Katie answers my call in the middle of ordering lunch. Her voice is peppy and confident, even though she is 3,000 miles away in Virginia. Although the beautiful health and fitness guru currently resides in Los Angeles, California for the duration of her college years, her roots are across the country in Alexandria.

If you haven’t yet discovered Katie Austin, start with her InstagramThe University of Southern California senior has a passion for fitness, and an appropriately enviable Instagram account to show for it.

Summer adventure awaits??

A photo posted by Katie Austin (@katie.austin) on

But beyond the flower headbands and the picturesque walks along the Santa Monica pier, Katie is a girl with a history of hard work and devotion to athletics. After playing for her college’s lacrosse team for two years, she quit last year to pursue her dream of teaching fitness. “It’s going really well,” she tells us, “I came out with my new e-book on June 30th: Love Your Body, Love Your Life.” The e-book is available online, here.

The title captures Katie’s overall message well. Her Instagram is full of powerful quotes about loving yourself and others, as well as dispelling negative body image ideas and dangerous diets.

The e-book is filled with positive encouragement about her workouts and clean-eating recipes, and includes her personal go-to recipe, which is surprisingly easy to make. The dish is simply brown rice with grilled chicken, sautéed spinach, and mushrooms. “It sounds like a lot to do, but it is so simple. It has a lot of nutritional value and you do not need a lot of time and effort to do that at all,” she says.

With recipes like that, Katie aims to make it easier to get fit and happy. “[My e-book is] about getting in shape, but not only that, it’s also all about self love and confidence. And that’s my whole message: Connecting the self-love journey to the fitness journey.”

One of the best things about her personal journey, Katie explains, is that she hasn’t undergone it alone. Her mother is Denise Austin, creator of the 360° program, star of Getting Fit with Denise Austin, and longtime fitness expert.

While some may be intimidated by the success of their parents, Katie believes it gives her a leg up on the industry.

“Some people say, ‘How hard is that, to follow in your mom’s footsteps? Big shoes to fill.’ And yes, that is completely true. But honestly I don’t see it like that. I see it as an amazing opportunity to learn things. I’m so blessed that my mom – the one that I am closest to in the whole entire world – is the one who teaches me everything about my career,” says Katie.

The encouragement Katie has received from her mother has clearly made an impact on Katie’s fitness mentality, because she views support from other females as crucial in a girl’s journey.

“I’m all about female empowerment. I think girls that support and encourage other girls are very happy with themselves. Those who bring down other girls are usually not fully confident with their bodies. We thrive on self-love and need confidence in ourselves to be happy and healthy, and my work focuses building that through fitness,” she says.

Eventually, Katie’s dream is to bring her workouts to life on a television show, where teen girls could work out in their own living rooms. She is currently studying Television at USC in order to achieve this goal.

In the meantime, you can keep up with Katie on her blog, where you can find workouts, clean eating recipes, and more of her thoughts on female empowerment.