Chicken Fajita Casserole

This week I found myself with a lot of left over chicken that I had cooked and put in the fridge. I decided to mix it into something new. This Chicken Fajita Casserole took an interesting turn for a couple of reasons.

First off, I took this chance to make a series of video clips to post the recipe on TikTok. Let’s just say I learned a lot during that process (both what to do, and what NOT to do). Needless to say, I’ve got room for improvement.

Secondly, in trying to make the video I didn’t quite think through what I was doing and made recipe harder on myself than it had to be.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to the recipe. (Note, I had left over cooked chicken and cooked rice that used when making this)


  • 26oz Cooked Chicken Breast
  • 1 Bag Chopped Onions and Bell Peppers
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 1 Cup Rice, Cooked (measured before cooking)
  • 1 Packet Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 8oz Shredded Cheese, Fiesta Blend


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, sour cream, half of the shredded cheese, fajita seasoning, and chicken. Mix well.
  3. In a 9×13 pan layer rice, beans, and onion/bell pepper mix.
  4. Spread on the mixture from step 2.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then spread the remaining cheese on top to keep baking until melted on top.


I made this divided into 6 containers which yielded the following after entered in MyFitnessPal.

  • Calories: 495
  • Fat: 22g
  • Carbs: 33.6g
  • Protein: 38.4g

If you want to watch a quick video of the recipe, visit me on TikTok. Feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter if you enjoyed it!

MASS Review – Monthly Applications in Strength Sport

For years I considered becoming a certified personal trainer to increase my knowledge and be able to continually improve. I eventually became certified and even trained several clients. I found that I just wasn’t getting the whole experience I was was hoping. Then enters Jeff Nippard. I subscribe to his channel on YouTube because he’s got a great personality and a unique way of presenting information. However unique, it was also scientifically sound. He often mentioned MASS (Monthly Applications in Strength Sport), so I decided to give it a shot.

I have now been subscribed to MASS for almost 2 years and honestly haven’t ever looked back.

Here’s the breakdown:

Each month you can “get concise and applicable breakdowns of the latest strength, physique, and nutrition research”. They’ll review and break down a bunch of studies and summarize them into topics for each article to include in the monthly release.

For example, the most recent issue I got (delivered consistently via email in convenient PDF format, among other media formats) has an article by Eric Trexler titled “Protein Distribution Matters, To An Extent”. Now I know this is a question that comes up often, and most people who ponder it end up turning to Google and the chaotic mess that can raise up from forums and chat rooms.

Turns out, there’s some science to the question, and some nuances to go along with it. The answer may not be as cut and dry as the random bro on Reddit leads you to believe, but MASS is something I can depend on. When I read their articles, I don’t get the sense of bias or any one-sided opinion. They present the facts and relay variables to the principles at hand.

So back to the personal training thought I mentioned initially. If you are a personal trainer, I highly recommend MASS as it will give you a stronger ability to help your clients and a higher capacity to coach based on sound principles and scientific evidence without combing through hundreds of pieces of literature on your own.

If you’re not a personal trainer, but enjoy learning a little more in-depth than what you commonly find online or in casual conversation, you should consider MASS.

If you’re not quite ready to jump right in, you can always get a free copy of what they offer.

FREE Volume: “10 Recent Studies You Should Know About

Then again, if you want to sign up click here and cancel any time (but I doubt you’ll even want to).

Tips to Losing Weight After Pregnancy


Worried about shedding that extra weight post-pregnancy? You are not alone!

Losing weight postpartum comes with its own set of struggles, as where on one hand you are recovering from childbirth, on the other you are getting used to a new life with your newborn baby.

Most women struggle to lose weight after pregnancy, but it is always helpful to have realistic expectations from yourself from the beginning. It is extremely important to feel positive about your body, and alter your perspective to focusing on achieving a healthy body weight rather than thinking about getting slimmer.

One of the first things you must keep in mind in your effort to lose baby weight is to understand that this is something that will take time. Once you are prepared to be a part of this weight loss journey, it would become much easier for you to reach a healthy weight range in an organic and effortless way. Here are some useful tips to help you lose weight after pregnancy –

  • Breastfeed –

Breastfeeding is not just great for a newborn’s health and immunity, but can also help the mother’s weight loss after 3 months of delivery. Many studies reveal that women who breastfeed tend to lose weight much early as compared to women who don’t. Other than that breastfeeding is also proven to help bring back the mother’s uterus to its normal size much faster after childbirth. So, if you can, you must choose to breastfeed your newborn.

  • Eat Healthy Snacks –

If you are making an effort to lose weight after pregnancy then make sure that your home is stocked up with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, yogurt, etc. So, when you feel hungry, you choose to eat healthy snacks instead of gorging on highly processed junk foods like, chips, burgers, pizzas, candies, etc. that are high in calories.

  • Exercise / Resistance Training –

Some form of exercise, be it walking, running or resistance training must be combined with a healthy diet to lose weight after pregnancy. Resistance training can be really helpful in losing baby weight, as it does so while maintaining your muscle mass. But, before starting any kind of physical training, make sure that your pelvic and stomach area is completely healed to avoid any complications.

  • Increase Your Fluid Intake –

Staying hydrated all day long is essential to lose weight after pregnancy, especially if you breastfeed your newborn. Water and other fluids help boost your body’s metabolism, which eventually helps you with weight loss. So, make sure that you drink at least 1-2 liters of water/fluids every day and increase your chances of losing weight postpartum.

Your weight loss journey after pregnancy might take between six to nine months. And of the best things you can do to make this journey an easy one is to not be hard on yourself. Enjoy the beautiful feeling of motherhood, while trying to balance a good diet, exercise, and sleep; for it is a combination of all these factors that will give you effective results for weight loss postpartum.

Hylete Review

Athletic apparel has always been a struggle for me. Between trying to find the right fit and style, and not breaking the bank, it seemingly was an endless battle. Well, Hylete is definitely one you should consider.

I picked up a pair of shorts and also decided on a more business casual piece and went with a Polo too.

hylete shorts

This pair of shorts is extremely comfortable. It’s their Fuse Short in a Heather/Black color material combo. I’m pretty picky when it comes to comfort and breathability. I live in a warm climate that has tendencies to cool off a lot during the evenings so I see both ends of the spectrum. These keep me cool during the day yet aren’t a total dealbreaker in cold weather either.

Their Prime Polo was equally comfortable, however I highly recommend checking their sizing guide to make sure you pick the right one. I personally found them to be more form-fitting than I’m used to, especially around the torso. For me, I’d need to go about a size or two higher to get the fit I like.

The sizing isn’t a big deal, just something to be aware of when you’re picking out your apparel.

They’ve also got some pretty neat gear. Their bags and backpacks are pretty impressive. I remember seeing one a couple years back in a gym locker room, and the guy showed me how much he could fit in his backpack and how organized it was. Thoroughly impressed.

If you are interested you can get $20 off your first order by checking them out below:

Save $20 off Hylete

How to Fight Excessive Hunger


Do you constantly feel hungry? Need help avoiding cravings? Find out ways to stop feeling hungry all the time in this article.

If you find yourself to be hungry all the time, then it has a lot to do with the type of food you eat. If despite eating in large portions, you still end up feeling hungry in some time, then it means that your food is lacking the nutrients that your body requires to feel full. Here are some ways to fight excessive hunger and avoid cravings for improved overall health.

One of the most effective ways to fix excessive hunger is to choose complex carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates in your meals. Complex carbohydrates, like; oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, berries are rich in fiber that makes them more filling in comparison to over refined carbohydrates. Hence, you must avoid over refined carbohydrates like, white bread that fail to satiate your hunger and make you feel hungry over again.

  • Consume More Protein-Rich Foods –

Protein-rich foods and snacks make you feel full for a longer time and help you avoid cravings to a great extent. Therefore, adding healthy protein meals in your diet like, eggs, lentils, fish, chicken and tofu etc. is another great way to avoid feeling hungry all the time.

  • Change in Lifestyle Choices –

Your lifestyle choices also play a huge role in the manner your body processes the food you eat. For instance, not getting proper sleep, dehydration, stress, etc. are certain factors that can trigger hunger pangs all the time. Therefore, apart from bringing significant changes in your diet to control hunger pangs, you must also make certain changes in your lifestyle and get proper sleep, hydration, etc. for the same.

  • Increase Your Water Intake –

Increasing your water intake throughout the day can help reduce your hunger to a great extent. Make it a point to drink water before your meals, and you will instantly notice a decrease in your cravings. You can also drink a bowl of soup before your meals, as it will eventually make you eat less and avoid unnecessary cravings.

  • Practice Mindful Eating –

Mindful eating requires you to focus on the food laid in front of you and relish it without any other distractions. By developing a habit of mindful eating, you get to focus more on the quality of your food instead of the quantity, eventually feeling full without having the need to binge eat.

Feeling hungry all the time is a sign that you should not ignore, as it means that your body is lacking in nutrients that must be a part of your diet. By following these simple tips, you can work towards reducing your cravings and hunger pangs in between meals. But, if you still feel excessively hungry despite taking all the above-stated measures; then you must consult a nutritionist or healthcare specialist to discuss your situation and find a remedy to fix it.

Fitness Inside a Busy Schedule – Interview with Nicole Tovey

nicole tovey

Welcome back to another episode of the John Parker fitness podcast. I'm extremely excited about today's guest because she is from Australia now living in Bermuda. She works full time and has participated in over 30 fitness competitions in her life. She's incredibly inspiring and now sharing her knowledge as an online coach. Welcome to the show, Nicole.


Want to listen to the episode?

Visit Nicole on Instagram @nicoletovey_fitlife

Lastly, don't forget to leave a review for this show on whichever podcast player you use, and make sure you subscribe for more health and fitness content.

If you like what you hear, support my website and this podcast by visiting our affiliate page.

Episode Transcript

John: Welcome back to another episode of the John Barker fitness podcast. I'm extremely excited about today's guest because she is from Australia now living in Bermuda. She works full time and has participated in over 30 fitness competitions in her life. She's incredibly inspiring and now sharing her knowledge as an online coach. Welcome to the show, Nicole. Thanks a lot Nicole for coming on with me today. I want to go ahead and just get started a little bit with an intro, so if you'll go ahead and just kind of share with us who you are, maybe what you do, whether that's a full time job somewhere fitness, just kind of a little bit about yourself to kind of introduce you.

Nicole: Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it and good morning, afternoon, good evening, wherever your audience happens to be. My name's Nicole Tovey. I live in Bermuda, but I'm originally from Australia, born and raised. I grew up in Adelaide. If anybody is familiar with the Australian cities. I'm a partner of a global offshore local law firm here in Bermuda. So I've been living here for about 11 and a half years now and I practice in commercial litigation. So yeah, I've been doing that for about 20 years now. But I grew up as a dancer, born and raised in Adelaide, born in Sydney and Adelaide did ballet and modern dance tap dance since I got three years old. Did that for back 20 years until I started working and couldn't really make it to class anymore. So I've always been active. But at that time I sort of tend to the gym and I became a bit of a cardio bunny and dig all the Les Mills classes and you know, quite enjoyed the body pump, doing great when I was lifting 10 kilos, which was quite a change from how things have turned out now.

Nicole: But you know, long before the advent of social media and online training, I actually wanna just started working and I was probably about 24 years old. I took a course to become a personal trainer bat and then we finished it. That was probably about 18 years ago now. And you know, it was always passionate about how they fitness and helping people to achieve their goals. I think it was somewhat in the blood. My mom was, there wasn't a right weeks instructor when I was little growing up. And then she and my stepdad tend to the gym as well and sudden lifting weights. So I'd always sort of seen that growing up and always been fascinated by it. But, you know, I, I, I never completed those certifications because I guess I was scared, you know, I had just finished law school and spent six years in uni and just started working at just got a first mortgage.

Nicole: I had no idea how to make any living as a personal trainer. I thought I'm going to end up broken street. You know, I was worried, I was worried about what people would think of me to, you know, if I test in six years of education and you know aspiring Lord roll a career and to be kind of passed on trainer and that's, I never completed those final exams and settled into the corporate world. Around 2004, I moved up to Queensland and I had the opportunity to go traveling. I went backpacking around Europe for about four months in 2006 and realized at that point that I really wanted to live overseas and I wanted to travel the world a little bit more and seeing more places and Australia just being so far away from anywhere else on the planet pretty much. And so expensive to, to fly anywhere to go on holidays.

Nicole: You know, I just thought, well, the best thing is to go and live somewhere else. So my intention actually at the time was to go London. It's pretty common for Australians to go and work and in London. But I left right at the beginning of the [inaudible] financial crisis. And so work was a little hard to come by and somewhere I landed in Bermuda for, to at us because 11 years later I'm still here. And but yeah, going into sort of fast forward to, I moved to Bermuda in 2008 and I got heavily involved in salsa dancing, dancing, being my background. I just love it. So I started taking salsa lessons here. I was performing songs that are around the Island. I had opportunities to go and perform overseas. It was fantastic. And then my dad's partner incidentally just introduced me to a coach in the gym one day who convinced me that I had a good shape to try bodybuilding competition and me being me, I thought, what the heck?

Nicole: I'll give it a crack cause let me just give this a shot. I've never done anything like this before. And I was 35 years old then. So at that stage I picked up a heavy weight for the first time. Started my, was not turned into a probably an obsession passion. It's guy with buddy, buddy tell them fitness. So my first competition was in 2012 and I did it in the fitness category so that I could meld my dance background with the bodybuilding side of things because with a, with a fitness competition you have to do, one of the components is a routine to music. It's a 92nd routine with some compulsory moves. And so I thought it was a great, great mash from my dance background and the body building side of things. I competed in that category for three years, had the opportunity to represent Bermuda a few times, which was really exciting.

