Unleash Fit Living with Alisha!
My name is Alisha, and my business is Unleash Clean Eating Fit Living! I’m a personal trainer and holistic health coach who loves empowering women to experience health from the inside out and live abundantly!
Let’s cut straight to the chase, have you always been into wellness or was there a light-bulb moment that sparked your health journey?
My love of fitness began in Year 12 when my PDHPE teacher arranged for our class to attend weekly Les Mills classes during one of our modules. Ever since then I’ve had a gym membership wherever I’ve lived, and fell in love with lifting weights. Over the years I’ve learnt A LOT from personal experience, various trainers and experts as to the different approaches to fitness. I will forever be a student, however I’ve come to believe that fitness is not the be-all and end-all of being healthy. It’s gotta start with how you think about yourself, and what you feed your body.
When it comes to healthy eating, I remember once upon a time I had a cat. And I named it Green Butter. I’m sure I’m probably the only person in the world to call their cat Green Butter. Why the weird name? Well, my parents brought us up pretty healthy, and we rarely used butter. Instead avocado was the favourite spread in the house – thus acquiring the name. And oh how I loved my green butter! So much that I named my first ginger cat – Green Butter
I was so blessed to be brought up in a family where health was a priority. As a child, my parents owned a local health food store, and we also had a huge veggie garden where we lived. Although those health principles stayed with me from an early age, I wasn’t always what you call ‘healthy.’
As a teenager I absolutely LOVED food! Especially bread, potato and pasta! Whenever I could eat, I ate! Luckily I was fairly active, as I played basketball all through high school, so the food didn’t pile on too excessively.
However looking back I remember I always had issues with bloating, pain and gassiness. It wasn’t until my early twenties when this continued to worsen that I had a sneaking suspicion I could be allergic to wheat, gluten or yeast. I got a blood test done and low and behold, I had a moderate intolerance to gluten, wheat, and yeast. Although this confirmed my suspicion, I didn’t eliminate these things straight away or completely from my diet. And I reaped the consequences. I started to not only have the previous symptoms mentioned, but began to get an eczema-type red rash around my eyes. Finally, I saw a naturopath who tested me for a candida (gut yeast infection) and put me on a strict protocol for one month. This was the BEST thing I ever did, because it forced me to eliminate the things that were hurting my body, and allowed me to break the cycle and develop new habits in my eating. I also began to avoid foods with refined sugars as well, because this was also not allowed during my month-long anti-candida diet.
I learnt a lot about different ways to sweeten foods naturally. I found a love for making raw vegan desserts! And I started to incorporate more organic produce, and less processed foods into my eating. I started to really believe and embrace the idea that my body is a temple. I’ve only got one body for this life, and so i better treat it with the best care possible!
These days, I rarely have anything that contains refined sugar, I try to avoid all gluten and wheat, and I am really picky about the animal products I eat (which is usually only eggs, and occasionally yogurt, halloumi cheese, and the odd fish). I eat heaps of fresh organic produce, make as much food from scratch as I can, and experiment all the time with new recipes and ways to create healthy and tasty food.
I also work out regularly, but I’ve learnt to trainer smarter not necessarily harder. I’ve realised weight gain and weight loss has more to do with the stress in my life, and the foods in my stomach than how much I’m doing cardio. I’ve finally found a career that I love, and have eliminated unnecessary stress from my life by doing what I love, and loving what I do – and that is helping change women’s lives through training, support and education on all things health & fitness!
Is there a form of meditation do you prefer and could you share why?
For me, my time of meditation involves connecting with my source of Life and Love (God), re-centering my mind on the intrinsic value placed on me as a daughter of God, reading scripture verses that speak into my heart as person of infinite worth and value, and focusing on what I believe is the reason I am on this planet (my purpose). I spend this time journalling, praying, reading, and reciting phrases out loud (wacky, I know)!
