Here's What Kelsey Heenan Eats in a Typical Day
If you’ve done 4 Weeks of Focus, you know that trainer Kelsey Heenan takes a holistic approach to fitness — focusing not only on building strength and endurance, but also on feeling healthier and happier overall.
So when it comes to her nutrition strategy, balance is key. Instead of following rigid rules, Kelsey practices mindful eating. She prioritizes healthy foods that can help her power through her intense workouts, but also leaves room for soul-nourishing meals with friends and weekly pizza nights at home.
“It’s important to get to a place where you can have a general understanding of nutrients and what helps your body feel fueled — but also allow yourself the flexibility to eat foods that you love,” Kelsey says.
“Nutrition certainly is about fueling your body well, but it’s also so much more than that,” she adds. “Another important aspect is thinking about meals in terms of happiness, culture, and community.”
So what does Kelsey eat in a typical day to find that balance? Here are some of her favorite meals, snacks, and mindfulness tips.
“I always like to start my day out with a meal that includes protein,” Kelsey says. “It helps satisfy hunger and gives me great fuel to get going with my day.”
Two of her favorite ways to get protein in the morning are:
- Eggs. “I typically have some form of eggs for breakfast,” Kelsey says. Pick your favorite cooking style, and add mixed veggies or avocado to ramp up the nutrients.
- Protein shake. “If I’m on the go, I’ll do a simple protein shake.”
Morning coffee is also one of Kelsey’s must-have daily rituals. “I love having coffee in the mornings. I typically do two cups of black coffee,” she says.
At lunch, Kelsey focuses on eating whole food ingredients that deliver the nutrients she needs.
“I always prioritize protein with my meals, and then I’ll include some sort of veggie,” she says. “If I just got in a tough workout, I’ll make sure to add in some carbs to refuel my muscles.”
Kelsey keeps lunch simple and typically chooses one of these two options:
- Leftovers. “Lunch is often leftovers from the day before,” she says.
- Protein bowls. “Anything in a bowl!” she says. “I like to choose a protein and veggies, and then add in some sweet potatoes, rice, or avocado.”
Pay attention to your body and your energy levels throughout the day to decide if an afternoon snack would benefit you.
“Perhaps you haven’t eaten enough protein, or your body would thrive from some whole food carbohydrates,” Kelsey says.
You may need to drink more water or consume more calories to support your activity level. Or you may be feeling snackish because you’re sad, anxious, or bored — or simply because you’re in the mood for a certain food or flavor.
Tuning in to your cravings “can be beneficial in determining if you are hungry or if there is some other need that can be met outside of food,” Kelsey says. “If you truly are hungry, eat!”
Kelsey sips on sparkling water throughout the day to help stay hydrated. When she’s hungry, her go-to snacks are:
- LADDER Protein, either as a post-workout smoothie or in protein pudding after dinner
- Cinnamon rice cakes with nut butter
For Kelsey, dinner is typically the biggest meal of the day — and an opportunity to play catch-up if she needs more of a certain nutrient.
“For example, if I got in a tough workout, but didn’t have a lot of carbs at my other meals, I’ll make sure I include some at dinner,” she says.
But again, mindful eating takes priority over counting macros: “I like to have a lens of mindfulness with my meals to make sure I stay healthy, strong, and feeling great.”
“I love going out to dinner with my husband, friends, and family,” Kelsey adds. “So sometimes, my meals aren’t just about fuel goals. Sometimes, my meals are foods that add value to my life because they are delicious and enjoyed with people I love.”
Here are a few of her favorite dinner options:
- Protein bowls. “Again, anything in a bowl!” she says. “I love to toss in some chicken, steak, or salmon with some crispy broccoli or brussels sprouts, kimchi, and sweet potato. And everything is always topped with hot sauce.”
- Burrito bowls. Another favorite: Kelsey makes burrito bowls with rice or mixed greens, steak, and “tons of peppers and onions,” then tops it off with guacamole and salsa.
- Weekly traditions. “On Tuesdays, I love making tacos with Siete almond flour tortillas,” she says. “And I always have Pizza Night Friday! I love Neapolitan-style pizza.”