Abbey Layton is one of our ambassadors for Sugar Free September. She is from Melbourne and is a nutritionist and personal trainer. We found Abbey through her Instagram @aj.pt where she shares her passion and knowledge of health and fitness, with lots of quick workout videos and food inspiration. We got to chat to Abbey about how she attacks being healthy from all angles – eating well, enjoying life, good sleep patterns and of course exercise and what a day in the life of being a personal trainer entails. Have a read below.
Why did you decide to become a qualified nutritionist & fitness coach?
To be honest, it wasn’t the plan from the get go! I finished school and went straight into a marketing/management degree but never really enjoyed it. I stuck at it for a year and a half and then decided that it wasn’t for me! Being healthy and eating well was something I always loved doing so I figured that studying it, so I could help others feel the same, would be a great thing to do. The Personal training side of things wasn’t so much planned! I was working at a PT studio as their office manager and they suggested I do my course to mix things up a bit, so I did! It wasn’t something I ever saw myself doing but now I absolutely love it and it compliments my Nutrition degree so well.
What would you be doing if you weren’t running AJ.PT?
If I wasn’t a Nutritionist/PT, I would have loved to tap into my creative side and sing/song write. Karaoke is by far one of my favourite activities!
What does being healthy mean to you? Were you always a fit and healthy person?
I think the term ‘being healthy’ is very broad and can vary from person to person. For me, Its eating well 90% of the time, exercising regularly but also finding time to have fun and enjoy life’s simple pleasures like going out and dancing with your mates or eating a really a nice meal. One of my top measures of health is my sleep pattern. If I’m not sleeping well, it throws everything off!
I have always been quite fit and healthy, I can thank my gorgeous mum for that!
What is it like being a personal trainer? What are the biggest challenges and rewards?
Being a personal trainer is a great lifestyle and I absolutely love it. Besides the early mornings (that I’m still getting used to…) and the sometimes a 14 hour day, split shift, it is such a great lifestyle. I love being on my feet all day and not being glued to a desk or a laptop! My clients are all absolutely fabulous as well but the biggest reward is when people start seeing real results. Whether it be losing weight or being able to lift heavier weights, people’s progress is a really positive thing.
You seem like such a dedicated healthy person. How do you avoid slip-ups or cravings of junk foods?
Don’t get me wrong… I do slip up! But I like to think of it as keeping ‘harmony’ in my diet. I eat well about 85% of the time, and the other 15% I do treat myself, because Yolo! It’s about finding the right balance and what works for the individual.
How do you check for hidden sugars?
As a general rule, I try to avoid foods that have more than 5g per 100g of sugar. You can find all this info on the nutritional panels of most foods. Make sure to check the ingredients section too…. Anything ending in ‘ose’ is code word for some kind of nasty sugar. If its higher up in the ingredient list, the more the product contains.
What is your favourite way to deal with 3pm snack attack?
If you’re eating enough of the ‘good stuff’ throughout the day, the 3pm snack attack shouldn’t haunt you! If you are craving sugars in the afternoon, it means you’re not getting the right nutrients throughout the day. Make sure your breakfast and lunch are filled with lots of veggies and protein! If you are still struggling at 3pm, skull some water and eat a handful of nuts or a boiled egg!
What do you do to de-stress?
When I’m feeling stressed, I usually chuck on my headphones full blast and go for a quick sprint around the block. A good tune will help every time!
What is your favourite easy & healthy recipe?
My favourite go to healthy recipe at the moment are eggcups! They are so so simple to make and so good for you! They are made simple with just eggs and veggies of your choice! You can find the recipe on my website!
A typical day for me would include;
5.25am – Alarm goes off
5.30am – Jump out of bed, shower & get ready for work (I’ve got this timing down pat to optimise sleep time)
5.45am – Leave home!
5.51am – Get to work and set up for my morning/ have a little bit of breakfast (usually a quick protein shake)
6am – 10am – Back to back clients! We are lucky enough to have a café on site at work so I need my morning long black in here somewhere….
10am – Breakfast! Usually muesli with blueberries & yoghurt or eggcups with avocado.
11am – 1pm – Clients
1pm – 4.30pm – Break time – this is when Ill usually hit the gym, have some lunch, run some errands and hang out with my housemates!
4.30pm – 7.30pm – Back to work for a few more clients or my Bootcamp classes!
7.35pm – Home time for a good feed!
8.30pm – This is when I start to prepare for the next day ahead! Make breaky/lunch/confirm clients etc
ON ANY NUTRITION PANEL, CHECK ONE LINE, SUGARS. IF IT'S MORE THAN 5g/100g (5%), MOVE ON.