Ever wonder how your diet compares to that of a super-fit personal trainer? We asked Daily Burn trainer Anja Garcia (you may recognize her from DB 365, Inferno, Inferno HR and Cardio Sculpt) to give us a sneak peek of her daily eats — and she happily obliged. As a group fitness instructor, personal trainer and registered nurse (working the night shift), Garcia knows how crucial it is to feed her body and mind. “It’s important to fuel well and often,” Garcia says. “I eat every three to four hours.”
Her #1 rule when it comes to eating: No foods are banned. “I think the second I say foods are banned is the second I can’t live without them all of a sudden, so I incorporate them in moderation,” she says. That includes indulging her sweet tooth. “I like the frozen yogurt with the toppings and candy on it!” she says. While she tries to eat healthy 90 percent of the time, Garcia says she has no problem indulging her dessert cravings on the weekends. Here’s what she eats on a typical day.
My Food Diary: What This Top Trainer Eats in a Day
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, wheat toast and an orange
When you’re working three jobs like Garcia does, breakfast needs to get you rarin’ to go for the day. Garcia eats her morning meal anytime between 6 to 7:30 a.m. “I try to eat within 30 minutes of waking up to get my metabolism going and aim for something that’s got some protein and good carbs,” she says. “And a little sugar from fruit is nothing bad!” Because she teaches workout classes in the morning, she tries to eat both before the class, and within one to two hours afterwards. “You have to fuel your muscles in order to use them,” she says.
Lunch: Nicoise salad
Protein is the name of the game for Garcia, when it comes to building meals that are filling and energizing. (Here’s what 25 grams of protein looks like.) “Tuna has a lot of protein in it, and it keeps me feeling fuller longer so I try to get protein into almost all my meals because it prevents me from mindless snacking the rest of the day,” she says. However, she knows that salads can definitely be calorie bombs (just check out these nine salads with over 1,000 calories) — so she makes her lunch selections carefully. “Salads can be just as nasty as a hamburger, so I’m aware of what kind of salad it is and what kind of dressing goes into it,” she says.
Snack: Greek yogurt with almonds
Three p.m. is snack time for Garcia. Long shifts at the hospital mean she has to stay alert and on top of her game. “I’m always prepared with good snacks on hand, yogurts, almonds, fruit, because I need my brain to work just as much as I need my body to work,” she says.
Dinner: Fish tacos on corn tortillas with tomatillo salsa and veggies, plus sides of spaghetti squash sautéed with garlic and red cabbage slaw
Though she eats red meat occasionally, Garcia likes to stock her diet with lots of fish and chicken — hence, this delicious dinner of fish tacos. “I like fish because it’s high in protein but low in calories so it’s a nice big bang for your buck,” she says. Plus, loading her plate with veggies helps keep her full. “I’ve been overweight [in the past] and it’s been hard,” she admits. “If you don’t put the right combos of food in front of you, you want to keep eating until you’re full, so I have a lot of vegetables to help satiate me.”
Want to work out with Anja? Head to dailyburn.com for a free 30-day trial.