Photos by Sasha Israel

“IF I EAT A LOT OF GREENS, HEALTHY GRAINS, FRESH FRUITS AND LEAN MEATS, I KNOW MY BODY WILL FEEL LOVED AND MY MIND WILL BE SHARP,” says Candice Miller, one half of the cult mommy blog Mama and Tata, which she runs with sister Jenna Crespi. Since launching last year, the pair’s site has garnered thousands of fans thanks to their candid posts on motherhood in the Big Apple and revelations from their personal blackbooks of specialists from where to get the perfect feathered brow to how to find the freshest home-delivered kid-friendly healthy meals. When it comes to their own nutrition? They’re just as conscientious.  “I would describe my approach as maintaining balance and moderation,” adds Crespi. “I keep a healthy variety in my diet. I am a big eater, which to me helps with my overall well-being and happiness.” And it shows. Both Miller and Crespi are the picture of #fitspo with the complexions to match. We caught up with the sisters at Miller’s sun-drenched kitchen in Tribeca where they made us the crispiest of beet chips and divulged their daily health practices, favorite workouts and how motherhood has influenced the way they feed themselves and their little ones. (Note: branzino may just be the new mac and cheese.)


How would you describe you approach to your own diet and well-being?
I have never used a scale, unless they force me to step on at a doctors appointment, so I really depend on my diet to keep me fit and feeling good.  I typically eat very healthy meals six days a week and have a 24 hour Sunday “splurge” day. I eat a lot, as I am very hungry after my intense Tracy Anderson workouts, so I make sure to eat foods that are highly nutritious across all food groups.

Takes us through a day in the life of meals.
I wake up and workout immediately. I cannot eat before a workout because it makes me feel ill and after two natural pregnancies, if I retain any liquids, I have to run to the bathroom. So breakfast for me is at 10 A.M. and typically gluten-free oatmeal with berries, coconut flakes and walnuts. I drink a large chamomile tea with honey (I’m caffeine free) and grab a peanut ball as a snack for later in the day. For lunch, typically at 2pm, I grab a salad with tofu or falafel, cucumbers, kale, avocado, carrots and corn wth a light miso tamari dressing. If I’m extra hungry, I add a green juice and obviously hydrate with a large bottle of Fiji.  I snack on an apple and fresh beet chips in the late afternoon while my kids eat dinner, add more hydration! At 7:30 P.M., for dinner, I typically have either chicken or fish with sautéed spinach, white bean soup and a bowl of berries. Now you know all my secrets!  If I snack late night, I have sweet pea crisps.

Do you have a daily health practice that you adhere to?
Yes! If I do not have my gluten-free oatmeal every morning with my chamomile tea, I’m not a happy camper!  I am a total creature of habit, after all, why change a good thing? I must have a soup at dinner. I alternate between split pea, butternut squash, white bean and chicken soup—all homemade.

Do you avoid certain things in your diet? What do you have when you are craving these things?
I avoid caffeine! I cut it out two years ago completely after having my kids. On a very rare occasion I have a few sips of coffee in the morning to wake up if I have to be at an event that is super early and I’ve had little sleep. However, I’m pretty good about cutting it out. When I’m having a coffee craving I supplement it with my chamomile tea because sometimes I think it’s all mental and I just miss the hot to-go cup!  I take Enada NADH, a natural energy supplement daily, which helps. Also, chocolate made my skin look awful, so lately I have removed that from my diet as well.  I have peanut/honey/oat balls instead which are my version of a sweet treat. I also eliminated gluten, tomatoes, egg whites and mustard from my diet because I tested positive for food sensitivities that caused inflammation in my body.


What are your favorite self-care rituals?
I have many! Too many actually. I use Tina for massage, who I met in the Hamptons many years ago.  She’s the only secret I have not revealed on Mama & Tata and probably never will! Paulina Nissenblatt is my acupuncturist. She is an angel and prescribes custom oils and Chinese herbs along with her treatment. I go to Plaza M for my manicures and pedicures as I have since they opened, they are like family to me and my time there is sacred! I refer to it as “mama nap time”.  Natalie Kinghorn is my physical therapist and dear friend who uses cupping all over my body to improve circulation and avoid major injury. I need her the most because I’m on my feet all day and dancing six times a week in Tracy Anderson.  If I didn’t have her, there would be no dancing! Louise Amar is my healer and someone who I go to speak with when I feel I need to work on myself and my psyche. My mama, Cathy Levy happens to be the best psychologist around, and her daily conversation keeps me sane and enables me to be the best mom. Oh, and Dr. Firshein, because without all of the natural supplements he’s prescribed me and monthly B12 shots, I would be in bed, tired and bloated!

What are your top three favorite natural products in the kitchen?
Himalayan pink sea salt, FiProFlax flax seed, Frankie’s 457 olive oil, Bragg apple cider vinegar

What about the beauty cabinet?
Tata Harper sleep time aroma oil, Tracie Martyn Shakti lotion, Leilani Bishop oils. 314A8254

You’re a big fan of  the Tracy Anderson Method. What do you love about the Method and why do you think it works?
The TA method has changed my life and my overall feelings towards fitness in general. I used to dread working out, and now I cannot wait to jump out of bed and get to the gym. Tracy is a very dear friend of mine, and to be frank, she is a genius when it comes to the female body.  She knows how to keep us looking strong, but not bulky; lean, but not frail.  She knows how to give women the shape and curves they need, and that’s just the physical aspect. What she does for us mentally is just a godsend, and I’ll leave it at that.

