April Coach of the Month Q&A — Ali Khaleghi
What is your name, and where are you based?
My name is Ali Khaleghi, born and raised in the beautiful city of New Orleans.
What inspired you to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach?
Undergoing my fat loss journey has played a role in me becoming a Fitness Coach. But what truly made me go after it occurred while I experienced a mindful transformation, transitioning from an introverted lifestyle to an extroverted lifestyle as I ran a fine dining restaurant with my mom after my dad, a restaurateur, passed away. I learned more in-depth about nutrition and exercise because I wanted to use them as tools to allow me to stay mentally focused when I work at the restaurant. That’s what drove me to become a Personal Trainer and a Health Coach because I want to share my experience and knowledge with others and help others transform their lives physically, mentally, and even spiritually.
Tell us about your experience as a personal trainer & nutrition coach so far.
Working as a Personal Trainer and a Health Coach has reminded me how different we all are, and that’s what makes life beautiful. I love listening and learning from what my clients have undergone in their journey. At times, they are my coach because I get inspired listening to their resilient journeys. It makes me feel grateful every single day to help people reach their health goals.
What is your approach to coaching? Do you have a particular style or method?
My philosophy revolves around mindfulness. I remind my clients that it is ok if we didn’t accomplish our goal today, just as long as we do not beat ourselves over it. We are flawed, and that is part of being human. What is the point of perfection, there’s no room for growth if we do not experience failures. By applying mindfulness, we have a better opportunity to become aware of our “mistakes” or adversity and embrace that moment, learn from it, and grow. ALG = Accept, Learn, Grow
What’s the best piece of health or wellness advice you have received?
Virtual Tony Horton, the founder of P90X Home Fitness Videos, once told me, “Do Your Best and Forget the Rest.” There is no point stressing about things we can’t control. Keep our head high and keep moving forward. Another great quote I live by is James Clear’s: “Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” I rely on my environment to stay healthy: Surrounding myself with my family, friends, and a clean house naturally allows me to create healthy habits.
What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not coaching?
I spend time with my family, enjoying coffee and meals together as well as watching movies. I also spend time doing outdoor activities like playing tennis, basketball, and football with friends. Oh, and I invest my time jamming with my Gibson Les Paul guitar.
How do you de-stress?
Walking and exploring the unpredictable scenery of downtown New Orleans has been my medicine to help me alleviate stress. But the most powerful medicine I take daily is being with my mom and my brother. They give me peace of mind.
How do you stay motivated and accountable?
So the way I keep myself accountable is by reminding myself daily why I am doing this in the first place, to become a better version of myself. Motivation comes and goes. I do not rely on my motivation to complete my task because I know that reason is short-term. I work on creating healthy habits such as exercise, meditation, mindful eating, and the art of gratitude to help me stay focused.
Tell us about your morning routine
Usually, I wake up around 6 am, hydrate immediately and then invest about 30 mins journaling and meditation. I fix a cup of black coffee afterward and then hit my workout. This morning routine has helped me stay energized and focus consistently throughout my day to work with my clients effectively.
What do you enjoy most about coaching through the Verb platform?
I enjoy the Verb community. I love the Verb coaches and the clients I work with on the platform.
What’s your theme/goal for 2021?
I want to continue enhancing my knowledge in exercise science and nutritional science so I can be able to provide more valuable information to my clients. I also want to focus on building my clientele and helping more people reach their health and fitness goals.
What’s your favorite recipe or the food you enjoy most?
My go-to meals I enjoy the most are my homemade Frittatas, my homemade cauliflower crust pizza, and my homemade keto/low carb cheesecake bites. I am getting excited and hungry now just typing them. But my number one favorite meal, which is honestly heaven in my book, is this Persian dish my mom makes called kotlet. It’s a Persian meat patty consisting of ground beef, eggs, herbs, and certain spices. Words can’t describe how much I love them.