Nicole: Great opportunities. Got to travel down to regional competitions at the Caribbean. Gosh, I started gymnastics classes as well at that time. So I guess the first time ever gymnastics, very different from dancing. Kudos to all the gin and is out there. That stuff is hard and it is hard. It 35 years old too. So I was doing, I was doing two or three private classes a week at [inaudible] when I started doing things, competitions, I couldn't even hold a handstand. Yeah, that was, that was an interesting time. A very busy, very tiring but so rewarding. So I then at about 38 years old, 2015, I came to my senses and realized that the Spanish gate was just way too hard on my buddy and I switched to the bikini bikini competition or I didn't have to do not to do everything. So I've been competing in that division ever since and you know, had the opportunities still in that to travel the world. I've probably done about 30 competitions, genuinely placing top five in amateur divisions in amongst all of that and went and did my certifications again and you know, this year in April I got some business mentors invested in myself and started my online coaching business. So 18 years in the making from when I first had him, tons of to leave the corporate world and do this. I have finally started my business as well. Sorry, that's me.

John: Great introduction. And I like that. Cause you actually, you went through literally my whole thought process of what I was really hoping to get out about your story because everybody is in a different place. And I, I like how you went from starting with a certain aspect of your life when you grew up as a dancer, which is really cool because my wife, my wife was actually she grew up as a dancer as well throughout high school, whatnot. So that's kind of a fun thing. Your experience of finding what you really want in life, traveling, going around the world backpacking and ultimately finding that, you know, you wanted to change from weights to refer from cardio to more weights focused, right. And then adding gymnastics. And so it's a really interesting transition and I like hearing that. Now you mentioned that your parents had a pretty big influence when it came to fitness on you. Is that right?

Nicole: Yeah, that's right. So my mom was an aerobics instructor when I was really little, probably not. Gosh, I remember going and joining in her classes when I was probably about eight years old. And had the very sexy long legwarmers and the leotard and the little belts that we used to wear in the 80s, just joining in the classes with all of the ladies and in her aerobics classes. And so, you know, I used to sort of have to go go along with her after school or whenever, you know, just, and she was working. So then we had hours, so I would often tag along and join in on the classes, which was great. And then both of my parents that had got into the weightlifting side as well. So again, that was still when I was quite young. But you know, something that I certainly sore worth event bodies develop, you know, my mom especially, you know, he's starting to grow some muscle and you know, looking, getting out of that aerobics sort of genre of that era I suppose. And then into a little bit of bodybuilding herself. So I guess I've always been in a fit family. It's always been, the influence has always been there to be active and involved in some level of activity. And

John: That's awesome. And I don't think a lot of people have that same influence with their parents. I mean my parents have always encouraged me when I was younger to go on you know, be outside, be active, but I, I don't particularly remember fitness and whether it was weightlifting or certain sports being a huge thing that my parents kind of were into. Now that doesn't mean they didn't like those things, but I, I think it's important that people can try to find that sort of motivation for them and maybe find someone to look up to because I imagine that how you had a huge role with your parents.

Nicole: Yeah, I think it did for sure. And you know, my mom still gets up at the crack of Dawn and goes for a walk every morning and you know, it's just still there. I don't think it, I don't think it ever goes away once you get used to it and it becomes a habit as part of your life.

John: Yeah. I think when something becomes a part of your life like that, it's hard to shake it. It's, it's interesting because I think fin as well, and I'm a lot younger than my parents obviously, but fitness is one of those things where it's just kind of a little more natural for me. And sometimes when I get out of my routine, I find it easier to get back in once I've been gone and, and it'll just like you're saying with your mom that, you know, should go out and walk in the mornings and it's something that just becomes a part of you. And I think that's really powerful when it comes to trying to reach our goals.

Nicole: Yeah, definitely. Definitely it's something that I, I talk a lot about is that, you know, just creating these habits that eventually, as you say, become part of your life is just having the motivation to start with that then turns into a habit that then creates some discipline. Because that's what's really going to drive you in the end. Whether it's in any aspect of your life really. I mean, let's face it, if we're looking at a career goal or you know you're starting a business or whether it's a health and fitness goal, everybody sounds self motivated. We all start off with grand aspirations of what we're going to do and when the mood goes, it's difficult to keep that going. It's hard. It's tied with any of it to keep that sort of motivation going. Motivation eventually dies. So if you can create a habit and make these little daily tasks part of your life, you end up in a space that is discipline rather than motivation. So you'll still go and do it even when you don't feel like it and it is part of your life, then you just get it done.

John: So I want to go into that a little bit more, but first I wanted to ask you with this story that you've told of going from, you know, your earlier years to where you are now, what would be one of the biggest challenges for you along that journey and how did you overcome it?

Nicole: Probably one of the Buddhist challenges I think that sticks out in, it's not too, it's, it wasn't too long ago. It was, there was a period of time. I mentioned that, you know, I've been competing for quite a few years now. There was a period of about three years straight probably around 2015, 16 through two 17 ish that I competed year round. I didn't give my body a break. I was obsessed with getting my pro card. So for, I do if anybody's familiar with it. I FBB competitions. So I compete in bikini division of the, I'm actually I was doing quite well. I was almost at my pro card. And so that mentality was just one more competition, just one more competition that will be my time. And it just kept on going for three years straight. Now being in that sort of an extreme of a diet, which is necessary to get into that shape, to be on stage was very unhealthy to put it at the mildest my family, my hair started to fall out.

Nicole: I had thyroid issues. I didn't have my cycle for months on end. I had a terrible relationship with food. Didn't know what or how to be a normal human being when I came out of this phase in terms of what to eat, like what do people do? How do we socialize? I pulled myself out of a lot of certain situations because I had so much anxiety around food and around drinking social situations where, you know, God forbid if I had to stay up past 10 o'clock because I'd be hungry again and I'd eaten all my food for the day. I just didn't want, I didn't want to be there, you know, I needed to go to sleep so that I can ignore my stomach and you know, it's not a healthy place to be. And I was really not a very fun person to be around.

Nicole: So you know, that that was that was tough to actually realize that I needed to not let my dream go because I still have that aspiration. But to take a step back from it and realize that I needed to look after myself first and foremost. And either from that take a break from competing schedule my competitions and just really learn how to rebuild my relationship with food such that I didn't have these anxieties. And you know, I wasn't obsessed with the scale and knew how to function as a normal human being, get back into social life and, and all of that. So that's honestly at NSC, not to this extreme necessarily with people about people who getting the cycle of, you know, some sort of extreme dieting when they're on their way to their fitness goals, which I think is unfortunate when they're going to extremes and experiencing on some level some of the things that I went through and they don't know what to do afterwards. And so that is a challenge to, to really learn to recreate some habits and, you know, learn that it doesn't have to be that way, that you can actually have a sustainable lifestyle. You can function as a normal human being. You can actually be happy and still reach your goals. So that I think is an ongoing learning experience, I think, for me.

John: So I feel like there's, I feel there's a lot of similarities with that experience and others in the competing area. Now. I don't know if that may be more with women than men or if it's sort of equal, but how did you really rebuild that relationship with, with food? Because that's something that's really hard. That's a big mental aspect.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And you know what, I see, you know, air quote, the 10 regular human beings, we owe a lot of people experienced that. You don't have to just be a competitor to have gone through this. That was, that was my experience and how it sort of happened with me because of my competing and because of the extreme extent that I took it too. But you know, it happens a lot with people who go into a diet phase trying to lose 15, 20 pounds, but they're so restricted either in foods or with calories or taking certain foods out of their diet or their got extreme exercise regimes. And you know, when they come out of the other side of these things and I don't know what to do because there's been no education, they've not been given the tools to sort of implement a healthy, sustainable lifestyle going forward in which they can, you know, keep the benefits of all of their hard work.

Nicole: Because a lot of the things that we do, certainly in my experience getting onto stage, it's not sustainable. It's not realistic. You can't keep this stuff up forever because there's so much restriction and it's just not real live for the kids might have a play date. You don't have your food with you, you don't, you know, something comes up at work, you forgot your, to bring your package food to the food that you made to take the lunch today. You forgot it. Or what do you do? Do you not eat? You know, I don't know what to do if I don't follow this plan, the meal plan that I've been given, what do I do outside of that? And life happens, you know, learning to get there in a different way that doesn't involve that kind of restriction is really hard. And so getting back, getting back to your question because I've digressed a little bit.

Nicole: You know, trying to rebuild that relationship with boots and when I was competing I was on a restricted meal plan and I didn't sway from that for months on end. And even when I was off competing, I didn't really know what to do or how normal people ate afterwards either because I've been so restricted for so long. So for me it was about educating myself and I think that's really what it has to come down to taking responsibility for where I was recognizing that it was not a healthy place to be in and really starting to recognize the triggers for my anxiety around foods. For example, if I was going to be out in a social situation, not knowing what food was going to be there, not feeling like I had to take my food with me or eat beforehand to make sure that I could control that situation.

Nicole: I had to learn to let go of that little bit and educate myself enough to realize one meal is not going to make or break me. One meal is not going to make me fat. Just like one gym session is not going to get you in shape. One salad is not going to make you healthy, that you just have to educate yourself and buy. That from me ended up being learning how to flexible diet and learning how to bring in regular foods that weren't restricted to, you know, bodybuilding diet of chicken and fish and rice and sweet potato so that I could learn to incorporate other foods in my life without feeling that anxiety. And I think, you know, it's like I said, it's an ongoing journey I think. And it just came back down to education and taking responsibility for myself and where I was and learning what works for my body.

John: I liked the, you bring the education fact into there because a lot of people, I feel try to find these tips or tricks or tools or, or hacks that help them to get back into where they need to be, whether it's with food or any other aspect of their life. And I think education is really powerful and that's not to say that, you know, they go back to school, but I think like what you're getting at is, is really that they give themselves the knowledge to be able to figure out what's going to work best for them in their current lifestyle and their current situation.

Nicole: Yeah, exactly. I mean there's, I think it does come down to you just there's so much, there is so much information available to us these days and so many options for health and fitness and to reach your goals and whether that's, you know, fat loss or maintaining or just general health goals or gaining muscle, there's so much available to us, which is great, but there's also so much misinformation and there's so much extreme rich sort of, you know, for from my perspective can tend to cash in on and target our tendency these days for wanting immediate gratification, quick results. And so, you know, these extreme processes are put into place an extreme programs, extreme diets that aren't realistic. And I think, you know, in amongst all of that information, you really have to sift out and educate yourself with what's available there that is realistic and is the stainable and that suits your lifestyle. And also appreciate that this is a journey. There is no right or wrong answer for you necessarily. It's your health and fitness is here for life. It's a journey that needs and demands patience and consistency. And I think that has to come into it as well.

John: I think that's really true that there's a lot of, a lot of moving parts and I think that if people can just kind of capture each of those and not to take all of that on at once, but just kind of capture that, then that'll help each of us be able to succeed. Now you've been able to do that with your busy life being, you know, a full time a business woman in the law field. I mean that's, I've, I'm not in that industry, but I know that there's a lot of, you know, time constraints that go on with the different things you have to do with that job. So one of the things you talk about on your Instagram is that you help busy career women. And I, I believe that we'll tie over into men as well to be able to live better lives and achieve the fitness goals they want, whether that's just to be healthy or whatnot. So explain a little bit about your philosophies about really overcoming that busy lifestyle or working within that busy lifestyle.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think, I think the second thing that you said probably hits it more accurately, is working within that busy lifestyle. I don't think that we can necessarily, or I become it whether where, you know, professionals are, you know, parents running our own business, we all have the same amount of time in a day. And I think it's more about working efficiently. You know, balance is something that, it's a nice word sometimes. Sometimes I think it's not necessarily possible. I know I still struggle with it. It's something that I'm absolutely still working on. That it's, it's really about a little bit about cutting yourself some Slack, a little bit about going back to that patients that I was talking about. A little bit about not expecting unrealistic results and punishing yourself when you don't get to that goal in record speed because it's not realistic.

Nicole: We have to work with what we're given. And I think, you know, for me it's that's been a lot of my learning is that we just have to do what we can and except what we can do. And then on the flip side of that, when I go back to balance, you know, I think at some, at some points now live, whether it's we've got a very demanding period of time at work or we really, really, really want to just go for this fitness goal or we're starting in business. I think there are certain periods of time where you have to be all in or all out and sometimes balance is just not going to be there. And that's okay. You know, I'm probably going against the grain saying this, but I think it's more realistic than saying we all should aim for balance.

Nicole: Cause I just don't think we get sometimes. But you know, it's about managing those periods of time and accepting that there are during those periods of time that are going to fall by the wayside that maybe don't take priority. And it's about prioritizing those things during the period of time that matter most to you and working with the time that you have to reach those things. So that's sort of, I guess my philosophy on, you know, managing ourselves within the time of a busy career. You know what I mean? I get up at 5:00 AM I'm in a prep at the moment, so I'm sort of transitioning still. You know, it's one of my challenges at the moment, transitioning between being a competitor and a coach because I'm sort of one foot out the door of competing and two feet in. We've become, you know, building my business and becoming a coach.

Nicole: And it's difficult in terms of time. You know, my day starts at five, I get off, I go do my cardio, I come back, I have to cook my foods for the day because I'm in prep. It has to be very precise. I go to work all day, I come back, I usually train again at nighttime cause I'll do my weight training then and I work on my business now. I'm not sleeping much at the moment. So I'm not sure that you would call that balance, but you know, it's what has to be done to achieve the goals that I want to achieve. So would you consider yourself with, with all that going on, would you consider yourself to be happy with where you're at? Oh, absolutely. But I think you know that also, you know, that's a really good point. You have to, you have to assess your happiness level with all of that to what's making you happy.

