At a certain point in a person’s life, they might decide to make a few adjustments to their daily routine. Indeed, from getting more exercise to changing what they eat, these modifications can have a really positive effect if they’re maintained. On that note, a writer named Farrah Penn opted to alter her lifestyle in 2019.
Penn decided to become a vegan over a four-week period, but the changes didn’t end there. In addition to her new diet, the author also showed an interest in some specific exercises to get herself fitter. However, there was a significant reason why she felt the need to take on this particular challenge.
As it turned out, Penn was mirroring Ariana Grande’s daily routines, curious as to whether they actually worked. For the last few years, the music superstar has been very open about her healthy eating habits and workouts. Alongside that, her personal trainer Harley Pasternak has shared some of those details as well.
According to Grande, her exercises have had a major impact on her creativity, while the vegan diet helps maintain her overall health. With that in mind, Penn, who already looked up to the singer, wanted to try it out herself. In June 2019, the writer then produced an in-depth article sharing the results.
Born in June 1993, Grande grew up in Florida alongside her parents Edward Butera and Joan Grande. Her dad ran a graphic design business in Boca Raton, while her mother was a businesswoman herself. During that time, the youngster started to show a real interest in the performing arts.
Indeed, Grande made her acting debut as the lead in a production of Annie at the Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theater. After that, the future music superstar showcased her talents further by appearing in shows such as Beauty and the Beast and The Wizard of Oz. But the hard work didn’t end there, though.
As a kid, Grande also worked with the likes of the South Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, honing her abilities along the way. From there, she then sang the American national anthem at a hockey match involving the Florida Panthers. That performance proved somewhat significant, as it marked her national small screen debut.
Following that hectic period, as a teenager Grande started to map out her future plans. While she wanted to continue acting on stage at that point, the performer ultimately had dreams of breaking into the music industry. On that note, she went on to earn a fantastic opportunity in the year she turned 15.
Grande landed a part in a Broadway production titled 13, taking on a character named Charlotte. She subsequently earned plenty of praise for her performances, before picking up a National Youth Theatre Association Award. In 2009, the versatile singer’s career then took another exciting turn, as she hit the small screen.
That year, Grande made her TV acting debut in a show called The Battery’s Down. However, some 12 months later, the future superstar got her big break, appearing in the Nickelodeon comedy Victorious. Over the next three years, she featured in more than 50 episodes of the program, which eventually came to an end in 2013.
After that stint on Victorious, Grande’s first album, titled Yours Truly, hit the shelves in September 2013. The record proved to be a big success, cracking the top ten in countries such as Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia. It did better still in America, hitting the top of the charts.
Off the back of that album, Grande’s sophomore release came out the following year. Titled My Everything, the record hit the top of the charts in several different countries around the world. In addition to that, her second effort also picked up a nomination at the Grammy Awards, but just missed out on the Best Pop Vocal Album gong.
Grande then followed that up with another three releases over the next few years, with her latest album hitting the shelves in February 2019. During that period, the singer has become one of the biggest music artists in the world, boasting millions of fans on social media. On Instagram alone, she has just under 160 million followers.
As a result of that popularity, Grande has been incredibly busy with her various tours, alongside her work on the albums. But despite all that, though, the superstar has still found time to adopt a daily routine that keeps her in tip-top shape. With the help of her personal trainer Harley Pasternak, she maintains her fitness through a number of exercises.
However, Grande favors two workout routines in particular, focusing on glute bridges and walking lunges. Given the simplicity of those moves, they can be performed anywhere, which is certainly ideal for someone on tour. With that in mind, Pasternak gave some insight into how she follows her exercise regime.
“There are a lot of times when we’ll be at a concert venue with Grande, and we don’t have a gym there,” Pasternak told Self magazine in September 2017. “So, we’ll walk-lunge the hallway. From a time perspective, an equipment perspective and a safety perspective, it’s all ideal.”
From there, Pasternak then touched upon that latter point in a bit more detail. “We’re not jumping and risking hurting [Grande],” he continued. “We’re not doing explosive movements, no heavy weights involved. We want to work her, and we want to do it in a safe way – this does it all.”
Away from the bridges and the lunges, Pasternak has set Grande an additional challenge to maintain her fitness. Indeed, the personal trainer expects her to reach a certain number of steps at the end of each day. In his mind, that’s just as important as the other workouts the star performs.
“I give [Grande] a step goal every day, whether she be dancing to get that step goal or watching her favorite movies while walking down the treadmill really slowly,” Pasternak told the website PopSugar in October 2017. “12,000 steps a day and she hits it. I can’t imagine her being still.”
Although Grande continues to hit her targets, she was somewhat skeptical of Pasternak’s routine at first. “He is obsessed with the step situation – getting your steps in,” the singer told Coveteur magazine in 2017. “For the longest time, I was like, ‘How is that more effective than doing a full-fledged workout?’ It really is. I feel better when I’m moving around a lot.”
Meanwhile, Pasternak’s physical challenge has also had another unexpected and positive side-effect. “I have a lot of ideas on the treadmill,” Grande continued. “If I need help writing or being creative, or coming up with an idea, [I’ll work out]. I came up with the idea for the ‘Side to Side’ video on the treadmill.”
