THE WELL Q&A: Todd Allen

Our Mindful Movement instructor shares his go-to wellness tips and how a dance background began his wellness journey.

Todd Allen
Tell us about your background. What brought you to wellness?

As a kid, I always had a pediatrician and a homeopath because of my severe allergies. I had no idea how unusual this was at the time.

I also began dancing at age three, and was surrounded by artists and teachers while growing up that encouraged me to explore and create. They exposed me to yoga, acupuncture, Feldenkrais technique, Pilates and other wellness practices. I feel extremely grateful to my (conservative) parents for allowing me to exist and thrive in a world that they did not fully understand.

One lesson you’ll take away from the COVID-19 pandemic?

First thing that came to my mind — I have way too much stuff. I can live happily and well with a lot less.

The book you own that is the most dog-eared?

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron and The Trail Guide to The Body by Andrew Biel (my go-to anatomy reference book).

Snack you pack when you’re on the go?

Tamari Almonds from Juice Press and Go Macro Protein Bars.

Instagram accounts that get the most likes?

Anything related to animals. I follow way too many animal rescue organizations.

Best beauty secret?

This is not so much a secret, but my favorite new find — Patchology PoshPeel PediCure at-home foot treatments have changed my life.

Early bird or night owl?

Early bird

Wellness travel essentials?

I keep crystals in my dopp kit at all times. I currently have a rose quartz, a tiger’s eye and a rhodonite in my bag: rose quartz to promote love and harmony in all of my interactions throughout the day, tiger’s eye to help release fear and stimulate taking thoughtful action and rhodonite to foster compassion and forgiveness and to clear old negative emotional patterns.

I also always travel with an essential oil or two as well. I carry lavender oil to curb anxiety because travel can be stressful and a citrus oil like bergamot or grapefruit to use as an air freshener and for a quick pick-me-up when needed.

The key to a good night's sleep?

I have found that I sleep much better if I stop eating a couple of hours before going to bed.

When you really need to chill out, you…

Take some quiet time alone, in nature if possible. I LOVE the beach. I grew up in Utah so the mountains and the desert are home for me.

Instant mood lifter?

My dogs, Butch and Lefty.

Food philosophy?

I am very allergic to dairy and I'm Celiac, so everything must be dairy- and gluten-free. I eat a mostly plant-based diet as a result.

Most used condiments?

Current choice: everything bagel seasoning. (Is peanut butter a condiment? That is up there too.)

How do you take coffee or tea?

Oat milk matcha latte, please.

Hydration strategy?

Drink (at least) half of your body weight in ounces of water each day.

In your salad?

Avocado always

Go-to wellness gift?

Homesick CandlesCrystals (type of crystal depends on the recipient). Gift Card from The WELL.

How do you reboot?

My quick reboot if I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed during the workday is to put on my headphones and play music that I love. There may be singing and dancing involved too — only when working from home, of course! This always lifts my spirits, calms me down and allows me to refocus.

Preferred mode of movement?

Dance

When you feel a cold coming on you…

Take my Immune Complex from THE WELL and up my intake of water and vitamin C.

Weirdest wellness trend you've tried?

IV Therapy — I went with a friend in Los Angeles who swears by it. I am very averse to any type of needle (I am known to pass out during a blood draw) but thought I would be okay in a calm, supportive atmosphere. I was WRONG! I couldn't relax at all, felt uncomfortable the entire treatment and was really unable to feel the benefits of the session. Lesson learned that it is so not my thing.

Last time you laughed?

Last night watching a rerun of Friends.

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