Nicole: Welcome to BFF with the Chef. I'm your host, Nicole Schwegman. Aloha, fellow friends and foodies, and happy New Year. Today we are doing something a little different. I'm interviewing Olivia Hersey, the owner of LivFit Training, a company dedicated to helping women and men meet their fitness goals. Olivia has been living the dream in Hawaii, where she's been a certified personal trainer since 2014, and she's also a group fitness coach at F45, a high-intensity interval training student. Liv is also an avid foodies and takes her meals quite seriously. She aims to have her clients have a healthy and balanced approach to nutrition so that they can meet their goals. Hey, Olivia, welcome to the show.
Olivia: Hi, Nicole. I am so excited to be here. Happy New Year.
Nicole: Happy New Year to you. Thank you so much. I know you're really busy, and I know it was just super hard to get you on the show because you've got so much going on, but I really appreciate it.
Olivia: Oh, absolutely.
Nicole: Well, Olivia, you've probably listened to this show, and I appreciate your support. We start with the first three questions, so are you ready?
Olivia: I'm ready. Let's do it.
Nicole: All right, what's the last meal that you cooked for yourself.
Olivia: Does coffee count as a meal?
Nicole: Coffee can count as a meal.
Olivia: No, I’m totally just kidding.
Nicole: I'm a little surprised.
Olivia: I know [crosstalk 00:01:24]
Nicole: But in my book, coffee's a meal.
Olivia: ... cup of coffee. Yeah, I mean, me too, so, of course, it's part of the good groups, right? Just everything and then coffee.
Olivia: But, no, really. So with the new year, things have been a little hectic and a little crazy, so [inaudible 00:01:39] been running around between appointments. Everyone is on the new year new me thing. So, honestly, the last meal that I made myself, I think I made ... Have you ever heard of Kodiak Cakes, the pancake mix, Kodiak Cakes?
Nicole: Yes, oh, gosh [crosstalk 00:01:53] all the time. I'm in love with them.
Olivia: So I do these protein pancakes. They're super, super quick, really, really easy. Literally, I mix up some of the batter in a plastic Dixie cup so I can just throw the cup away when I'm done. I know, it's so bad.
Nicole: It's the best.
Olivia: I know, yeah. So I mix it up in a cup, and then I just put it with a little bit of coconut oil in a pan, and I add a little bit of protein powder just so that it has a little bit of extra protein, and that was pretty much it. So I threw it in a pan, flipped it, and then I actually took it with me to go on a napkin, no syrup, nothing fancy. I just took the cake, and I ran out the door. I know. But that was it.
Nicole: That's the best.
Olivia: It was not super exciting, but, I mean, it's the truth.
Nicole: I mean, the truth will set us free. That's okay. I love that. I love that you're just like, I've got no time. I'm just going to quickly make up a pancake and take it with me, just hot off the pan, out the door. No, that's fantastic. Hey, keeping it real. That's the year of 2019. We're going to keep it real. So what is a meal that brings you back to your childhood?
Olivia: Oh, my gosh. I love telling this story. So when I was a kid, my parents ... We grew up in a really small town in Northern Nevada. We were poor, so my parents didn't have a lot of money to cook us big beautiful meals, so my dad just did kind of what he could. At the time, we were renovating the house, so there were a lot of times that I would come home, and he would have the electricity turned off or have the gas tank shut out, or our refrigerator would be pulled out into our living room, and all sorts of chaos. So one of the go-to meals that he used to do was a microwave meatloaf from Safeway or Smith's that he would literally just, in a box, take it, and stick it in the microwave and cook it and serve it as this. So it's so funny, because even still to this day, I cannot eat meatloaf, any kind of meatloaf, any gourmet beautiful meatloaf. I'm sure that you could school me on some meatloaf and make me a meatloaf believer again, but a microwave meatloaf is what takes me back to my childhood. Even just the smell of it, I have flashbacks to growing up as a kid. I mean, no.
Nicole: Ninety percent of the time, people are like, oh, there's a grilled cheese sandwich. I will eat a grilled cheese sandwich no matter what. I'll tell you-
Olivia: Oh, yeah.
Nicole: Yeah. There are meals that you're like, that goes back to my childhood, that are good, and yours is like I'm never eating meatloaf again.
Olivia: I am never eating meatloaf again, because, you know what, it was just one of those things that my dad ... I mean, there's three of us, so he was a single dad with three kids. My mom was kind of off doing her own thing for a while, so just the microwave meatloaf, because I know he was just as busy as I am now, so I totally sympathize with him with the meatloaf thing. Just being able to pop it in the microwave and feed his kids.
Nicole: I completely understand. For me, it's this thing that my mom ... She used to make a tuna fish sandwich for us, and she would pack them up and send them in a cooler to our babysitter. I remember when the babysitter would pull them out, they'd be this soggy ... In fact-
Olivia: Oh, no.
Nicole: ... they would be soggy, and then the mayonnaise melted or something, so it would just be this milky ... Oh, it was the worst. For years, I could not eat-
Olivia: You resent tuna sandwiches, right?
Nicole: I could not eat a tuna sandwich for years. I was like, take this thing away from me. Finally, I made my own. I don't make them with mayonnaise. I make my tuna fish sandwiches with ... They're dry. There's no oil. It's an oil-based tuna fish sandwich, because I can't handle still.
Olivia: Still the mayo.
Nicole: So I sympathize. Yeah. One day I'll have to tell you about the Little Caesars Pizza story. All right, give us an ingredient you can't live without.
Olivia: Oh, garlic. I cook everything with garlic, not my protein pancake, obviously, but I put garlic on everything, chicken, steak, potatoes, whatever it is I'm making. I can't live without it. It goes on everything.
