Health + Fitness Tips from Stacie Clark

Meet Stacie Clark - my gorgeous, incredibly buff  and business-savvy friend. We met many moons ago when I religiously attended her "Definitions" aerobics class at Lifetime Fitness - Staring at her abs for 60 minutes a couple times each week was motivating!

She and her equally fit husband now own Tiger Athletics, a fitness company that trains ALL athletes (kids, youth and adults) with programs for recreational workouts up to professional athletes. They transform bodies on a daily basis and are experts when it comes to health and fitness so I thought we might be able to learn a few tips of our own before heading into 2011.

C:  Let’s start with food consumption. I am sure you burn a ton of calories during your workout each day. Give us an idea of what you would eat for each meal and snack.

S: I love food but it’s all about balance.  Breakfast is key for me to have a successful training day.  For pre- and/or post-training, breakfast will generally be made up of a small cup of coffee to jumpstart the morning, 8 ounces of water and either low-fat yogurt with granola and fruit or a banana with peanut butter.  I do have a weakness for blueberry and banana pancakes Lunch is always a large serving of protein.    Protein helps muscle recovery and reduces soreness, as well as suppresses your appetite.   I love soups, salads with grilled chicken, and sushi.  Dinner options are grilled salmon, chicken, steak with vegetables such as asparagus, grilled mixed peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic.  Favorite snacks between meals:  nuts (pistachios and almonds), apples, clementines, oranges, grapes & granola bars.  For recovery, chocolate milk is the best recovery drink (fact!) so I will generally make sure to have a glass post-training.  Other favorites include pomegranate juice and Zico coconut flavored water.

C: What if you are unable to sneak a workout in? What would your daily intake of food look like?

S: I don’t get crazy on calorie consumption, as long as I am within reason.  You only live once.  But, hey, I don’t sit on the couch with a bag of chips or run to the store for a dozen donuts either.  I enjoy food, a glass of wine, ice cream with the kids….I’m normal!

C:  Do you have any staple foods in your fridge? What items do you buy every week?

S: Wine and milk – 2 staples.  (Did I just say that!?) Well, you can always expect to find yogurt and eggs too!

C:  What (if any) supplements do you recommend?

S: XtendlifeTotal Balance Premium– my husband and I love them.  They are made in New Zealand.  The minerals are chelated, the way they are made and processed allows your body to absorb it 100% rather than pass through your body.

C:  How many times each week do you recommend for cardio? Strength Training? Core Training?

S: It depends on the individual’s goals and fitness level.   But generally speaking as a lean athlete and fitness enthusiast, I would recommend cardio 5-7 times a week, 45-60 minutes.  The standard used to be 3-5 times/week, but today people tend to be less active.  There are many ways to get cardio in:  running, cycling (indoor/outdoor), athletic water training, swimming, stepmill, treadmill (walk/run intervals), there is something for everyone.  Strength training is recommended to do 1-2 times a week focusing on total body, but again, it really depends on each person’s goals.  When strength training at Tiger Athletics, we believe in using one’s body as the machine.  Do we use weights and resistant bands and other toys?  Of course, but if you can’t lift your body weight, how fit are you?  And lastly, Core Training – there is nothing better than Functional Core Training.  Yes, this includes ab work.  Your core is from your shoulders to your knees & it’s made up of 28 muscles and 59 attachments.  So, we work the front, back, sides and everything in between.  This protocol is recommended for all ages and all levels a minimum of 2-3 times a week.

C:  What type of athletic events do you do?

S: I love to do anything out-of-the-box.  At Tiger, our world is our gym, we use the environment.  So, if it’s snowing, we snowshoe.  If there are mountains, we hike.  Water?  We kayak or strength train (yes, in the H2O!)  I love to run – trail or beach running is the best.  The Riviera Maya is a special place to me (and everyone at Tiger).  Two times a year (Feb & Nov), Tiger Athletics hosts a group training trip for 4-5 days.  On the last day there is an Adventure Race.  It’s similar to a mini-Amazing Race – so fun!!    Running, kayaking, beach drills,  all challenging but not impossible.  And the best part?  All levels can do it and everyone has a chance to win!  Our next trip is Feb 17-21, 2011.  Are you game?:)

C:  Are there any athletic clothing lines that you think are functional and fashionable?

S: I am a Brand Ambassador for Violet Love Brands, Shock Doctor, Hot Mama & lululemon athletica.  The Violet Love headbands and leggings are perfect for the sweat & run look – you look cute all day! You can wear the headbands skinny, scrunched or wide.  One of my favorite local stores is Maha Inspired Activewear in Wayzata.  They get new shipments in everyday & carry tons of brands I wear.  Everything I choose to wear is functional and fashionable, it has to be, it’s my life.

C:  What motivates you?

S:  I change lives.At Tiger, we empower the individual and enable them to achieve their goals through athletics and life skills.  By teaching them the fundamentals of athleticism, they gain the confidence that allows them to realize their ability and potential, no matter what age or skill-level.

C:  People may be surprised to know…

S:  I traveled all over the world for 15 years as a buyer, designer, and fashion director to report on product and lifestyle trends….all while continuing my training.

C:  How do you spend your free time?

S:  I spend it by what I call "living the life as an athlete".  My work is my play, my play is my work.  Life is good.

Thank you, Stacie! Ladies (and Gents): Let us know if you have any more questions!

Best wishes for a healthy 2011!