The Coaches Behind Rebel Living
Owner, Head Nutrition Coach, Strength Coach, Reiki Practitioner Level 1 + 2
Liz Smith’s health journey didn’t begin until much later in her life, growing up she tried plenty of sports from swimming and gymnastics to competitive dance, but nothing ever sparked a passion. As an adult exercise came and went but still no passion to be found. In 2014, her mother suddenly passed of a massive heart attack. A woman she looked up to, who took care of herself exercising religiously but lacked one certain thing, proper nutrition. She may have looked perfect on the outside but the exercise wasn’t enough. After her sister introduced her to Crossfit in 2015 she knew she found her passion. Taking it one step further, she enrolled in a nutrition coaching program and made it her mission to be an example to her 3 daughters and anyone who thought it was too late to make a change.
Together she and Corey have developed the MacroShred program which combines holistic and nutrition coaching, proper food guidance and accountability.
Owner, Head Macros Coach, CF-L1 Trainer
Corey Berger’s athletic drive has always been a big part of his life. His athletics journey started in high school and college as a track athlete but were cut short to a knee injury. But this wasn’t going to stop him. Looking for something to keep him moving he was introduced to Crossfit and quickly progressed in the sport getting himself into the games. So it’s no surprise that nutrition has played a huge role in his performance.
A two time Crossfit Games Athlete and CF-L1 trainer, Corey has developed extensive knowledge of macros and nutrition and has made it his mission to help others in their journey of this lifestyle upgrade. With the demand for more one-on-one support with his own clients, it was no surprise that creating this partnership would benefit both Corey and Liz's clients.
Two times CrossFit games team athlete.
Nutrition Coach, CF-L1 Trainer
Nicki is a Certified Level 1 Trainer at CrossFit Total Empowerment in Carle Place, NY as well as a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach. Despite being active growing up playing soccer, basketball and volleyball, when college came around staying active became a chore instead of a fun activity. Being at a plateau for years, and with a friend's wedding getting closer and closer, Nicki knew a change needed to happen. That's when she found CrossFit Total Empowerment. A month after making the commitment to CFTE, she blew past her plateau and started noticing some muscle tone.
From there, she was in the gym nonstop, laser focused on her goals. Nicki was so motivated by the team and the members she decided to pursue a career in coaching and received her CF-L1 Certification. But her journey didn't end there. Knowing that nutrition is the cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle, Nicki sought out her Nutrition Coaching Certification in order to help others get to the next level in their fitness. Currently, Nicki is hoping to take this passion for wellness to Long Island Schools, pursuing a Master's Degree in Physical and Health Education at Adelphi University.
Dr. Carl Russo
Director, Rebel MOVE
Chiropractor, CF-L1 Trainer
Dr. Carl Russo, has been a practicing Chiropractor since 2010, three years ago thanks to his amazing wife he was dragged to his first CrossFit class and it forever changed the trajectory of his career. Following this he sought out as much knowledge about the sport as possible, accumulating certification in both functional assessment as well as his L1 Cert. In 2017 he closed his more traditional chiropractic office, and relocated to a new location inside CrossFit Nine7 in Manhasset, NY. In 2018 he finished his Masters in Clinical Nutrition, and is now expanding his practice to better fit the needs of the athletes he treats.
He has a supportive wife and a 5 month old baby, who has flipped his world upside down!
What drives his professional life is watching his patients connect the dots and follow through with improvements at the end. To give guidance to an athlete who might be lost keeps the fire inside him going to help as many as he can. He has started a FunctionalCare Class at Nine7 and hopes to launch mobility protocols through his IG account (functionalcarerx)
Favorite hobby: would have obviously be working out with his team at CrossFit Nine7 and spending time with his family. He keeps his diet pretty simple to fit his busy schedule.
Favorite food: would have to macaroni and cheese (that fits his macros).
Favorite movie: Die Hard (best Christmas movie)
Favorite quote: Ferris Bueller: 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it'
Certified Crossfit Trainer
Nutrition Coach, Owner Barrier Island Crossfit
My name is Jess Thurman. I've been involved in the CrossFit community since 2011, and got certified coaching athletes just shortly thereafter. I quickly got obsessed with fitness after losing 100lbs with proper training and nutrition and couldn't help but want to share my knowledge with others. We opened the doors to Barrier Island CrossFit in 2016. It is my passion to help our athletes reach whatever their nutrition and wellness goals are!
Favorite Hobby - Cooking, Snowboarding, Cycling, Boating! Fitness stuff with my fitness friends, of course.
Favorite Food - Pizza or.. anything Mom makes really!
What I love most about coaching - I love to help educate people on how to fuel themselves to reach their goals. I remember stepping into my fitness journey and feeling so overwhelmed but also so extremely excited to make these changes to my nutrition and lifestyle. I was so fortunate to have a coach that helped me simplify everything and keep me on track and I quickly fell into that role myself. I love enlightening people's minds on how food can be such a tool to help our overall wellness. Whether you're an athlete looking to up your performance and recovery, or you too need to lose 100lbs, perhaps you struggle with depression and anxiety, a proper lifestyle balance can resolved much of this. I've battled emotional disorders and have used nutrition and fitness to help battle these struggles. I enjoy working with not just athletes, but anyone who's struggling to "figure it all out."
I've also been vegan for about 5 years and would love to help anyone looking to transition to a plant based diet or how to start incorporating more plant based meals into your diet.
What I love most about flexible dieting - I've been a flexible dieter since 2012. As someone who loves food, I always struggled with balance and binge eating. I used to restrict myself so much and then cheat day would come up and I'd over-indulge in all the wrong things until I'd make myself sick. It was a vicious cycle and found I could never reach my goals. Once I found flexible dieting, it allowed some freedom to eat some of the foods I enjoyed on a more regular basis, without completely sabotaging all the hard work I did everyday in the kitchen and the gym. Flexible dieting allowed me to not be so anxious about eating and sticking to my food plan, I could now sustain my plan day in and day out, not have to be so restricted, feel comfortable eating out on the weekends and factoring foods or drinks I enjoy, and still be on my way to my fitness goals.
Favorite Movie - Donnie Darko. For sure.
Favorite quote - "Be the change you wish to see in the world"
Certified Precision Nutrition Coach
I am a Media Manager in NYC at Madison Square Garden where I work in Marketing Partnerships. Go Knicks/Rangers! I have a Bachelors Degree in Business Marketing. I always played sports growing up, but after starting Crossfit almost two and a half years ago I really started focusing on my health and fitness journey and decided to get my Precision Nutrition certification. I recently started @NTF_Wellness with the goal of inspiring those on the nine to five commuter grind with a healthy work/life balance.
Favorite Hobby - Working out and adventuring outside!! Living a block from the beach helps with this!
Favorite Food - This is hard..hmmm..overnight oats or anything made on a grill! I love BBQ'ing season
What I love most about coaching - I am looking forward to helping others on their health/wellness journeys and seeing clients reach new goals!
What I love most about flexible dieting - It brings awareness and accountability around the nutrients and foods we are putting into our bodies. For me personally, I started counting macros through the Rebel Living Spring Challenge last May (2018). I had never focused on my nutrition before and this was a total game changer, allowing me to take control over my body and gym performance!
Favorite Movie - If Grease or Dirty Dancing were on every single day, chances are 9/10 days I would turn it on and watch it haha
Favorite quote - You learn something new everyday (if you pay attention)