Turley is a medicinal herbalist whose botanical and naturopathic knowledge is simply mind-blowing. She has a lit-from-within glow that would convince anyone to try her bespoke tinctures.
Health Passion: As I have gotten older, emotional health has become a bigger and bigger focus. I look around and see so many people who have mistaken physical attractiveness for wellness…they work out strenuously and eat healthfully to look a certain way, but are riddled with anxiety or other emotional challenges because they haven’t spent enough time on their emotional well-being. Self-care has become such a buzzy concept, but it truly is critical to overall health.
Wellness is_______: Wellness is equanimity—being able to remain centered and to not be too reactive in the face of stress is incredibly difficult, so that is something I am continually working on. I could also have filled in the blank by saying that “Wellness is everything,” because without it, nothing else matters. So, in that sense, wellness is also the foundation of happiness.
Guilty Pleasure: I think guilt is a useless emotion! And as the editor in chief of Cosmo, I feel compelled to promote the idea that pleasure should never cause guilt.
Relax & Unwind: I am trained in Transcendental Meditation, but I don’t always do it. I love walking on the High Line, which is a block away from my apartment. I find any contact with nature (vitamin N!) super relaxing. I’m a bathaholic and a massage junkie, but I don’t indulge in them nearly enough.
Morning Start: With coffee, despite how many times Dr. Lipman has tried to talk me out of it (drinking it on an empty stomach messes with your hormonal balance). But I go to bed dreaming about my morning coffee! It’s a cherished ritual for me. On my best days, I meditate before having my coffee.
Exercise of Choice: I love strength training, and I feel strongly about encouraging women to do it more because it has so many body benefits—building lean muscle burns more calories even at rest. It strengthens bones and, obviously, tones muscle. I supplement that with other things: Refine Method, AKT, Bari, yoga, SoulCycle…it’s fun to try out the boutique fitness classes—there are over 100 in just NYC alone. But on a weekly basis, I strength train at David Kirsch’s Madison Square Club.
Must-Have Beauty Products: OMG, how much time do you have?
Sleep Routine: I try to go to bed by 11 p.m. and read a little before dozing off. I have this Muji diffuser that I put a few drops of lavender essential oil in each night.
Travel Carry-ons: Snacks, Giovanni organic towelettes to wipe down surfaces, a big bottle of water, and a comfy scarf.
Current Reading List: I just finished the addiction memoir How to Murder Your Life, by Cat Marnell. My friend Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back is on my nightstand, and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things is in my bag.
Always in Fridge: Vital Farms eggs, greens of some sort (baby kale, usually), Hawthorne Valley jalapeño sauerkraut (love it with meats, eggs, anything), miso paste, Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk.
Pantry Staples: Tons of spices. Cardamom is a favorite. I recently heard that, according to Ayurveda, adding it to your coffee makes it less acidic. I don’t know if that’s true, but it tastes great! Also, olive oil, chia seeds, organic popcorn (which I like to drizzle coconut oil over), matcha powder, and lots of herbal tea—Teapig’s licorice and peppermint is my fave.
Favorite Way to Reset: Digestive enzymes and moving around!
Favorite Healthy Food On-the-Go: Raw almonds, organic beef jerky, RXBars.
Ingredients I Always Avoid: Fake sweeteners and canola oil.
Can’t Live Without: Too many people to mention, so I’ll say nature. And red wine.
Current Mantra: Take care of your body; it’s the only place you have to live.