#5 With 9x Crossfit Games Athlete- Kara Saunders

Introduction Of Podcast

Being 9x Crossfit World Athlete and counting, Kara Saunders’ journey is filled with adventures, critical life choices, discipline and much more. Join Kara as she reflects back on her journey to become the strongest woman in the world, while sharing her perspective on nutrition and fitness.


  • (00:00 – 0:42) – Introduction
  • (00:44 – 04:01) – Kara Saunders Life Story
  • (05:27 – 07:36) – Aspects Of Crossfit That Appealed To Kara
  • (08:08 – 11:02) – Mental Strength, Nutrition and Lifestyle In Crossfit
  • (12:10 – 17:36) – Kara’s Take on Nutrition
  • (18:46 – 20:52) – Evolution of Precision Nutrition
  • (22:03 – 24:22) – Static Biomarkers vs Real Time Biomarkers
  • (26:31 – 31:46) – Kara as World’s Fittest Mother
  • (34:48 – 39:02) – Kara’s Top 3 Principles on Training, Nutrition and Recovery For a Beginner

Key Takeaways – Transcripts

Intro (Mohit): In today’s episode, I get on conversation with the nine-time CrossFit World Champion. A record and an incredible achievement. She is considered as the fittest woman on earth and the world’s fittest mother. A true rock star. I’m joined by Kara Saunders, a truly inspiring figure for everyone and especially women all over the globe. We talk about her journey into the CrossFit world, what inspires her and uncover the preparations an athlete has to undergo to achieve world’s biggest laurels. Kara is at her motivational and inspiring best on this segment. Let’s get into it.

Question (Mohit): Thanks a ton, Kara, for being here and doing this. Really appreciate you taking time out of a busy schedule. But first of all, really excited to know how did you get here? Really excited to know about your life story. Like what actually happened in your life that actually charted you on this path.

Answer (Kara): It’s a bit of a funny story actually. People always ask me how I became a professional athlete and how I’m doing what I’m doing, that did I set out to be a professional athlete? And to be honest, it was all a little bit of an accident. So I finished school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. When I finished high school, I thought about so many different avenues and couldn’t quite figure out what to do. So I decided to have a little bit of a gap year and just work until I figured out what I wanted to do. And at the last minute all of my friends were going to uni and everything and I kind of panicked and I was like, I don’t want to have a gap year, I’m going to miss out, I need to go and do something. So I actually started studying accounting and I did that for twelve months and then I was like, no, I should have had my break, I do not want to do accounting. I was doing well at it, but just didn’t enjoy it. And then so I took the time that I was going to take. I worked and just kind of like lived life a little bit after being in school for a while and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And my mom sort of had me write down a list of all of the things that I was really interested in. And I started studying nutritional medicine that was like a huge passion for me. Natural health and holistic health and essentially like nurturing your own body to support itself was something I was really passionate about from a really young age. And I loved exercise and all of those kind of things. So I was studying that and I joined a gym. I started exercising and I absolutely loved it. I fell in love. Someone introduced me to CrossFit and I was like, this is the most fun I’ve ever had. And then I just turned up every day because I just loved that it made me feel good when I sort of was lacking a little bit of purpose in my life and I wasn’t really too sure what I wanted to do. So I started exercising, doing CrossFit and I got quite good at it quite quickly and I actually ended up leaving uni and just competing. I sort of accidentally qualified for a competition and I toyed with the idea for a little while and for some reason at that moment in time, it just felt right to keep going down that path of being an athlete. So I followed that and then I was kind of always remained like, I guess, a student and kind of studying nutrition and health, like on the side more for my own personal benefit and for my friends and family and everything like that around me. And here we are. That journey probably started, I started CrossFit in 2011. So it’s been ten years now of doing that, still training really hard, still super passionate about health, but just not on a direct professional level, I guess. 

