Alexis Ellis shares with Bodybuilding.com her passion for life, running a business and making some noise on the NPC figure scene.
[ Q ] Name:
[ Q ] Born & Raised in:
I was born and raised in the BIG APPLE! The city that never sleeps. New York City and I are very happy about that. I am a very proud New Yorker!
[ Q ] What is your nationality/ethnicity?
I am Dominican. I am very proud of my Latino culture... It has really influenced my personality. Therefore, the answer is yes... I am passionate about love, life and just about everything.
[ Q ] Currently residing in:
Alta Loma, California... about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. It is a pretty suburb city in the foothills of the mountains. It is a sight to see.... Phenomenal.
[ Q ] What do you miss the most about NYC?
I love NYC.... the excitement, the electricity and the energy! Everything! I was a total "Sex in the City" girl... shopped til you drop, eat at the latest restaurants and party until dawn. However, there is one thing I miss the most... and that is the diversity of people and ethnicities. I really loved being somewhere that had so much culture.
[ Q ] Biggest difference you've noticed between NYC and Cali?
California has the best weather in the world... dry and warm almost year round.... no place can bet it! Since everything is so spread out in California and everything is clustered together in New York City, I would have to say that the landscape is very different. The people are very different as well.
New Yorkers have a bad rap... we are believed to be rude. The truth is that in California you will find many people are laid back and carefree... while in New York you will find that people are very direct and too the point.
[ Q ] How did you and your husband meet?
It is a true love story. My sister, Jackie and I were on vacation during Labor Day in 1999 in South Beach, Florida. I had never been there and we were having the greatest time. David (my husband) and his best friend, Danny were also vacationing there, they were visiting from Southern California.
Danny was interested in my sister, Jackie from the moment he saw her walking down the street. Even though he was driving an Expedition, on a Saturday night during holidays in South Beach... somehow he found parking on Ocean Drive as he turned the corner. We always say that it was destiny.
If anyone knows Ocean Drive and how crowded it is during holidays in South Beach... well, you know how difficult it is to find parking... Anyway, Danny and David introduced themselves and we made plans to go out the next morning. We ended up spending ever moment after that together. Sunrise, Sunset, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner... 36 hours straight until we had to go back to New York.
We spoke every day since the day we met and I moved to California to be with him 8 months later. Until this day we celebrate our anniversary as the day we meet. We celebrated our 5th year anniversary, Sept 4th... (FYI - and my sister also moved to California to be with Danny) We have been married for 2 years and they have been married for 6 months... "Fairytales Do Come True"... I am living proof!
[ Q ] How did the two of you come up with the idea of Healthy Food Delivery service?
David has been a Personal Trainer for 20 years. He has managed Health Food stores and Restaurants for many years. He is also a Certified Nutritional Counselor. As he helped many of his clients with their diets throughout the years... they found that their biggest problem in "sticking" to their new food regime was the food preparation.
The time consumption and lack of creativity when trying to keep the food tasty and different were their downfall. David and I always loved to cook and keep our diet clean and interesting.
One of his clients asked us to prepare some meals for him to help him learn how to eat clean. This went on for a couple of weeks and we started getting more requests from the other clients... then Gourmet Fitness Foods was created. We hired a culinary trained chef and leased a commercial kitchen to prepare meals for all our clients. That was 4 years ago.
[ Q ] Can you tell us more about what your company does?
Gourmet Fitness Foods is a healthy food delivery service in Southern California. We are a personalized food business. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is prepared everyday fresh and delivered on your front door (before dawn) on a daily basis. It is convenient, nutritionally balanced and delicious.
You fill out a questionnaire with your likes, dislikes and your activity level for the day. A diet is prepared and delivered to you in personalized portions to fit your fitness needs and goals. Each meal is individually packaged in a microwavable container to make it easy.
Our clientele ranges from Hollywood's A-list to Professional Boxers, Basketball, Football, Hockey Players and of course, Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Athletes.
[ Q ] How long have you been in business?
We started Gourmet Fitness Food in January 2000.
[ Q ] Biggest challenge of running your own business?
The truth is that I love the flexibility that self-employment gives me... particularly during competition time. However, I have no set schedule. I work morning, noon or night, weekdays, weekends and/or holidays. The biggest challenge is NOT working... actually scheduling time off.
If you do not accomplish... it is not going to be done. So if you rest, things pile up on you. I usually burn the candle at both ends..., which can be very exhausting!
[ Q ] Most rewarding thing of working with your husband?
It is very interesting to most people that I work with my husband. We get along very well and like spending time together. We balance each other out.
We are somewhat of opposites in business. We have different strengths and weaknesses, which in the long run makes a great team. I love that fact that together we have built a successful business from scratch.
[ Q ] What did you do before you started your own business?
When I graduated from Columbia University in New York, I worked in Business Administration in Manhattan. I worked in numerous industries everything from Insurance to Banking.
Since I had a B.S. in Biology, I felt very dissatisfied with my work and wanted to go into a health-related field. Upon arriving in California, I worked in Physical Therapy. Then in 2001, I joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept as a Sheriff Deputy.
[ Q ] How did you get injured in the LA Country Sheriff's Academy?
I was very well prepared physically before I started the Academy. I had trained rigorously on my
strength and conditioning. The training officers were very pleased with my performance and indicated that I was in the running for "Honor Recruit" in the class.
