Space Coast Daily Exclusive Q&A With Florida First Lady Ann Scott

By  //  February 27, 2016

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH FIRST LADY ANN SCOTT

ABOVE VIDEO: First Lady Ann Scott talks about her maternity book.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Florida First Lady Ann Scott sat down with Space Coast Medicine & Active Living to talk about her own fitness program, as well as her education and health and fitness initiatives for the children of Florida.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What is your fitness routine like?

FIRST LADY SCOTT: I exercise every day, at least five times a week with a trainer for an hour and then follow up with cardio on the elliptical. I am also focusing on activities that help maintain and improve balance, coordination and mobility.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Why is staying active important to you?

FIRST LADY SCOTT: Rick and I have always enjoyed being active and we made it a priority because we want to live long, healthy lives.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott with First Lady Ann. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

While our two daughters were growing up, we loved getting outside as a family for athletic activities. Whether it was hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, kayaking or a friendly – albeit competitive – game of ball, we always had a great time and made many fond memories. Our daughters share our passion for exercising and healthy eating as well.

Now that we have three grandsons, it’s more important than ever that we stay in shape. Grandparent is truly the greatest title I’ve ever held. They bring us such joy, and we are looking forward to being by their sides through all of their exciting milestones.

SPACE COAST DAILY: How do you find time to eat right and exercise with such a busy schedule?

In addition to visiting schools, libraries, state parks and hospitals from the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida First Lady Ann Scott has invited Florida children and families to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to learn and practice healthy recipes in our kitchen. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

In addition to visiting schools, libraries, state parks and hospitals from the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida First Lady Ann Scott has invited Florida children and families to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to learn and practice healthy recipes in the kitchen. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

FIRST LADY SCOTT: Like most Floridians, I have to balance a busy schedule – being First Lady as well as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. I have found that it helps me to set aside a specific time for exercise. I am a task-oriented person, so if it’s on my schedule, I’ll make sure it gets done.

I travel frequently in my role as Florida’s First Lady, so it’s important for me to stay on track while I’m on the road. I always look for menu items with nutritious ingredients – some of my favorites are salmon and spinach salad.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What is your favorite type of exercise activity to perform when you workout?

FIRST LADY SCOTT: When I’m in the gym, I use the elliptical, and I always try to fit in at least 30 minutes.

Rick and I also love exercising outdoors. When the weather is nice, we take advantage of our state’s many natural resources – we enjoy long walks along the canopy-covered roads of Tallahassee, hiking and biking Florida’s beautiful trails and kayaking through the many waterways.

Since I am also focusing on enhancing my strength and balance, I have integrated light weights and stability exercises into my routine.

Rick and I also love exercising outdoors. When the weather is nice, we take advantage of our state’s many natural resources – we enjoy long walks along the canopy-covered roads of Tallahassee, hiking and biking Florida’s beautiful trails and kayaking through the many waterways.

It’s a great way for us to spend time together while also enjoying all that our great state has to offer and improving our health.

SPACE COAST DAILY: You seem to have a personal mission to help encourage Florida’s children to read and write.  We think that is great; and have you also been able to encourage children to stay active to combat the easily available world of tablets, smart phones, and video games?

FIRST LADY SCOTT: Children have always held a special place in my heart. Even as a young girl, I was always taking care of everyone – my siblings, neighborhood children, my classmates. My nickname was actually “the little mother.”

In addition to visiting schools, libraries, state parks and hospitals from the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida First Lady Ann Scott has invited Florida children and families to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to learn and practice healthy recipes in our kitchen. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

In addition to visiting schools, libraries, state parks and hospitals from the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida First Lady Ann Scott has invited Florida children and families to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to learn and practice healthy recipes in our kitchen. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

So, when I became First Lady I knew I wanted to focus on children. In addition to visiting schools, libraries, state parks and hospitals from the Panhandle to the Keys, I have invited Florida children and families to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to learn and practice healthy recipes in our kitchen.

We also share with them our vegetable garden, which we use to prepare meals for us and our guests, and talk to them about having a garden of their own.

I also encourage every child I meet to spend more time moving. In Florida, we are fortunate to have so many great opportunities to combine exercise and education with family fun.

For instance, we have 161 state parks, which offer residents the chance to enjoy the great outdoors. From swimming, kayaking and canoeing, to hiking, biking and even bird watching – the options are endless!

SPACE COAST DAILY: As a grandparent yourself, what activities would you recommend grandparents do with their grandchildren to build an awareness to the benefits of physical fitness?

