Leonie is a French Bulldog loving ex-Queenlander who is on an endless and exciting journey to learn more about health and wellness. Discovering Pilates at the age of 30 she was excited to find it encompasses her life long passions of dance, exercise, movement and healthy living. Combining her passion and her profession she became a Pilates Instructor and now owns Encore Pilates in East Perth. She loves that Pilates allows clients to see greater holistic wellness, functionality and energy for their everyday lives and futures.
She can be contacted via website: http://encorepilatesstudio.com
Tell us three things about yourself
I adore travelling, love that I have a job that allows me to wear Lulu Lemon all day everyday and thirdly, even though I know the health benefits or them I can’t stand bananas!
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
From 17-25 I was in a very unhealthy and destructive relationship that negatively affected my physical and mental health. In 2001 I left the relationship and moved to Western Australia leaving friends and family behind. It was a big move and it was not easy but when you do make a move in the right direction there are amazing things around the corner. I have been blessed to have many beautiful people and opportunities come my way and it was undoubtedly the best move I ever made. I love living in Perth and am healthier and happier than I have ever been.
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a great start?
Having 5.30am starts most days this is really important to me. Not drinking alcohol the night before, having a good 7-8 hours sleep, waking up softly not abruptly (no blaring alarm) and always allowing time to get ready without rushing, so I set the pace for my day
Your brekky usually consist of…
I usually wake up have a big drink of water, teach my early classes and then have breakfast.
Super food charged smoothie (any combo of greens, berries, water, coconut water, almond milk, hemp, chia, flaxseed, maca, bee pollen, spirulina, cacao nibs, avocado) OR freshly squeezed juice (usually beetroot, carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, ginger, lemon).
I also enjoy homemade coconut yoghurt or porridge, with berries, almonds, chia, flax.
On the weekends my current fav is, hummus sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach on a slice of organic sourdough toast.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
We are all unique with different likes, motivations and situations so it is just about finding what works for you when it comes to food and exercise. For the past 18 months I have been eating a wholefoods predominately plant based diet and I have been feeling fantastic, satiated and not at all deprived. I love the idea in the Hungry for Change movie to focus on ADDING good things to your diet rather than taking things away. This has really worked for me! The more wholefoods, veggies, smoothies and juices I have added the less I want processed foods. My favourite foods are salads, soups, Buddha bowls, homemade sushi, curries, patties, hummus, pesto, zucchini pasta, chia puddings, raspberry gelato, raw organic chocolate. Creativity, pre-planning and variety are integral! I stick by this most of the time however there is flexibility for social outings with friends. We have recently renovated our kitchen so I have renewed enthusiasm for spending time in the kitchen.
Why is fitness an important part of your life and do you have an exercise routine?
I always love the Joseph Pilates quote ‘Physical fitness is the first prerequisite for happiness’. I am forever grateful that I have always innately loved exercise. It makes me stronger physically and mentally, more invigorated and energized and less stressed.
Although my job is active, I always make sure I do my own workouts as it makes me more creative and focused.
My fitness routine involves:
Daily dog walking- great for the soul!
Pilates Reformer, floor, roller and jump classes 3-4 times per week.
More recently I have also been loving a weekly Air Yoga session at Air Yoga Bayswater.
Over the weekend we usually also do something active but relaxing like a long bike ride or kayak.
Your ‘perfect day’ in nutshell would be…
Sunshine, simplicity and serenity with my 2 favourite boys!
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
Seven years ago I stepped out of my first ever Pilates class and my life has never been the same again. It was the beginning of what has become an endless and amazing journey for my mind, body and life path. Having previously worked as a registered nurse, I fell in love with Pilates as it is safe, logical, anatomical and beautiful yet powerful and challenging. I started doing courses just out of interest and never knew this is where it would lead.
I have now been teaching mat, pregnancy, corporate and reformer Pilates for over 5 years. Just over 2 years ago I opened my own boutique Pilates studio Encore Pilates, catering for private and onsite corporate classes. For diversity I also work at Pilates School WA Karrinyup and Sense of Space Subiaco. It is exciting and extremely satisfying to have the opportunity to combine my passion with my profession and every day see peoples lives change through the bountiful and holistic benefits of Pilates. I am grateful everyday that I went to that first Pilates class!!
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what one piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
Probably self-doubt and aversion of public speaking. Lucky for me I soon realized that when motivation is your genuine passion and you are on the right path, extraordinary things start to materialize and you can override any doubts or fears you have.
Find your passion and pursue it. Get out, experience life, try new things and if you find something that gets you really excited then embrace it, learn all you can and see where it leads you!!
Your favourite book or movie of all time is? And why?
Paperback Hero, I love this movie!! It came out in 1999 when I was living in London and a little homesick. It is filmed near where I grew up in Queensland and it makes me so happy even when I watch it for the 100th time. Added bonus Hugh Jackman and Lance the Dog.
And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
This is a great recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life which I have been loving lately for a go to snack between my classes.
super food energy bars with cacao: makes about 15 bars
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup dates
1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, if needed
Throw the dry ingredients (keep a little bit of each ingredient to add in a second) in your food processor, then add the dates and raisins and process until everything it starts to stick together. If too dry, add more dates or coconut oil. Put in the remaining dry ingredients you left out and mix in with your hands. Press into a lined pan and set in the fridge for an hour or more. Cut into bars and store for up to one week. If you have extra, shape them into cupcakes and top off with raw chocolate.