Nicole: Is the goals that you're chasing gonna make you happy and is your procedure to get that making you happy? Because you know, your Jannie on a visit, Johnny, it's, it can either be miserable or it can be happy. My goal is to help people make it happy and to set realistic expectations and to guide them along the way and to, you know, I help a lot of my clients with time management, we figure out where they can chop and change a little bit of time to fit in what they want. I have some, some clients who I think fit in more than what I do in my life and it just boggles my mind. But they managed to get through it and we worked through that together. And then, but it may be that, you know, I have a client for example, who is really keen to be getting back into performance dancing sells their insists also friends of mine.

Nicole: And so she recognizes that perhaps her weight loss might take a little bit longer than she initially might've thought. We've talked through that. You've just got to, that's a priority right now. She wants to dance. So, okay, the, you know, the scale, although the weight loss goal that you have might just take a little bit longer, but that's okay because you have realistic expectations set. Now we can make that journey incredibly miserable and bring that weight loss goal right up. You know, and very swiftly. But you know, she's already been in the program. She came to me out of a program where it was all or nothing and extreme and she was miserable. Happiness absolutely comes into it.

John: Yeah. And I think that's one of the biggest measures of whether or not we're really doing the right thing because you can try to find this quote unquote balance between work and personal life or business and whatnot. But I think that when it comes down to it, you said you don't sleep a whole lot right now and you know, some people might just dread that and it might make them miserable, but you're able to find the happiness because of the other things you're doing. So I think that ultimately when people have these busy lives, it comes down to, well, you know, at the end of the day when you put your head on a pillow or in the morning when you wake up, like how are you feeling? How do you feel about yourself? And I think that's really the biggest answer.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And it does take a little self reflection to get to that stage as well. And yeah, it's, it's learning to prioritize what is best for you, your family as well. Obviously, you know, that has to come into it. What sort of level of, of support do you have for the things that you're trying to achieve at home? And you know, when I talked before about balance and you know, you're either, sometimes you have to be all in or all out, does everybody around you also support that because that can be quite challenging or it can make that whole journey very easy for you as well. But everybody needs to be on board. I think because it impacts their daily lives as well. So if your parents will have a significant other, you know, having that support at home it's going to contribute to reach new goals, but also that level of happiness and working out what works for not only yourself but your whole family unit.

John: Yeah, there's, it's a huge impact on everyone and everyone's involved too, right? The people you live with, your friends that you even mentioned that your social life had changed when you were going through certain phases. And it's just interesting how everything ties together. And I know we've talked about a lot here and we're probably going to end up repeating a little bit here, but if you could, if you could pick one main message that you would just deliver to the world, what would that be? A behind you know, you as a person, what's your main message?

Nicole: Yeah. gosh, there's probably a few. You know, it's never too late to start and there's never going to be a perfect time to start. It's a bit of an oxymoron. I think that, you know, I, I'm really started seriously on my journey at 35 years old and I was still going at 43. I've just started a business. You know, there's, and it's never a perfect time. There's always stuff in life. There's always gonna be stuff that, you know, you can use it as an excuse or you can just take one step forward and, you know, do a little bit more than you did yesterday and measure and celebrate and recognize your daily successes because they all success. Success is not when you get to the end goal. Success is every single day that you do just a little bit better than you did yesterday. And you know, you can't mess it up. You can't miss it out unless you quit.

John: Those little successes that are really what that journey is, is success. Right? It's not a destination that we've talked about this in other episodes where it really is just the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. And that's a quote. You know, I I don't recall off the top of my head, but that's not from me, but that is powerful. Right? And it's, it's those little things that make a difference and quitting is the only way that you fail.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many people are, you know, we're hard on yourselves these days. We have a lot of demands and we are generally as human beings focused on the goal. And I think if we can learn to appreciate that it really is a journey that doesn't have an end date. And if we can exercise patience around that and find ways to enjoy it, then you know that longterm success is easy and enjoyable

John: And that that's ultimately going to leave to lead to the happiness that, that we were going to be able to have throughout that whole journey. Yeah, I really liked the way that this kind of unfolded. I do want to have you share with everyone how they can get in touch with you cause I know you do online coaching and some of the things that you've talked about today might inspire someone to reach out cause they might feel like you're a good fit for them. But where can people reach you?

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. It's, you can find me on Instagram at Nicole TV. My name is spelled N. I. C. O. L. E. T. R. E. V. E. Y. I'm the school fit life or on Facebook. It's Nicole, Toby fit life or my email is Nicole

John: Perfect. I'll go ahead and put those in the, the show description so people can find that easily. Now, as far as the coaching is concerned, they just reach out to you and that's something you work out through there. Do you have a, a website perhaps they can see what kind of plans you have?

Nicole: Yeah, so my, my application form is an, a link on my bio is on both my IgM, my Facebook pages or you know, if people just DM up, email me, then I can send that link on over. My program is a hundred percent online, so I'll just give you the really brief run down of what it involves. I do customized everything as a a hundred percent customized. I teach, teach people how to integrate healthy eating into their lifestyle so that they can still have that glass of wine on a Friday night and still have the pizza and Oscar and me, the kids, you know, it, flexible dieting, if people are familiar with that term out there is what I teach. So focusing on whole nutritious foods bar with the wiggle room to have the fun stuff as well. So I do customized workout programs. Now they can be in a gym or they can be at home.

Nicole: A lot of my clients actually have home gyms or just need to do a, B, they're getting started with a fitness regime. And so they're looking for things that they can do at home. So I can do anything that suits a client's lifestyle. And, you know, I do check ins weekly so that we can make adjustments and and check on how things are going and looking at things like I've been talking about today and things like, you know, you stress the other factors that are going on in your life, you know, how's your sleep, how's things going with work? Because all of those have such a massive impact on our progress. So that's what agenda in a nutshell of what the program involves. I just, I don't have different packages at this point in time, but I do tailor them to people's needs. So usually the best thing is to jump on the phone and I have a chat with people and see what they're actually looking for and how I can help.

John: Okay, perfect. And that's good. I'm glad you went through that because that's not something that I was actually thinking of asking but I, I really like being able to share that cause it does show people exactly what you're able to offer them, that everything's customizable. So I just like to invite anybody who is interested or you know, has even enjoyed listening to this conversation to go ahead and check your information out on Instagram or through Facebook because I definitely feel like you have a very good background and a good experience that can help people be able to change their lives.

Nicole: Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

John: Yeah, of course. And I really appreciate you coming on today. I know that you've got a busy schedule again, we've talked about that, but this has definitely been great and I hope that people will be able to listen to this and be able to obtain as much as I did out of this conversation. And I just want to thank you again for your time.

Nicole: Oh, thank you. And thanks to everybody out there listening when you're driving, working out, cooking. And it's been nice chatting.

John: Thanks again for listening to this episode of the John Barton fitness podcast. I hope you enjoyed Nicole's message and I thoroughly enjoyed having this conversation with her and hope that you were able to get as much out of it as I was. Her contact information will be below in the show notes. Also, if you do like this show, please subscribe and share this episode with your friends and don't forget to check out our affiliates because your purchases through those links do help me get a small commission, which helped this show, helping my website and helping me be able to produce the best content for you. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you on the next episode.

Vegan Lifestyle and Sustainable Habits – Interview with Patria Yancey-Siakumi

patria yancey

Welcome back to another episode of the John Barker fitness podcast. Today's guest is an online coach who also lives a vegan lifestyle and is looking forward to her next upcoming bikini competition. Welcome to the show Patria Yancey-Siakumi.


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Visit Patria on Instagram @patriapower

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Episode Transcript

John: Welcome back to another episode of the John Barker fitness podcast. Before I jump into introducing this guest, I just want to introduce you to Jawzrcise, which works over 57 muscles through a repeated biting motion. You simply place it in your mouth and start repping. Each bite is a rep. If you're looking to slim tone and tighten your face and neck, do a few burnout sessions where you rep until you simply can't anymore. If you want to see a full review of Jawzrcise, go check out my YouTube video, which is in the link in the show notes now onto our guest. Today's guest is an online coach who also lives a vegan lifestyle and is looking forward to her next upcoming bikini competition. Welcome to the show Patria Yancey-Siakumi. I appreciate you coming on to the show. Thank you very much for taking this time out to join me today. So I want to go ahead and get started and just kind of open up with a little intro, maybe give us a little story of who you are, what you do, and kinda your, your background as far as fitness and just kind of your life story is concerned.

Patria: Yeah, so I guess like I kind of have always been into fitness. Like I was a wannabe athlete in high school. I played a little basketball. I ran cross country. I was never really good at either of those, but I obviously tried. Then in college, totally gave up on sports and just did my own thing. And then as a young adult, kind of like let myself go a little bit, but I was always trying to live a healthy lifestyle but never really was successful at that. And I ate a lot of fast food even like struggled and battled with an eating disorder for a couple of years and have overcome that and, you know, work through those struggles daily. Yeah. So finally, I think it was just a couple years ago that I decided, cause people would kind of turn to me for like fitness help.

Patria: And I think it's only because the community that I'm a part of, they're like not very fitness minded. And so I always seem to be the leader of the pack in the fitness department. So I decided to just become a personal trainer. I studied to get my personal training certificate from NASA and then from there started in the online coaching world. Also around the same time I converted to veganism. I know some people think it's a lifestyle. I kind of view it as a religion almost because you know, you have to be like really committed to it too, like a follow through with that, that style of living. And so in my, my coaching practice, I normally just take on mostly online clients and help them live and create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle through plant based nutrition and fitness. And that's kind of like what I do in a nutshell.

Patria: I just help people pretty much eat more plants and incorporate more plant based foods into their diet so I can live out my vegan lifestyle and my fitness life. And my husband does it as well. We're both, we actually both decided to take on bodybuilding. So that's something that's new to us this last year. And I went from being completely overweight to you know, competing in physique competition. So it's really exciting and I'm, I'm training for my next competition next year as well in the bikini division. So I'm really excited about that. But that's pretty much me in a nutshell.

John: Well, perfect. I like that you have a lot of things that you've covered in there ranging from your high school experiences, whether it's basketball, cross country, and, and recognizing certain things that you enjoy. Now you mentioned that you have some competitions coming up or you have a competition coming up, but between you and your husband, are you both competing as well or just kind of, you more than him?

Patria: So my husband hasn't competed yet, but he put my hands on it. So we're both physique competitors. And yeah, he'll be competing in the VC physique division as well. I think classic physique for men, but we're planning on competing next year in 2020. So we're giving ourselves time to like build and he's also newly navigating vegan life as well as a bodybuilder. So that's kind of challenging as well because vegan bodybuilders are kind of like our own group of people. We're, we're kind of different from the rest of the world.

John: Yeah, it's definitely a different, a different type of, of, I guess, lifestyle than, than you'd typically see from like a regular just fitting macros versus other, other diets. It's a very, and it's interesting because there are several reasons why someone would want to choose to live a vegan lifestyle, whether it's for ethical reasons and we talked about this a little bit earlier, or if it's just simply whether it's digestive or, or a practice that, you know, someone may just prefer to live that. And, and I think we had talked a little bit about, like, for me example, I don't practice veganism. I, I, you know, it's not something that I personally have chosen. But you had mentioned earlier that someone can simple, we just increased the amount of plant based food products that they eat. So what would you say the benefit would be of, of doing that? Right? If someone's just gonna reduce but maybe not go completely into a vegan lifestyle?

Patria: Yeah, so actually it's really interesting because I feel like I kind of took that route because I feel like a lot, I mean, veganism from is like at its core is moral and ethical like towards the animals and the environment and some people do it for health. But mostly I would say that if you do it for health reasons, you're more plant based than vegan. And there's some controversy within like the vegan community over these issues. But the way I see it, a lot of, like a lot of people who do it for ethical reasons just like cut out meat and dairy like overnight. Whereas there's like other people who do it more for health and they just start incorporating more plants into their diet because I believe that you could even be considered more plant based and still have meat occasionally if you're not.

Patria: Because if you're not an ethical vegan then you know, having eating meat sparingly is, is still better for you than centering your whole meal around meat, which is what we tend to do in the like standard American diet is just like meat, meat, meat, meat, meat. And then we barely eat vegetables and barely eat fruits and barely eat whole grains. And so I think that just like having more of that focus of like eating like whole whole foods, like plant based foods that, that ultimately like increasing the amount of whole foods that you eat that are plant-based is just going to be better for you on so many different levels. Like it'll help like decrease your risk for like heart disease, cancer. I mean there's like other, the list goes on diabetes even. But, and also for me, I, I actually have seen it help me perform better as an athlete, which is quite interesting.

Patria: I feel like I used to marathon, I was a marathon runner before. I guess I left that part out. I used to run marathons and, or like train for marathons and I always had like so much inflammation in my body and I just thought, Oh, I'm just being really hard on my body. Like this is normal. And it's funny because today I I work part time as a nanny and I was chasing after the I'm teaching a five year old how to ride a bike and he started picking up, he started going really fast so I had to start running and I was running with him for like a mile. Like we were on a trail. We weren't really far and I was like, wow, like I feel like I don't run anymore. I absolutely do not run anymore. But that was so easy for me. Like it was so easy. And I really do attribute that to eating a more plant based diet because like you're decreasing that inflammation in your body and like recovery time is just better. So like my muscle, even when I lift, like my muscles don't hurt as much because I used to body, I used to weight lift like years ago before I became vegan and I was always in pain and I don't feel that anymore.

John: So that's, and I like how when you changed that over, you noticed that you felt the difference in performance and, and it's, it's interesting how small things can make a big difference in that. And I guess it's not even really a small thing now, especially when it comes to adapting to that kind of a lifestyle. So you mentioned that your husband is relatively new to it and is that, is there a reason why he decided to join you? Was it more because he wanted to support you or what, what's kind of the basis of that?

