A born and bred Gold Coaster, Lisa is passionate about the Pilates method and teaching others to experience it’s amazing benefits. In 2008 she completed her Bachelor of Journalism specialising in Sports Science.
After finishing her Pilates qualifications with The Pilates Institute of Queensland, Lisa has built a dedicated following within her classes and her list of devotees continues to expand.
Lisa has extensive experience in all aspects of the fitness industry, holding certificates III and IV in fitness, working as Fitness Coordinator at Jupiters Hotel on the Gold Coast and instructing a wide range of freestyle group fitness classes.
I was lucky enough to catch up with the fun loving, gorgeous Lisa from Pilates by Lisa. She is such a beautiful soul and has so many amazing ideas to share! Find out all of her tips and tricks on health, wellness and beauty in this inspirational interview.
To me, living organic isn’t necessarily about buying expensive products with fancy labelling and deceptive claims, it’s about sticking to the bare essentials and enjoying life as it was meant to be lived! Here are my top five
1) Fruits and Vegetables: I don’t necessarily always buy organic, but I do always buy from my local farmers at the weekend markets. As long as it is local and straight from the farm it will always be great for you!
2) Organic Meat: Buying organic beef, chicken and other meats will ensure that the animal is grass fed and that no added hormones have been added. This means you are getting the best possible dose of omega-3s and it’s a fantastic source of hearty protein too.
3) Organic Eggs: This is one I always insist on! Unhealthy chickens will lay unhealthy eggs, so it is vital to eat eggs from properly raised chooks! Their eggs will be significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids and free of nasties like antibiotics and arsenic, both of which are added to factory chicken feed to stop infections and promote growth.
4) Organic Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil: I use coconut oil every day for cooking food and adding flavour, so usually around two tablespoons a day. Coconut oil is around 50% lauric acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk. Studies prove it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties are like no other. A must have kitchen staple!
5) Barambah Organic Yoghurt: I eat this every day without fail! Because it is organic and unhomogenised, it is delicious, creamy and an amazing treat for those of you who are sugar free. Simply pop some in a 200 ml container, mix in some cinnamon and freeze for approximately two hours until it is the consistency of ice cream! Love it!
2. What are your top tips for living a non toxic lifestyle for people that are just starting out?
Trick your brain into thinking this is just a short term venture. If you are heavily addicted to junk food and can convince yourself that it is only seven days of depravation, you are much more likely to stick to it. Only eat snacks and foods that are natural and only contain ingredients that can be eaten independently. Ever tried eating anti-caking agent 551? I didn’t think so! Stick with the natural stuff and you can’t go wrong. Even if you continued to do this past the first week, you are more than likely to lose weight without having sugar in your diet.
It’s also easy to be deceived by clever food marketing “Low Fat” does not by any means equal healthy. When food manufacturers make the food on our supermarket shelves, they love to take out the fat and compensate for the lack of taste by pumping in the sugar! Supermarkets, cafes and restaurants can be minefields for clean living advocates, so be aware of every label and menu item! Next time you reach for that packet of dried fruit, strawberry skim yoghurt, large juice, fat free dressing, teriyaki sauce or muesli with honey….think again!
Enjoy the new and exciting foods you discover! If you avoid all added sugar, strictly adhere to just eating two pieces of fruit per day and ditch all processed foods, you can eat all of these beautiful, natural foods and never feel hungry again! Healthy eating doesn’t mean being deprived, it means getting your food kicks elsewhere, and usually that’s a much tastier, satisfying place!
3. Why is it important for you to live an organic lifestyle?
I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a Pilates instructor, I live and breathe my job, it’s a lifestyle that I love and appreciate more than words can say! I love to think of my body as my temple, we only have one and we have to live inside of it our entire lives! So it is so important to treat it the best you possibly can to get the most out of it. When you take care of yourself, your inner health radiates on the outside too and inspires others to do the same.
4. I’ve heard that you have gone completely SUGAR FREE! Was this hard? And do you have any tips on going sugar free?
I was addicted to sugar in a way that might be a little different to others. Chocolates, ice cream and lollies were never an issue for me, I’ve always avoided them. For me, it was fruit, fruit juice, flavoured yoghurts, low fat sauces and dressings, honey, muesli and other “health” foods. Sugar is sugar, whether it comes in the form of a banana or a mars bar, the chemical composition is still the same. Fresh fruits do have some fantastic benefits, but I was eating around 5-7 pieces a day, the equivalent of about 30 teaspoons of sugar! Add to that the occasional juice (loaded with sugar), a daily yoghurt and other sugar laden foods, I was basically O.Ding on the stuff. Now, I stick to two pieces of fruit a day as my only source of sugar.