Question (Mohit): Yeah, ten years sounds like a lifetime, especially in a sport that’s actually pretty intense, right? I come from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and when we used to think about different types of Cross training, the one that we were genuinely scared of was actually CrossFit. And I’m saying this honestly because when we look at different other training mechanisms and protocols, the CrossFit folks were like extremists in our opinion back then, pushing all the boundaries. And we used to think that we are really killing it by sparring for like five, six, 7 hours. But then when we do 1 hour of CrossFit training, the amount of talent, energy and I think motivation it takes is just another level. So my co founder, Vatsal, he’s actually a CrossFit fan. I admire CrossFit a lot, but I didn’t enjoy it as much in the earlier days. But it’s really inspiring to see such a long career in CrossFit. Ten years is almost like a lifetime and a lot of I think as people are getting educated about CrossFit and similar other formats, I think people are now being able to differentiate in some ways between that CrossFit is not bodybuilding, right? And I know it’s such a lame comparison, but I think for the listeners benefit, what are some of the things that are actually different? When you go to a gym, you are presented with an opportunity to actually train and do resistance training or weight training, but then you chose CrossFit. So what was all the aspects of CrossFit that really appealed to you?

Answer (Kara): I think the main thing for me was I’d been doing exercise at a regular gym and I’d run and maybe lift a few weights here and there and I just found that it was really hard to maintain because I found it boring. And I was like, if I’m going to do something that’s really hard because turning up to the gym or exercising in general is hard because you have to put yourself in a really uncomfortable position. You have to stress your body a little bit in order to get better and to become more resilient. In order to do that, I needed something that was going to entertain me to a degree. And I think you have to find something that you just really genuinely enjoy. And for me, that was CrossFit because it had so much variance. It was I could do something really aerobic, like super basic, like running or riding or rowing one day, and I could lift heavy weights and I could lift with technical lifts like the Olympic lift. So I had to really use my brain at the same time to like, coordinate how to move well. And the same thing for like a high skill component like gymnastics, I really had to think while I was doing it, as well as working really hard. And a lot of people will say with CrossFit is that you just feel like you can never master it, so you’re constantly just chasing and always getting better. You’re forever getting better, but you’re never the best. And there’s always something different to work on. And I think that just satisfies for me, like, that deep need to be learning. Like I really like to learn, and I think people genuinely like to learn and evolve. To this day, ten years later, it’s still like a professional athlete in that space and there is still so much I’m learning, there’s still so much I’m working on that I still haven’t been able to master, but there’s enough variance to kind of keep it going for a really long time.

Question (Mohit): Well, that’s really interesting because if you’re a coach, you’re training as well and you’re actually performing, you’re competing. I think it’s very different from just practicing like one sport in its own way, essentially, right? Because coaching is a different aspect and performing is a different aspect and there are nuances to each of these, right? So compared to, let’s say, if I’m training CrossFit and if I’m competing, of course the level obviously goes up significantly. But is there an aspect of mental strength and also looking at things like nutrition is in a precise way when you start competing versus when you just start training?

Answer (Kara): Yeah, 100%. I think I always tell people that the thing I’ve learned the most in CrossFit is not necessarily like, the skills and the fitness, but it’s learning how to be resilient and kind of push through. And I’ve learned all of these different kind of mental tools and health tools. And it’s funny, I tell people these days, like, I really pride myself on my health and a lot of people kind of just assume just because she works out that she thinks she’s healthy, I’m like, no, what I had to learn was that there are so many different components to obviously being a professional athlete, but also just to get the most out of your workout and obviously to be able to live your best days and feel your healthiest. Like there is so much to mindset and that’s something that can’t just be told and learned overnight. It’s constant little efforts and constant failures, right? Like the thing for me is in a sport where I’m competing and where I’m doing so many different challenging movements, I fail more times than I succeed. So you have to learn to actually take those failures in your stride constantly, every single day and know that it’s a part of the process And over time you start to really see how beneficial that is and you start to become so resilient, so able to cope with that failure because you know that success is coming eventually and it’s so much sweeter. So that mental side of it is definitely learned and practiced over a really long time. And I’ve read books and talked to mental sports psychologists and things like that to try and help with different tools and I’ve kind of got like a whole heap of tools that I just draw upon as I need and then with everything else, like to perform or to compete, to train well and just be able to show up and get a good workout, I’ve had to learn all the other things that I have to master. You have to take care of your body, you have to take care of your mind, you have to get rest. All of those things are a huge component of the workout itself. We always joke around saying that it’s everything that you do outside of the session that actually makes you break, that actually makes that session worthwhile. Because if I go into a session and I’ve had zero sleep and I ate junk food the day before like all day long, then I can’t actually really hit a maximum and I can’t really push my limits in training at all. So along the way, I’ve just been doing research, talking to people, listening to people, finding new ways that I can be 1% better each year, each season, all of the little things that I can dial in to just be the best that I can be.

