By Liana Jacob
THIS GRAN swears by a RAW FOOD diet to keep her looking youthful – and the flirtatious advances she receives from MEN and being mistaken for her daughter’s sister prove it’s working.
Pilates instructor, Alejandra Labastida-Shapiro (55) who lives in Chicago, Illinois, USA, began her journey to live a healthy lifestyle when she was just 10 years old when her father would encourage her to run with him.
Growing up with healthy parents who would use natural remedies and medicinal herbs to avoid future sicknesses and injuries, educated Alejandra about the world of fitness and diets. While she initially chose this lifestyle for vanity reasons, as she grew older, she began to re-shift her focus to improve her health.
In 2000, Alejandra, who is a mum to three adults; Roberto (34), Alejandra (32) and Mauricio (25), was introduced to Pilates through a friend, which she fell in love with. She avoids any processed food and sugar and consumes mainly raw and organic food.
Her youthful figure has prompted many advances from men who give her compliments on her appearance and has even received flowers from a secret admirer.
“My dad introduced me to exercise when I was a little girl. From a very young age I was aware of the power of natural living,” Alejandra said.
“My parents used medicinal herbs, traditional remedies or homeopathy most of the time to cure our early years sicknesses and injuries.
“I always was involved in sports and believe our body is the temple where our soul resides, so I had been for years studying and practising better and more effective ways to reach that goal.
“My lifestyle always had been healthy but has been improving by knowledge and experience and also by observation of my clients’ results.
“I teach with my knowledge and by example that the statement ‘age is just a number’ is true if you have the right care in your lifestyle and with positive thoughts.
“I keep a balance in my active training and recovery time. Before I used to think by doing cardio was more than enough to keep my body healthy, but injuries and studying different formats taught me that our muscles have different abilities and motions.
“There is not a specific fitness format that can cover all of them. The same format can develop overuse injuries or fractures.
“I also learned how with age it was important to develop our muscles to prevent osteoporosis and keep hormonal balance by keeping active workouts with recovery workouts.
“Good posture and mobility play an important part of our energy level and ability to rid us of toxins in the body.
“Balance in your nutrients is a very important part of overall, but with a positive mind, all of these components combine to create a healthy body.
“I can manage better normal stress in life and use my energy to do more things that I need to do, but also what I love to do.
“I can still do activities that most people of my age can’t and enjoy life doing things with my loved ones. I have to admit that today I need to take care more about what to eat than before, otherwise I can gain weight easier.
“You are what you eat, so I avoid the most that I can processed food and sugar. Mostly I eat raw and organic and avoid putting chemicals in my body.
“I try to avoid medication. I prefer to use herbs, natural remedies or homeopathy than any other medication. Our bodies have amazing power to heal.”
Alejandra, who also has four grandchildren says that her lifestyle has helped her keep up with them and join in fun activities.
Since becoming a Pilates instructor, she has received many compliments on her appearance and people often mistake her for her daughter’s sister.
“I feel healthier in general and smarter than I did in my twenties and thirties. I’ve even learned to stay away from toxic people or situations that drain my energy. When you do that, the right people appear in your life,” she said.
“Men are really surprised when they see me. Whenever I teach classes or I’m in different places, guys will give me complements. Even on social media, I receive complements about how I look on Instagram.
“A couple of times I’ve received flowers from strangers; I’m married so I right away say my status. Many times, people think my daughter and I are sisters.
“Start changing one bad habit for a good one at time. If for some reason you fall, be nice with you. Start over and be more aware.
“Eat the more natural possible and less process. Every time you eat you are fighting or creating a disease.
“Drink a lot of water, be positive; l always try to find the good side in everything and more importantly, be yourself, be authentic.”