Joanne Encarnacion is a wife, mom of two, and driven creative who seems to truly have this whole balance thing down. When she’s not busy turning everything she touches into visual gold as the Director of Curation for a company called VSCO (maybe you’ve heard of it), you can find her inspiring the wellness community on Instagram as @gofitjo. Through gorgeous imagery and motivating words, the San Fransisco-based digital maven says she shares her fitness journey in hopes that people will see the incredible impact that an active lifestyle has made not only on her health but on other areas of her life. We caught up with Joanne to get her thoughts on avocado toast, the value of knowing how to “unplug,” plus the killer piece of advice that she still considers the best she’s received.
What is your “urban island,” that oasis in the big city that helps you find balance?
My ultimate urban island is in my bedroom, at home in bed with my kids. This is a place where we pillow fight, talk, and simply “unplug” as much as possible. There are no TVs in my bedroom and for the most part, iPhones are the only electronics brought into this room. So it’s really our opportunity as a family to have this undisturbed time together. Another place I like to get away and find balance is during summertime by the pool. As a family we love water, whether it’s the ocean or our pool. There’s something magical about being submerged underwater and even at my age of 32, I’m still pretending I’m Ariel swimming under the sea.
What is your favorite adventure?
My favorite adventure is swimming in the Pacific Ocean. I don’t get to snorkel often, but when I do I pretend I’m a sea creature swimming carelessly and carefree. There is something calming about floating and gracing the shallow reefs while fish are floating by you. It’s like you’re in a completely different world.
If you were an island, which one would you be?
I would be Oahu. The Hawaiian Islands are some of my favorite, mostly because it holds a very special place in my heart. It’s one where I learned to let go of most of the judgment that I placed on myself as well as my body image issues. Oahu in particular has a little bit of that rugged island outdoor adventure, city life, as well as a calmness that the North Shore brings. It truly evokes a sense of balance or at least a place that is still figuring it all out while having it all.
If you were a city, which one would you be?
If I were a city, I think I would be New York: a woman who is always up to something new, juggling all the incredible opportunities in her hands.
What are your five island essentials?
Maui Babe Browning Lotion, a camera, a friend or my family, a bathing suit from San Lorenzo, and Hawaiian Island Reggae.
What wellness trend do you think is the most underrated?
I think the most underrated wellness trend happens to be facials and skincare. We focus so much on taking care of our physical bodies but we rarely take the opportunity to care for our skin by indulging in a facial that’s detrimental for the health of our skin and such a nice relaxing treat.
What wellness trend do you think is the most overrated?
Avocado toast. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge fan and I absolutely love fresh California Avocados mashed up with sea salt and some lemon zest all on top of a freshly baked homemade rye bread. Sorry, Instagrammers- I know these things are gorgeous to photograph, but what about egg white omelets? What about a healthy low-fat chilaqules with egg whites and a sirloin steak?
What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It’s okay to be different. Embrace the unique qualities that you have as a person and use them to your advantage. We often forget that who we are is the best brand to wear. [We are all a] one-of-a-kind, unique, and one-time event in the universe.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
I’ve given so much advice to those around me, to those who follow me on Instagram, and who read my blog. But the best piece of advice that I think I’ve ever given is to learn to find the joy and happiness at every single stage of your fitness journey, and most importantly, your life journey. You won’t have it all figured out and that’s ok. It will all sort itself out in the end; just enjoy it all because you have worked really hard and given it your best.
We believe all jewelry tells a story. What is the story behind your favorite piece of jewelry?
My favorite piece of jewelry is the vintage Gucci watch my mother gave me for my birthday. My mother’s first business in the Philippines was being a jeweler. She used to pawn jewelry and make jewelry and it’s what allowed her to financially support her family and move out here to the U.S. with my dad. The watch was one of the pieces I fell in love with as an adult; it’s a reminder for me to work hard, dream hard, and never forget the reasons why we do all these things in the first place, which is family.
What’s your urban island? Tag @kalakiriot on Instagram and use the hashtag #myurbanisland for a chance to be featured on our site.
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