Fitness coaching

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Scientist, Mom, Self-appointed go-between.

Hi, I’m Alisa Nelson and welcome to my site! I’m a 2nd year PhD student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. My research involves computational tool development in metabolomics while trying to better understand liver metabolism in the context of chronic, lifestyle-related disease (i.e. diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer). I’m also wrapping up my MS degree where I’ve used untargeted metabolomics to begin parsing the metabolic differences between “normal” BMI runners and overweight/obese runners.

After finishing my BS in Biochemistry in 2011, I explored the fitness industry – becoming a personal trainer and using my knowledge of human biology to coach women on their fitness. Additionally, I’m Mom to Frey (7) and Arthur (5) – a role that has forced me to ask a lot of questions. It was here that I uncovered a few passions that brought me to where I am now:

  1. Lifestyle design that optimizes for the present (feel good today) and the future (develop new skills to keep life interesting, prevent chronic disease, make life better for my future self).
  2. Making science more accessible so it can be an effective tool outside a classroom setting.
  3. Health technology — inventing new tools to give us better insight into how our daily life is improving (or worsening) our long-term health outcomes.
Ultimately, the mish-mash of all three brought me back into academia where I sit at the crossroads of biology and computer science, using both worlds to discover something new about chronic disease.
As you’ll see if you look around at old posts here, I’ve also made a continual effort to bridge the gap between science and women in pursuit of their full potential. I believe women who optimize their lifestyle with their physiology in mind will experience less burn out, making their dreams all the more possible.
I use this blog & my personal instagram to educate and explore these concepts, seeking to equip women with the knowledge and tools they need to move confidently toward their own amazing future selves.
Interested in connecting? Send me a message on Instagram!

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Other fun things about me (+ the Nelsons)

  • Eric and I have been married since 2011. We’ve started businesses, we dig technology, & we kinda like hanging out together.
  • I stop and stare at any and all wild life thanks to National Geographic, BBC, and the Wild Kratts.
  • There are few movies I will watch over and over again these days. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is one of them.
  • I’ll add Kerrygold butter to pretty much anything.
  • I’m a 3w2 and IN(T/F)J. This FOR SURE colors how I approach every topic. Eric is an 8w7. If we sound aggressive it’s just because we are, I’ll probably apologize for the tone but never for the message.
  • We’re a wrestling family – Eric coaches, Frey and Arthur wrestle. I design strength & conditioning workouts for them. Frey will most certainly be a part of making girls wrestling a sanctioned sport in Minnesota.
  • I stayed home with my kids (while training clients in our home gym) 2012-2018 when I moved to FT lab + grad school.
  • I’ve dealt with unrecognized anxiety (and depression?) since I entered middle school. I try to speak from that because many of my current habits stem from seeking to understand & overcome these obstacles. Mental health is very important to me, especially in spreading awareness of the evolution of our brain chemistry and how it manifests in our current era.


Do we have something in common? I’d love to hear about it.


Here are some hand-picked posts to give you a taste of my style:

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Finally, here are a few oldies that have been favorites of my readers:

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