Next in our Rule Breakers series is Nealy Fischer.
The Flexible Chef, by Nealy Fischer, teaches you the secrets for planning crave-worthy, healthy meals that inspire versatility in your kitchen and life.
Here’s what we found out about Nealy‘s everyday routine, followed by an exclusive Q+A.
Who is Nealy Fischer? How would her best friends describe her?
She’s a mom of 4 and a wife for 23 years. She’s a home chef, a yoga teacher, and a spiritual seeker. She’s a passionate home entertainer and loves to gather her friends for magic moments around the table. She’s fiery and passionate and has boundless energy! Her mission is to help people live more healthy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives.
What was the first dish you cooked, and is any memory related to it?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I started cooking at such a young age, before I was even old enough to reach my mother’s countertop. My first memory of cooking was making a tuna and egg salad with crackers and veggies for my parents when they woke up from a lazy Saturday afternoon nap. I was so excited to surprise them with my spread! They appeared in the kitchen, and I had this little magic meal waiting for them!
If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world?
- Hands down, the first thing I’d change is the education system. I’d love to see kids learning in a more holistic and dynamic way while catering better to individual growth- and not sitting at a desk all day! I’d also revamp the way we teach kids about nutrition and self-care from an earlier age and help end childhood obesity.
- I may get rid of social media altogether. While it’s created so many benefits, one of its major downsides is that everyone is competing for eyeballs and attention. It’s creating so much damage to self-worth. It’s better to have five great friends than 5 million followers.
- I would lower divorce rates that create broken families and find a better way to create healthier family units.
How did you develop your love for yoga?
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When I was pregnant with my 21-year-old, I was living in the upper west side and took a great class that helped with all pregnancy aches. A year later, we moved to Hong Kong, and the first thing I did was join a yoga studio where I found my teacher, who then later encouraged me to get certified to teach.
What part of your life experience would you alter if you had the chance to?
I’d change my high school years. They were rough for me. I hated my school and felt trapped in a life I hated. I’d tell my younger self to find her voice and express a need for change.
Which is the one dish that is loved by your kids the most?
Probably the simplest one ever! It’s our Saturday tradition, and I make simple gluten-free pasta with tomato cheese sauce with a side of Israeli chopped salad!
How do you normally begin your day? The first thing you prefer to do is that it makes you productive.
I have one cup of coffee and one cup of hot water. I used to head straight to my computer to get my most productive work done before the kids got up, but I’ve recently (finally!) replaced that with a morning meditation and short yoga and foam rolling practice, so I awake with more presence.
Growing up, how do you feel your personal style has evolved?
My wardrobe has gotten cleaner and classier. More flexible with mix-and-match pieces, especially for travel and coordinating outfits. I also live in Jean shorts and t-shirts and accessorize more than I used to!
What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?
In my meditation practice, I start with a breathing practice where I inhale and say the word “let” and exhale and say the word “go.” I’m a big goer and doer, and this helps me remember to soften. I’ve also recently been saying, “I love my body.” Too many of us have so many hangouts about parts of ourselves that we loathe, and it’s so unhealthy. Reminding myself that my body is amazing and it carries me powerfully through this life has changed a lot!
What is the biggest myth about cooking?
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That you have to follow a recipe, and that it’s hard!
List your favorite 5-minute to-be-ready dishes.
- Arugula salad with fennel, almonds, and Parmesan with a lemon olive oil drizzle.
- Mexican cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower!
- Bed of greens with a scoop of tuna
- Leftover chicken or fish on a bed of greens with a drizzle of creamy tahini
- Cheesy veggie omelet or a smoked salmon omelet
If you were not the founder of The Flexible Chef today, what would you want to be?
I’ve always dreamt of owning a luxury wellness retreat center. Who knows, that may still happen!
Lastly, where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
In 10 years, my oldest son will be 31, and my youngest will be 20 (whoa!). I hope to be splitting my time between their homes and helping my grandchildren! And perhaps that dream of opening a wellness retreat will have come to life, and I’d be back and forth managing that too. I also plan to keep my commitments in the flexible arena so I can do all of this while also enjoying life with my wonderful husband.