What is your advice for a rookie afraid to try the dances?
Everyone should try the dancing!  Simply because it’s the most fun exercise you will ever do, and it’s a form of cardio where time passes without you even realizing it. Once you learn the basic movements, you form a body language and the rest comes naturally. Like anything else, practice makes perfect, the more you go, the better you will be.

Do you take any supplements?
I take Enada NADH for energy, MSM for joints and muscles, CoQ10 for inflammation

When you want to “detox” right before going on a beach getaway, what are some go-to tricks that you always resort to?
I have Dr Firshein’s Rice Powder shakes and use it as a supplement for lunch 3/4 days before a beach getaway. I also make sure I have my final meal before 6pm that week so I have more time to digest. I cut out carbs. That, in and of itself, does the trick.

Since becoming a mom, has your approach to nutrition changed at all?
Since becoming a mom my entire diet changed! I used to be able to eat anything and everything. I never avoided caffeine, in fact, I had a large cup of black coffee everyday! I had pasta, bagels, and pizza nearly everyday. My body became so sensitive to many foods, and I also became more aware of my body. My mentality changed as well. When I entered motherhood I wanted to be healthful and take care of myself to be the best, most energetic mom for my girls. I wasn’t just living selfishly anymore. My days of “candy” indulgences and diet soda were done!

Do you avoid certain things when feeding your kids or focus on other things?
I try my hardest to keep an organic house and buy lean meats for the kids that are grass-fed. I have introduced my children to many healthy foods since they were little. Unlike my childhood, which was filled with regular trips to McDonalds! You are what you eat. My kids prefer branzino to pasta, peppers and string beans with hummus to chips and crackers and fresh berries with yogurt to cake! I think they are on a good path;)


Takes us through a day in the life of meals, drinks and snacks from wake to bedtime.
I always wake with a bottle of water. When I was pregnant, I drank close to 10 bottles per day, but now I am trying to take in at least 4 to 5. Then, I eat oatmeal with some cinnamon, honey, berries and occasionally banana. For lunch, I usually do avocado toast, which I make on sesame Ezekial toast and I add in some lemon, chili flakes and a touch of olive oil. Then I usually snack on dried mangos or I love the kale chips from Juice Press. Dinner is usually sushi or salmon with baked sweet potato.

Do you have a daily health practice that you adhere to that helps you keep clean and grounded?
My daily health ritual consuming as much water as I can and my ginger steamer from The Elk. It’s a great combo of ginger, lemon and honey, and has definitely helped me stay healthy this winter by building my immunity. I also love fennel tea before bed. It’s really soothing especially for the digestive system and it’s so tasty.

Do you avoid certain things in your diet?
I try to limit my alcohol consumption during the week, I save it for weekends when I am out more. I drink Fennel tea before bed instead.

What are your favorite self-care rituals?
My favorite self care rituals are massages and facials. Massages really help me since I work out so much, it heals my mind and body, allowing me to sleep much better. I always ask for extra scalp massage, it’s the most relaxing! I go to Total Skin for facials on the Upper East Side monthly.

What are your top three favorite natural products in the kitchen?
In the kitchen, I have Juice Press coconut oil, Himalayan pink sea salt, and raw manuka honey

What about in your beauty cabinet?
Shiva Rose cleanser, Nucifera Balm, Tata Harper purifying mask—I get everything from CAP Beauty.

What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workouts are my private training sessions with Mikey Victor. I have worked out with him for years. I’m thankful to Jessie Rudin for referring him. He really understands the female body and he never keeps the workout the same since his program is always evolving. He knows how to keep my body feminine and lean and he is always challenging me while making me laugh the entire time, so the time flies.

Have you gravitated new things after having James?
After pregnancy, my workouts have changed and I have been trying to incorporate much more cardio than before James. I have tried some boxing and jumping rope with Lucho Brother who has a background as a fighter and worked at Punch before starting his own training business. I also am more focused on regaining my ab strength, so I would like to also add in pilates to my regimen.

When you want to “detox” right before going on a beach getaway, what are some go-to tricks that you always resort to?
Early dinners and I try to limit my alcohol and carb intake but I am a carb addict, so I usually just work out hard and try to fill up on fruits and veggies since those are my favorite foods.

Since becoming a mom, has your approach to nutrition changed at all?
When I became pregnant, I became more conscientious of what I was putting in my body, I increased my veggie intake, my water intake, and tried to eat as organic as possible. I have really tried to stick with it, so that I am not just nourishing my baby but myself too!

Candice’s Beet Chips Recipe

Slice 2 organic beets very thin in a mandolin slicer

Spread them out on a baking sheet so they are slightly overlapping

Drizzle Frankie’s 457 olive oil to cover each of them slightly

Add a few pinches of pink Himalayan sea salt

Throw them in the oven at 170 for 10 minutes, then remove them to flip each chip, and back in the oven for another 10/15 minutes depending on crispiness

Add siggis coconut yogurt for dipping