Taking her own road
Healthy, happy and always engaging, Carrie Underwood pairs her enormous talent with a nonstop devotion to living well.
Carrie Underwood’s legion of fans are quite familiar with the country music megastar’s striking appearance and magnetic on-stage presence, along with that sparkling, infectious smile that lights up any room or arena in which it flashes.
So dazzling is her smile that Underwood actually earned Dear Doctors “Female Celebrity Smile of the Year” award in 2008. Clearly, this isn’t your ordinary set of pearly whites, but perfectly in tune with her magical voice, they’re just a part of the total package that has made her one of musics brightest lights. The latest proof? Check out the stunning cover shot on her new album, “Blown Away,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and be prepared to heed the album title. When it comes to her image and her craft, Underwood, whose career rocketed to stardom after she won “American Idol in 2005”, is one lady who puts in the work.
What might surprise the five-time Grammy winner’s fans is where this focus on a healthy lifestyle began the family farm in Checotah, Okla. It was there in that small town that the lifelong animal lover made the decision to become a vegetarian and no longer eat meat.
“I stopped eating beef when I was about 13 years old,” Underwood says. “We had cows and I always thought of them as being my pets. I didn’t really like the idea of someone eating my pets. I phased everything else out over the years and by the time I was in Los Angeles for ‘American Idol,’ I had stopped eating meat altogether.”
Choosing a meat-and dairy-free diet (Underwood became vegan in 2011) not only has brought her more recognition, she was named “Worlds Sexiest Vegetarian” in both 2005 and 2007 but more importantly, completely changed the way she feels. “I feel like, through being vegetarian, and vegan most of the time sometimes it gets difficult when traveling. My body simply runs better and more efficiently, she explains. I really don’t miss meat in any way, and don’t find that my body craves it at all. I feel healthy, plain and simple.”
Finding time and energy to dedicate to a healthy lifestyle is a challenge faced by people in every walk of life. Underwood strives to be an example of what can be accomplished with planning and focus a devotion to wellness that others can follow and is, in her mind, a major element in coming through on her commitment to her fans. As part of that personal pact, down time while on tour includes frequent visits to the grocery store to stock up on healthy items.
‘It is very important for me to do the best I can to take care of myself while I’m on the road,” she says. “Being on stage every night is very demanding, and I want to do the best job that I possibly can to put on the best show that I can! I spend a lot of my days off going to buy groceries for my tour bus. I made sure that my bus has a kitchenette that I can cook in. That way, I know exactly what is in my food and I don’t have to spend my meals eating out all the time.”
Anyone that has ever tried to get in shape and stay that way knows results don’t come without sacrifice, along with that helpful push another person can sometimes provide. With Underwood’s strict workout and meal regimen, that person helping give her the edge she needs is a personal trainer she carries on the road in place of a hair and makeup person she prefers to do those on her own anyway.
” also work out most days,” she says. “We usually work out pretty hard, but when I’m feeling tired, even a little cardio in the morning helps me throughout my day. I’ve also been keeping a food journal for about seven years. It keeps me accountable and helps me make better decisions when deciding what foods to eat. All of these things together keep me in control of my body and in turn, my body does right by me.”
The world tour in support of “Blown Away” began last year in May and is slated to end in 2013, an undertaking which makes Underwood’s commitment to taking care of herself even more essential and a message everyone can value. “Being healthy is a choice,” she says. “Taking care of myself is a choice and I have to make that choice every day. It takes intention and focus. I don’t want to let myself or my fans down, so I am constantly trying to make myself better.”
Brian Keagy is a senior writer for Healthy Living Made Simple