About the Bloggers: Q & A #3

(Did you miss our Q&A #1 & Q&A #2)

Describe your weekly workout routine.

H:  Right now, my workout routine is a little different than normal since I am 36 weeks pregnant.  Currently, I am just trying to make sure I MOVE each and every day.  I am down to about 4 hard workouts a week: mostly lifting and HIIT.  I do a lot of walk/ runs on the other days.

When I am not pregnant, I am usually also training for some sort of race.  I workout about 5-6 times a week.  My workouts vary between running, heavy lifting sessions, and HIIT classes.  Each week is different for me.  I have a hard time mixing in my heavy lift sessions and it is my goal to make them more of a priority after I have the baby.  I teach Group Exercise classes at our local YMCA anywhere from two to three times a week.



J:  I try to stick to 6 days / week …off on Sunday’s (my “day of rest”).  I’m at our local YMCA Monday through Friday doing various group fitness classes incorporating both cardio and strength (Turbokick, PiYo, Athletic Conditioning & Strength + Endurance).  I’ve also recently fallen in love with Les Mills Body Pump, so I take that class at another location on Saturday mornings.  I teach a group fitness TRX class at a local martial arts studio 1 night / week.


What is your all-time favorite workout?

H:  I really do not have one favorite workout.  I LOVE running and training for races- working towards a new PR and the competition within myself makes me love it.  I also love a group exercise class that combines HIIT with free weight intervals- it is my favorite type of class to teach too.


J:  That is a REALLY tough question because I really enjoy SO MANY types of workouts.  Group fitness is where it’s at for me, so anytime I’m with my friends sweating – I’m happy!  A few faves are:  Turbokick, PiYo and Les Mills Body Pump.

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What motivates you to keep up this lifestyle?

H: Exercise is my anti-depressant… REALLY!  Coming from a family history of mental illness, it truly helps me  physically AND emotionally.  I feel much better about myself and the things around me when I take an hour a day to move and fuel my with clean, whole food.  My family and friends really help me keep up this lifestyle- it really helps to live a healthy lifestyle when you surround yourself with like-minded people.  I am so blessed that I have a husband who also makes exercise a priority and likes to stay active even while on vacation.  Claire (and this baby on the way) is the number one reason I strive to live the healthiest life I can.  I not only want to set a good example for them, but I want to be able to chase them on the playground, run alongside them at their first 5k, and go for bike rides with them on vacation.


J:  I’m SUCH a happier wife, mommy, sister, daughter & friend when I’m working out regularly and fueling my body efficiently.  My husband knows IMMEDIATELY if I missed a workout or haven’t had a chance to workout because I’m GROUCHY!  Also, being healthy for my family is the true “reason” I keep up with this lifestyle.  I want to set a good example for my kids & hang around for as long as possible!

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Tell us about your healthy eating philosophy.

H: I believe sticking to a lifestyle that is sustainable for your family, shopping the perimeter, and sticking to whole non-processed foods…. 80% of the time.  There are so many “diets” out there to follow or try, but I believe you have to adopt a healthy lifestyle.  You have to choose something that is sustainable and works for you. I try my best to prepare mostly clean meals, many which fall under the Paleo guidelines.  I would never I am on the “Paleo” diet, but I do use a lot of Paleo meals because they are clean, non processed foods.  For myself, I try my best to limit dairy because I don’t like how it makes me feel.  With all that being said, remember it is all about balance and I do enjoy my fair share of wine, sweets, and popcorn… but I shoot for only 20% of the time.


J:  I try to stick to a clean diet as much as possible – I avoid dairy, as I have a diagnosed sensitivity to lactose, gluten (as much as possible as it just really affects my stomach), and too much sugar.  I’m a salad LOVER and could eat one for lunch and dinner daily!  They can be so versatile!  I also kick off each and every day with Shakeology – – it’s truly my “Mommy Fuel” & I rely on it for my “daily dose of dense nutrition.”  I like to say I’m 90/10 during the week & 80/20 on the weekends – I CERTAINLY believe in living a little!  All that said, I’m a foodie blog LOVER and find tons of inspiration for NEW and healthy recipes via so many great blogs!


