Our Fueled by Nativo Series profiles some of our favorite athletes, entertainers, and wellness experts. With a passion for living an active lifestyle, we sat down with Athlete of the Month Valentina Simon to discuss what motivates her to stay healthy and happy, as well as her favorite way to enjoy Nativo Acai.
Name: Valentina Simon
Hometown: Montevideo, Uruguay
Tell us a little bit about your active lifestyle and what sports you participate in?
I run a lot, play field hockey, and soccer. In the league I play in, I play goalkeeper. I’ve played field hockey since I was six years old. I started getting serious about soccer a year ago, but I played in high school as well. I’m also studying to become a personal trainer.
How do you stay motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle?
You just have to keep moving. Staying healthy is a good way to keep your mind going. It’s important to keep a balanced life – playing sports, working hard, eating healthy, having fun. Sports are definitely a basic part of life, you should always be motivated to stay healthy.
What’s your advice for anyone trying to lead a more active and healthy life?
Keeping an active life changes your mood daily. Participating in sports really does keep you focused and motivates you to discard any negative habits. You don’t have time to keep up negative habits when you’re participating in a lot of activities.
Team sports really do help with commitment as well. Participating in a team sport makes it much easier to live a healthy lifestyle because people are depending on you. Running and things like that require independent motivation, but team sports mean you have to be accountable to other people, which in turn makes it easer to stay dedicated and passionate.
Aside from doing sports, what other types of workouts do you like to do?
Yeah, I’m definitely addicted to the treadmill as well. I probably go to the gym every single day – at least like an hour to run on the treadmill. I love getting the place where you hit the zone – you can run forever once you hit a certain pace – I like to challenge myself to get to that pace. I also do aerial yoga once a week as well.
Do you have any favorite pre-workout foods? Recovery foods?
If I know I’m going to have a really intense, long day of sports, I like to have toast with avocado drizzled with olive oil as breakfast – that helps me keep going throughout the day. For after workouts, I really like a smoothie that includes banana, almond butter, honey, kale, spinach, parsley, acai, and almond milk.
What other habits do you recommend for someone trying to develop a healthy lifestyle?
Give yourself a guilty pleasure every now and then. The important thing is to keep yourself happy and have a good attitude. I go kayaking with my son sometimes – I take a day and just do nothing but kayak – I don’t take my phone, I just get out there and enjoy some time with nature. Everyone should let themselves have some independent time.
What’s your favorite way to eat acai?
I like the acai bowl with just banana and granola! I eat acai bowls a couple of times a week probably. A couple of times I’ve given my son cereal with acai instead of milk – he thought it was pretty funny.