Tips for Being Healthy in Montauk from Well-thy Home

Heidi Powell leads class.
Heidi Powell leads class. Photo credit: Sean Sime Photography

Healthy living came to The End on August 1, as Women’s Health magazine hosted the inaugural “Well-thy” Home event at VP and Publisher Laura Frerer-Schmidt’s new Montauk home.

The event—which featured celebrity yoga instructor Mandy Ingber; Heidi Powell, star of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss; Keri Glassman, nutrition expert; Jeff Donovan, director of land services at Golden Door; and Greg Frey, Jr., executive chef at Golden Door—merged wellness with design, as Frerer-Schmidt’s home was created with healthy
living in mind.

Held on a sunny Montauk Saturday, participants alternated between attending fitness classes and lectures on living a “well-thy,” healthy life. The day began with a yoga class atop the home’s roof, which overlooked Fort Pond Bay, with Ingber instilling her positive energy and casually cool style of yoga on participants. Class focused on holding poses in order to build strength.

Tips for healthy living followed, including a food demo with Donovan and Frey of Golden Door, a destination spa in California that, according to Frey, is “esoteric and kooky in its own way.”

Guests came away with the message that herbs are of utmost importance.

“We were asked really to find something that we would think would be very important in a healthy home, and both Jeff [Donovan] and I, without even talking to each other, the first thing we said was herbs,” Frey says. Easy to grow in a small space—a problem most people are faced with—herbs can brighten up even the most mundane meal, creating a satisfying dish. “What I mean by satisfying is that you’re satisfying your senses, you’re satisfying your soul, you’re satisfying your body and you feel good,” Frey says.

Though Frey admits that he is far-removed from Long Island now, he used to come out to the area a lot. “I know how great the farms are out here on Long Island. As you get a little closer into the city, a lot of Long Islanders don’t recognize how beautiful they have it…so close to them.”

Also on tap for the day was a boot camp style class by Powell, whose hit show with husband Chris Powell encourages weight loss while inspiring viewers to live their healthiest life. On Saturday, Powell showed just how accessible fitness can be to people of all levels, as participants paired up to compete against each other in a series of exercises including squats, burpees and lunges.

“We always want to make sure that everything we do, there’s a way to scale it down to any ability level,” said Powell about her work on the show.

For Hamptonites who may be travelling, Powell says that the hardest part about being on the road isn’t the exercise component, but rather the food. (If a hotel doesn’t have a gym, Powell recommends burpee runs—“15 burpees, run 400 meters,” she says; and then repeat. A burpee involves pushups and jumps.) “For us, it’s about preparing ahead of time,” she says. “Before we get to the hotel, we typically have a route mapped to the nearest grocery store.” The husband-and-wife duo frequented the local IGA upon arriving in Montauk.

“It’s not about making you healthy, or making me healthy, it’s the ripple effect,” said Powell about the event. “When you live a healthy lifestyle, naturally the people that you interact with are motivated and inspired by what you are doing, so it really does create a healthier world. I absolutely
love it.”

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