Marissa is an elementary school teacher in the New York Department of Education. Years ago she discovered her love of Pilates and how the mind-body connection helped her tremendously in dealing with anxiety. But it wasn’t until she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease that it became such an integral part of her life. Shortly after being diagnosed she began her education through Balanced Body and is continuing to further her training to include not only reformer but mat and barre as well.


Q: What is your favorite healthy snack and favorite meal?
MO: My favorite healthy snack is cucumbers and/or peppers with hummus. I eat it almost every day. My favorite healthy meal is probably any type of salad. I love spinach and arugula mixed and I pile it up with olives, avocado, cucumber, craisins… Anything I have really. And I usually make an apple cider vinegar based dressing.

Q: What is your favorite skincare line right now and do you have a routine that you would like to share? Most essential skin care tip? Answer any or all of the above!
MO: I have problematic skin so my routine is crazy strict. Biggest tips/rules is wash all makeup off every night (and I try to go without makeup as often as possible) and sunscreen! I use Obagi skincare line to wash my face day and night with their oil control pads afterwards. Then I use Image Hylauranic Acid serum.. it’s anti-aging and I’m addicted. And I finish off with LaMer eye cream and LaMer moisturizer.

Q: Do you have a wellness secret?
MO: Not really … I feel like it’s a constant work in progress. I try to be as consistent as possible with my workouts and try to eat as healthy as I can. I have found that any type of workout and my routine is good for my mental wellness. Keeps me centered and less anxious.

Q: There are so many smoothie varieties out there! What do you put in your favorite smoothie?
MO: My favorite smoothie by far is my green juice I have every morning. It’s a game changer and it jump starts my day.
Handful of spinach and kale
One apple peeled and cored
One banana
1 stalk of Celery
Splash of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of spirulina
Coconut Water
High PH level filtered water (like Essentia)

Q: What is your favorite meal to cook?
MO: Absolutely anything!! I love cooking. I find it therapeutic.

Q: What are some activities you like to do outside of Pilates?
MO: My favorite activities outside of pilates would definitely be yoga and boxing. I love how centered and calm I feel when I leave a yoga class and I love how exhausted I feel when I leave a boxing class.

Q: Did you always have an interest in health and wellness?
MO: Definitely not. I was always in shape and always ate pretty healthy but didn’t become passionate about it until I was diagnosed with celiac disease. There was a full lifestyle change at that point.

Q: What do you typically eat for breakfast?
MO: I start my day with warm water and lemon. Then I drink my green juice when I get to work. And sometimes a little while later I’ll have a hard boiled egg or an overnight oats. Depending on how hungry I am that day.

Q: What is your favorite indulgence?
MO: Where to start … I grew up in an Italian family so I would have to say Sunday dinner… pasta, meatballs, wine etc. I also love anything salty.

Q: What are three essential items you have in your bag?
MO: Chapstick … lotion … snack