Tell us about YOU!
What is your favorite workout?
What motivates you?
How do you eat?

About the Bloggers: Q & A #2

(Did you miss our Q&A #1)

What is your professional background?

H: I have my Bachelors degree in elementary and special education from Ball State University and my Masters degree in educational leadership from Butler University.  I spent 7 years in the classroom and as a literacy coach before choosing to be a stay at home mom.  In addition to raising our Claire (and our soon-to-be baby #2) I teach group exercises classes at our local YMCA.  I am also the co-founder of Girls on the Run of Hamilton County which is now Girls on the Run of Central Indiana and still continue to be involved with the organization.


J:  I graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors degree in Business & went straight to work for an entertainment licensing firm in Indianapolis where I was a marketing manager for 10 years!  My passion for health and fitness lead me to first get my TRX certification (to teach group fitness classes) and then to Beachbody coaching in 2013.  I am part of a fabulous team & blessed to help people reach their health and fitness goals every single day!


What brought you to health & fitness?

H: I like to say health & fitness was engrained in me since I was a little girl.  I used to dress up in leotards, a sweatband, and carry deodorant bottles as weights to my moms 80’s aerobic classes in the church basement.  Growing up, being active and playing sports was a huge part of our lives.  I also always looked up to my Aunt Laura who is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor in Augusta, Georgia- her passion for health and fitness was always an inspiration to me.  Once I got to college and didn’t have 2-hour long practices everyday and gained some weight,  I looked to my Aunt for knowledge and inspiration about ways to stay fit and healthy in an unhealthy environment.

I started running, taking group exercises classes and lifting weights in college.  Once I graduated, I continued and joined the local YMCA where I approached the Group Exercise Coordinator about what it would take to teach some classes.  She asked me if I had any experience and all I could say was, “Well I have been around it all my life.”  Lucky for me, she gave the girl who couldn’t find a 32-count a chance.  Here I am five years later and teach about three to four times a week.  (And yes, I can now find and stay on the 32-count.)


J:  Ever since becoming a middle school cheerleader I’ve been passionate about eating healthy and working out.  YES, I’ve definitely had some times in my life where I’ve fallen off the wagon, but I was always able to quickly get myself back on.  A healthy lifestyle is TRULY that for me……a lifestyle.  I take it seriously!  I was the girl who was up at 5am doing recorded workouts before high school…..and I was also the girl who was on the treadmill as soon as the fitness center would open at college while being elected as my sorority houses’ dietician & I was ALSO that girl who’s first priority after moving across the country to Los Angeles was to join a gym!  I also think it’s so important to set a good example for my kids by teaching them about HOW to be healthy at a young age.  They see mommy go to the gym daily, we talk about what foods are good for your body & they participate in the kitchen with us when we’re making a family meal.


Will you share some of your goals and dreams?

H: My ultimate goal is to raise happy, healthy & confident children.  In raising our children, we would like to give them experiences that create lasting memories.  We love to travel and hope to continue to be able to do so and allow our children to experience the many places this country and world have to offer, while taking in a variety of cultures.

Professionally, I often ask myself, “Why didn’t I just get my degree in exercise science,” but then I realize that my time in education is what really cultivated my true passion: kids fitness.  Our country is in serious trouble with the number of obese children, the decrease in physical activity in a child’s day, and the lack of knowledge there is around what we feed our children.  I have a goal to make a mark advocating for the health and fitness needs of children.



(photo courtesy of http://www.stopchildhobesity.com)

J:  Yikes!  Goals & dreams?  Well, considering the most important thing to me in the world is my family and my passion is health & fitness – I just want to continue to live life to the fullest with my cute family – keep focusing on how to inspire others to live healthy and hopefully have a lot of fun on the way!  Our BIG DREAM (being honest) is eventually being able to afford a family vacation home in Florida – my husband is an avid golfer (as I am an avid golf-watcher) and FL-lover & we’ve made so many great memories together as a family in different places in Florida (Sandestin, Longboat Key, St. Pete Beach & Naples), we are working hard to maybe make this a reality for us someday.  Right now – a definite DREAM, but we dream BIG here.

