There are some fitness classes that leave you drenched in sweat and feeling totally depleted—and ravenous. Spinning, bootcamp, or a long run all require careful attention to pre- and post- workout fuel. Barre, however, is a little different. Is it hard? Hell yeah. The 45 minutes classes force you to work muscles that are usually overlooked (and perhaps that you didn’t know you had) until they’re quaking. But because it doesn’t create the same type of intensity as some other workouts, figuring out what to eat before and after barre can be tricky.
If anyone has it figured out, it’s Pure Barre instructor and franchise owner Griffin McKenzie Hill, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As interested in nutrition just as much as she is fitness (she studied nutrition in graduate school), Hill typically teaches about five or six classes a week. She recently had a baby and is taking some time off from teaching, which she says has also changed how she eats.
“I’ve experimented with about every type of eating plan under the sun, but there isn’t one specific diet I follow religiously,” Hill says. “I had a baby a month ago and find that my body has different needs now. My caloric intake has stayed the same, but I’m eating more complex carbohydrates, which wasn’t something I ate a lot of before, outside of vegetables. But I feel like it’s something my body needs more of now because I’m breastfeeding a lot and also up late.”
Here, Hill shares what an average day of eating looks like for her now, and how it compares to when she was teaching multiple times a week. Hill’s eating habits aren’t meant to be used as a guide—everyone has different needs based on their own activity levels—but this is what works for her.
Scroll down to see what an average day of eating looks like for Pure Barre instructor Griffin McKenzie Hill.
“I get up around 6 a.m., even if I’m not teaching a morning class at the studio like I was before I had my baby,” Hill says. “I like to start my day with a cup of coffee with nut milk or collagen peptides added to it.” When it comes to her morning meal, Hill says she’s an oatmeal girl (and is partial to Purely Elizabeth Superfood Oatmeal, $9). For extra protein, she adds nut butter and sometimes flaxseeds to her bowl.
“If I’m not having oatmeal, I’ll make a veggie-based smoothie, also adding protein powder and nut butter in there,” Hill sayst.
If she’s not teaching, Hill likes to take a barre class around 9 a.m., then she’ll have a snack to hold her over until lunchtime.
After her morning workout, Hill says she tends to have a little snack, either an RxBar ($19 for 12), apple with almond butter, or a handful of nuts. “I’m not ready for lunch, but I need something to give me a little energy,” she says.
If she didn’t have a smoothie for breakfast, Hill says she’ll make one for lunch. But if she’s already had a smoothie that day, she’ll cook up some eggs, a complex carb (sweet potatoes is one of her go-tos), and spinach for her lunch. “If I’m home and have the luxury to cook something, this is typically what I’ll make,” she says. “If I’m out and about, I’ll get a salad with chicken or salmon for lunch.”
Pre-baby, Hill would typically teach (or take) a barre class in the late afternoon, so to give her a little extra energy, she would have a second snack—typically another handful of nuts or a bar—to give her enough of a jolt to get through class.
For dinner, Hill once again uses her protein, complex carb, and vegetable formula. “Often, I’ll make chicken and roasted veggies,” she says. “I’ll have red meat about twice a week, whether that’s a grass-fed burger or steak,” Hill says, adding that she has a subscription to Butcher’s Box, an ethically-sourced meat subscription service.
Hill says she has a sweet tooth, so typically she’ll end her day with a little dessert. “I love Hu Kitchen or Eating Evolved dark chocolate—both of which are Paleo and vegan,” she says. “If I want to go all-out with dessert, I’ll have a bowl of ice cream. I’m lucky that I don’t have any food sensitivities, so if I want ice cream, I go for the real thing.” This is one fitness instructor who goes all out with her workouts and her desserts.
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