23 Days of Wellness: Meet our Ambassador Mariah Gardner

Instagram: @mariah.gardner

What is your usual morning routine?

I am the head trainer of STRONG Maroochydore, so my mornings start nice and early. My alarm goes off at 3:45 am. To make my mornings flow and to make sure I get as much sleep as possible - I set everything up the night before. My uniform is out and ready to go, so all I’ve got to do is pop it on and head downstairs. I am lucky enough to be able to bring my dog to work every day, so I make sure Riley has his breakfast. I make myself a coffee, grab my pre-made overnight oats (this is the best breaky for those on the go) a muesli bar, and I am straight out the door to get to work by 4:30 am. 

I have weekends off, so I usually wake up around 6am. Moving my body is a priority, so I either go for a run, do a STRONG class, spin, or a barre class wearing my MoveActive grippies of course. After a sweaty class, I crave a refreshing acai bowl so head home to whip one up. 

What’s your favourite way to move your body and why?

There are so many ways I enjoy moving! I love STRONG Pilates because of the high intensity but low impact nature of the classes, I love barre (because of my dance background my body loves these classes), Aerial Lyra, dancing, yoga or going for a run!  

What’s your go-to lunch?

My go-to lunch is usually a wrap or sushi!

What got you into pilates instructing?

Coming from a full-time dance background, Pilates was a large part of our training to assist with injury prevention, rehabilitation, and overall strength building and flexibility. Once finishing my dance training, I knew I loved Pilates and thought the idea of sharing it with others would be pretty special. Nearly 8 years later, I still love pushing my clients, creating flows, and sharing my passion with others.

What is your number one tip for meal prepping?

On Sundays, I write up a menu for the next week, covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I grab everything I need from the shops on the weekend to make sure I’m sorted for the week as Monday to Friday is usually very busy. Going to the shops after an early wake-up is usually the last thing I feel like doing. This way I’ve got everything I need, have a plan for my week and set myself up for success for a healthy week ahead. 

What’s one of your favourite recipes? 

I thought I would share my go-to acai bowl recipe with you all seeing as we are finally in Summer and it's a great recipe for a wellness reset. It is very easy, healthy, and easy to have the ingredients waiting in your freezer! 


  • 1 cup frozen banana 
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries 
  • 1 sachet of the Amazonia frozen acai 
  • Dash of water
  • Toppings of choice (I go for muesli, shaved coconut, strawberries, peanut butter, goji berries, and natural or coconut yogurt)


  • Blend frozen ingredients and water in a high-speed blender until creamy and smooth. (Try a keep liquid as minimal as possible to achieve an “ice cream” like texture)
  • Serve it in a bowl and add toppings of choice. I love adding muesli, shaved coconut, strawberries, peanut butter, goji berries and natural yogurt
  • Enjoy! One of my all-time favourite go-to recipes. It’s refreshing, healthy, quick and easy to make! 

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

One of my all-time favourite things to do is head to my nearest beach to sit in the sun, read a book, go for a swim, and throw the ball for my dog. I love downtime and time to refill my cup and give back to myself. I’m also a sucker for a cocktail or a picnic on the beach while watching the sunset.