Meet Jacqueline Luhrs! She’s one of our favorite local foodies AND our Monday Motivation. She’s a professional athlete, dancer, & owns her own company. Not only does she split her time between Tampa and L.A., but she also has lots of tips on how to keep the balance between your health and your foodie needs. Take it away, Jacqueline!
Tell us about yourself! What do you do and what are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself.
Well, I’m not originally from Tampa. I grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha where I studied marketing and management. I’ve lived in Los Angeles two different times where I danced professionally. I moved to Tampa in 2010 for my husbands job. He is the sports dietician for the Bucs and assists with strength and conditioning. We’re both active and love working out. I’ve done a few WBFF fitness competitions and became a pro bikini competitor in June of 2015. I’ve always been entrepreneurial and knew growing up I wanted to have my own business. I have many interests and hobbies and as I’ve become an adult I’ve realized two things I really love that will never go out of style or get old are health & wellness and helping people. That’s how my business Life Simplified came about. If I had to describe myself in three words I would say I’m ambitious, independent and caring. If you were to see me around South Tampa chances are I would be wearing workout clothes, drinking coffee with friends, eating a healthy meal and on my phone or iPad doing work for Life Simplified.
When did you start thinking about your health and how have your eating and fitness habits changed since then?
I’ve always been athletic and grew up playing sports and dancing. I danced in college and we competed nationally (yes, like the stuff you see on ESPN), but throughout all of that my main concern wasn’t health, it was just to be thin and look the part. I really got serious about health and wellness when I was doing intense dance training in the hopes of getting picked up by an agent in Los Angeles. It was during that time I really changed my mentality and thought process surrounding food and health in general. I became educated on using nutrition and strength training as a tool to enhance my abilities. I can truly say I became a better dancer and athlete in my late 20’s than I was in college because I came to understand the importance of keeping a healthy body. I now consistently weight train and do various types of cardio. I’m aware of what foods to eat and how different types of foods affect my performance and aesthetic look.
Do you have “cheat days”? If so, how often and how do you recoup after?
Yes! I definitely have “cheat days” (Datz is a good place for that, haha!). I tend to eat pretty clean Monday-Friday and leave the weekends to be more free. I’ll have one or two “cheat” meals throughout the weekend and then jump back on clean eating for Monday.
Tell us about splitting your time between LA and Tampa. How do you keep balance in your life?
Finding the right balance in work and personal life is always tricky. There was a period of time I was in L.A. pretty much full time and only came back to Tampa occasionally. That’s when my main focus was dance so living in L.A. made sense because that’s where my agent, auditions and bookings were. Now that my main focus is Life Simplified, I’m able to spend most of my time in Tampa and only travel back to L.A. when I need to. I have clients in L.A. and I’m still involved with dance there, but now I have more control over my schedule and the projects I want to be involved with so I’m able to have a good balance.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting to change their eating and fitness habits?
My first bit of advice would be to set realistic goals for yourself. Making and conquering small goals is how you ultimately fulfill your ultimate goal, whatever it may be; losing 20lbs, toning up, doing a fitness competition, etc. The second bit of advice I would give is don’t compare yourself to others. That is a dangerous place to be and is the fastest way to derail you and discourage you from remembering this is YOUR unique journey. And the last thing I would say is DON’T QUIT! If you’ve made a goal to live a healthier lifestyle and want to see results all you have to do is stay consistent, day after day, week after week.
What are some health or fitness mistakes you’ve made in your path as a professional athlete and dancer?
If I had any regrets with health and fitness it would just be that I didn’t take it more serious earlier in my life. I wasn’t educated enough to understand how much of an edge eating and working out properly could give me. I think it’s great social media has such a strong presence now with fitness motivation and education. It’s hard to deny the amazing results you see from everyday people that set a goal for themselves and use proper nutrition and workouts to achieve it.
What’s your absolute favorite food to cheat with?
I love pizza!! And I love cake! So basically I’m saying if you invite me to your kids birthday party I would be in heaven! haha. But seriously, Papa Johns and a Publix cupcake are my go-to’s for an actual “cheat meal.”
How about cheat cocktail? 🙂
I love a good Sunday brunch (insert Datz again!), so a bloody mary or mimosa would definitely be on the menu.
What do you hope to achieve in 2016 for yourself and your company, Life Simplified?
Life Simplified is growing in an amazing way! I’m so thankful and humbled when my clients contact me and say how easy it is to achieve their goals or how much time they’ve saved in their week by using Life Simplified. I have an amazing team of people working with me that are helping take the business to a new level. In 2016 we’ll be adding a more refined door to door concierge delivery service along with adding fresh juices and a new menu of plant based raw food items.
As for me, I’ll be competing in a pro bikini competition in L.A. at the end of April (I always have to have some sort of fitness goal!). I’ll be working a lot on Life Simplified and taking care of my clients to ensure they keep up their motivation and achieve their goals for 2016!