From an aspiring rock drummer to a glamazon fitness guru, I caught up with celebrity, Brooke Burke, to talk about her healthy lifestyle, and new role as the face of Poise.
Normally when I walk through the sliding doors of the Four Seasons Hotel, situated in the centre of Toronto’s Yorkville, I’m there to saunter in to the hotel cocktail bar, or the chic Chef Daniel Boulud restaurant, Cafe Boulud, to indulge in a meal with fellow media and friends. But today, on a mild but gloomy winter day in Toronto, I excitedly head up to one of the hotel suites for an intimate, one-on-one chat with the Malibu-based celebrity and fitness guru, Brooke Burke.
Perhaps you already know this striking woman from her role on Dancing with The Stars, her workout line CAELUM, website ModernMom.com, or as a resource for some of the best fitness and lifestyle tips. She has, after all, been recognized as one of social media’s most authentic moms and has an avid and growing following of almost 4 million people. When I meet her, Brooke is warm, welcoming and the type of gorgeous that makes your jaw drop; her incredible brunette main, stunning features and amazingly trim and toned body would have your head turning from a mile away, never mind right up close. Getting cozy on the sophisticated suite’s L-shaped couch, I ask Brooke to tell me more about who she is, her career, and request for more of her ‘Brooke Burke workout and diet secrets‘ so we can all (at least try to) look a little more like her.
GC: I read that you wanted to be a drummer in a rock band when you were younger, is that true?
BB: I was really young! I have a musical family and I’m borderline tone-deaf, so singing was never an option and I tried different instruments and I couldn’t really hear the tone, but I played the drums a little bit and obviously didn’t stick with that. I thought that was something really cool and edgy and I was a tomboy. I thought that I’d either be a mechanic or a drummer! I was like my father’s son.
GC: What was it like to be a tomboy and then suddenly transition into the modelling world?
BB: Unexpected. My ambitions were to actually become a businesswoman and I studied business advertising after high school and a little bit of broadcast journalism, which has segued into my career now. I kind of stumbled into the modeling world by someone just seeing me. It was never in the dream, but I’m glad I followed that path.
GC: What were some of the things that you liked and disliked about modeling? It must have been a big transition…
BB: It was. I mean, honestly, it was kind of a business decision because it was the best way to make good money and I always had a business sense; I was always entrepreneurial. It was great money. I always worked hard, since my mom worked three jobs growing up. I just enjoyed it and had a couple of interesting opportunities and had won a small acting scholarship that sent me out to Los Angeles, and it just made sense.
GC: When was the point in your career when you decided that fitness was your thing? Were you always interested in fitness?
BB: I was always interested in fitness and I always worked out. When I was in high school, I was interested in the bodybuilding movement. When I moved to L.A. that was the trend of Gold’s Gym. It’s funny because I’m reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography right now and he talks about the old Gold’s Gym days and how it all first started. But it was kind of cool at the time and I was interested in that space. I work out much differently now than I ever did as a younger woman and I feel like I’m in better shape now than I was in my twenties. It was really just learning and understanding my body, learning how to eat and how to find the right health and fitness regimen for my lifestyle. Before, I lived and breathed it — I used to measure my food and weigh my food and spend more than an hour in the gym. It wasn’t as effective as what we have access to today.
GC: What type of workouts do you love most?
BB: I love high-intensity, sweaty, working out past the burn type of workouts. That’s a new way of working out; I think women are working out harder and stronger. My class is an integration of rhythm, body lifting and booty sculpting types of moves, so I like full-body workouts. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on it; I really want to enjoy it. So an hour or less for sure. I really think that if you’re not sweating, you’re not working out hard enough. That’s kind of the golden rule. I can get on the treadmill for 45 minutes and maybe not sweat. So for me, it’s about intense moves that are designed to fatigue; that’s what changes your body. I think it’s kind of a new thing. I love SoulCycle, I love Pilates. Cycling is an intense blast of energy. It’s hard, since you’re training like an athlete and shocking your body (but) I don’t want to leave any class wishing that I’d worked out harder.
GC: I’ve come to realise that people work out really differently. How I work out and how a friend of mine works out can be polar opposite. How do you find what works for different people and their bodies? What are some of the things that people can look out for?
BB: That’s smart and so specific because a lot of people get burnout or get bored. They try something, they don’t like it and they don’t revisit it. And I really, really believe in cross-training. I think if you find something that you love, your body gets conditioned to it. You have to mix it up and I think people need to try new things. I love making a commitment with friends; I think it keeps you accountable and honest. I also think if you commit to a serious package and something you paid for, I don’t like to waste money, so it makes you do it. You have to make a commitment long enough to give your body a chance to respond and I think results are inspiring. You have to be patient and set reasonable goals and embrace that process. Nothing happens overnight; I don’t believe in fad diets. You can’t starve yourself. I’ve never starved myself; I believe in eating. I’ve been through all the silly model things. You just have to find something you respond to and inspires you. I’m driven by music, so I like rhythmic workouts, whether it’s SoulCycle or my own class. It’s infectious, I think.
