If you need a source of inspiration in health and fitness, look no further than Tiffany Gaston.
Not only is her rock-hard bod a testament to her work ethic in the gym, but her honesty about juggling family life (she’s a mom to three) and her burgeoning brand (she has a Paleo cookbook in the works) makes her the whole package. Obviously, this mighty mom doesn’t mess around when it comes to workouts, which is why we had to steal her leg-day routine for our Winter 2014 Training Guide (download your copy here). Read on to find out why she chooses a Paleo lifestyle, what her training looks like, and her advice for keeping it all together.
SFM: When did you start training seriously?
TG: I’ve always been active, but I discovered my love for lifting weights after taking a weight training class in high school. I felt it could benefit me in all other areas of my athleticism. As one of only two girls in the class, it was initially a bit intimidating, but I soon gave the boys a run for their money.
SFM: Why do you follow the Paleo diet?
TG: I had coincidentally cut most grains and dairy out a few years ago and was noticing that I felt better. After reading numerous books on the topic, I decided to drop what little bit of grain I was eating and follow it wholeheartedly. I am a nice blend of Paleo and Primal, as I’ve adopted elements of each, but overall, I simply eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
SFM: What’s a typical training week like for you?
TG: I train Monday through Friday. I usually do 20 minutes of fasted cardio 4-5 times a week and also lift on a 5-day split for 30-60 minutes. Occasionally I add plyos between sets and avoid doing cardio altogether if I’m pressed for time. I split leg workouts into twice a week sessions and train instinctively on the rest. I’m currently working hard to improve my back—goal setting helps me to push through plateaus and better myself even without a coach.
SFM: How do you balance family, fitness and your personal projects?
TG: It’s pretty simple: family is always first. If I can’t take on projects due to conflict in my schedule at home, I don’t. I have chosen not to compete this year and instead focus more of my efforts on my children’s busy schedules.
SFM: What are your non-negotiables when it comes to health and fitness?
TG: Food is medicine, so I do spend the extra money to buy organic, grass-fed and wild-caught when possible, and prepare my own meals if I know in advance Paleo options are not available. Although, dining Paleo while on the go is fairly simple to do because most places have fish, steak or chicken that can be eaten on a large bed of greens or served with a side of steamed veggies. When in doubt, I show up prepared.
SFM: What do you think makes a champion?
TG: To find success at what you are passionate about is a choice and one must put forth the effort to drive their life in the direction of their goals. A champion makes a personal decision to get up each day and chase his or her goals whether or not someone is watching and holding them accountable.
SFM: What’s your long-term plan in this business?
TG: This has been a great year. I have built relationships, contributed to several publications and been on magazine covers. I hope to release my cookbook, Painlessly Paleo, early next year as I’ve already completed and released my free preview version. I have lots of terrific things in the works and feel grateful to be in the position I am.
SFM: Do you have any advice for young moms balancing a fit lifestyle?
TG: Always, always, always take time for you! Yes, family is number one, but going for a run while your baby sleeps, hitting the gym before they even wake up or going for a massage while they are at school are all small ways to treat yourself right when all others depend upon you. If you don’t make time for things you enjoy, no one will end up happy.
WE ASKED TIFFANY, “What’s your favorite….”
Flick: Pulp Fiction
Exercise: Squats and walking lunges
Treat: Wine and an amazing burger or some incredible dark chocolate
Fitness Accessory: iPhone, armband and headphones
Protein Powder: Metabolic Nutrition Peanut Butter Cookie
Sports Team: Arizona Cardinals
Workout Song: “Insane in the Brain” – Cypress Hill
Beauty product: Retinols and always a facial moisturizer with SPF
Written by Sandy Braz | Photography by Paul Buceta