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What goals and dreams do you have for yourself and your family?

About the Bloggers: Q & A #1

Where were you born, raised, and currently reside?

H: Born and raised in a small town on the east side of Fort Wayne, Indiana where my most of my family still lives I ventured off to college Ball State University and never returned to Fort Wayne.  Upon graduation, I took my first teaching job in Indianapolis, met my husband and he swept me away to the north-side suburbs… here I am and I love every minute of it!

J:  Born in Cleveland, OH & moved to the north-side suburbs of Indianapolis when I was in kindergarten.  I lived there until I attended college at Hanover College.  Upon graduation I did some fun moving around while I worked as an account manager for an entertainment licensing firm (Beverly Hills, CA was my furthest place of residence!) & then finally settled down back in the north-side suburbs upon meeting my hubby.  I couldn’t be happier here!

Indiana is home

Tell us about your family.

H: My husband, Josh is the rock of our family and works hard as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing to allow us to be home with our children. He is my #1 fan and supporter, and has been encouraging me for years to, “write”.  We have an almost-2-year-old daughter, Claire, who has changed our lives.  She has made us slow down, appreciate the small things, and really enjoy life.  We also have baby #2 (the gender a surprise) coming in September.

My parents, brother, sister & sister-in-law are also very dear to me.  I come from a very close-knit family and we like to spend time together as much as possible often taking turns making the 2-hour trek to visit one another on the weekends.  My brother is in the Navy and he and my and sister-in-law live in Virginia, but we make the most of the time we have together and have regular “FaceTime Dates”.


J:  Family is the most important thing in the world to me!  The hubs works super hard as Vice-President in a family business which allows me to be the “stay-at-home WORKING mommy” I am!  We’ve been blessed with two children – Maguire (“Mac”) who is 6 and Parker who is 4.  They are the light of our lives and I’m grateful EVERY day that I have a job which allows me to stay at home with them.  Mac is a Leg0-loving, rule-following, super sweet and gentle future golf star and Parker is an adventurous, pink-loving, extremely social little lady – there’s never a quiet moment with her!

Like Hollie, I am also extremely close to my family & am so thankful they live so close to us (although not close enough as I’d love for my parents to live next door!)  We get together as often as we can for big family dinners – we appreciate good food and even better wine!

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What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

H: Josh and I have always enjoyed going on runs together whether it be during his lunch, in the evenings, or a long training run on the weekends.  Claire also joins us by riding in the BOB and becoming part of our resistance training.  This summer we also purchased bikes and a bike trailer and have enjoy Sunday bike rides as a family.  We usually stop at a park for her to play halfway through our ride.  We really enjoy anything that allows us to be active together whether it be at the park, in the pool, or just running around the backyard.  Josh and I also LOVE Indiana basketball and Colts football.

My mom is also an avid runner and group exercise instructor and growing up we always lived a very active lifestyle.  Getting together with my family usually means running a race, playing volleyball in the backyard or participating in some type of activity that keeps us moving (and usually ultra competitive).

Fort For Fitness family photo

J:  Opposite of Hollie & as I mentioned above, my family loves to COOK together!  While I do involve my kids in my at-home workouts as much as possible, you are more likely to find ALL of us in the kitchen together!  Whether it’s just the 4 of us here, or the ENTIRE family (including my parents, my brother & sis-in-law, my niece, the hubs and my 2) crammed into my parent’s small kitchen, this is just how we love being together as a family.  Every summer both my dad and I enjoy tending to vegetable gardens, so you can imagine the fresh things we enjoy straight from the garden (and grill) during these warm months!

That said, my mom IS one of my favorite workout partners & I can only HOPE that I look as fit and awesome as she does when I am a “Mimi” some day!  During our vacation last month she and I worked out EVERY MORNING – yep, true story.  We all know how hard it is to stick to a routine while on vacation, but we did it!  We take a Les Mills Body Pump class together every Saturday here at home.


Check out our other Q&A posts:

Q&A #2

Q&A #3