Last Fall I introduced a series of interviews called #LETSCHAT with the amazing women that inspire me. This weekly series is based on incredible, strong and empowering individuals that inspire me through health and wellness. They are people that have made an impact on my life, big and small, that motivates me to be a better version of me, and I hope they can inspire you as well.
This week I'm introducing you to Tina Chow of @FitChicksCook. I first connected with Tina last year through Instagram and was quickly drawn to her beautiful meal preps--they are works of food art! Tina shares her fitness journey and gives her followers an inside peek how she makes her meals within her Instagram stories. She is someone who is equal parts inspiring and forgiving (hey, we’re all human – we’re not striving for perfect here) – well, that’s someone I can get behind.
After scrolling through her IG, you'll be drooling over her meals, wishing you had exactly that for your lunch. But, don't worry, you'll be able to recreate them at home with her new cookbook, The Everything Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook, which you can pre-order now!
So, let’s get started!
VF: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: WHAT DO YOU DO, LOCATION, HOBBIES...
TC: I work for the largest Canadian bank as a Regional Sales Coach. So I basically coach bank managers and their sales team on sales effectiveness and on delivering sound financial advice and excellent client experience. Yes, it's very different from health and fitness blogging. I’m from Toronto, Ontario and a proud Canadian. Other than work, working out, and cooking, I also enjoy hiking and traveling a lot.
VF: WHAT GOT YOU INTO HEALTH + FITNESS?
TC: Actually, I only started my health and fitness journey about 5 years ago. I had recently left a long term relationship and on my own for the first time in many years. I signed up for a “fun and easy” 10km run with a group of friends and that's when I realized just how out of shape I was. So much so out that I was nearly crippled for 3 days post race. I was only 28 at the time but probably had the cardio endurance of an 80-year-old!
VF: WHAT GOT YOU INTO MEAL PREPPING?
TC: I was training about 4-5 times a week when I began my fitness journey, but after a few months I rarely saw any difference in my physical appearance. At the time, I was eating out all the time, enjoying buffets and really unhealthy meals post workout thinking it was ok because I’ve worked out, right? After a conversation with my instructor and also some researching, I’ve concluded that you cannot outwork a bad diet (duh!). During this time I was also completing my master's degree part-time while also working full time, and maintaining a busy training schedule, so there was absolutely no way I could also cook fresh meals each day. And this was how I started meal prepping. Since then, I’ve turned it into my lifestyle and still meal prep weekly as a way of life.
VF: “MY FOOD PHILOSOPHY:”
TC: Eat unprocessed whole foods as much as possible as well as cook most of your meals at home.
VF: YOUR MEAL PREPS ARE GOALS! YOU’VE INSPIRED ME TO TAKE TIME TO PLAN AND PREP MY MEALS FOR THE WEEK. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS EMBARKING ON A MEAL PREP JOURNEY?
TC: Start small so you don't overwhelm yourself. Start with maybe just a couple of days prep then as you get more comfortable, expand to more meals and days. Another tip is to keep your meals simple. Don't make fancy extravagant meals as preps, keep those for your weekend meals.
VF: TELL US YOUR MOST PERFECT DAY. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT? WHAT WOULD YOU YOU DO?
TC: I love spending the morning doing a long hike, then break for lunch and end our day laying on a beach! Both active and relaxing.
VF: OK, NOW, WHAT IS YOUR DAY REALLY LIKE?
TC: On a regular workday, I’m up at 5:30 am and at the gym by 6 am for an hour CrossFit workout. Then shower and start my work day. After work, I'll likely work on a blog post (editing photos or writing blog posts). Then when Rob gets home, we’ll have dinner and end our day with a walk around our neighborhood. We’re in bed by 10:30 pm.
VF: WHAT IS YOUR RECIPE FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY LIFE?
TC: Do what makes you happy. Stop worrying about what people think of you because those that care about you won’t judge and those that judge won’t really matter to you anyway.
VF: FINISH THESE STATEMENTS:
BEST FAST FOOD OPTION:
BEST HEALTHY RESTAURANT TIP:
Ask for all sauces on the side. You can save a lot of calories this way!
WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA/WORDS TO LIVE BY?
Make time, not excuses.
AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK I COOK…
I love ground turkey. I make it in one form or another. Usually just sautéed ground turkey is so simple but also filling and delicious!
EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER WITH A LITTLE…
THE ONE THING THAT I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS…
Rob. Cheesy but true.
MY GUILTY PLEASURE IS…
MY FAVORITE GO-TO FOOD IS…
VF: WHERE CAN WE FOLLOW YOU?
TC: Instagram @fitchickscook
Valerie is a San Francisco native who gave up the comforts of home to travel the world continuously. Now based in Portland, OR, Valerie is a Social Media Marketing Consultant, helping solo entrepreneurs and small business owners DIY their social media by teaching them the in’s and out’s of SMM. She enjoys health hacking recipes, a good cocktail, yoga, hikes, live shows, puns & dad jokes.