As a stunt woman, Caitlin Dechelle has to be ready to put her body through, well, pretty much anything, from fist fights to brandishing a sword while doing backflips. (She was the stunt double for both Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise of Skywalker, NBD.) "You have to be able to get thrown into a wall, for instance, and not get hurt," she says.
Before she started her career as a stunt woman, Dechelle did martial arts. "My grandpa put me in a self-defense class when I was six years old and after that, I tried martial arts and really got sucked in," she says. Dechelle competed in the martial arts world until she was 24 (she's 30 now), and then when she heard about stunt work, decided to give it a shot.
In order to be ready for anything, Dechelle switches up her workouts a lot. In addition to HIIT and cardio, she also keeps active through dance, boxing, and sword fighting. "My workout is different every day," she says. "Most of the time, you'll find me in the gym, doing a mix of strength training and cardio. I love the treadmill and the stair stepper. But sometimes, I'll take a yoga class or a dance class instead of going to the gym."
During the pandemic, Dechelle has been working out outside more, since the gyms have been closed—as have most movie and TV productions. "Even with the pandemic, I still have to stay in shape, because you just never know when the phone is going to ring and I'll have a job," she says.
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With a job and workout schedule this physically demanding, fueling her body properly is key. Dechelle has been following a vegan diet for the past year and a half, committing to it after she found eating plant-based helped quell some digestive problems she was experiencing. For her personally, this is the eating plan that she says makes her feel most energized and better overall.
Keep reading to see what stunt actress Caitlin Dechelle eats on an average day.
"I could eat oatmeal every single day," Dechelle says, adding that she also starts her day with a cup of coffee. To add more protein to her bowl, she likes to sprinkle in a scoop of Openfit protein powder, which is 100 percent vegan. (Dechelle is also an ambassador for the brand, which she says she likes because they offer fitness plans as well as nutrition tips.) "Between the fiber from the oats, the protein from the powder, and some fruit I put on top, this breakfast keeps me full all the way until the afternoon," she says.
For lunch, Dechelle loves to make a grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes. "To me, this is heaven. It reminds me of being a kid and my dad making this lunch for me," she says. "Many people don't realize that there are so many great vegan cheese brands out there." (A staple in her fridge is Daiya.) Dechelle says she uses vegan butter when making her grilled cheese too, to give the bread the perfectly toasted, buttery taste without using any animal products.
Watch the video below to see a registered dietitian rank five of the vegan cheese brands on the market, in terms of nutrition:
When it comes to meat substitute products, Dechelle says she's a big fan of Beyond Meat. "I buy their ground beef, sausages, patties..." she says. A typical dinner for her is Beyond Meat meatballs (which she DIYs) with yellow rice and greens. "I like this meal because it has a good balance of protein, fiber, and greens. That's the formula I try to follow for my meals, as best as I can."
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