Can you briefly tell us about yourself (where you were born, how it was like growing up, profession, education, where you live, etc.)?
I was born in Orange, CA where I lived for most of my childhood. My family and I are very close. Growing up I was an extremely introverted heavier kid. I never expressed much athleticism until later in life. I enjoyed singing and doing creating thing artistically. I am currently living in Costa Mesa, CA working as a nutritionist at Schwartz Chiropractic. I attended CSUF majoring in Photo communications and then later attended NHI of Encinitas to earn my C.N.C. diploma. I’ve been teaching nutrition to people for 3 years now. I sincerely love helping and educating people about living a healthy lifestyle.
Your first fitness competition was at the Iron Man Magazine Naturally Championships. What and/or who inspired your decision to compete? How did you prepare for it and how was your overall experience? How have you improved your training since then?
This is a good question. In 2010 I had an accident that left me with a severely broken ankle. This incident changed my life. It motivated me to get in the best shape of my life. A year after my injury I started lifting weights regularly to regain the strength that I lost. Once I started lifting I was hooked. I was a regular at a local circuit training class when an old acquaintance from high school showed up to the class. Her name is Courtney Partner. After seeing her after many years I shortly learned about all her success in the fitness industry. I followed her journey through her bio, Facebook fan page, etc and was extremely motivated by her. This was a major motivation to me to take a step forward in my fitness journey by enrolling in do my first NPC bikini competition. To prepare for it I found a trainer in the area who specialized in competition prep, Sam Moore out of Jungle Fitness. Starting 3 months before, we trained together 3 times a week and on my own I would train 2 days a week with a variety of cardio and weight training. My overall experience of competing was very positive. I loved seeing my body change. Seeing myself grow stronger and overcome things physically and mentally I never thought I could do. By showtime I had the body of my dreams. Since then I always look to improved my training. I do a wider variety of cardio. Incorporating sprinting, plyometrics, and a lot of functional weight training.
You are a part of Team Edge. How has it been like surrounding yourself with other female fitness competitors? Have you learned anything from them?
Oh, I love being apart of Team Edge. It has easily been one of the best decision of my fitness career. Team Edge has propelled me forward. I’ve discovered a whole new world of fitness through them. I learned a lot from all the girls on my team, including my coaches Ingrid and Joe. The most valuable thing I’ve learned is what it really means to be disciplined, have drive and sacrifice your life for a goal. On the team we create friendships and bonds that are real. We motivate, support and push each other throughout all our fitness endeavors.
Besides having Team Edge as supporters, where do you get your motivation from to stay consistent and continue to strive in your fitness career and lifestyle?
Oh that’s easy. I am motivated by my passion for nutrition and for health. I want to continue to inspire people everyday in anyway I can. I also find that as I help people the feedback I receive is so fulfilling that I can’t help to want to help and inform as many people as I can. There are several women in the fitness industry who continually motivate me. Besides my coach Ingrid Romero and all my teammates on Team Edge here is a short list of women I admire not in any particular order: Amanda Latona, Jamie Eason, Nicole Wilkins, Ashley Horner, Chady Dunmore, Lauren Abraham, Ashley Kaltwasser and Natalie Jill.
With living a healthy and fit lifestyle, what does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”?
My diet varies depending on what my current goals are for my physique. To my experience I found it best for me to never plan a “cheat day”. I eat as clean as I can everyday but cheats end up happening. Here is an example of what I eat when I’m not competing and just living a balanced life.
Meal 1: 1/2 cup Old Fashion Oatmeal, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 tbs peanut butter, small handful of berries.
Meal 2: 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 grape fruit.
Meal 3: 4 oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup quinoa, lots of veggies.
Meal 4: 1/2 cup hummus, lots of veggies.
Meal 5: (pre-workout) 4 oz Salmon, 1/2 medium sweet potato, 1 cup of veggies of choice.
Meal 6: (post-workout) Protein Shake with banana. 45 minutes later 1/2 cup egg whites sauteed with veggies on top of 1 Ezekiel English muffin.
From your posts online, you seem to enjoy cooking. What are some of your favorite clean recipes that you would like to share? What is your favorite part about cooking?
My favorite part about cooking is being able to share it with others and showing people that eating clean is easy and tastes good! I find cooking to be therapeutic and it allows me to be creative and experiment with different ingredients. Here are a few of my favorite clean recipes.
