With a passion for yoga, Pilates and personal training, it’s safe to say that Leah Simmons is a true lover of movement in all of its forms. But aside from training her physical body, Leah also prioritises mental and spiritual wellbeing. We caught up with the soon-to-be mum-of-two to chat about her approach to food, health and lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
I am a qualified Pilates instructor, personal trainer and kundalini yoga teacher who has an insatiable passion for all things health and fitness. I love helping people really achieve their fitness goals by addressing the health of all aspects of their life, as well as assisting them in understanding how true fitness doesn’t start and stop with the physical body.
Sunday's are for The Swan. I love the many variations of this exercise whether it's on the Cadillac, the Reformer, the Wunda Chair or the Fit Ball. It opens your chest and shoulders whilst challenging your back and core. A few things to consider: 👉🏼 My hand position. When using the bar I like to have my palms facing each other with the bar resting on my wrists instead of holding the bar with my hands. This stops me using the bar to lift my upper body and instead directs me to use my core and lats. 👉🏼 My shoulders are set down and away from my ears. My collarbones are open and my scapulae (shoulder blades) are drawn apart from each other. 👉🏼 I take my belly with me as I lift up!! There is zero compression in my lower back… instead the lift comes from my mid thoracic with my naval drawn in and upwards to assist with the lift. 👉🏼 My neck remains in neutral. My eye gaze is straight ahead. Don't look up when doing this exercise, look forwards. . . #pilates #pilatesbody #pilatesphysique #pilatescadillac #theswan #core #backworkout #sunday #sunsetpilates #bbls #bodybyleahsimmons
What inspired your passion for health and wellness?
My own personal health and fitness journey was the inspiration behind developing THE ELEVATE METHOD. After achieving what society deemed as the ‘perfect body’ I wondered why I was still unhappy. It took me down a path of self-discovery and realisation that happiness and contentment doesn’t only come from the physical; it also requires optimal mental, emotional and spiritual health. So I set about including training those elements into my workouts.
What’s your food philosophy?
That one size definitely does not fit all. What works for one person may not work for another. My personal food philosophy is to make sure I get a balanced diet full of all the essential macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fat and fibre. I eat as organic as I can and I try and make my food choices as plant-based as possible. I also try to drink at least one and a half to two litres of water per day – although this doesn’t always happen. On top of this, I usually do a liquid diet for five to seven days each month just to reset my digestive system. This does not mean a juice cleanse. I still get all my essential macros just in liquid form. Think vegetable juice, soup, smoothies etc, but I’m not doing this through my pregnancy.
Come and join me for Kundalini Yoga & Meditation every Wednesday morning from 7.45am at The Well, Bondi Beach @thewell_bondi ✨🙌🏼🤩 . Awaken your Kundalini energy with a heart-opening, soul-baring, mind-blowing experience and prepare to lose yourself in variations of breath work, postures and mantra 🧘♀️ Enter with an open mind and heart and emerge on the other side an invigorated, energised being!! 🤗🙌🏼💫 . Tap the link in my bio for the website, find my class on Wednesday morning and book in!! Sat Nam!!! 🙏 . . 📷 @deanhammer . #kundalini #kundaliniyoga #satnam #yoga #awakenyourkundalini #thewellbondi #bbls #bodybyleahsimmons
Walk us through a typical day in your life …
This is a bit of a special time for me as I’m 26 weeks pregnant, so I have to make sure I’m getting all of the nutrients my body – and my growing baby – needs!
I wake up at 6am and have a big glass of water with some lemon in it. Breakfast is usually some gluten-free porridge with banana, blueberries and a bit of rice milk or eggs, avocado, tomato, some rice toast and a bulletproof coffee. I’ll usually train at around 10.30am so I’ll have a vegan protein shake after that.
I don’t usually indulge in a smoothie bowl for breakfast (too much fruit sugar for me…) however the Green Bowl at @pelotonsupershop is too good to resist!!!! 🤤 A must-try if you’re ever in Bali… it’s vegan heaven!!! 😋💚✨ . . . #smoothiebowl #greenbowl #pelotonsupershop #bali #eatclean #vegan #plantbased #yum #breakfast #nourishyourbody #bbls #bodybeahsimmons
For lunch, I’d usually have a salad and some protein for lunch, however, during pregnancy, complex carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient to consume so I will usually load all that salad into a wholegrain wrap or sandwich or I’ll add some brown rice into the mix. And of course, I drink lots of water [throughout the day].
For an afternoon snack, I choose from some nuts, berries, rice cakes, guacamole, carrot sticks, apple or whatever I feel.
Dinner is usually some lean protein, veggies and some rice. I’m not really a sweet tooth, however, I’ve been partial to a little bit of honeycomb after dinner! That’s my indulgence and my baby loves it.
THIS SATURDAY 26TH MAY… BBLS POP-UP SALE!! 💥🛍 SO MUCH ACTIVEWEAR… 🥊🎽🧘♀️🤸♀️ P.E NATION, NIKE, FIRST BASE, PUMA, ADIDAS, RUNNING BARE AND SO MUCH MORE!! PLUS.. CLOTHES 👖👗👚 SWIMWEAR 👙 SHOES 👠👡👟👢 JEWELLERY 💍 SUNGLASSES 🕶 SKINCARE 💄☺️ . ONE DAY ONLY!! 👊🏼👊🏼 . 1 ROWE LANE, BONDI JUNCTION 8.30AM – 4PM CASH💰& CARDS 💳 ACCEPTED . DON’T MISS OUT!! . . . #popupshop #bblssale #activewear #clothes #shoes #jewellery #sunglasses #onedayonly #dontmissout #tellyourfriends #bbls #bodybyleahsimmons
Coffee or tea?
Both. I start my day with a bulletproof coffee (long black, XCT oil and grass-fed butter) and then I’ll have herbal tea throughout the day. I love peppermint and dandelion root tea.
What is your indulgence of choice?
At the moment, it’s Bees Knees Honeycomb.
SIDE-PLANK VARIATION ON THE REFORMER 💥 The STRENGTH and STABILITY of this exercise is actually achieved through your core and lateral stabilisers (in this case, your UNDERNEATH SIDE WAIST) Imagine a strap tied around your waist lifting you upwards ⬆️… Once you have a good core connection, then and only then should you attempt to move your top leg…. 😊 . . Wearing @p.e.nation Shot @thewell_bondi by @vanessanatoliphotography #pilates #pilatesbody #pilatesreformer #reformer #sideplank #core #lovepilates #stability #strength #balance #flow #thewellbondi #bbls #bodybyleahsimmons
What are three foods you can’t live without?
Japanese food, avocado (I love my guacamole), and blueberries and raspberries – I call them nature’s lollies!
What’s your go-to snack when you’re on the run?
A handful of almonds or a protein shake.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their health journey?
Seek professional advice! Instagram and Google are wonderful sources of inspiration and information, but they can be very confusing and misleading when it comes to health and wellness advice. Find a reputable professional and design a program that is bespoke to your needs and goals. And then keep the comparisons to a minimum! Everyone’s journey is different and unique.