“Living the devoted lifestyle is one where you are devoted to creating a wholesome way of life that is effortless, fun and flexible.”
This is an incredible two-for-one interview with fit moms Gina Aliotti and Dana Lynn Kaye. Both of these moms are also entrepreneurs and stay in GREAT shape all year long! In this interview, they both share their passion for the devoted lifestyle along with their training regimens and diet plans that help them stay energized and in shape.
FitRX: Hi Gina and Dana! Thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with me and share your fitness and nutrition tips. Can you both share a little bit about yourselves?
Gina: I was born and raised in Monterey, Ca, now living in Carlsbad, Ca with my 2 kids, David (3 1/2) and Nicolette (1 1/2) and husband, Michael. My life mission is to inspire and teach others how to stay devoted to this healthy lifestyle in a fun, realistic and simple way.
I received my BS in Foods and Nutrition from SDSU in 2007. In 2005 received my IFBB pro-card and competed until 2009. I obtain several titles including 2008 Miss Figure International was runner up at the Figure Olympia 3 years in a row.
Through years of competing and education, have found my true passion is in helping others reach their fitness goals in a very realistic, fun and manageable way. I offer online coaching and downloadable plans, to help people all over the world be the healthiest and fittest versions of themselves. My philosophies stem from a less is more, realistic approach to fitness. Since having kids, I have adopted strictly home circuit workouts that can be done anywhere with very little equipment. My goal is to help people, no matter where they are in their journey learn how to make fitness a priority and prove that it doesn’t take much and with the right tools can be FUN and not restrictive, bland and boring.
It was through my passion for healthy and fitness where I met my business partner and best friend, Dana Kaye. We both shared the same level of passion and similar believe systems that food is magic and if you learn how to get create and flavor your food, you can literally “have your shake and eat it too”. We saw a need for products that would keep people enjoying their healthy eating and therefore keep them “devoted4life”! It was through our experience and backgrounds that we pinpointed a need created a unique line of quality products to help people stay Devoted to their fitness and healthy lifestyle.
Dana: I was born and raised in New Jersey, have had a love for health and fitness since I caught the bug at 12 years old. Following my mother and a personal trainer around the gym ignited my passion for weight training and a fitness lifestyle. I always battled a love for food and an insatiable appetite; my struggle with weight, despite being an athlete, was a constant issue. Always feeling like the “big” girl, I decided I needed to find a way to eat right and still be satisfied.
While studying Business and Exercise Sports Science at the University of Miami, I began teaching spin plus trained with a top fitness competitor, Jenny Worth, and an incredible trainer, Dodd Romero. Being properly introduced to what it took to diet and have the “fitness look” I so badly craved, I decided to take training to another level. While living in Los Angeles, I competed in Figure; unfortunately, after competing came devastating rebounds of weight gain and the constant yo-yo dieting which made her miserable. I knew there HAD to be a better way live! The extremes were not working.
Knowing the fitness industry deserved to taste GREAT, I enlisted the expertise of my parents who have built a very successful business specializing in the flavor and beverage industry. With over 60 years of combined experience making products taste great, the idea of Flex Flavors was born. The concept of adding delicious flavors to shakes, oatmeal and other foods making it easier to stay focused on clean eating while on ‘prep’.
However, Flex Flavors was put on hold temporarily as I fell in love and planned a wedding. Marriage resulted in the wonderful pregnancy of my son, but I ended up gaining a staggering 70lbs which took almost 2 years to lose. After the weight loss, I became pregnant again with twin girls, resulting in a 55lb weight gain. After this pregnancy, I vowed to get in the best shape of my life and STAY there. Just one year after their birth I lost 70lbs and competed in Figure once again. And I didn’t want to go back to that dark place and rebound again. I united with long time best friend and nutritionist, Gina Aliotti, and created our own brand. Now with three beautiful children watching my daily healthy habits, it’s more important than ever to set positive examples and healthy habits for them carry throughout their own life. The feeling of being a happy and healthy mom is like no other and I wants to empower other mothers to feel the same.
FitRX: Incredible stories! Your passion for Devotion Nutrition is very evident. And you both post a lot about the “Devoted Lifestyle.” What is the Devoted Lifestyle?
Gina: The Devoted Lifestyle is living a life that is commitment towards discovering that which ignites your passion in order to reach your ultimate potential in mind, body and soul. Living the Devoted Lifestyle is one where you are devoted to creating a wholesome way of life that is effortless, fun and flexible.
At Devotion Nutrition we want to show people how we stay devoted and how you can too. With products developed to make it easy to stay committed and a philosophy behind our products that will resonate deep within. Devotion means dedication, not perfection. Devotion is the passion and fire that burns deep down inside and keeps you focused on your goals and dreams day after day.