Israeli Salad: This will give you 5 servings.
6 diced cucumbers
4 diced roma tomatoes
5 sliced green onions
1 diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped garlic
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Directions: toss all cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, garlic, parsley and mint together in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. ENJOY
Spinach Mushroom McMuffin
1 Ezekiel english muffin (I used cinnamon raisin)
2 whole eggs
1 cup spinach
1 cup mushroom (add any other veggies you want)
Small palm full of mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast.
Directions: Slice English muffin in half and lightly toast. In a small pan poach your two eggs. At the same time in a different pan put sliced mushrooms and spinach and sauté for 2-4 minutes on low to medium heat. Add mozzarella on top so it melts. Stack it up and top off with nutritional yeast and enjoy!
Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup raw oat meal
3 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat ocean to 325 degree F. Mix everything except the chocolate chips in a food processor. You should have a nice, wet, sticky dough when you’re done. Using your spatula, scrap dough into your mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips. Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet Bake for 20 minutes
We’re curious, what’s your training routine consist of? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
My training varies depending on my current goals. My current routine consists of training 6 days a week.
Monday: chest, back and abs.
Tuesday: glutes and Legs
Wednesday: shoulders and arms
Thursday: Plyometric glutes and legs
Saturday: Plyometric upper body
Depending on what part of the body I’m focusing on for the day will determine whether I do 4 sets of 12 reps or 6 sets of 10 reps. When I’m off season I do about 3 hours a week of cardio. I really enjoy cycling outside or running down by the beach. If I’m prepping for a fitness competition I always do fasted cardio in the mornings to help with burning fat. This usually consist of stair mill, cycle, running or elliptical.
In addition to your diet and training, do you believe in supplements? If so, which kinds do you use and what results have these given you?
YES absolutely. I believe supplements are very important to fill in the gasps that we don’t get from our food. On a daily basis I take a multi mineral vitamin, vitamin e, EPA-DHA fish oil, vitamin B complex and L-lysine. By taking these vitamins daily I have a lot of energy, feel good and very rarely get sick. Considering I work in a Doctors office where people constantly come in sick this is huge plus. As far as sports nutrition goes I supplement whey protein, glutamine, pre-workout and BCAA . This supplies my body with the proper components to have a lot of energy for and during my workouts while building, protecting muscle loss and helping with muscle recovery.
Besides taking part in fitness competitions, you also run 5k’s throughout the year. How has running helped with your competitions and vice versa? What has been your favorite 5k you participated in?
My best friend and I decided at the beginning of 2013 that we wanted to start giving to charity. Both of us are active and decided that a great way to give back and have fun was to sign up for one 5k charity run a month. I find that this is just another way to get in extra cardio and have fun! To date my favorite 5k has been Earth Day/Beach Clean Up 5k in Huntington Beach.
As a nutritionist and a person who wants to inspire people to be healthy, what advice would you give someone who wants to transition their life towards a more healthy and fit lifestyle, but don’t know where to start?
The best place to start is by taking an honest look at your diet and what you consume on a daily basis. The way to get results is through food. If you are serious about transitioning your life, you have to get serious with your diet. When you are ready to committed then its time to start retraining your pallet to taste foods differently. Slowly making changes week by week, cutting foods out, adding new food in.
Do you have any competitions coming up? What are your future plans and goals?
Yes, I am competing at the NPC USA’s in Vegas at the end of July. Future plans and goals for myself this year would include launching my online business; I design weight loss programs for people who have a special event coming up. Find a fitness modeling agency and start doing more fitness modeling. Continue to grow my blog and social media outreach. Cut out all processed sugar from my diet, and participate in my first spartan race.
Any shout outs?
Yes of course. I would love to give a shoutout to my parents and brother for always being there and being so supportive. I couldn’t have achieved any of this success without my friends and support system always cheering me on. Lastly, my coaches Ingrid and Joe and the entire team edge. You are all so amazing. I love all of you and feel so incredible blessed to have you in my life.
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?
I am in the process of creating my website now so stay tuned.
To follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RachelSchwartzHealth
Fan page at www.facebook.com/RachelSchwartzFit
I am very active with Instagram. My username is @RachelSchwartzHealth
Lastly, I blog weekly on RachelSchwartzHealth.wordpress.com