Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is one of those women who appears to have it all together. First, she’s insanely gorgeous, her body is long, lean and strong, and her self-titled business, Melissa Wood Health, continues to generate buzz nationwide. The thing is, it’s taken a lot of hard work, internal reflection and big changes in both lifestyle and a shift in self-care to get her where she is today. Now that Melissa has a skyrocketing career as a wellness coach, she’s eager to share how making small changes in your lifestyle can lead you to a more fulfilling and healthy life for you and your family. We spent the morning with Melissa and her adorable son, Benjamin (aka “B”), and tagged along through her morning routine.
Congratulations on your amazing success! Can you tell us more about how you got started in wellness?
I got started in wellness from being in a really bad place with myself, mentally, physically and spiritually. I had no spiritual practice. I suffered from horrible acne and an eating disorder, and I didn’t like myself. Once I slowly started to heal my mind and body I realized that nothing made me happier than feeling great in my own skin. Through this experience and helping others get to this place, I realized this became more than just a job, it’s my true calling.
Has your approach to your career changed since becoming a mom?
Yes! I only do things that I’m absolutely in love with.
Your body is serious “goals”. How often do you work out and is it hard for you to stay motivated?
Oh my god thank you! That is seriously so sweet. Coming from the girl who was always told I needed to lose weight. Thankfully now I do not let my weight determine my happiness but I feel pretty damn good in my body and I don’t need anyone else’s acceptable (finally!). I actually work out much less than I ever did before and far less intense. I strive for 4-5 days a week for at least 20 minutes a day when I used to work out 2 hours a day (1 hour of cardio and 1 hour of high intensity strength training), 6 days a week. I only do low-intensity workouts, if I hear the word burpee, I’m out! It’s a part of me and my life. A part of feeling good is making sure I carve this time out for myself. And it’s just 20-30 minutes, so it’s possible!
Tell us more about your workout style?
My workouts are a yoga and pilates style flow that incorporate slow and controlled movements to create long lean lines throughout your entire body. My style is focused around using your own body weight for everything and intensifying any movements with resistance bands, ankle weights, pilates bumpy ball and the pilates circle. The key is to always be able to do everything with just your own body weight.
What time do you wake up on the weekdays? On the weekends?
I wake up around 6:30-7:15am. Benjamin is usually my alarm clock. On the weekends, it all depends on him.
What is your weekday morning routine?
I wake up, we have breakfast, make our smoothie. I take Benjamin to school and then I come home and do my daily practice of meditation and read my lesson of the day in ‘A Course in Miracles.’ After that, I’ll record a flow.
What supplements or vitamins do you swear by?
If you could design your ideal daily menu, what would you eat for breakfast / lunch / dinner / snack?
I would have warm water with lemon to start, then my spirulina smoothie and two hours later avocado toast on ezekiel bread. For lunch a mixed greens salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, bean sprouts, sweet potatoes, onions, broccoli and my dressing. Dinner would be my oil free quinoa stir fry with loaded veggies.
Can you share your go-to smoothie recipe?
Ingredients (all organic)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup mixed berries (I love it with raspberries)
- 1/2 pitted date (to cut the taste of the spirulina)
- 1/2 peeled cucumber (peel tastes bitter blended in a smoothie)
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1/4 cup romaine (optional)
- Tbsp spirulina powder
- Place all ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds. My fave is the Vitamix.
Tell us more about your plant based diet. Do you think this is the healthiest option for everyone? Why?
I’m not going to tell people what their diet should consist of but I can definitely say everyone can afford to incorporate more plant based foods into their diet. If you question this lifestyle at all, read The China Study and spend a weekend watching documentaries like Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and What the Health. I guarantee it will shift your perception about eating animals. Also it’s just better for the planet! #facts
We love a recent post you did on Instagram that said you were, “[e]ndlessly finding the calm in the chaos of things… the ‘new melissa’…[is] less reactive/less bitchy.” Did you consciously try to make this shift or is it a result of your overall lifestyle changes?
I 100% mindfully made this shift because I was so aware of how reactive I was in my life and really wanted to change that.
What is your beauty secret or obsession right now?
I eat a plant based diet, I get a colonic as needed (I intuitively do this about every 8 weeks), I limit caffeine because it dehydrates my skin, I see an amazing esthetician (Joie Tavernise from JTAV Clinical Skincare) and use clean beauty products.
Do you see any healers? If so, who do you see and how often do you go?
3 pearls of wisdom
Let go of trying to control everything, including your children. Let them be who they are.