About Me

I started this blog to share my perspective on food and fitness to help explain why I do what I do and spark interest in others.  I am not a doctor nor am I attempting to give medical advice, all I wanted to do was to share my thoughts and opinions with others.

My Story

At the end of 2008 I decided that I needed a change, I was stressed out and sleep deprived and not happy. I changed jobs to a smaller, locally based management consulting company where I could maintain a much better work life balance. I also decided to ditch my traditional chronic cardio workout plan, an hour+ of cardio in some form every day, to doing more sport specific workouts and added in Crossfit.

Through working out at CrossFit King of Prussia I started to learn more about how to optimally fuel my body for competition. Crossfit helped me learn more about nutrition and be more aware of what I was eating. It sparked my interest, curiosity, and passion for learning about what food does to my body and started me on my journey towards health coaching.

I learned that eating whole, unprocessed foods not only made me feel better, but look and perform better, too. I learned about the importance of managing my stress, sleep, and rest and how all of those things dramatically impacted my overall health. As I started making changes and I started to see better results in my CrossFit workouts, and continued to set personal records in my runs and triathlons. Amazingly I found that changing my food choices and dialing in my sleep and stress finally showed the results of all the work I had been doing. I dropped 2 pants sizes and look much more toned, you can finally see the muscle definition that I had been working so hard to achieve. I was worried that my running performance would suffer since, as everyone knows, runners thrive on pasta dinners and bagels. However, I continued to get stronger and faster as a runner, without any of that crazy carbo-loading that I used to do.

My food journey has brought me to the Paleo way of eating, where I focus on eating high quality meats (pastured and grass-fed as much as possible), fish, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds. In my 20s I thought that I was “healthy” now that I’ve entered my 30s and have changed my food choices I can see how much healthier, vibrant, and energetic I actually am. Experimenting with eating clean and whole foods has led me to a life where I feel better, rarely get sick, have more energy, and continue to make athletic improvements in running, triathlon, and crossfit - all of my sports.

I am a health care industry focused management consultant and a health coach as well as an avid athlete - CrossFitter, runner, and amateur triathlete. I’m currently training for my first Half Ironman 70.3 distance triathlon which I will complete in October 2011 - the Pocono Mountains 70.3 and then the Miami 70.3. In July 2010 I was part of the CrossFit King of Prussia affiliate team that made it all the way to the CrossFit Games, otherwise known as the “Olympics of CrossFit.” My time in California with the team was an incredible experience! In addition to my athletic pursuits I love to cook, hang out with friends, go camping, hiking, backpacking and travel both in the US and out.

As a health coach my passion is achieving optimal health and fitness. My health coaching approach helps busy people balance their lives, training, and food choices in a way that is easy and sustainable. I believe in the power of eating real, whole foods, avoiding processed sugar, and applying the principles of the Paleo Diet to modern living. To learn more about my health coaching practice and how it could benefit you at http://www.laurapappashealth.com/.

My Training and Certifications

Nutrition and Fitness Related:
•Certified Health Coach, Integrated Institute of Nutrition (IIN), Graduating December 2011
•Whole 9 Workshop with Melissa Urban and Dallas Hartwig, February 2010
•Paleolithic Seminar with Robb Wolf, April 2010
•Balanced Bites Paleo Workshop with Diane Sanfilippo, January 2011
•Crossfit Level 1 Certified, June 2011
•Contributing to the Health and Fitness Section of The Lunch Break Blog

•Project Management Certificate, Villanova University
•Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (MIS and Marketing), Villanova University
•Bachelors of Science in Economics, Villanova University

To give you a better idea of who I am and where I've come from, and where I am now here are some pictures of my evolution.  I'd love to work with you to help you go on a similar journey to become the optimal version of you.

Before: Me Pre-Paleo and Pre-Crossfit.

North Shore Oahu, Hawaii December 2007
(1 Month after completing first Half Marathon) 

Bondi Beach Australia, May 2008

After changing my food and going Paleo and committing to Crossfit:

Crossfit KoP Team training at the Philadelphia Art Museum June 2010

At my good friend Rae's Wedding 10.2.10

Participating at an event at Crossfit DelVal in November 2010
2009 Cross-Country Trip - Bryce Canyon

October 2010 - Lisa's Wedding


Hiking in Ricketts Glen PA October 2010