Fit Feature: Katie Daniels
Katie Daniels loves traveling, being outdoors and cooking! Fitness and staying healthy is also a big part of her life.
Meet Katie Daniels
Get to know Katie Daniels by reading the interview below!
Tell us about yourself!
Hello! My name is Katie Daniels. I am married with 3 children (one grown and out of the house). I live in the San Diego area, where I work full-time as an MRI Technologist. Additionally, I enjoy traveling, camping, anything that has to do with outdoors, and cooking. Also, I have just as much fun staying at home and watching a movie on the couch with the family. Fitness and staying healthy is definitely a big part of my life as well.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO HEALTH AND FITNESS? WHAT DID YOUR JOURNEY LOOK LIKE?
It was about 10 years ago after my daughter was born. I couldn’t even jog on a treadmill for 30 seconds I was so out of shape and no motivation to even walk. During this time, I had moved cities into a new home and during this process, I had gained a bunch more weight. I had enough.
I bought a gym pass for the first time ever and went with my sister the first few times to some kickboxing and Zumba classes. Once I realized I could do these workouts at home, I started doing that instead (easier with little ones). I started to see results and it has kept me going ever since. Don’t get me wrong, there have been periods in my life where I have not been consistent and go a few months without any activity. As soon as I find the motivation, I get right back into it.
I would say the last 4 years I’ve been the most consistent with health and fitness. I find it is necessary for me to keep my sanity in everyday life. If I ever feel depressed or stressed about anything, a really good workout always helps! No matter how much I am not in the mood to do it, I just get it done even if it’s just getting outside for a walk.
Eating healthy came a little later into my life. I would always “diet” in the past but it would be something extreme and I could never stick to it. Now, I look at food differently and focus on all the benefits that health foods have to offer and how they can improve health and prevent disease.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy all foods and I love to entertain. I’m not healthy 100 percent of the time. I just like to be conscious of what I put in my body for the most part. Trust me, I make lists of yummy places to go to when I travel so I can get all the goodies in. It’s all about balance!
HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE OR EDUCATE OTHERS ABOUT LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
Leading by example is pretty important. At home, I like to know that I am teaching my children healthy habits. Children have it tough, they don’t have the same taste buds as adults do so you can’t just make them eat broccoli and brussel sprouts. I educate them on the benefits of foods and how it can make them stronger and live longer. Different colors of foods all have different vitamins and minerals to offer. Gotta get all the colors of the rainbow in! We go to the store and I let them pick out the produce they like, both fruits and vegetables.
Educating other people in my life such as family and friends is the same thing. Lead by example. If they see you eating healthy and exercising, they will see the benefits eventually. Not everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle though and that is okay. I’ve learned not to take it personally if someone isn’t ready to make the change. They have to be ready. I will always be there to encourage and support when they want it, and I will be ready to go on a walk or hike with them anytime!
Why do you think it’s important to educate others about living a healthy lifestyle?
It’s important to educate others about living a healthy lifestyle because so many people really aren’t knowledgeable about all the ways a healthy lifestyle can benefit them.
Whether it’s the food they’re eating (or not eating) or their lack of physical activity, I find most people just aren’t aware. I wasn’t aware either. I knew vegetables were good for you but that’s about it. Also, I drank chocolate milk like crazy. It was milk, and milk is good for you right?
Food labels can be so misleading for people who don’t know what to look for. The more we share our knowledge in this area the better. I’m always trying to educate when I can. I’m no nutritionist or dietitian, but I know enough to help others when they come to me for information. I won’t lecture a coworker if they’re drinking a Coke on their lunch break but I’ll be there if they need some advice on where to start with changing their lifestyle. They see me bring my healthy lunches every single day and comment sometimes on how good I’m being.
When I first started my job 5 years ago people would say “Oh you’re on a diet?” and I would say “Nope. No diet here, just how I like to eat”. They eventually stopped saying that, now it’s “You’re so good, I need to eat better myself”. Again, leading by example is the best way to teach someone something.
I definitely teach my children all I can and hope they take that information when they leave me someday. I sign them up on 5Ks with me and I take them hiking with me. They know the importance of staying active and eating healthy. We can’t make people change but educating them is the least that we can do.
What suggestions do you have for those looking to start living a healthier life?
It is never too late to start something new. You just gotta do it! Don’t wait for the perfect time, there isn’t a more perfect time than now. Setting small goals and making small changes is key. Too much change at once can be overwhelming. Reward yourself when you reach certain goals and then set new ones. Join challenge groups. Finding people to support you and who have the same goals helps so much!
Don’t listen to any negativity. People will see you making changes for the better and might start to feel down on themselves. Sometimes with that comes negativity and they may even want you to fail. Just encourage them to do the same and invite them to join you! If they don’t, that’s okay.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY OF EATING AND WORKOUTS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Every morning I wake up, make coffee, and enjoy 20-30 minutes to myself sitting in bed with my coffee (while yelling at my kids to get ready for school). I need this 20-30 minutes every morning to clear my head in order to start my day.
After I take my kids to school, I do my workout. I have a later work shift so morning workouts work best for me. I always workout before breakfast. No specific reason other than my energy level is higher if I haven’t eaten. I drink a superfoods shake usually with some kind of fruit blended in. If not, I eat a side of fruit with it. I always bring my lunch to work. If I don’t get a chance to prep my meals, I make something in the morning. I think it’s been at least 2 years since I bought lunch.
My lunch usually consists of a protein, carb, and veggie. An example of my lunch would be tuna salad on a whole wheat tortilla and some veggies or a salad on the side. Snacks are important to me also otherwise I will get home and want to eat everything in sight.
My snacks are usually rice cakes with peanut butter and banana, or greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit and seeds or nuts. Dinner also consists of protein, carbs, and veggies. An example of dinner would be ground turkey tacos with a side of veggies.
I choose to eat healthier carbs and stay away from white bread and pasta. Whole-grain breads, corn or whole grain tortillas, pastas that are made from chickpeas or lentils are some of my top choices. I like to choose foods that will not only satisfy me but benefit me as well.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am always looking to learn new things, especially when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. The more knowledge the better! We can never know too much and I think it is important to share knowledge with others as well.
If you are interested in following Katie Daniels, you can follow her on Instagram.