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Refrigerator Look Book: Elizabeth Nable

After a barre class in New York, Nable left her job in TV and opened her own studio back home in Australia. Here's how that's changed her eating habits, too.
(Photo: TK)
(Photo: AgiM Photography)


Two years ago, Elizabeth Nable was a television journalist and producer living in Sydney, Australia, who hated going to the gym.

Then, on a flukey fitness encounter with a barre workout in New York City—which she promptly fell in love with—her whole career path changed. Nable returned home, quit her job, and decided to open Xtend Barre Mosman in Sydney. She has another location set to open in the nearby seaside suburb of Manly this month.

“I’m sure lots of people thought that was a pretty random change of direction,” she says. (Or a fantasy come true.) “I actually feel like coming into the health and fitness industry from a totally different career background is working in my favor. It’s a point of difference. I’m the trainer who understands the constant battle to work out.”

Turns out this self-proclaimed “average person living in the real world” is also realistic when it comes to her philosophy on healthy eating. “We try as much as possible to be healthy where we can,” Nable explains. “But I’m never going to pretend that I don’t like a glass of wine or some chocolate,” she says. “At least now I grab the dark stuff!”

Here’s what the business professional turned fitness mogul is eating right now. —Jamie McKillop

You must be in and out of barre classes all day. What do you eat before and after a workout? It depends on if I’m participating or teaching. My go-to snack at the moment is Chobani plain Greek yogurt with dark berries. So many yogurts these days are so processed and flavored with artificial stuff. You think you’re eating a healthy snack but you’re not. Plain Greek yogurt with fruit is perfect. Or a handful of tamari almonds, although they are pretty hard to stop eating once you start.

I know the feeling. And how do you feel that barre affects your diet? Since my first barre class, I’ve lost 12 kilos (28 pounds), and I’ve totally changed my outlook on healthy eating. When you look better, you feel better, and it makes you want to eat better, too. I’m not sure if there’s any science behind that but that’s definitely been my experience. I used to skip meals and then just eat whatever was in the pantry and more because I’d let myself get starving. Now I’m eating all day, every three hours. When I’m not prepared—that’s when I eat a chocolate!

I think all healthy eaters can relate to that. Those look like great eggs. How do you prepare them? Eggs, I’ve learned, are also a great snack. A boiled egg can just fill a hole to take you through to dinner. The kids love eggs, too, we do eggs every way: poached, boiled, scrambled, baked. My favorite weekend breakfast recipe at the moment is baked eggs with fresh pesto, feta, and coriander, and sourdough toast.

Sounds delish. Is the Vegemite yours? What do you eat it with? We’re Aussies so naturally we love our Vegemite. It’s one of our most famous food exports—and it cures everything, the flu, a hangover, morning sickness. Not really, but it is pretty good. I’m sure Americans would beg to differ, though!

Ha! I had to ask. I spy Chia Pods. Why do you like chia? I’ve only recently gotten into chia. But I’m always looking for great healthy snacks, and these Chia Pods are perfect. I can just grab one and pop in my bag for whenever I’m hungry.

Got it. What kind of veggies are in the bottom drawer? How do you eat them? I get bored with the same old boring veggies all the time, and we’re lucky enough to have access to some awesome varieties. Right now we have baby bok choy, kale, Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage, baby corn, spinach, sweet potato, snow peas, and many more. I’m all about stir-fries with veggies or I’ll throw them on baking tray and pop them in the oven. In winter we literally toss all the vegetables into a slow cooker to make soup. So easy.

That’s a pretty bottle of Champagne. How do you balance drinking with a healthy lifestyle? This photo was taken during the holidays. There are not usually several bottles in the fridge at once. I must say though, Champagne is my favorite treat, along with dark chocolate. The rest of year we try not to have it at all. The good thing is we run an Xtend Barre studio, so we have to be up bright, early, and fresh every morning. That will keep anyone in check.

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