Patria: Well, his PO, if he listens to this, he'll probably tell me per se, but I kind of like, we're newlyweds, so we've only been married for coming up on four months now. And that was my deal breaker. I said, I'm not going to marry you until you come. And so a month before we got married, he, he's actually new to America too. So when he came to America a month before we got married, he committed to this lifestyle and he hasn't been perfect at it, which is understandable. And I like, I totally understand because I, hello, I just went through that like a couple of years ago and it's hard. It's hard for anyone to change your lifestyle, whatever you've been doing and however you've been eating and the habits you've created for like your whole life. It's really hard to break those overnight. And so for him he's just you know, I think we have kind of like those comfort foods, like I call them transition foods because like, they're more processed vegan foods.

Patria: Like you can get you, I mean, Oreos are vegan, like everything. I mean you can get junk food that's vegan, like I can make V I actually, we had pizza tonight for dinner, so I'm like, we had vegan pizza and so like I, I would make him some of those comfort foods so that he could still feel like, like he doesn't feel hungry or deprived because he, he feels like he's eating me because we're eating like mock meats or you know, like we're eating, you know, veggie burgers and things like that. Things that look like me, but they're not, they're, they're plant-based. So it's for him, he's, he's doing well in that transition because we're eating those transition foods now. Eventually the goal is to eat less of those and more like whole foods. But in the meantime, like it's, it's good. Like those are good transition foods to eat when you're considering any new lifestyle.

Patria: You also have to consider like sustainability and you, you can't just jump from eating junk food all the time. And eating me all the time to eating salad is all the time. Like that's just not, that's not sustainable. And that's why people actually like fail when they try a vegan diet or when they try to do this because they're going so extreme from one end to the other. And it's hard. You gotta you gotta take baby steps sometimes. So, and I mean some people don't need baby steps, but other people do. I know I needed baby.

John: And I think that applies with a lot of things too. And baby steps are usually a good way to go because you don't want to shock yourself into, you know, changing course too quickly or you know, saying that this isn't gonna work or maybe feeling like you're, you're not going to be able to do it or that you're incapable. Right. And I, I think that ties in really well with something that, that we talked about a little bit earlier is about what your, your philosophy is or your thought process is when it comes to being able to achieve things in life. Right? So, I don't know if you want to share your thoughts on being able to accomplish things and, and what really you think is the main thing that kind of prevents people from doing that.

Patria: Yeah. You know, it's really, it's really funny because as I look back on my life, like I think one of, one of the biggest struggles that I've always had is just like knowing that I should do something or that I like really want to do something and just not doing it. And I think we all, we all struggle with that, right? Like for me, being vegan, that I was a long process. I was vegetarian off and on for years before I ever became vegan, but for years I already knew I needed to become vegan. It's the same like I was overweight for so long and so unhealthy and I would eat fast food all the time. And I knew I wanted to change and change and I knew I needed to change. But like just getting in that right mindset I think is like, I think the biggest thing that holds us back is just it's our mentality.

Patria: And I think that that goes with, with everything. Like sometimes we focused so much on, on changing the, the behavior that we want to change that we never actually change it because the real root of our problem is actually in our mind and it's with our mindset. And I feel like once I started getting into my head, and even, even even with becoming vegan, like transition foods are so important because you have to consider your mentality and how you think towards food and you have to like be patient with yourself and, and work with your mentality. I know for the longest time the thought of ever giving up cheese because pizza is my favorite food. Like I couldn't wrap my head around that. Like that was the thing that was holding me back. Like I, I just can't think in absolutes, but slowly I started to like try vegan cheese and I was like, Oh, okay.

Patria: Like I can do this. Like, you know, so I think it's, it's just watching your mentality around things and like switching your mindset. And I, I mean, I think we all, like, we all have things that hold us back. Like we have the idea that, you know, I can't do this. Like you have limiting beliefs. Like, Oh, I, I can't change my, my lifestyle because I've always eaten way or I've always been overweight or like, Oh, I, I've never had the body of my dreams, so how can I ever achieve it? And I think so many of us like struggle so much with that mindset that it just makes our goals seem so unattainable and, and really hard to achieve. And I think for me, the way that I've been able to overcome and accomplish the things that I want to accomplish is not just by doing the things, but it's, it's working on my mindset and I listen to personal development every day, like the things that I'm struggling with because we all have our own personal struggles and things that are holding us back.

Patria: But I, I listen to YouTube videos, podcasts, like everything, read books. Just so that I can fix what's going on in that in my head so that I can move forward and do the things that that I want to do. Because ultimately we all have things holding us back like, and especially with health and fitness. I think that that's like a big one. Like a lot of us grew up in homes where we didn't eat well. We, we were raised not having good habits. Like for me, I was raised in a home where we ate meat and potatoes, a little bit of vegetables and normally they were canned vegetables. Like my lunches consist of all processed foods. Like I had Lunchables and like just junk, like, and I packed my lunch. Like I was a latch key kid. I was responsible for my own foods and I just, I ate junk a lot.

Patria: And so it's hard to like change those things over time and you just keep telling yourself, well, I've always eaten this way. I've always been this way. I'll never be disciplined enough to fix that. But you can like, you absolutely can. You just have to believe in yourself and, and fix your mind mindset around those things and then you'll be able to accomplish anything. Like you'll be able to conquer the world because hello, we're humans, like we were made to do hard things. Like people overcome struggles every day. They do hard things everyday. Like that's how we're made.

John: That's awesome. And I think just having that mindset is extremely powerful because there's a lot of things that can actually prevent us from reaching certain goals. For example, a debilitating, you know, accident that could completely change the way that someone's life is. It's just seems surprising to me that the mental aspect is honestly probably one of the hardest things to overcome. Yet once you do, there's so much power. And I'm going to kind of put you on the spot here because you mentioned that you do audio books, YouTube and podcasts. So just off the top of your head, if you can think of either a person or a certain book or a podcast or something that you feel has impacted you the most what would you kind of share with this audience to recommend to go check it out?

Patria: Okay. I have like a list of my alone long. One of my favorite ones is the compound effect by Darren Hardy. I really, really love this book because I started listening to it from like, one of my business mentors was like, yeah, you should start listening to this, but there are so many points in that book that can apply to so many aspects of your life. And he actually touches on some of them. And like, it's not just a business book, like it talks about health and fitness in there as well. And the things that he shares in there. I, I apply into my daily life. The like he basically says like not everyone should go and listen to him, think you can like listen to it on YouTube per friend or something. There's lots of, I mean, or you can get it from your library.

Patria: But that was like one of my favorite audio books because he talked so much about how the small things that you do on a regular basis, like they compound over time, whether for good or for bad. So if you do the same bad behaviors, like even though it's something so small, maybe it's eating 200 extra calories that you're not burning every day. If you just do that every day, 200 extra calories, like it's not gonna make a significant difference today or tomorrow or the next day, but maybe six months from now you're going to be 30 pounds heavier. Like it happened over time and you're like, what happened? And I think we've all been in situations like that with in so many different aspects of our lives, like we overeat or we're just not taking care of problems that we have in our life. And then the affects of those compound over time, just from our, our habit of not taking care of those things.

Patria: And then he talks about the opposite of, of if you just start doing small little things every day, that's going to compound over time too in that if you just cut out 200 calories every day from your regular diet that you've been eating, that six months from now you're going to be 30 pounds lighter. And like it's, it's really cool to just think that like small little things can, can make a big difference in a big impact in your life. So that one for sure for sure is like my absolute favorite. Like that was my favorite book to listen to because I feel like the principles can apply to so many different aspects of your life.

John: That's awesome. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I'm glad you let me put you on the spot like that. I, I found that it is on audible so I added it to my list. And it's funny that you mentioned calories because I think I'm kind of the person that it's not, I'm, no, I'm gonna eat consistently 200 over. It's, it's either I'm within like, you know, a 20 calorie margin of my goal or I'm like 3000 calories over. Like I don't think I'm one of the people

Patria: That is me some days I I work in extremes like that as well. So I, I do feel you on that. I'm either, I'm either all or nothing about a lot of things in my life, but I have noticed that because I, I feel like I've been extreme in the past, but I noticed what is really sustainable and that like I said, that that is like the focus of what I do is like, okay, help people create a lifestyle that's sustainable. Like that makes sense for them. And like for me, that comes like the most successful workout plan or the most successful nutrition plan is not going to be something extreme, like a diet that's so extreme and so restrictive. Like you can't sustain that. And so that's why I like that focus of just do small little things every day because all that adds up and I that that a sustainable, like if you like, like it's not about here's a meal plan and follow this for the rest of your life, but it's like, here's some tools and, and do these and, and work on these things every single day. And over time you will build up and you will be able to do these things on your own and you, you won't need to rely on somebody else to, to tell you what to eat or, or how to exercise because you'll learn those things and you'll know because you're doing them constantly every day and you're growing as a person because you're just being consistent.

Patria: And I, I've notice that I have been so inconsistent throughout my life that when I, when I listened to that book, I was like, yeah, this is what's missing from my life. It's that, that steady flow of being consistent with the things that I know that I need to be doing. And, yeah, so I do have days where I'm 3000 calories over, but for the most part I stay that [inaudible] pace all the way all the way through.

John: Well, and I'm glad I'm not the only one. And it's nice because I know myself and I know that sometimes I might want to do that and that's it. There's nothing, I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially because if I watch, you know, people looking at the scale of one day to the next, it's going to freak them out because you know that bump happens, right? But if I look at my, my weight over like a three month period, it goes the direction that I'm wanting. And so things like that, you just, you have to be aware and like I said, like, well I guess, like you said, has to be sustainable, right? It's not going to be so restrictive that you're going to, you know, shoot yourself in the foot later. But I want to ask you to kinda take this a direction of, you talk a lot about being sustainable and having it be something that you can keep going longer term. When it comes to nutrition specifically, how do you help your clients or what are some tips to help them make things that are sustainable, right? Whether it's a meal plan or a certain way of thinking. I guess what are some tips and tricks to help make nutrition be more of a friendly thing for your clients and have that be sustainable?

Patria: Yeah, so actually like I take more of like a flexible, a flexible dieting approach. Like I just feel like, you know, if I'm telling someone like the amount of like veggies and things that they should be doing now mind do, everyone's at a different place, right? Like I don't really work with athletes like that are like macro counting and are like so strict with like what they're doing. Most of my clients are like just looking to live a healthier lifestyle and a lot of them are trying to transition to a more plant based lifestyle as well. And so how I approached that is just like help them find the like healthier replacement for the foods that they're already, that they're already eating. Even if they're, if they're a meat meter and they want to transition to a vegan lifestyle, then I'll like we talk about how much, like how many servings of a protein or, or, you know, different or whole grains or different fruits, vegetables, all this that they could be having.

Patria: And then they pick from a list what they're going to eat to satisfy those different portions and those different food groups. And so to me that true sustainability, because you're going to have access to different foods at different, during different seasons and during different times and at different points in your life. So it's really about just helping see where people are at already and then building off of what they already have. Like what does your meal look like? And once you see what foods they like and what, what foods they eat, you can, can help them like figure out their nutrition and, and how they should be eating from that baseline. And you know, you can see the habits of like what they're cooking or like, are they cooking with a lot of oil, are they cool? Like how much? And like once they start being aware of those portions and seeing like, Oh, okay, well I'm eating like five portions of rice just for dinner. Like I don't think I should be doing that. Like that's too much. So I mean, I like, I meet them where they're at and just like help build and start incorporating more, you know, healthier foods into their diet from, from that baseline. So it's, it's really different for every person.

John: That's awesome. I like that personal approach because you really can't just do a one size fits all. And I think that's something that comes up over and over again within several of these episodes. Now I'd like to see kind of where people can, can find you. Right. So you, you said you do a lot of your coaching online. So I guess where can people most, I guess appropriately reach out to you, whether that's on Instagram and your website? I'll go ahead and give us some of that so that we can know where to find you.

Patria: Yeah, so I, I, I really feel like the best place to find me is on Instagram. My IG handle is patriapower. And I, I really feel like that's the best place to find me. I'm also on Facebook. Patria Yancey-Siakumi. I'm really diligent about requiring to my to my messages in messenger and my DMS in IgG. I try to reply to all of them within 24 to 48 hours. So really like those are the best place. You can also email So that's another place to find me.

John: Well that's perfect. That's, that's good. So people can reach out to you. Now, do you do, do, in terms of your training and coaching, is it mostly a monthly package or like, you know, blocks of time? How do you kind of set up some programs, you don't have to go into all the details, but what's kind of your main strategy in, in doing that with your clients?

Patria: Yeah, so generally what, what I do is I actually run transformation challenges every month. So the first Monday of every month we're having a new challenge. That's when I take on all of my new clients within that month. And I have a group that I add them to and when they sign up, they sign up for a year with me. So they have access to me for the whole year. So they'll have access to all of my online groups. And then I have a special app that I use that they'll have access to. And they basically got me for the entire year for that, like bulk price. And then I also offer like other supplements and things that, that they can use as well. But yeah, that's pretty much how I set up my coaching.

John: I kind of want to wrap this up with one more thing and we may have touched a little bit on it before, but if you could leave one message to the community, what would that one message be?

Patria: I feel like we've talked about so much good stuff already. I guess like the main message that I want to share is that that you can do it. Like you can live a healthy lifestyle, you can create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Like you can create the life of your dreams, you can do anything that you want, that you put your mind to. And whatever obstacles are standing in your way, like you can overcome them. And I, I just love that about humans, that we just have this power within us to shine and progress and develop and grow over time. I just love that about us. Like we all started as little babies, not walking, not talking, and now we grow into adults and we have all that power within us to accomplish anything that we want to achieve. Like if you want to lose weight, if you want to have a healthier diet, if you just want to be more active and have more energy, like you can have those things, they're well within your reach if you just put your mind to it and make it happen for yourself and, and reach out to somebody if you need that extra help.