Devotion Nutrition isn’t just a supplement line, but a culture; a way of thinking and being for those seeking maximum physical, mental, spiritual and social improvement – from the inside out. Only through this deep inner passion and self-discovery can one say that they are truly devoted to being the best version of themselves possible.
Dana: The Devoted Lifestyle is about staying Devoted to your goals and healthy habits all year long. Setting aside time each day for yourself and making your health a priority is something we strongly believe in. It’s about putting an end to the ups and downs of yo-yo dieting and finally accomplishing your goals and living in the body you are truly comfortable and happy in, all year. We don’t preach perfection, but we like to motivate others to choose the daily habits that will add up to big results. So often women want to achieve their goals but don’t know where to start or how to do it. Merging Devotion Nutrition with Gina’s healthy eating plans give people the knowledge and tools to make it happen!
FitRX: Awesome. As a competitor, I know how competing can cause ups-and-downs in weight, so it’s great to hear this perspective. And, you are both living it, staying in great shape all year. What type of meal plan do you follow in general?
Dana: I have been following Gina’s eating plans for years. I am currently doing the 365 Shred because I love the variety of foods and the flexibility of the weekly “refuel meal.” Gina’s plans keep me lean and fit while never being hungry and enjoying the foods I love! I always have high energy on her plans which is so important to me. I have a lot on my plate with 3 children, my home, hobbies and business. I can’t afford to be exhausted due to an unbalanced diet.
Gina: I do not count macros or calories but do follow a carb cycling plan. Regardless of what day I am on (high, medium or low carb day), I eat 7 meals a day. I always include Devotion Nutrition Protein Fluffs throughout my day. I am obsessed with them and they keep me devoted, fighting off cravings and keeping me full. I often have 3 a day turned into what we call Protein Fluff, which is basically a HUGE bowl of protein ice cream.
I am a huge oatmeal lover so I eat oatmeal often throughout the day. I also LOVE veggies and big salads so you will see most of my meals filled with tons of greens, which are all free on my plans. I eat them like candy and do not believe in counting them towards your macros.
A sample day would look like this:
Meal 1: ½ cup oat bran and 6 egg whites with ¼ cup berries
Meal 2: Devotion Nutrition Crème Brulee Protein Fluff with slivered almonds
Meal 3: Big salad with 4 oz lean protein and ½ cup brown rice
Meal 4: Devotion Nutrition Bananas Foster protein pancake or my famous zucchini loaf
Meal 5: 6 egg white veggie omelet
Meal 6: 4 oz lean protein and big salad and or veggies
Meal 7: Nighttime Coconut Biscotti Protein Fluff (Saves me from my late night cravings)
FitRX: I know you both LOVE your protein fluff! It’s actually become a favorite of mine too! Can you share your favorite fluff recipes?
DEVOTION NUTRITION PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY PROTEIN FLUFF
1 scoop Devotion Angel Food Protein Powder
1 cup water
2 cups ice
1 Razzmatazz Flex Flavor
1 Peanut Butter Crunch Flex Flavor
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until thick and creamy. Enjoy!
I am a chocolate lover all the way! We developed Brownie Batter protein using the most incredible cocoa and flavor profile so making my fluff a few times a day helps crush my chocolate cravings. My favorite Fluff recipes are:
CREME BRULEE BROWNIE BATTER BLIZZARD WITH PROTEIN PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PIECES
1 scoop Devotion Brownie Batter Protein Powder
1 cup water
2 cups ice
1 Crème Brulee Flex Flavor
Blend all ingredients in high speed blender until thick and creamy.
To make the brownie topping, add ½ scoop Devotion Brownie batter Protein in a bowl. I drizzle in a tiny bit of water, put in a peanut butter crunch Flex Flavor and mix into a brownie batter consistency. Microwave for 1 min 30 seconds and chop into a brownie. Put pieces into the Fluff and enjoy!
FitRX: Both of those sound super Yummy! What about your workout programs? With having a family, how do you get to the gym and keep a regular workout schedule?
Gina: I do all my workouts at home and with no gym! I really adopted home workouts once I became a mom and had very little time to get my workouts in. I do quick and simple home workouts that require very little, if any equipment. I do circuit workouts similar to the circuits laid out in my Ultimate Accelerated Plan. Consistency is my game so although I don’t have super long workouts, I am consistent with them and get in at least 4-5 circuits a week. They are higher intensity so less time in between exercises to keep my heart rate up and make my workouts as efficient as I can make them in the least amount of time. They have worked for me and my busy life. I am ALL about efficiency and being realistic with my busy life as mom and business owner.