Nicole: So you're in good company. I should have a running tally of how many food bloggers and foodies tell me garlic versus butter versus eggs. I had one person tell me chocolate. But garlic is in the lead. My very first guest, Ben Myhre, he was like, "The more the better." So I told you my husband-
Olivia: Yes, I totally agree.
Nicole: ... doesn't do garlic.
Olivia: Oh, I love garlic.
Nicole: He doesn't mind it, but just not a lot. He's just like, "Can you tone down the garlic?" I'm like, what? So he just can't do-
Olivia: Oh, no.
Nicole: ... a whole lot of garlic.
Olivia: See, I'm trying to fight off vampires or something. That's how much I love garlic.
Nicole: No, I do too.
Olivia: Vampires are not going to come anywhere near me.
Nicole: It's delicious. So I want to talk about your origin story. How did you become a personal trainer? What motivated you to do that?
Olivia: So my story is I grew up in a really small town in Nevada, and even looking back on it, I think that I have always meant to be a personal trainer. I just didn't know it at the time. So my parents were the parents that were like, you need to be a doctor, you need to be a lawyer. You're going to college, and those are your only two options.
Nicole: That was every parent from the '80s, right?
Nicole: Every parent from the '80s, that was it.
Olivia: So I was like, okay, fine.
Nicole: They didn't know. There was no Google. You didn't know that there was another path. It was like doctor, lawyer-
Olivia: That there were other options, exactly.
Nicole: ... accountant. That's it.
Olivia: So I ended up getting pretty heavily involved in medicine, so I was a premed student at the University of Nevada Reno for a few years. I just hated every second of it. Just doing clinicals in a hospital and just being in that very sterile slow environment, I would come home and just be miserable and exhausted all the time. So I know that there are people out there that love their medical background, but it was just not for me. So I ended up switching from University of Nevada Reno, and that is how I ended up in Hawaii, because they had a kinesiology bachelor's program, and my school before did not have anything exercise, physiology related. So I was kind of doing some digging, and I was like, okay, maybe this is the route for me.
So when I was at UNR, I just started taking more nutrition-based classes. I got kind of obsessed for a while with watching people break themselves on YouTube, like basketball players falling down on the basketball court and snapping their tibias in half, or like those crazy-
Olivia: ... sports videos. I know, it's so sick and twisted, but I used to sit in the library, Nicole, for hours, and just watch videos of people breaking themselves. I was like, okay-
Nicole: Oh, my gosh.
Olivia: I know, I know, but my thoughts behind it were-
Nicole: No judgment, no judgment.
Olivia: ... okay, what is it in the body that is causing this huge 190-pound man to just land a little bit incorrectly on his sneaker and end up being carried off the basketball court. So I was like, that's not normal. There has to be going on at a deeper physiological level. So that is when I started to get interested in sports medicine and exercise physiology. So I transferred to University of Hawaii, and when I was at the University of Hawaii, I dove headfirst into their kinesiology program.
I definitely didn't take very good care of myself when I was in school. It was either ... Have you heard of the triangle, of you eat, you sleep or you socialize? Or you eat and sleep and you study and you socialize. You can only pick two of the three. So what I was doing is I was studying all of the time, and I was socializing all the time, so I did not prioritize my sleep or my eating habits when I was in school, which is very typical of most students these days, from what I understand. So I was that kid that would order pizza straight into the library and be pulling all nighters. I would just leave the library in the morning and go straight to class without even going home and going to sleep. The freshman 15 was not a thing for me. It was more like the freshman 40.
Olivia: Yeah. You know what, I didn't really see it coming, and it was one of those things where I woke up one day, and I was like, what the heck, Liv, get it together. You're getting an exercise physiology degree. You should be taking this knowledge that you have and applying it to yourself. So I knew what I needed to do; I didn't have the accountability system to do it. When I was in school, when I was a sophomore in college, I ended up just walking in to the nearest 24 Hour Fitness and hiring my first personal trainer. At that time, I was still kind of on the fence about what direction I wanted to go in with my bachelor's degree. I was like, do I want to be a sports physician? Still kind of holding that idea in the back of my head that I was going to disappoint my parents if I didn't go to med school, you know?
Olivia: Or physical therapy or athletic training. I had no idea what I really wanted to do, so I was leaning towards physical therapy. But working out with the trainer that I hired in that 24 Hour Fitness kind of opened my eyes to what a trainer can actually do for a person. So I was young at the time. I was maybe 21 years old when I started working out with that particular trainer. Just seeing how he was with me and learning the things that he taught me and seeing how much my life improved with just a couple hours a week of his assistance, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I was like, you know what, no, forget physical therapy, forget medicine; this is what I want to do. I think that I enjoyed it a lot more than medicine because it was more preventative care. It was teaching people how to live their day-to-day lives, take care of themselves, instill good habits, before they were busted up, broken, get hip replacements, knee replacements, worrying about medications from obesity or whatever. So I think that I enjoy my job so much because I know that I can help people grow into their lives, instead of trying to save them from the decisions that they made when they were younger.
Nicole: I love that, and I love that you had to go through a couple of things to find out what your purpose was. So it's really great when you can find that thing. You're like, no, this is what I was put on Earth here to do. I'm here to help people. I like the fact that you phrase it as you're here to help people prevent future disasters for themselves. I like that approach. It's more about taking care of your health. It's not about getting someone into a bikini. I mean, that can help too. You can definitely do that, but, for you, it's more holistic, about taking care of somebody in a complete way, not just in a, oh, let me build your biceps, which is really healthy.
Olivia: Oh, absolutely.
