Healthy Role Model

{ From 28kg overweight to ‘2014 sports model of the year’, this health coach, mum and kids’s cookbook author shares some tips and tricks to keeping our kids’ health paddling along merrily. }

Many women gain extra kilos during pregnancy. Sophie Guidolin was no exception. As a result she was unhealthy and exhausted. Today she’s 28kg lighter, super healthy and bursting with energy. She’s also an inspiration to more than 300,000 Facebook followers with whom she’s shared her wellness transformation.

Since losing the kilos and shaping up in recent years, Sophie has worked hard to win five fitness model titles – one which saw her take out the ‘2014 Sports model of the Year’ title for the International Natural Body building Association.

She has also funnelled her knowledge, passion and motivation into online coaching of her total body transformation nutrition program ‘Eat Clean, Live Lean’, and has also released two books, which have sold tens of thousands of copies. Her most recent book, My Kids Eat, is packed with healthy eating ideas for kids, to help other mums be the healthiest role models for their children.

Sophie, you’ve written two books now… which one has been the biggest game changer for you personally?

The release of my first recipe book Eat Clean, Live Lean marked a huge milestone in my life because it took so many years to develop and fund a designer and printer to get it out there. It was also a lot of hard work to build my following to the point of creating a demand from people wanting to read it.

I understand your kids’ cookbook has lots of great ideas for lunch boxes do they all come with a seal of approval from your own kids?

My boys are my taste testers, so it’s safe to say every recipe that made the pages passed their seal of approval. Every recipe in My Kids Eat was created by me – many were spin-offs of recipes taught to me by my own mum when I was growing up. She raised us on a clean diet, which was far more uncommon 20 years ago than it is today. She showed such bravery back then in following her heart and raising three children on a sugar-free, whole foods diet. I now realise that it was the best life-long gift she could’ve given me, and I want to share her knowledge with many other families.

Which food/s do you have the toughest time getting your own kids to eat and how do you overcome this common dilemma?

My youngest son Ryder doesn’t like avocado, which can be challenging as he needs more good fats in his diet to help with his eczema. We’ve tried many different things and the best way around it is to sneak some avocado into his chocolate mousse. It makes the mousse extra creamy and helps his skin – a win win!

As a busy working mum, how do you manage meal and snack preparation?

I pick two evenings to knock over meal preparation – Sundays and Wednesdays work well for our family. We spend an hour loading Tupperware containers with chopped fruit, meats, herbs and vegetables. We then pop them in the fridge or freezer to use for snacks and meals for the coming days. I’ve found involving the kids in choosing which fresh foods we will use that week and helping us weigh, mix and sort, really connects them to the process.

What are the most surprising ingredients you choose to cut down on – or completely cut out of – in your clients’ diet plans?

I don’t include milk in my diet plans because I believe it’s unnecessary and potentially harmful to the system. Plus, you can get all the calcium you need from ingesting plants, nuts and seeds.

How does ‘paleo’ and ‘gluten’ play into your meal plans?

The majority of the meals in my books and programs are gluten free. My meal plans are also influenced by the paleo philosophy, however you will find small amounts of wholewheat flour and rice in some recipes.

What’s your take on meat?

I was vegetarian for eight years and ran into health issues, so I choose to eat meat, which I cook on the Weber. I’m a fussy meat buyer and purchase all our meat produce from a local hormone-free butcher. I particularly love chicken, eye fillet steak and Atlantic salmon.

What do you like to load into your diet to maximise great nutrition?

That’s easy – we always have a super salad in our fridge, which the whole family eats over two days before we re-stock. We vary the ingredients but usually I will include kale, corn, peas, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and one of our favourite clean dressings made up of olive oil, minced garlic and apple cider vinegar.

Any cooking appliance must-haves that have helped you lead a cleaner lifestyle?

I would have to say my new Thermomix, which has cut down our amount of food preparation time significantly. We use it everyday and I’m so impressed with its power. It blitzes chia seeds in seconds, makes whipping up ‘clean’ sauces so easy and makes having fresh stock on hand to add to dishes so much simpler. Time with my family is precious so safe to say I’m a convert.

I understand you’re Gold Coast based… do you think living by the beach makes staying fit easier?

I moved from cold and rainy Adelaide a few years ago to the Gold Coast and I do think it’s the perfect place to keep fit. It’s a location that caters to the fitness industry perfectly – the sun’s up early and everywhere you look there’s a healthy café or a gym.

Describe your typical day of exercise and how you involve your two boys

I will typically follow my ‘Total Body Transformation Exercise Program’, which is based on strength training at my gym ‘Hold Your Own’. I do very little cardio as strength training burns more calories and increases your metabolism inside and outside the gym. It is far more effective at shaping your body. There is nothing I love more than exercising with the boys – we love to bike ride, hit the beach for a swim or surf, or take a hike together most days.

Apart from strength training, can you provide some other easy ways to achieve a faster metabolism?

Eat a nutrient-dense breakfast to kick off your day. Make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day and have a lot of variety in your diet.

How hard is it to stay so fit and keep those defined abs visible?

I don’t find it challenging as I’m so entrenched in my routine. The fact my husband, Nathan Wallace, is involved in the industry as well (he is known in the competitive world as ‘Mr Natural Olympia’) is a huge help too as we’re on the same page when it comes to our commitment to health and fitness. I commit to my routine, so that even when I lack motivation the routine kicks in and I arrive at the gym on autopilot.

I understand you enjoy supping (stand-up paddle boarding) on the sea… how does it benefit your health and fitness?

I find that supping tones my arms and legs and helps my sense of balance. I love to be on the water – both my parents surf and have stand up paddleboards – so I have always enjoyed being out there on the water. That said, I am still very much a work-in-progress and have a lot to learn.

How does your ‘online coaching’ work?

Coaching clients online has given me the chance to support people all over the world and across Australia. They send me their photos and progress reports to let us know how they are feeling emotionally and physically and I provide full support to ensure they are on the right track to achieving their goals. There is nothing I love more than sharing what I’ve learnt over the recent years to help others make progress towards their health and fitness dreams

You’re a great goal planner… can you share some tips with us on how to make goals a reality?

I love the quote ‘today’s preparation equals tomorrow’s success’ and often share it with others. It is so important to make sure your goal is achievable. Put a timeframe to your goal and detail the steps that will help you achieve it and any obstacles in your way so you can be fully prepared for any challenges ahead.

You’ve achieved so much already in 2014, including ticking off some big buiness goals and some more personal ones like buying your dream car and home… so what’s ahead this year? TV series perhaps? Activewear label? Another gym? More clients?

I’m developing my own skincare product for athletes, which is completely different to anything currently available on the market. I’m really excited about releasing it later this year. I also have plans to franchise our gym so that people can enjoy our fitness philosophy across Australia. I would also love to have my own cooking show aimed at helping families incorporate more whole foods into their diet.


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