Carrie Underwood’s fitness line is making its New York Fashion Week debut this September. (Photo: Calia)
When country music superstar Carrie Underwood launched Calia, her activewear line with Dick’s Sporting Goods, last winter, it was clear that the clothes were meant for more than just hitting the gym. There were brightly patterned capris, the type of sweater that pulls any outfit together, and a bag that goes from yoga class to office to drinks without looking out of place.
Which is why when we heard Underwood’s spring line will debut at this fall’s New York Fashion Week (one of the first times an activewear collection will be shown at NYFW), we knew we had to get the scoop straight from the country star herself.
We caught up with Underwood to talk about the best parts of designing Calia, the healthy food she just can’t stand, and how her workouts have changed post-baby.
Yahoo Health: Why workout clothes?
Carrie Underwood: It’s such a part of my life. Not just the workout aspect of it, but the comfortable, cute, workout-wear aspect of it. Because I truly do live in that [kind of clothing], as so many women do.
YH: What’s the best part of designing the line?
CU: I love that I work with a team of people — I feel like we’re all on the same page. I’ll bring in something that I love, or I see, or something that I’ve had in my closet — like, “This is my favorite shirt, and I’ve had it for five years, and it’s awesome, and how can we implement this into Calia?” It’s just fun. Or when you’re picking out colors or patterns, and you [think], “How can I make this all come together?” I have tons of Calia in my closet, and that’s fun — actually seeing something that was an idea turn into a sweater or a really cool detail on a shirt.
I just think the whole Calia line has been a cool way for women to support each other, which is really awesome. [We’ve seen it] through social media, and people aren’t bragging, but they’re saying, “I didn’t think I could do this thing, but I did it!” And people applaud them for it.
YH: How have your needs for activewear changed since having a baby? [Underwood has a 4-month-old son, Isaiah Michael Fisher, with hockey player husband Mike Fisher.]
CU: I feel like it’s made it even more relevant to my life. Being a mom, there’s not a lot of extra time. Sometimes workouts just have to happen when they can. And if I’m ready for anything in what I’m wearing, that’s one less step. [After], I can go to the grocery store, and I don’t feel like I have to go change my clothes because I’m a sweaty mess.
It’s all about layering, transition pieces — going from one part of your day to the next. If I go out, I don’t feel like I have to change my entire outfit, because I’m like, “OK, I’ve got the sweater, and I just need to put on some pants and some cute shoes and I’m ready to go.”
YH: Have you always been really into fitness and health?
CU: I think it’s something that’s developed over the years. I remember when I was younger, trying to pay attention to labels [and] what I’m putting in my body, because it does make such a difference — it is fuel for the body. We treat things we love with such care — think of your favorite pair of shoes or your car that you love, or your house. You keep it clean. Our bodies should be the same way: Treat them with care, and with love, and watch what you put into them. So I’ve always been into that. And you can find so much information now. You can look things up and learn how to read labels and learn what foods are good for you and what exercises are good for you.
YH: Red-carpet appearances, sold-out concerts, and now fashion shows: How do you stay positive and grounded while living such a busy public life?
CU: I think being able to have something for yourself every day is important — [whether] that is your workout, or it’s meditation, or going for a walk, or whatever it is. I do try to make a little time. It might not be as much time as it used to be, but making some time for myself helps. You don’t have to think when you run, which is probably why I like it. You just throw music on your headphones and go.
YH: What’s your favorite workout — and what do you dread?
CU: I really like to switch it up, and it depends how much time I have, but there’s nothing like a good run. I’ve run more this summer than I have probably ever [run before]. Before I’d feel like, “Oh my gosh, it’s too hot.” But now, I can’t wait to get out and sweat. And if you have the right clothes that don’t make you feel sticky and gross, there’s just something different about it.
I don’t love ropes. I don’t do them often, but I do them because I know they’re so good for you. It’s good to shock your body a little bit and do workouts that you don’t usually do.
YH: What’s your go-to healthy meal?
CU: I’ve been making a lot of zucchini noodles lately. And they’re so easy to make — you can buy one of those spiralizers for $15. I can make a big Tupperware thing full of them if I have a few extra minutes, and I’ll grab a big handful and put some sauce on it. That’s an easy, healthy go-to. Or you can buy stir-fry vegetables, fresh in a package — broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. You just add some sort of protein, so I’ll do tofu or a chicken-meat substitute.
YH: Are there any healthy foods you just can’t stand?
CU: There’s only one vegetable I don’t like and, unfortunately, for a lot of places, it’s their vegetarian option: I hate eggplant! I have no idea why. [Besides that], I love vegetables. I love all of them. If I go to a restaurant and there’s not something vegetarian, I’m like, “Can the chef just make me something? I don’t care what it is. I’m not even picky!” I love food, but I hate eggplant.
YH: What’s your secret kitchen skill?
CU: I love taking foods that are normally bad for you and turning them healthy, swapping this for that. I haven’t done it in a while, but I can make pizza that’s good for you. My husband will ask, “Will you make us pizzas?” And I’ll make them on tortillas. It’s light, but super-filling, and has ridiculously less calories and fat and cheesy stuff. But it’s still really good.
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