Question (Mohit): That’s really interesting. It almost feels like apart from being a physical experience, it’s also an academic experience, right? And there’s a lot of component of research that actually goes into it, there’s a lot of research actually that goes into it that you have to do yourself. It doesn’t come in a pill, it doesn’t come in a platter presented to you, right? And that’s also because everybody is extremely unique. So that’s really interesting to know that what you’re really saying is that it’s not only the time in the gym, it’s the time outside the gym as well that really counts when you want to keep performing consistently. Consistency is the keyword here and for that focusing on or understanding how your nutrition works and how your recovery works are probably like maybe your sleep as well, right? Are like deep areas of focus. So on that it’s really interesting. Like there is a lot around exercise protocols, recovery protocols, but particularly out of the mix, nutrition seems extremely confusing. And I say that because over the last ten years, every few months, or maybe every few years, there’s always been a wave in nutrition around, oh, this is good and this is bad, you should be eating and this is a magical thing that will change your life, or this is a magical diet and everything else is bad. So particularly in nutrition, this is really interesting to see because if you look at exercise, yes, this also evolves in exercise and people have their opinions, but in nutrition it almost seems like it’s very extremist that if somebody’s doing a keto diet, you tell them that, hey, this isn’t sustainable, we almost like picking up a fight. How do you view that? And maybe also in the context with how some of the new technologies are emerging around demystifying this.

Answer (Kara): Yeah, I think the thing with nutrition is there definitely are so many different things coming up all the time and I think the reason people kind of get a little bit crazy about it sometimes is that it’s a really emotional attachment when it comes to food. A lot of people do, they link their food to either their emotions or to how they feel and feel about and view themselves. So a lot of people, they’re looking for this kind of magic way to feel good, to feel confident, to feel like they like themselves. And so because it also has that impact on how you look and how you carry yourself through your day, I think it can get pretty emotional for some people. And everyone gets a sense of desperation at times where they’re looking for something to just fix them, to make them feel great. And I think that there’s a couple of different aspects to how I view nutrition and the main thing is that it’s a little bit different for everyone. There’s certain things that are always the same because we’re all human beings, so we have very similar biology, we work in a certain way, so there’s certain principles that are obviously going to apply. And then you have to get to know yourself and understand how your individual body works, right? Like what’s your cultural background, what did your ancestors eat, how did they live their life? And then what kind of genetics will pass through to you and how your body functions, like how are you fed as a child? Like all of these different things contribute to obviously who we are. And it’s so individual, there’s just no copy and paste that you can just do for everyone. I firmly believe in real nutrition first. So always clean real food, stay away from processed things as much as you can. So there’s that really holistic side of me that really likes to nurture the gut, nurture your body and how it functions on a daily normal holistic level. And then there’s that sort of like calculated approach where you start looking at other aspects. And this is the science that comes in. So you’ve got like the nature and science that work hand in hand. They can be best friends. They don’t necessarily need to be enemies. We have the nature. We were given all of these amazing things and then we’ve done research to figure out how we can kind of make those work and how that can work for you individually. And obviously, we have all of these different tools now in different ways that we can then measure how our body is responding to those different nutritional practices. And that’s obviously going to be so different. How I uptake glucose might be totally different than how my husband does because he’s a male, I’m a female. We were raised in different homes, different genetics, all of those different types of things. And so we’re in this space now where we do have the opportunity to actually see how our bodies are working on an individual basis. And you can get that understanding of your own biochemistry, which is really cool and obviously can help you sort of take it to the next level I think you’ve got to try and block out a lot of the noise when it comes to diets and crazy things like that. I follow like an accredited dietitian and she said she’ll do a lot of research. She might spend like 50 to 60 hours researching a particular nutrient or a particular food or whatever. And she’ll find all of this research and she’ll get really excited about it and think for a week she’ll be like, this one thing can solve the world’s problems and it will do all of these things. She said she never puts that forward. She’ll always wait and sit on that information until she’s not as excited anymore and then figure out how that can be integrated into a regular person’s life without creating this feeling that there’s always this one thing or this new thing, this new superfood or a new diet, keto or high carb, low carb, whatever it is. And so I think it’s just taking that time and just understanding the fundamentals, get some information about yourself and then always bring it back to sort of the amount of really good natural, whole foods. And I think that’s how I’ve learned to do it, incorporating more of the science more. Now in the later stage of my career, I always ate well, like good food, but now I work a little bit more with calculated timing and quantities and that’s what enables me to sort of perform and function at higher levels when I require more from my body.

