Inspiring Health Pros
Lori Zabka – Nutrition Coach & Fitness Trainer
Meet the beautiful and talented, Lori Zabka. I was so excited when she agreed to do this interview because she is a wealth of knowledge in the wellness world. She is a hard worker and has a passion for helping others be their healthiest self. I met Lori a couple of years ago in California during the Nutritious Life’s Masterclass. I remember thinking I would love to be with friends with her because she was so real, open, and honest. You don’t come across that very often and when I learned she was from Nashville too I thought that was a sign that this wouldn’t be the last time we would cross paths. It took a little while for us to finally connect in our hometown but we finally did and I couldn’t be happier about it. I am so thankful to have Lori to talk life with but also business. She is a role model and I can’t wait for you to read all about this inpspiring health pro. And hey you may even see us do a collab one day in the future…to be continued on that…
What is your occupation?
I am a Nutritious Life Certified Nutrition Coach, and a Certified Fitness Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am also the Nutrition Coach at The Allergy Center of Franklin in Franklin, TN.
How did you choose this career?
After my own health awakening nearly 20 years ago, I became passionate about nutrition and fitness as a means of preventing illness & maintaining wellness. I dove in head first to the study and practice, and have been an avid learner and coach for over a decade.
What do you love about what you do?
I love giving people tools to make positive changes in their lives. Without action, our goals just remain lofty dreams. We have to get clear and aggressive with our desires in order to produce change. I like helping people do exactly that.
When you first started living a healthy lifestyle, did you have a mentor or did you find more success doing it on your own?
I had a functional medicine doctor who very bluntly told me that I needed to completely change my diet, or I was on my way to disease. The truth he spoke propelled me to learn a totally new way of living. He started me on my journey, and my passion kept leading me forward.
What pushes you out of your comfort zone?
It’s kind of funny—I constantly find myself in situations where I have to figure things out as I go. It’s as though I subconsciously set myself up to live outside my comfort zone. I’m constantly asking myself: How the heck am I going to do this?” But, somehow I’ve been able to figure it out. I think I’m prone to leap before I look, but so far, it’s served me well.
What kind of workout do you do, how many days per week do you workout, and for how long?
I like short, intense, get-in, get-out workouts, 30 minutes or less. I usually do some form of HIIT workout with weights, or just bodyweight; and work from head to toe. I absolutely love to sweat—it makes me feel accomplished. I work out most days, and I also go on several walks each day. I can’t stay seated very long, so even in a long meeting, I have to get up and move. I joke that I’m sort of like a Border Collie.
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Breakfast: Usually my “Morning Glory Smoothie” from my program, “The Anti-Diet,” which gives me my greens, fat, fiber, and protein. I use my Ninja blender and brekky is made in 3 minutes. I also love a good egg and veggie scramble with hot sauce.
Lunch: If I’m working from home, I have leftovers from the night before, and add fresh greens. I always make more than I need at dinner time so that the fridge is stocked with lunch for a few days. If eating out, I usually go for a salad with salmon or chicken….I’m a creature of habit!
Dinner: I love that it’s soup weather! I think soup is the most fabulous way to get a TON of nutrients into body, it’s easy to make and sooo comforting. I can batch my soups and store them in the fridge, so I appreciate the meal prep aspect of soups too. My big red soup pot is my favorite kitchen tool.
Snacks: nuts, apples, my peanut butter balls (also from my online program), or a chunk of cheese.
What inspires you to live a healthy and active life?
Wellness is so foundational. I need energy and health to love my family; to serve my clients; to create and learn and dream….There’s so much I want to do in this life, so living this lifestyle is a non- negotiable.
How do you stay motivated on a daily basis?
I have created habits in my life that are tent poles: staying hydrated, exercising, and eating greens with every meal….but I also remain somewhat flexible. I know there are days when I don’t have as much energy, or I want to indulge a bit. Being able to live the anti-inflammatory lifestyle I preach so much about means that I also enjoy life. Kale and quinoa are fantastic, and so is a scoop of ice cream with my little boy.
How do you handle unhealthy cravings?
I have a few “binge-busting” snacks on hand like green apples with peanut butter and sea salt, or organic pepperoni slices with a wedge of cheddar cheese….(strange, I know), but snacks that tick the boxes for me when I am “hangry” can keep me from running to the pantry and tearing open a bag of chips. Aside from that, I have come to understand that if an intense unhealthy craving is persisting, it’s never about the food….there’s something else going on that needs to be uncovered, acknowledged, and addressed. I talk about this very topic on a podcast that I cohost called “The Coming Unglued” podcast. When we know the asparagus and salmon are a better choice, but we keep going through the drive-through, there is an unhealthy pattern in place. Having the courage to explore how it got there, and how to undo it can make a huge difference in a person’s lifelong physical/emotional wellness.
What would you say is the key to balancing it all?
Balancing it all??? Ummm…the key is: I DON’T! I won’t even pretend to do that. Some days I feel like I’m crushing it, and other days, I feel like I’m drowning! I think the question for me is: “how do you let go of the illusion of balancing it all?” To that, I would say: I try to take one day at a time, and do the best I can in the given moment. Asking anything more than that of myself would just be unkind.
What is your favorite workout apparel?
I like Fabletics and Zyia. I hate shopping, so I can get these online! They usually fit me well, and last a good long while.
If you could only pick one exercise or movement to do everyday that would be amazing for your body, what would it be?
I’m going to have to say: A burpee. I mean, what doesn’t a burpee work?? I think my toes even get a workout after a few sets of burpees.
What advice would you give to people to be their healthiest and best self?
Have an unusual amount of grace towards yourself. Celebrate your victories, and show yourself mercy when you fall short. Treat yourself the way you would treat a child, or the way you wanted to be treated when you were a child—-and the rest will likely fall into place.
Please share your favorite healthy recipe.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash small/med*
2 tsp organic olive oil, plus sea salt, for roasting 1 Tbsp organic olive oil, plus more, if needed
1 lb. ground turkey or bison
1 small onion diced
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 cups arugula
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves minced**
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
sea salt and pepper to taste
Goat cheese, feta, or other cheese of choice fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
1. First, roast the squash. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut each squash open, lengthwise, the scoop out the seeds/strings with a spoon, leaving a “bowl” in the center.
3. Brush the top of each squash half with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt, then place face down on prepared baking sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until top of the squash feels soft when you press on it.
Roasting time will vary depending on the size of your squash. You can remove, check for doneness (it should be soft enough to eat) and return the the oven for a few more minutes if necessary.
4. While the squash roasts, prepare the stuffing. Heat a large skillet over med-hi heat and add your ground turkey, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon to evenly brown. Once browned and toasty, remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
5. Return skillet to medium heat and add the onion and sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir while cooking to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
6. Add the arugula, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to allow apples to soften.
7. Now add the pomegranate seeds and browned meat back to the skillet, lower heat to med/low and continue to cook another 2 minutes to blend flavors.
8. Once ready to stuff the squash, preheat your broiler and arrange the 4 squash halves face-up on the baking sheet. Scoop the stuffing mixture into each one, filling them evenly.
9. Once filled, set your broiler to hi and broil until tops of stuffing and squash are nicely browned, 5 minutes or so. Here is where you add cheese, if you tolerate it…get it browned and bubbly. Garnish with fresh minced parsley, serve and enjoy!
Recipe by: Lori Zabka
Web: http://www.lifebyloriz.com Insta: @life_by_loriz