Published on March 23rd, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
and/life’s Andrea Marcellus On Her Innovative New Fitness App & How To Remain In Great Shape
A new health and fitness app, and/life aims to make it easier for the everyday person to be healthy. With an AI component that helps customize eating and fitness strategies, and/life aims to only ask for a few minutes each day from its users. On the diet end, there are no “good foods” or “bad foods” with and/life, instead helping its subscribers make recipes from preferred foods and what is already in the kitchen. The fitness regimens of and/life are best described as being part of a choose-your-own-adventure workout style. Even if this app appears to be intended for a female audience, its core principles can be easily used by people of all ages, backgrounds, activity preferences, and skill levels.
Andrea Marcellus — a health and fitness expert with over 20 years of experience training clients in New York and Los Angeles — is the founder of and/life. On behalf of The Hype Magazine, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Marcellus not only about the app, but about how she recommends an everyday person can live their best life possible. Simply put, her story is an interesting one, as the and/life way is based on experience and correcting the things “they” often tell you to do. More on and/life and Marcellus can be found online at www.andlife.com.
How would you describe and/life to someone who hasn’t yet used it?
Andrea Marcellus: and/life is built for busy, ambitious women looking to maximize their time and live their best lives. Too often, life gets in the way of achieving our goals. With the and/life app, women can access fully personalized and customizable workouts and meal plans that work for their schedules and personal preferences. Compared to other fitness apps that require you to up-end your life to fit into a one-size-fits-all program, and/life helps you choose from things that already makes you happy, such as certain foods or types of exercise, and makes them no-brainer, time-conscious habits that fit into your already existing schedule!
Do you have a favorite feature of the app?
Andrea Marcellus: I love all of it! I think our Invite-A-Friend functionality is particularly unique – through our one-of-a-kind in-app live-streaming system, you can invite up to three friends to join you in a workout taught by yours truly! This not only helps you stay accountable, but also lets you maximize your time by giving you space to catch-up with your friends while also working out.
When did you come up with the and/life name? Where does it come from?
Andrea Marcellus: This name came from a combo of my name and the life strategies that brand is built upon. The and/life brand is about lifestyle maximization by empowering women to reclaim time in their day to spend, not only on the things that make them truly happy, but also to discover new ones too. Between work and family and all the little daily obligations that fall in between, there never seems to be time to spend on doing the things that make us, us! and/life makes room for the “life” part of our day.
When in life did you first get into fitness? Did you have to overcome any obstacles to first get fit?
Andrea Marcellus: I first discovered the joy of fitness when I was 20 years old, living in New York City and going through a tough time in my life. I started attending classes at a boutique studio called Molly Fox, and was inspired by the energy and passion my instructors seemed to radiate. I knew I wanted to spread the same joy they did in the studio every day.
In terms of my own fitness struggles, it took me way too long to figure out the diet part of the fitness equation. The USDA’s food pyramid during the early 90’s, which proclaimed that 12 serving of grains was needed in a day, ruled my life for way too long before I realized the government guidelines for the masses were just plain wrong for me. Today I advocate for a much more personalized approach, with a unique individual portioning strategy that helps each woman figure out how much (or how much less) her body actually needs for energy.
What sort of workout or exercise plan do you follow?
Andrea Marcellus: Believe it or not, I totally follow my app. So many of the moves and choreography on my workout videos – and I shoot new ones just about every week– were made up specifically for one individual workout that I essentially learn from myself. I have no idea what comes next. It’s kind of funny.
I am a huge fan of moderate cardio for 20 minutes at a pop – especially if it is cardo created by moderate resistance work. My “Resistance Cardio” routines are especially time-efficient as they are designed to keep your heart rate at a medium level for a sustained period of time while developing and toning your muscles through resistance moves.
In addition, I advocate standing and walking as much as possible throughout the day – a concept I call Dynamism in my soon to be released book The Way In. An active lifestyle is far more beneficial in terms of both results and overall health than working out like an Olympian and then sitting on your tush all day.
From your experience, how important is diet versus exercise? Is one more important?
Andrea Marcellus: Exercise is extremely important for cardiovascular fitness, strength and alignment… but your diet is number one in terms of how you feel on the inside and look on the outside.
The problem a lot of people encounter, myself formerly included, is that after a hard workout we develop the bad habit of using food as a reward. “I crushed my spin class this morning so now I can eat two slices of pizza!” That mentality derails any physical changes we’re hoping to see.
What’s more, doing extremely strenuous workouts requires fuel. The average person would find it difficult walking that line between fueling for your workouts and overeating. I tell people to keep it simple – focus on starting the eating plan in conjunction with only light to moderate exercise at first, ramping up only when you know your body can handle it without leaving you famished. Your heart will be strong and happy and so will your body, and faster than you think!
Do you have a way of describing the diet you follow?
Andrea Marcellus: I do exactly what I prescribe in the app. First of all, I eat on a schedule. It’s not exact, but it’s pretty close — your body appreciates that. Second, for the meals I don’t share, I eat a/b style every day, basically alternating between nutritious foods I find to be no-brainers to make. Meaning, the same two breakfasts, two lunches, six snacks, and I eat different things for dinner each night. I call these my “Habit Foods” that are “one step away from a tree” as I like to say, and I try to eat a rainbow of colors every day. Last, and best, socially I eat whatever I want, and I’m dead serious about this: pizza, steak, wine, French Fries, brownies — three bites at a time! All I do is simply continue with my regular portioning guide and I never have to break up with the indulgent foods I love!
When it comes to dieting, where do you stand on cheat days?
Andrea Marcellus: Here’s the thing – “cheat” days sound like your doing a “bad” thing by straying from your diet. I don’t believe in diets that strictly separate “good” food from “bad” foods. They aren’t sustainable, and they certainly don’t make you happy! Rather I encourage developing smart habits around your favorite foods, which helps you to feel satisfied and therefore eliminates the need for any sort of “cheat” day.
Do you have any goals for and/life? What is coming up for the app?
Andrea Marcellus: Huge goals in our niche of women’s lifestyle maximization! The app is just the first offering from and/life that will make a dynamic, lasting impact on women’s lives. My proprietary “5 Life Strategies” are the bedrock of this brand. Through them, and/life endeavors to continue to bring content, products and services to help women win back their time so that they can get the most out of each day and have the energy, confidence, self-esteem and mental bandwidth to focus on letting out that fabulous person they are meant to be who may be trapped under a mountain of to-do lists.
Are you still training clients? Or is the app your full focus?
Andrea Marcellus: The app and developing the and/life brand is my primary focus right now, although I do still have some clients that I train early in the morning before heading into the office. I love training people, and watching my clients who are dedicated, striving to reach their goals, it’s hard for me not to in turn stay dedicated to them!
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
Andrea Marcellus: I love playing with my kids. My daughter is into dancing and drawing right now, while my son is at the age where he thinks he can fly, so that’s always exciting… In terms of relaxing, I’m a very social person, I love going out to eat with friends or entertaining at home. Gardening is my “instant gratification” go-to.
When you are exercising, what is usually your music of choice?
Andrea Marcellus: Powerful women make up my playlist! I mostly listen to pop music, artists like Sia, Rihanna, Haim, Adele, Betty Who, Taylor Swift. But I also love “new school” country, meaning like pop-country.
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Andrea Marcellus: I went to see U2 in Los Angeles. They’re “original recipe” in my personal music library. A woman should never forget her music roots…
Finally, Andrea, any last words for the kids?
Andrea Marcellus: The freedom and time I now have in my life by having achieved my fitness goals in a sustainable way – and therefore removing the “how to get fit” conversation from my mind and life– is incredible. This is a lesson I want to share because it takes up so much women could be better spending I want to empower women to take charge of their own health and fitness so that they have the time and energy to get more out of their days. Leading others toward their best selves and lives is beyond gratifying.