This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Alexa Fishback, who we are excited to announce will be regularly providing nutrition and health content for the Greenwich Moms team! Alexa, along with her partner, Hala Si-Ahmed, is the Co-Founder of AaHa Restart and has been running week-long clean eating Teams for over 10 years, all while raising her 4 kids.We spoke to Alexa about living in Greenwich for the last 13 years, her professional background, and her passion for nutrition that she will be sharing with the Greenwich Moms audience.
Please tell us a bit about your family and life in Greenwich? (Interests, names/ages of kids, where you live, etc)
My name is Alexa and I am originally from Philadelphia. My husband, Birche, and I met as Freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania while living on the same hall. We have been through many adventures together – college, grad schools, NYC, San Francisco, and Cambridge, MA – before settling into Greenwich in 2009. We have four children – three boys – Miller who is 14, Dane who is 12 and Brooks who is 11 and one 5year old daughter Eve, the cherry on top. We are very much in a family sweet spot right now. The kids are all self-sufficient yet still want to spend time with us. It is much less physical for me than when I had a gaggle of babies, and in many ways so much more rewarding. My kids are very into their schools, sports, activities and friends and it makes me happy to see them growing up and taking charge of their time.
What do you love about Greenwich and your neighborhood?
When we first moved to Greenwich, Birche and I rented a townhouse to get the lay of the land and we have never moved far from in-town as a result. We bought our first house on Park Ave and lived there for almost 8 years (Park Ave is a fantastic neighborhood) but we finally needed a bigger house as our family grew from a 3-baby profile to a 4-big kid crew. We worked hard to find a great home that was still close to town and all of our activities – with four kids convenience is the key. We found an old beauty off North Maple in a small association – it is tucked away and quiet but so convenient to everything we care about (Greenwich Ave, Whole Foods, the YMCA, schools etc). We really love living in Greenwich – it has been home for over 13 years and it offers many beautiful lifestyles and ways to live with the beach, city, and country at our fingertips. I also like to point out that there are endless amazing smart women to meet in this town.
Can you please share about your professional background and career highlights?
After college I became an NBC Page (think Kenneth from 30 Rock) – it was interesting…and where I decided to go back to grad school at NYU to study clinical nutrition to become a media nutritionist. I did a dietetic internship at UCSF in San Francisco to gain an RD. I wrote a book which was published by Rodale in 2008 – The Daily Fix – and did an old school media tour – this was before Instagram when we all still watched morning TV. I started AaHa Restart in 2012 with an amazing partner, Hala Si-Ahmed, and we have been running week-long clean eating Teams together for over 10 years, all the while raising our kids. AaHa has always kept me very grounded in my belief in moderation as the key to long term health and wellness, but also in the loop on nutrition trends and evolving tools for good health.
Why are you so passionate about nutrition?
Nutrition is our greatest source of life, longevity and wellness. It is tangible – we eat everyday – and creative – cooking dinner with my husband is one of the highlights of my routine. We share the cooking of most of our meals, and now our oldest son Miller helps us too – he has become super into health and nutrition and well I guess just eating (think growing 9th grader). There is a lot of love in my kitchen and it is something I feel grateful for.
If you could incorporate a few small habits into a Mom’s day to make them feel healthier and more energized, what would you recommend?
- Fill up a water bottle for yourself every morning (maybe when you are filling for your kids) and keep it with you for hydration through the day
- Plan meals on your iphone calendar like a meeting you won’t skip – what, when, where and how – the logistics of getting a good healthy meal 3 times a day is a skill to master – preplanning is the first step
- Try not to snack – we are adults and we are no longer growing up – snacks are typically superfluous calories (unless you spend an excess of time at the gym or have a blood sugar issue)
- Save desserts for the weekend and special occasions and then enjoy them to the fullest (I wish I could follow my own advice a bit better on this one – I tend to like sweet)
- Stave off cravings for snacks and sweets in the afternoon with hot decaf tea – trust me it works
- Take Mg at night to relax muscles for good sleep and end constipation in the morning
- Take a nap if you can– sleep is a super power
What is your working mom mantra?
My family is number 1. But I have always had time for some work, and now that I no longer have babies and everyone goes to school all day, I have time for a bit more. And when they get older, I will have even more time. I want to use my brain power for as long as I can. This profession has been flexible and fulfilling for me thus far.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Eat less, drink more water, move more, enjoy treats, be grateful, live in the present. We are not robots and part of health is happiness so it is important to indulge in moderation while living a pretty clean life otherwise.
I like the 80/20 rule – eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and indulge in your favorite treats with the other 20%. 75/25 works too and is probably closer to where I live.
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places locally to:
Grab coffee – You will find me at CFCF on a daily basis – grabbing a hot coffee with a friend to walk the loop down Greenwich Ave to the water and back up and around.
Green juice – Meli Melo
Workout – Peloton yoga every morning and usually an hour walk with a friend right after that.
Go on a date night –Miku or Don Memo in Westport – and we always sit at the bar.
Go out for a girl’s night – love East End, Versailles, and the newer Bianca
Go out to dinner as a family – love Terra, Boxcar Cantina, Kawa Ni in Westport, Rowayton Seafood and all the Fortinas
Get your hair done – La Brosse blow outs are awesome
Get your nails done – Cozy nails
Have fun as a family – We spend a lot of time walking our pug Bodie, hanging on the patio with a fire pit while cooking dinner and listening to music, watching a movie or series together, and lots of coloring books and dog bingo
*I love to read fiction, watch Bravo, and listen to true crime podcasts