Words and photographs by Georgia Blackie.
ALAS pal Jamey Nguyen radiates energy - whether it's through dance, working out, or hiking in the bush, she loves to move her body. We recently visited Jamey's home in Sydney's inner-west which she shares with her husband and kitty cat, along with their beautiful collection of art, furniture, plants, and more. We were lucky enough to spend some time chatting with and taking beautiful photos of Jamey in her new ALAS goodies, and about how movement makes her feel alive...
ALAS: When you have time off, what are your favourite things to do to make it really count?
J N: My three favourite things would have to be:
Exercise - I have a weekly routine of varying fitness classes such as dance, boxing, combat and personal training, which is mainly weights and strength training. I love my routine as it gives me extra energy, especially as I work in an office five days a week. The variety not only works different parts of my body, it also works different parts of my brain. Being strong and feeling positive also empowers me (and makes me feel totally badass, in a good way!)
Cooking - it's essential and extremely therapeutic to me. I grew up in a big Vietnamese family whose lives revolved around food. My grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles all loved cooking, so we had weekly get-togethers with the most amazing spreads. My childhood was filled with colourful, crunchy, flavoursome food - so blessed! My love of cooking has definitely been inspired by my family and culture. But on a daily basis, I'm all about a healthy balanced diet. Healthy eating and exercise are the two things I introduced into my life only in my mid-twenties, but they have completely changed my life - both physically and mentally.
Camping/hiking - When I really find the time, I absolutely love being outdoors, going for hikes and camping in absolute privacy, the old-school way (none of this glamping business!). As much as I love living in the city, nothing beats walking among wildlife and being grateful for the land we walk on.
ALAS: You're a qualified dance instructor - what led you to dance? What role does dance have in your life?
J N: I'm trained in dance fitness, so definitely not technical, just more for fitness and fun.
Like most people, I did dance in school, and I've always loved dancing just in general. So being able to do dancing as a form of fitness is a total bonus. I love how dancing makes you sweat like crazy, and not only works your coordination but you really use your brain - motor, memory, all of it. To me, it's the best form of self-expression. It's totally freeing.
ALAS: Can you recommend something that you think is generally underrated?
J N: Walking, particularly as a meditative state. We tend to walk as a means to get somewhere or for exercise, but I think it's really important to use the simple act of walking as a time to meditate, reflect or just breathe. You can walk to free your mind, or use the time to think deeply. I even like to make it a simple habit, such as going for a 'digestive stroll' after lunch.