Refrigerator Look Book: David Willey

The food philosophy of the longtime editor-in-chief of Runner’s World and his yogi wife is everything in moderation—brewskies and Reubens included.
(Photo: Thomas MacDonald)
(Photo: Thomas MacDonald)

David and Kira Willey might as well be Pennsylvania’s wellness power couple. David is the longtime editor-in-chief of Runner’s World magazine and his wife, Kira, is a children’s yoga instructor.

In between training for a hat trick (a 5k, 10k, and half marathon) as part of the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival and publishing a monthly magazine, David, and his wife (who are New York City transplants), still make time to cook a ton of homemade meals and whip up fresh smoothies every morning…for themselves and for their three kids (ages 12, 9 and 5).

While everyone has work-life challenges, punching the clock at the Rodale headquarters (the publishing company that owns Runner’s World) in Emmaus, PA, has its perks. The compound, about an hour northwest of Philadelphia, where David spends his days, includes a gym with daily yoga and Pilates classes, a farm-to-table cafeteria, running paths, and bicycles that employees can use to go to-and-from work, the editor explains. “Living a balanced life is part of the DNA of the company—it’s not just a slide in a PowerPoint presentation,” David says. (Um, maybe show this article to your corporate wellness department?)

And while David practices a super healthy lifestyle—he runs anywhere from four to eight miles a day—he doesn’t live, eat, breathe, and sleep the fitness world. He’s a fan of the “everything in moderation” motto, whether it’s a Reuben sandwich or a weeknight brewski. “We’re not total slaves to eating perfectly all the time,” David says. He also gives a lot of credit to his wife (aw!) for keeping their fridge stocked and the smoothies always chilled. Here’s what the pair fills their Bethlehem, PA, fridge with:

photo 2_David Willey
(Photo: David Willey)

Wow, Kefir is front and center. Tell me about how you use it? We have one staple, everyday: fruit and protein smoothies. We make them every morning in our Vitamix with Kefir and frozen fruit—bananas, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, or whatever the store has. After my wife makes them for the kids, she’ll add kale and spinach, or wheat germ and chia, to the leftovers and that’s what we’ll have.

So I take it you’re not vegan? Do you try to only eat organic? The fridge contents are dictated by my three kids (i.e. the white basket of bagels and bowl of dyed Easter eggs leftover from Easter). We buy a lot of organic. Wegmans makes it easy. A huge part of why we eat the way we do, and why we’re able to, is because of Wegmans. My wife’s gotten the food shopping down. We do one mega shop per week. We also have a share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in the summer. There are farmers’ markets here—it’s easy to find organic produce.

I miss Wegmans! I see what look likes meat or chicken, tell me about your dinners? For dinner, there’s always a protein. We have fish on Monday because that’s when she [Kira] goes to the store, we’ll usually have something like chili, tacos, or Bolognese sauce one night, and another night she’ll make chicken and chop it up and put in salad. There’s always a veggie to go with it (you can’t see them, but the crispers are packed with salad, mixed greens, and apples.)

But, we’re not eating perfectly all the time. We definitely eat stuff that’s not super healthy. See the thing wrapped in tin foil? That’s a gigantic leftover Reuben sandwich from Stage Deli in New York. Kira was at the Yoga Journal Conference. We always come back from NYC with food that we miss.

photo 1_David Willey
(Photo: David Willey)

How about wine and beer? A few nights a week, I’ll have a glass of wine or beer. I’m not capable of eating chili without a beer, and I find it impossible not to have a glass (or two) of red wine with pasta Bolognese.

Understood. What’s your morning routine like? We’re up around 6:30 a.m. and sometimes earlier, and we have breakfast together every morning. My wife deserves credit for all this—everybody knows that Monday is pancakes, Tuesday is eggs, and Wednesday is peanut butter toast. We work together to get breakfast made. We sit down together quickly and pack the kids’ lunches. They bring a lunch everyday. If you walked into our kitchen at 7 a.m. it would look like we were making a Thanksgiving feast. —Molly Gallagher

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