As for Grande’s diet, she focuses on a number of healthy options that complement her workout routines. According to Pasternak, his client has a particular taste for food from the Far East. “Ariana Grande, she’s vegan,” he told Glamour magazine in April 2015. “And she loves daikon, lotus, adzuki beans – almost like a macrobiotic Japanese [diet].”
In contrast to more traditional eating regimes, a macrobiotic diet has links to the practice of Zen Buddhism. Subsequently, the individual will be looking to reach a balance between the “yin and yang” in their body through the food they eat. On that note, items such as meat, dairy products and eggs are all off the menu.
With Grande continuing to enjoy the benefits of these regimens, one of her fans planned to follow in her footsteps in 2019. Farrah Penn is a writer living in Los Angeles, California, who works for the BuzzFeed website. In addition to that, she plies her trade as an author as well.
A self-confessed supporter of Grande, Penn wrote an article for BuzzFeed in the summer of 2019, detailing an intriguing plan. Indeed, over a four-week period, she looked to take up the singer’s daily workout routine, as well as her unique diet. “Why not try it and see what happens?” the writer said.
At that point, Penn brought up the various exercises that Grande performs. Alongside the steps, the glute bridge and the walking lunges, she also employs other moves including reverse lunges, the pike plank and skater lunges. However, the Los Angeles resident seemed a bit more concerned about the food situation.
“Ariana is vegan, so that was a huge lifestyle adjustment I was going to have to make,” Penn wrote on BuzzFeed. “Especially considering how much I love cheese. But I decided I’d try my best and see what happened!” From there, the author then made an interesting point regarding the workouts.
“Because most of these exercises are so legs-focused, I added in some arm and ab workouts to even things out,” Penn continued. “My arm exercises included 40 arm circles forward and backward, 20 tricep lifts and 25 arm raises – all with three-pound weights. My core exercises included 40 core boat crunches, 20 leg raises and 60 bicycle crunches.”
With everything in place, Penn kicked off her month-long challenge, curious as to what would happen at the end. To begin with, the writer confronted one of her biggest concerns, as she looked to mirror Grande’s eating habits. Thankfully for her, she discovered a provider that eased her into that particular routine.
“I was nervous about making an enormous leap into eating vegan,” Penn wrote on the website. “Grocery shopping seemed overwhelming. I had no idea what to cook. So I found a meal subscription service called Purple Carrot that’s entirely plant-based. This made my first week of eating like Ariana SO EASY.”
After putting those initial fears to rest, Penn switched her focus to the workouts, noting how difficult things could get. “Ariana favors a LOT of leg exercises, and I knew I’d be incredibly sore the first week,” she continued. “Before I started, I stretched for 20 minutes, then foam-rolled for ten.”
Penn added, “THEN I got to the real work. I did five sets of 30 reps of each exercise, starting with reverse lunges and walking lunges on day one. I was pretty sore the next day, but not super-sore. Because my legs weren’t jelly, I went to the gym to use the treadmill.”
From there, Penn clocked up her 12,000 daily steps and put together her very first vegan dinner. However, as that opening week progressed, the writer started to feel the strain from all the workout routines. Indeed, the third day was particularly tough, but she managed to recover a short while after.
At the end of the first week, Penn then came to a realization. “Once the second week rolled around, I KNEW I was going to have to start doing my own grocery shopping and preparing my own Japanese vegan macrobiotic meals,” she wrote. “I also made sure to pick up snacks that Ariana likes, which included blueberries, edamame and sweet potato with cinnamon.”
Following that shopping trip, Penn got back into the swing of the exercises, with her body seemingly getting stronger. As for the steps, she struggled to reach the target of 12,000, while her diet took a bit of a hit. And after attending a “cheese party,” the Los Angeles resident admitted that she hadn’t been able to resist the temptation.
Despite those setbacks, though, Penn continued to cook vegan meals at home and kept up with the workouts. During the third week, she really started to notice the effects, touching upon how she approached the latter. “Ariana’s resistance exercises were becoming easier and easier every day,” the author wrote on BuzzFeed.
“Most days, I would look forward to coming home from work, turning on an hour-long episode of TV, and DOING THE WORK,” Penn recalled. “It rejuvenated me physically and mentally once I was finished.” Alongside that, she also began to reach her steps target again that week, registering over 16,000 one day.
As Penn entered the final week, her lifestyle changes had begun to feel normalized. From the exercises to the diet, she appeared to embrace the challenge head-on ahead of its conclusion. Moreover, the writer admitted that she enjoyed being “active” at home, as opposed to sitting around doing nothing.
By the end of the month, Penn noted that there was a “subtle difference” in her appearance, posting a photograph of the results. Compared to before, her stomach seemed a bit more toned from the exercise. After that, the BuzzFeed writer summed up her thoughts following an intriguing few weeks.
Penn spoke highly of the vegan diet she adopted over that period, before sharing an important message about keeping yourself fit. “It’s not hard to take an hour out of your day to do resistance exercises or walk on a treadmill,” the Los Angeles resident declared. “It’s all about telling yourself it won’t be so bad and to just DO IT.”