GC: It’s true, once you find something you like…
BB: You get addicted to fitness!
GC: A lot of my readers are people like me who are really busy working all the time and I always hear the excuse, “I just don’t have the time to go to the gym.” What are some of your tips for working out if you only have, say, 20 minutes?
BB: I totally get that. And I used to be skeptical of those short workouts and I know we want quick results. I think there’s a million excuses to not workout. I love that fitness quote, “You have to be stronger than your excuses,” and you can go on YouTube for free and you can find three-minute or five-minute workouts. You can type in anything you’re interested in; you can do it in your room, your hotel room or your lunch break. Abs, for example: I did a 20-minute ab workout DVD, which included a warmup and cooldown and I think that was three different series. You don’t have to spend more than 5 or 10 minutes on a specific body part if you’re working out past the burn. And I totally believe in that. So if I only have twenty minutes, I can totally work on my abs and my legs and I can do it anywhere.
GC: The Paleo and Vegan diets are so huge right now for fitness, what way do you love to eat?
BB: It’s funny, because I’m really interested in vegan right now. I’m kind of teetering; I’m educating myself for many reasons. I love to eat and really believe in eating and think portion control is the first concept because I eat often. I need high-energy and I don’t like to run low because when you’re hungry, you’re just going to break the rules and splurge. I like to eat fresh, colourful and clean. I try to avoid processed food. I’ll eat a bar if it’s all I have access to, which is always smart because something it better than nothing. And I drink a lot of water and drink a lot of green tea. I eat fish and chicken. I avoid the basic stuff: flour, sugar, fried foods, processed foods, things in a bag. But you know, I can go to any restaurant and have a Caesar salad, a glass of wine, steak and a vegetable. Great meal. Some people might say, “Oh, you can’t have a Caesar salad!” Yeah, you can have a Caesar salad! I’m having a roll with butter, I’m not having the dessert, and I’m not having the scalloped potatoes. You know what I mean? You just find a way. And also, I’m a big believer in crunchy, healthy filling appetizers like a salad to start out with. I like to eat! I like the experience of eating and crunching, so making those simple, sensible choices sometimes give you a little bit of fill before your big meal. Cool, simple things like that, you know?
GC: What are your thoughts on eating raw and juicing, which have become so trendy?
BB: (Raw is) very hard to do. I’m fascinated, and this is going to be really controversial, but I have eaten a lot of raw food and it’s very hard on your digestive system. A lot of people think that raw foods are hard to breakdown. (Juicing is) a big trend right now. I personally would rather eat an apple than drink a glass of apple juice because it comes from 5 apples or 10 apples; it’s all sugar. I start everyday with a smoothie and I blend it, so I’m getting all the good stuff. I’m getting the skin, I’m getting the fibre. I put frozen pears in there, almond milk, cinnamon. You know, some powders in there that are good for me and dates. It’s my high-energy way of setting myself up in the morning power smoothie. You know, we learn as we go.
GC: That smoothie sounds delicious! Are you able to share the recipe for readers (and myself!) to try at home?
BB: Whenever you want to, if you go to ModernMom.com and type in “Brooke Smoothies” you’ll find a bunch of them! I call this one the ‘Winter Smoothie’ and I’m obsessed with the smell of the season.
Brooke Burke’s Winter Smoothie Recipe:
- Frozen Pears (or a medley of frozen berries)
- 1 Cup of Almond or Coconut Milk (unsweetened vanilla or regular)
- 2 Dates (Pitted)
- Ground Flaxseed or Chia Seed (optional)
- Omga 3-6-9 oils (optional)
*Add everything to your blender, combine and enjoy!
BB: Because your readers are into health and fitness, I included the Omega 3-6-9 oils, which you can get at any health food store – it’s awesome for your skin and hair. I don’t do bananas ever beause I think they’re one of the foods to avoid. I put them in the same category as corn and potatoes. People are like, “I can’t have bananas!?” and I say, no, it’s not good for the tummy.
As my time with Brooke comes to an end, we continue to gab excitedly over our love for fitness and food. She asks if SoulCycle has hit Toronto yet (sadly it has not), and shares how much she loves the city for how clean it is and how happy all of the people are. Happy and healthy people are clearly a passion of Brooke’s, as you can so clearly tell from her dedication to sharing the joys of fitness and healthy living with people around her (and all over the world) through everything from her group fitness classes, stylish and affordable fitness clothing line, and all of the information she shares online with her daily readers. Her relationship with Poise comes across as a natural fit for a woman who helps so many, and is helping to create an open dialogue about ‘LBL’ aka bladder leakage that a whopping 1 in 3 women of every age have to deal with. As Brooke says, “things in life, whether it’s (bladder leakage), birth, marriage or sex are embarrassing until you start talking about it with other women and there’s great comfort in that.” So let’s start talking.
Watch Brooke’s commercial for Poise below!
Thank you, Brooke!
*Please note this post has been brought to you in partnership with Kimberly Clark, all thoughts and opinions are my own*