I'm a Personal Trainer, Here's How I Stay Fueled Throughout the Day
It's not always easy to make healthy eating a priority—especially when you have a jam-packed schedule.
As a personal trainer and health and fitness writer, fueling my body with healthy eating is a key part of my day. On a normal workday, I teach a workout class, meet with a few personal training clients, cycle to and from the gym, do my own workout, and spend about six hours in front of a computer writing. So...yeah, my days are pretty jam-packed and physically demanding.
Over the years, I've developed some tips and tricks for getting myself through hectic days while still enjoying my food and maintaining my physique. (I worked really hard for almost two years on my own body transformation!) Ahead, I share what I've learned and my go-to meals.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, sliced banana, and peanut butter
This has been my favorite breakfast for the past couple of years. It's the perfect balance of protein (Greek yogurt), carbs (bananas), and fat (peanut butter), and the combo of all three really helps me feel full throughout the morning. That way, I'm not hangry by midday.
If I have an especially intense day and I know I could use a little extra fuel, I'll put my yogurt and PB on top of a serving of oatmeal, swapping out the bananas for berries. That usually keeps me going for hours without that weighed-down, "oops I overate" sensation.
And I'd be lying if I said I didn't need a little bit of caffeine to get me going in the morning. I usually opt for a cold brew with almond, coconut, or oat milk (I like to switch it up!) When I have time, I try to drink my coffee while sitting in my kitchen, and try to avoid the normal distractions. While it doesn't happen every day, I love having a little morning quiet time to myself to connect with my food and get focused for the day.
Snack #1: Bar
I usually see most of my training clients in the morning or around midday, which means my midday snack needs to be quick. Like, eat-it-in-under-five-minutes quick. I usually try to eat slowly and truly enjoy all my meals (mindful eating FTW!), but when you're working on a gym floor, it's not always possible. That's when a snack bar comes in handy, and I usually keep a stash of them in my gym bag just in case. I love Luna bars because they have so many different flavors, meaning I never get bored.
Lunch: Adult Lunchable
Yup, I'm still a kid at heart, I guess. Since I don't have time to cook during the day, I usually go for a Lunchable-style midday meal. I like to switch it up with the ingredients, but the usual suspects are: sliced apples, cheese, crackers, grapes, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, bell peppers, and baby carrots. I've been a vegetarian most of my life, but I just started eating chicken, so sometimes I'll throw in some sliced chicken breast for an extra hit of protein, or a single-serving container of quark. I occasionally get to eat lunch at home, but my favorite thing about this meal is that it's *so* easy to stick in a meal-prep container and bring it along with me. (FYI, here's your guide to the best meal-prep containers to buy.)
Snack #2: Peanut-butter energy balls
Depending on how active my day is, I eat another snack in the afternoon. When I say I love this peanut-butter energy ball recipe from Fit Foodie Finds, I'm not even doing my real feelings about them justice. They are SO DELICIOUS, and all you need to make them is five minutes a bullet-style blender or food processor. I'll usually make a batch of 20, and they last me about 10 days.
Dinner: Red Curry with tofu, veggies, and rice noodles
I love to cook, and learning how actually changed my relationship with food. For me, it's one of the easiest ways to put my phone down, stop answering emails and texts, and just spend some good old-fashioned time with the food I'm about to put in my body. But because I'm running around most of the day, the only meal I can actually set aside time to cook during the week is dinner. That means I usually ~go big~ on my last meal of the day. This recipe from Pinch of Yum is one of my absolute favorites. I always make it with tofu, but it would also be great with chicken.
Dessert: Ice cream
Most days, I have dessert. To me, healthy eating isn't about "eating clean" all the time. It's about eating in a way that's sustainable for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. For me, that means eating dessert on the regular, and it's almost always some form of ice cream. I've tried every healthy ice cream brand known to (wo)mankind, but my current favorite is Moo-phoria by Ben & Jerry's. It pretty much tastes like the real thing—although sometimes, I just go for the real thing. What's life without a little full-fat ice cream, amirite?