Fitness Files: Jennifer Galardi
I had the privlidge of meeting Jennifer Galardi while attending a press preview event that showcased a number of products including the CoreBody Reformer created by Galardi. From fitness DVD's to fitness instructor Jennifer is well respected in the fitness community. Continue reading to learn more about Jennifer and livWhole!
NM: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
JG: I don't know that fitness has always been a priority, but I can't remember a day where I didn't love to move. Growing up, I was always into new things. Swimming, track and field (that was very short lived!), aerobics later in high school, tennis. But always dance. I do remember the time in my life when fitness turned for me however, and not for the better. I became obsessed. Over exercising. Watching every little thing that went in my mouth. Abusing my body to the point where I am still healing from injuries today. Like any other addiction, it was a disease as it caused dis-ease in my body and my mind. However, it also led me down the path of learning how to heal. As a result, I believe my career and focus is changing and I hope my messaging through interviews such as this one, articles, workouts, and my new livWhole website reflects that I am not about fitness. I am about balance, health and a life well lived.
NM: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
JG: I feel like I've cultivated habits that even when I'm 'off' I don't consider myself to not be on the 'straight and narrow'. I don't see my diet or what I eat as a restricted way of living, and thus, eat mostly what I want. I know if I eat too much sugar late at night, I don't sleep well and have weird and often disturbing dreams. I know if I have too much salt, I feel like crap the next day, a bloated and puffy mess. So 'what I want' does not translate to cookies, big macs, and milkshakes, because I don't crave those feelings and thus, don't crave the food that causes them. I try to really listen to my body, add a healthy does of discipline and feed it what it needs to be vibrant, energetic and a well oiled machine!
That being said, I've loved kale ever since the day I met it. It's versatile, hearty and oh so good for you. I believe the hype is true and much of the recipes on my new site highlight the superstar green. I love almond butter, straight out of the jar, in a smoothie, on top of oatmeal. And frankly, any butter - sesame butter (also known as tahini), coconut butter (if you've never had, it's quite dreamy) and recently this pecan butter that does have an addictive quality like crack. That is one thing I now know I can only but every now and again. My go to tonics are my homemade chai, kombucha, and lime or lemon sparkling water with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Oh, and truth be told, I'm a hummus whore. Can I say that? Well, anyway. I LOVE hummus. Usually I make my own, but there is this brand in Austin called Grandma's that, again, is just crazy addictive. I just love to dip cucumbers in it. Okay, one more. I don't eat a lot of animal protein, so when I'm home and on a regular schedule, not traveling, I do make smoothies all the time with my favorite protein powder from Plant Fusion. I do know I need protein, but can sometimes go days without getting it so I ensure a balanced ration of macronutrients with these. Oh, and I add kale into my smoothies.
At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask:
NM: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
JG: Meditation is like cycling for the mind. You go up, you go down. You fatigue. You love it. You hate it. It will push you to your limits and back again. It can get very uncomfortable. And sometimes you may even find it hard to breathe. There are blind spots and when those are revealed you're like "WHOA!". But on the other side of your brain is a beautiful part of you that is unchanging, always at rest, always steady and calm and nothing but love. If you can get a glimpse of that, you know what true peace and freedom is. And you don't need motivation. You just be and your soul leads you to exactly where you need to go.
NM: How do you change your body? What are your fitness favorites?
JG: So much of our body image is based on perception. I recently moved and uncovered a bunch of photos of myself not too long ago. I looked at them astonished at how thin and beautiful I appeared. I also remember that time in my life from my brain's perspective which said, "You aren't thin enough. You can't eat this. You need to lose weight." That conversation was constantly playing in my head. I don't think I'm any less of those things now, however, not because that's what a photograph says, but because I FINALLY truly FEEL beautiful and loving inside. Change your mind about your body and see how your body responds.
However, I don't want to seem like I'm above or dismiss the physical body. I love the body! I study Tantric philosophy which holds that life is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. According to the teachings, we are given life in order to fulfill our soul's desire and inherent longing to thrive. We can't do that without physical health and balance, so I've made a career on studying the body, how it moves, how it works and how to heal it so we can be comfortable enough in this suit of armor we lease to accomplish what are here to do. Of course, I love to dance. I love my yoga practice. I took up swimming a little over a year ago after my knee surgery and am truly a fish (Pisces!) in water. I recently have been certified by Schwinn in indoor cycling and am working with a private Pilates instructor on the Reformer. I'm always looking for a new challenge that will push me beyond my limits and take me to places I thought were not possible. I don't like to do the same thing over and over and truly believe cross training is vital to maintain balance for the body, mind and soul. I noticed physical therapy helped my yoga practice. And my yoga practice helped my mind. And through a still mind, I can more easily access my soul.
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