Finding an Intentional, Disciplined Balance 

When Laura Scott, a fitness enthusiast, started noticing changes in her body composition, she was forced to examine her workout routine and lifestyle more closely. 

“It just wasn’t the right kind of workout,” she said of her cardio-heavy and isometric training routine. “It wasn’t producing the lean, sculpted physique I was working for.” 

That’s when Laura got proactive about creating a routine to counteract the slowing metabolism caused by aging and the deficiencies of the standard American diet. Between knowledge gleaned from working in healthcare as a registered nurse and her previous culinary career, Laura learned how to transform her body composition and maintain proper health through a plant-based lifestyle. 

“It wasn’t an overnight thing; it was a slow, natural, and progressive change,” Laura says of her shift from an omnivorous diet to a plant-based one. Meanwhile, she also began transitioning her workouts from cardio-focused to weightlifting. The combination proved to be a success, dramatically improving her body composition from a size 6 to a size 0. 

“I think women are afraid they’re going to get bulky. We do not have the testosterone or body mechanics to get big,” she explains of her new, slender frame. “Increasing muscle mass burns more calories, even at rest, to sculpt your body and burn fat.” 

“Now I’m fit with flat abs, stuff I never thought I’d have again as a mom.” 

As a former chef, Laura knows the importance of meal-prepping healthy and delicious foods to stay on track. She’s also keenly aware of how unhealthy habits like poor diet and lifestyle can contribute to preventable illnesses. Witnessing the consequences of this daily through her hospital work has further driven Laura’s commitment to living a healthy life for herself and her patients. 

“The biggest problem with society is we are so disconnected from our food sources. We need to be more intentional about what we put in our bodies.” 

Laura takes that same approach to the gym, moving mindfully through each workout. “I go to the gym daily but don’t necessarily do resistance training every workout. Sometimes, I focus on stretching and cardio. You have to give your body time to recover from weightlifting. I take an intuitive approach to my workouts by alternating upper and lower body routines and allowing myself active rest days, so it feels balanced and healthy.” Laura opts for yoga, stretches, or ab work on active recovery days, but daily hydration is non-negotiable. 

“You don’t have to make it complicated; stick to the same routine, focus on form, progressive overload, and consistency.” 

For Laura, being intentional and disciplined in investing in her health has dramatically changed everything, from the gym to work performance to life at home. “I take care of my body, and my body takes care of me.” 

Want an easy, tasty tofu recipe you can whip up in minutes in the air fryer? Try this recipe: 

Sticky Gochujang Tofu 

Cut into equal-sized cubes and toss with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

Then toss with 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Spray with oil and place in the air fryer. Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Gochujang sauce : 

  • 1 Teaspoon garlic 
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger 
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar or maple syrup 
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar 
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 2 Tablespoons Gochujang 
  • ¼ cup water 
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch 


In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch and set aside. In a saucepan over moderate heat, mix garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. When the gochujang and sugar dissolve in the saucepan, add cornstarch to thicken the mixture. Toss to coat air-fried tofu in sauce. Top with scallions and sesame seeds. 

Serve with: Sliced avocado • Sliced cucumber • Steamed rice 

*If the sauce gets too thick, add water until you achieve the desired consistency. 

By Shlomit Ovadia 

Photo by Tindall Stephens