wellness theories

June Ambrose on Lemon Water and Breakfast Pasta

June Ambrose, kitchen and style aficionada.
June Ambrose, kitchen and style aficionada.

In fashion you’re only as good as your reputation, and stylist June Ambrose carries a reputation replete with A-list clients like Jay Z, Diddy, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell. There’s also her HSN accessories line, and, most recently, a custom kitchen suite where anyone can buy cabinets, appliances, and accessories designed by her. The Cut caught up with Ambrose to find out where her boundless energy comes from, why she thinks wellness is tied to fear, and how kitchens are a lot like fashion.

How I start my day: I like to wake before everyone else in the house, at 5 a.m. I watch the sunrise, meditate, reset, and plan out my day, before I go into the job of being a mother of two. It helps me center myself; it keeps from being an angry mommy. After, I’ll have a cup of hot water and lemon. It really cleans my palate and wakes up my system. Then I go to my green teas. I like strictly water in the morning because the body dehydrates while you’re sleeping and you want to replenish as soon as you get up. That’s been my fountain of youth. I like to avoid cold water unless I’m having a seltzer. I spent eight weeks in Southeast Asia and I learned there that warm fluids help with digestion. Also, I’m the kind of girl who has pasta for breakfast because I need energy. Don’t be surprised if I have spaghetti and eggs, or turkey bacon. I do concoctions like that.

How I like to sweat: I live in heels. I’m turning 44 this year and I start my warm-up on the elliptical loosening up those hips and getting in the zone. I like to circuit train. I get very bored in the gym. I’m not going to do an hour cycling class — but I’m going to do 20 minutes here, ten minutes there, and move around the gym. I tone my arms with boxing. I love the idea of barre, which is mixing a little bit of Pilates and yoga and ballet. I get to do it twice a week, maybe once a week sometimes, but it just breaks the monotony. Sometimes I don’t get to work out and I run downstairs and do the elliptical for 20 minutes. All of those little things make a difference. I may walk as opposed to catching a cab. That’s the single most important thing — to move your body.

What wellness means to me: Feeling fearless and powerful about living. No fear to me is super-important. Not being afraid to try something new and experience things that are life-changing. As you get older, that word comfortable comes into play and I never want to feel that way. I always want to feel the excitement about living, while also feeling in control.

My wellness shortcut: I like to find words that make me feel good and start my day by sharing them on Instagram. You really control the force of how your day moves. When you speak a word or when you find a phrase that really fits you in a powerful way, that sets the tone with not only yourself but how you interact with others.

My wellness advice: It’s important to make your mark and find your signature. That’s really important because your mark is going to give you confidence and your signature is going to give you longevity. Once you lay that out you can stay throughout time.

How I approached designing a kitchen: I wanted something that was soft, sophisticated, and made me smile. And then I thought — jewelry! I wanted my kitchen to feel like I could wear it out well, so I love the idea of mixing metals. My pots are copper, all my little personal kitchen bowls are on my marble counter, and I feel like they could inspire a jewelry collection and beyond.

I also thought about color with the things that I cook with. I love cooking with fresh herbs and mixing fruits and colors. Let’s say you have a grilled piece of fish, how do you style that? Garlic — that’s very tonal. And then you start to move into color with your herbs. When I’m adding plum tomatoes, that’s bringing color and organically naturally dressing up piece of fish — that’s how I think about food, fashion, and lifestyle all together.

This interview has been edited and condensed.