If you form a first impression of Liv Micheli by looking at her website, Liv For Luxury, you might get her all wrong. While she is a NYC-based fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogger, she’s not the type of girl that only goes for the most expensive pieces of clothing or changes her outfit three times throughout the day during New York Fashion Week. (If you know me at all, you’d know that I probably wouldn’t have a lot in common with someone like this, since my outfits mainly consist of either spandex and a sports bra, or jeans, a t-shirt and a hat to hide my greasy workout hair.)
No. Liv Micheli is a hilarious, down-to-earth, WOD doing, healthy eating, sit-in-my-pajamas-all-day-and-talk-about-random-stuff kind of girl. She’s always loved fashion, and with her background in communications and writing, she started Liv for Luxury with the mission of showing people that luxury can be more of a feeling than a value, that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on “luxurious” cashmere sweaters or name brand clothing to look and feel like the best version of yourself. Liv wants people to understand that it’s all about the rare find, pieces that you can style in several different ways that make you feel luxurious and confident (and not necessarily uber expensive). This is what, she believes, makes fashion feel more attainable and aspirational. Some of her favorite, go-to stores are Zara, Mango, Club Monaco and Urban Outfitters.
However, I think one of the coolest things about Liv is her approach towards health and nutrition. Two years ago, Liv was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid and heavily affects your metabolism. There are some doctors who say that the only way to relieve the symptoms (let’s be real and call it “mask” the symptoms) of Hashimoto’s is with medication. However, Liv took a more holistic approach and made the decision, one which I greatly admire, to manage her autoimmune disease and live symptom-free with something more powerful than medication — food and exercise. She no longer eats gluten, dairy or refined sugar, which is a natural way to relieve symptoms, and she works out 5-6 times a week with her brothers, making up kick-ass daily workouts and doing them in their family’s garage.
So I thought it would be super cool to share with you a day in the life of Liv’s diet and workout. Everyone, meet Liv.
Ahhhh breakfast, my favorite meal of the day. I usually start preparing my breakfast at around 9:30, but before I eat anything, I like to start my day with a cup of warm water and lemon juice. As lemon juice is rich in vitamin c, it helps balance the pH levels in your stomach, flushes out toxins, and aids in digestion (who knew lemon juice could be such a powerhouse!).
Every morning, I make a heaping pot of oatmeal using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (gluten free). I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast ever since high school, and I still cannot get enough of it. It’s so comforting, delicious, and I always look forward to it when I wake up! I like to top my oatmeal with a few different things, all of which have a purpose beyond just making my oatmeal taste so good! In a coffee grinder, I grind up flax seeds, as grinding them fresh gives you the best nutritional value and benefits. I add flax seeds because they’re loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 which is great for your skin and for reducing redness. Next, I add hemp seeds, which is where I get my protein in the morning. Hemp seeds are tiny, but oh so powerful. They contain a massive amount of protein, including sulfur-bearing amino acids. This helps build strong hair, nails, muscles, and skin, which are a few things that can be affected from having Hashimoto’s. Next up is a sprinkle of chia seeds because I like the texture they add and they are also high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, contain protein, and support digestion. To sweeten things up, I like to add berries to my oatmeal and I’ll usually grab whatever is on hand. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and blueberries can increase collagen production, which is great for your skin! Lastly, I top it off with a few dashes of cinnamon! Cinnamon helps balance your blood sugar, so when you’re having oatmeal that has a higher glycemic level, cinnamon is a great addition.
I like having oatmeal in the morning because this is the only breakfast that keeps me energized throughout the morning! I find it keeps me fuller for longer and helps me perform better in the gym. I love it because it sustains me throughout my midday workout until I need a post workout refuel.
A few hours after breakfast, once I’ve gotten some work done and figured out what my schedule looks like for the day, I head downstairs into our garage-turned-gym. It depends on the day, but I usually like to incorporate a few different kinds of fitness into my workout regime. A few days a week, I will go to my local gym and take Barre and Pilates classes, but on most days you can find me in the garage writing a Crossfit WOD on the white board. I usually send Bri pictures of whatever torturous workout my brothers and I come up with that day. I like to mix different kinds of cardio and weight training into my workouts because I find constant varying movements at a high intensity give me the best results. Plus, I am super competitive and love a challenge so I really enjoy doing workouts for time or competing with my two older brothers. On this particular day, we did a high intensity metabolic conditioning workout, also known as a METCON. The workout incorporated progressive movements throughout the rounds and a static conditioning piece with a change of equipment to keep things fresh and interesting for each round. For the cardio portion, I used an assault bike, air runner, ski erg, and a rower, all of which are motorless resistance training pieces. If you don’t have any equipment, you could swap out the 20 calories of cardio for a 400-meter run. You’ll feel this workout no matter what, though…that I can guarantee. Definitely have to give this one a try:
20 Cal Assault Bike
20 Air Squats
15 Sit Ups
20 Cal Ski
20 Pause Squat Jumps
(squat down parallel to the floor, pause for a second, then jump up)
15 GHD Sit Ups or Pikes
15 Plyometric Pushups
20 Cal Run
20 Pistol Squats
15 Hanging Leg Raises
15 Ring Rows
20 Cal Row
20 Thrusters w/ 35lb Bar
15 Toe to Bar
15 Renegade Rows
(Basically a push up with a row – see it here.)
