We are excited to introduce you to Lani Muelrath, plant-strong fitness expert! Lani is the creator of The Body Transformation Formula and Fit Quickies™ 5 Minute Workouts. She has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and over 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, and trainer. She has received awards for her instruction, created and starred in her own CBS TV Show, and her expertise in the area of health and fitness is called upon by examiner.com, as Fitness Expert for Dr. John McDougall’s Health and Medical Center, coach, Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Kickstart program, and Health and Fitness Lifestyle Expert for Vegan Mainstream.com. She is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University.
We’ve asked Lani if she’d be up for answering some of your questions about fitness and nutrition! We thought we’d get started by getting to know Lani a little more, and we’ll be having her back as a regular contributor to Engine 2!
Lani has also offered to giveaway one of her very popular fitness downloads “Fit Quickies”. Just leave a comment or a question you’d like answered and we’ll pick a winner (at random) this week!
Let’s get to know Lani!
What got you started down the path of plant-based health and wellness?
Gee, now we’re going way back before plant-based, plant-strong or any if their name friends were in our conversation. Back then it was just ‘vegetarian’ and my reasons at the time were as they are today: health, humanitarian, and environmental. Yet it’s even more so now. You can take a look through John Robbins books and Skinny Bitch and see the same statistics and information as there were in those brochures from decades back that are archived on my bookshelves – Rory just sexed it up and brought in a whole new audience and generation, which is very cool. In college I was teaching yoga and eating veggie. The difference is that now I’ve ditched the dairy, and many more of the processed foods such as oils.
My journey has had several intervals to it. As someone who has struggled with a weight problem for so many years – decades, even – I was certain that there was a way to eat that would allow me to eat according to hunger and fullness signals and still be slim and be in alignment with my vegetarian ideals. I’d look out the window where we live in the woods and see squirrel and deer romping all over the place and they’re eating according to appetite and they don’t have ‘weight’ problems, do they? And it’s not because they don’t have enough to eat. The insanity of counting 4.3 grams of protein in ratio to 3.4590 grams of carbohydrate and 3.67 grams of fat to eat a meal just somehow seemed wrong. I’m just choosing random number here to make a point. I always resisted this concept and other diet rules and kept searching for a way to eat totally according to appetite and still be at my ideal weight. I call it body-controlled eating and anyone can do it when you eat the right foods. It’s a wonderful way to live.
It took me awhile to find it yet once I grasped it it’s all so simple. Whole foods, plant-based, low fat. Eliminate expelled oils and other processed foods, which should only be about 5% max of your caloric load, if any, anyway. Work the right ratio of starchy veggies and whole grains to high water content veggies and fruits, depending on your health and body composition goals. Look to Engine 2, the McDougall Diet, PCRM – they’re all on the same page. The same guidelines that I use in my coaching programs and Body Transformation Booty Camps.
When people follow these simple guidelines, they always have success with health improvements as well inch and weight loss if needed. You can count on 5 lbs and an inch off your waist in 2 – 3 weeks in Booty Camp, it’s almost like clockwork. Better sleep. Better energy. The exercise is very important for improved health, body shaping, strength and vitality. Yet when it comes to the weight loss, unless you get how much It is about the food, you will continue to be frustrated with your health and weight goals. Then you do the exercise to enhance well-being, improve your biomarkers and strength, and give great shape to the muscles. I used to weigh 50 lbs more than I do now, so I know the challenges and the solutions.
Did you have any struggles when you started down this path? If so, how did you overcome them?
Looking back, my biggest struggle was just as it is for so many of the people that I coach through this process today: Eating enough – which can be frightening when you have a weight problem; curing carbophobia, and eating on time. Before that, the biggest challenge was not enough people even understanding what vegetarian was. I know we still have some of that today – but back then society’s learning curve was pretty steep.
Giving up meat, fish, and chicken was a no-brainer. Eggs were a little more baffling, but only because of baked goods and today there are so many solutions. Dairy was the last to go. The half and half in my coffee. I’d come and gone from ditching dairy completely, and then a few years ago a couple of things changed that for me. For one, I was invited to attend an all-day physician’s seminar with Dr. McDougall presenting. He was in a roomful of arm-crossed cardiologists – as you can imagine. Hours of slide presentation, graphs, and documentation later, it was clearer than ever. Dr. McDougall was his usual persistent self in that presentation, yet I also thought he was very gracious and I was indelibly impressed with the way he didn’t back down from presenting the facts and common sense.
Where can people get in touch with you, and do you have any upcoming tele classes people can attend?
It’s easy to find me on the Plant-strong Fitness blog at http://www.lanimuelrath.com, where I have 4 years of archived articles, resources and information about health and fitness. You can easily reach me via the contact form here.
And yes, the monthly TeleClasses are a huge hit – recent guests have included Chef AJ, Julieanna Hever, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I’m excited to announce that for the next TeleClass Engine 2’s own Natala Constantine will be my guest. The tickets for this call are going to go fast. You can sign up for the Teleclass here.
We want to thank Lani, and we look forward to her contribution to Engine 2! Do you have any questions that you’d like Lani to tackle? Just leave a comment (and you will be entered in the giveaway!)
*Stay tuned, next week Lani will be answering questions about go to foods for snacks and the proper nutrion post workout!