Learn The Secret To Perfect Abs From Fitness Pro Remi Ishizuka

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Health goddess Remi Ishizuka has the life motto “bowls and buns”, and she lives it every day. What does that mean exactly? That she gets her energy from super nutritious and delicious bowls – everything from oatmeal with fruit to green salads galore. Then, she turns that energy into ass muscle, and yes, she has the hard booty to prove it. Remi wasn’t always such a fitness guru, though she was a Hot Cheeto aficionado, so we knew she had some realistic advice to give. We asked her for tips on starting a fitness journey, her daily work out motivation, and of course, some ways to keep the chocolate in your life without sacrificing your abs.

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How did you become so fitness and health conscious?

I wanted a good before and after photo to prove to myself that anything is possible. That I COULD have abs like one of those other fitness girls and I COULD be healthy. As much as I told myself my body would never transform in that way, I was determined to put in my all, to see what it could do. Would I get a smaller waist? More definition in my obliques? Would my arms look stronger? I knew if I put in the effort and followed Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide religiously it would show, so I did. In that process I became a health nut and an oatmeal/breakfast bowl queen [LAUGHS] and learned that healthy foods are easy to make and are actually really really delicious!!

How have you changed your life since embarking on your journey to fitness?

The biggest change for me in the past 6 months was cooking all of my meals.  I started small because I didn’t know where to begin or what ingredients to buy! When I check out at the grocery store now, I’ll get comments from the cashiers like “Wow, you eat really healthy” just by looking at my purchases. I never thought I’d hear that before, since I always bought fruit snacks, chips, and frozen dinners!  Anyway, I wanted to stick to a healthy, well balanced diet so the best way to control this was to cook. I was so inspired by foodie breakfast posts all over IG. They didn’t seem hard to make, so instead of skipping breakfast, I started making my own breakfast bowls every morning – that’s pretty much how this whole thing started. I would make oatmeal with various toppings, banana ‘ice cream’, green smoothies, yogurt and parfaits. The best part was it always took less than 10 minutes to prep and make. Super do-able!  From there I started making my own salads, dinners, everything. I have a thing for artfully plating everything, so it’s always fun for me to create and make the dish look extra yummy. As they say, abs are made in the kitchen, so I put just as much effort in eating clean and healthy as I put into my work outs.

What’s your day-to-day work out regime?

I follow Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide, which includes a variety of high intensity circuit training (I do the circuits 3-4 times a week, they’re only 28 min long so no excuses! You CAN fit this in no matter how busy you are) and 2-3 rounds of cardio each week. For cardio, I do a combo of LISS (low intensity steady state- power walking for 45 min) and HIIT (high intensity interval training- for 15 min). I do all the circuit training at home: you only need a few dumbbell weights, a mat, and jump rope. It’s great because I can just roll out of bed in the morning and start working out. For the cardio training, I usually go to the gym and on weekends I’ll go hiking with friends.

How do you motivate yourself to hit the gym when you really really really don’t want to?

It’s not always easy. Some weeks I’m like “YES let’s do it!”, and I’ll wake up at 5 am, start working out, shower, make my breakfast, pack my lunch, get ready for work, and then be at work by 9 am, so by the time my work ends I can just go home and relax. It’s such a good feeling. But other weeks, it takes a lot more mental effort. If I’m feeling super unmotivated, I’ll get dressed in my work out clothes and shoes, and even if I don’t start working out right away (usually I”ll procrastinate) eventually I’ll tell myself, “OKAY it’s 28 minutes, it’s 7 pm now, I”ll be done at 7:30 , I WILL feel amazing and strong after 7:30. Ready, set, go!” and I”ll put on my headphones, blast some work out music, set my timer and JUST DO IT.

Tell us a bit about your diet. What do you eat to get such a bangin’ body and what foods do you avoid?

I don’t count calories or weigh myself, I just make sure to eat a proportionate amount of food in each food group per day! 6 servings of grains, 5 servings of vegetables and legumes, 2 servings of fruit, 2.5 servings dairy, 2.5 servings of lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, 2 servings unsaturated healthy fats and 8 cups of water a day. When I decided to change my lifestyle, the first thing I did was cut out sugar and fried foods (trans fats) – which meant avoiding candy, junk food, french fries, cake, Hot Cheetos (my weakness), cheeseburgers etc. I noticed a huge difference in my stomach from that alone, felt way less bloated and had more energy.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food. I’ll try just about anything, but most people stay far far away from me when I bust out my fermented soybeans! It’s a Japanese dish and it’s definitely an acquired taste. I eat it over rice, but it has this really sour smell that covers the whole radius of the room and has a sticky texture. But I grew up eating it, and it’s a rich source of protein, amino acids, and fiber. I dare anyone to try it for the first time and actually like it!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the past week?

I made a stack of gooey vegan chocolate banana pancakes this morning which were heavenly. I used all clean ingredients, substituted whipped cream with greek yogurt, whole milk with fresh organic almond milk, raw agave instead of sugar and it was divine!

How do you feel about the fit movement and fitness on Instagram?

Love it! It’s my source of daily inspiration. I owe it to Instagram because it connected me to inspiring fitness and foodie accounts from all over the world. If you follow the right ones (those that are real, genuine, and live a balanced lifestyle) they can really inspire you to get off your booty and start working out and living healthy! 

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