Nicole: I've learned a lot from you on that. I want to talk to you about ... Because it's a new year and you said you've been busy, a lot of people want to be new year, new you. Let's talk about that client out there. We're not going to talk about anyone specific, but let's make that person ... Oh, I don't know. Let's use old me as an example. It's a new year for me, and I've decided, okay, I'm really going to do it this time, you guys. I'm really going to get into shape, and I'm going to get into this yellow bikini by summer and blah, blah, blah. Maybe I've had some issues in the past with diet and my self-esteem isn't great. How do you take someone like me, fictionalized me, and make me ... How do you first approach that? Because I think a lot of people come to a personal trainer, and they're like, make me skinny. Help me be skinny, and all my problems will be solved. Tell me what to eat, and that's what I'll do. I know you're a different kind of trainer. You have a different approach. So take me through what you do with a new client who comes to you saying something like that.
Olivia: So you're correct. I am a different kind of trainer. I am not the kind of trainer that is just going to give you a plan and be like, here, good luck, follow this. You're on your own. So I like to work with my clients when it comes to their goals, and everybody's so different. So I usually will sit down with them and really dig deep into their lives to figure out what is going on and why they aren't getting to where they want to be. So, usually, what I have them do is ... I'm friends with all of my clients. I know them on a personal level. We hang out outside of the gym, so I really know what is going on inside the gym and outside the gym.
Usually, when I have a new client, I sit down with them, and I'm just like, okay, tell me about your life. Tell me what your schedule is like. Tell me about your kids. Tell me about your husband. Tell me about your job. I want to hear all of the stressful, hard things that are usually preventing my people from getting to where they want to be. Usually, what I do with that information is I say, hey, okay, so it's a new year. A lot of people get really excited at first, and they are really, really good for a few weeks. Then all of a sudden these stressful things start to come back into their lives. Work gets hard. Their kids get sick, whatever have you, and that's when they start to kind of fall off track and do that thing where they're like, okay, maybe I can't do this anymore. They end up quitting or just not being where they want to be.
So what I tell them is to make small changes. Consistent, small changes is what is going to help you in the long run. So, usually, I won't have them dive nose deep into coming and seeing me six days a week on this strict, rigid nutrition plan right off the bat, because I know 100%, if that were me, I would maybe be able to do it for a week, and then I'd be like, nah, I'm done. Peace out. You know what I mean? Usually, we work on small things at a time, so kind of just depending on their life, I'll be like, hey, what do you think is going to be the easiest thing for you to do right now that you can continue to do until you die, basically?
Usually, it's like you can get to the gym once a week. Let's work on that first. We'll just try and make sure that that's ... It's like brushing their teeth. It's just something they need to do. They have to get to the gym at least once a week. Then, after that, maybe we'll bump it up to two times a week. Maybe we'll bump it up to three times a week, as they start to get more comfortable making these small changes. The same thing applies with nutrition. Small changes over a long period of time is what's going to add up. Anything too drastic, people are just going to start to get kind of woo-woo and be like, this is not for me. I want to eat a cookie. I want a piece of chocolate. I'm not going to do this meal plan that this trainer gave me anymore.
So I think that just consistency and then making a plan, sitting down and looking at your long-term goals, bringing it up into multiple short-term goals. Usually, at the beginning of the week, I'll have them be like, okay, look at my schedule this week. I am going to be running around like a crazy from this time to this time. I'm not going to have time to make it to the gym this day. So what are some other things that I can do to make sure that I am successful on that day? If it means planning their meals a little bit more strictly that day or trying to set 30 minutes aside at lunch to go for a walk or whatever, I try and help them maneuver around their day-to-day life so that they are still successful.
Nicole: I like the fact that you said it's just kind of impossible. If you put yourself on a really strict training regimen, unless that's all you're going to do ... I mean, that's kind of why The Biggest Loser was a little bit successful, and I'm putting that in air quotes, because all these guys did was eat and sleep and train.
Olivia: That's all they did.
Nicole: That's all they did. It's just real life is not like that. I want to talk about ... to go back to the fact where you allow people to make one change at a time. I have found that, over the years ... I remember trying myself to ... I was going to do this diet, and I'm going to do that diet. Mindy Kaling has this saying. She's like, "I don't have the ability not to put something delicious into my mouth," and I'm like, same, same. I just don't have the ability to-
Olivia: Same, yes.
Nicole: Yeah. I don't have the ability to not put something delicious into my mouth. Now what I have found, and this is something that I've learned from you, is that you can have that delicious thing, but also there are other delicious things than just cookies. So, I've really-
Olivia: Yes, correct.
Nicole: ... learned the value of a salad, a well-made salad. I've learned the value of really seasoning my food and finding new ways to season my food that makes it still delicious, but maybe lower calorie. Talk to us a little bit about some of those meals. So if I'm that new client and I’m like, Liv, I have no idea what to cook, where do you point me? At least, what is one meal that you can kind of help me put together? Or how do you start helping me put together meals that are lower calorie?
Olivia: So, usually, what I lead with is, okay, tell me a list of your favorite foods. What are some of your favorite foods to eat, Nicole? Give me a list.
Nicole: Oh, gosh, let me count the ways.
Olivia: It doesn't have to be ... I know, I know, asking a food blogger. Yeah, I know.
Nicole: I'm like, what?
Olivia: Really, though, if you had to pick three foods that you could eat every single day for the rest of your life, healthy or not, what would you say?
Nicole: Oh, I probably could eat bacon every day. You're like, thanks a lot. No. I could probably eat eggs. I do love eggs. I probably could ... Honestly, this is going to sound weird, but I like a green veg. I have to have a green veg. I don't feel ... I like the taste of green veggies. The only ones I don't like are peas, but string beans or salad. I really do enjoy eating a salad, so even just a plain lettuce salad with some dressing on it. I could probably eat those three things and be happy.
