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Up Close With Nealy Fischer

Posted on 05 November 2018

Up close with Nealy Fisher The Flexible Chef; MISCHA blog

A mother of four, yogi and teacher, Nealy Fischer is the founder of The Flexible Chef, a global lifestyle brand offering creative solutions to become more savvy in your kitchen and life.

Inspiring people to eat well, move often and ultimately to crave a well-rounded lifestyle. Nealy has 25 years experience in the health and wellness industry, inspiring people to live their best life. She splits her time between Hong Kong, Israel and the US.

Tell us about the idea behind the Flexible Chef. What made you start it and why the word “flexible”?

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘chef’? To me, it’s someone who is masterful, creative, innovative, curious, intentional, and excellent! Perhaps a perfectionist at times. The inspiration behind The Flexible Chef is to teach and inspire people to become more chef-like — both in their kitchens and in their lives — without being so rigid. Flexibility — the ability to adapt and ‘wing it’ — is my secret ingredient for fulfilment and happiness.

A flexible chef knows how to adapt and is OK when things go wrong. A flexible chef gives herself a break. She doesn’t cry over burnt bread, she just makes breadcrumbs. And she sometimes cheats a little and serves store-bought chicken for dinner. Anyone can become a chef in their kitchens by applying skill and technique and anyone can become a flexible one by adopting a flexible mindset!

Up close with Nealy Fisher The Flexible Chef; MISCHA blog

Congratulations on your cookbook, ‘Food You Want: ‘For The Life You Crave’! What’s your favourite recipe in the book? And what are your top 3 ingredients you can’t live without?

My favorite recipe is the overarching one, which in the book acts like a recipe for a recipe,(i.e. how to understand the rules of a recipe so you can break them for the most creative results)! If I had to pick, however, I’d say the gluten-free challah bread recipe that I’ve been tested for more than five years, the cauliflower salad with arugula and crispy onions, and my island-style chicken adobo!

Top 3 ingredients: olive oil (to make salad dressings for the fridge each week), vanilla extract (it gets added to practically everything I bake), and my infused rosemary salt (it adds pizzazz to any dish!)

Up close with Nealy Fisher The Flexible Chef; MISCHA blog

What sparked your interest to start the MAYYA movement?

MAYYA Movement was actually sparked by a very personal battle, which I learned to overcome by regaining control of my health. I recently shared the backstory on my blog, which you can read here.

MAYYA was founded in Hong Kong some years ago before the fitness and health scene erupted there. As I threw myself back into a healthy lifestyle, I saw a huge need to bring together international experts and workout systems to a community that was starving for options. We launched with an event at the W Hotel, which was a huge success. It was also my way to bring women of like-minded interests together in a city that buzzed 24/7 and pulled people between work and play so radically that a healthy ’pause’ was missing. Our monthly candlelight yoga classes, DJ yoga, food, and lecture series brought a community together and provided a mini experience of serenity and education each month.  


How do you juggle work-mom life and fit in a workout?

Staying healthy and feeling strong is a value to me. I also think it’s good to show your kids that you take time to take care of yourself — it’ll give them permission to do the same as they grow up. So, I make working out a priority. People can find the time for just about anything if it’s truly their priority. And I think we all underestimate the amount of free time we actually have. The question is how to use our time effectively!

Practically speaking, I go to bed early and wake up early to squeeze in an hour-long yoga session or run before my kids wake up. If that doesn’t happen one day then I’ll schedule in my hour much like I would any other important meeting, and I make sure to stick with it. And if on the rare day, even that can’t happen then I do handstands with my daughter, pushups with my son, and walk to an activity vs. drive.

Up close with Nealy Fisher The Flexible Chef; MISCHA blog

What are your top 3 tips for staying healthy when travelling with family?

Get everyone on a sleep-move-eat schedule immediately.

  1. SLEEP: Leading up to a trip, I’m a bit of a policewoman about no afternoon naps and getting to bed at the right hour to ensure sufficient sleep. That way, as soon as we arrive at our destination, we get right on the new time zone schedule!
  2. MOVE: We try and get moving and/or soak in some sunshine as soon as we arrive. It’s the perfect way to explore a new city! I also personally try and keep my regular workouts consistent.
  3. EAT: When you’re away in a new city or country, it’s always fun to eat out and try new cuisines — even splurge a little. But, in general, stick with the meals you usually eat and your body is used to. For us, it’s usually eggs and veggies in the morning and some type of protein with salad for dinner. And, yes, we do enjoy a gluten-free dessert from time-to-time!

You can purchase Nealy’s Food You Want: ‘For The Life You Crave’ cookbook here.

Follow Nealy on 
Youtube: @theflexiblechefbyNealy
Facebook: @theflexiblechef
Instagram: @theflexiblechef

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