1. Tell us a little bit about your background and what you do?
First of all, thank you for inviting me to become part of your great website, by sharing “a portion” of myself, my life and my beliefs.
In a couple sentences, I am a former professional basketball player. After 6 really bad shoulder dislocations, I was forced to stop competing. Back then basketball was my life and everything I wanted to do. For the next year I was in a deep depression. I couldn’t find the joy and the purpose in life and nothing seemed to matter anymore. I imagined myself as an 80 year old grandma, feeling sorry for herself and her unfulfilled basketball dream.
But I’ve always had a spark in myself, that just wouldn’t allow me to put up with the mere existence and spend my life wasting the great opportunity of being a person with unlimited potential.
That’s when I decided that I will just redirect my disappointment in another area. That’s how I started training swimming. I did it for a couple years and it was something like a therapy for my mind and soul. Actually it helped me recover from the injuries as well. Swimming was something that helped me experience the sense of accomplishment, a sense of belonging, in a time of my life when I felt really lost. It gave me room to grow and discover my true purpose in life.
Long story short, I started Crossfit, and I feel in love with lifting weights. I discovered
my passion, about helping people improve their life through eating real food, taking care of their bodies and feeding their soul with “things” that really matter.
Since then I am not an avid crossfitter anymore. I’ve shifted my focus more towards strength and conditioning in a different perspective. I took from Crossfit, what I find to be valuable.
The experience I have with various sports, injuries, accomplishments and failures, has helped me identify what works and what doesn’t work, so I could create a training philosophy that could help people invest minimal time in working out, while still achieving optimal results.
And nowadays I am a person who has discovered the beauty of life and the power of every human being. I am on a mission to inspire people to leave their old self- the one that is merely existing, seeing the world as a dangerous, evil and unfair place, and welcome their own greatness. I am on a mission to show people that taking care of your body, health, mind and soul is the best recipe for a fulfilling life and for reaching your full potential. I am on a mission of showing people, that they should break the chains of the monotonous life, and common sense dogma, and start using their own critical thinking, and thus becoming masters and creators of their own life.
2. You talk a lot about eating a whole, natural diet. Tell us the approach you take when working with your clients on reaching nutritional goals.
I am a proponent of a low carb, high fat diet. But in first place I am a proponent of eating whole, real foods. I think that everything we need, has been given to us by nature. Unfortunately, with every passing year we are doing everything possible to avoid nature and thus we are robbing our own bodies from the opportunity to be healthy, strong and reveal us the potential they possess.
When I work with my clients, I try not to give them a diet to follow. Rather than that I am trying to make them change their own mindset; to start listening to their own bodies and thus identifying their own needs.
With some clients I take more drastic measures, as I see that they are capable of taking longer steps, towards a healthier lifestyle.
With others, we take baby steps. I ask them to start by changing some small habits- by ditching the soda; then ditching bread.
Healthier lifestyle, just as anything else in life is not a trend, it is a need hidden deep inside of you. And you should make the daily effort, to free yourself from consumerism and the desperate try to avoid your own self and your own needs, by burying them under layers of superficial temptations.
My philosophy is that every battle, even weight loss battle is first won in the mind. Once you become the master of your own mind, you get the full control over your own life and your own choices.
And a healthier lifestyle is about choice. About the conscious choice, to choose what is best for yourself and your body.
People fool themselves that they need a magical diet in order to get in shape and shed the excess pounds. Truth is that all they need is a mind shift. They need to stop hating themselves and their own life. They should start loving their bodies. Once they do it, they have no other choice but to do what is best for them. And the best is to eat real, whole foods, move your body and feed your soul.
3. You just came out with an Ebook (free I might add) – 30 Exercises on Becoming a Wonder Women. Tell us a little bit about that book and where can people grab a copy?
I love reading and writing. I love sharing what I’ve learned and I really want to help more people realize that being in shape is not a matter of doing a lot of work, but doing the right work. You know how 80% of the results, come from 20% of the work. I think I’ve discovered those 20%, that are the key to a fitter self.
As I mentioned, I have a bad experience with injuries and they were all due to lack of knowledge, due to the fact that when I was a teenager, my coaches didn’t have the knowledge to teach me how to move my body properly. And I don’t want anybody to experience, what I had to experience.
I want to help people learn how to move their bodies through space- pain free.
