What Stephanie Herbert Eats to Fuel Her Fitness

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for fueling your fitness endeavors. Here’s how Stephanie Herbert powers and recovers from her workout.

Stephanie Herbert

A Life Time personal trainer in Alpharetta, Ga., Stephanie Herbert, CPT, METS, is beloved by members and clients for her balanced approach to exercise and nutrition. Here’s how she fuels for fitness.

Experience Life | Describe your training and nutrition goals.

Stephanie Herbert | I aim for 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day, minimum. The more I move, the more energy I have, as well as a better quality of life.

On weekends I do active recovery workouts: I go hiking, kayaking, walking, running, or biking. Two or three times per week, I work with weights to build lean body mass and be a better fat burner, and I do metabolic conditioning for my cardio two or three times. I am a metabolic technician, so I firmly believe in heart-rate training.

I believe you can eat almost anything as long as it’s in moderation. I don’t feel guilty about eating dessert, burgers, or pizza, as long as I don’t go overboard and eat it every day. I also won’t eat something just because it’s there, especially if it’s mediocre. If I start eating something and it is not that great or is just OK, I stop. I do the Life Time D.TOX every four months. This is a 14-day plan that helps me stay in check with my nutrition.

EL | Do you have any food rituals or superstitions?

SH | Sunday mornings I grocery shop and do meal prep. I clean and cut my raw vegetables and fruits and divide them into small containers to have for snacks, and I make Mason-jar salads. I cook and grill meats for our meals to last for three to four days, then divide them into small containers to have for dinners with the kids.

EL | How has your food regimen changed over time?

SH | I used to skip breakfast, drink coffee the entire day, and eat TV dinners and fast food because it was easier. I feel so much better since my nutrition habits have changed!

EL | Describe a day in your life.

SH | I get up at 4:15 a.m. and drink a cup of black coffee, then head to work to set up for class. From 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., I teach four GTX Cut classes and train three one-on-one clients. I have a break around 7 a.m. to take my daughter to school and have a protein shake made with vanilla whey isolate, almond milk, and two fruits.

At 1 p.m. I have lunch, usually a Mason-jar arugula salad (see recipe below) and do administrative work until my one-on-one client at 2 p.m. Then I pick up my daughter from school and take her to gymnastics. I work out at 3:30 and either have a UCAN energy drink or bar. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and typically consists of protein and grilled vegetables. For example, kebabs (steak, chicken, or shrimp) with peppers and onions, basmati rice, and salad; grilled chicken with green beans and salad; or grilled fish with asparagus and salad. Bedtime is 9:30 p.m.

EL | Do you have any favorite recipes to share?

SH | Mason-Jar Salad. This is my go-to meal-prep recipe.

4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
2 chicken breasts (seasoned and grilled, or pulled from a rotisserie chicken), and cut up into small pieces
1 large package arugula 

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Divide them equally into four Mason jars. Fill the rest of each jar with arugula. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

This originally appeared as “Fit Fuel” in the May 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

Maggie is an Experience Life senior editor. Michael is an Experience Life deputy editor. Jill is a health journalist based in Minnesota and contributed reporting for this piece.

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