Here at Element Mom we’ve made it well-known how we feel about self-care! Self care can be so many different things to different people. We love our skincare as self-care moments but at its core self-care is most simply put as taking care of oneself, prioritizing your own needs. This can easily translate to your overall health and wellness. What does your body need to feel its best, and what do you need to feel your best?
This week we got to sit down with Ali Greene, an Integrative Health Practitioner and health coach dedicated to helping her clients feel their absolute best while strengthening them from the inside out. We talked all things health and wellness including exercise, nutrition, and her own journey through pregnancy as well as some things she’s learned along the way. So let’s dive in and see why, in Ali Greenes words, ‘your body is your superpower’ and how that translates to health, wellness, and self-care.
THE Q AND A
To start, we know you’re an Integrative Health Practitioner and Health Coach who works with mamas both through pregnancy and postpartum. What exactly is an Integrative Health Practitioner?
An integrative health practitioner is a holistic wellness expert who uses several different therapies, modalities and disciplines to help facilitate optimal health and help people feel their best. As an IHP & health coach, I look at the whole person. I take a deep dive into a client's world and look at all avenues of their health (nutrition, exercise, mental & emotional mindset, lifestyle, stress, etc) and how it affects them. From there, I help clients create and implement a personalized plan that meets their unique needs and goals. One of the main goals is to uncover the root cause of any issues or symptoms and address it by rebalancing the body.
How did you get into this line of work?
I’ve been in the health & fitness industry for 15 years teaching group fitness classes and training clients all over Boston, but despite being very immersed in the wellness space, I struggled a lot with my own health and mindset around health. I battled with weight, dieting, over exercising and I lived a pretty stressful lifestyle. Because of all of that, I felt awful all the time and couldn’t figure out why or what to do about it. It wasn’t until I started asking questions that I began working with a functional practitioner. It changed my whole world, my health and my perspective. Knowing the value of working with someone like that, I wanted to be able to provide that same level of insight and tools to my clients on their health journey.
What would you say is your favorite part of what you do?
Getting to know my clients on such a personal level and watching them crush their goals. It’s incredible to witness when they have that A-HA moment & realize just how much they are capable of and how much control over their health they actually have.
I noticed you also do a lot of work with Pilates both for pregnancy and postpartum! In your opinion what makes Pilates so great for our mamas and what are some of the benefits of this type of exercise during a pregnancy or postpartum period?
Yes, movement in general is SO SO beneficial for mamas and mamas to be, especially Pilates. Pilates focuses on proper breathing techniques & core strength so it can help alleviate some of the common aches and pains associated with pregnancy like low back discomfort. It helps to strengthen your pelvic floor, improve balance, maintain mobility of your spine (things get really stiff pre and post natal!) and can help tremendously with postpartum recovery.
In regards to pilates, is there a favorite exercise or go-to routine you recommend?
I have a lot of favorites, but for my pre and postnatal clients, I love to start and end with a good mobility routine to mobilize the spine, connect to the breath & deep core muscles & open up the major joints. This can include exercises like deep diaphragmatic breathing, cat cow, bird dog, bridges, leg circles, side planks, chest expansion, and thigh stretch.
Fitness and nutrition can be a huge part of self-care for a busy mama! What do you think of skincare as a form of self-care?
Skincare is absolutely a form of self care! Your skin is the body’s biggest organ and we need to take care of it. Our skin is also a gateway for things to enter and exit our bodies so how we care for our skin is also really important.
We know you’ve gone through your own pregnancy journey! What did your own fitness and skincare routine look like at that time?
Yes, I currently have a 2 month old and couldn’t be more in love! During my pregnancy, I worked out regularly. I did Pilates, Barre, walked a ton and I strength trained 2-3 times a week. As my pregnancy progressed, I modified my workouts to account for my growing belly and of course my energy levels, but I have to say, I felt really good during my pregnancy because of it. For skincare, I always had a regular nighttime and morning routine pre pregnancy and focused on using only clean, non toxic products so I continued that through pregnancy and into postpartum. Every so often I would also use gua sha stone for facial massage which was such a relaxing and energizing part of my routine. My routine now includes Element Mom’s Dose of Serenity serum pads at night and Dose of Radiance serum pads in the morning and my skin feels amazing! I received so many compliments early in my postpartum journey on how “refreshed” I looked even on very little sleep!
In your opinion, what do you think is the most important aspect of a good pregnancy or postpartum skincare routine?
Use only clean, non toxic products. There are so many products & companies out there that claim to be clean, organic, non GMO, non toxic, etc but they aren’t. It’s called “greenwashing”. Knowing what to look for and doing a little research on the product and the company can go a long way in keeping you and your baby safe & healthy! Hormonal changes can affect how your skin responds to certain products so it’s always beneficial to use products made for sensitive skin. Lastly, hydration is super important for skin health especially during pregnancy and postpartum so drink plenty of water and don’t forget to get your electrolytes in!
We can tell that you’re passionate about helping mamas on their wellness journeys! Do you have a moment or memory that ignited that passion? Or a favorite story from your time as a Health Coach and Integrative Health Practitioner so far?
I’ve always had a passion for women’s health and working with mamas because from my own experience I feel like there are some aspects of women’s health, fertility and pregnancy that are often misunderstood or lacking guidance from a holistic health perspective. One of my favorite recent memories is one of my prenatal Pilates clients telling me she received so many compliments from her doctors and nurses on how well and effective she pushed during labor (thanks to Pilates and strength work!) We are now working together postpartum to help her rebuild her core strength. It’s amazing working with women during such an important and vulnerable time!
Do you have any words of advice for mamas looking to start a healthy pregnancy or postpartum routine
Just like your health, your pregnancy and postpartum journey is unique only to you so leave the judgments, expectations, and self comparisons behind you! If you’ve never worked with a wellness professional whether it be a trainer, health coach, pelvic floor PT etc, this is the perfect time to seek out a pre/postnatal professional to add to your health & support team! The journey might not be an easy one, but it’s worth it and remember, your body is truly your superpower!
Last but not least, how can our readers find you online?
You can find me on instagram @thealigreene, Facebook at The Whole You. Unfiltered. or at www.aligreen unfiltered.com.
It was wonderful getting to have a little insight into Ali’s unfiltered approach to holistic health and wellness. Just as one-size-fits-all doesn’t work in regards to your health, whether mental or physical, we believe the same goes for your skincare! Your skincare needs pre-pregnancy can differ dramatically when you’re pregnant, and then again during the postpartum period. And the formulas and ingredients you may normally love may not be as effective or even safe for use during pregnancy and postpartum.
At Element Mom we’ve formulated all of our products to ensure they’re pregnancy and postpartum safe, clean, cruelty-free, and gentle on sensitive skin. We know how important it is during your pregnancy journey to have products you can trust as a part of your routine, and that self-care and your own health and wellness have to be a priority. When you take care of yourself you allow yourself to be the best version of you that you could be, which in turn allows you to care for those around you and lift them up as well. It all starts with you.
Don’t forget to check out Ali at her socials and website linked above. She’s an incredible coach, so go show her and yourself a little love mamas!
Want to try some of Ali's Element Mom favs?