Molly Winter Stewart has ridiculous abs. And when you see how much beer she keeps in her fridge, it just seems unfair.
But the personal trainer and owner of Vixen Fitness NYC pays more attention to her diet (and workouts) than her empty veggie drawer would suggest.
“I strongly believe in a balance of work and play, not deprivation,” Stewart says of her food philosophy. “I enjoy an amazing burger and a beer or a Magnolia cupcake just like any other New Yorker. But when I indulge, I pay attention to quality of ingredients and quantity of consumption.”
Here’s what she she does (and doesn’t) keep in her fridge:
I usually save the indulgence questions until the end of the interview, but that is a lot of beer and wine! It IS a lot of beer and wine! My boyfriend and I love to host dinner parties, so we’ve collected several bottles from friends, and it’s nice to have a few options on hand when we offer our guests a drink. Occasionally, I’ll have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner if it compliments the meal, but my mainstay beverages are water, seltzer, and 1% milk.
What are those yellow things in between the string cheese and seltzer cans? Pineapple rings! I love pineapple. We used them to make a pineapple and black bean side dish to go with a homemade Mexican breakfast a few days ago. Pineapple is an amazing ingredient to cook with.
That explains the can of pineapple juice. Yes, the juice works like a marinade when you combine it with drier ingredients—in this case, the black beans. Plus, we like to use it to make fruit smoothies. We store the fruit in the freezer, so the liquid helps break up the fruit when we toss it in the blender, and it also gives the smoothie an awesome, tangy taste. Seriously, I love pineapple. In case that wasn’t already obvious.
Your fridge is pretty bare. Do you cook? We like to keep some basic ingredients in the fridge, and then bring the fresh ingredients home when we know we’re going to cook a meal. That way nothing goes to waste. It’s a bit of a European sensibility.
And that middle drawer is actually pretty full! We’ve got several kinds of cheeses, an onion, and some chopped red bell pepper, plus some Al Fresco Tomato and Basil Chicken Meatballs. I do cook, but mostly on weekends. My “cooking life” is heavily impacted by my schedule. I’m pretty busy, and I travel to and from all of my clients’ during the week.
So what does a typical weekday meal plan look like? I tend to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. For breakfast I have a Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt with Bare Naked Granola, a few glasses of water and sometimes a coffee. I also keep snacks on hand that I can throw in my bag to keep me energized throughout the day—high fiber granola bars, apples, grapes, hummus, carrots, Justin’s organic peanut butter, and low-fat crackers.
I love soup, so if I can make stop at Whole Foods or Hale and Hearty for lunch, I choose a low-fat soup that has a vegetable base and a little lean protein. I keep my dinners small.
What are your favorite things to eat or drink for workout fuel? About 30-45 minutes before a workout, I like to eat a small quantity of carbs, so that by the time I start my workout, I’m burning those carbs for energy in real-time and not letting them stick around to be stored as fat. A high-fiber granola bar, half a sandwich, or sesame tamari rice cakes are all nice options.
How about post-workout for recovery? My carb and protein intake is a little higher post-workout when my body is most depleted and needs replenishment to put to use right away. I might choose a lean turkey and hummus wrap, pasta salad, or grilled chicken and brown rice. And I always try to eat no more than 30 minutes after my workout, when my body is most receptive to food intake and will allocate the nutrients properly. And lastly, water. Lots of it.
When you eat out, where do you go for healthy eats? I live in Brooklyn and two of my favorite places to go are Fada in Williamsburg and Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint, both of which source their products from local farms and markets and offer rotating seasonal menus. That’s important to me—eating fresh, locally-grown, unprocessed food whenever possible. —Lisa Elaine Held