Ballet Beautiful’s Mary Helen Bowers

Most are familiar with the fitness phenomenon of Ballet Beautiful, started by the gorgeous Mary Helen Bowers. For those not, it’s a workout regimen centered around ballet techniques – something us potato-heads are really, really good at (not).

When you’re practicing beauty from the inside out, your workout is just as important as what you’re putting in your body (you know, to give you that glow). That’s why we chatted with MHB on all things concerning the F trifecta. That’s food, fashion and fitness for those that didn’t get that…catch up.

ballet beautiful

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

When you are working with fresh ingredients, everything tastes better! I think it’s one reason why the food in Italy is so delicious. I love starting my day with lots of water followed by coffee and oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts. Lunch would be a delicious salad with grilled salmon or steak. I always need some dark chocolate in the afternoon along with toasted almonds. Yum! Dinner could be roast chicken with sweet potatoes and greens. I’m nursing now, so I’ve been having a bit of dark beer rather than my usual red wine. And dark cherries for dessert!

How do you practice beauty from the inside out? 

I always find that when you feel good you look terrific too! I find that staying hydrated (lots and lots of water), sleeping well and working out regularly are the keys to transforming your body and feeling great, from the inside out.

How do you always start and end your day on a good note?

A good night’s sleep is the best start, but some days you just have to fake it! A face mask while I prep my breakfast is always a good start to help the skin glow, along with a morning workout. Exercise always makes me feel happier and puts me in a more positive frame of mind.

In the evenings, I love taking a hot bath with Epsom salt and coconut oil for the skin to pamper muscles and really relax.

What are your morning and nightly beauty regimes?

Skin care is a huge part of my beauty routine. I like organic products, monthly facials and daily SPF!

What foods do you find best for skincare?

Anything anti-inflammatory, like berries, avocados, salmon, and nuts.

What foods are best to move towards the ‘ballet body?’

Fresh produce, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.

mary helen bowers photoshoot

What’s always in your fridge?

Skim milk, organic eggs and fresh fruit.

What’s an overrated workout in your opinion?

I think people put too much emphasis on cardio. I’ve found the key to shaping a toned, gorgeous body is less about cardio and more about targeted exercises and resistance work. It’s incredible what the right workout can do to reshape and tone the physique!

The first steps to making a body change…

Getting in the right mindset. It all comes down to your outlook and commitment to yourself!

Advice to women getting up, looking in the mirror and getting dressed…

You have to love yourself to treat your body with love. Avoid obsessing over flaws and always emphasize your strengths.

Words to work out by…

I think I can…It’s all about having a positive outlook and making time for yourself.


Your favorite workout besides your own…

Swimming. Preferably in a 50 meter saltwater pool. Or the Caribbean!

What are your go-to snacks?

I snack on foods that are healthy and easy to pack. Organic fruit, raw almonds and popcorn popped in olive oil are all favorites.

Who’s your style icon?

Suzanne Farrell.

First thing that catches your eye on a menu…

I always look for the salads and the sides.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

Probably San Francisco. The food is local, fresh and not overdone. Pizza and salad at Delfina in the Mission are a must and if we are picnicking, a trip to Bi-Rite for fresh bread, local chocolates, wine and cheese! I was recently in Rome and almost every meal we had was incredible.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what is ‘the new potato’ in health and wellness right now?

Ballet Beautiful of course!


*Check out Mary Helen in our latest TNP video, Glowing in 2014

*Mary Helen Bowers, photographed at Ballet Beautiful in New York City by Danielle Kosann. Mary Helen wears Ballet Beautiful. 

Love ballet? Read this interview with Misty Copeland. Looking for more boutique fitness? Read about ModelFit, SoulCycle and SLT