In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their ultimate workout playlists to their most reliable self-care hacks. Here, Ally Love — a Peloton instructor, Brooklyn Nets arena host, and the CEO and founder of lifestyle brand Love Squad — reveals her perfect morning routine and her five-minute wellness hack.
On any given Sunday morning, thousands of people click into their Pelotons to ride along with instructor Ally Love’s “Sundays with Love” classes. The Miami native’s 30-minute sweat sessions are near-universally lauded for helping riders “dig deep” into the complex issues going on in their lives, to quote one Peloton user. But on Saturdays, one of the 35-year-old’s rest days, you can find her flipping pancakes with her fiancé — plain, basic pancakes, she specifies. “I think there’s beauty in being basic,” Love tells Bustle with a laugh, a sentiment that applies as much to her rest-day breakfast as her self-care routine.
Love may have a busy schedule balancing Peloton classes with hyping up Brooklyn Nets fans during basketball season (not to mention running her own company, Love Squad, which organizes events and sells apparel promoting women’s empowerment). But if you’re one of her over 701K Instagram followers, you know she roots her daily wellness in simplicity; she often advocates cutting out those aspects that are no longer serving you. This focus pays dividends in other areas of her life, too: On the phone with her recently, I got the sense that what she was doing right then — talking to me — was the only thing she was thinking about. It’s that laser focus on the now that makes pretty much everyone want to spend their Sundays with her.
But even a simple wellness routine involves a process. Here, Love shares the first thing she does every single morning, what goes into her ultimate comfort drink, and the nightly rituals with her fiancé that keep her chill.
What’s your morning routine like?
As soon as I wake up, I don’t press snooze. I give myself about five minutes — sitting up in bed, on the floor, or in a chair — and take time to get grounded by meditating or praying. Then I have honey and hot water. Sometimes I throw in a cinnamon stick: that’s my secret in my little morning cup of comfort.
I go take a workout. I come back and fuel up with a post-workout protein smoothie or vegan yogurt, which is a little lighter for me to digest. I am not a breakfast person, especially on the weekdays. Now, if you catch me on a Saturday, one of my rest days, I do love pancakes.
Plain, blueberry, or chocolate chip?
I’m a traditionalist. I keep it basic. Nobody wants to be basic but Ally Love, I guess.
So what happens after your weekday breakfast?
I’ll go to a Love Squad meeting and catch up on emails and with my team. I set an outline of the day: What do I have? What’s most important? What’s going to take more of my energy? And I’ll set my intention.
I will say, I don’t have a life where it’s prescriptive and looks exactly the same every day. But for the most part, I am committed to my routine.
How do you stay organized within that routine?
Part of organizing your life is finding things you can outsource. I’m doing a partnership with [technology company] Lenovo that’s all about streamlining communication between partners. My fiancé and I use our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga to keep ourselves organized and on the same page with our wedding. That’ll make your life a lot easier, which is important for self-care.
Speaking of self-care, how often do you unplug?
You’ll notice that I’m not on Instagram on Saturdays. I’m not posting. I’m not on my phone. I don’t do much. I love reading, and I’ll listen to Audible a lot to unwind. It is an app, but I don’t count that as me being social.
Burnout experts would probably approve of that Saturday routine. Is there a piece of wellness advice you’ve gotten that really resonates with you?
During the pandemic, I learned that most of us don’t take care of our whole self. When it’s true self-care, you have to look at your mind, your body, and your spirit. For me, that means taking five minutes a day for just myself. It only takes five minutes to meditate, pray, do a brain game, have a moment of breathing.
Suppose someone tells you five minutes a day feels too intimidating. How do you advise them to get started?
Take five minutes first thing in the morning. Go into the bathroom, sit on the floor in the dark, and set a timer. That’s the beginning of understanding how short five minutes is, but how big of an impact it can have.
From there, you can be prescriptive. You can say, “OK, I’m going to do five minutes of walking at my lunch break.” Or you can do five minutes of meditation, or prayer, or five minutes on your brain game app. There’s no one way to do it correctly.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.