Keep your healthy eating regimen on track with ideas from the pros.

By Karla Walsh, Life by Daily Burn
Updated January 08, 2020

You drop it like a squat and sprint on the bike at their command, but it’s rare to see what some of the most in-demand trainers eat to fuel their class-packed days. While some meals are what you’d expect — hearty salads and gluten-free sandwich wraps — they also like to indulge in a chocolate chip cookie once in a while. And with busy, often unpredictable schedules, sometimes they don’t have time to meal prep. Yup, they’re just like the rest of us. We asked seven top spin instructors, CrossFit coaches and other fitness pros to name their favorite healthy dish when dining out. So when you’re out on the go, you can mangia for bigger, stronger muscles, too.

What 7 Fitness Trainers Eat When Dining Out

1. Lauren Cardarelli (@laurcardarelli)

  • Certified Barre, Yoga, HIIT and Cycling Teacher, Lululemon Ambassador
  • Restaurant: Green Life in Mamaroneck, New York
  • Order: Sweet Chick Wrap
  • “Confession: For years, I’ve fallen victim to the juice cleanses, low-fat, low-carb — OK, low-everything — diets. My understanding of how to properly fuel for energy, muscle recovery and real results completely shifted when I discovered Green Life. Whether you’re Paleo, gluten-free or vegan, their menu provides nutritious options that don’t sacrifice flavor. I love to grab the Sweet Chick Wrap after my morning workout. It has a great combination of carbs (whole-wheat wrap and sweet potato), protein (grilled chicken) and fiber (spinach) and gives me the boost I need to thrive all day. Since I started eating at Green Life often, I have cut back to drinking only two cups of coffee a day (I used to have at least double that) because I’m so energized by the wholesome ingredients!”

2. Jenny Gaither (@jennygaither)

  • Founder/CEO of Movemeant Foundation, Senior SoulCycle Instructor
  • Restaurant: Jane in San Francisco, California
  • Order: Gluten-Free/Vegan Granola
  • “Jane is a health nut’s dream! They offer a variety of delicious, good-for-you breakfast and lunch options along with gluten-free and dairy-free house-made baked goods. Everything on the menu is fresh, organic, and made with real whole foods. Not to mention, the coffee is next level. As someone who believes in balance, this is the spot I go to when I want to indulge in a chocolate chip cookie or a slice of banana bread because if it’s made with real ingredients then there’s no guilt.”

3. J.D. Alex (@jddmialex)

  • Sports Performance Coach, Level 2 CrossFit Coach at Oregon CrossFit, Competitive Athlete
  • Restaurant: CHOW in Bend, Oregon
  • Order: Vinny
  • “When eating out, I think it’s important to eat at a place that cares where their food is from. I want to know what I am putting in my body and want to fuel it, not just fill it. CHOW uses locally-sourced food and has an emphasis on sustainability. My favorite order is called the Vinny, which includes poached eggs, ham, gluten-free toast and homemade hollandaise.”

4. Mike Donavanik (@mikedfitness)

  • Celebrity trainer at Crunch Gym, Equinox and Barry’s Bootcamp; YouTube Fitness Guru
  • Restaurant:Murakami Sushi in Los Angeles, California
  • Order: Sushi Bowl
  • “This dish is a perfect mix of carbohydrates and protein. Murakami is known for sushi bowls, and this one has all the fixings! Obviously, fish is packed with nutrients and vitamins. Underneath the layers of sashimi lies a bed of sushi rice. If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, Murakami also offers the same order on a bed of greens. It’s colorful and nutritious, and the flavor is unbelievable.”

5. Krista Stryker (@12minuteathlete)

  • Founder, 12 Minute Athlete
  • Restaurant:Laughing Planet Cafe in Portland, Oregon
  • Order: Harvest Bowl
  • “Laughing Planet’s Harvest Bowl is pretty much my ideal meal. It’s packed with quinoa, black beans, yams, sautéed kale, broccoli, tempeh, avocado, cilantro-lime slaw and pumpkin seeds (phew!). The best part is that it comes with a side of cilantro green sauce. It has a ton of flavor and is filling and nutritious.”

6. Jennipher Walters (@fitbottomedgirl)

  • Personal Trainer and Co-Founder Fit Bottomed Girls
  • Restaurant:The Mixx in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Order: Tuna Nicoise Salad
  • “When I make salads at home, I tend to get in a bit of a rut and choose ingredients that are quick to chop and prep. So when I go out, I like to order salads that have all kinds of different delicious and healthful ingredients. This Tuna Nicoise is my favorite. It’s made with seared tuna, roasted potatoes, haricots verts, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and olives over greens with a tarragon-shallot vinaigrette. I mean, this is basically like going to France for a meal — with lots of protein, healthy fats, carbs and veggies!”

7. Jess Hu (@hungry_panda)

  • Personal trainer at Fitness SF
  • Restaurant: Blue Barn Gourmet in San Francisco, California
  • Order: U-Pick Salad
  • “I love any salad place where you can put together your own salad. Blue Barn is amazing because they partner with local producers and also carry a variety of fresh seasonal ingredients. I get to choose all my favorites — and always add extra protein!”