Anni is a personal trainer and nutrition adviser and one of the organizers and trainers at the BoostCamp event in Finland in September. Now you can get to know her a little bit better You can also check her own page here.
GB: Hi Anni! Can you tell a bit about yourself and your work as a personal trainer? How did you become interested in that field?
Anni: Hello! I’m from Finland but live at the moment in Berlin. I used to work in online marketing and that’s why I moved to Berlin – because I got a job at Zalando’s Digital Marketing department. But after working there for a few years I realized that the job was not fulfilling for me and I wanted to work with my real passions: food, health, and sports!
First I started to study nutrition, then I resigned from my job and after spending one year trying to figure out what I really wanted to do, I made the decision that changed my life; I started studying to become a qualified Personal Trainer and became self-employed. Already before that, I got the idea of GoodBoost together with my friend Satu
Now I have clients both in Finland and in Berlin. Mostly I do private coaching, but I also teach some group workouts, do seminars and organize events like the BoostCamp. I really love what I do now and I’m so proud of myself that I got the courage to leave the job that wasn’t fulfilling.
GB: Tell a bit more about that career change. How challenging was it to change from office worker to self-employed PT?
A: To be honest, that was not easy. It required one year of unemployment, sending out hundreds of applications and going to the job interviews just to realize that I didn’t want those jobs.
While I was still studying to became a PT, I already started to take clients, just to see how it goes, and then I realized that I had found something that I really enjoy and where I’m also good at
GB: How would you inspire a person to start a new sporty and healthy lifestyle? It is so difficult to get started especially if you have lived in a totally different way.
A: Start with small baby steps! Don’t try to change everything at once, just try to be a little bit better every day compared to the day before. Improve one of your meals first, for example, add some berries to your breakfast or vegetables to your lunch. And start drinking more water. When you notice that you will be less tired and you feel better than before, that motivates to continue! One very easy tip is to start using green powders. Just mix it in water/smoothie, and you will get most of your daily vegetables in one shot!
If you never did any sports before, start by walking more. Surround yourself with sporty people, start going for a walk with your friend instead of going for a beer. Or hire a Personal Trainer who can help you
GB: You talk about a healthy lifestyle to other people, but how do you take care of your own health?
A: I eat healthy, nutritious food, and always try to find the diet that is good for me. I don’t say no to anything, but I try to follow a certain macro ratio (=balance between carbs, fats, and protein) that support my training. I have been always very sporty and the way I train varies during the time – at the moment I go to the gym, do some HIIT training and running. I also move a bit with my clients.
Sometimes it is difficult to find the time for my own workout and have enough of free time because as a self-employed, I tend to work too much. But luckily I can be flexible with my schedule, and take some time off when needed. I also value good night sleep, go the bed quite early, I take time for stretching and recovery, and try to be outside in nature as much as possible.
GB: How does your daily diet look like? Are there any ingredients you prefer?
I love vegetables and berries! I eat 700-1000 g of vegetables every day. My favorites are Finnish blueberries, and nutritious vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, and kale. Carbohydrates I get from sweet potato or whole grain sources like oats, quinoa, brown jasmine rice. I eat some poultry and meat but try to eat more and more vegan protein sources as well, like tempeh, quorn or seitan. I also love fish, but unfortunately, in Berlin it is difficult to find good quality fish.
My daily diet looks for example like this:
Breakfast: Porridge + berries + egg/cottage cheese
Lunch: Salad/vegetables + quinoa/rice + tofu/quorn
Snack: Cashews + apple + soy jughurt
Dinner: Broccoli + carrots + salmon + sweet potato
Evening snack: 1 slice of whole grain bread + avocado + cucumber + 1 egg
GB: What do you think about the so called superfoods? Is it necessary to include those in the diet?
No, the superfoods are not necessary! It all depends on your goals and how far you want to go with improving your diet. What is anyway a “superfood”? Actually, blueberries and kale are superfoods because they are so nutritious, and I would highly recommend including those in your diet.
There are some “superfoods” that I recommend for everyone, like green powders, but the rest really depends on you. For example, if you have a lot of stress or difficulties to sleep, then there are some superfoods that might be helpful for that.
GB: Do you have your own favorite sport and if so, what is it?
I love salsa, swimming, hiking, and yoga! But to be honest, at the moment I train mostly at the gym and go running outside
GB: In your work, you see a lot of people with different problems with their diet. What in your opinion is the most common issue?
A: At least women tend to be too afraid of fat. You actually need fat to burn fat and there are only benefits of adding some healthy fats (like olive oil, avocados, nuts) into your meals. Sporty people also need carbohydrates, and there is no reason to follow a low-carb diet if you are working out. Most of my clients should also eat more vegetables.
GB: What is the typical sports & food program that you recommend to your clients?
A: There is no typical program, it really depends on the client! It depends on the client’s current fitness level, sports history, preferences, current eating habits, and mostly, on the goal! What does the client want to achieve? My coaching is very individualized, the program is different for every client!
But I do always include a lot of vegetables and berries in every diet program, I encourage to use fibers and eat lean proteins. Eggs are also good food, and you don’t have to be afraid of eating the yolk as well. Despite the workout program, I always include some mobility and flexibility exercises to everyone as well.
GB: You will be one of the trainers at the BoostCamp. What kind of classes will you teach there?
A: At least mobility/flexibility training, HIIT, body weight training, a running technique class and a nutrition workshop. The weekend will be a lot of fun, and the program is definitely suitable for all fitness levels! So don’t be afraid if you are a beginner, just join us and find the joy of moving your body! I hope to see you all there!
The BoostCamp Finland weekend will take place on 22-24 September in Hanko, in the beautiful Finnish archipelago. It will be a great mixture of sports, strength training, hiit, yoga, and meditation. It is an all inclusive package, meaning the price includes all meals, all activities as well as accommodation. Read more about the BoostCamp weekend and sign up here!