Sharing Strong Women: Sarah List

I'm back again with another awesome lady!! I actually got to know Sarah List when she was my high school chemistry teacher junior year. In addition to teaching, she is also the dance team coach and is soon to be a mom. Even when I was her student, I always saw her as an incredible role model in health and fitness and found her passion for teaching and coaching really inspiring. She has a lot of great advice today, so I hope you guys love it!

1 // Share a little bit about how you got into health and fitness and your journey.

My health and fitness journey definitely began towards the beginning of college when I started getting really sick before I learned I have Celiac disease. I experimented with lots of diet changes and met with lots of doctors. At the end of my freshman year, I started training for my first Miss Texas USA pageant and fell in love with health and fitness instead of just my usual—looking for a quick weight loss trick and yo-yo dieting. I then added a Health Science/Nutrition double major to my Chemical Engineering to learn as much as I could. Since then, I’ve just continued to love learning as much as I can (reading books & watching documentaries) about personal health and wellness and working to achieve a balance.

2 // I know you have Celiac disease and eat a gluten free diet. How have you been able to adapt your lifestyle to making those changes and how important has healthy nutrition been to you on your journey?

I definitely want to make sure to mention that a gluten-free diet is not healthier, and I only do it because I don’t have a choice. Limiting products with gluten is definitely a positive, but replacing them with gluten-free substitutes is not necessarily a healthy way of life. It was a challenge at first trying to eat gluten-free with such a busy, on-the-go schedule because you cannot find gluten-free, healthy options anywhere quick. I learned I have to plan ahead and bring healthy snacks everywhere.

3 // One of the main focuses of my blog is finding the balance between fit and fun. What is your routine like and how are you able to make time for health and fitness in your busy lifestyle, while still enjoying life and having fun?

This is the big question! I heard this saying early in college: “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.” It’s easier said than done. With a crazy busy schedule, it is near impossible to find the time for THREE hobbies. So, it hit me one day—find something that combines it all. This is when I started working at gyms teaching group fitness classes and dance classes. I made a little money, kept myself in shape (teaching the class and with a free gym membership), and got to design the class and keep my creative/fun side. Win-win scenario!

4 // Being a high school teacher and dance coach (and soon to be a mom!), how are you able to teach your students and dancers the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle on a day to day basis?

I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach a Nutritional Science course this year! The focus is on taking a holistic approach to health aligning with our school mission of Mind, Spirit, Body. We are looking at all the current nutrition controversies and topics will be addressed, including, but not limited to, fad diets, food labels, and eating disorders. I also love my opportunity to coach the dance team for the past 6 years. It is so wonderful for the girls to be a part of such a positive group of young ladies always pushing themselves to be their best physically, mentally, and in attitude. I just love my jobs! J
5 // Looking back on your college experience, what is one piece of (health and fitness related or not!) advice you would go back and give yourself?

Back then I used to obsess over calorie counting and analyzing every single thing I ate. It drives a person crazy and is so unhealthy! My outlook now is just making healthful choices and keeping a balance between carbs/protein/fat. I also used to over-exercise. Now I have learned the value in rest days. Our bodies need healing and a little TLC.

6 // Lastly, what is a healthy hack or tip (or snack!!) for the busy girl on the go?

I always keep a “treasure box” in my desk of healthy snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated like cashew packets, banana chips, and homemade superfood trail mixes. This way, if I’m starving between classes I will have a healthy snack right there instead of going to the cafeteria and getting junk food or candy. Another tip is drinking water ALL DAY. It keeps you full, helps with headaches and digestion, and you have better skin!

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