Each week, I’ll go inside the refrigerator of a Boston fitness professional to find out what exactly they eat. Think of this as MTV Cribs gone healthy. Because, honestly, don’t you want to know if they practice what they preach? We do.
The nutritional life of a fitness professional can be sporadic. From quick fixes between teaching classes to early morning training sessions, our meals and eating patterns are anything but normal.
But instead of living off of protein bars and spoonfuls of nut butters, this popular Boston fitness instructor and trainer properly fuels his body with whole foods — even if it does seem he’s noshing every hour. Chris Gagnon, an elite level athlete, coach and Equinox instructor, shares what’s inside his fridge.
And don’t be surprised by the volume of food he intakes. Remember, he’s burning an extraordinary amount of calories per day.
Caroline Earle: Are you a grocery list maker or do you shop as you go?
Chris Gagnon: Lists? What are those?! I am definitely someone who is more spontaneous and adventurous in my every day life, which eliminates any efforts for working around schedules or grocery lists. As a mobile fitness trainer, my schedule can change two or three times per day if clients need to change or cancel appointments. It’s not uncommon for me to visit a grocery store twice per day.
I will certainly make weekly trips to restock my “essential foods” supply, but those are items I know I need ahead of time on a regular basis. Seasons change and preparing food is more exciting when you can be a little more spontaneous with your choices. I love food and far too creative to limit my options to a list.
CG: There is definitely at any given time no less than two dozen eggs in my fridge. I typically eat 4 eggs (2 yolks) every morning and burn through a dozen in 3 days!
Breakfast is my specialty and a definite necessity in my world. Some people need coffee? Well I need my eggs to get me started in the morning. I seriously need to build a chicken coop to help with the situation!
CE: Boston is full of incredible restaurants. How do you stay on track when dining out?
CG: The benefit of fitness is it allows me to basically eat anything I want without worrying about breaking the scale, not that I would ever weigh myself. The more in tune you are with your body and fitness, the more responsive your body becomes to the food you consume.
I know what makes me feel like absolute hell and just stay clear of those options.
There are so many amazing restaurants in Boston but the cost alone keeps me on track. Why would I go out and spend $46 on just a steak (that isn’t even grass fed) when I can cook an entire meal for under $20 in about 30 minutes?
I think my problem is that I cook so many amazing meals at my house that I am often disappointed when going to a “high-end” restaurant. It’s definitely fun to go out with friends to try dishes that you normally wouldn’t prepare!
CE: Do you tend to nosh on 3-square meals a day or more frequently?
Sometimes I wish I could, but it’s certainly not possible with the amount of calories I burn and amount of outdoor cycling/training I typically do. My day starts at 4:40am and ends around 9:00pm.
Rather than explain how I eat, let me “list” off what I have consumed so far today!
4:40am – Wakeup!
4:55am – Big bowl (2 cups?) of corn flakes with fresh blueberries, banana, whole milk
7:45am – 4 eggs (2 yolks) and 15 sautéed asparagus spears
10:45am – 2 whole milk blueberry yogurts, banana walnut muffin at Newton Corner Whole Foods
11:30am – 2 slices of raisin bread
12:15am – 2 more slices of raisin bread
1:30pm – Grocery store (big purchase!)
2:00pm – Danielle natural salami sandwich with Cabot cheddar, lettuce, farm tomato, whole avocado, on fresh bread. 1 whole farm tomato, 1 whole cucumber, 4 thick watermelon slices.
4:30pm – Power nap
5:30pm – Yogurt and banana
7:30pm – Hammer Nutrition Whey protein & water recovery drink
8:45pm – Homemade grass fed beef meat sauce over pasta (1.5 cups?), local greens salad.
9:30pm – Good night!
CE: If you could indulge in one unhealthy item without the nutritional detriments, what would it be?
CG: Just one thing? I typically indulge on at least one muffin from Flour Bakery per week – their vegan banana chocolate muffin is out of this world! Wait, is that even that unhealthy?!
Let’s go with homemade spaghetti carbonara topped off with garlic bread, and chocolate soufflé cake. I could go for that right now.
Images via Gagnon