It is tough! But find foods you love that are sugar free and stick with them. Some that come to mind are nuts like almonds and cashews, oats, eggs, spelt toast with tomato and avocado, plain yoghurt with cinnamon, fish, chicken, beef, stir fried vegetables, plain popcorn, quinoa….anything you enjoy as long as it is as natural as possible! Always read labelling, sugar is hidden in EVERYTHING, you may be surprised! Once again, try sticking to is for just 7 days and reassess. Trust me, you will lose weight, look and feel amazing and be healthier than ever before!
Since quitting sugar, I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. My biggest indulgence in that area is the occasional frozen banana (if you haven’t tried one, do so immediately!) But I am a big eater and for me it’s not so much about eating junk food, but eating large portions. I love roasts with lots of baked veggies and can eat until the cows come home….so this is probably my biggest indulgence!
6. What are your favourite natural therapies?
Combining Pilates with a healthy whole foods diet means that I have not had the need to seek out any alternative therapies (I’ve never even had a massage before!) However, I do have a strong belief in meditation and the mental and physical benefits that it produces. Being in tune with your body and mind is so important for your wellbeing, and it’s as easy as setting 15 minutes aside every day just to clear your mind!
7. What’s your favourite healthy meal you prepare? I love, love, love my “Lemon Garlic Chicken with Creamy Cucumber Salad,” it’s devine! You can find the recipe on my blog 🙂
8. Apart from Pilates do you do any other exercise to stay fit & active?
Pilates is my main source of fitness, as I do between 10-15 hours a week of physically participating in classes. Other than that, I love going on long beach walks, doing light circuits in the gym and riding my bike. This works well for me keeping my weight stable, my energy levels up and my body injury free!
9. How do you de-stress and relax?
This diverges a little from the theme of the interview, but I am a complete reality TV junkie! I love sometimes just tuning out and watching some fun, silly TV. Other than that, I’ve played the piano my whole life and I love getting time to sit and just play my favourite songs. I also love reading, writing, shopping and stretching!
I take a glucosamine supplement every morning to maintain supple joints and smooth skin. I also take one daily dose of olive leaf extract to improve my immunity, and I really like the taste of it too!
11. What are your top 5 secret beauty tips?
1) Daily Facial Pilates: I recently did a fun video with my grandmother for my YouTube channel revealing the secret to her smooth, wrinkle free skin at the age of 75. For 50 years she has done these facial exercises daily to tighten, tone and firm the muscles of the face and improve the skin’s suppleness and elasticity. It really works! Moosh is one of the most beautiful women I know, I think that everyone should be doing these exercises!
2) Rose Hip Oil: I use this daily as a moisturiser by itself, the results are almost immediate! It is completely natural and is a fantastic remedy for healing and fading scars, acne, wrinkles and stretch marks! A must have for all mums 🙂
3) Staying out of the sun: I can’t remember the last time I got sunburnt, and living a beachy lifestyle on the Gold Coast means it’s important to be super vigilant about avoiding the suns rays! I like to wear foundations with sunscreen protection and if I’m heading outdoors I always grab a hat and sunnies. I am a big advocate of faux tanning and I think it is a fantastic alternative to the real thing!
4) Living Sugar Free: Sugar is a major cause of wrinkles and ageing! In a process called glycation, sugar latches onto proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The more sugar in your diet, the more AGEs you acquire. These nasties damage collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that make you skin smooth and taut. The AGEs cause collagen to become weathered, worn and damaged, causing lines and droopy skin. Cut the sugar for your skin’s sake!
5) Deep Breathing: The deep breathing techniques employed in Pilates increase oxygen flow to the blood stream, cleansing and detoxifying your system and making your skin glow! I have a YouTube video demonstrating the correct technique for deep, basal breathing 🙂
12. What are your favourite fun things to do on the week end?
I love visiting the local farmers markets, going out for a yummy healthy breakfast at a cafe on the beach, going for long walks, shopping, catching up with friends, going to the movies, going out for dinner, watching TV, planning my classes for the week, exercising, cooking, playing piano and trying new things!
13. Do you have any tips for new Mummy’s getting back in shape after giving birth?
Ease yourself back into things gently, your body has just done some amazing things and it needs time to readjust. Resume exercise approximately 4 weeks after giving birth to ensure you do not do any damage which will set you back further in the long run. Exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor, deep abdominal muscles and stabilising muscles that support your pelvis and spine are crucial at this time. Pilates is the ultimate way to get back into your workout routine, the exercises are multi-level so that you can progress at your own pace and they target all of the right muscles groups to get you toned and taut in a safe manner. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you!
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