Question (Mohit): That’s really interesting. The most interesting part for me was when you mentioned that nature and science can actually be good, can actually be best friends. And that’s very rare to hear because you almost see a tussle between folks in natural medicine are essentially like modern medicine and it almost seems like one is saying that the other one doesn’t work. But I think it’s a really interesting perspective that if they are best friends, if they work together in tandem, that is actually pretty powerful. And also the fact that nutrition forming core principles like eating whole foods is actually pretty convenient compared to, let’s say, defining that I will not eat these macros, but I will eat the other ones because we actually have a fair distribution of macros all around us, right? It’s nature essentially, right? I mean, nature has given us access to all types of macros and saying no to one sort of like puts everything in imbalance in many ways. So that seems really interesting. And you also mentioned a little bit about precision nutrition here, right? What are some of the ways in which do you see precision nutrition is actually evolving or some methods or some new technologies and tools that are actually demystifying this and making it easier?

Answer (Kara): There’s so many things, right? It started with simple basic apps on like tracking your food, tracking your nutrition. And that was sort of probably the foundation of it, was actually figuring out, following along with apps and things like that to see what’s actually in your food, right? Because a lot of people don’t actually even know what’s in it to start off with how much you’re consuming of what things at certain times. And then obviously now there’s other ways that you can obviously track, I guess track your biomarkers, like you’ve got all kinds of wearables for different things, for your heart rate or whatever it is. And then obviously now we’ve been working with tracking glucose as something totally new, which is obviously being used for other purposes for a long time now, but is now being explored in other people outside of particular medical conditions to actually see how their body is responding, which is like crazy and awesome, I guess, to be accessible to regular people and maybe people who don’t actually even know, just so that we can see it. Because having something there that you can see gives you that direct feedback to actually take action. But if you don’t know if you can’t see it, you don’t know, right? I know a lot of people know what sort of feeling to go off and it’s definitely still a new space for me. Obviously people are like measuring their oxygen levels and all of these kinds of things. There’s a whole another world and I’m sure a lot of things that I don’t even know about, like some crazy scientific things and probably big sporting teams and things like that. But it’s definitely working its way down into more of an accessible level to be able to see what your body is actually telling you.

(Mohit): Yeah, I think this industry is in the right direction overall, given the fact that there is so much of noise on one side that as a counter force, this space is actually looking for things that are from scratch and there are more objective, more numbers driven. All of these things, this frequency of change in this space, which is a little confusing, might actually get structured over the next few years in terms of people having access to methods. Like you mentioned biomarkers like glucose, and there are so many biomarkers that are sort of being made available. Unfortunately, I think from a wearable form factor perspective, we only have a few. There’s HRV, there is glucose, there is resting heart rate, sleep, skin temperatures. We are working on some of these.

(Kara): Yeah, I think I’ve tested there’s like urine samples that you can do now to check like inflammation and things like that. Like a couple basic things that are sort of popping up around the place, but not too many. There’s just sort of like a few in or like one in each category.

Question (Mohit): Yeah, that’s really interesting. And you might see that there’s one class of wearables or tests that are static in nature. Like you do a blood test every quarter or every month maybe. Or you might actually do a microbiome test in this case, but then there are a few that are real time in nature, like basically where them you measure your behavior against these markers on a real time basis. So is there a difference between these two in terms of how they actually work for you?

