Personal trainer Holly Waters of Fitness Alive is going to level with you guys. After reading about all of the Sunday morning batch cooking, serious prep work that most trainers and dietitians live by, there's another way to eat healthy.
"Normally I do very little preparation for my meals and I just eat on the go," said Waters. "This is not what I preach to my clients but it's unfortunately my day to day."
When Waters launched Fitness Alive, her goal was to inspire everyone from every age bracket to get active and learn to love fitness.
"When you see someone succeeding in a goal they didn't think was possible, that's my favorite part about the job," said Waters. "The truth is that I love what I do but it doesn't come without challenges.
"Waking up at the crack of dawn is hard, commuting in the rain on my bike is hard — but let's get serious, the hardest part is refueling. I want to motivate each and every client from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. so this girl needs her food!"
That's why Waters feels consistency in your diet is so important to maximize and sustain your energy levels. She munches on food all throughout the day to ensure that her digestive system is working constantly.
"I'll have clients tell me that they try not to eat after 7 p.m. and I'm like, well are you going to bed at 8?, because that's the only way that makes sense," said Waters. "People just don't think enough about how much food they actually need. There's overeating, but there's also not eating enough, and that's a big issue."
Yet, for a trainer that's running from studio to studio and client to client all day, there's another factor that comes into play … refueling also comes down to convenience.
"If I need a fork and a knife, I might be screwed," said Waters. "I've been known to eat chicken and shrimp out of a bag between clients!"
I know what you're thinking, Chicken out of a bag? Really? Waters thinks her days as a swimmer in high school and college sparked the on-the-go eating habit.
"My coaches always said salads were the best thing to eat before a meet so my mom would make them and throw them in a bag for me to munch on and I think I just got used to eating things like that before my workouts."
Bags of precooked frozen shrimp are now one of Waters' go-to meals. She just adds hot water to the bag in the morning and by mid-day, they're already thawed. Mix in some hot pepper sauce, give the bag a good shake and you've got a super easy protein-packed meal.
Prepared food delivery services are also a new favorite of hers. Over the holidays, Waters and her fiancée gifted each other a pack of prepared meals from local business Hen House Foods.
"It really helped me eat well despite my lazy ways and it was delicious at that," said Waters. "Consider gifting yourself or others — you won't be disappointed!"
Below, in Waters' own words, she describes her typical day of on-the-go healthy eating:
4 a.m.: Coffee with protein powder and a hard-boiled egg.
"After snoozing my alarm for about 10 minutes, I head to the kitchen for a scoop of instant coffee and a scoop of protein to start the day. I find this super efficient. It also feels like I am doing something wrong because it tastes sooooo good.
Then, I take our dog Franklin for a quick walk. When I get back, I pop a hard-boiled egg prepared in my egg cooker (best gift ever for the lazy), wash, brush and head out in the dark on the bike. My bag usually has fruit and some nuts in it, which do not last long at all."
Morning snack: Oatmeal.
"Around 9 or 10 a.m. I get to pop back to the house where, again I pride myself on efficiency, so I throw oatmeal in the microwave, mix in some peanut butter and a greek yogurt and call it a day."
Lunch: Turkey chili with slaw.
"This week in my fridge, I have a bunch of samples from Kettlebell Kitchen so I grabbed one of these meals to go and that's it for lunch."
Afternoon Snack: Nuts, half an avocado and a juice.
"I inhale my snacks between clients, before classes, or even walking to my bike. I usually hit up Ryan Crown's Juice Club for a quick pick me up — try the 'Holy Water,' it's a hot and spicy energy booster. (Ps. he delivers!)"
Dinner: Chicken with asparagus.
"Once I get home, I'm usually lucky enough to have dinner waiting for me in the microwave. My fiancé Mike is a chicken, sweet potatoes and either asparagus or brussels sprouts kind of guy so usually I'm set with a balanced recovery meal to get me ready for the next day.
However, if Mike is on night shift then it's take out from somewhere. Top 3 go-to's are:
1. An angus burger over salad. (Thank you Cosmi's Deli and Joey Renzi!)
2. Portabella sandwich over salad from The Foodery on Sansom.
3. Pickled veggies and a burger from Fountain Porter down the street from our humble abode."