In addition to being a classic French woman (in her lifestyle and taste), Olivia Chessé is the founder of the non-profit organization, Chefs for Impact, which aims to raise awareness for a more sustainable food system. The organization puts on community programming led by their ambassadors, which include world-class chefs and food industry leaders. We caught up with Olivia in hew New York kitchen to ask about her wellness routine.
What do you do daily for your wellness?
I get up early every day before anyone else in my home does. It opens up a space in my day where I can enjoy a moment for myself. I drink coffee, I read the news, I take time. The most important thing I like to do for myself though is eat delicious, local, and seasonal food three times a day! I pick fresh locally grown produce (delivered by Farm to People, Fellow Farmer and Our Harvest), and buy directly from the farmers themselves as much as I can. It is tastier, fresher, and more nutritious. I am grateful that I have access to healthy foods that nourish and energize my mind, body, and soul everyday.
What do you do weekly for your wellness?
I have had several back surgeries so I do Pilates to strengthen my core, while being gentle on my back. I also receive massages to help relax the tension. One of my weekly highlights is visiting the Union Square Farmers market. Some of my favorite vendors are my friend Zaid at Norwich Meadows Farm, P.E. & D.D. Seafood, a small family owned business catching the freshest local seafood catch daily, and Smallhold, an organic NYC based mushroom farm. I make sure to cook and enjoy sit-down dinners with my children as many times as possible. I also make it a must to spend quality time with my husband without kids! We love exploring the countless experiences New York has to offer and enjoy discovering lots of new restaurants together.
What do you do monthly for your wellness?
I host dinners, parties, invite friends over for the weekend; I cook, we eat, we laugh, we enjoy life. I think the beach is an amazing place to recharge, so I try to isolate myself in my beach house as often as I can. I enjoy long walks on the beach, sleeping, thinking and writing. This is my bubble of tranquility and my source of creativity.
What do you do yearly for your wellness?
I travel! I make sure to plan a trip with my girlfriends. For almost 10 years now, we have maintained a tradition of meeting once a year in a European capital to enjoy a few days of pure joy, friendship, and fun. I reconnect with French terroir when visiting my family in Provence amongst the fields of lavender, peach trees and vines, accompanied by the sound of cicadas.
How do you define wellness?
Wellness is the presence of those things that help maintain balance in your life. For me, it’s a balance between a healthy lifestyle, social connection, professional fulfillment and environmental consciousness. But this balance isn’t easy to find, and it very often oscillates between contentment and struggle. Wellness is staying away from toxic relationships and negative thoughts while surrounding myself with good people who help me to stay authentic and true. Wellness is feeling fulfilled, alive, and relaxed. Some people meditate, I cook. It is my meditation, as it puts me into a deep state of tranquil mind; it makes me very happy.