Local lifestyles: Ana Luisa

Tell me about yourself 
I’m a woman, a mother, a Psychologist, a Dance Movement Therapist and a Doula.  I’m Chilean but I’ve lived in Barcelona for five years.
What does a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
A healthy lifestyle is a challenge in the sense that it’s permanent work to maintain a balance internally and externally. What I mean by the internal world is your biology, emotions and psychological needs. In this regard regular meditation and allowing myself to express my creativity is important for dealing with life’s problems. What I mean by the external world is how we are balanced socially, our relationships with others, the activities we do and the diet we eat. Each one has a different rhythm and I try to always respect these rhythms. For me healthy is not just living without disease but to live balanced between mind and body and the external world.
How does living in Barcelona help you to stay healthy?
Barcelona is such a friendly city, I always feel like a tourist. It’s a city that inspires me and keeps me curious, trying many different experiences. Especially those relating to health and wellbeing. In Chile it’s very typical to spend your free time going to the gym. Here you can take part in so many activities in the city as well as in nature and by the seaside. It’s safe and you don’t need a car. It’s a city that encourages walking and cycling and it’s a city that’s always in transit. Always moving and reviving itself so new experiences always arise.
If you had one day in Barcelona, what would you do?
I would start the day taking a walk up to the Montjuic mountain where there is a beautiful skyline of Barcelona.  I like to take my own picnic when I go for walks because I’m a mum and always want my son to eat well.  I would pack some fruit smoothies and typical Mediterranean food – nuts and tomatoes and avocados and organic cheese and bread.
As I said, cycling around Barcelona is very nice and there are plenty of cycle lanes to make it safe.  I would take the bike (we use the city bike) and cycle from the Montjuic to the beach. The promenade also has a long cycle lane that stretches all the way up to Poblenou. Me and my son and my friends love to play tennis or volleyball on Bogatell beach in the afternoons when the sun isn’t so strong.
Then I would cycle back through Park Ciutadella (the vibrancy and ambience of this park is amazing) and head towards one of my favourite districts – El Born. Here I would simply walk the streets and discover the old architecture and the graffiti. The graffiti art of Barcelona is very inspiring as it’s always evolving. Then I would spend the evening  at the Turkish baths of Aire de Barcelona. 
For a healthy evening meal I would go to a Chilean restaurant to feel connected to my roots. My favourite one in Barcelona is called Hugo.
What are the top three things you would recommend doing in your neighbourhood?
I live in a nice neighbourhood called Gracia which is outside of the main tourist area. The top three things I would recommend are:
1. Visit the parks. We have Park Guinardo, Park del Carmel and Park Guell. They are great for running or walking. And the views are fantastic. If you reach the top of Park Guinardo you will find the war bunkers with some of the best views of Barcelona.

. We also have Park de les Aigues which is a small and quiet park with plenty of areas to sit and read in peace. I often take my son there to paint or colour or read to ensure my internal needs are in check.

. There are so many great healthy places to eat in Gracia that are especially healthy and vegetarian. I would recommend going to eat at Veg World India – it´s small and friendly and has delicious vegetarian Indian food.
Thanks Ana for spending the time telling us all about your lovely healthy Barcelona life.
If you want to follow Ana you can find her on www.analuisamezaferrari.com

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