Dana: I decided many years ago in college that working out is so important for me that I always need to have equipment at home. I started by purchasing a spinning bike in college and now 15 years later, I am the proud owner of 5 cardio machines that live in a cardio room above my garage in my home. That is how important my workouts are to me. I wake up at 5am, before my children, to get my daily cardio training out of the way. It’s a great way to start my day with a good sweat and some “me” time. This way I don’t have it hanging over my head and I also don’t take the time away from my family. I weight train in a gym everyday. My favorite style of training is the classic old school bodybuilding way. I love “pumping iron” and doing the classic weight training moves so I stick with what I love. That is the key to consistency. If you LOVE your workouts, you will look forward to them and do them. That is when the results come!
FitRX: I noticed you Both pointed out how important consistency is and I totally agree that is the key element to lasting results. Does this translate into your business as well? There are many challenges with starting a new company, yet you are both so positive all the time. How do you handle the adversity so well and stay motivated in your fitness and business?
Gina: There are SO many challenges, that is for sure! It is a lot to juggle but what keeps me grounded and Devoted is how this lifestyle makes me feel. When I am having a rough day, I know what my clean foods and simple YET efficient workouts do for my mind, body and soul! For me is is all about having a plan and making to do lists! I live off of to do lists, which help me prioritize. Top on my to do list every day is my fitness. It is a non-negotiable for me. Having a partner such as Dana who is going through the same struggles and life situations as I am also helps because we have each other to reign each other in and stay on track, grounded and mindful! What really keeps us going is seeing how infectious our passion and Devotion is on others! Seeing the feedback on our products and seeing how much they are changing peoples ways of thinking and viewing clean eating is enough to keep us motivated and excited to keep pushing and digging deeper! When you are so passionate about what you do and believe in your products, it is much easier to stay #devoted4life!!
Dana: No matter what you are talking about in life, there are always going to be ups and downs. You’ll have some good days, some great days and some days you’ll wish away but the key to success is to keep as calm as you can, focus on the next positive move and just do your best. Life definitely throws plenty of curve balls but I always try to remember one of my favorite quotes, “This too shall pass.”
FitRX: Love that quote as well. What is the best advice you have ever received?
Gina: No matter what others say or think, do what is best for you and follow your passion and stay Devoted to that passion! Whatever gets you excited and ignites your passion is what you should be doing!
Dana: “GO FOR IT!!” That’s exactly what my mother said to me when I approached her with the idea of Flex Flavors and starting my own business. I came up with the idea for Flex Flavors back in 2006 but didn’t pull the trigger until 2013 when I teamed up with Gina. When we met in California in 2006, I said to myself, if there is one person I would love to team up with its Gina Aliotti. She always exuded such class and integrity in an industry that is a bit of a mixed bag. This business gave me the opportunity to merge my passions. Once we united I knew “Going for it” was the best advice I was ever given.
FitRX: Great advice! Do you have a motto you live by?
Gina: My motto changes depending on where I am in my life. Right now as a busy working mom, I am living by the mantra “One thing at a time”. I find that I repeat that daily and it helps keep me on track without feeling overwhelmed. There is a lot of my plate at any given time and when I tell myself “one thing at a time”, it allows me to do just that… focus on one thing at a time and before I know it, things always get done.
Dana: I would say the motto I live by, especially now that I’m older and have a lot on my plate is, “Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” I found out, especially after giving birth to twins, that I am a great multi-tasker. When you let things add up and you feel overwhelmed, it tends to be very stressful so I’m now the Queen of To-Do lists. I love to make lists, knocking things off and get things done. This way by the end of the day you feel a sense of accomplishment and when the time comes to spend time with your family, you can relax and not be thinking of all the other things you should be doing.
FitRX: Both of those are so crucial. Thank you so much for sharing! Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
Gina: Do whatever it is that makes you happy, makes you wake up excited to be a better version of you! I think we get SO stuck in what everyone else wants for us but at the end of the day, if we trust ourselves and listen to our soul, we have all the answers within. No matter what others want for you or what you “think” you should be doing, do what it is that lights you up! When you learn to trust yourself and follow your passion, everything, on all levels, falls into place! With Devotion Nutrition, we are more than just incredible products, we are about helping people find their passion and make it easier to stay #devoted4life.
Dana: When something that should be fun stops being fun, its time to move on. We all have busy lives now and not much extra time for hobbies so when you do have that time, make sure you are doing something that makes you feel good and brings you joy. Remember, your children are always watching and learning from you. Teach them to love and appreciate life and follow their dreams.
FitRX: Thank you both so much for sharing your passion, fitness tips, and motivation with us! Best wishes to you both and Devotion Nutrition!