It’s only fitting that Ashley Newsome teaches fitness classes called intenSati: she leads a pretty intense life. When she’s not wrangling the team at Fort Greene’s beloved Roman’s restaurant as a manager and sommelier, she’s empowering people through movement classes, wine tastings, cycling to work and challenging the kitchen staff to push-up contests.
Here, Newsome shares some personal tips, tricks and hints.
What’s a typical day of eating like for you?
I don’t follow any sort of diet. In fact I don’t believe in them. My two rules are: think before you eat—what I like to call “eating on purpose”—and, secondly, eat every three hours. Typically I have carbs in the morning, to get them in early so I can burn them off throughout my day. Right now I’m farmer’s market crazy. This morning I made a brown rice salad with snap peas, pecorino, mint, lots of black pepper and plenty of olive oil, plus a fried egg on top. From there I get as much protein and as much green as I can.
How do you stay balanced and healthy while working in the restaurant industry?
I strive to keep my work life and my play life separate. After hours and on my days off I do not check my work email. I don’t answer work calls. If there’s an emergency I will get a text and reply only if it’s urgent. Also, I meditate in the mornings—just six minutes of elongated breathing to clear my mind. And as long as I “eat on purpose,” Roman’s takes care of the rest for me. Those guys know all the produce and proteins are coming from some of the healthiest, most-trusted sources one can get, period. Roman’s keeps me healthy.
How do you stay fit?
Being a fitness instructor does wonders. I teach this class called intenSati three times a week. That does a lot of good for my body. But I also do two days of yoga and four days of cardio. It also helps that I walk or bike to work most days. And from time to time I challenge the kitchen staff to a push-up contest!
What’s your philosophy behind wine?
Well, I believe in stories. Getting to know the families behind the wine, that it comes from a real place with a real history. I believe wine should be drunk with food and, more importantly, shared with cherished friends and family. Right now I’ve been drinking this lovely wine, Salcheto, from Tuscany. It’s a light, summer red I can just not get enough of.
*CP Note: Salcheto is an ultra-natural wine grown on a self-sustaining winery with solar panels, geo-thermal heating and cooling and plenty of honeybees for pollination. The winery uses no herbicides, no pesticides and no artificial grooming (weeds grow amidst vines).