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Plant Person Profile
Meet Amandah Povilitus, a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, pilates instructor, urban houseplant mama, and Plant Person we love.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a nature-loving, can’t-wait-to-live-in-a-cabin-in-the-forest introvert choosing to exist in an urban environment in an extroverted career.. and I am loving every second of it. My true joy comes from pushing myself and others to be the best versions of ourselves. My most memorable “shifts,” as I like to call them, include choosing to adopt a vegan lifestyle in middle school, moving to a “big city” in my teens, and switching careers in my 20s. I am as a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer and the Lead Pilates Instructor at The Fitler Club here in Philadelphia. I also teach ROAD cardio conditioning classes at EverybodyFights boxing gym. Additionally, I began offering virtual personal training and health coaching when the pandemic closed each of my gyms, and I am really digging the convenience and efficiency it.
For over 7 years I worked as a full-time cycling instructor with Flywheel Sports. Previous to that, I wrote for Nike Running (the gig that led me to change careers), learned everything I know about food while working as a sous chef in one of the country’s top plant-based restaurants, taught elementary/middle school, and coached high-school softball. While I am not done exploring just yet, my overarching life goal is to own and run a wellness retreat on an animal sanctuary. So far, I have led three successful fitness retreats at animal sanctuaries in Pennsylvania and New York.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading 1491 (New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus), listening to both Focus by Pedram Shojai and Compete to Create by Dr. Michael Gervais, Pete Carroll (I love to listen to audiobooks on my commutes), and just finished Superlife by Darin Olien. On my nightstand coming up next is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, How Not to Diet by Michael Greger, and Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall.
What's your must-have Plant People product?
I have three that I use every single day: Drops+ Relief, Relief+ Cooling Body Cream, and Revive Face Serum. I don’t know what I did without them!
What's your relationship to the world of "wellness"/plant medicine?
I originally decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle for animal reasons. The moment I made the connection between the animal on my plate and the animals that I knew and loved, that was it for me: I never touched meat again. Later, though, I became obsessed with the healing power of plants when my Aunt Laurie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After battling with all of the traditional methods for quite some time, she decided to adopt a mainly plant-based, organic diet. I remember going to juice bars with her and seeking out wide varieties of vibrant vegetables and fragrant herbs in the organic section of the grocery store. She made healing broths with all kinds of cruciferous vegetables and foods that I hadn’t even heard of before. Miraculously, she began to thrive: she glowed like I have never seen her (or anyone) glow before. She gave herself another chance to truly LIVE before she died, and that has forever changed me. I get chills thinking of our adventures on her last visit: we walked all over the city and and she never got tired. We laughed and experienced life like we used to, laughing and getting into trouble, before all of the chemotherapy and complications had taken her energy away. I am so grateful for that extra, real time that we had together.
Since then, I have read countless texts on the healing power of plants, and I am constantly learning more. I became a certified health coach. There is so much to learn about how we can heal ourselves, and I hope to share my knowledge with anyone/everyone who can benefit from it.
What do you love about it?
When I decided to change my diet over 20 years ago, nobody had heard of veganism or plant-based eating. I received the same questions and mockery each day, many times from the teachers and adults in my life. I felt like an outcast more often than not, and the food options (other than fresh fruits and vegetables, of course) were limited. I couldn’t go out to eat with my friends or attend dinners without either pretending not be hungry or negatively becoming the center of attention. I avoided social situations and many times opted to eat my lunch in the gym (my safe place) rather than deal with the chatter that would surely start up again when I unpacked my tofu scramble or tempeh sandwich.
Flash forward to now, and many of the same people who mocked me years ago have since reached out for help transitioning their own diets! I have had the opportunity to create an entire menu for a local juice/smoothie bar, designed plant-based eating plans for local gyms and workplaces, hosted a number of Plant-Based 101 Workshops at yoga studios and storefronts, and have hosted three successful wellness retreats. I can go to countless restaurants that not only have a few plant-based options, but have entire menus of creative items for me to enjoy. My clients constantly assume I am 5-10 years younger than I actually am. I am blown away at the progress of this in just my own lifetime!
What needs to be changed?
Accessibility (wellness should be available to everyone) and competition/negativity amongst wellness practitioners (we are all in this together - there is space for all of us).
To play my small part, I offer pay-what-you-can pricing for my personal training and for my health coaching. I have a few clients who pay slightly less than what I advertise as my “bottom tier,” as I would rather eat a few dollars than not work with someone who truly wants to be better but simply cannot afford it. My ideal client is anyone who is committed to his/her goals, not just who can foot some hefty bill for my expertise. More often than not, the former tends to be the most rewarding clients, and that is worth way more than another $5-20 in my pocket.
To my latter point, the shaming/arguing/competition amongst the fitness/wellness community has got to stop. There are entire instagram pages dedicated to cutting each other down, and many Instagram Stories have become rants about other trainers, other workouts, other diets, and other lifetyles. I have muted more than half of my “colleagues” for these reasons. Each person thrives differently, and there is plenty of room for all of us in this space.
How did you discover Plant People?
I have struggled with sleep my entire life. Last year, my boyfriend impulse-bought me a bottle of Drops+ Sleep.. and it changed my life. I have never had a product work for me before, and from that first bottle I was hooked! We enjoy our drops nightly with a warm cup of chamomile or peppermint tea (last night I mixed Stinging Nettle and Peppermint Tea, and it was delicious!).
What do you think sets Plant People apart?
For me, it is simple: the products work! I use Drops+ Relief (AM) and Drops+ Sleep (PM) daily. The Relief+ Cooling Body Cream is the only pain relieving cream that has ever worked for me. When I worked as a full-time cycling instructor, I was teaching 10-15 classes every week - my body ached, to say the least! The Relief+ Cooling Body Cream kept me doing what I loved longer (until Flywheel closed a few months ago), and allowed me to actually recover at the end of the night. Simply life-changing!
Who are three people we should follow right now?
I have been spending less and less time on social media, to be honest. The amount of wasted time and negativity that I was absorbing got to be too much for me to handle. While I am still active on Instagram because of my work, I do try to post and exit as quickly as possible. However, I do follow a number of feel-good accounts that make me happy when I open the app. These are three of my favorites:
@arthursacres - a nonprofit animal sanctuary started by one of my personal heroes, Todd. Seeing the animals simply living their lives happily and safely brings me so much joy. I aspire to run a sanctuary of my own one day!
@lalahdelia - an author who I greatly admire. She shares daily wisdom, motivation, online classes, and encouragement. I highly recommend her book “Vibrate Higher Daily.”
@lizette_pompa - a yoga and movement teacher who inspires me. She consistently posts creative, original exercises and flows that I regularly incorporate into my own practice and that of my clients’.
What's the future of “wellness"?
The future of wellness is in education and accessibility.
What's your #1 must-do tip to feel whole, nourished, grounded?
Treat yourself well. Instead of “treating yourself” to alcohol binges, sugary desserts, or making some big purchase that you know you cannot afford, treat yourself to something that will make you feel better! Treat yourself with nourishing foods, with recovery and sleep, with a relaxing meditation, or with movement/exercise. If you are someone who likes to splurge, why not splurge on a massage, on a wellness retreat, or on that Restore Face Mask that you have had bookmarked for six months (that was me and it was a splurge that brought me joy and glowing skin!).