Q & A with Fit Mom of 2: Gina Aliotti

It is with GREAT HONOR that I introduce you to someone that has been my personal inspiration for YEARS: (super-fit mom) Gina Aliotti.

Gina is a Professional Figure Competitor, certified personal trainer, certified yoga instructor, CrossFit instructor, nutritionist, and fitness consultant. Her passion is to inspire, motivate and teach people the tools to reach their lifelong fitness goals, in a realistic and fun way. –FitnessRX Women

Gina’s hard work and dedication earned her a stellar award-winning physique. In 2005, Gina earned her IFBB pro-card in Figure which is when I first learned about her. I believe I saw her in a fitness magazine and immediately became a fan. Since then she got married and had two beautiful children. Gina shared her in-home workouts and nutrition tips throughout both pregnancies and continues to share workouts now postpartum. This, of course, earned her more cool-points from me!!! I just think that Gina is a fantastic person and I wanted to share her with you so I reached out to her (via her website) and to my surprise she got right back to me. If you follow Gina on her social media then you know how busy she is. Some of the things she has going on right now are...

  • Her husband and herself are working on a new nutrition supplement line called Devotion Nutrition

  • She's constantly putting out workouts on her Instagram and YouTube channel

  • She's a mom of two little ones (uh, can you say "BUSY!")

  • AND she's also on Periscope most days offering tips on staying hydrated and getting motivated

  • Not sure when she has time, but she also designs workouts and recipes for FITNESSRXWOMEN.com

CLICK HERE for Gina's Pecan Pumpkin Spice Bars

Gina is a hard worker with a huge heart! Her passion for helping people get healthy and strong is undeniable!

I’ve put together 10 questions that I personally wanted to ask Gina and she so kindly agreed to answer them for us. Lets get right into it!

#1. You stayed so lean during your pregnancies. Did you allow yourself to have occasional splurges or did you stick to a strict diet regimen?

A: Thank you! Throughout my pregnancies, I ate the same types of foods I eat on a regular basis, however, there were few things I did differently. In my every day life and all my plans, except my Ultimate Pregnancy Plan, I follow a carb cycling plan. While pregnant, I ate a more balanced plan on a daily basis aiming to get in a balance of carbs, fats and lean proteins. I also incorporated more fruits into my diet and small amounts of unsweetened non-fat Greek yogurt. I wanted to be sure to provide my growing baby with a good balance of nutrients, on a daily basis, and also as much variety as possible! A few other super foods I ate more of throughout pregnancy were nutritional yeast and nori (seaweed). Both are so amazing for everyday health and especially while pregnant, providing your baby with key nutrients such as B-12 and many more!

I believe, in general, you have to listen to your body and what it is telling you. Your body will tell you what you are “needing”, if you know how to listen and are able to differentiate between wanting and needing something. Over the years, I have really learned how to tap into knowing the difference and “splurging” only when my body needs. There aren’t many times when I feel the need to “splurge” because I feel when you are giving your body what it needs, in a well-balanced nutritional plan, you don’t have these urges to “splurge”. Throughout my pregnancies, I was very mindful to listen to myself and my baby. When I felt the true desire to have this or that, I would listen and have what it was my body (and baby) were needing. There were a handful of times I felt my body needing fats. I was craving them and knew it was a physical (not mental) craving. During those times, I would have a few tablespoons of almond butter or add ½ avocado to a salad or even have a salmon or lean steak and that would do it. It really is about listening to your body and giving it what it needs. I feel there are several people that use pregnancy as an excuse to “splurge” more often than necessary,, however I chose to not fall victim to that false reality! My focus was on balance and moderation and it seemed to work well for me and my beautiful healthy babies! :)

#2. What are your thoughts on “cheat meals”?

A. Similar to my answer on splurging above, I feel that when your body is in balance and getting what it needs, you really don’t have these urges to “cheat”. In my life and plans, I refer to “cheat meals” as “refuel meals”. I believe it is important to refuel your mind and body! To me “cheat meals” sounds like you are “Cheating” or doing something you shouldn’t be doing. People also use it as an excuse to eat everything under the sun and experience a full on binge. I prefer the term “refuel meal” because it is more of a time to refuel your mind and body with something you love! In my Ultimate Shred 365, which is my yearlong lifestyle plan, I include a refuel meal 1x/week as a part of the program. I think it is important to have a fun meal of your choice, from time to time. This would still be something healthy that may not be on the plan. It is a time to just make smart choices and modify as necessary but to not be so strict, weighing things out or worrying about too much of a good thing (fat, carbs, protein etc.). For example, a healthy refuel meal for me would be a thin crust veggie pizza with a nice glass of wine (or 2). I would order it with light cheese and thin crust, to avoid the unnecessary calories and pure preference. I also love a small bowl of pasta accompanied by wine, of course! It basically is a time to enjoy some downtime with a loved one or your family! I see “refuel meals” as a great way to check out and ditch the regimen you follow every other meal of the week. It is completely healthy and makes you feel human ;). We all need to clock out from time to time and just live. The key is moderation and balance with your choices. When you have that, it is all part of the plan towards lifelong success!

#3. I’ve read that you run during your workouts (non-pregnant). Did you run at all during pregnancy? Why or Why not?

A. Yes, I love running and especially now when I am working out with my kiddos along side of me, most of the time. Running is something we can do together, with my double stroller. I LOVE my B.O.B. stroller and don’t know what I would do without it, lol! I know some people run throughout their pregnancies however, it never resonated with me and just didn’t feel right. For both my pregnancies I chose to swim laps and that was the only cardio I did besides light walking. I LOVED swimming and highly recommend it for other mommy’s to be :)

CLICK HERE to find B.O.B. Strollers

#4. What are your thoughts on Paleo? IIFYM? And other Diet Fads?

A: I am not a fan of “diet fads” what so ever. I am all about a lifestyle plan that will work for you (and your family) today, tomorrow and 10 years from now. I feel that people are so quick to turn to fad diets, looking for a quick fix, which ALWAYS are just that, a quick fix! I am about finding a well-balanced plan that works for you and is maintainable! I do like a lot of the principles behind Paleo such as eating things in their most natural state possible and as our ancestors use to eat however, I do like grains and beans and feel they are an important part of our everyday diet. I don’t know what I would do without my oatmeal, I LOVE it!

As far as IIFYM, I am not much of a fan. You will NEVER see any numbers on any of my plans and I do not promote keeping track of calories or macros. I do know it is about calories in and calories out, however, I think counting is not maintainable nor realistic for life. Having to calculate everything gives me a migraine just thinking about it. I am all about creating realistic habits that can be maintainable. Another side is that I feel when people get too suckered into the numbers part of a plan, they can become obsessed and it may work for a short while but the obsession can get out of control. I am more about eating clean and making smart realistic choices, teaching people the foundation of clean eating rather than how to master calculations. I believe that with a solid foundation and knowledge about learning about good quality foods and serving sizes, that is much more maintainable and realistic for the average person! I know there are several tha