Patria: So that's my, my message.

John: That is really a valuable message because we can really accomplish anything we put our minds to. And I think that last part is really key too, because if we can be humble enough to ask for help when we need it, we're going to be able to accomplish much more. And that goes both asking for help and also giving help. I had a recent podcast with the team flex and, and Ryan was saying that that's basically one of the biggest things that he preaches is helping others. So I think that that's a really good message that you shared. And if we can all just do that and just fight for what we want and be able to reach out for help when we need it, we're going to be able to achieve so much more.

Patria: Yeah, I love that. I, I feel like asking for help is one of my weaknesses. So I understand when my potential clients that aren't asking for help, I'm like, Oh, just give them a nudge. Because I see them watching all my content and commenting and I know that they need my help. They're just afraid to ask and then I'll ask them and they're like, Oh my gosh, I'm so grateful you asked me. And I'm like, yeah, that's our flaw. As humans we need help and we, we don't want to ask for it. But yeah, I like, I really love that we need to be more willing to help other people and more willing to ask for help when we need it because yeah, we need each other as humans. I even, I learned that, well, you know when I started coaching I never, I mean I had a personal trainer before but I, you know, it was never really consistent.

Patria: Like I never worked with anyone consistently and it wasn't until I became a coach that I was like, Oh no, like every human kind of needs somebody to help them and it's always so hard to do it all by yourself. And that's actually why I became a coach cause I saw so many people just needed that help and they needed that support. And if I could just offer them some support, like great, like let me provide some tools for you to help you be successful because yeah, that I can go a long way, just one person there to guide you and help you on your journey. So

John: Yeah, absolutely. And that's a really great way to wrap this up and I appreciate your time. This has been really fun for me and I think that there's going to be a lot that the audience pulls from this and, and hopefully implements in their own life. And I just want to say thank you for taking that time out of your schedule and I think that this has been really great and I appreciate it.

Patria: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. This has been a good experience for me as well, so I appreciate it.

John: Thank you everyone for listening. I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did interviewing Patria. Feel free to reach out to her through Instagram or through her email, which will be in the show notes below. Again, check out the most recent YouTube video, which is also in the show notes. If you have not subscribed, make sure you subscribe to this podcast and share this episode with your family and friends. Thank you for listening and we'll see on the next episode.

Becoming Your Best Self

I couple months ago I started a podcast focused on health and fitness. I launched by interviewing several individuals within the fitness community. These consisted of coaches and trainers, competitors, and other inspiring individuals.

The first episode was incredibly fun! Eliannah Linehan was a wonderful guest and shared some amazing insights. This post covers the whole show, but in case you want to listen rather than read you can check out the podcast here.

Now here’s the episode transcript.

John: Welcome everyone to the first episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast. I’m super excited for this episode, which we’ll get to shortly. I just want to take a moment to explain a little bit about the show before jumping in with our guests since this is our first episode. My goal with this podcast is to share the stories and experiences of personal trainers, competitors, and other inspiring members of the fitness community. My hope is that no matter what your level of health and fitness may be, you will take away at least one thing that will impact your life for the better. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. Please remember to leave a review on iTunes or whichever podcast player you use. It helps me make sure I’m producing what best suits your needs. Today’s guest has experiences ranging from being an aerialist to a two time American Ninja warrior competitor. She’ll share insight on how to be empowered to be your best self in life and how fitness directly influences that goal. Let’s welcome to the show, Eliana Linehan. Hey Eliana, welcome to the show. How’s your week been?

Eliannah: I’ve had a pretty long week. I’m doing some weekend coverage for my engineering jobs, so I’ve been fitting in a lot, but beautiful weather and, you know, it’s, it’s shaping up to be a good weekend even with work. How about you?

John: Good. Yeah, really good. I remember that we had talked briefly about both being in the engineering field officially. Right. So that’s kind of a cool common thread. Do you have to work on the weekends a lot or do you

Eliannah: No, no, usually I get to selfishly enjoy my weekends in New Hampshire hiking and, and doing all kinds of stuff. So this is a special, a special occasion for me. But yeah, it’s a lot to balance engineering. You know, it’s, it can be pretty demanding. I’m sure you can relate to that. Having to put out fires every once in awhile.

John: Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely something that I can relate to. Why don’t you go ahead and give me a little bit of an intro to yourself. You’ve already touched on what you do, but just kind of who you are. Some of the things that you’ve, you’ve done. Then we’ll get into some more of the fitness-related stuff too.

Eliannah: My name is Eliana Linnean. I mostly go by Ellie, Eliana, just because everyone can find me easily on the Internet with that first name. So I tend to give people at my background, I’ve been kind of a fitness lover my whole life. I grew up as a gymnast and I think that’s going to be like part of my identity forever. It’s, I think a lot of people who do gymnastics, you know, years beyond it. It’s just something you always, you know, I grew up in gymnastics and it’s something everyone can relate to, I’m sure. Like other sports are like that too. So that was kind of my childhood. And then going into college, I went for engineering and I couldn’t do gymnastics anymore. So I did a little diving, graduated from college, started in the real world, kind of Cert, was searching for like hobbies and everything.

Eliannah: And that’s when I got into circus. And so circus firm can mean a lot of things for me. It’s I do aerials. So what you might see in Cirque de Solei. So aerial silks, aerial rope, Mariel straps. And then from there I also got into hand balancing which has some connections through gymnastics in yoga. But then it’s a discipline of circus so he understands something like I think a lot of people can can relate to it cause it’s like something they’ve always wanted to learn to do. So I have a lot of fun teaching. I’ve coached that quite a bit and I performed in some shows from there. So post-college doing circus, very active. I applied for the show, American Ninja Warrior and that was kind of off a whim. I saw a lot of people on this show. Like Casey Catanzaro was one of the stars of the show, former gymnast.

Eliannah: She’s about my size. I’m five foot one. And I was like, you know, I thought I could do that. Like I’m pretty fit. I have like kind of a similar skillset as to the people on this show and totally out of the blue I like got a call back that I was going to be doing it. I was really shocked. I had so much fun. I competed in season seven and again, in season eight and I meet a lot of friends through Ninja warrior. You meet all kinds of crazy athletes. My first season I did fairly well. I mean it to, I want to say the third obstacle in Pittsburgh. And then my second year I was right on the bubble for the top, the top 30 to make it to finals, but I just missed it by a hair in Philadelphia. And so, Yep. So I’ve trained, I’ve trained a lot of Ninjas style obstacles. There’s some Ninja jams. I’ve coached Ninja classes. I don’t compete on the show anymore, but I still do like local competitions. I’m actually running one of the, the mud runs tomorrow that goes on. Have you ever done like a spartan race?

John: Yeah, I like that. It’s done a lot. Well, so as far as like running, I did Ragnar a lot. There. Not so much obstacles, but I’ve done a lot of those. And then I did do a warrior dash several years ago. So those are fun. And I’ve wanted to do a spartan race. Maybe, you know, I’ll have to do that as a followup to the show.

Eliannah: Yeah. Oh my gosh. It’s just, you know, now it’s just something I, I make sure to do like every summer. Cause it’s, it just, it’s just so much fun. It’s kind of like that crossover for like everyone can be an engine and like I love it cause I don’t, I never competed to be on TV. I just really liked the idea of the obstacles. So that’s like, it’s a continued like thread in my life, but it’s, it’s a lot of fun. And, and when, if you can climb a rope too, you’re pretty fit, then it translates really well into, into the obstacles. So, yeah. So I’ll kind of go jump into present days. So now, you know, I still do circus, but I just, fitness is just this passion in my life is just something I just come, like I come back to it again and again.

Eliannah: It’s just the one thing I guess is just kind of who I am. Part of my identity. So this past year or past couple of years I, you know, I was getting really strong from doing these hobbies and I was like, you know what, I want to take you to the next level. I want to, you know, have a conditioning routine I do every day, or not every day but a few a few days a week, you know, four or five days a week. So I added that maybe two years ago. So I was not just athletic, I was training and then I started adding weights. So I was like in the, in the actual gym on top of that, you know, get, I got married about a year ago. So that was like a secondary motivation just to be in my best shape. And then over this last year I decided to go for my personal training certification.

Eliannah: Cause people are constantly asking me, you know, how do I get strong like you, how do I do the things you do? How are you able to do well, you know, how are you able to physically do this? Can you give me conditioning tips? And I want to help people and share the things that I, you know, really excite me. And I just wanted to do it in a really honest, like an anonymous way with integrity, not just give out, you know, random advice. So that’s why, that’s why I did it. And so I did that in the spring and now after I got my certification, I’m gonna catch you up. Just today I decided I wanted to kind of go through my own personal transformation so I could relate more to people who might ask me for help because I’ve been fairly lucky. I haven’t really needed to make drastic changes just to be healthy.

Eliannah: So I decided to do a bodybuilding competition, I guess maybe it was like three months ago now. And starting to work with the coach and really just dialing in my nutrition and my workout plan with the coach so I could kind of experience what it’s like to change my habits and, and see changes to my body so I could kind of help from a firsthand experience. And I think if you’re going to be a coach, I think, you know, I wouldn’t trust the coach that wouldn’t work with a coach themselves. Right, right. It’s like, well, you know, is it really, I think everyone should have a coach, not even if you are a coach, you should have a coach. So that’s kind of my most recent endeavor is, is that competition. And I’m doing that in about two weeks. So that’s the really long, the really long version of everything. That is wonderful. So you covered everything. We can end the show now. Right. I know, I was like, oh, I should give bullet points and then I just went.

John: Yeah, no, that’s actually perfect because there are a couple of questions that I actually thought of as you’re going through those. So I might have misunderstood this, but you said you don’t compete so much in American Ninja Warrior now, but I think you said something about Ninja jams is, did I get that?

Eliannah: Oh, I might have. I S I don’t think there were jams, but so,

John: Or maybe you said events, maybe I just missed them.

Eliannah: Yeah. So there is local, there’s this is a total like nerd, nerd scene, but there’s organizations that you can compete in. The one I compete in is the NFL, the National Ninja League. So they have competitions at gyms which are very, they’re getting really popular. There’s like three within 20 minutes of my house and I live in New Hampshire, you know, it’s not like a big city kind of area, so you can qualify for nationals in this league. And I’ve done that for the last three years. I think I was like top six or top 10 this year in Hartford. So it’s, it’s a way to compete. Like it’s free. You don’t have to necessarily have a Hollywood story to, to do it. Like you do on a NBC, you have to be cast it for that. It’s not just skills. So it’s, it’s a fun way to stay involved in, not necessarily, you know, be on television or anything, but you get to compete in, it’s a lot of fun.

John: Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. I had to ask because I didn’t know if it was like a, not an industry thing, but like yeah, just some jargon that was like I was unaware of. But no, that’s really cool. So it kind of sounds to me. I’ve seen events like that. For example, there’s a an expo here in Phoenix. I want to say it’s like the second week in August. It’s called the Europa fit expo straight. Similar to like the La fit expo or the Olympia or the Arnold in Ohio. But they have events there. And I think those are actually events where you can qualify to be able to go onto American Ninja warrior. I think they’ve got some crossfit events there too.

Eliannah: Yeah, it’s there. It’s like getting really popular. People are, I don’t know how realistic it is to be an Olympic sport, but it certainly is getting a lot of attention and a lot more people involved. So it’s, it’s fun. I think everyone, everyone should get out there and try it once. Cause I think everyone watches the show and they’re like, yeah, I could do that. So, you know, go, go and see. It’s, it’s a lot of fun.

John: Yeah. And that’s something too that when you say, you know, you think everybody should try it, right? Well, I for one have not and I would be interested. Right. So it’s that. So like for, for me, I’ve been doing bodybuilding essentially my whole life and I’ve done some running, but it’s just not something that I’ve been as passionate about. If I were to want to get started. Right. And working towards, you know, American Ninja Warrior type event, right. It may be like something in a local gym. What would kind of be the first thing you’d that someone like myself would need to go and, you know, try this first train this way. Sure.

Eliannah: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you when I, when I started, it was season seven and it was already, I mean, it was established, but it was not, it was right after it kind of got really popular. And there weren’t Ninja gyms there really, there weren’t many. So the best way to start is to rock climb. I, I used to be a really avid rock climber. Now I go, it’s not my main focus right now, but rock climbing is a really great way to build strength for American Ninja Warrior. Cause there’s most of it you’re hanging and swinging and it’s just body weight. You need to be able, like strength to bodyweight ratio is really the huge, huge component of it. So anything else? The next type thing? Yeah, exactly. So that’s why, you know, there’s like almost a formula for like people who do well not, there’s exceptions like you’ll see like an a NASCAR driver and like that doesn’t it?

Eliannah: But a lot of people, they’re rock climbers park core athletes, gymnast pole vaulters and yeah. So those are like the big, the big one. So I think, I think rock lane was the best way to get started. And then, you know, really just getting in a gym because there’s certain things you’re only gonna get good at by trying, like the warped wall is a good, like, there’s no other time in life where you’re sprinting up a wall really. So maybe, maybe park core, but yeah. So I think rock climbing is a great way to get started.

John: That’s so, that’s really cool. Cause I, I used to do that some, my brother was more into it than I and I was, but there was a gym back when I was a, I think like 16 or 17 I’d go and there was a, I think it was a mountain side that it actually had a rock wall in there that would auto belay you. And I would basically do that for my workout, just climate until I couldn’t, so that’s, that’s an interesting connection. Now I just realized that you said Ninja gyms earlier, not Ninja jams. Yeah. So that sounds fun, but I don’t know what you mean. Yeah. One I figured maybe that’s just what they call it, right? Yeah.