Olivia: Oh, my gosh, yes. You're not helping me at all on this one. I can tell that you've already worked with me before. So with the bacon [crosstalk 00:20:13]
Nicole: I'm sorry!
Olivia: We've had the conversation about-
Nicole: [crosstalk 00:20:15]
Olivia: ... the bacon before though, right?
Nicole: Okay, bread.
Olivia: Bread, so that's better, the bread and the bacon.
Nicole: [crosstalk 00:20:21]
Olivia: So a lot of times what people will usually say is, okay, I can't live without bacon. I can't live without pizza. I can't live without alcohol, like red wine. So I'm like, okay, you don't have to live without those things, but let's take a look at those, your favorite meals that you could eat every single day, and let's try to just put a healthy twist on them. So I have this thing with bacon where I personally ... I don't really like turkey bacon.
Nicole: No, it's not bacon.
Olivia: I would rather ... Yeah. So, for me personally, I would rather eat one piece of real bacon than four pieces of turkey bacon.
Olivia: But not everybody's like that. I have some people that are willing to sacrifice their bacon and switch it to turkey bacon. It's a little bit lower in fat. If I have someone that has concerns with heart disease or diabetes or whatever, I might have them take that bacon out and switch it to turkey bacon. That's just one very small adjustment. They're still getting that bacon-y feel in the morning, their savory breakfast. It's a habit that they can still continue to carry out every single day, if they need to, but they're not going to feel restricted. They're not going to get woo-woo, because I wasn't like, no, you're not allowed to have bacon. I just want you to have this specific type of bacon. Another thing with the bread ... Oh, my gosh, bread is life, so I totally understand you on this one.
Nicole: Oh, bread!
Olivia: So a lot of times, people are like, bread and butter, French rolls, all of these very white, processed kinds of fluffy breads that are really good for your soul, but maybe not so good for your glutes. What I usually say is, you know what, you have to think about your long-term goals too. So when you look at that bread, do you see your goals in that piece of bread? Most of the time, the answer is no. So I'm like, okay, so what can we do with that piece of bread that will make it a little bit easier for you to get to your goals? It might not happen today or tomorrow, but what is something that we can do to change? It's the same thing, just switching it to a healthier kind of bread, so maybe it's whole grain. I personally love, love, love Ezekiel Bread. It's all natural. The ingredients are really great. I can read what's on the label. It's high fiber. I feel good when I'm eating it. So just making very, very small tweaks over a long period of time, so that way you don't end up feeling restricted. You can still eat your favorite foods and still get a little bit closer to your goals without just quitting everything that you love cold turkey.
Nicole: No, that's a great point, and the fact that you're just making little tweaks. There's this book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of Habit, and he talks about the three stages of a habit. One of the stages is the reward, and so you have to change what the reward ... In other words, if you want to change a habit, you have to give the same reward, but you have to change how that reward is achieved. So I like the idea that you're taking, okay, you want bread because bread makes you feel good and you like it and it's tasty and it's delicious, so you still get the bread. You're just changing how the bread is ... how you're getting the reward. You want the bread, but instead of getting the white piece of bread, you're getting the whole grain so you can get those nutrients into your body. You can eat, and you can still achieve your goals. I think that's a great way to start slowly. I think what happens is people get excited, like you said, about the new year. They're like, this year I'm going to do it. I mean, I've done that. I've done that in the past.
Olivia: Oh, absolutely, yeah.
Nicole: Everybody gets excited about the new year-
Olivia: Everybody has.
Nicole: ... because it's fresh. It's brand new. You're like, this year I'm going to make those changes. I think what happens is they want to make so many changes because they want to see results right away. How do you help temper people who come to you and they're like, I've got to get into this dress by March? How do you temper their expectations? Are they surprised when you're doing that to them?
Olivia: So I call that the spring breaking thing, spring break. I've legitimately had girls come to me and be like, okay, spring break is in two weeks. Can you turn me into a Victoria's Secret model? I have to be very realistic with them. I'm like-
Nicole: Two weeks, huh?
Olivia: ... okay, you're making my job just a little stressful. So you know what I do is I use the SMART method. Have you ever heard of the SMART method?
Nicole: Is it like SMART goals, I think?
Olivia: Yeah, SMART goals, yes. So when you're looking at your goals, whatever they may be, you want to use the SMART method, S-M-A-R-T. So the S in SMART stands for specific, so you want your goals to be very, very specific. It needs to be more than just I need to fit into this dress. So how small is the dress? How much do you have to lose in order to fit into the dress? I usually have them write down very, very detailed goals as to what it is they're trying to do. The M in SMART is measurable, so that could be used as a measurement tool, taking that dress and, every few weeks, trying to put it on and see if you're getting a little bit closer and closer and closer to those goals.
A in SMART is, is it attainable? So this is the one that I usually stop people at. So you have this dress to fit into in March. Do we really think that this is an attainable goal for you based on where you are at? Sometimes the answer is, yes, you can do this. Sometimes the answer is, honestly, I don't think that you're going to be able to do this unless you are going to try and kill yourself. That's when I sit there and decide with them. What route do we want to take? Do we want to do this a little bit slower, have you a little happier, you allowing yourself to enjoy foods that you like and not be so stressed out about it? Sometimes they are willing to do whatever it takes to get into that dress. With my client, that is when I decide what course of action that we're going to take.
