Elise Allen is an Emmy Award-winning TV writer and bestselling young adult author of Populazzi, optioned for film. She is also the co-author with Hilary Duff of the Elixir series.
Favorite place to write: Muddhouse Coffee in West Hills, Calif. I go to boot camp at Carter Fitness, which is pretty close to next-door, then I plug in at Muddhouse until it’s time to pick my daughter up from school. The coffee is amazing, there’s free Wi-Fi, and I love the staff.
Favorite healthy recipe for summer: I don’t cook at all, but I have one recipe that I love. It’s for crock-pot pulled chicken, and it’s obscenely easy: You put 1 cup (or 1 Trader Joe’s can, which is a little more) of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup organic ketchup, about 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, about 2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and LOTS of garlic powder into the crock-pot. Mix it up, then spoon it over about 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cook it on low for 7-8 hours, or on high 3-4 hours. It’s yummy! My daughter and husband like it over pasta or rice; I eat it over salad or broccoli slaw.
Favorite summer workout: Stand-up paddleboarding! It’s like walking on water. It’s so magical. I don’t even realize I’m working out until the next day, when I feel the delicious ache in my arms and abs.
Favorite fitness trend you’ve tried or want to try: Everyone in LA should try an aerobics class at Slimmons Studio! It’s the real deal: Old-style, high-impact aerobics with Richard Simmons blasting the disco, going through at least four costume changes and making everyone—especially himself—cry with his words of inspiration. If you’re in the area, you must take this class at least once!
Favorite yoga pose: Child’s pose. It feels so good at the end of any workout.
No. 1 tip to stay fit when you're in front of a computer every day: Don’t snack to get yourself through those frustrating patches when the words won’t come. Instead, go for a walk, do a set of sit-ups, jump rope… get away from the computer and let your brain breathe. Not only is it better for your waistline, but it’s better for your story since you’re more likely to get inspired when you’re concentrating on something else.
What's on your summer reading list? I just read Sonya Sones’ The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, and loved it so much I want to read her entire back catalog. Sarah Pekkanen’s These Girls is also on my list—I’m crazy about all her work.
Favorite summer read of all time: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants—the whole series.
@EliseLAllen on Twitter