Eliannah: Yeah. Excellence. It’s wild. I can’t, I can’t believe that there’s as many, you know, there’s enough people wanting to do it, that there’s, there’s so many now. Cause we remember when we used to drive, my husband used to train with me a lot for the Ninja stuff and we would drive like an hour and a half on a Saturday night. And that was like the only place to go.

John: But now, yeah, there’s like three in my town. Yeah. I’ll have to look up some local ones. Cause I, this is the first time I’ve heard of it. I used to work with a guy, I think his goal was either to be on it or maybe his, his fiance’s goal or something. But we had talked about it at one point. But yeah, I, I hadn’t, I went rock climbing with him once. Right. But we just, yeah. Ninja gyms. That’s interesting. [inaudible] Jails. Yeah, absolutely. Bucket list. Yeah. You should, I, I need to start that right. You’ve got a pretty good one going all the things that you’ve,

Eliannah: Yeah. Yeah. I like, I joke a lot about my bucket lists I have, I think that’s, yeah, just checking them off one by one.

John: Yeah. That’s, well, that’s so actually while we’re on that, right, so you’re, you’re competing in this, this bodybuilding competition, right? And I’m imagining that, well I guess I should ask what level is that? Is that like a figure of Bikini, which like [inaudible]

Eliannah: So I, I did not know what I should do when I started, which is one of the reasons why I got in contact with a coach. I work with a woman from team, best fit body named jewels and she, you know, we talked a lot because I’m so developed in my upper body from doing so many intensive things like, like Ninja and Ariel’s enhanced stands. So I’ve really big shoulders and I have a love hate thing with it. So we, we decided on bikini just cause I’m still relatively small overall. And that’s something I learned a lot about just talking to her and, and going to watch shows. There’s different categories so you can have yet to pick the one that kind of suits your body types. So that’s what I’m doing. We’ll see how it goes.

John: Right? Yeah. And that’s, and that’s why I asked you, cause usually there’s, there’s a progression. That’s it. No, I made totally screw this up for what most people definition is, but basically bikini figure physique and then bodybuilding, each one essentially goes up in musculature. Yeah. And there’s different routines or types of, you know, apparel for each one. But that’s kind of the progression that I see it as. I think Bikini makes sense for most people who are starting, unless they’ve already been doing that specific sport for.

Eliannah: Oh yeah. Yeah. And, and because I, you know, preparing for this show is really helped me like balance out, you know, more getting more strength in my lower body, which is one of my goals kind of in the beginning of the year was just to get stronger legs cause it’s like, you know, I worked so hard on my upper body and I want to be, you know, strong. I want to be balanced and equally fit kind of overall. So it’s, it’s kind of been helpful to, to have a routine where I’m doing actually hitting every muscle group every week. So,

John: So you bring that up. Have you looked a lot into the kind of the ideology behind crossfit and what its whole fitness thought processes?

Eliannah: I’ve done crossfit. I did it for a month once. I can’t say that I’m really an expert. I know they focus on functional fitness. I don’t know if you have more to say about it. I’m not sure I can elaborate.

John: No, you’re fine. But the reason I bring it up, I don’t really use crossfit is my training technique or method. I’ve, I mostly do weight lifting conditioning, that kind of stuff. But I did talk to a guy about seven or eight months ago and we started going to the gym and we would occasionally do a crossfit workout that he would have the workout of the day. Yeah, it was interesting. He had me sign up for this website called beyond the whiteboard and see if you’ve heard of that before or

Eliannah: You know, one of my good friends does it. So I’ve heard some of these terms. I do, I’d drop in on her classes like when I visit Philadelphia every few months. But I’m still listening. I’m not going to jump in.

John: Yeah, no, you’re, you’re fine. So beyond the Whiteboard, right, I go on there, I create my account and I’m kind of curious, it talks about how you, it gives you basically a fitness score based off of the different accomplishments that you have. Right. And it takes each workout, whether it’s a certain amount that you’re lifting or a certain speed that you’re doing things and it’s all about our output. But ultimately it talks about, like you said, functional fitness being all around balanced in everything you do. So I get evenly compare myself to this other guy who was more speed based where I was more strength based and our fitness scores could essentially be closer because it takes everything into account and really tells you how balanced you are. So that’s what that made me think of when you brought up wanting to balance upper and lower body strength and being equally fit kind of all around.

Eliannah: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s, it’s, I mean, when I feel like when you, you kind of, I mean, not a peak, but I, I feel like I’ve gotten really strong in my upper body and it’s like, well, you know, I, I, where can I, where can I do more work to be kind of better overall? And it’s, I like finding those opportunities, you know, whether it’s movie adding more flexibility to my routine or, you know, just looking for ways to constantly improve. I think, I think fitness is dynamic and it’s one of the fun things is kind of shifting, shifting those goals and, and focusing on different things. Strategy. A lot of people use kind of going through phases of fitness where they’re building strength, you know, building stability leaning out building muscles. So,

John: Right. And it’s all, it’s all kind of about those cycles, right. And I like how you kind of do that hand balancing that you, you have within your kind of repertoire of experience. And that kind of is an analogy for all of fitness in general. Like, even myself who doesn’t have the sort of American NGO warrior aspect or hand balancing aerialists that’s honestly aerialists sounds really far out of my realm of possibility at this moment. They never, never say never, right. Even with me, right. Where I’m trying to either increase muscle mass, decreased fat, transform my body in certain ways. It’s all about balance and trying to work through each of those phases. So it’s, yeah, I really like that message.

Eliannah: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, it’s, I don’t know, it’s really cool. I think when you, you know, you’ve been building for a while, maybe, you know, for me it’s not like drastic, but building strength and then, you know, adding a lot more cardio, getting leaner. Like I find I’m able to do skills that I wasn’t able to do before because now I have kind of that same amount of muscle but a little less mass to move around. So, so it can kind of unlock like certain plateaus going through those phases.

John: So the word comes to mind, circumstantial plateaus, so to speak, because it’s almost like self-inflicted, right? Because people say, oh, I can’t, I can’t lose more weight or I can’t get stronger. Right. But you’re kind of putting that limit on yourself where if you just kind of take a step back and reprogram, then you can push through that. It’s just that your body has to go through that ebb and flow.

Eliannah: Yeah. Yeah. It’s like almost approaching it from a different angle. Like, well, I’ve been kind of grinding, like pushing this immovable wall for the last six months. Maybe I should try a different strategy and see how my body reacts to it. Cause yeah, I think that can be really frustrating. And I, I have this theory, it’s, you know, I say it a lot when I teach handstands. It should feel hard but not impossible. If it feels impossible, then you’re probably doing it wrong. And I say that, you know, cause like you should struggle, but you know, if the struggle’s too great, then like, you know, we need to use different tools or maybe like progress it down so you can actually do it. And that, I dunno, just generic advice, heart difficult but not impossible is, is the right level of challenge in my mind.

John: Yeah, no, and that makes sense too. Even from a safety injury standpoint, I’m not going to go try and lift, you know, 600, 700 pounds on a bench press if I’m only doing, you know, one or 200 the day before. It’s not not realistic. So I have to ask it and I was going to ask who kind of like inspired you with the whole American Ninja Warrior aspect of done, but you already had mentioned Casey Casey,

Eliannah: Ken Xero. Yeah. She, I think so many people, so many women applied to that show after they saw her run. I think it was a, I want to say it was 2014 that she finished city finals. It was so inspired. I think it’s just like, people suddenly had this limitation just kind of like erased like, well, you know, not only is she a woman, she’s five feet tall. She, you know, she’s, she’s not an intimidating human being, I guess. And to see her do it. So many women I know that started that season who are now like very famous on the show. They’re inspired by her cause it just broke this glass ceiling of what’s possible. And you know, all these people couldn’t have done it before they saw her do it. But just seeing someone do it made it seem possible for so many people. So I, there’s a lot of, there’s so many strong women on the show now. It’s, it’s, it’s incredible. And they can, they can be with the men, they’re like on the same, a lot of them are at the same, do the same or better than the guys. So yeah.

John: Yeah, that’s a lot. That’s really cool. Heights. It’s almost like it’s a very psychological aspect to it. Is there something about the world record, like the a hundred meter dash or something like that was above a certain time for a very long time. And then finally someone broke it and then the record just kept getting broken and broken because people could see that it could be done and then more people try it. Right. And they, they, like you said, so many people could have done it before, but they didn’t really see it. Right. So they couldn’t really believe that they could do it until they saw someone else overcome that.

Eliannah: Right. It’s almost like they gave themselves permission. They’re like, yeah, I can, I can believe in myself now. I know it’s possible. Which is awesome. Yeah, she’s an inspiration. She’s, yeah, she’s doing all kinds of different stuff now. She’s a wrestler now, so it’s very cool. There’s, there’s a lot of inspiring people out there, so I know a lot, a lot of young girls are, are very, they’re inspired by the show and I see them competing. I, I spent six months as winter coaching a kids Ninja class, just kind of just for fun. And it was, it was great. You know, I, I love seeing the little, little kids, little girls, little boys kind of go from the very first Ninja class to, you know, six months later they’re doing all the obstacles and telling me how they are, like, this is how you should do it. Giving me advice. And I was like, I’ll take it. I’m listening. Yeah. I love it. So

John: That, and that’s cool. That’s really, I didn’t, I didn’t know that. We hadn’t talked about that before with the yeah, it is.

Eliannah: Yeah. Yeah. I thought, you know, volunteering, it’s, I try to make it part of my life. You know, it’s, sometimes it comes in waves, you know, I’ve done a, I think it’s an important aspect to give back and do some service. And

John: So with those, with the kids’ classes, I, I’m, I’m picturing just everything scaled down. Is it kind of the same obstacles or, yeah,

Eliannah: It is. It’s like Vinny everything is a little bit smaller, but some of these kids will like, they are just built for it because they’re, they’re they’re fearless and then their body strength to weight ratio is just perfect for just hanging and swinging. Like I’ve seen some incredible things. Like I’ve seen that I think a four year old just kind of hanging from one arm on a, on like a ring as like your for like how is that physically possible? Or maybe they’re five. But you know, it’s like these kids are strong and fearless and I love seeing kids get into sports early. Cause like I said, I was a gymnast and I think you just, you’re so much more, you don’t have those little feet, you’re confident when you’re a kid and, and doing those things young when you’re older, like it won’t seem like a big deal. You won’t be intimidated by them. So I think, I think sport kids get into some sports young is, is really beneficial for their, their confidence overall.

John: Yeah, I definitely agree with that. And talking about fitness impacting their confidence. Right. What, what would say some of the, what would you say the major benefits I guess, that you’ve seen in, in your life that fitness has brought to you outside of your actual fitness progression? Yeah.

Eliannah: Oh yeah. I, you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently because you know, I’ve always been active, but over the last three months I’ve had this really exact routine and I’ve, it’s, and I’ve been tracking kind of everything, so it’s really easy to correlate the effects. On my life from the effects of my fitness cause I know exactly what everything is. And you know, I just find that when you, when your physical self, when you’re taking care of your physical body you have more energy. Well this is, I’ll say I have more energy. I have this just more confidence. No, I don’t even know the reason. It’s just, just more confidence because I know I feel good about like the physical state that I’m in. I have more creative energy. Strangely. Even though I’m spending more time in the gym, I’m able to accomplish so much more cause I have so much more energy to pour out to everybody else and all like the work that I do.

Eliannah: For me, it’s like a multiplication factor of what I’m able to help. If I’ve put my, I’m sorry, put the energy in. It’s like almost like I get a multiple out. It’s not like taking away from, from sort of everything I’m able to do in a day. So I, I’ve just noticed that, you know, at work I just accomplishing more. I’m more focused. So that’s a lot. [inaudible] It’s a long list, but I just think, I think, you know, starting with your physical, the state of your physical self, you’re gonna see benefits in your mind and in your spirit. Kind of as like a pyramid, almost like building on top of itself. So,

John: Yeah. And I think there’s, I think there’s some science behind that. And I, again, I don’t know too much about it and, and, and I’ll ask you a little bit more about this later, but the, the actual science behind what your body experiences through physical output. I mean, it has to do with your, your endorphins and certain chemicals in your body. Right? And so when people, I think they even prescribed activity as kind of a, an aid for depression because it, it helps kind of alleviate, I, you know, I don’t want to butcher it, right. But I, there’s a tie there between

Eliannah: Seen this, I’ve seen this diagram before talking about all the chemicals in your brain, the positive effects from exercise. I’d love to find that diagram right now. But yeah, I think definitely the endorphin, just some exercise. You leave a run, leave, leave the gym in a better mood, which is a much better way to start, start the day, right? But then also there’s, you know, from being around other people, you get the sense of belonging and a sense of community, which has a lot of positive effects on mental health in general. I think that’s a huge part of, of fitness or people, cause I think for a lot of us it’s part of our, our identity and we have a strong community amongst the people that we do our fitness with. Whether that’s our yoga class, our lifting partners or you know, our soccer team, whatever it is.

John: I think you’re right. And I think that graph would be a really good thing to find and maybe I can kind of post that, but the one that I saw was, it Kinda just compared people’s, just the emotional sense of wellbeing before, you know, whether it was the gym or yoga versus after. Right. And it’s in, in all areas, they tend to be, you know, happier feel better. Which, you know, makes sense apart from maybe wanting to die because of what you just put yourself through. But yeah, relief though, after you just lie on the ground. Yeah. And you feel good. Right. When I turned 40 and I don’t go to the gym, I feel terrible and then I go at lunch or whatever and it’s fine. But when I go in the morning it Kinda sets up my whole day for better. So I gotta ask, which you said not too long ago that you got your certification for training, right?

