Los Angeles-based Harley Pasternak has made a name for himself in the fitness world training the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Katy Perry.
So, what do you eat to fuel your day-to-day when your job is to make sure some of the biggest celebrities in the world are in tip-top shape?
“My philosophy is a diet where you graze, not gorge,” he says. “I have three meals and two snacks per day. Every meal should have a protein the mass of your hand, unlimited veggies, a palm-full of high fiber grain or high fiber fruit, and a thumb-size of healthy fat.”
In fact, he’s a self-proclaimed “chocolate chip cookie nut job.”
“There’s a time and a place for everything,” he says. “Everyone should know what their chocolate chip cookie is. Keep it, but limit it to one or two times per week.”
Here’s what Pasternak’s currently eating at home in West Hollywood with his wife and daughter.
I can definitely tell you’re a fan of Siggi’s. Yes, yogurt is one of those things where not all are created equal. Some yogurts like Yoplait and Dannon are pretty high in sugar and low in protein. I go for strained yogurt like Icelandic skyr or Greek yogurt. It’s thicker, higher in protein, and lower in sugar. It’s a nice creamy sweet snack, too. I’ll go sweet with berries and peanut protein powder, or I’ll go savory with smoked salmon, diced cucumbers, and dill.
Sounds delish. What about the Smartwater: how much do you drink per day? I try to drink three liters of fluids each day, so it’s usually five or six bottles of the Smartwater. I always have a Smartwater as a dumbbell in my hand.
For workout double duty! That’s a lot of cheese in the drawer. I’m not a big cheese eater, but I use it to flavor my food. I’m talking a thin slice, not a brick of cheese. I’ll have it on my omelet or on an open-faced sandwich.
Do you normally have an omelet for breakfast? I do an egg white omelet with one yolk. That allows me to have more protein without an enormous amount of calories. Without a doubt, I’ll have Haas avocados for healthy fats. Then I also love smoothies. I’ll throw in banana, apple, some organic protein powder, and almond milk.
Do you normally make your lunch or go out? I kind of alternate. Today I’m heading out for lunch. At home I might make a shrimp quesadilla or a big salad with some grilled salmon. Sunday we do brunch at Soho House, and every morning we go to Coffee Commissary. I’m very specific about coffee. There’s also a chocolate chip cookie at Commissary that’s my favorite cookie in the world. If I do go out for lunch, it’ll be for sushi or I’ll go to Toast.
How do you navigate a menu when you’re out? It’s the same thing. I’ll do a protein the mass of your hand like some grilled salmon or chicken, a vegetable like a big ass salad or vegetable soup, and a whole grain like quinoa, millet, or wild rice. My healthy fat is either an olive oil or avocado. At a Japanese place, it’s always sashimi with seaweed salad and avocado.
What’s the Reddi-wip for? We had a dinner party and we served strawberries for dessert, so we put a little of that on top. Reddi-wip is not a healthy thing, I’m not having a bowl of that for breakfast. But if we’re having a dinner party, you can put a little of that on some strawberries. As long as you’re not replacing junk food with healthy foods or overdoing it, there’s nothing you can’t have. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. —Jamie McKillop