Photo credit: Brienne Michelle Photography
We sat down with superwoman Agnes Muljadi, the social media influencer, professional dancer and strict vegan, to learn more about the keys to her lifestyle and the work she is doing to promote a healthy body through dance and food, with a bonus: she shares with us some of her go-to recipes!
Can you start off by telling us a little bit more about how you became the social media influencer that you are today, with close to 200,000 followers on Instagram?
I started my Instagram account (@artsyagnes) in 2012 to promote my photography items that I sold via Etsy, though I was only posting sporadically for the first few years. In early 2014 I decided to post one of my ballet photos for a change and that one photo generated hundreds of likes even though I only had less than 100 followers at the time. Between 2014 and 2015 my followers started to grow at a slightly faster pace, but I would say that my account didn't really take off until the Fall of 2015 and I started 2016 with 100,000 followers. 2015 was a big year for my Instagram growth!
Congratulations. We can see why your account is so popular. As we witness through your Instagram postings, you are all about the healthy lifestyle through exercise and eating right. It’s inspiring. What is a typical day like in your life?
My day usually begins with a 20 to 40 minute stretch and a 20 minute meditation to prepare my body and mind. Then I have my breakfast and start checking my emails, and posting on social media until about lunch time. From there I typically take either a yoga, pilates or gyrotonic class in the early afternoon and head back home to continue working, or I will take this time to go to any outside business meetings until about 5pm. I then head to my ballet studio to take class and rehearse until 9 or 10 pm.
And what about your food choices throughout the day?
As soon as I get up, usually around 8 or 9am, I drink a full glass of green juice with no sugar. About 30 minutes later I make a smoothie and drink it before having my breakfast around 10 am. For lunch between noon and 1pm, I’ll stir-fry kale or mushrooms. For dinner, I typically eat gluten free vegan cereals, some sort of berries or fruits, chia seeds and unsweetened almond milk. However full disclosure, I do eat out quite a bit in the evening. Sometimes I am just too tired to prepare anything after ballet, so I will stop at Whole Foods or a vegan restaurant for some take-out. Though, I am super picky when it comes of ordering food, so I will always ask the server for every single ingredient including what is in the sauce. I almost feel bad for anyone who's taking my order!
It is always important to know what we are putting into our bodies! We’d love to know some of your go-to recipes. Could you share one with our readers? Or tell us a bit more about some of your favorite dishes?
I have two recipes that I make daily, one is my magic smoothie which consists of fresh organic kale, blueberries, strawberries, unsweetened almond milk, spirulina, chia seeds and nutritional yeast. It’s really simple - I just put all of those ingredients in a blender. It's very easy and helps boost and maintain my energy level throughout the day.
The other one is what I typically have for breakfast after my smoothie, which is organic unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, fresh organic blueberries and raspberries, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and less than a quarter of a teaspoon of raw agave.
Photo credit: Agnes Muljadi
I sort of experimented with these recipes myself when I started becoming vegan. Since I am a professional dancer it's very important that I continue to keep and maintain my energy throughout the day. I did a lot of research online as far as what will replace the protein that I would normally get from a non-plant based diet and came up with these two combinations of ingredients.
I became vegan in July 2015 for health reasons. My naturopathic doctor recommended I become vegan to naturally heal the fibroids I had at the time. Prior to this, I was already a vegetarian for about 5 years.
I really think all vegan dishes are yummy, for example I think vegan butter tastes much better than regular butter, and the same thing with almond or any vegan based milk. That was one of the biggest surprises for me when I started becoming vegan! I thought the transition was going to be hard, but honestly anything vegan based tastes much better to me.
Some of my favorite dishes are raw vegan sushi, vegan pho, any dishes with kale, raw vegan mushroom soup. Sometimes I splurge and get myself good gluten free and soy free donuts or pancakes, but I only do that a few times a year. I am pretty strict with my diet because I need to keep my body performing at its best.
What about work out recommendations, or other healthy tips in addition to eating right?
Stretching is very important and so is cross training. I like to confuse my body once in a while by trying an exercise that I haven't done before.
Past bodily exercises, meditation is key. I recommend choosing and focusing only on positive thoughts and emotions, eating a healthy whole food plant based diet while avoiding sugar, gluten and soy as much as you can. And exercise and stretch every day! Just doing the things that make you happy and following your bliss is so important. That, and always cultivating the spirit of gratitude.
You seem to live a balanced, in-tune life. Do you attribute this to any role models?
I think the Apollo astronauts are incredible, particularly Neil Armstrong. I watch their documentary over and over again to remind myself that nothing is impossible. I also find the profound wisdom and kindness of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh to be qualities to aspire to. And I listen to Esther Hicks talks quite a bit and have applied many of her law of attraction exercises and have seen amazing transformations in both my personal and professional life.
And then I have a slew of older generation Russian ballet dancers like Margarita Kulik, Altynai Asylmuratova and Farukh Ruzimatov who still inspire me.
Personally, my ballet teacher Julia Bourlina is amazing. She has taught me so many invaluable life lessons that have helped me become the person that I am. I also find inspiration from my friends in the vegan community who are changing the world every day.
Agnes Muljadi can be found on Instagram at Instagram.com/artsyagnes