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First Lady Ann Scott holding her grandson shortly after his birth. Also pictured are, left to right, son-in-law Pierre Guimard, daughter Allison Guimard and husband Gov. Rick Scott. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

FIRST LADY SCOTT: I would recommend just getting up and playing with them – it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re moving around and spending quality time together.

Our two youngest grandsons, Quinton and Sebastian, aren’t walking yet, but our oldest, Auguste, who will be three in November, is very active.

He loves to visit the zoo, and we love taking him. He gets so excited about each of the animals that it seems like we run the whole day, always anxious to see the next one.

We also visit the Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON), Children’s Botanical Garden and area parks.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What is your favorite healthy snack?

FIRST LADY SCOTT: I enjoy all sorts of berries, as well as veggie smoothies.

SPACE COAST DAILY: You put out a Governor’s Mansion cookbook called, “Viva La Florida” with all proceeds going to support the Mansion Foundation and their preservation of state history. Can the readers find some healthy recipes in this cookbook to share with their families?

Some of Florida First Lady Ann Scott's favorite healthy recipes from “Viva La Florida” are the Baby Eggplant & Tasti-Lee Tomato Soup, Carrot Mango Smoothies, Wild Rice Chicken Salad, and Strawberry Arugula with Pistachios and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Some of Florida First Lady Ann Scott’s favorite healthy recipes from “Viva La Florida” are the Baby Eggplant & Tasti-Lee Tomato Soup, Carrot Mango Smoothies, Wild Rice Chicken Salad, and Strawberry Arugula with Pistachios and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

FIRST LADY SCOTT: Absolutely. When we were developing the cookbook, we wanted to share healthy recipes that incorporate Florida seafood and pay homage to previous First Families. We spent a lot of time searching through the Mansion archives to make Viva La Florida much more than just a cookbook – it’s a piece of history.

Some of my favorite healthy recipes from the cookbook are the Baby Eggplant & Tasti-Lee Tomato Soup, Carrot Mango Smoothies, Wild Rice Chicken Salad, and Strawberry Arugula with Pistachios and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

SPACE COAST DAILY: If you could give just one tip to Space Coast Community on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, what would it be?

FIRST LADY SCOTT: I would recommend finding what works best for their lifestyle. There are a lot of different diets and exercise routine recommendations, but there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to individual health and fitness.

To succeed in meeting your exercise goals, it’s critical to figure out what time of day works best and what activities you enjoy most and look forward to doing. Then, fitting it in your schedule will be a breeze.

What worked for me when I was a mother of two young children doesn’t necessarily work for me now, so my routine has evolved over the years as my lifestyle and needs changed.

One thing that has remained consistent for me is exercising in the morning. To succeed in meeting your exercise goals, it’s critical to figure out what time of day works best and what activities you enjoy most and look forward to doing. Then, fitting it in your schedule will be a breeze.

Most importantly, have fun! Don’t be afraid to try something new and get creative.

ABOUT ANN SCOTT

Florida First Lady Ann Scott is a devoted wife, mother, sister and friend. She met her husband for the first time during her senior year. High school sweethearts, they have been married for 44 years and have two married daughters, Allison and Jordan, and three grandsons, Auguste, Quinton and Sebastian.

Florida First Lady Ann Scott

Florida First Lady Ann Scott

After graduating from high school, Ann attended community college and worked full time, while Gov. Scott was in the Navy and in law school. Ann enjoys interior decorating and received her degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

An avid reader, the First Lady spends time visiting students at schools and libraries across Florida, encouraging them to read and to write. She believes that great readers become great learners, and early learning leads to academic success. As a mother, she also knows that healthy bodies make healthy minds. She urges Floridians of all ages to eat healthy and get out and play.

At every opportunity, Ann takes time to thank military children and families for the great sacrifices they make for the state and all Floridians. She has opened the Florida Governor’s Mansion for children to visit throughout the school year, and often will greet tours to share her personal stories of the home. Ann loves to showcase the beauty and history of the Mansion and invites all Floridians to visit the people’s house in Tallahassee.

Throughout their lives, Ann and Gov. Scott have been committed to their community locally and around the world. They support the Salvation Army, United Way, Naples Zoo, Children’s Museum of Naples, and World Vision, where the Scott family worked to create a primary health care system in Bunyala, Kenya. Together, they fund an entrepreneur contest at George Washington University where their daughter received her business degree. Ann also has donated her time to Liberty Youth Ranch, a home for abandoned, abused, neglected and orphaned children in Collier County.

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