Joan Smalls' Trainer Shares Her Pregnancy Wellness Secrets

She also shares her little black book of New York's health gurus.

Pregnancy health advice is always best received from your doctor, but it’s fascinating learning how real women in the wellness industry deal with cravings, morning sickness, and fueling their body to meet its new needs. To share this information, we spoke with the founder of New York’s Bari fitness studio, Alexandra Bonetti.
Bonetti’s classes are a magnet for New York City models, and she counts women such as Joan Smalls among her list of clients. Right now, she also happens to be six months pregnant, and took some time out to chat with us about how this has changed her approach to nutrition and exercise, the natural health gurus she visits in NY, and her buzzy fitness concept.
How did you get started in the fitness industry?

While working in consulting, I found myself balancing a million different workouts in order to look and feel the way I wanted. I would go for a run one day, do a weights class another day, do Pilates another day, try to hit the elliptical another day. The thing is, I didn’t look or feel the way I wanted. I wasn’t getting enough cardio or muscle-sculpting because I couldn’t find a method that offered the right recipe, especially if I only had a limited amount of time each week to dedicate to my workouts. I decided to take my fitness plan and my body into my own hands and little by little started crafting what Bari’s method would become.

So I left my job in consulting and followed an idea I had. I thought, “If I want a more efficient, fun workout, other people must be craving the same.”

When I built Bari and threw myself into the movement, I seriously started feeling like a different person. I looked forward to every workout (and I’m not just one of those people).

How would you describe Bari to first-timers?

Named “NYC’s Best Hybrid Workout” by New York Magazine and the “World’s Best Workout” by me, I truly believe that Bari’s method is the best one out there. I know it delivers on points that no other workout does because I built it for myself. It’s not for everyone. If you want to feel zen and calm and move slowly, Bari is not for you. If you want to be happy and excited and loud, Bari might be the workout you’ve always been looking for. It is the workout I had always been looking for.

already a ladies’ man 👶🏽 @joansmalls @thebaristudio

A photo posted by Alexandra Bonetti (@yayabonetti) on

How has your diet changed during your pregnancy?

The main difference in my diet, apart from having to eat more, is that I have to make a conscious effort to eat more protein. I don’t usually eat a lot of meat and 75 grams of protein per day is what’s recommended during pregnancy, which for me is a lot, so I’ve had to get creative. I drink a protein shake every morning from Parsley Health which has about 30 grams and gets me off to a great start. I eat a ton of greens, fruits, nuts and beans, and try to eat as much real food as possible.

There must be some cravings! How do you deal?

I just go for it! Most of my cravings have been really healthy. Apples with salt and vinegar, tons of mangoes and peaches… But if I need a burger, you better believe I’m gonna run to the closest JG Melon. I really believe that if you’re taking care of yourself, working out, eating healthy, keeping in tune with your body with acupuncture and massage, your body will crave nourishment, not junk. So when you need a little sugar or french fries, just indulge!

pregnancy health tips
Alexandra swears by acupuncture and massage for a healthy pregnancy. Image via Bari

What about your workout schedule? Is that any different?

I work out at Bari three to four times a week, which is the same I was doing before – but I try to commit to each week’s schedule more intentionally now. I had a really terrible first trimester, so I barely worked out for about ten weeks. Getting back into it was hard, but I’m so glad I jumped back in as soon as I could to make sure I kept my body strong for all of the ongoing changes. I think my Bari schedule during my pregnancy has been the key factor that has made these past four months feel so amazing.

Who are your go-to pregnancy health gurus in New York right now?

I’m working with Parsley Health for nutrition, Deborah Valentine at Sage Wellness for acupuncture, Yeremina Simo for prenatal massages, and Lindsey Vestal from Functional Pelvis for pelvic floor exercises.  It’s the best team of experts I could have dreamed of – they’ve made my pregnancy the best experience I could hope for.

Has the pregnancy impacted your work schedule? 

I think pregnancy puts everything in perspective and makes you more organized and efficient. You know you have a certain amount of weeks before you have to step out of the office for a few months, and you get really clear on what you want to get done and how you want to spend your time.

What are your health goals at the moment?

Grow a healthy baby!

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