So S-M-A ... R is realistic too, right? So sometimes these things are not realistic, the spring break girl, two weeks into a Victoria's Secret model. Sometimes I just snap my fingers, and I'm like, girl, it's not going to happen. I'm sorry. So I'm not going to lie to them. That's not my job. Then T is timeliness or time-bound. So, usually, when you're looking at your goals, you want to set some kind of time. Usually, if you've got to fit into that dress, it's usually for a wedding or a class reunion. Taking that date and trying to basically back load the timeline and just taking it step-by-step, looking from where that date is to where you are right now, and setting realistic expectations on how much you think that you're going to have to lose in order to get into that dress, and seeing if it's going to be attainable or not.
Usually, I actually sit down, and I map this out with them. I will draw it on a piece of paper and make them look at it as a whole. Usually, before I even get to the end, they're like, okay, never mind. Let's rework this a little bit. Let's adjust my expectations on what we're going to do for our plan of action.
Nicole: Especially, two weeks to be a Victoria is not going to happen.
Olivia: Oh, my gosh. You have no idea.
Nicole: Walk us through ... So I think a lot of people would be interested to know how you eat. Because when people look at you, they're like, wow, she looks amazing. You look like a trainer. If you haven't seen a picture of her, we'll put a picture up of her. She looks like a personal trainer, not to say that there ... I want to be clear. There are people who would not look like a normal personal trainer, and they are great trainers. So you don't have to have a certain look to be a personal trainer at all. We're not saying that.
Olivia: Of course not, yeah.
Nicole: But if you were to just walk down the street and you were guessing her occupation, you would probably think fitness model or personal trainer, so she's-
Olivia: [crosstalk 00:28:12]
Nicole: ... definitely ... Yeah, she's [inaudible 00:28:14] in shape, right? She's definitely in shape. But I think people think that you just ... Because like, oh, yeah, well, sure. But I'd love for you to walk us through a day of how you eat. Now there's two types of days I want you to walk us through. The first is a day when you're fully rested. It's a normal day, nothing crazy happening, and you have a little more time on your hands. Then walk us through a day, or at least a meal ... because I know you work 14-hours days personal training.
I want a real side note. If you have this dream about becoming a personal trainer, I just want you to know ... And it's not just because Olivia lives in Hawaii. I mean, but that's are expensive here. But if you are personal trainer, shoutout to all the personal trainers out there. It is a 14 to 16-hour day job. Sometimes Olivia doesn't even have time to work out for herself. It's a slog. I know there's a lot of people who are like, I like to lift weight. I think I'm going to be a personal trainer. It's so much more than that. Any time you see a career that looks like a dream, what you're not seeing is all of the extra work she has to do when she goes home, invoicing, keeping track of her business. Then she still has to train clients. She has to train sometimes whether she's sick or not, because if she's not training clients, she's not making money. So it can definitely be a grind, and I know you grind a lot, so I want people to know that. Just because you look amazing doesn't mean you didn't work really hard to get to that [crosstalk 00:29:35]
Olivia: Yeah, and that it's easy. It's not easy.
Nicole: She's in the gym all day working out, you guys. She's working us out. She's not working out herself. Personal trainers are notorious for not always having the time to work out for themselves.
Olivia: I'm so glad that you say this, Nicole, because my clients a lot of times will be like, Liv, when do you work out? What do you do? What do you eat? I'm like, okay, you guys, I am not a fitness robot. I am not one of those people that's just going to eat chicken breasts and broccoli every single day of my life forever to look and feel the way that I do, because it's not realistic, and that's not what I do. So on a good day even ... So last night, I went to bed at 8:00, and it was New Year's, and it was so awesome. I got-
Nicole: [crosstalk 00:30:19] 9:30, 10:00.
Olivia: Yeah, and that is not normal for me. So today I got to get up and make a real breakfast. I did some meal prep, which I haven't been able to do in a really long time, where I actually will prep my meals for the following days. I usually do a little meal prep for two or three days, of just grab and go Tupperware containers, so that way-
Nicole: Sounds like [crosstalk 00:30:44]
Olivia: ... I'm well prepared. So we did some grilled steaks, so I sent hubby out to the grill and was like, hey, can you grill these steaks up for me? Because he's the grill master. I do not go anywhere near the grill, because I will charbroil things. Oh, my God, it's terrible. I will set the house on fire if I try to do that. So he went and grilled my steaks for me, and then I threw some diced potatoes in my air fryer. You know how much I love my air fryer. If you guys don't have one, you have to get one. Seriously, it's-
Nicole: She is the reason I got an air fryer. You're the reason [crosstalk 00:31:18]
Olivia: Oh, my gosh, it just makes things so quick and so easy. I use my air fryer every single day. So I chopped up some potatoes. I just threw whatever seasoning I had in the pantry on them, like salt, garlic, a little bit of smoked paprika. Smoked paprika, if you've never cooked with it too, it changes everything. It can take a boring meal and kind of just zest it up a little bit, so I also use smoked paprika a lot. I haven't done my vegetables yet, but I have some Brussels sprouts that are all chopped up and ready to go. I'm just going to toss them into the air fryer right after my potatoes are done. I'll probably do some zucchini, some mushrooms. That's just one of the meals that I [crosstalk 00:31:55]
Nicole: That's crisping them up. The air fryer's crisping them up, right?
Olivia: Yes, so they're not going to be soggy, watery, boring, bland vegetables, because I hate eating soggy vegetables out of a Tupperware container. I cannot, and I will not. So I've got my protein. I've got my starch, and I've got my veggies. So I've got two or three days worth of that.
