Expert Interview – Ashley Poptodorova
Ashley Poptodorova herself is a natural energy source. Spend five minutes with this certified fitness professional and you’ll leave recharged and wishing you could wear yoga pants, tanks, and flip flops to work every day.
Ashley and her husband Alex have been my training team for two and a half years. A friend of mine was their client and I had watched her achieve amazing results. I was frustrated with where I was with my health goals, had tried dozens of diets and exercise regimes on my own, and decided I had had enough of navigating through all the different health and wellness information on my own and it was time to bring in the experts. When I first met them at a local coffee shop, I shed tears of frustration and they assured me that it would take time but that they could help. Little did I know then, what an emotional journey I would start. Soon after hiring them to create a personal nutrition plan for me and start my group strength training sessions, my mom was hospitalized and I’ve shared the rest of the story in several posts on my site (here and here).
Ashley is also a professional speaker and aspiring author who has such a drive and motivation for encouraging others to see the best in themselves. Ashley embarked on her own journey to health with the help of her husband Alex. At one time Ashley weighed 208 pounds and successfully lost 80 pounds. To me, Ashely is more than an expert, she is a friend. I strength train with her twice a week and she has pushed me to new heights, physically and emotionally, including sharing my personal stories and starting Happy Healthy Caregiver. She’s positive, encouraging, beautiful on inside and out…and the strongest woman I know!!!
Self-care for the caregiver isn’t optional
I often hear from caregivers how they just don’t have time to care for their own health and wellness. Ashley echoes my response to this and shares my passion for helping caregivers realize how vital self-care is for themselves and for the individuals they care for. Click the play ‘triangle’ in the audio clip below to listen.
Incorporating natural sources of energy
As sandwich generation caregivers, we must be ready for whatever challenges and frustrations each day brings and recognize caregiving is a journey not a sprint. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that sustains our energy level is paramount to our success in caring for others.
Ashley shared several tips and suggestions on what caregivers can do to optimize their energy.
What is a happy healthy caregiver?
Ashley sums it all up by simply stating that to her a happy healthy caregiver is someone who is balancing caregiving and their own health. These individual eat clean, workout, and schedule time for themselves. I love when she said, ‘they are genuinely happy healthy individuals because they don’t just pour out [energy] but they pour into themselves, too.’
Our full interview focused on ‘Emotional Eating & Eating for Nourishment’. The full interview is shared with members in the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community.
Some of the wide range of topics we discuss include:
- Ashley’s Walmart moment that shifted her mindset and catapulted her healthy lifestyle
- How she battled and overcome her emotional eating habits
- Meal prep tips
- A fun ‘lightning round’ Q&A session where I asked about her specific habits and favorite foods and exercises
If you aren’t a member of our private community for caregivers yet, you can receive more information here.
You can learn more about Ashley and her husband Alex’s fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle business by visiting AandAWellness.com. She also posts many healthy tips and videos on the A&A Wellness Facebook page.