Eliannah: Yeah, I went through Nazism. Okay. Yeah. So there I’ll ask what, what’s, are you certified through? An organization?

John: So I am actually certified. Yes. I’m, I think I’m going to let it lapse here in the next couple of months cause I really don’t train people. I only got my certification because I wanted to experience it and I wanted to kind of just challenge myself in another way. But it’s through a non-accredited organization that I don’t even remember it.

Eliannah: Yeah, I totally get it. And, you know, one of the reasons I got the certification was because realistically I think it’s a way to come at yourself to learning all the components. Cause you know, you know, this is my test date, so I’m gonna read this book, you know, cover to cover, make my note cards, take the quizzes and really learn it. I think I, you know, you could have the book on your shelf and say, yeah, I’ll definitely learn that someday. But I think, I think having a date on the calendar test the you know, maybe it’s a five k, you know, it gives you motivation to actually do the things you say you’re gonna do. So I can definitely relate to that. But yeah, I did. I did like the opt model that Nazism taught because they really, the one thing I really agree with is that everything should really start with that stability phase building. Neuromuscular efficiency. Cause I think the way people move is, has a huge effect on the results they get because they, you see people and they’re like, well I’m lifting but you know, nothing’s happening. And it’s like, well, if you lift but you’re not really, you know, making a mind body connection and moving correctly, you can do it all day and you’re not going to see the results that somebody who’s doing everything with proper form is going to see.

John: That’s a very, very good point. It makes me think of a couple of things. One is Jeff Nippert is a guy on Youtube who scientifically presents all of his information and he bases everything off of science and his, he recommends a subscription to this monthly online magazine called mass. And it’s all about science based information. They basically take articles and break it down. G M. A. S. S. Yep. I think it’s like monthly applied sports science or something. I should look it up because then I don’t sound like

Eliannah: Being from the northeast.

John: Oh, right. Yeah. So there’s, there’s a monthly applications in strength sport. Really cool. I subscribed to that and really I just, because I want to learn more. Right. And just like the training and you wanted to challenge yourself. So, yeah.

Eliannah: Yeah. I’ve honestly been looking for something like that. So I’m definitely gonna check it out. Cause Yeah, like I’ve been looking for like scientific articles, not these stupid well that there’s like a million like buzzfeed, not to say they don’t, some of them are, you know, informative I guess. But you know, I’ve been looking to read more scientific journals because I, you know, you want the real information, not that, you know, 10, 10 ways to,

John: You know, I always heard that six weeks, like

Eliannah: Six weeks or like, you know, work out like this celebrity and yeah. So that’s awesome. I’m definitely gonna check that out.

John: Yeah, I would check it out. And then just for everybody listening, I’ll put the link in the show notes. I’m not a affiliate or anything, but I will go ahead and put that there. It’s really cool. I want to say it’s like 25 or 30 bucks a month and like this last issue came out volume three issue seven and it’s about 77 pages, this last one. And they go through at least, you know, five to 10 articles. So that’s really cool. I think you, you might like that cause something you really have kind of touched on is that you want to be able to, from what I understand, really understand the content you’re giving people, right? So somebody asks you, how do you, you know, run faster? Like how did you accomplish being able to compete? Why did you, is that right? You want to be able to really tell somebody and not just tell them, you know, eat less and move more. Right,

Eliannah: Right. Yeah. And it’s like in some ways a lot, some of my earlier, so you know, I had coaches and I also am a little bit lucky. So, you know, finding out like what, what about what I was doing was actually moving the needle. And what lessons should I pass on to people? For me, like one of the biggest game changers is learning about nutrition. Cause if you’re athletic, like you’re, you know, you’re just going to enjoy moving and you’re going to, it’s not, that’s not the hard part I think. I think nutrition is really what takes it over the top for people who just, you know, if they like to move. I think learning a little bit more about nutrition can really, really take them to the next level.

John: Yeah, I agree with that. It in like comes back to that balance aspect of fitness, right. Where it’s, you may focus on one thing, but you may reach a sort of self-imposed plateau. If you try something else, you can push yourself in that direction, right. And then come back and see something different once you get back to what you were used to. Like, I would be really interested to see when you go and compete, you know, in this next show or maybe even one after that, if you choose to keep doing it, what your, what the impact would be on your hand balancing, right? Or your

Eliannah: Yes. I’ve already noticed. So I, I, I still train those things. Not as, not as many days a week just cause the number of workouts and doing, but I’ve already noticed an effect on that because I’m a little bit, a little bit lighter. And I’ve been doing just a really systematic like lifting routine where I’m hitting all my muscle groups. I’m doing a lot of good shoulder exercises and like I’ve already noticed a lot more stability in my shoulders and just, I think being slightly, slightly leaner has helped me unlock some things that I couldn’t do before. So I’ve already noticed that, which is cool because it wasn’t my intention for this to make me a better hand balancer but, or a better aerialist. But it’s, it’s kind of an unintended side effect of taking a different approach. So, so that’s been really cool for me. And then just like the consistent cardio, I think no one likes, well a lot of people don’t like cardio, but I think just adding consistent cardio can, can improve a lot of things for people. And I’ve seen some of that too. Just a little more endurance is always nice.

John: Right. And I agree with that. It’s interesting that you mentioned you have more strength in your, your shoulders and you being slightly leaner has had some effects on that too. I’d be interested though, how was your flexibility? Did you notice any change in that when you went over to lifting?

Eliannah: I think I do need to stretch like a little bit more just cause I’m when you, but I’ve been pretty smart about like stretching when I left, cause I already know kind of the effects of, of doing a lot of strengthening exercises and not stretching cause I’ve had really tight shoulders in the past from, from doing like a lot of climbing and pulling and not opening my shoulders. So, so yeah, definitely like doing a bunch of leg exercises and then having like tight, tight hamstrings. That’s, that’s a real thing. So I tried to stretch a little bit before and then stretch after when I left just because it’s important to me that I’m not, that I’m still very mobile so I can do the things I enjoy.

John: I couldn’t have said it better. That’s, it’s, it’s really, it’s really true when it comes down to it. Like for me, I know that I don’t have as much flexibility as I would like. Right. And so I do a lot of weightlifting. I used to do yoga many years ago and I should get more into the practice of doing that. Or at least like you said, stretching before and after. But I know that if I go and start implementing that flexibility training, then it’ll have positive effects on my weight lifting. It’s just a matter of putting the time into to do that. Right. So tying that back into kind of life in general with having to have certain fitness aspects that can compliment what you’re currently working on, how do you, how do you recommend someone that has so many things going on with life, whether it’s work or recently getting married? I know you were married about a year ago. Yeah. How do you keep your fitness progress on track while having all this whirlwind of life events is changes coming around?

Eliannah: Yeah. well I’ll say, I think all fitness goals should come from a place where you’re intrinsically motivated. I think it’s different for each person. For me, like I like to have something on the calendar and it, and it changes, you know, in phases of, of my life. It’s not always. And I, I love the freedom to kind of make these pivots to what, like what’s most exciting for me. So you know, right now I have a competition in two weeks. So that’s on the calendar. I’ll have a circus performance, you know, sometimes on the calendar and that’s, and that’s a motivating me to get out there and train. I think for some people there, you know, if you’re not motivated by sort of like a race or a competition or a performance, maybe it’s stressed, you want to commit to a daily or weekly practice and that’s something you check off the box like on your calendar.

Eliannah: But I think, I think you start with something that’s intrinsically motivating, you know, where it’s something you physically want to be able to do and there’s some time component to it. Whether it’s like you want an unbroken chain of I went to Yoga every day or you know, every week or like I have a five K in, in three weeks. And then from there I think balancing it with life, I think you need to have it. So either, you know, you wake up and do it. In the morning. I love working out. I love doing lifting or conditioning in the morning or like your class, you’re booked in a class right after work and that’s where you’re headed and you don’t let yourself, you know, go home and sit on the couch in between. I think it’s, I think that prioritizing it on your calendar so it’s, this is what you’re doing at this time versus getting to it when you get to it, I think, I think that’s how you make it happen, you know, make sure it’s motivating and make sure it’s blocked off in your calendar. And then, you know, when life gets in the way, like you travel for work, like you just forgive yourself, you know, you know, I was at and I think, you know, don’t let that derail you. Just jump right in where you left off and and, and yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s my approach.

John: That’s really, really cool. With the whole, don’t derail yourself. Right. Would you forgive yourself when you, when you miss it, because you can look it in the calendar, book a class. Right. But things happen. And I, I found that personally to happen that if I miss a day and I get down on myself about it, it impacts my ability to meet those goals the rest of the week. Yeah. So that’s really key and I think that positivity has a lot to do with where people can really take that, you know, in, in intrinsic motivation and convert that into, you know, this is something that I’m going to do. If I fail, it’s okay, I’ll forgive myself and not forget it. Right. Not Continue to do that.

Eliannah: Yeah. I love this phrase like, I do yoga, I try to do it, you know, weekly will be great, but like, you know, biweekly, just really for the, the mental aspect of the meditative aspect and something that I’ve heard in in classes is like, do what serves you. And if you make that decision, maybe like you didn’t sleep last night, like your, your child kept you up all night you have like crazy deadline. Like, maybe what serves you most is not going to the gym today and adding like physical stress to your emotional stress. And I think, you know, recognizing that you made the best decision you could for yourself and then just turning the page to a fresh day. It’s, it’s fine. You know?

John: I think that’s key that the whole, it’s fine, right? It’s people get down on themselves when they, they say, oh, I cheated, I had a lot of food, or you know, I didn’t make it today because of this. It in the end, if every little bit of activity that you do is going to help you live longer and missing one day at the gym isn’t going to be drastic. Right. I mean, unless you’re, you know, two, three, four weeks out from a competition and every little bit counts. I mean, even then it’s not as drastic, right. But I just think that it’s fine, right? If you miss it, it’s okay. You just have to keep going. So what would be, with all these different things that you’ve done from being an aerialist to hand balancing and American Ninja Warrior and now competing in a competition, what would be something that you would say kind of ties all those things together? And sort of like a contiguous, you know, grouping of activities?

Eliannah: Yeah, I think the theme for me, I think I’ve just, I’ve always liked being the strongest that I can be. So that’s the theme with all of these is just kind of pursuing that physical strength and physical challenge. I like to push boundaries. And I liked the idea of doing something that like no one’s been able to do before. So I like to be kind of on that inventive front and you know, I like to think that I’m kind of on that boundary of, you know, what’s, what’s possible and what’s not yet possible. Yeah. I guess the thing, this story that I kinda tell myself I’ve heard before, you know, if you look back your childhood and you remember the first time you felt powerful that’s supposed to be like one of your purposes in life. It’s very, very very deep.

Eliannah: And so mine, like mine is kind of silly and maybe almost too literal, but when I was in, I think I was in second grade, maybe I wasn’t sorry, maybe fourth grade, I set like the pull up record in my elementary school for like girls and boys and I didn’t, I didn’t realize I was that strong. And then at like the whole gym class is Kinda like, wow, like that was crazy. And I was like, Oh wow, look, I can do this. So I think, you know, that’s always been like empowering for me, just like one of my gifts. And I love to kind of push that and then also, you know, share, share that with other people who are excited about it and just kind of pushing, pushing boundaries and seeing, you know, how far we can take different things in different sports.

John: That’s a really interesting correlation. I honestly can’t say that I’ve had an experience that I can remember that’s you know, back from when I was younger with fitness. But being able to set that record and having people support you and then you kind of come to the realization that, wow, this is something that I’m good at. I could, I could see myself enjoying this. Right. And you feel that sense of accomplishment. I think that nowadays something that really helps people in general when it comes to fitness specifically is when they have somebody that’s kinda cheer and along right. And they, they accomplish something. And even though it may not be huge per se, it’s, you know, they have that feeling of, Oh, I actually can do this. Right. And that’s kind of a motivation to push further.

Eliannah: Yeah. And I love being that. I love being in that role. For other people. I think I see myself, you know, really as a coach more than a teacher, if that makes sense. Cause I think I fiercely believe in other people’s abilities to do things. Like, I think I can see it before they can. And like I re, I just remember coaching this one girl. I coached gymnastics in college and I was coaching this crawl to do a back flip on a trampoline and I could see that she could do it, but she didn’t, she was tired, she was scared. And I just told her, I was like, you know, I’m here. You can do it. Just do it. And she looked at me and she said, really? I’m like, yes, you definitely can. And then she just went and did it easily. And I was like, see, like all you really need sometimes is someone else to believe in your ability. And I think it’s a really, it’s a really unique position to be able to help somebody get over those hurdles. So

John: That’s, that’s actually a really good segue into what I wanted to talk to you about next. Cause that whole seeing yourself as a coach rather than simply a teacher. There’s, there’s a very big difference in my mind because the teacher, I can sit in the classroom and they can spout out all this information and then they’ll, you know, I’ll take an exam later on, but a coach that actually sitting there, right, whether it’s on the field or on the court where they’re with you, they’re coaching you, they’re showing you how to do it right. It’s a very different, almost more of like a mentor, like a personal relationship. So, yeah, I want to ask, Kinda to share with, so that I understand where you’re coming from and also to share with the audiences. What future plans do you have? More as like a fitness professional, right? I mean, do you have your engineering career? I also am an engineer, you know, coincidentally, but what kind of plans do you have for yourself within the fitness industry as you know, whether it’s a coach or otherwise?