Looking at my schedule, towards the end of the week, I am slammed for the next eight days, because it's New Year's. The gym is going to be crazy. So I'm already kind of thinking about this like, okay, I know I'm going to be exhausted when I get home on Friday. What am I going to do? So I'm not going to cook it yet, because I don't like leaving old food in the refrigerator for too long. So I usually ... One of my go-to meals when I am exhausted and tired and don't feel like doing anything is I will literally throw some ground turkey or some ground beef in a pan. I usually will try and pre-chop all of my vegetables. That's one of the things that I'm doing today while I'm well rested is I'm going to chop up a bunch of mushrooms. I'll probably chop up some bell pepper. I have a bag of spinach in there.
So I'm trying to make my ingredients easy and accessible, so that way there's very, very little prep work involved for towards the end of the week when I'm getting tired and busy. That way, when I get home, I can just throw it on a pan, and it'll be done. So I'm going to do some ground turkey with some mushrooms and various vegetables, and I will honestly open a jar of pasta sauce, just regular jarred pasta sauce, nothing fancy, and probably do that over some brown rice pasta, or chickpea pasta has been one of my favorites recently. I think that's probably kind of a good indicator.
I try to keep things ... I eat really simple, boring food, you guys. Nicole, you are always making these beautiful, fabulous meals, because that's partially your job. So I eat really boring food. Tomorrow, I'll wake up. I'll probably have a protein shake as I'm running out the door, or I'll do my little protein pancake in a napkin kind of thing again. Then I'll just be eating those meals that I prepped today. For me, that helps me stick to my goals, preparing everything early, so that way I'm not tempted to get a drive through cheeseburger or something in-between clients when I'm stressed and I'm hungry.
Nicole: I mean, we're both Whole Foods junkies too. We will hit Whole-
Nicole: The Whole Foods is the new mall for me.
Olivia: Oh, my gosh, yes. So that's another thing that I totally do all the time. So I know there are a lot of people out there that do not have access to the Whole Foods that we have that is as beautiful as ours, but just big beautiful salads. I'll run in there with 20 minutes and just throw as much salad into one of those little containers as I can and eat it in the car on the way to my next appointment.
Nicole: That sounds so good. I think the thing that people should take away when they're listening to you is that, one, it's not just boring chicken and broccoli and rice all the time. You are trying to put as many veggies and different flavors into your meals so that it's interesting and there's a lot of variety. You're not afraid to use some prepared foods. I had another blogger, she follows the Wahls Protocol, and that's like nine cups of veggies and fruit a day. She's like, that's a lot.
Olivia: That is a lot, yeah.
Nicole: That is a lot, right? But she made a point. She was like, "I'm not ricing my own cauliflower. I'm buying that pre-riced."
Olivia: No, no. You buy that pre-chopped.
Nicole: So it's okay to buy pre-chopped vegetables. In fact, what are some of those things that you have people do because they're like, I can't cook, or I don't know how to? I always tell people spend the extra 25 cents, and buy pre-chopped vegetables. Because if that's what it's going to take to get you to eat the way that you know that you want to eat ... Because I think people want to eat well. Just they get frustrated, or they don't know how. Then they get hungry, and they get tired, and they get stressed. They're like, screw it, I'm going to Arby's.
Olivia: Yeah, or ordering takeout because they don't want to cook. So the biggest thing ... Because I'm human too. There are some nights I get home, and I just want to order a pizza. I'm just like, okay, you know what, Liv, this is not going to help you get to your goals. What are some things that we can do in the kitchen to make things easier for you to come home and actually want to cook something? So making things readily accessible, so, like I said, pre-chopping your vegetables, pre-cooking your meat if you need to, or just having something that you enjoy defrosted all the time or something that you can pull out of the freezer to just defrost really quick and throw it in the oven is something, or a crock-pot. Oh, my gosh, God bless my crock-pot. So if I know that I'm going to be tired, I'll just throw a couple of chicken breasts with some chopped vegetables in there with a couple of potatoes and some chicken stock. Turn it on in the morning, and then there's chicken stew at home waiting for me when I get home.
But one of the things that I personally really like doing is taking ... I have these big containers that I set out on my counter. They're like those little pop containers where you push the button on the top and it seals the container. I don't really know what they're called.
Nicole: I know what you're talking about.
Olivia: So what I do is I take my oatmeal, and I actually physically take my box of oatmeal and dump it into that container with a measuring cup. That way, when I'm running really late in the morning and I need to cook my oats or whatever, I can just scoop a portion out into a bowl, throw some water on it, pop it into the microwave. That way I'm not fiddling around with the bag in the morning, ripping it open and letting it explode all over the kitchen, but Lord knows I've done that before; but making it just easy to grab off the counter, throw it in, and be done with it. I do that with my rice too, where I have a big container of rice sitting out, where I'll measure it out and throw it in the rice cooker in the morning too. That's another thing. I think that my point here is the tools that you use need to enhance your life. So the rice cooker, the air fryer, and the crock-pot are my three best friends on this one, is what it sounds like.
Nicole: I'll raise you an Instant Pot, which braises things-
Olivia: An Instant Pot! Oh, my gosh, yes.
Nicole: I know. We know what we need to get you next year for the housewarming gift. For sure, I will tell you that, each week, I make a big Instant Pot, a vat of rice, of brown rice and quinoa. Then I just cook up a bunch of different proteins. Then I sauté onions and peppers and bell peppers, and I'll just make a bunch of that, because I know when I come home from dinner, sometimes it's just mentally exhausting to think, ah, I've got to take this out and [crosstalk 00:38:18]
Olivia: Yeah, but if you already have your rice prepped, that's like 40 minutes of cooking that you have already done. We have one of those fancy rice cookers. It keeps your rice warm for you too, so it's already warm and steamy. It's not dry and gross from keeping it in the refrigerator. We'll just scoop warm rice out of the rice cooker. If your meat is already prepped or easy to prepped, all you have to do is figure out some kind of vegetable side and whatever, and you can mix it up on that one too, so that way you don't get bored. So, like you said, doing a sautéed veggie or maybe doing a side salad, just trying to keep it fresh and interesting, so that way, when you're exhausted, it's easy, but it's still new, and you still want to eat it.