Answer (Kara): Yeah, well, I think the one main thing is time, right? So like actually taking the time to get these markers. So something like going and getting a blood test, it’s not as calculated. You can’t do it every single day and then constantly get that feedback, go and get a blood test, wait for the results to come back. It’s something a little bit more in depth. So some of those things aren’t as realistic on a regular basis, right? Like you can go and test some of those markers, but to do it regularly is a little bit tricky. So I think anything that you can have that is with you in your home or in your day to day life, like that’s always going to be the most beneficial. And especially when people are time-poor and they can get that sort of direct contact feedback, otherwise it ends up just being one of those things that just slips to the side and gets forgotten about and doesn’t get done and then people don’t sort of pay any attention to it. Which is why I think the things that have the most benefits are the things that are just more accessible and can come to you. They can be wherever you are. Like things that can be connected to your device or whatever it may be, is probably the most important thing. As for something that’s a little bit more direct an then anything that’s going to give you direct feedback for things that you’re doing constantly all day long. So say for instance, like if you have something that’s going to track a marker, like say the glucose for instance, you’re going to eat several times a day, like maybe minimum three times, maybe six, maybe eight. Who knows if you’re like snacking throughout the day so you can get that constant feedback at different times which is like there’s certain sleep trackers and things like that that are actually going to track you and track your respiratory rate and things like that all through the night. So something that’s a little bit more frequent is obviously going to give you the most accurate data. 

(Mohit): No, you’re right, it’s less friction. So whenever there is less friction there’s higher frequency because there’s less effort involved. But that’s really interesting because as this space is evolving, I think we’ll probably see more and more focus on making it easier for people. Most people are like I think lazy by default because the world is becoming a more comfortable place. But I think for people to make change if thermodynamically it becomes easier, there’s less energy involved in making that change. I think it sort of like makes or includes millions of other people who are just on the verge

(Kara): And then even something, let’s say like if it’s something that you can have in your home and you can use regularly and there is less friction, you can also do it with other people because you know, you can kind of link up and you can get groups together who are doing the same kind of thing. Whereas some of your old school sort of testing that’s less frequent. It’s a lonely process, it’s something you kind of just do on your own whereas you can kind of create challenges and healthy habits with a friend or family member or something like that. If you do have it in your home and you can kind of get everyone involved which makes it a little bit easier to not be so lazy which like you said, we just are by default because things are a bit easy. Like I know myself, it’s hard sometimes just keeping things charged, just making sure that you’ve got all of those kind of things. So the more accessible and the more normal that it can just integrate into your daily routine is always going to be more beneficial because you’re just going to see it more and you’re going to have it there like it’s normal and it gives you something to work off constantly.

Question (Mohit): Yeah, that’s really interesting. And one of the things that you also mentioned in this is the fact that maybe you work out with your own protocol but then nutrition is something that is almost always with the family, right? That’s why it’s different, because when you plan your journey, it’s very hard to plan it in an alien way. It’s always inclusive. And I think in context of the fact that you have been recognized as the world’s fittest mother, and I think that itself is really unique about you, because it’s not just about the fact that you’ve been training, performing, coaching people, but as a mother as well, I think you have been able to do these things, and that’s really remarkable for millions and millions of mothers globally saying that they’re able to see you perform and live the life the way you want and achieve what you want. But on that, when you see it from a mother’s perspective and when you see nutrition, you actually explain from your perspective as well, right, that it’s confusing. But then you have defined some principles. How does it change when it comes to when it comes to your kids, essentially, in this case, like, some of these principles? And how do you think about it, really? Because what we have been seeing is that the problem obviously exists in our food supply chain and the way we look at food and processed foods and the inclusion of sugar in our everyday diet, et cetera. But when it comes to kids, it’s a little tricky. How do you actually see that?

