Andrea is the co-founder of Ultimate You Fitness, a leading health club in Melbourne, Australia. As a business owner, fitness coach and passionate advocate of holistic health and nutrition, Andrea is dedicated to helping others improve their lifestyles through education, training and application. After years of contemplating, she made the decision to be a coach as a step to improve Australia’s health status. Andrea’s interests and passion lies in personal development, health coaching and in inspiring women of Australia to gain a healthier, happier mind and body. Her big dream is to one day be featured on the cover of an international best-selling fitness magazine and to be able to share her knowledge and expertise with more people. To follow her journey, follow her on Instagram @andreafitnessqueen.
Tell us three things about yourself
- I am a health and fitness enthusiast who loves spending time in the gym and kitchen – the two places I believe my success grows from.
- I love and fear public speaking at the same time.
- My goal in life is to be able to inspire women around the world to be their healthiest, happiest and most confident self in mind and body. I love everything about my day-to-day life from learning to coaching and I’m extremely passionate about sharing it with others.
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
My biggest health challenge has definitely been more of a mental one than a physical one. As a female, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I can get crazy cravings and at times feel a compulsive need to binge eat, especially when I’m feeling emotional! Overcoming this was a big step for me, as I didn’t think I would ever have the control or have this much conscious awareness of the food I eat. It was through the learning of proper nutrition that really got me understanding the detrimental effects of processed foods. Knowing how to differentiate between what’s really healthy and what’s not, together with keeping a clear mind on my personal health goals has really helped me through the mentally challenging times.
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a great start?
For me, getting myself inspired in the morning usually sets up my mood and energy for the rest of the day. I look at inspirational photos and quotes on my phone of people such as Ms Figure Olympia Erin Stern and international peak performance coach Anthony Robbins. Eating breakfast is next on my list as having adequate nutrient dense foods in the morning is crucial for kicking my day off to a great start. I usually choose something very high protein based like chicken or a steak with an organic long black for that extra boost!
Your brekky usually consist of…
Anything high protein as my body thrives on protein and fat and I feel full of energy on a combination of the two. I like mixing things up from day to day so I never get bored, so it could be a steak one morning and an omelette with spinach and pumpkin the next! I wash it down with a green smoothie usually made from cucumber, celery, green pepper, green apple and mint.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
When it comes to food, I’ve done the old trial and error game where I’ve tried about every eating plan under the sun – I’ve tried being a vegetarian (as a teen), the low fat diet, the bodybuilder/model type diet where every gram was weighed, low carb, high protein, high fat etc, but the one that has shown the best results for me in terms of energy, vitality and my ideal body composition is the one that consists of real food. I have been and currently eat lots of red and white meat, eggs, fresh vegetables, some fruit and some natural starches such as sweet potato and pumpkin. Some days I have more starchy carbs, some days I have less… I try to stick to a routine where I’m disciplined during the week and a little more relaxed on the weekend, allowing for a few treats here and there.
Why is fitness an important part of your life and do you have an exercise routine?
Being fit proves to me that I respect my body, and have the self-discipline that’s needed to be successful not only in health but also in business and ultimately in life. Training keeps me focused, provides mental clarity and makes me feel empowered to make the right decisions for myself on a day to day basis; that’s the message I try to send my family, friends and clients!
My current exercise routine looks a little like this:
Weight Training: 4-day split – Legs / Back / Shoulders and Arms / Chest
Cardio: 1 HIIT Spin session / 1 Kickboxing session
Other: 1 Bikram session
Your ‘perfect day’ in nutshell would be…
Wake up with my fiancé with breakfast in bed followed by a training session on the beach in the afternoon, and a good book in bed at the end of the day… Can’t hurt to have some puppy cuddles thrown in there too!
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
Inspired by my partner, Andy Anderson, and the results he was helping his clients achieve, I wanted to do the same and do my part to help others. Growing up in Singapore, I have always been active in school and was lucky to have never faced many health problems as a child. However, since moving to Australia, I have personally seen an increased number of obese families with children who are on their way to obesity. It saddens me that there are helpless individuals out there who are shortchanged by the lack of education and paying for it in the form of their health. I was then motivated to enter into Personal Training school and to use my business, knowledge and skills to coach others, especially women and mothers who struggle with their weight, health and fitness. It has been the most rewarding experience since.
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what one piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
The biggest challenge I have overcome is definitely defeating doubt. When I started, because of my age and gender, many questioned my ability to be a good coach let alone a successful coach. There was as much negativity as there was support when my partner and I made the decision to open a health club. If I had listened to those who doubted me, I wouldn’t now be the owner of a 1500sqm health club and be enjoying the perks of running my own business.
My advice is NEVER EVER listen to the naysayers, at times including your own negative self! In my journey of being a fitness coach and in starting my own business, there were countless times where people doubted, judged and questioned me but ignoring them was the key to achieving what I set out to achieve. Don’t let anyone determine what you are or aren’t capable of. If you have an idea and a passion for that idea, as long as you put your a*s to work, you can achieve what you set your mind to.
Your favourite book or movie of all time is? And why?
Dr Jonny Bowden’s Living the Low Carb Life – it was THE book that changed my life and old habits if you can believe it. It’s easy to read, straight forward and makes complete sense to me. I’ve read this several times over the last few years and I’ve never looked back since! I highly recommend it if you want to learn exactly how your body works and what you should be feeding it in order to work optimally.
And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
Yes indeed! This is not a fancy recipe but one that I’m addicted to as of late. Bone broth has been around for centuries and for some reason, died for years but have recently revived itself again in the health industry. Bone broth, when done the right way, has amazing healing effects on the human body’s intestinal tract and can offer multiple health benefits ranging from better digestion (gelatin heals digestive tract) to reducing inflammation (glucosamine stimulates growth of collagen and repairs damaged joints). Enjoy!!
– 4-5 Grass fed chicken carcasses / beef / lamb bones
– Celery, 6 stalks
– Onions, 2-3
– Carrots, 5 medium
– Fresh parsley
– Bay leaves
– Fresh thyme
– Black peppercorns
– Garlic, 2-3 cloves
– Celtic sea salt
– Olive oil
– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
– Filtered water to cover ingredients
- Fill crock pot / slow cooker with all ingredients. Let it come to a boil then simmer for up to 8 hours for chicken bones, and up to 16 hours for lamb, beef or pork bones.
- Sift the broth/stock if you wish, before serving. Freeze the rest in ice trays and keep for up to a month!