Nicole: Talk to us real quick about desserts. I had a raging sweet tooth. It still rages from time to time.
Olivia: The story of my life.
Nicole: I know. How do you help clients tame that sweet tooth? Because some people are just like, just no sugar. I'm like, ugh, what are you, a Nazi? Get out of here. Anytime someone's like, no sugar, I don't eat sugar. It's like, what are you trying to impress me? Get out! Everybody loves sugar. It's [crosstalk 00:39:31]
Olivia: Yeah, everybody loves sugar, and I will bust the myth that is the sugar that is making people fat, because it is not. It is the over consumption of all foods that is making people fat. So usually what I tell people is, if you have a sweet tooth ... I will never tell my clients to cut it out. I'm not going to tell you to stop eating chocolate, because Lord knows I have a freezer full of it right now, and that would be hypocritical. So-
Olivia: ... that's one of the things that I do though, is I try and keep dark chocolate bars frozen in my freezer for emergencies. That way, if I’m starting to get a little sweet tooth, I'll break a little chunk off, eat it, and then I'm usually over it. I'm not going to sit and eat a bunch of cookies or bake a bunch of brownies or whatever, because usually I have one little nibble of chocolate, and I'm done. That's usually how most people are. Usually, if I tell you, hey, stop eating chocolate, that's when all of a sudden your brain is playing tricks on you. It's like, oh, my gosh, I need to eat chocolate all the time because my trainer said I can't have it. So we don't want to play that game where we're telling, no, don't eat sugar ever. We want to just do it in moderation. I will also tell people that, if you keep a little bit more fruit in the house, it's a little bit easier to snack on some grapes or snack on some berries when you're getting a sweet tooth. That way you're still getting a little bit of that more natural sugar, but you're not eating a brownie. That's something that I personally do too.
A lot of times when our body is craving sugar, it's not necessarily the sugar that we're craving. We're craving easy energy. So if you start to crave sugar, it's normally a huge sign that your body is telling you something. It's telling you that it's hungry. So I would always try to eat a real meal before you give into that sugar craving. I'll always try to make a protein shake before or drink a glass of whatever or nibble on some deli turkey and see if that craving subsides. If it doesn't, then I'll either have a piece of fruit or break off my little chocolate bar. That's personally what I do. I just try to be more conscious about those sugar cravings and actually try and dissect them and just be like, Liv, do you really need this, and do you really want this? If I do really want it-
Nicole: Yeah, exactly.
Olivia: ... then I do it.
Nicole: I'm a big proponent of you have the right to feed your body in the way that you choose, but, of course, what comes with that ... And I think that's an important thing to say. But what comes with that is, but the way you choose to feed your body will determine your goals. It's not even related necessarily always just to size, although it does relate to size, because I think that you can be healthy at a large variety of sizes. There are people that are healthy at-
Olivia: Oh, absolutely.
Nicole: ... a large variety of sizes. But it is a matter of you can put whatever you want into your body, so no judgment there. But if you are eating for a sport or you're eating for certain goals, then these are ways to help you to help achieve those goals. I want to be clear.
Olivia: Yeah, maneuver those things.
Nicole: There's nothing wrong with brownies, because I bake them all the time.
Olivia: Oh, yeah.
Nicole: As I work with Liv, she knows. She's watching my Instagram. She's looking at my stories. I'm not hiding anything from her.
Olivia: Zero judgment.
Nicole: She's giving me a thumbs up, right?
Olivia: I'm usually messaging you to be like, bring me some of that on Monday.
Nicole: I know, right, and I don't, because I don't want to mess her up. I've gotten to the point though where I can bake a pan of brownies, and I only want one. I actually-
Olivia: Yeah, or you have one little nibble of it, and you're like, I'm over it. I'm-
Nicole: Yeah, and I'm good.
Olivia: ... going to take these to work and give them to other people.
Nicole: Exactly. I love sharing baked goods with people, especially ... I made a banana bread. I went on a run, and I made a banana bread. I was waiting for it to bake.
Olivia: Oh, I saw that. It looked so good.
Nicole: I was waiting for it to bake. Then I had a slice of it, and then I hocked off half of it and gave it to a colleague of mine, because I don't need the whole banana bread, right? Really, what you want ... Most of the time when you want a baked good, you just want that first bite, right? You just want a couple of bites.
Olivia: First bite, and then you're done with it, yeah.
Nicole: Some people are like, what are you talking about? I want the whole thing. You think you do. But if you-
Olivia: No, you think you do, but you don't.
Nicole: The thing is, if you don't-
Olivia: If you allow yourself to have a little bit of it, then you can just move on from it a little bit faster than if you were to be like, I'm not allowed to eat this; I'm going to binge and eat the whole thing.
Nicole: I was on a diet once, and I really, really cut down and got down a smaller size, but, man, it was like I had to eat exactly what was on the plan. I could not deviate, and I had two cheat meals a week. I remember being obsessed with those cheat meals. It was kind of scary. I didn't want to talk to anybody. I didn't want to hang out with anyone, because I only got two cheat meals a week. I would go to Whole Foods, and it was like, oh, what am I going to buy for my cheat meal?
Olivia: Then you just end up eating way more than you would have if you would have just allowed yourself a little bit more light wiggle room during the week. You know what I mean?