They had never had a female in this position and the prospects had everyone very excited. However, this idea pushed me to worked even harder physically to outdo even more of the "male" recruits... I had no "female" recruits that were physically comparable. My already painful "shin splints" just got worse as I continued to run 5-10 miles daily.
I ended up tearing my soleus (calf) muscle; my shin splints shattered my Tibia during a physical training exercise while in the 10th week of the Academy training. I literally was carried off the field into an ambulance. I returned the next week in crutches and as I attempted to finish the next 9 weeks of training I realized the pain was too great to bear and I had to give up my dreams to become Sheriff Deputy.
[ Q ] How long did you have to go through rehabilitation?
I was in physical therapy for 2 years. I had to wear a brace on my left leg for the stress fracture in my Tibia for 4 months. I walked with crutches for another 4 months for the torn soleus muscle. During an x-ray procedure, we found out that I had a broken bone in my right foot and I had surgery on my foot to remove the bone. I was in a cast for 6 weeks.
Physical therapy was my second home. However, I had great doctors that understood how physical I was before this incident and how important it was to get back on my feet. I am back on my feet now, however, I still cannot run. I never was able to run again without major pain and swellening in my knees. So my cardio consists of lots of spin classes and bleachers/stairs.
[ Q ] What prompted you to start lifting weights?
My mother always worked out when I was a kid. I would go with her to the gym at times and watch her aerobics
videos at home and try all the exercises.
As an adult, I started to go to the gym after a terrible breakup in 1999. I started reading Oxygen and Fitness magazines and trying to get healthy. That year, I met my husband, David Ellis, which is a Personal Trainer. As I started my life with him, working out and healthy living become a norm and still is until this day.
[ Q ] When did you decide to compete in the NPC?
As I worked out with my husband and he
transformed my body, competing was not in the plans though. We began to go to the NPC shows to support our friends that were competing. As I continued to improve on my physique, I continued to educate myself on the look that the organization was looking for.
They wanted the same look I was inspiring to obtain. Symmetry, muscle tone, and conditioning. I used my first show the 2003 NPC Orange County Classic to take me to the next level. In order to reach my goal, I needed to have a serious event to train for. I realized that a NPC Figure competition was that event!
[ Q ] Favorite part about competing?
The most satisfying part about competing is setting a goal and accomplishing it. It is a real treat to know that I can set my mind to something so difficult, mentally and physically, and still reach my goals.
[ Q ] Did you enjoy going back to NYC and competing at the figure nationals?
I always have a great time when I am in NYC. I love NY! However, this time was particularly special because my father went to see me compete. My parents retired to the Dominican Republic in 1988 and they have never seen me compete.
It was a pleasure to have my father there when I made the Top Five (5) finalists in this year's NPC Figure Nationals. I hope to have my mother see one of my future competitions.
[ Q ] What will be your next show?
I am planning to compete in only pro qualifiers next year. Therefore, I am looking at the Jr. USA or Jr. Nationals to be my next show.
[ Q ] Goals for the next year?
I plan to EARN my Pro Card in the IFBB Figure Division.
In addition, I would like to find a company that endorses/sponsors me which I can build a rewarding working relationship with to help spread better health and fitness in the community.
[ Q ] Career Highlights:
- NPC Figure Nationals, August 2004 - Class F, 5th Place
- NPC Ironman Pro Invitational Figure Extravaganza, FEB 2004 - Figure Tall, 3rd Place
- NPC Los Angeles Figure Competition, JULY 2003 - Figure Tall, 1st Place and Overall Winner
- NPC Orange County Classic Competition, APRIL 2003 - Figure Tall, 3rd place
[ Q ] Biggest inspiration in the industry thus far:
There are many... however,
Monica Brant is one of the main reasons I ever started competing. She has been an icon for many years before figure competitions ever existed. Even today, she continues to put her best foot forward every time she competes and always brings a great physique that has to be admired by us all.
[ Q ] What do you do when you're not working your booty off for a contest or running your company? My guess would be sleep but do you have time to do other things?
Well, it is very true. I do get very tired running my own business. However, it is a flexible schedule, which I love. Lately, I have been doing lots of photo shoots and modeling which I will always make time for. I love modeling.
I feel very natural in front of the camera. I enjoy coming up with new ideas for photo shoots... unique ideas... I am planning a shoot at an airport in November ... that should make for spectuclar images!
[ Q ] Web site:
I am in the process of building my website, www.AlexisEllis.com, you have to look out for it! It will be coming really soon. Right now, you can check me out via my webpages on leanladies.com, which is
[ Q ]What would you like to share with anyone reading this?
I really appreciate all the kind words of encouragement I have received throughout this process... it has been such a rewarding experience. I really love this sport and it is going to be part of my life forever and I am hoping that all the relationships I have developed in the past and in the future will also be there for years to come. Love you all.
[ Q ] Additional Notes:
I am available for fitness, bikini, lingerie, tradeshow and spokes model work. I am always in "photo-ready" shape and do not need time to diet down to current shape/size.
For serious bookings, I can be contacted at AlexisESexy@aol.com.
Thanks Alexis for your time and passion for the industry and your love of life. I wish you the best in everything you set out to do.