The wellness woman

This powerhouse of motivation advocates good fats and squatting

When Andi Lew was at high school she created her own job. “I fronted up to the principal’s office and said, ‘I would like to teach the school dancing.’ She replied, ‘Alright, use the theatre room and you can charge two dollars.’ I used to make 40 dollars each class and I would use that money to pay for my dance classes because mum couldn’t afford to pay for them anymore,” says Andi.

That story says much about the initiative, determination and entrepreneurial spirit that Andi has exercised in a varied media, arts and entertainment career over the past 25 years.

The actor, dancer, radio host, roving reporter and TV presenter turned self-publisher has written five books. Her latest, Real Fit Food, explores the relationship between health and nutrients. Following the release of her last two books Eat Fat Eat Thin and Eat Fat Be Lean, both co-authored with Dr Natalie Kringoudis, Andi, 40, was inspired to open a cooking school in the beachside Melbourne suburb of St Kilda.

A certified infant massage instructor and a qualified chiropractic assistant, she is studying to be a lifestyle, food and wellness coach at Cadence Health and Wellness Coaching Australia.

Oh yes, and did I mention she is the mother of a four-year-old son, and still takes acting and voiceover roles when they come her way? The energy Andi radiates would leave most people gasping in her wake. So what’s her secret?

“People are inspired by what I do and ask me: ‘How come you look so young?’ Why do you never get sick? How come you have so much energy?’

“People want me to tell them my secrets. As to food, my three tips are: eat as close to nature as possible, eat organic where possible, and include fats and proteins daily in your diet.

“In the modern Western world, because we’ve been programmed to go low-fat since the 80s, we are avoiding fat altogether. But good fats like coconut oil, avocado and fats in nuts and seeds are essential,” she says.

Andi began her career at 17 as a dancer, performer and entertainer at Warner Bros Movie World on the Gold Coast. She went on to work as a performer at the Tokyo Sesame Place – a Sesame Street Theme Park, and later toured Asia as a dancer and actor with the Walt Disney Special Events Company.

After moving to Melbourne in the 90s, she went into radio, working with TTFM, starting off as segment producer and producer on ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’, a love song and dedication show. She also worked as a TV presenter and roving reporter on Channel Nine’s hit summer series, ‘Shopping For Love’ and on game day, was the on-ground announcer for Rugby League’s Melbourne Storm.

During the 80s she also worked as an aerobics instructor. “Isn’t that daggy?” she laughs. “I taught reebok, cardio funk and tae-bo but the best forms of exercise are simple ones you can do at home. They’re functional movements. Just pull back the rug and do a squat, grab a bar and do a pull up or a burpee.”

She extols the health benefits of doing squats in Real Fit Food, launched in June and available now in bookstores across Australia.

“I keep going back to the squat because in every other culture such as Asia for example, everybody squats. They squat to eat, they squat to work, they squat to hang out, they squat to birth and to go to the toilet. It’s actually just a natural movement and we should be doing it in the western world and we’re not,” she says.

Andi, who has had a real knack for reimagining her career along the way, is excited about her foray into the publishing world.

“Rather than relying on the infrequency of the acting world, I decided that I have a bigger message to share in the area of health and wellness,” she smiles.

She’s also a proud member of Media Super. I love getting my statements and watching my savings grow, but I also love reading the profiles of other happy members!”

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For more information about Andi Lew’s cooking classes, books and to read her blog about healthy living visit www.andilew.com.

Follow Andi on Twitter @andi_lew

Photos supplied by Andi Lew.