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Fit and Food Q+A: Olivia Young of Box + Flow

"I live by the B’s: boxing, burgers, backbends, beer. It's about balance."

Olivia Young, Box + Flow

Health and fitness are both the backbone of the Brunch Boys endeavors. However, maintaining a balance between indulgence and sustainability can be easier said than done. We’ve gathered some insights from some of the greatest fitness AND foodie influencers to show it’s possible to enjoy and let loose without losing control.

Founder of the boutique workout studio Box + Flow, Olivia Young, also known as Liv, stresses balance in all parts of her life, especially when it comes to eating well and staying in shape. After moving to New York City and attending the French Culinary Institute, Olivia began her career in food with an internship at Food & Wine, and followed that up with a meteoric rise up the ranks at the hospitality group Altamarea, where she started as Chef Michael White's assistant, and eventually became their Brand & Communications Director. Last year she decided to step away from hospitality and focus on her other passion of fitness with the opening of her boxing and yoga studio Box + Flow.

Liv has embraced balance through her love of boxing, burgers, backbends, and beers. Not to mention she does this all while having washboard abs and a clear, forgiving mind. Liv embodies what it means to truly work hard and live young, or rather, “Liv Young”.

Olivia Young, Box + Flow

Q and A

Q: What’s your daily workout routine?

Olivia: For the past 15 years combined (10 boxing + 15 yoga) with 10 overlapped, I’ve woken up with box + flow. I sprinkle in other things like daily runs to warm up, kettlebells, occasional spinning, and the like, but my commitment has pretty much been to boxing + yoga primarily.

Q: What role does food play in your life? Live to eat? Eat to live? Workout to eat to live?

Olivia: I just love food; but good food. Weird food. I like weird things. I moved to New York after college to attend the French Culinary Institute in hopes to get into food writing following an interview I read by Dana Cowin who suggested that while having a culinary degree wasn’t required to work for Food & Wine, it certainly gives you an edge. So I literally moved to NYC two weeks later (post a bad boyfriend breakup and not knowing what else I wanted) and started at FCI before joining Altamarea Group as Michael White’s assistant when I was 24. I took all the PR in house and left 6 years later as brand director.

Q: We believe food is delicious and goes deeper than nourishment, but food is without a doubt fuel. What is your pre and post workout fuel?

Olivia: I wake up by 5am; maybe 530 everyday and eat breakfast before I work out. GG’s crackers with smashed avocado or a laughing cow cheese (I know…but whatever), a hardboiled egg (1/2 yolk) and sometimes a smear of Maille creamy Dijon, a squirt of lemon and some fresh cracked pepper. That keeps me fueled for my run, box, flow routine … along with a few Nespressos.

Post workout, I keep it light so I can keep it moving during the day – I love peanut butter. So I’ll typically eat some with a banana post workout midday or a Lulitonix Chia X or Mind Food juice or a smoothie from Juice Press.

Q: Do you believe in cheat days? If so what are your cheat day eats?

Olivia: I cheat day every day. I live by the B’s: boxing, burgers, backbends, beer. It's about balance. Why does it need to be about cheating or about “being good?” It's about enjoying, living not limiting. I work out and I eat to enjoy rather than overindulge and have to restrict from one day to the next. And to me, fat is flavor. I typically eat a high fat diet – good fat that is.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to dine in NYC? Do you have a favorite Brunch spot?

Olivia: Jack’s Wife Freda’s green sauce makes anything taste better – specifically atop egg whites, avocado + Israeli salad, washed down with a cold beer or an aperol spritz in the Spring. I really enjoy the bunny breakfast at Baz Bagel, as well as anything Grey Dog serves. I prefer dinner over brunch though…and light lunches. Lunch or brunch slows me down…

Q: What are your guilty pleasures both food related and non-food related?

Olivia: 9 hours of sleep is a guilty pleasure. And so is every type of beer out there besides IPAs. I love icy tequila with loads of lime, Nutella by the heaping spoonful, black licorice by the pound, chicken skin extra crispy, bone-in-filets, whole fish with head + tail, sardines in chili oil ordered by the case, burgers, and anything I can eat with my hands ie chicken wings and stone crabs. I love super briney oysters that taste like the ocean and colossal shrimp cocktail with extra cocktail sauce. Oh and everything above is typically best served with a beverage of sorts…beer usually, sporadically tequila, and finished with amaro.

Q: What’s the best thing you ever ate?

Olivia: Way too tough a question to consider.

Q:What advice would you give someone who wants to start living a healthier lifestyle?

Olivia: Stop trying so hard. Make it part of your routine. Don’t fixate. When you start to feel a change and start enjoying how you feel, you will start to look better. It’s AS much about how you look as it is how you feel. When you eat, appreciate rather than just indulging. If you are mindful about how you eat, when you eat, what you eat, the food just tastes better. AND find a workout that you LOVE. Working out shouldn’t feel like work. Let it be fun. Like box + flow! Beers after. It’s all about balance. Or as I say, #workhard #livyoung.

Olivia Young, Box + Flow


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