“THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH I’VE LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF DURING THE LAST YEAR,” SAYS ARIELLE CHARNAS, THE BRAINS AND BEAUTY BEHIND CULT BLOG SOMETHING NAVY. “Finding that work-life-baby balance has been the biggest learning curve as a new mom.” Since becoming mama to daughter Ruby who recently celebrated her first birthday, Charnas has become the poster girl for young working moms doing it all. Whether it’s launching activewear collaborations with athleisure mecca Bandier spawning lines of fans snaking around city blocks, candidly feeding Ruby her daily home-cooked meals or posting viral dance cardio videos with former Radio City Rockette Amanda Kloots, it’s no wonder Charnas has amassed over 1 million devout fans who fervently follow her every move. When it comes to her own well-being, she takes an intuitive approach from opting for salads at lunch while indulging in salt and vinegar chips to mixing her daughter’s bubble bath with her favorite luxury product for her daily self-care ritual. We caught up with the Insta-babe who talked her approach to her own and Ruby’s well-being, favorite clean beauty products and why restrictive diets are just not for her.
Do you have a new outlook on your own body since becoming pregnant?
Right after I had Ruby, I made it a goal of mine to get back my pre-pregnancy body and I worked with a nutritionist to maintain a regimented diet. This didn’t work for me as I didn’t see any progress and became cranky from being restricted to my daily chocolate indulgences! I went back to eating what I normally would eat and wanted, just in smaller portions and began working out on a regular basis. Right away, I saw results. The key is to be smart about eating and listen to your body. Then find a workout or a class that you love doing that’s fun and motivating.
How would you describe your approach to your own health and nutrition since having Ruby?
I’m more conscious of the food that I’m putting into my body since we home cook all of our meals for Ruby. I try and stay away from artificial flavors and preservatives and ultimately, make an effort to eat healthier.
Take us through a day in the life of meals from wake to bedtime, now being a new mom?
Breakfast around 7am: Eggs or pancakes and iced coffee.
Lunch (whenever I can fit one in while Ruby naps): Salad or a sandwich or my favorite recently has been La Esquina‘s tacos, rice, and the tortilla soup.
Snacks: Pure Growth Organic snack packs, salt & vinegar chips, pretzel M&Ms
Dinner around 7-8pm: Usually sushi when we go out, but I like to make chopped salad and lasagna or garlic and oil pasta when we eat at home.
Do you have a daily health practice that you adhere to?
I just started to learn about meditation from Melissa Wood Health and want to get into that as a practice for myself. Other than that, having a baby on the move is a workout in itself.
Your dance videos have become such an inspiration! What do you love about dance as a workout?
I don’t even consider it a workout because it’s so much fun learning the moves and then doing the entire routine. It’s also a full body workout and I feel so energized and rejuvenated after. I love 90’s dance music or top 40’s but my current favorite is Chance The Rapper’s All Night.
What would be your advice to new moms trying to get back into pre-baby shape?
Your body is an incredible thing. Look at what it was capable of doing during your pregnancy. Be patient with it and the recovery process. Find a workout that you love and make that your me-time. A good hour to just let go and focus on yourself.
What are your favorite snacks or meals to feed Ruby?
I feed her everything and anything. She loves to eat. Especially all of my mom’s recipes from growing up like our favorite chocolate chip pancakes, eggplant Parmesan, she loves spaghetti and meatballs and for snacks she loves fruit smoothies and Siggis yogurt tubes.
What are top three your favorite natural food and bath products you use for Ruby?
We love using Honest Orange Vanilla bubble bath and Mustela 2-in-1 body wash and shampoo. To snack, she loves the Happy Baby Organic Yogis in almost every flavor and Pure Growth Organic snacks.
What are your favorite self-care rituals to decompress?
I love a good bath at the end of the day to relax. I’ve recently just been using what Ruby uses but I love adding Elemis Bath Milk.
What is the biggest learning curve you’ve had as a new mom?
Finding that work-life-baby balance. Mommy guilt is a real thing for sure. There’s been so much I’ve learned about myself during the last year. The most surprising may just be the sheer fact that I’m capable of doing it — going through pregnancy and birth and creating this beautiful new life.