By: Gaby DuFour
Gaby DuFour is an avid CrossFitter and creator of the fitness-focused @fitfourtitude Instagram. Here, she details what she eats in a day as she keeps up with her CrossFit training.
When you think of CrossFit, the first things that probably come to mind are very intense workouts, a bodybuilding physique and copious amounts of food. While all of that can be true, today I’m here to give you a glance at what I typically eat in a day to sustain my level of exercise. Before we get there, let’s talk more about what CrossFit is.
For those who are unfamiliar, CrossFit consists of complex functional movements including Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, (some) Cardio mixed with High Intensity Interval Training. Each workout is broken down into two segments: A strength or skill portion and a MetCon or metabolic conditioning portion. These two parts make up the WOD or Workout of the Day. It constantly varies, which is great to keep your body and muscles guessing about the work to come. Most workouts are about an hour and include optional accessory work at the end. The most empowering part about CrossFit is the community. We are all there to support one another despite our individual performance. We are a team.
Now to talk about food. I’m in a phase of my CrossFit journey where I’m increasing my protein intake, so I can continue to build lean muscle mass. While my diet does vary day-to-day and week-to-week I do have some staple items I enjoy. Every body is different, but my body likes to eat between five and six meals per day. I am a morning person so I try to get my WOD done between 6:00am and 7:00am during the week and 8:00am or 9:00am on the weekend. I usually have 1-2 rest days per week but will sometimes take more depending on how I’m feeling.
I prefer to work out in a fasted state, so I don’t have my first meal (M1) until after I work out. This meal is my breakfast and usually protein and carb heavy with minimal fats. My favorite on-the-go breakfast is chocolate peanut butter overnight oats. If I have more time in the mornings, I’ll prepare a hot oatmeal or sometimes a protein smoothie. I add Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for a health boost. One scoop helps to support stronger hair, skin, nails, and joints. Saturdays are reserved for post-WOD protein pancakes. I aim for at least 30g protein in M1 and hope it keeps me full for three hours.
M2 usually comes around 11 a.m. and is my first snack of the day. My favorite M2 is egg cups, some sort of additional protein like chicken meatballs or sausages and a heaping cup of roasted vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts and sweet potato are some of my favorites! On days I’m not as hungry (maybe a rest day or active recovery day), I’ll have something lighter like a simple protein shake, quick protein bar or sometimes skip it all together.
I generally eat lunch, M3, around 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. depending on my schedule. I almost always eat this meal at school, so I like to make it easy to store in my lunchbox without needing a microwave. Most of the time, I have a salad comprised of kale, chicken, roasted vegetables, chopped nuts, sliced fruits and a bit of avocado. If I’m still hungry right after, I’ll add in a protein bar.
My afternoon snack, M4, is typically around 4 p.m. I’ve noticed my body craves something high-protein around this time so I opt for Greek yogurt topped with berries or sliced deli meat.
My dinner, M5, is my most varied meal. This is the time of day I can actually be creative with what I want since I always get to eat this meal at home. I don’t always cook things the night of since I’m busy with school so meal prep is a huge lifesaver here (and everywhere to be honest). Sometimes I’ll prepare my protein ahead of time but make my vegetables and sides fresh, because who doesn’t love crispy brussels sprouts? Some of my favorite dinners are salmon, steak or some “fun” kind of chicken like chicken tandoori or shawarma. I pair my protein with some type of green vegetable and a starchy side, which varies from brown rice to sweet potato to a cauliflower mash.
Finally, I cap my night off with a simple and relatively healthy dessert. My go-to is a couple pieces of dark chocolate (90% and above) or a homemade paleo refined sugar-free cookie.
So, there you have it – what I typically eat in a day. I don’t count calories or macros, but I do have a very good idea of what foods my body does and doesn’t like. Some days are definitely easier than others, but hopefully this gives you a better glimpse of “a day in the life.” Until next time!