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Hi, my name is Tina Woods and I'm a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. My clients often ask me, “what do you eat?” or “what should I eat to lose weight?” These two questions are not easily answered, as I need to know my clients’ or class participants’ goals and backgrounds. And for me, I eat in a very specific way for my personal health and goals. Have you ever thought about what a group fitness instructor eats in a day?
It's often assumed I've always been fit. But my fitness and health journey began with a 53 lb. weight loss (it will be 11 years that I’ve kept it off in August 2018). Once I achieved my goals, I wanted to help others achieve theirs and discover the amazing benefits of exercise and healthy eating.
My diet is predominantly plant based. I'm not a fan of 80/20, paleo, keto, low carb, cheat meals, restrictive eating, low calorie, or low-fat meal plans. None of these have been successful long term (proven by research) or worked for me. I am a fan of balanced healthy diets consisting of high quality, natural foods with minimal ingredients and processing. I believe each person needs to find what's right for them and what makes them happy and healthy and what works best for their body. For me, it’s a diet that consists of gluten, dairy, and meat free and mostly organic foods.
I eat in a specific way due to microscopic colitis (a digestive disorder that causes inflammation in the lining of the colon) and Hashimoto’s disease, and also to fuel my activities as a fitness instructor and runner.
With that in mind, here’s what a group fitness instructor eats in a day:
What a group fitness instructor eats for Breakfast
(this rotates from 3-4 choices):
Protein Shake and Fruit.
In a shaker bottle, combine 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 scoops of Nuzest Clean Lean Protein (I like to mix and match, so right now it's vanilla and strawberry), cinnamon, and 3 drops of vanilla stevia (or your sweetener of choice). I add ice to melt and keep it cold (while I teach or work out). Also, I enjoy a piece of fruit, usually a banana.
Oats.For Pumpkin Pie Oats, combine 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup water, ⅓ cup gluten free Oats, 2 tbsp gluten free oat bran, 1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree, 1 tsp molasses, spices (I LOVE lots!! Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom), 2 scoops Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Smooth Vanilla, 2 tsp flax seeds, 2 tsp chia seeds, 2 tsp-1 tbsp hemp seeds. I also oddly sprinkle black sea salt on top as it brings out the sweetness. For the overnight cold oats, I follow the same recipe, except I reduce the liquid and add a mashed banana or berries to change it up. Combine all ingredients, stir and leave overnight. No cooking required.
Yep, I said cookies. Use the above overnight oats recipe, but reduce the liquid. Add it in slowly to form a cookie dough consistency. Scoop and bake at 365 degrees until lightly browned and firm to the touch. These can be made anytime.
Smoothie bowls.My go-to right now is a chocolate peppermint smoothie bowl that's like eating ice cream for breakfast. In a blender, combine 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 scoops Nuzest Clean Lean Protein in Real Coffee or Rich Chocolate, 2 tsp cacao or carob powder, 2-5 drops of peppermint oil, stevia (if you like it sweeter), 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 small handfuls of frozen diced organic zucchini (about a 1/2 cup), 3/4c frozen organic blueberries, and 2 handfuls of spinach. No ice or water is needed unless it's too thick. Blend until smooth (and you’re welcome). This is the best thing ever!
What a group fitness instructor eats for a Snack:
Cup of Turmeric and Ginger tea, 2 tbsp Pepitas, 1 walnut or a few almonds
What a group fitness instructor eats for Lunch:
I also rotate through 3-4 meals here, too. Since I eat breakfast after my workouts, typically my lunch is later than normal and it’s my largest meal of the day. I load up on veggies and my plant protein. This week, I'm eating stuffed red bell peppers (purple onion, celery, shredded zucchini, diced tops of bell peppers, mushrooms, quinoa, rice, lentils, in a veggie broth with loads of herbs), a small plate of green beans, 2-3 cut up romaine leaves, hummus (tip: mix in a tsp smoked paprika), baby carrots, and 4 slices of purple sweet potato or half a small delicata squash for dessert. Other lunches I frequently eat are Buddha Bowls with zoodles and bean or lentil-based pasta and loads of veggies, quinoa crust veggie pizza, or some other rice or quinoa veggie bowl (all organic here!).
What a group fitness instructor eats for Treats:
After lunch, I'll eat 1/3 gluten free cookie or my Nuzest Rich Chocolate cookie bites and a ginger chew.
What a group fitness instructor eats for a Snack:
Cup of tea and maybe an apple or some fruit.
What a group fitness instructor eats for Dinner:
Typically, I don't eat “dinner food.” One thing I've learned during my weight-loss journey and maintenance is that I only eat what is worth it to me and what my body can handle. I'm a “snacker,” so for dinner it’s organic white popcorn that I cook myself (cook in a whirly pop… greatest thing ever!) in avocado oil and sesame oil, and maybe add a little organic coconut oil and sea salt. Also, I enjoy a protein or snack bar topped with 1 tsp Manuka honey and sunflower butter or almond butter. Oh, and another ginger chew. ;)
I drink lots of water throughout the day, and if I'm hungry I eat a little more. I don't consume alcohol (I don't like it, my stomach can't handle it, and it's also not great if you want to maintain your body weight). And I eat at regular times. This allow me to not get so hungry that I’d eat the bag of chips my teenage son bought.
Last Tip from Tina
You DO YOU! If you love eggs, then get the best pasture-raised eggs and enjoy them. If you eat chicken, yep organic. I will eat salmon or other fish, but I'm buying wild caught and high quality fish. I've found what works for me. And I'm not looking for “junk” since I've filled up on the “good stuff.”