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What one SoulCycle instructor ate every day for a week


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All photos: Sydney Miller; All graphics by Well+Good Creative
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For the average person, doing one SoulCycle class a day can be exhausting. (In the best, my-legs-feel-like-Jell-O-but-I-love-it kind of way.) Imagine not only doing three a day, but doing them from the raised stage in the front of the class. There’s no hiding when you need a break and it’s your job to inspire the whole studio to give everything they have.

Have you ever looked up mid-class, stared at the instructor, and wondered, How is she so strongwhat the heck does she eat?! Well, you’re about to find out. While obviously not all spinning instructors follow the same diet, here, one instructor gives an honest up-close-and-personal look at her eating habits on an average week.

Sydney Miller is a senior instructor based in New York City who has been teaching with SoulCycle for over five years. “When I first started teaching, I had to pay close attention to what I ate because my body was just not used to [the demanding schedule],” she says. “I was losing so much weight and was always hungry.” Now, she’s a lot more laid-back. “I don’t stick to a certain diet or anything, but I am about balance,” she says.

What exactly does she mean? Keep reading to sneak a peek at her food diary, which she kept exclusively for Well+Good.

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Sunday

Class schedule: None

Breakfast: Whole wheat pancakes with maple syrup; egg whites with Flavor God seasoning, Starbucks skinny cinnamon latte with soy milk

Dinner: 6 buffalo wings, Caesar salad, half chicken mozzarella sandwich from Parm

Sydney says: Sunday was the Super Bowl, so it wasn’t a typical day of eating for me. I woke up late, made some pancakes and eggs, then went to a Super Bowl party at 5:30 p.m. That Flavor God seasoning is amazing—it has tomato powder, garlic, paprika, sea salt, black pepper, basil, coriander, oregano, and parsley. It tastes just like pizza!

Even though I didn’t work out at all that day, I wasn’t worried about what I was eating. Before I became a fitness instructor, I was more cautious of what I was eating; but teaching, you just burn so many calories that I don’t beat myself up over having a day like this.

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soulcycle food diary monday

Monday

Class schedule: Three classes, starting at 12:15 p.m.

Breakfast: Luna bar and Starbucks skinny cinnamon latte with soy milk

Lunch: Harvest Bowl (organic wild rice, kale, apples, sweet potato, roasted chicken, goat cheese, toasted almonds, balsamic vinaigrette) with avocado from Sweetgreen; Ginger Fireball from Juice Press

Snack: Clean Green Protein smoothie from Juice Press

Dinner: Pesto chicken meatballs and rigatoni from The Meatball Shop

Sydney says: Because of the Super Bowl, I woke up late on Monday, around 10:30 a.m., so I didn’t have a “real” breakfast, just a Luna bar and a latte. Sweetgreen is one of my favorite lunch spots. I have two or three go-to salads that I like and I just never get tired of them. There’s also a Sweetgreen next door to every SoulCycle I teach at, so it’s super convenient.

As for the Ginger Fireball shot, I’ve gotten into the habit of having one almost every day to give my immune system a boost. I wish people wouldn’t come to the studio when they’re sick, but they still do, so I do what I can to give my body a boost. I had that protein shake after I finished teaching. I’ve learned that if you don’t get some protein pretty quickly after a workout, you can become ravenous.

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soulcycle food diary tuesday

Tuesday

Class schedule: Two morning classes, back to back at 6 and 7 a.m.; a lunchtime class

Breakfast: Ginger Fireball shot from Juice Press; whole wheat wrap with three eggs, cheddar, and onions; Starbucks skinny cinnamon latte with soy milk

Lunch: Harvest bowl from Sweetgreen

Dinner: Sushi from Kazu Nori (16 piece): toro, yellowtail, blue crab, cucumber

Sydney says: You’re probably thinking, man, does she ever cook?! The answer is, er, no, not really. Except for breakfast! I go through phases where I like something and just eat it a lot. This week, I was all about sushi. When I’m hungry, I don’t want to think too hard about what to eat so I just go with what I know tastes good.

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Wednesday

Class schedule: Back-to-back morning classes at 6 and 7 a.m.; evening class at 6:30 p.m.

Breakfast: English muffin, two eggs with Swiss cheese, Starbucks skinny cinnamon latte with soy milk

Snack: Luna bar

Lunch: By Chloe quinoa taco salad

Dinner: Chinese takeout: steamed chicken broccoli and mushrooms with brown sauce on the side, one pork bun, brown rice, and steamed chicken dumplings

Dessert: Pinkberry with mochi, chocolate crisps, and chocolate covered pretzels

Sydney says: People often ask me if I get up an hour before I teach to eat breakfast. I don’t. I’ve been teaching morning classes for so long that my body is just used to it by now. I make breakfast at home when I’m done teaching my morning classes.

And yes, the Luna bar strikes again! I always have one with me for when I need some energy pre- or post-class. It’s not too chewy like a lot of other protein bars and actually tastes really good.

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Thursday

Class schedule: Two morning classes back to back, at 6 and 7 a.m.; one lunchtime class

Breakfast: English muffin with Swiss cheese and two eggs, Starbucks skinny cinnamon latte with soy milk

Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken from Sweetgreen

Snack: Chocolate croissant

Dinner: Sushi from Kazu Nori (16 piece): toro, yellowtail, blue crab, cucumber

Sydney says: I was really craving a chocolate croissant, so I saw it at Starbucks and went for it. One of the benefits of teaching so much is not worrying about having treats like this. If I’m about to go on a beach vacation and want to look more ripped, I cut my carbs in half, but otherwise, I eat what I want.

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soulcycle food diary friday

Friday

Class schedule: Back-to-back morning classes at 6 and 7 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. class

Breakfast: Coconut water, Cold Warrior from Juice Generation, Luna bar

Lunch: By Chloe burger and sweet potato fries

Dinner: Rotisserie chicken and corn on the cob with rice and Greek beans

Sydney says: I like having coconut water in the morning before teaching because the sugar rush gives me a burst of energy. Otherwise, I can usually hold out until after my morning classes to eat something.

By Chloe is another one of my favorite lunch spots—it’s just so good. I got a good amount of protein this day, which is great. Sometimes it’s hard to get enough right when I need it. Often, I get caught up talking to riders or getting ready and then I get super hungry.

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soulcycle food diary saturday

Saturday

Class schedule: 9:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.

Breakfast: Luna bar and Starbucks skinny cinnamon latte with soy milk

Post-class smoothie: Juice Generation Almond Joy with whey protein

Lunch: Cheeseburger and fries from Sarabeth’s

Dinner: Mira Sushi: Edamame, chicken dumplings, two rolls

Dessert: Ben & Jerry’s

Sydney says: I got that smoothie with a rider after class. Almond Joy is my favorite flavor at Juice Generation. A couple hours later, I went to Sarabeth’s with some friends, which was delicious. And then for dinner, sushi struck again! I love ice cream and I have if for dessert a lot. If I’m not ordering in Pinkberry then I’m reaching for the Ben & Jerry’s I have in the freezer. My favorite flavor is milk and cookies. Yes, even fitness instructors love dessert!

Wondering if you have what it takes to become a boutique fitness instructor? Here’s what the auditions are like. And here’s how to take your spinning class to the next level, according to an instructor.

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