• Karina Inkster

[Client Spotlight] Silvana Pagnotta: Inspiring you to kick barriers to the curb

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Introducing the awesome, hard-workin’, butt-kickin’, hilarious Silvana Pagnotta! And on a very special day, too: today (June 6) is her 19-year cancer remission anniversary!

In this photo, Silvana had just bench pressed 100 pounds for the first time, which is a huge, impressive, praise-worthy milestone.

Silvana started training with me in February 2015. In just a few months, she’s completely transformed her fitness and nutrition lifestyle, which is why I chose her as my June Client of the Month. Her efforts will inspire you to start (and maintain!) a healthy, active living routine of your own – even with a busy work schedule and family commitments.

Silvana knows how this works first hand. She has a demanding full-time job, and also cares for an ill parent. This means making the trip out to Kamloops from Vancouver on a regular basis, and often staying there for extended periods of time. Yet, even with work- and family-related stresses and commitments, she still maintains a regular gym workout schedule, alternating heavy lifting days with circuit (conditioning) training days, and sets aside one day per week to prepare healthy meals and snacks.

Here are some wise words for you from Silvana herself.

Why did you start working with Karina? What was happening in your life that made you take this step?

For a long time I had tossed around the idea of a personal trainer. I have been working out for about 15 years doing various forms of activity (running, hiking, yoga and some weights), but this year I really wanted to make a more serious commitment to myself. Also, I really wanted to focus my efforts toward weightlifting as I had been reading about the benefits of lifting over the cardio I was mostly doing. My weight training was weak (double entendre s'il vous plait). I had just come out of a very stressful year helping with a sick parent and my mental and physical state were getting the best of me.

Also, as I am getting older, it is harder to just "wing it" at the gym. I would go to the gym, do mostly cardio, and just do weights that were available. I needed a program and started thinking more seriously about a trainer to get me where I want to be: healthy and strong.

So, why Karina? I had the pleasure of getting to know Karina several years ago as a work colleague, and also during the time she was going through a personal training program. In fact I do believe she had me be a part of one of her assignments. Anyway, she came to mind after having not seen her for about 3 years. Why Karina? The better question is, why the heck did I not contact Karina sooner?!

Everything I have seen Karina accomplish is done with such intense passion and commitment that I knew she was the right choice to be my kick-ass coach!

What was difficult for you as you got started? What was easy?

Convincing myself that I was worth the time and money commitment was hard. I had to commit to blocking off time in my schedule so that I would have no excuses.

What is easy is that I now have a plan. I know exactly what I am doing when I walk into the gym and feel like my efforts are maximized!

What are some of the day-to-day changes/adjustments you had to make (and continue to make) to maintain and improve your fitness and nutrition?

Other than blocking off the time in my calendar for workouts, one of the biggest challenges initially was to clean up my eating. I am now much more conscious of what I am eating for a snack (snacks were my biggest problem). Edamame for 10:00 am snack? Don't mind if I do! Roasted chickpeas? Yes please!

Also, a huge HUGE part of this was dedicating a food prep day. It really is the key for me in eating better and being prepared.

Why is good health important to you?

I have suffered from illness in the past a couple of times and I know that I have to be the best I can in my body in order to stay healthy and strong. I celebrate 19 years in remission on June 6th.

Also, I have witnessed what bad food choices and lack of exercise can do in my family. I know there are some things that are out of our control, but I want to be sure I am treating my body, my mind, and my soul to the best life possible! Oh and I want to be deadlifting and bench pressing into my senior years!

Want your own kick-ass results? Check out my fitness coaching programs.


Download Karina's 350-item vegan grocery list!








Need inspiration for healthy plant-based eating? Need to spice up your daily meal routine? Download your free vegan grocery list! With more than 350 healthy items (some of which might be new to you), you'll be a vegan nutrition superhero in no time.



Coach K's new e-book, Sprouted Gains, is here! Lose fat and gain muscle on a plant-based diet.

Your online vegan personal trainer and nutrition coach. A friendly kick in the butt that inspires and motivates you to live your best, healthiest, most plant-strong life.

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