Answer (Kara): That’s really interesting to hear. Yeah, I think the benefit that I had, obviously was like, I have educated myself on nutrition for a really long time before I had my daughter. So it was such a normal way of life for me, being an athlete and just someone who was really passionate about it. And I remember when I started studying nutrition, my grandfather said to me, like, it will never be a waste of time whether you work in that field or you don’t work in that field. He said, it’s knowledge that you will have for your entire life that will forever benefit you and your family. And that stuck with me forever. And it’s been so true. Like, members of my family know that they can come to me and I can help them out and give them tips and advice on how to live a healthier life. And so from being pregnant to them having my daughter and now raising her she’s a toddler now. It was so important to me that her foundation was so healthy and that nutrition was such a huge part of our life and something I’ve always dedicated more time and energy to than some other things. I’ll probably be the mom that forgets to pack her shoes when she’s got to go somewhere, but I always remember that she’s had good food and made sure that she’s had good nutrition, right? And I think that that’s so important. And for me, I started that from a very, very early age. From the minute she was born, as soon as she was exposed to food, it’s always been good food. It’s never been junk food. I always get her as soon as she was at an age where she could see and look around, I get her in the kitchen with me and get her identifying different foods and holding them and tasting them and feeling their texture and seeing where they go, they go in the oven and how that all plays out. And I have her being so involved in everything that I do. So at the moment, at two and a half years old, that’s all she knows. So sure, she gets a little, you know, they get difficult and sometimes they don’t want to eat certain things, and that’s fine. But someone once said the parent is responsible for what is on the plate in front of the child, and then the child is responsible for how much of that they eat. So I’m not going to pressure her to eat a certain amount or whatever. If she’s hungry, she’s hungry. But what she sees on her plate is always going to have good nutritional value and it’s always going to help her in her life. And I truly believe that that will set her up to not have crazy mood swings, to be able to sleep well. People go, how does your child sleep so well? I’m like, well, that’s a huge part of it. She exercises with us. She’s always physically active, she always eats good food. That’s her normal. She doesn’t know anything else. So by doing it early, it makes it a lot easier later, because that’s all they’ve ever known. And I will make it a huge priority. And I put a lot of time and effort into preparing food and snacks and always having our own food packed and things like that. And it’s one of the things I think I’m most proud of and the thing that I think has had the most value in, like, raising a small person and having them be happy and good and flourishing. So I think my only advice is to do it early. And the thing for me, too, right, is I prioritize that for myself because being pregnant and having a child is really hard. So not nourishing yourself properly is only going to make it harder. You can go, I’m feeling really tired and exhausted. My child’s been up all night. So then going and eating crazy high sugar foods, processed foods, alcohol in abundance or whatever it may be, is only going to make that worse. And I don’t want to feel any worse. I want to feel as good as possible so that I’m happy and my mood is regulated and I can then be that good example to my child. So that’s always been how I viewed it. And you still feel tired, it’s still hard, but it’s definitely a lot easier, I think than it could be, yeah.

(Mohit): No, I think two really interesting pearls of wisdom, I think, right? One is the fact that you mentioned that nutrition is the nutrition science is actually for life. It’s not really only a business that you get into or it’s not only something that you study for making more money or doing like basically as work, right? It’s actually for life. It’s something that there’s a phenomenal principle that it’s additive in your life’s experience. And the other one, it’s really nice one as well. The fact that you’re responsible for putting the food on the table, the type of food, and then the kid is responsible for the quantity or how much they want to eat. That’s really nice principle because when you look at the food supply chain problems and it goes down, starts from where it’s made or where it’s farmed, essentially, to where it’s actually put on the table. I don’t think we can immediately solve the supply chain problem of where it is farmed, but we can actually solve at least the problem of selection, which is at our table. At our table, we can make better decisions, better choices. This is great, this is whole food. This is more natural. This is a much better way to enjoy food versus essentially sort of like saying that okay, this is more convenient. But that’s really interesting. It does take in a lot of effort, I feel, to actually get here.

(Kara): It does take a little bit of effort, but it’s also, in my eyes, I think it’s the single easiest thing you can do to feel 1000 times better straight away. You don’t need to go out and do anything crazy just when you buy your food. You just buy better choices, right? You make better choices in what you bring into your home. And you can instantly after one day, you can feel better because like I said, you’re going to eat three to six, maybe eight times a day. And so every single opportunity, every single time you put something in your mouth is an opportunity to feel better or worse. So it takes a little bit at the start just to get used to it. And then I still think it’s 1000 times easier. You don’t have to go see anyone to do it. You don’t have to pay a lot of money to do it. You just have to make a better choice at the time. Bring the right things into your home and then it can still be really basic, right? Like, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Good nutrition doesn’t need to be crazy, elaborate food. It’s just simple and just simple, good, real food.

