A:I was born and raised in Toronto, with a Colombian influence as both of my parents are Colombian. I grew up just north of the city in a suburb and moved back to the city as I've always been a city girl at heart! As much as I love my beautiful city of Toronto my second home is Miami and I'm there quite frequently, not only to unwind but also train clients on the beach.
Q:Favorite place to eat in Toronto?
A:Besides my own kitchen, my favourite place to eat in Toronto at the moment would have to be Aroma cafe, which is just a quick little cafe with amazing healthy foods! It's actually a newer franchise to Toronto but has been around for years in Israel. My favourite meal at the moment is the "warm kale salad”, which has roasted red peppers, sliced portobello mushrooms and goat cheese. I customize it by adding on parsley, cucumber and four hard boiled egg whites!
Q:Sounds good! When and why did you become a personal trainer?
A:I became a certified trainer in 2009 after many many years of working out and just helping people train. I had friends, family and friends of family that pretty much relied on me for their workouts and I they would workout whenever I was at the gym, so finally I decided I completely love doing this so why not just get certified.
I was in the corporate world so I didn't completely get right into training people full time for the first year.
Q:Can you give us some of your diet and workout routine tips?
A:My diet is completely clean year round, it's just part of my lifestyle now, and I happen to LOVE food so I'm always experimenting in my kitchen coming up with new things. I start every morning with an egg white crepe topped with different fruit which is my favourite meal of the day!
My latest experiments gone completely right are my protein ice cream. I've got different flavours that I combine and my current favourite is coconut parsley vanilla protein ice cream- it's delicious and so nutritious! My other treat is vanilla coconut protein cake, which I usually eat with my ice cream. These treats are sugar-free, aspartame- free, gluten-free, dairy-free and nutrient rich! So indulging is actually good for you!
My style of working out is not conventional, I don't do the same thing twice expect for my "leg days", otherwise I'm always changing it up... changing up the intensity and keeping my body guessing.
I recommend that people use this style of training for a couple of reasons. Firstly it keeps you from getting bored, secondly by keeping your body guessing you avoid a plateau. I also don't recommend anyone to waste their time or money on cardio machines, if you workout correctly you do not need to use cardio machines.
Q:Explain holistic nutrition...
A:Holistic Nutrition is different from conventional Nutrition because we look at each individual completely different and customize a plan that works best for them. There's not one typical diet for anyone as we are all different and what works for one person might not necessarily for work for another person, (which is why there are so many confused and frustrated people out there). Just because a "diet" has worked for your friend and she lost 15 pounds, don't expect that to work for you!
As a holistic nutritionist we also take it a little deeper and find things that you might have never known that have kept you ill for years without you knowing it. Food sensitivities for instance are so common yet people don't know and continue to consume thing a that are harming them inside and out! For instance dairy is a big one and most clients never realize how good their body is designed to feel until they have cut it out and of course the bonus after feeling great is looking great and shedding that stubborn weight.
Something else that makes my personal approach to holistic nutrition is I don't put anyone on a "diet". I educate my clients and we work together to find what works best for their body and then we make it a lifestyle change, not a "diet".
Q:Love that insight. You also teach Yoga. Tell us about this journey...
A:Yoga is something I had done on and off for years but it wasn't until I fell ill in early 2011 that I completely fell in love with yoga! I was in and out of hospitals with no real answers and finally I became exhausted, I was too weak for my normal workout routine but needed to be physically active so I took up hot yoga! This was the beginning of my journey! Yoga completely healed my body! So I took an tensile teacher training and became a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor, in order to help others heal their bodies as well!
Now once I healed my body and was able to train I realized how important it is to combine both practices together! This is where FitGa Fitness & Yoga was born.
I believe fitness and yoga are the perfect partners in taking your body and health to the next level.
Q:Favorite Yoga pose?
A:My favourite yoga pose is pigeon, it can feel uncomfortable at first because its usually a very tight area especially for people who train or run regularly. It's great for not only stretching tight glutes and hamstrings but also opening up the hips which will help you squat deeper and heavier.
Q:You're also into crossfit. What's your favorite W.O.D.?
A:I love Crossfit and throw it into the mix whenever I can as well, my favourite WOD would have to be "Filthy Fifty"... I'm a sucker for pain haha!
Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A:I absolutely love what I do and educating people to live healthier happier lives is what keeps me motivated and inspired! I'm not sure where I will be in five years, but I know I'll have some more fitness competitions under my belt, more cooking classes, more boot camps, more FitGa Fitness & Yoga... and not just in Toronto but in Miami, and who knows where else! I'm just grateful to be able to share my passion with the world!
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven.com