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Refrigerator Look Book: Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom

Cristina Peerenboom (at left) and Kirsten Potenza

When Californians Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom first met, Kirsten was a work-a-holic who played even harder and Cristina describes herself as being an “obsessive compulsive fitness freak.”

But since then, the fitness entrepreneurs have learned to balance each other out, and constructively channel their energies with POUND—a full-body cardio workout available at Crunch that combines stimulated drumming with weighted sticks for toning. (We called it “anger management meets group fitness.”)

Kirsten and Cristina aren’t roommates, but they share a work fridge, daytime cooking duties, and a fun-yet-healthy food philosophy.

“If there’s any rule, it’s this—taste comes first. I won’t eat anything just because it’s low in calories or fat free,” Kirsten says.

Here, the duo shares with us their other (un-extreme) rules for eating well. —Jamie McKillop

First thing’s first. Do you cook?

Kirsten: We cook lunch in the office almost every day. We switch off making fun dishes for each other. We also do something called a Tuesday Tweak every week—minor lifestyle swaps or changes that combat daily obstacles. It’s fun to find new ways of tweaking our favorite dishes in healthy ways.

Cristina: I cook almost everyday, even if its just whipping up a yogurt parfait or a simple salad. My favorite quick meals are key lime pie Greek yogurt parfait with almond and coconut flour topping, and butter lettuce wraps with chicken, jalapeños, and simmered cilantro-line dressing.

Great idea! We’ll have to try the Tuesday Tweak idea at Well+Good. I notice the beer on the middle shelf. How do you fit drinking alcohol into a healthy lifestyle?

Kirsten: I hate to quote my mom here, but “everything in moderation.” We enjoy a cocktail at the end of a Pound Pro Training. I usually have a lot on my mind, so it’s a nice way to relax at the end of a hard day. Always listen to your body. It knows when enough is enough.

Cristina: I believe in moderation, so alcohol a couple times a week is okay! I feel like if you’re balanced, your body will let you know what a tolerable amount of alcohol is for you.Pound

“Everything in moderation.” Got it. What is your pre/post workout snack like?

Kirsten: My pre-workout snack is a Kind bar and an iced tea or coffee. Post is anything with protein (in the morning) and a well-balanced meal (if I workout at night).

Cristina: Ditto the pre-workout Kind bar or couple of handfuls of raw almonds. Post workout, I really like organic yogurt and fruit for replenishment of potassium and for muscle repair.

Nice tips! I spy agave on the top shelf (love it!), what do you use it in?

Kirstin: We swap it out for any recipe that calls for sugar or honey. I love it in tea, too! Or on top of granola.

Cristina: Raw agave is such a perfect sweetener. It goes on almond flour pancakes as syrup, in limeade and in Greek yogurt, as well as in salad dressings and dips.

What fun ways to use it! What are the veggies in the big containers for?

Kirsten: The containers were a gift and we found that when we kept the veggies in them, they kept much longer! I’m also a visual person, so if I don’t see it, I often forget I have it. It’s a nice reminder.

Cristina: These veggies are ready to go in stir-fries, salads, and in omelettes. The great thing is that they’re accessible and at eye level.

I’m seeing a lot of fruit. Do you eat a lot each day?

Kirsten: I love fruit! We juice a lot and use lemons and limes in our own homemade dressings and seasonings. Fruit is always a great snack and a source of nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.

Cristina: Fruit is the perfect snack between meals—full of fiber and tasty enough to act as a sweet treat. Fruits like grapefruit and oranges go in our juices, too.

Do you have any guilty food indulgences? What are they?

Kirsten: I don’t really believe in guilt with food. If you make a decision, you make a decision, and you live with it. Food has always been a positive experience in my life. I grew up in an Italian family and food was always a celebratory experience—and it always will be.

Cristina: I am not guilty about it—I love chocolate! Dark chocolate is my favorite, and I usually have a little each day.

What nutritional advice would you give to someone trying to get healthy and in shape?

Kirsten: Eat at home or prepare most of your meals. When you’re in charge of creating your meals, you’ll be much more aware of what your putting in them. Educate yourself, research everything and find out what works for you. Also, find healthy snacks and eat first thing in the morning.

Cristina: Eat within 20 minutes of waking up, even if its just a green apple or yogurt. It balances alkalinity and prevent cravings throughout the day.

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