We’re so stoked about our first ever, full-color cover. And if some of you are questioning whether we’re abandoning our gritty black and white style for a more mainstream look, we assure you, that’s not the case. But sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

No one knows this truth better than the cover athlete herself, Samantha Leete. At 26 years old and just hitting her stride in the fitness industry, she recently found out she and husband Kasey are expecting their first child. While she admits that pregnancy–and doing a cover shoot without her signature six-pack–is outside her comfort zone, she’s genuinely excited about the future. And if she’s at all nervous about what lies ahead, it doesn’t show. Samantha is rocking our September/October cover like she does everything else — and we’re betting motherhood will be no different.

SFM: As a fitness personality, what do you think makes you a good role model?
SL: Modesty. Having coached high school girls, I’ve seen how the images they see of women affect how they feel about themselves. So while it can be motivating to post pictures of progress, I try to be very conscious of how I do it. It’s something I feel very strongly about.

SFM: What do you do on the days you’re feeling unmotivated? What do you tell yourself?
It depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I evaluate my current goals, what I’ve accomplished so far, and my plan and timeline to accomplish the big picture and adjust if necessary. It can be really motivating to realize how much you’ve actually accomplished so far. Other times I’ll talk with a friend. Friends are awesome at helping you see the big picture and look at things from another perspective. But if I need to, I’ll take a day or two off to rest. Sometimes you just need it.

SFM: What are your tips for keeping a healthy balance between real life and gym life?
SL: Decide what your priorities are, write them down and refer back to them to make sure that where you’re spending your energy and time match how you feel. For me, fitness is one priority in my life, but it isn’t my number one priority, and I’m okay with that. I’m not training for the Olympics, just training to live another happy healthy day. So I make time for it, but don’t put it before other things like family and friends.

SFM: Just before this shoot you found out you’re pregnant? How were you feeling?
This was an unexpected pregnancy and when I first found out, I went through a lot of emotions: shock because I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and the infertility rate is very high; worry because I had done a whole list of things you’re not supposed to do when you’re pregnant; fear because I knew nothing about having a baby and wasn’t prepared. But after a few emotional weeks, I was so excited to be a mom! I have an amazing husband and I know a child will bring so much love and happiness into our home.

SFM: As a fitness model, do you feel any pressure in regards to being at “fit-mom”?
SL: At the end of the day, I can’t compare myself to others and am just excited to grow with this experience and learn what a “fit pregnancy” means to me. Post-pregnancy I will probably feel some pressure and want to whip back into shape, but I know I just have to be patient with myself and learn to love my new body.

Protein Peach Cobbler

2 cups peaches, peeled and sliced or canned
2 Tbsp sweetener of choice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 scoops FitMiss Delight Protein, Vanilla Chia
1 cup oat flour, coarse ground*
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp butter
Extra cinnamon for garnish
*Oat flour is simple to make! Just take regular rolled oats and blend in your blender until it looks like flour.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. For filling: In a large bowl combine peaches, sweetener, lemon and vanilla, making sure peaches are evenly coated. Pour peach mixture into a greased baking dish or divide equally in muffin tins and set aside.

3. For topping: In a separate bowl, combine Delight Protein, oat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and mix. Add almond milk and butter and continue to mix until batter is thick and smooth. Spoon a thin layer of batter over peaches and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon

4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with optional fat free cool whip.

Click here to get Samantha’s killer routine for strong, athletic shoulders.

STRONG Fitness
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.