I endeavour to do these practices every day, morning and night. I also have begun to incorporate diaphragmatic breathing practices into this morning & evening ritual time, as I have learnt that the only way we can communicate to our bodies (specifically our Parasympathic Nervous System or our ‘rest and digest’ system) that we are not in danger is through our breathing.
I have found these practices keep my head above the waves that come in life, and help me to step back and remember the bigger picture of life, as I’m the kind of person that easily gets caught up in the nitty gritty details of life, business, relationships etc.
What are some changes you’ve noticed in your life since beginning your mindfulness journey and how have these helped you achieve your goals?
I have found that prioritising my devotional time every day has had a number of positive impacts:
- I am less needy of my husband and friends for compliments and value.
- I am more productive during my day after focusing on what my bigger picture/overall purpose is.
- I am more patient and loving towards others.
- I am generally less stressed throughout my day
- I find I sleep better when I’ve spend time, particularly before bed, reflecting, re-centring and spending quiet time before going to sleep.
We all need some crazy powerful stress-busting tools and techniques – we would love to hear works for you!
A few stress-busting techniques that work for me:
- Having someone “in my corner” (aka a coach, who luckily for me is my amazing husband) who I can download to, vent to, get stuff off my chest. I ALWAYS feel better after a good verbal download to him!
- Definitely spending time breathing deeply, communicating to my body that I AM OK. The less stress hormones racing around my body: the better for my health!
- Going and doing a killer workout always helps! I love high intensity training, or a good weights session to relieve stress!
Run us through the typical day in the life of your wonderful self…
My day actually starts the night before, with:
- Making breakfast & a protein smoothie to take to work
- Laying out my clothes for the next day
- Ensuring I know what appointments I have the next day, and my to do list done
- Doing my BEST to get to bed by 9:30pm (often a fail, but working on it)
- Wake up at 4:45am
- Drink of filtered water with squeeze of lemon. On cooler days, some grated ginger too, and warmer water. (Then keep on drinking water throughout the day, I am for minimum 2L)
- Have a shower (to wake up some more)
- Spend time in meditation/devotion and prayer
- Maybe do my first Insta post for the day
- Get to the gym with 5 minutes to spare before my first lovely lady client
- Have fun training the awesome women I get to work with
- When that’s done, I usually train myself. I like to lift weights, come up with new little workouts, and do some HIT training
- Come home, spend time with my hubby, and make lunch (one of my favourite parts of the day – making food!!)
- Spend the afternoon working on my business
- Go back to the gym or park and train my ladies again or run a pump class at my gym – love pushing them, and seeing them achieve things they didn’t think they could week by week!
- Come home and wind-down with my hubby (usually surf youtube)
- Have some quiet reflection time before repeating the cycle and hitting the sack!
Who inspires you and why?
Dr Libby Weaver – oh my goodness! If you have not come across her books or speaking events, you are missing out! She has hugely impacted my approach to and outlook on women’s health, particularly the essential importance of the need to VALUE ourselves and LOVE ourselves in order to look after ourselves from the RIGHT place.
Chris & Heidi Powell – if you want to be inspired by amazing empowerment and people’s transformations: watch their USA series Extreme Weightloss or Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition! From a personal training/coaching point of view, for me they are up there! They completely engage in people’s lives, and help them make holistic changes, which are not short-term. I simply love their work.
What advice would you love to give beautiful women just beginning their wellness journey?
If you are just beginning your wellness journey here’s what I want you to do: Start thinking of yourself and your body as an amazing vessel. It really is! Once you start to love and value yourself and your body, you will find it easier to treat it with love and respect through the things you put into it and do with it. Once we get our mindset right, the rest will follow.
Alisha, thank you for being so open with us. We really appreciate the time you took to pass on your lessons, tips and tricks! And a cat named Green Butter – definitely original and so cute (haha)!
If you’re keen for more Unleash Fit Living information, check out Alisha’s website: www.unleashfitliving.com and send through any questions to her email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re keen for some daily inspiration, follow her Facebook and Instagram pages! We have!