Nicole: Right, I was obsessed with it. I literally did not want to talk to anybody. It was a whole ritual, and I was kind of like, this is getting kind of crazy. I would just write down things I'd want during my cheat meal. I've come to realize the problem with a cheat meal is that you just try to stuff yourself in that cheat meal, and you feel deprived if you didn't have a good cheat meal. Instead, just plan and eat mostly veg. I try to eat mostly veg, some meat, and I try to feed my body in a way that makes me feel good and makes me feel strong. I think that's what you advocate, and I've loved that you're not judgmental about when people come to you. You're not trying to completely make them all one way. You're trying to meet them-
Olivia: Oh, absolutely not.
Nicole: ... where they are.
Olivia: No, because I'm human too. So I think the biggest thing with this is it just comes back to that consistency thing. Just do the best that you can when you can, and if you accidentally have a chocolate chip cookie at Starbucks one day, accept it, and move on. Go right back into what you were doing before, instead of doing this whole restrict and binge thing. We just don't like seeing that cycle. So I think just overall longevity-wise, consistency is going to be what helps you the most.
Nicole: Well, Olivia, so I usually ask that question. I normally ask what's that one tip that will help a home chef today make better meals, but because you're a personal trainer, I think you kind of gave that great tip, but maybe you have one more. So I want to say, what is that one tip that you can give to that person out there, that foodie out there who does want to get into better shape but does not want to completely relinquish their foodie street cred? What can they do as far as for their meals or their exercise?
Olivia: So I think that ... keeping it fun, keeping it fun. Your exercise should be fun. Your gym time should be fun. Being at home in the kitchen doing your meal prep should be fun. It shouldn't feel like a chore. So for my foodies out there, I am also a foodie. Taking a look at ... Maybe make yourself a menu for the month, and just have your trainer look at it, or have someone that you know that's really into fitness look at it before you cook it. So if you need to do lettuce wrap tacos one week, or I know, Nicole, you do this baked salmon thing pretty often that you seem to never get sick of. So maybe just rotate your meals so that way you're not eating the same thing over and over and over again. But that does take some planning. So I think that's probably the biggest tip, is just plan as far ahead as you can. Make yourself a grocery list. Look at your week, and just try and sit down. It only takes 30 minutes for you to really sit down, look at your schedule, and map out a plan for yourself at the beginning of every week. So I think that's probably my biggest tip, and then just keeping it exciting.
Nicole: That's good, that's good. Well, Olivia, where can people find you on the internet? Or if they're in Hawaii, where can people find you if they want to train with you?
Olivia: Oh, my gosh, I am all over the place. So on the internet, you can find me on Instagram. My name is LivHerseyFit on Instagram. Or you can look me up on my website, www.LivFitHawaii.com. If you want to come see me in person, I am usually located at Kakaako Fitness in Downtown Honolulu, or I am running back and forth between there and F45 in Kahala. That's a new studio that we just opened up, so I'm usually back and forth between those places.
Nicole: I'll put links too, in the show notes, to all those things, so that people can easily find you. Well, thank you, Liv, so much for being on the show today. I know that I learned a lot from you, and I think a lot of other people who are going to listen to this are going to learn a lot. You are helping us to start the new year off right, so thank you.
Olivia: No, thank you so much. This has been so fun.
Nicole: Awesome, all right, we'll see you the interwebs. Happy New Year again, everybody, and so glad that you're joining me back again for season two. Olivia was an amazing first guest to have of the year. I really appreciate her taking the time to chat, and I appreciate her honesty about both tackling fitness and healthy eating habits, especially since it can be so easy to think that ... You start the year. You're excited. You're like, all right, I'm going to tackle this goal that I've wanted to do for a while. This year I'm really going to clean up my diet. This year I'm really going to stick to an exercise plan. You go all out, and you try really hard to stick to it. Then life gets in the way, and you think, ugh, I can't maintain it. Forget it, I'm going back to cheese fries. There's nothing wrong with cheese fries, by the way. But I can understand that it can become frustrating.
I think one of my great takeaways from her ... I've gotten the chance to work with her directly, and she's fantastic, if you're here in Hawaii and you're looking for somebody to help you both in your physical goals. She's a fantastic person to reach out to. But she has really taught me one small step at a time. Don't be upset because you can't maintain everything perfectly, and because she's given me permission to not be perfect, I've actually progressed a lot farther than I thought I would. I'm very happy with my physical fitness right now, and she's just continuing to assist me with that. She's just been a really great friend and just been someone who's been super encouraging. She really is that awesome. As awesome as she sounds in the podcast, she really is that awesome in person. So if you have a chance to meet her, you really should.
I also want to say that she's the first guest of season two, but we've got this amazing lineup of folks who are going to be on in the next coming weeks. So if you are liking the podcast, subscribe. If you think you have a foodie friend who might like the podcast, encourage them to subscribe. If you also like the podcast, I'd love a review, but it's up to you. There's a Facebook group, and we're still having people join steadily, every day. It's a small but mighty group, but I think, in season two, we're going to get a lot more folks in there. It's going to be a party sooner or later, so don't be that person who shows up too late to the party. You want to be just fashionably late, which is really right on time.
So until next week, welcome to 2019. This is BFF with the Chef wishing you a fantastic week, encouraging you to tell me what your goals are for this year, both for physically fitness, for eating. I've got lots of eating goals. Mine are both to eat more kale ... I know, I used to not like kale, but now I do ... and more cookies. So I want to hear what your goals are, so tell me in the Facebook group. Like I said, this is BFF with the Chef wishing you a fantastic week and hoping that you've been inspired to go out and make something delicious. Goodbye.