People often look at my pictures and videos and tell me that they want to be in the same shape. They ask me for training programs. But I couldn’t just write down a training program and hand it to a person. Because I know that even the best program, won’t work if you do not perform the exercises properly. That’s why I decided to write a short E-book with some of the main exercises I use in my training, so people could have the right foundation, to build on their athletic abilities and fitter bodies.
You can download it here: http://www.inspiredfitstrong.com/free-book/
4. You're a lover of eggs and buy those suckers in bunches, but for some reason the whole eggs equals high cholesterol myth won't die. Can you help break down some of these misconceptions and explain the many benefits of eggs?
The problem with myths is that once you take the time to research you see that they have absolutely no solid scientific foundation. People are just lazy consumerists. They don’t use critical thinking and take everything literally.
I think I can write a whole book about eggs, fat and cholesterol and why not eating them is your biggest mistake. I will start by backing up my theory about eating fat being good for you by stating these facts:
- In Europe the countries that eat the most saturated fat have the lowest risk of heart disease
- The obesity Epidemic started at the same time the low-fat dogma and dietary guidelines conquered the world.
- Most of the modern diseases increased as butter and animal fats, were claimed dangerous, and instead they were replaced with vegetable oils and trans fats
This means that human and animal fats, are pretty similar, right? And when we keep in mind that when your body needs fuel and you don’t provide it, it turns to your own fat stores as a source of energy. If your body is always striving for survival and if it turns to your own fat ( which is similar to the animal fat), doesn’t it seem absurd and kind of like a paradox? The main purpose of your body is survival. And in its quest for survival it turns for salvation towards something that is claimed to be “deadly and dangerous”?
Besides that you know that nature, knows its job. It somehow knows what our bodies need in order to survive and it has created resources that provide what’s necessary for the proper functioning of the living organisms. Did you know that breast milk contains around 40% saturated fat? Doesn’t it look strange of saturated fats are so dangerous, why would nature make babies, to be fed mainly with these type of fats?
I can share a lot about cholesterol, eggs and fats, but I think that I am already too talkative, so you can read some more of my thoughts in these posts: http://www.inspiredfitstrong.com/2012/nutrition/its-insulin-not-cholesterol-that-you-should-watch-like-a-hawk/ http://www.inspiredfitstrong.com/2012/nutrition/qa-myths-about-low-carb-high-fat-diets-debunked/ http://www.inspiredfitstrong.com/2011/nutrition/eggs-and-cholesterol-who-is-the-bad-guy/
5. You've been known to “be one” with nature. Tell us some added benefits of fitness outdoors and some easy ways people can start giving it a try.
I love nature. It just brings up for a peace of mind and a sense of belonging. Outdoors you can do a bunch of stuff to get in shape. You can use trees to hit a handstand. You can use all kinds of surfaces in order to do pistol squats, or use a pole or a tree to assist a pistol squat. You can run and jump on the stairs. You can use tree branches for pull ups. You can hit a push up or a plank everywhere. You can do bodyweights squats and lunges everywhere.
When you are outdoors you have everything you need to complete a greta workout. You just need to arm with your imagination and turn nature into a playground. Turn every object into a lifting equipment.
6. I've seen pictures of you knocking out pistol squats anywhere and everywhere. What's craziest place or object you've done a pistol on, and can we see a picture?
Oh, yes! This is like my crack. The smaller the surface, the stronger my desire to try a pistol on it. I’ve done pistols everywhere- on poles, on the bar, on a bumper, on the trashcan, on the top of a bench. Just show me the place and I will do a pistol.
Here are some pictures:
7. Who have been some of the biggest influences in your career?
As I said I read A LOT. In first place experience was my best teacher. When it comes to theory I am a big fan of Dr. Gregory Ellis; Weston Price; Kelly Starrett, Mike Robertson, Ramiel Nagel, Rob Wolf, Ben Greenfield. I have a tons of names on the list. Each book I’ve read has contributed to my beliefs- either by changing them or by strengthening them.
I use the knowledge from the books as a foundation to test what works and what doesn’t work.
Health is not a one way street. There is many variables that play a key role and the more you read, research and try, the more you learn to spot the key variables and then find the proper method to achieve your goals.
Thanks again to Ines. You can find out more about her at Inspired Fit Strong and her Free Ebook HERE