As American Idol revs up for its final season next month, one of the show’s darlings, Carrie Underwood, is launching a new chapter of her own. The singer debuted an athleisure line, Calia, at New York Fashion Week last fall — impressive considering just six months before, she and her NFL-player husband, Mike Fisher, welcomed their first child. In between shows in September, Underwood spoke with the Cut about being a new mom, grazing from the fridge, and unapologetically asking for help.
How I start my day: Generally, my son will wake up any time after 6, so I’ll get up with him. I feed him and then make something for myself, which is usually pretty random. I eat cereal a lot. I don’t put anything on it, I just eat it dry. I like Kashi cereal, or anything that’s oaty and low-sugar. I drink a cup of coffee and try to get in something that resembles a workout. It could be a real workout or a walk — it just depends on my day
How I like to sweat: I recommend that people save their money and get a good trainer to come over a couple of times a week. Learn from them what to do, and then do it on your own. That’s what I do.
My biggest wellness struggle is: Time management. I’ve tried to sit back and figure out how I can make it better for me, since that’s what stresses me out the most — I just never have enough time. I have like 5,000 things I need to do and know that there’s no way I can get them all done. Dealing with laundry, cleaning my house, taking Isaiah to a pediatrician’s appointment, and telling so and so that I’m meeting them for dinner tonight — there’s just so much.
How I eat when I’m alone: I feel like people look at me and know that I’m a healthy person. When I’m around people, I eat a lot better because I feel like I have to live up to expectations. So when I’m alone I’ll just eat junk. I’ll eat chips. I’ll just open my fridge and say, “What can I have? Oh, there’s some ice cream, awesome, let me have that.” But in general, when I’m alone, I don’t eat very well.
How wellness has changed for me: After being a wife and then being a mom, knowing how your wellness affects others is something that’s become more evident to me. Taking care of myself allows me to better take care of others. So if I work out, even if it’s not a long one, it’s something that I feel better about. That’s been my take on it throughout the years. And that’s not selfish. It’s allowing you to be the best version of yourself, which everyone else benefits from as well.
My wellness shortcut is: I think having easy clothes is good. Having things you can just grab and throw on to be cute and comfortable, I think that’s important. And then prep work. Chopping vegetables, making things ahead, like oatmeal squares, is really helpful because then you have healthy options that are easy.
My wellness advice is: Ask for help. I think it’s something that can help your entire life. Just find the things in life that make everything easier. Your husband can fold the laundry if you just ask. You’ll never get help if you don’t ask for help. Call your in-laws and say, “Hey, can you take the kids for a minute while I do this?” People will be willing to do it. It’s hard in the beginning. You’re like, I can’t do it all by myself? It’s always better when everyone else is involved.
This interview has been edited and condensed.