FIT6: Nurse Practitioner Carrie Goforth

FIT6: Nurse Practitioner Carrie Goforth

(Cover photo credit: NPC News Online)

Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. Sponsored by Baptist Health Sports Medicine, this week’s guest Carrie Goforth. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to

Eric Branch Photography(1-5)

(Credit: Eric Branch Photography)

Tell Us a Little About Yourself

I am an advanced registered nurse practitioner with specialty board certification in orthopedics and sports medicine. Additionally, I am certified in the diagnosis and neurocognitive testing for sports-related concussions. I provide individualized nutrition and fitness guidance with particular focus on maintaining overall healthy lifestyle using natural unadulterated products.

I have been an athlete all my life. I come from a gymnastics and track background. My father was a sprinter and a light-heavy boxer… It’s in the genes. I cheered for the University of Louisville and won nationals back-to-back. After college, I began competing in the National Physique Committee (NPC).

My goal is to educate clients/patients regarding the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, focusing on the whole body. I have kidney disease and consistent issues with my insulin, but by sharing my life’s difficulties and accomplishments, I feel that others will be empowered to move toward change. I am an NPC Champion and it is important for me to demonstrate commitment, motivation, perseverance, and drive, despite obstacles, to my two small children and to others around me.

Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health

1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?

I work out 6-7 days each week. I begin each morning with fasted cardio prior to waking my children- given time and schedule permit this.

On my way up the stairs at home for cardio, I stop and do burn-out calf raises. I try to lift individual body groups (back, shoulders, arms, glutes/hams) in the morning. I lift 4-6 exercises per body group with 3-4 sets of 15-30 reps, depending on goals and specific body part. For glutes, I tend to hit 10 exercises or a combination with plyometrics. I will often finish with HIIT (high intensity interval training) for 10-20 minutes depending on off-season versus prep.

I prefer the elliptical for fasted cardio, focusing on glutes and the assault bike for HIIT. Again, depending on goals, I may use recumbent bike or other forms to eliminate muscle growth or force catabolism. I occasionally switch up my routine and will use kickboxing, Zumba/hip hop dance, or volleyball as my cardio.

2) How do you prepare for a workout?

I typically work out early morning. It is a great way to initiate the day and boost energy and endorphins. Over the years I have alternated between intermittent fasted diet (to control blood sugars) and carb cycling. During intermittent fasted, when I do not take in my first meal until noon, I start the day with my medications for kidney disease, my multivitamin, fish oil and Coenzyme Q10. I take my pre-workout pill and branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) prior to lifting in the early morning. I take my B-complex and biotin later in the day.

With all other nutrition plans, I eat directly after fasted cardio and take my medications, B-complex and biotin. The fasted cardio helps to loosen my muscles and enables me to stretch without injury before lifting and throughout sets.

I have lifted for many years throughout athletics and now for bodybuilding and typically have my workout in mind. It changes only slightly based on goals. At this point in time, I am essentially in a relative maintenance phase and do not have to entertain major changes in my daily routine. If I do have a specific goal in mind, I will strategically plan a routine to achieve that goal.

3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?

Prior to lifting, if I need quick energy I will consume an apple. My meals are essentially timed so that my carbohydrate needs are met around my workouts. Following a workout, if time constraints do not permit my meal, I may have a post-workout, all natural protein shake.

I begin each morning with an energizing vanilla green tea and casually sip my Bulletproof Coffee (added organic, cold-pressed coconut oil) throughout my morning. When I feel excessively sluggish or fatigued, I may drink another energizing ginger, ginseng, or green tea, or a HiBall all natural energy drink. On those “I just cannot get it together” days, I keep organic, 85% or greater, dark chocolate in the freezer for a quick snack. I tend to avoid fruit in the later part of the day. However, frozen berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are a great option. When I am pressed for time and unable to make my steel-cut oats or quinoa, I like to start my day with a dark chocolate all natural protein shake with kale and a tablespoon of organic coconut oil or 1/2 to 1 cup of coconut milk.

Eric Branch Photography (2-2)

(Credit: Eric Branch Photography)

4) What is your daily nutritional meal plan when training?

My meal plan varies during off-season and show prep, and sometimes from workout to workout. My standard nutritional plan currently is 5-6 meals each day, 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart with steady state carbohydrates and consistent moderate protein intake. My protein is always lean. Examples include ground turkey, organic beef, free-range chicken, seafood/sashimi and fish like cod, tilapia, and salmon.

My fat intake is extremely limited in total amount and type. Because of my comorbidity, I tend to consume only from a specific list of carbohydrates that I know my body can tolerate, especially those in combination with carbs. While I love nut butters, nuts, olives, and avocados, many of these promote fat storage for me and prevent me from leaning out. I typically stick to medium chain triglycerides (MCT) on a daily basis and the tastier selection on specific days or built into a diet plan.

If I am focusing on an area of growth, I will take in more carbs and protein. All other days I keep my protein relatively moderate. If I am initiating muscle catabolism, I will decrease my protein further.

5) What do you snack on between meals when training?

If my workouts are fasted, then I do not snack during the early morning and the BCAAs maintain muscle (if that is my goal). More often than not, my meals are timed so as not to need snacking. If, however, I must snack, I utilize celery and salsa and zero-calorie stevia soda/drinks. I have found that grapefruit does not greatly impact my blood sugar levels and is a nice fat burner, so I occasionally snack on this or pummelo.

6) What are your fitness & health goals?

My ultimate goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle, focusing on overall well-being and balance. I want to enjoy my life, my body, my time here with my children. I want to be an example to them to care for themselves and lead a healthy lifestyle that will be both beneficial and rewarding. I want to use my position as a platform to educate clients/patients and the general population regarding the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. I will continue participating in bodybuilding and fitness modeling to the extent and duration that I am able.