Emily DiDonato first caught our attention in line at CVS–staring back at us from a Maybelline Ad. Her piercing blue eyes and killer smile left us needing to know way more. After doing some heavy Instagram stalking, we found out that Emily is not only beautiful (and has been the face of Maybelline since 2009)–but is totally #HBFIT.  Amidst her Allure Cover and SI bts shots, she can be seen crushing Soul Cycle, stretching at Equinox and chefing up some wild salmon. Of course, we had a million follow up questions–so we asked Emily herself:

We love your positivity & balanced approach to living! Did you grow up in a health-conscious household or is it something that developed later?

Thank you! I would say I grew up in a very active household–but not one that was necessarily health conscious. My family was very sporty and outdoorsy–we would camp, hike, fish and mountain bike ride all year round. Naturally, I also grew up playing tons of sports. (Basketball, soccer and lacrosse.)

As for diet–we weren’t perfect. We ate pizza and the occasional fast food dinner like most American families do. Around the age of 16 or 17, I really started being more aware as to what I was doing and putting into my body which sort of trickled down to the whole family–so much so parents are both vegetarian now! Whenever I go home we cook really awesome and nutritious meals.

How did you get your start in modeling? How long have you been in the industry?

I started when I was about 17 and in my junior year of high school. A family friend knew someone in the industry so I basically went to the city one day with my mom and met with an agency. I signed that day, went out on castings and was working within the week! It all happened so fast that I had no idea what was going on!

How does living in New York affect your wellness routine/health decisions?

New York is awesome because a good majority of the people here are health conscious which has definitely become influential. It seems that everyone is working out or with a green juice in hand. As a result there are so many amazing and nutritious places to eat and boutique studios to try!

How does being a model affect your relationship with wellness​?​

When I started modeling is really when I started to think more about what I was putting into my body. In the beginning, I thought about working out and eating well as just part of my job to look good. As I’ve gotten older, wellness has meant so much more to me–becoming more about how I feel as opposed to how I look. I work out to feel strong. I eat well to feel energized and clear. I do yoga and practice mindfulness to be a better person.

How often do you usually workout? What are your go-to workouts in the city?

I work out everyday–sometimes twice a day! I’m kind of crazy! You name it–I probably do it! I love running, spinning at Soul Cycle, SLT, doing yoga and lifting weights at Equinox. I also just started going to y7 studio which I am totally obsessed with–so much so that I’m doing their teacher training in June!

Give us a day in your life—meals, rituals, workouts, etc.

When I am not working I wake up around 7 AM. I drink my coffee and usually write in my gratitude journal. I’ll head to workout around 9 or so. I don’t eat breakfast. I prefer to fast until lunch or at least until after I workout. For lunch I’ll do sweetgreen, Dig inn, Juice Generation, Souen or Hu Kitchen. I am currently enrolled at the Institute of Integrative nutrition for their online certification so I’m usually working on that. If not, I’ll see friends/family or have some work meetings. It depends! Some days I’ll do an evening workout. I like to do yoga at Y7 at night to sort of rinse out the day. For dinner, I’ll usually do a salad with protein or meal from one of the above restaurants. Then spend the evening with my boyfriend!

Go to snacks for staying healthy on the go?

I like apples, almonds/trail mix, Kind Bars and Quest bars. Another go-to of mine is sliced apples and Justin’s almond butter (which I’m totally obsessed with). I seriously carry the little individual packs with me when I travel.

Favorite spot to eat in the city?

I love The Breslin at Ace hotel for steak, Momoya for sushi, Upland and The Little Beet Table.

Go-to skincare products?

I use Avène skin care–specifically their foaming cleanser and Rich Hydrating Cream. It works for me and easy to get since Duane Reade carries the entire line. For removing tons of makeup after work, I use almond oil.

Do you have any special treatments that you swear by to feel your best?

I don’t do any facials or special treatments. I like masks though! Lately, I’ve been using the Hydrating Radiance Facial treatment by Skin Laundry which really makes my skin glow! I love massages but mostly because I’m always so sore from working out. The best spot is Soho Sanctuary in New York–plus it’s an all women spa.

Do you meditate at all? If so, how long have you been doing it and how did you get into it?

I don’t meditate but I’ve been doing yoga for about 8 years. Yoga has helped me in so many ways and I literally feel like a different person when I go–in the best way! I go as much as my schedule allows.

We saw that you recently got out to Utah to ski! Are your vacations usually health/active focused? Ahhhh. I LOVE skiing. I just learned last year and I cannot get enough. I love that it is so active and social at the same time. (Fun fact: my boyfriend and I met on a flight to Vail, Colorado so that’s where I learned last year!)  I don’t really like to just sit on the beach. Usually I am going away with my boyfriend so we go places where we can be active and workout! We surf, ski, mountain bike ride or swim. Anything adventurous!

Who in the fitness/wellness space is inspiring you right now?

I just met with Sarah Levey from Y7 recently and she is really inspiring to me. She built this really awesome and unique yoga brand. I love that and her!

What does Health, Beauty, Fit mean to you?

Health, Beauty, Fit to me means finding balance and really nurturing your body, mind and spirit! We all have different forms of being well and I think it’s just about finding what works for you.

What’s next for you for 2016?

In 2016 I will probably be traveling all over for work, as usual! I’m in the middle of shooting all the beauty campaigns for Maybelline 2017 so that takes up a good chunk of my time but it’s the best! I’ll be doing my 200 hour teacher training at Y7 and will be graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Just last night I decided to run the New York Marathon with my sister in-law. (CRAZY!) I’ll spend a good majority of the summer upstate or in Montauk. I’ll also be skiing in Chile in August. So much exciting stuff ahead!

Quick Fire:

Sweet or savory?  Sweet.

East Coast or West Coast? EAST!

Lip or eyes? Eyes.

Sparkling or still water?  Still.

Smoothie or juice? Smoothie.

Yoga or Pilates? Yoga.

Coffee or Tea? Coffee.

Byline: Intro by Ava Donaldson

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