Mandy Budzowski

Mandy Budzowski is a health coach supervisor at UPMC Health Plan. A graduate of Slippery Rock University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in exercise physiology and adapted physical activity, she is now working on her PhD in public health. Mandy is passionate about health education, and her research focuses on how environment and stages of behavior change impact obesity and chronic disease. She has completed marathons, half marathons, triathlons, adventure races, and cycling events nationwide and recently completed the 2013 Louisville Ironman.

Go-to breakfast:
I love eggs. In the morning I love to make egg whites with fresh salsa and avocado (ready in under three minutes) — not only because it’s easy, but because it’s balanced and delicious!

Favorite stress reliever:
When I feel stressed I like to go for a walk. I find that walking helps me get the fresh air I need to clear my head and return to the tasks ahead.

Favorite food indulgence:
My ultimate favorite food indulgence is birthday cake. I love birthday celebrations because it’s the only time I really eat it.

Favorite music to exercise to:
I love listening to rock and roll and pop when I exercise. Really anything with an upbeat tempo works for me. Today Usher, The Script, Lady Gaga, and Gin Blossoms are on my playlist.

Most surprising talent:
I know how to make balloon animals. In college a friend’s dad was a magician and she taught me to make them. I competed in a talent show to raise money for a charity by making animal balloons.

Daily inspiration:
I find inspiration in normal people doing extraordinary things. Life is good when anything’s possible. It could be anyone from a good Samaritan to a military veteran going above and beyond to make the world a better place.

Biggest challenge:
My biggest challenge is having enough time in the day. Balancing work, school, family and friends, and training can be difficult. I overcome that by planning ahead and sticking to the plan. It helps me stay organized and not get behind.

Favorite workout:
My favorite workouts are group workouts. I love being in a class with a room full of individuals all working towards similar goals. I really look forward to my CrossFit, body sculpt, and yoga classes.

Favorite adventure race:
The Muddy Buddy. The Muddy Buddy is a leapfrog adventure race that combines trail running and mountain biking between two partners with an added bonus of about 10 obstacles. The race is just seven miles with each partner completing about 3.5 miles between running and biking. At the end, each partner completes their last leg and they race through a mud pit to the finish line together. It’s a blast!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would play you? If they made a Hollywood movie about my life I think that I would have to be played by Ashley Olsen. As an identical twin I would really need someone who understands that type of relationship, which makes up a huge part of who I am. She is also very active so I know she wouldn’t need a stunt double for all the adventures I’ve been on!