Question (Mohit): Yeah, that’s really cool. It simplifies a lot of things. And given that there’s so much confusion and there’s so much of you can say there’s so many preferences that people have, just having a basic principle, a set of basic principles around what you eat can be really interesting. With that. I think we’re almost at the far end of the session. I think one question that all of us had was that because you’re also a coach, what would be the top three things that you could actually tell a beginner across everything, like basically training, nutrition, let’s say recovery. What would be those top three principles that if you just had like five minutes with an individual, what would you tell them to do?

Answer (Kara): I’d say number one is consistency is the most important thing. So it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of energy or a little energy that day or whether you want to or you don’t want to. Consistency is the key. So just show up, put your foot in the door, whatever that looks like for the day. It’s a little bit different every day. Just show up with whatever you have at the time and those little efforts will become a habit and it will make the whole entire journey more enjoyable and make it a lot easier. So doing two big crazy workouts per week that go for 4 hours is not as beneficial as you’re showing up to 15 minutes each day for yourself. So it should be a daily practice, whether that’s your nutrition or your exercise or whatever it is that you do for yourself. Something that you contribute to your health should be a consistent habit every single day. I would also say start super slow when it comes to both exercise and nutrition. So again, no big crazy changes. I wouldn’t go from one day eating your standard diet to going 100% keto the next day. I think you’re more likely to become overwhelmed or burnt out or you feel like you’re missing out, so you’re more likely to go backwards. The best thing that I’ve ever done and the healthiest. I am now at 32 years old and ten years into my athletic career and after having a child and the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, but it’s been a slow evolution every single year. Adding in one little thing at a time, removing this here, adding this in there, and being more consistent. It’s been a really slow process. So it’s always been enjoyable just to get a little bit more healthy instead of real stress or a real pain or a burden. So consistency, take it super slow, do less so that it’s always a win. You don’t want to go backwards, so every day should be like, that’s a win. I was just a little bit better and a little bit better. And then the third thing I would say is work with who you are and what you love. So when I’m telling someone about nutrition, for instance, don’t eat how the person next to you is eating. Write down all of your favorite foods, maybe some foods that you eat in your culture that you really can’t live without, that they’re good for your soul. Write those down. Educate yourself on what is in those foods and then work them into a particular quantity and then say, for instance, you have your Italian and you have this beautiful big dish that’s like maybe super high calories or maybe has more carbohydrates or whatever you need, figure out an appropriate portion size and the day of the week that you’re going to have it. So don’t remove those things that are really important and that you really love and that are good for you as well. And the same goes for exercise. Find something that you genuinely love and don’t just do something that’s like on trend or that everyone else is doing. Some people love CrossFit. I love CrossFit because I love doing intense things and lifting heavy and I love the crazy differences. But some people are a lot more placid and they really enjoy doing yoga or Pilates or running or whatever it is. There’s no right or wrong answer other than doing something that you don’t love or that isn’t sort of true to you. So it’s a lot easier to stick to good habits if you can find something that you enjoy more. In saying that, it will still all be hard at the start, but hard is not bad. Hard is just hard. So just always remember that.

(Mohit): That’s a great takeaway. Hard is just hard and that’s really cool. Thanks Kara, for this. It’s been a pleasure and really appreciate you taking time out. And yeah, there’s so many principles I took away personally as well from this conversation and hope our listeners too. So thank you for all of this.

Outro (Mohit): I hope you got valuable insights into the physical and mental conditioning that an athlete has to go under to achieve things at the very top level. What part of Kara’s life journey were you most inspired by? Do let us know by tagging @ultrahumanhq on Twitter and Instagram. As always, share this podcast with your near and dear ones and introduce a new spectrum of inspiration and motivation in their lives. See you soon with the next one.

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