RETOX Criminals: Lauren Imparato’s 3 Rules To Eat Your Way To Success

Retox book Lauren Imparato | Breakfast Criminals

Lauren Imparato is one of those people who is utterly, unapologetically real in everything she does.

That “everything” includes packed yoga classes – whether it’s at her Chinatown loft turned studio, on Times Square or Central Park stage, nutrition coaching, and now – her book, RETOX: Yoga*Food*Attitude – Healthy Solutions for Real Life.

As soon as I got my hands on the draft of the book, I knew it was a gem. It’s one of the most refreshing, approachable wellness books I’ve held in my hands. Coming from athletic and corporate backgrounds, Lauren knows exactly how to relate to a whole lot of people.

Her approach to yoga, health and wellness is rooted in her studies of ancient and modern texts on all of the above, combined with a fast-paced, no-BS filter of a New Yorker.

Everything Imparato shares in the book comes either from her personal experience or from teaching yoga and nutrition, and her tips direct, grounded and actionable.

To celebrate Retox, Lauren and I hosted an intimate #RETOXCriminals morning with sweaty, strong yoga followed by a superfood breakfast. We indulged chia pudding, LuliTonix blends and avocado toast (on the most delicious seedy gluten free bread from Le Pain Quotidien) over an inspiring conversation on finding peace with food, slowing down, self-care and happy body.

RETOX and Breakfast Criminals

“If you have time to scroll on Instagram for 20 minutes, you have time to meditate.”

-Lauren Imparato

You’ll find some of my favorite ideas from RETOX below, but before I get there, I’ll share with you the most important piece of advice Lauren has given me.

As we were packing up after the breakfast, I told her that I was interviewing for  a big deal corporate job. I shared my excitement about the role that was overshadowed by the fear of the corporate world. Here’s what happened.

Lauren shared a story from her corporate days. She told me that one of her passions has always been writing – not something you can normally use on the trade floor. Instead of confining to her job description, she found a way to do what she loved by emailing short write ups about the market to her clients every morning. What it created is special kind of connection. The relationships blossomed from this out-of-the-box communication, and she got more and more successful at what she did.

What I took away from it is that there’s always room to be our authentic selves and to bring out unique gifts into the world, even (and especially!) at workplace.

Working for a corporation doesn’t mean you’re selling your soul to the devil, and there are positive opportunities to grow in most jobs. If you want to find more guidance and inspiration on this, I highly recommend you check out Seth Godin’s brilliant book, Linchpin.

But for now, are some of my favorite ideas from RETOX – I hope you love them as much as I do!

Lauren Imparato and Ksenia Avdulova

Lauren Imparato and Ksenia Avdulova, wearing rie+ryn

On Yoga

“Yoga is an intricate system of full-body betterment, one that addresses my muscles as much as my mood.

The goal of yoga in its most traditional sense is to reach enlightenment. To me this means becoming healthy, happy, and successful, becoming one’s true self, free of external validation.

When a full yoga sequence or class is designed correctly, the combined series of poses is like a full acupuncture treatment, moving energy out of the side channels and into the central channel. The positions create access to the intangible you. Your thoughts move your energy inside your body just as the poses do.

Good thoughts move energy to the central channel; bad thoughts keep energy tangled in the side channels. In real yoga, how you think is as important as how you move.”

lauren-imparato yoga

On Food

“How do you approach food? Are you eating blindly, too impatient to feel what your body is asking for? Or are you hopping on some dietary bandwagon, too lazy to actually think it through? Are you married to your bad habits, unable to make a change? Or just too tired and overwhelmed to think about it at all?

I do not want you to be consumed by what you eat. What I do want is for you to forget about the religion of food and focus on the inherent value of it.”

3 Rules To Eat Your Way To Success

  1. Eat up. Don’t be afraid of food – it’ is a successful person’s friend. Your brain and body need an inordinate amount of energy to function, so depriving them of it just so you feel or look thinner is not going to get you anywhere good for long….
  2. Break(the)fast. I can’t lie, breakfast is far from my favorite meal of the day. I’d be indefinitely happier with my croissant and almond milk cappuccino sometime around noon. But, like it or not, breakfast is the most important meal. Your body grows and repairs itself overnight as you sleep, requiring energy to do so. Breakfast, or the “break” in the fast that happened as you slept, is imperative to replenish the depleted energy from your body fixing itself up overnight. Think of it as a refueling of the tank before you take off throughout the day. Without breakfast, it will be harder to accomplish everything you want and need to do… Make sure you eat breakfast within three hours of getting up, even if you have to force a little something down. Your brain, body and success will thank you.
  3. Share. Eating and drinking with others is a must for crushin’ it. Try to find a dining partner at least once a day, whether that means simply someone to walk with to pick up lunch, a proper dinner date, or a colleague to grab a drink with after work. Talking, sharing, and communicating as you feed yourself and indulge will help you internalize the day’s activities, disseminate new information, and come up with new ideas and inspiration to guide you to success.