Take a break with Dancing With the Stars’ resident cardio queen


The Cardio Queen from Dancing with the Stars to Entertainment Tonight shares her family meal planning, work-outs and love for fitness classes!

How do you integrate healthy living into your schedule? How do you find that balance between work and home?

Healthy living began as small changes in my every day life. Swapping “full-fat” for low-fat foods, switching to egg whites (no yolk!), avoiding white breads and only eating 100% whole grain instead. Putting workouts into my calendar like any other appointment in my day. If I couldn’t find an hour or make myself commit to it, I’d aim for 15 mins and often end up usually pushing longer each time. It slowly became a way of life.

Balancing a demanding shoot schedule with the yearning to be home with our two sweet little girls has always been a challenge. My husband, Michael, is a wonderful teammate and partner. I want to have couple time as well. We aim to have breakfast and dinner with the kids at least 5-6 days a week. Some weeks it’s less. And many weeks we manage all 7 days. Those are spectacular.

Morning and bedtime quality time is so important, especially wen they are so young. Weekends are also wonderful for stroller walk-jogs, playtime, swimming, and just hanging out as a family.

During your time at Dancing with the Stars and Entertainment Tonight, what regime’s gave you energy to plow through all the filming?

On break between filming ET and sending it to the satellite each day, I would often put on 1lb weight gloves and run the stairs in the parking structure for 20-30 minutes. It was more than enough to power me through the rest of my shooting day. On DWTS, I had little opportunity to steal away but since we only shot 2 days a week, those were my rest days!

Can you share a health trend you’re excited about or one that you’d like to see happen?

I love that there are so many boutique “gyms”/classes popping up everywhere. Not every town has an awesome big gym like Equinox, so it’s nice to see most have more and more Bikram studios or cardio ballet or bootcamp/treadmill-type classes. More and more unique types of workouts too, like water spinning classes or kickboxing-sculpting.

What’s your signature look?

When not on set, it’s all about Mom-On-The-Run! From school drop-off, to workout, to errands, to coffee meeting and back for school pick-up. So, I need clothes that can seamlessly move from one activity to the next and not look completely like I just rolled out of bed. So cool workout gear that goes from studio to street, I guess. And a baseball hat!

What empowers you to live your best life?

Wanting to show our girls that it is possible to accomplish what you are passionate about. Not to give up or take no for an answer if it’s something that is important to you. Eating well and exercising as part of my daily life. I want to live a long life. I lost my dad when he was just 50. I need to be here for my girls when they grow up and start their careers and their own families. I want to be alive to enjoy them and all that they become. That empowers me here and now, for sure!

What is the best way to re-fuel post cardio workout?

Best way to refuel post cardio workout is to replenish both electrolytes and a balance of carbs and proteins. Since cardio exercise depletes our electrolytes and sugar stores from the blood and muscles, it’s important to give that back to the body in moderation. Our goal is to feed the body what’s necessary to balance our blood sugars and give the cells hydration and electrolyte balance. These sugars should be in the form of complex carbs or even sugars from hearty fruits like apples, pears, or banana’s.

Avoid too much sugar since we only need to replenish our bodies back to balance. This is why we also include protein in the post recovery meal or snack since protein will help rebuild muscles post workout.

In summary remember to eat a snack or meal that has both sugars and proteins. Along with electrolytes for cellular hydration. Water is great but drinks like coconut water provides more potassium which will allow our body to hydrate at a cellular level. Adding lemon to your water is also another way to decrease the body’s acidity post workout which will increase your recovery time.


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