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The high-protein foods an Orangetheory instructor eats to fuel her workouts


If you’ve ever tried an Orangetheory Fitness class—which is one of the fastest-growing boutique workout franchises in the country, BTW—you probably left drenched in sweat with legs that feel like they’re made of Jell-O. (Or was that just me?) So what do you have to do in order to teach such an intense workout class? For instructor Erica DeLuca, it starts with food.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, DeLuca teaches up to five Orangetheory classes a day—and she of course makes time for her own workouts. As for the food that helps power her busy workout schedule, DeLuca says she follows the 80/20 diet: “Eighty percent of the time I will make super healthy food choices and whole foods and 20 percent of the time I will indulge,” she says. But she adds that she *always* makes sure she gets enough protein, which is the key to keeping her energy up.

“My food philosophy has always been to find something you can maintain for the rest of your life because if it becomes to challenging, or time consuming, we are less likely to keep it up in the long run,” DeLuca says. “I try to focus on long-term success rather than short-term goals.”

DeLuca’s workout schedule is more intense than the average’s person, which means her meal plan might not be the best fit for everyone. But if you’ve ever glanced up from the rowing machine and wondered what the heck your Orangetheory instructor eats for their intense energy, now’s your chance.

Scroll down to see what Orangetheory Fitness instructor Erica DeLuca ate every day for a week.

Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Sunday

Schedule: Teaching classes at 10:45 a.m. and noon. “Sundays are my rest days, so I don’t do any personal workouts those days.”

Breakfast: Bagel. “I grabbed this before coaching my first class.”

Lunch: Hummus and pretzels. “I only needed something small to hold me over until dinner.”

Dinner: Chipotle bowl. “I went to Chiptole for dinner, building a bowl with brown rice, chicken, black beans, peppers, salsa, corn, and lettuce—lots of great protein and whole grains!”

orangetheory food plan monday
Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Monday

Schedule: Teaching classes at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and noon. “I played soccer for two hours for my own workout,” DeLuca adds.

Breakfast: Banana and breakfast sandwich. “My mornings are really busy because I teach five classes in a row, but I still made time to eat a banana and an egg white breakfast sandwich with turkey sausage at 4:30 a.m. before I got started.”

Lunch: “After I finished teaching, I had an asiago kale salad with baked chicken.”

Dinner: Protein shake. “This is not a normal dinner for me, but I got home pretty late after playing soccer and didn’t want to spend the time to make something.”

orangetheory food plan tuesday
Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Tuesday

Schedule: Teaching classes at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:45 p.m. “I also took an 8:30 a.m. Orangetheory class for fun.”

Breakfast: Banana, vanilla protein shake, Greek yogurt with granola and fruit. “I ate a banana before the 8:30 a.m. Orangetheory class I took. Then, after my workout, I had a vanilla protein shake as part of my recovery. I also had a Greek yogurt with granola and fruit.”

Lunch: “I got this shrimp sushi roll from Whole Foods for a quick lunch.”

Dinner: “I made a protein bowl at home with turkey, chickpeas, avocado, corn, and tomato. I topped it off with a lemon dressing.”

orangetheory food diary wednesday
Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Wednesday

Schedule: Teaching classes at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and noon. “I took an Orangetheory class in the afternoon when I was done teaching and followed that with a 45 minute lifting session, focusing on my legs,” DeLuca says.

Breakfast: Banana and breakfast sandwich. “My schedule on Wednesdays is the exact same as Mondays, so I started my morning the same way, with a 4:30 a.m. breakfast sandwich and banana.”

Lunch: Salad with chicken. “I had the same asiago kale salad with chicken that I had on Monday, too. It’s really good!”

Post-workout snack: “I had a protein shake after my Orangetheory class and lifting sesh.”

Dinner: Spaghetti squash. “I made spaghetti squash with an Italian sausage red sauce, which has a great protein-carb balance.”

orangetheory food plan thursday
Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Thursday

Schedule: Teaching classes at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:45 p.m. “I took an Orangetheory class in the morning, following by a full body lift for 45 minutes.”

Breakfast: Banana, vanilla protein shake, avocado toast. “I had a banana before my Orangetheory class and then had a protein shake right after. Then when I got home, I made whole grain toast with half an avocado and a sunny-side-up egg,” DeLuca says.

Lunch: Salad with chicken. “Yes, another salad with chicken but this time I switched things up! I had spinach and mixed greens with blue cheese and baked chicken—and a little blue cheese vinaigrette on top.”

Dinner: Protein bowl. “I had leftovers from my protein bowl from the other night, so dinner was a repeat of my Tuesday dinner.”

orangetheory food diary friday
Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Friday

Schedule: Teaching classes at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and noon. “I took an Orangetheory class in the afternoon when I was done teaching, followed by an upper body lifting workout.”

Breakfast: Banana and breakfast sandwich. “My schedule on Fridays is the same on Mondays and Wednesdays, which means that more often than not, so is my breakfast.”

Lunch: Spaghetti squash. “I had leftovers from my dinner the other night, so I had it for lunch today.”

Post-workout snack: Protein shake.

Dinner: Grilled chicken salad. “Tonight I went out to dinner with friends and ordered a grilled chicken salad with corn and cucumber. It was like a Southwest salad, only with a vinaigrette dressing.”

orangetheory food diary saturday
Photos: Erica DeLuca; Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Saturday

Schedule: “Today is my day off of work. I went rock climbing for three hours which was fun and challenging. I like to switch things up on the weekends!” DeLuca says.

Breakfast: Avocado toast with eggs and turkey bacon. “Before I left for rock climbing, I made whole grain toast with avocado, with a side of turkey bacon and a sunny side up egg. I knew that with rock climbing, I probably wouldn’t have time for lunch.”

Lunch: Protein shake. “I had a protein shake to hold me over until dinner.”

Dinner: Shrimp bowl. “For dinner, I went to a poke restaurant and had a shrimp bowl with eel sauce, edamame, cucumber, and a seaweed salad.”

For more food diaries, check out what a Crossfit athlete and a SoulCycle instructor eat.



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