As CEO and president, respectively, of Barry’s Bootcamp, Los Angeles-based John and Rachel Mumford are a serious power couple.
In addition to running the rapidly expanding fitness company, they try to hit three Barry’s classes per week and fit in weekend hikes with their three children in the Santa Monica Mountains.
A healthy diet makes it all possible, but they don’t obsess about what they’re eating, either. “Lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruit,” Rachel says, of their food philosophy. Their advice: “Try to go for the salad instead of the pizza. Say no to the bread basket and sodas as much as possible! But let yourself indulge occasionally on the weekends.”
“Keep it simple and realize it’s about progress, not perfection,” John adds.
You obviously eat very healthy. Do your kids follow suit or do they fight you on it? John: It’s difficult to get kids to eat more than burgers, pizza, and pasta. We discovered that our kids tend to eat better and enjoy it more if we grill chicken or fish and vegetables. Veggies benefit almost more than meats from cooking over charcoal. The caramelizing of natural sugars gives them new flavor. Rachel: Another great way to sneak in vegetables is with a good stir-fry. Our favorite is Gordon Ramsey’s chicken and vegetable stir-fry recipe. Dessert should always be fresh fruit—blueberries, strawberries, blackberries with a little whipped cream on top for the kids and a pinch of cinnamon, or the Yonanas frozen treat maker blends bananas into a natural sweet frozen yogurt in minutes.
Why so many different kinds of milk? John: The kids prefer regular two percent. Rachel and I drink almond milk every morning in our breakfast smoothie, with berries, a frozen banana, protein powder, maca powder, spirulina, flax seed, wheat germ, and chia seeds. It’s really tasty and fills you up.
Sounds delish. It looks like your family also likes chocolate a lot. Chocolate milk, chocolate coconut water… Rachel: Who doesn’t like chocolate? Chocolate milk after exercise is healthier for you than commercial energy drinks, as is chocolate coconut water. It’s also a great way to enjoy chocolate without all the fat and calories of a candy bar.
Good point. What does a typical dinner at home look like? Rachel: We generally eat protein, veggies, and a good carb. I read long ago that you should always have at least one thing on the table that the kids love to eat. So even if it’s super healthy, I’ll make sure I include something everyone loves, like blue corn chips and salsa.
And are there any foods we see here that one of you loves and the other hates? John: I love salmon, but Rachel can’t stand the fishy taste. Rachel: I still force myself to eat it because it’s so good for you. Other than the salmon, we generally like the same foods and dislike others the same—especially cilantro. We both think it tastes like ivory soap!
It’s so funny how that’s true for a lot of people! And finally, what do you eat before a hard Barry’s class? After? John: A protein shake at least an hour before like the one we make for breakfast. Afterwards, it’s important to get some good protein like a Greenleaf tuna mix or a protein shake from the Fuel Bar. Rachel: I run to Gelson’s [supermarket] and get a big green salad with the works: spinach, kale, romaine, beets, red bell peppers, carrots, onions, radishes, red kidney beans, egg whites, olives, sesame seeds, with balsamic vinegar and olive oil…yum. —Lisa Elaine Held