Man, was I hungry after that workout! When I do an intense workout like that, the only thing I feel like eating is something like an apple with a nut spread–preferably NutZo butter! I like to refuel my body with carbohydrates and protein 15-30 minutes after my workout. Every week I go to my local farmer’s market to pick up fresh produce, so I happened to have some farm fresh apples on hand. Nothing beats a fresh apple with a little bit of NutZo. Oh, you’ve never heard of Nutzo? Well, it’s the greatest thing since almond butter came on the scene. It’s an upgraded almond butter made from a mix of nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and a dash of sea salt, and I am addicted. I control myself (sometimes) and only take about a ½ tbsp. of NutZo, but there is something about the texture and taste that I am obsessed with. The post-workout snack delivers nutrients, carbohydrates, and a good source of protein, which is something I always try to include in all my meals and snacks. It’s a sweet and savory treat and a nutritionally powerful way to refuel. I like to bite into something that’s crunchy and combines a little sweetness and texture. It’s filling and helps me rebuild my energy and muscles.
Lunch is shortly after my snack and it’s usually something that I make at home. I like to change things up for lunch and make things interesting by coming up with different dishes to create based off ingredients I already have in my fridge. It’s like my own mini version of Chop’t every day around lunch time. I’ve been really into making quinoa bowls and different salads because they’re super simple, especially with leftover veggies and fruits, and they’re always so delicious. I always like to have a lot of veggies at lunch with some sort of protein. Today, I made this quinoa salad for lunch, using a few leftover ingredients and a few bits and pieces that I had in the cupboard. I am the kind of girl who sort of throws everything into a bowl without measuring things, but I did my best to try and get the exact measurements for you guys:
Liv’s Quinoa Citrus Salad: serves 4
2 Cups of cooked quinoa
Half of a large red cabbage, shredded
15-20 Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
½ cup of pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 large orange, peeled and cut into pieces
(Feel free to add leftover roasted veggies like sweet potatoes or butternut squash)
Half of a medium orange, juiced and zested
The juice and zest of half a small lemon
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup of rice wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of garlic powers
1 tsp of honey
A pinch of salt & pepper
Top with any kind of protein you like. I opted for a sunny side up egg because I love how the runny yolk complements this salad. You could also use grilled chicken or salmon! It will be delicious no matter what you decide to put on top.
If you want more vegetables and less quinoa you can always make alterations by adding more veggies or vice versa. I usually have most of these ingredients on hand, like the cooked quinoa, because you can always create something that is filling, and they are simple additions you can add to most recipes. Quinoa is one of my favorites because it’s a great source of carbohydrates and proteins and it’s low in fat. This is a super light, zesty, and flavorful dish that satisfies all the tough critics in the Micheli household!
Dinner is one of my favorite meals of the day (after breakfast of course) because it’s the time when I can be the most creative in the kitchen. I usually ask my family what everyone feels like, but my cravings usually dictate what I will create for that night’s dinner. Today I felt like salmon with some roasted veggies that I picked up at the farm. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of protein. I like to buy Wild Alaskan Salmon from my local fish shop because to me, it’s the best and healthiest option because it’s packed with less saturated fat than farm-raised salmon. I try to include salmon in my diet at least 1-2 times a week because it’s extremely beneficial for Hashimoto’s disease. Salmon is a great source of protein which helps the transportation of thyroid hormones to all the cells in your body. It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help with inflammation, which also accompanies Hashimoto’s.
I love flavoring the salmon with a Dijon mustard and lemon and dill marinade and pairing it with roasted veggies, like vine-ripened tomatoes, purple potatoes, and a light peppery arugula salad. My dinner plate usually consists of more veggies than protein, as 4 oz. of protein is usually more than enough for me (I only ate half the amount of salmon that’s pictured, but I wanted to show you the result for a more dramatic effect). This is one of my favorite meals to make because it’s a one-pan meal. You can literally put all the veggies on a sheet pan and pop it in the over while you prepare your salmon marinade. Here is how you make this dish:
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes in a light coating of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the tomatoes to a sheet pan.
Cut your purple potatoes into small quartered pieces.
In that same bowl (because who wants to wash 2 bowls?) put your chopped potatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, freshly chopped rosemary (about 3 sprigs of rosemary), 1 tsp of garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Directions: Cook the veggies for 30-40 minutes until the skin of the tomatoes have slightly pierced and the potatoes are golden brown!
Dijon Mustard Dill and Lemon Salmon
In a bowl, depending on how much fish you have to coat with the marinade (I made 1 ½ pounds for 4 people), put 2 tbs of Dijon mustard, 2 tbs of long grain mustard, ½ tbsp of fresh chopped dill, a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper.
- Brush the outside of the salmon with the marinade and top it off with a lemon slice cut in half. The lemon slices will help infuse the salmon with that fresh lemon flavor because the heat from the grill will cook the lemon slices and the juice will melt into the fish.
- I grill my salmon in a fish basket on medium high heat with the top down for 7 minutes on each side. My tip is to make sure to spray the surface of the basket or grill with extra virgin olive oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking!
Arugula and Radicchio Salad
This is a simple accompaniment to the fish! I place the arugula and radicchio in a bowl and drizzle it with a little vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I love the peppery taste of arugula and the bitterness of the radicchio, so I like to dress it with something very simple to let their flavors shine through.
So this is what a day in the life of food looks like for Liv For Luxury. Based off the meals I prepared throughout the day, I’m sure that you can tell there’s a purpose for everything I consume. I make sure that what I’m eating is beneficial to my body and will only help to improve my symptoms and how I feel. This way of eating may not work for everybody, but I have found that including these kinds of veggies, proteins, and fats into my everyday diet has helped me to feel and look my best. The power of food is truly incredible and I’m so happy that I made minor changes to my diet to see such major results. Removing gluten, dairy, and sugar has helped me live a symptom-free life and has put my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) in a more normal range! I really hope you all enjoyed reading about what I eat in a day. Please come visit me on livforluxury.com! Also, thank you Bri for such a creative and awesome opportunity to share my story with your readers.
You can follow Liv on her social platforms below: