Meet Coach Aly. You may recognize her from our #RealWomen photoshoot this past December, but she's so much more than that! She is a wall-street alum (she spent 4 years at Goldman Sachs), a Miss NJ USA Runner-Up, an actress, and a health and wellness entrepreneur. Aly is the founder of The Balanced Beauty, a private holistic health coaching business designed to empower, encourage, and inspire women to choose healthy and shine from the inside out. We thought there was no better way to kick of 2015 than by chatting with this inspiring woman. (PS - you must follow her on the insta @1BalancedBeauty, you'll be eating/thinking/feeling more balanced in no time!)
What prompted you to leave Goldman Sachs to start The Balanced Beauty?
It was an honor to work amongst such talented professionals and have the opportunity to learn so many valuable business skillsets. My experiences working in the business world strengthened the work ethic necessary to start-up my own business.I ultimately left the firm because I felt compelled to use my strengths and interests in a way that would be of service to others. I had a strong desire to build something that could provide a solution to the void I was seeing in the “health coaching” world for women, and I truly wanted to be in a field where I could make an impact in someone’s life. I feel a calling to do this work. I believe every experience in my life has lead to the creation of “The Balanced Beauty.”
We all need a little more balance in our lives! What are one or two tips you’d give Of Mercer ladies for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working long hours?
Plan ahead- Organization is everything! I recommend purchasing your groceries over the weekend to stock your house for the week! Grill that chicken, boil those eggs, slice those veggies, wash the berries…make it easy for yourself to “grab and go” during the week. I know the simple thing to do after a long day of work is to order takeout, but if you plan ahead you can avoid the pitfalls of emotional or stress eating after a long day of work. Make your kitchen colorful and cheerful, so it comforts and brings you joy after a long day. You will feel better after a clean, healthy meal.
Stash your desk with healthy snacks! I don’t want my Balanced Beauties going longer than 2-3 hours without some kind of snack. When you don’t eat, it sends a signal to your brain that you are in “starvation mode,” blood sugar and cortisol levels get whacky, hence: cranky moods, lack of energy, ravenous eating later at night…To avoid this, think of your body like a machine and fuel it with feel-good foods throughout the day. Examples of “Go To” Snacks: *Bananas: have feel-good Vitamin B, easy to grab and go, great pre or post workout for potassium *Nuts: Great to keep you satisfied, for energy, portable, and an easy option to munch on at your desk, mess free! *Green Apples- have protein!..(who knew right?) Apples will keep you satisfied, contains fiber, and aids in digestion after a larger meal * Goji Berries: SUPERFOOD that will help to curb your appetite and satisfy that sweet tooth when that energy dips or that sweet craving comes in between 3-4 pm.
What are you most excited or challenged by right now?
Given the current unstable healthcare environment, it’s exciting for me to see all types of entrepreneurs attacking this very serious issue across the country. With the rising costs of healthcare for individuals and families, especially women, and employers trying to push back costs to employees, my business becomes even more crucial. Health Coaches and Wellness Programs exist more today because of how expensive healthcare has become. It is very gratifying to be a part of the eco system providing a solution!
How would you describe your style? What is your go-to outfit for meeting with clients?
For me, everything always comes back to BALANCE! My wardrobe is mixed from high-end pieces to white t-shirts and ripped jeans… I dress for my mood and always mix it up. I believe style is reflective of how you feel. If you are healthy and happy, you can rock anything and make it look fabulous! A healthy body and confident mind is the perfect foundation for any look. For meetings with my clients or presentations, Of Mercer is always a “go-to!” The pieces are professional, polished and most importantly, they are comfortable for my busy days!
What’s your favorite Of Mercer piece? How do you like to style it?
I love the Stanton Dress. Its chic, effortless, and it drapes the body nicely, so if you want to eat a lot, you can (…what can I say? I am all about food, always)! I love this dress because it allows you to look good, effortlessly. Being a woman is hard enough! I want to be comfortable as I take on the world. I rock this look with black tights and black boots. I sometimes add a bulky necklace or scarf to add a pop of color.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Baking! I love sweets. As a Health Coach, I believe sweets are absolutely necessary when staying on track with goals. I do not believe in extremes. If you want cake, just make it with high-quality, healthy ingredients, indulge with a portion size and/or plan on hitting the gym for a sweat session! Everything comes back to healthy choices and balance. With this healthy mindset, you can “have your cake and eat it too!”
What’s the last book you read?
“The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck, M.D. The book opens with “life is difficult,” and explores the journey of spiritual growth and understanding… I rarely read fiction. Every book I read is on health, spirituality, metaphysics or plays because I love the theater!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Why try to be someone else when you can be YOU?
Who are some of your professional heroes or mentors?
Buddah, Ghandi, Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther Kind Jr., Mother Theresa, Rumi, Oprah, Gabby Bernstein…As you can tell, we have a spiritual leadership theme going on here! I am inspired and motivated by anyone who encourages peace, love, humanity, and making this world a better place. I am deeply inspired by acts of love and by anyone trying to make a difference, in their own authentic way, every day. I often read their work as inspiration when meeting with clients. I find a dose of unconditional love, in any situation, is the best medicine. After love comes laughter, so next in line of important mentors are comedians, actors and entertainers. James Franco is a huge influence. I am currently studying Miesner Technique at his interdisciplinary school for the arts, Studio 4 in NYC.
What is your personal motto?
Life is what you make it - Choose to make it great!
To contact Aly or learn more about her: