A Picture of Health: How Martha Prioritizes Wellness in Every Aspect of Her Life
Martha is living proof that staying active and eating well are key to a strong mind and body. She shares the daily routines, from hitting the gym to heading outdoors on her farm, that keep her fit and full of energy.
Good health, vibrant energy, clear thinking: That's what I strive for every day. And I always have. My parents taught me and my siblings positive habits early on, encouraging daily exercise (we walked and rode our bikes, instead of being driven), nutritious eating (no fast food), and proper hygiene for hair and skin. I passed these practices on to my daughter, who now does the same with my grandchildren. I love that Jude and Truman eat a vegetable-forward diet (with very little sugar) and are so active, with sports, swimming, and dance. What's more, they love it.
To feel my best no matter how busy I am, I exercise each morning. Before the pandemic, I worked with a yoga teacher and a trainer, but now I do it alone—and I admit it's been difficult. Getting up early to start the day in an empty gym is never fun. (I'm lucky to have one at home, equipped with weights and the latest machines.) But after a glass of green juice and a cappuccino, I find it's where I can get my mind in the right place for the day ahead.
Balanced eating is also essential. During this time at home, I've focused on growing food, gardening, and cooking delicious meals. I drink lots of water and avoid junk (I don't keep snacks in the house), and I've nearly stopped dining out—something I used to do almost every night. I've lost weight as a result, delighting my doctors.
But for me, doing the things that bring me happiness is most important for my long-term, overall wellness. I ride my horses weekly, even in cold weather. It's terrific exercise, and being outside is good for the spirit. To stay mentally sharp, I do the New York Times crossword puzzle on my iPad, play cards, and try to learn something new and challenging as often as I can. I encourage you to find healthy activities that you love, too—ones you can enjoy for years to come.
Ahead, we share several ways that Martha keeps her mind, body, and spirit in good health, from gardening and eating right to regular trips to her greenhouses.
Ready to Ride
Martha loves to see what's happening on the farm each day—checking in on her animals, spotting what's sprouted, and taking in the changing scenery. Above, she prepares to explore on horseback.
Gardening is one of Martha's biggest passions. It provides her with a lot of the food she eats and is great exercise, too. Digging, planting, weeding, and watering burn calories, work muscles, and can offer heart benefits when done regularly.
Martha's favorite green juice is a combination of fruits and vegetables; they change depending on what she has growing or on hand, whether it's a bunch of spinach, apples, pineapple, papaya, or fresh mint. Feel free to experiment with your own mix. To make her favorite recipe, follow these steps: Using a juicer, press one green pear (such as Anjou), two celery stalks with leaves, one Kirby or mini cucumber, one bunch parsley, an unpeeled one-inch piece of fresh ginger, and two orange wedges (rinds left on). To maximize the nutrients, don't remove skins from the fruits and vegetables. Keep the produce in the refrigerator, and wash it carefully before juicing. Then drink the juice immediately, when it's nice and cold.
When making a salad, Martha washes greens thoroughly and dries them completely in a spinner. She uses about one-and-a-half cups, or a generous handful, of lettuces per person. As for her favorite dressing? She makes her own vinaigrette—this easy dressing is made using basic pantry ingredients. It's also delicious drizzled over dishes like rice pilaf, steamed green beans, and mains such as baked chicken or fish. In a lidded jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine one-quarter cup unseasoned rice or white-wine vinegar, one tablespoon Dijon mustard, one-quarter teaspoon kosher salt, one-eighth teaspoon freshly ground pepper, a pinch of sugar, and a three-quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Secure lid and shake vigorously until thickened. Refrigerate in lidded jar up to three days, and shake well before each use.
"There are some mornings when I don't feel like exercising, but I do it anyway, and I'm so glad afterward. I always feel refreshed and energized," she says. Martha's gym is outfitted with hand weights and exercise balls, and equipment like a Peloton bike, a Tonal system (a touchscreen digital weight apparatus), and a DB machine for her lower body.
Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2021