Eliannah: Yeah, so, so I’ve done coaching in the past, but I’d really like to, to be able to share more with more people. So I started, I started kind of a side company recently a for coaching and named it acro cafe. The reason being the acro just because that theme of movement that is like that I love. And then cafe cause I am coffee is like one of my favorite things in life. So acro cafe. Yeah. So within that I wanna provide I want to start by providing physical fitness coaching cause I think that’s really the foundation of our, our overall wellness. I’d like to start with providing some simple challenges, strength training challenges and then expand that into a more holistic coaching program with nutrition as well. And really just have it be something that’s really meant to, to improve your, your life overall.

Eliannah: So not just fitness and nutrition, but also, you know, a place to share, pick best life practices. Like, here’s what I’m, here’s what I’m reading, you know, here’s, here’s this, like my favorite recipe kind of thing. So like a community really that’s just trying to be their, their best self, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, you know, in their careers. So I plan to start with just a simple like strength group challenge and, and then I’ll probably share an eval on hand balancing. And then from there, you know, I, that’s kind of the grand vision is to have it be holistic, a holistic wellness community that’s really empowering people to be their best selves from the ground up, rooted in physical fitness. Cause I do think that’s kind of the first component of like a healthy body, mind and soul. So, yeah.

John: That’s awesome. That’s, I like the name too. So is that already a website that you have set up then? Yeah,

Eliannah: So it’s brand new, so when people go it, it will likely be just a landing page now with just some information, but that’s where it’s going to live. Acro And also I feel like it’s kind of representative of that feeling of like when you’re in a cafe, just the, the bustle of people sharing ideas and that’s, that’s, that’s the vision. My husband helped me come up with that name and it’s Kinda stuck, so

John: That’s awesome. I really like it. I’m actually looking at it right now as we’re speaking. So ironically enough, the the templates that they have on here have to do with engineering. So that’s, that fits very well.

Eliannah: Yeah, it’s fresh. I think I’ve played with, I know that you are you shared some really cool information with me when we when we chatted about earlier, I have to say I’ve listen to a lot of Gary v this week. I’m on your recommendation, so I know you’re in the online world. So I have, you know, I’m, I’m excited to get everything moving and, and really just share some positive information and really empower, empower people. So,

John: And that’s, that’s great. I want to, I want to ask a little bit more about where you’re headed with that, but I would just as a reminder to everybody that Gary v is phenomenal, even just not related to business, but life in general. It’s, it’s incredible. Right? And I listened to probably four or five hours a week of his podcasts and I’d highly recommend that. But as far as your message right there where you’re wanting to really give more of a holistic wellness community, a place to share best life practices, right. And so it’s more of a overall solution, right? Whether it could be, you know, stress reduction or how to integrate fitness with your life or you know, balancing all these things that you have to do as an adult as people are coming from, you know, these younger less need to be responsible age and more of a, Hey, I’ve got things to take care of now and I’ve got a child. Right. So as you set that up, that’s, I’d love to kind of watch that and be a part of that growing. Right. And just see how that happens because I really like what you’re sharing here and I feel like you definitely have a lot to offer through that and the name is just phenomenal. Right. Because even even just having it be, you know, cafe kind of makes it seem more of like a, a homely like community where people can actually relate.

Eliannah: Yeah. That’s, that’s idea. Yeah. I’d love to. Yeah. If we can keep in touch, cause I could not believe just that we were both engineers with you know, fitness as this, you know, side passion I suppose. So I think we have a lot in common and, and I’ve really kind of loved everything you’ve shared with me so far, so it’d be great to keep in contact.

John: Yeah. That, that would be awesome. And, and we’ll go, we’ll go a little longer too. I’m not tied down to the six o’clock. Yeah. So, cause I also wanna to talk a little bit to where, so you’ve got your coaching right, that you’re wanting to do. Obviously you are getting ready for your competition here and do you have a coach, you know, having said that, everyone should have a coach even if you’re a coach. So if people want to reach out to you right now or are you mainly available through whether it’s Instagram, you have an email through your website, how do you, how do you want people to know? Yeah.

Eliannah: It’s, you can definitely, you know, message me on Instagram. My handle’s Eliana. I think my email is also on there, so you can DM me or shoot me an email.

John: Perfect. And I’ll, I’ll put those in the notes too.

Eliannah: I got a, I have a long name and it used to be longer, believe it or not.

John: Yeah, yeah. You’re, you’re fine. But then you, you did say you go by Ellie, right? So people are, yeah, Ellie or sorry. Yep. Little bit easier, but I’ll, I’ll put those in the show notes too so people can see those. Now the ebook you mentioned, right, about hand balancing. That’s something that really caught my attention.

Eliannah: Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s just something I need to put out into the world. I actually have started writing it in the past, but I think it’s, it’s just one, I think almost everyone I meet, they’re like, oh, could you teach? We do a handstand? And I’m like, yeah, I mean I can, I can t yeah, if you do you have a, do you have an hour? Like anytime I, I love to teach it. I think that’ll be one of the first things that I have on my website. So if you want to learn about hand balancing, that will be, that’ll be out

John: There. So I, I like, I will actually be someone who consumes that material because that’s not something I’ve ever really considered. But I always remember going into like the renaissance festival and seeing people do, you know, these different things. And it was always just cool. I thought it was a fun thing to do and I have always wanted to,

Eliannah: I think everyone, yeah. I mean everyone, it’s, it’s pretty accessible to be honest and I think it’s just a fun skill to, to learn. So, yeah, that’d be really cool.

John: Is there anything else that you Kinda wanna say as a last message to everyone you know, whether it’s something you haven’t touched on or just something that you want to really just kind of instill in, you know, the fitness community of what you would say to everyone who’s listening?

Eliannah: Yeah, I thought about this a little bit and you know, at first I was gonna I was going to say a message like, you know, how important physical fitness is and how it’s the foundation of, of, I think I said this earlier, your, your mental and emotional health your mind and your, and your soul. But I think people who are in the physical fitness community already, they really already know that. So I think what I would say to people who are passionate about fitness is just a really simple statement is yes you can. Because I think, you know, the sky’s the limit. And if there’s some crazy goal, you have to be on American Ninja Warrior to run a marathon, whatever it is. Like yes, you definitely can. There’s no reason that you’re not able to do anything you say your mind to. So that would be my simple statement. Yes, you can.

John: That’s perfect. I’d probably going to consider that as part of the, the title. I Dunno. I’ve still got a name this episode cause there’s so much good stuff here, but that’s great. So the sky’s the limit right? You can, I, I think that that’s something that I can definitely apply more in my life. So yeah, next time I need to overcome a little challenge or an obstacle, I’ll just think back to this is podcast. You’d say, yes I can. And I hope that’s what everyone does. Right. And my whole purpose of, of really doing this show is to try to get things like this out there so that people can really feel more of part of a community. Right? They, they get to know you as a person, right. And then you share your message. So I think that’s, that’s perfect. So that’s great. And I appreciate your time too. This has been really wonderful.

Eliannah: This is been really enjoyable for me. I think, you know, it was kind of random us even kind of crossing virtual paths. So I’ve really enjoyed it. I would just want to congratulate you on starting your podcast. I listened to podcasts like way too much constantly. So I was really excited to do this as the first, my first podcasts I listened to many, but my first time being part of one. So this has been really exciting and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you. So very cool. Good luck in your future podcasts endeavors. I hope it, I hope it gets really big and reaches a lot of people cause I think you have a really positive message.

John: Thank you. Yeah, I really do appreciate that. And we’ll, we’ll make sure to touch base, maybe do a followup episode and you know, after your competition a couple months down the road or something, maybe you can come out here and in the hot desert of Arizona we could do a live yeah,

Eliannah: I have on my bucket list is to go back and see the Grand Canyon. So that’ll be great. That’d be very cool.

John: Perfect. Well Great. Thanks. thanks for coming on. Come back next time, so thanks. Awesome.

Eliannah: Thanks.

Spartan Carton Review

I recently reviewed the Spartan Carton, which provides monthly goodies related to health and fitness. Here is the video review, and the text review is below.

On today’s video, I’m going to be reviewing the spartan carton, which is a monthly subscription box with supplements and other health and fitness-related items. There are two levels. There’s a citizen box and a warrior box. The one I will be reviewing today is the citizen box, which is about $25 per month. If you are interested, this is a sponsored video and their link is in the description below or visit their website here. You can get 10% off of your purchase or you can use the code “JBARKFIT” on your order.

The first thing I pulled out of the box is the body fat calipers. I’ve never really used them very consistently before. I know that they’ve been used for a long time in the past, but I just don’t really use body fat calipers, but if you don’t have a set of these, this is something nice to be able to have just in case you’d like to use it.

Now, before I get into some of the larger items, they do have some probiotics in here. I’ve never had these ones that you dump into water and drink, but I have had probiotics before, so this is an interesting take on it. They did come with three sticks, so it’s not just a one-shot. You can kind of get a feel for what it’s like. The next couple of items are this hot cocoa mix, which is a mushroom hot cocoa organic blend. I’m not one for hot cocoa because I live in Arizona. It’s really hot, but in the wintertime this may come of use and it’s a nice twist on the sugar-loaded hot chocolate that you might have. Next are these two RX bars. I haven’t had these flavors before, but I have tried them. The RX bars in general, they’re pretty good.

They mostly have a whole food type ingredient list, not going to have a lot of fillers or additives, so they’re very natural and I like the taste of them, so this gives me a good opportunity to try. Other flavors that I haven’t had before. Next is the pre-workout samples they came with. There are three of the Mr. Hyde icon pre-workout. I used to love Mr. Hyde and it would be one that I would drink a lot for my pre-workout. The icon version I have not actually had yet, so that’ll be something interesting. A lot of stuff in here that I haven’t tried before that I will be able to now have the opportunity to.

The next thing I found is a full bottle of red yeast extract, which I guess in Chinese medicine was used to help improve circulation and digestion as well as other things. This isn’t something that I’ve necessarily used before or even looked into, but again another opportunity to try something that I haven’t next is probably the biggest item that came in here, not necessarily physically but cost-wise would be these Nordic Cherry supplements.

They’re a tart cherry extract and they’re very high in antioxidants and a good sleep aid. From what I’ve read. This helps increase levels of Melatonin and improve sleep quality. I’ve always been a fairly light sleeper. So apart from just taking Melatonin, this natural supplement, this tart cherry might seem like something that I would be taking over the next couple of weeks or month to be able to see how that impacts what I’m experiencing when I’m resting or how well a rest that I feel when I wake up the next morning. Lastly, they included a bag of black organic Quinoa. I’ve never had black Quinoa before. I’ve usually just used regular white Quinoa in the cooking that I’ve done from whatever I had. This has a little bit of a sweeter taste to it. It takes a little longer to cook and there’s a little bit texture difference as well. So again, another opportunity to try something that I haven’t before.

A couple of things they also included in here were some papers. They’re very small so I won’t actually show you. But I might put links to the actual photos and the description box below. But this one actually says what’s inside of it. So it lists all of the items that are in the citizen box. And also the ones that would be in the warrior box if you were to choose that one as well.

There’s a meal card that has some recipes on it. This one’s got avocado and egg pasta, black bean hummus with vegetables and a soup with shrimp. So if you’re looking for the recipe ideas, this is very valuable. I kind of tend to stick to what I do, but I may try one of these just because I’m curious.

Lastly, there’s a workout card. So this one looks like it’s got planks, wall squats, deadlifts, single-leg squats, body rows, and resistance squats. So this is basically a leg workout. They provide you something to be able to change up your routine.

So in summary, this type of a subscription box for me personally is really valuable in the fact that it will help me be able to see things and experience things that I may not have seen before at a cost of about $25 per month for this level of subscription. The value for this box came out to be around $60-65 now if you use all of it, that’s great. If not, you’ve got about half of it that you could technically not use and still be breaking even where the value comes in. When it comes to items like the Tart Cherry extract or the black organic Quinoa, those might be things that I try and decide that I want to start taking them or using them on a regular basis.

Now, I would recommend looking at this review, looking at their website and seeing if it’s something that you really are interested in. If you want to try some variety, if you want to have that little surprise of each month getting something and opening it up to see what you find, then this might be the right subscription for you. If you are looking to have more of a consistent regimen of what you’re taking or what you’re using, then this might not be the best option. I’ll leave that up to you, but as far as I’m concerned, for me personally, the value is in being able to see things that I haven’t yet seen or been able to use before.

Lastly, if you do want 10% off and go ahead and use the code “JBARKFIT” or use the link here. Don’t forget to subscribe if you’re not already, give it a thumbs up. If you’ve liked this review or the video above, comment down below with what you think about this subscription box and whether or not you want to get it yourself.

First Time Using Jawzrsize

Jawzrsize is a pretty interesting concept. This excerpt from their site explains a little about their goal:

Jawzrsize Works Over 57 Muscles through a repeated “biting” motion. Simply place it in your mouth and start repping (each bite is a rep).

– Jawzrsize

When I first opened the package it came with some nice little instructions which really don’t leave much to question in terms of how to use it.

how to use jawzrsize

I started using Jawzrsize for the first time today. The instructions say to perform 6-12 sets of 15-30 reps every other day. I decided I might as well try to hit the full 12 sets of 30 reps. It honestly wasn’t too hard to reach. It may be because I’m using the beginner block, but I suppose it could be different for anyone.

I’m not sure how long it takes to notice actual results, but I do have some before pictures taken. After a few weeks I’ll take some more and compare. I mostly decided to give Jawzrsize a shot out of curiosity. I don’t particularly have an end goal. However, the story of how it came to be is actually pretty inspiring.

One thing it reminded me of is my tendency to clench my teeth. I mostly catch myself doing it when I’m lifting weights and usually have to focus on stopping myself. Perhaps something like this, but smaller and more appropriate, could be used as a guard. I won’t try it with Jawzrsize because it’s too big and it isn’t the intended use. It’s food for thought though.