We all need a little inspiration around this time of year to stay active and eat healthy. In honor of today being #WomanCrushWednesday, I give you my latest FITerview with my girl crush, Jacquie Rabinowitz. Jacquie is equal parts loving and badass. During her old bootcamp sessions, she’d have me work up a sweat while at the same time give me dating advice. I admire her because she balances raising three beautiful children with a job in the fitness industry…all while rocking wedged sneakers and a smile. Read about how she does it below:
Tell us about RIPPED and the fitness journey that led you there. Growing up I was always very active and involved in fitness. I was a competitive figure skater all the way through college. I always spent my free time training in the gym and trying new workouts. However, it wasn’t until after my third child that I decided to make it my career. Teaching that first class is always stressful – but I will say there is nothing more gratifying than knowing you made someone’s day a little brighter and a little stronger. I started teaching bootcamp style classes in Norwalk and I am forever grateful to my friends who followed me and helped me grow that business. However, with the kids (Chloe – 7, Reece – 6, and Brody – 4) and their crazy schedules I knew I needed to find something closer to home!
Thankfully, with a leap of faith, Brian Ripka took me on and I couldn’t be happier! I love the drive and energy that comes out of that RIPPED War Room! There is never a day that I don’t leave the studio with a smile on my face and my endorphins flying high! There is no getting used to the workout because you can always get faster, always get stronger, and always perfect your form! The clients we have are truly what make RIPPED unique. They are so hard working, so full of life, and just all around awesome!
Even with this passion for fitness I knew there was still something missing. I loved to eat clean. I enjoyed learning why certain foods affected my body a certain way and how to work on healing myself in this crazy world we live in without medicines. Everyone is so quick to label an issue, so I decided to embark on another journey and join Integrative Nutrition. I have to say it is the best choice I have made! I love everything about it – the connections I am making, the wealth of knowledge I am gaining – and its helping me really look inside myself and dig a little deeper into my soul.
What is your current fitness goal? Back in April, I competed for the first time and loved it! However, it took a serious toll on my body. Although I would love to say my next big fitness goal is another show, I think it’s safe to say my biggest goal is finding balance in my life – not just with food and fitness but in all aspects of my life. It is so easy to get lost in fitness and forget about the other important factors and interests because we spend so much time in a gym or meal prepping. During this time I am finding myself and working on me as a whole.
Do you have a pre and post-workout routine? If so, share your secrets! My pre-workout (which usually falls into my workout) is always a great BCAA mix. This helps replenish my muscles and it tastes pretty good too. After, I am always getting a protein shake within 30 minutes of finishing a workout. I just switched over to being vegetarian again and tried a great shake called Super Shake. It’s delicious! Then, about 45 minutes later I sit down for a meal – usually a big salad with some carbs and fats.
What is your favorite exercise move? My favorite exercise would have to be lunges. All types of lunges – walking, backwards, curtsy! If you want that booty high, you gotta move! Keep challenging yourself. Remember – it’s called a “workout” for a reason. It requires work and effort. I love lunges because you can do them anywhere. You can do them with weights or your own body weight. Nice, slow, and controlled lunges are a great way to tone and shape your legs and booty.
What are the three items that are always in your gym bag? 1) Face wipes – I use Cellcosmet, so I leave the toner with cotton swabs to wipe my face right after I finish. 2) I always have an extra headband (usually Lululemon), and 3) perfume because you gotta smell good!
Speaking of gym bags, what brand do you carry? What brands do you like to wear while working out? I have to admit that I am a Lululemon Junkie – I love their bags. They wear well and look cute while doing it! I love that Lululemon wears and washes easily. I also adore Pheel pants and any pants I can find that have a fun, crazy print on them.
What are your go-to snacks to munch on for energy throughout the day? I love super cold, crispy green apples with sun butter (AKA Fit Girl’s Crack), Green and Tonic green juice – I swear that one a day keeps the doctor away! Sometimes I’ll make a batch of toasted quinoa protein bars.
What is your favorite healthy meal? Any large “kitchen sink” salad – I basically massage kale with oil and lemon. Then, I add in sunflower seeds, dried goji berries and cranberries, cucumber, tomato, and any other veggies I may have in the fridge. I also love a good protein waffle made with ½ cup egg whites and ½ scoop of protizyme vanilla protein in the waffle maker topped with sun butter and some sliced apple! Delicious!
What is your current favorite song to jam out to during a sweat sesh? Hmm…this is tough! I am definitely a House music junkie. I love David Guetta – so anything new I am usually downloading and playing in class. I am obsessed with Gwen Stefani so anything by No Doubt is always in my phone.
What is your favorite place to sweat? I love a good class at RIPPED – I leave there feeling so strong! I just started over at SLT, and I love it. I love the way it changes my body and how I feel after a great workout there. It is so challenging! Of course, there is SoulCycle. I use that time as my “veg out time”! It’s my time to lose myself. I enjoy just hitting the gym for a good hardcore workout, and last but not least, I love going for a nice run around my neighborhood – nothing beats fresh air, the wind in my face, the pavement under my feet, and no set journey of where I’m going.
Where is your favorite motivational quote? I have so many! One that always sticks with me is, “If it was easy everyone would do it.” It’s the part about it being hard that makes it great. Second, my dad said it to me, and it will always stick with me – “Always believe in yourself.” Follow your heart. You get one chance at this life, and if you live it right once is all you need! Don’t wait for tomorrow for it may never come. I can keep going…
You are a champ at being a working momma! What are your secrets for balancing it all? Well, every day is a challenge. I think one thing that works for me is being home with the kids at night and being there to take them to school. Being a mom is the first job and the last job I will have in my life. My children always come first before anything else. I want them to know I am here.
I am completely present in their lives. I make dinner for them and show them they are my priority. Sometimes it’s not always balanced, but I am working on it. One thing that helps with trying to keep a little balance is keeping a calendar – a good, old written calendar – not the iPhone one! Schedule your workouts and your meals in there. Just like you wouldn’t miss the children’s doctor’s appointment then don’t miss time for you either. It’s so important if you are not 100% then that trickles down to the kids, and that isn’t fair to them. At the end of the day my biggest goal for my children is for them to know how much they are loved, needed, and wanted, and how important their role in our family is!
If your children could learn only one thing from you, what would you like it to be? If my children can learn one thing from me I want them to learn to believe in themselves, to be confident in who they are, and to not change to fit in. It is so much better to stand out than to ever fit in! I want them to follow their hearts and as long as they are happy, healthy and safe then I support them 100%.
I hope Jacquie’s uplifting words brought you a little motivation during this holiday season! If you want more motivation – and a good butt kicking – check out her classes at RIPPED in Rye Brook, New York on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Stay fit and fabulous,