Fitness Files: Laura Tarbell


Laura Tarbell, Pilates Expert, runner and mother to two sets of twins is also the owner of Tarbell Pilates.  Her expertise and qualifications makes her a prominent figure in the Pilates and Fitness industry.  She currently holds a variety of certifications, including Nutrition and Wellness Counselor and Personal Trainer.  She also has a number of other certificates for specialty classes in PNF Stretching, Nutrition for the Female Athlete, Pre and Post Natal Pilates, and Athletic Conditioning on the Pilates Reformer.  Continue reading my Fitness Files interview with Laura to learn more about how she manages to balance it all!  

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?

LT: Yes, it really has been a part of my entire life. My family, immediate and extended, were all very active in road races and triathlons when I was younger, so I grew up around fitness-minded people. Workouts were a part of their every day life and it's become a major part of mine too. I always plan my day with the thought, "When am I going to workout?" and never, "Am I going to workout?" It's a no-brainer!

I also grew up with a twin brother and younger sister who are very athletic (the three of us all played college basketball). To say we were competitive is an understatement! However, with the birth of my first set of twins, I needed to streamline my life, to decide what I really wanted to focus on career-wise, what would benefit the most people, and what was most fulfilling to me personally. Health and fitness was the answer. At that point I left my music teaching career and pursued certifications in nutrition, personal training, and in STOTT Pilates. 

I initially got into Pilates after seriously injuring my back in high school. A detailed story of my experience, and the why Pilates literally changed my life, can be found here: Pilates is really the reason I am able to be so active today. 

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

LT: How much time do you have?! I love to cook, bake and EAT! So I have a lot of go-to's! I also have 4 toddlers, twin boys age 4 and twin girls age 18 months, so right now I need things that are quick, easy and family-friendly. I do a lot of stir-fry's and mexican dishes for family dinners. Some of my personal favorite's though include pumpkin protein pancakes, veggie omelets, cinnamon raisin Ezekial bread with coconut oil, grilled chicken with broccoli slaw and asian dressing, fish tacos, and roasted brussell sprouts... to name just a few. 

For something sweet and healthy, I have a frozen banana with almond butter. Yum!!

My go-to reward meal is always sushi and frozen yogurt!

Finally, I'm a major fan of Isagenix protein shakes. I have one of their shakes every day in the morning as my post workout meal.  

NMF: At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask:  How do you train your mind and stay motivated?

LT: Love that!!! I find a lot of motivation through my WOW Team. WOW is a women's-only workout program I created to help women unleash their inner strength and motivation, to workout in a judgment and intimidation free environment, to educate them on healthy nutrition choices, to develop a support system, and to create an avenue to empower each other! WOW is meant to be more than just a class…I hope to make it a complete way of life. So I am constantly reading books and articles searching for exercises and helpful tidbits that can help women turn their thoughts toward a more positive outlook, toward taking control and ownership of their lives, toward confidence and empowerment. The physical self is truly connected to how we feel mentally and emotionally. So it is very important to include exercises for both mind and body to truly stay motivated and positive. 

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

LT: Nutrition is definitely the biggest part of changing your body. Depending on my goals, I fuel my body differently to get different results.  If I'm getting ready for a fitness competition or photo shoot, I follow a leaning out plan. But if I am building in the off season, I open up my diet and include everything in moderation. 

Fitness -wise, Pilates is a definite must for me because of my chronic back pain. But beyond training the core, it improves alignment and the mind-body connection. I'm much more in tune with myself when I consistently practice (two or three times a week). I'm also an avid runner, and in the last year have come to LOVE sprints and HIITs. They are so much more time efficient and have a higher post-exercise burn. Weight lifting is the final component. If you want beautiful tone and want to increase your metabolism, you have to lift weights. Weights will totally change the composition of your body. 

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Training minds, changing bodies 

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