What Do Trainers Eat?

We go to the gym. We look at the people who train us. And we wonder: What are they eating to stay fit and strong?

We asked our amazing MFF trainers what they eat. Each person knows what type of dietary lifestyle and which foods work for them…and some of their answers may surprise you!

Chris Crowthers

My dietary lifestyle – I eat pretty well-balanced and as clean as I can, allowing myself to live my life and enjoy food. I LOVE to cook, so I do cook for myself a lot. Looking up recipes and trying new things is one of my favorite things. At the same time, I enjoy dining out and trying new places and new neighborhoods.  In fact, Scott and I have started doing International Date Nights and going to neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy. I find myself being fairly planned with room for spontaneity.

Mark Fisher

I tend to eat super meticulously during the week, and “looser” on the weekends.

I’ll usually have water and coffee and athletic greens first thing in the morning.

An hour or two later, I’ll have Greek yogurt with berries and a banana.

For “lunch,” I have eggs with some potatoes and TONS of veggies (mushrooms, peppers, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, avocado, etc.). Basically a salad with eggs! I also will usually have an apple and some fish oil.

During my afternoon workout, I’ll generally drink a protein shake, then eat another banana right after. An hour or two later, I’ll usually eat some sweet potatoes and regular potatoes and a lean burger patty or maybe some chicken sausage. I’ll usually have some more veggies there too, often times brussel sprouts and raw carrots.

For my last meal, I usually have a giant chicken salad that either make, or occasionally I order a steak salad from Just Salad. Then a Quest bar for dessert!

I tend to drink mostly water all day, but in the evenings I usually drink Kombucha.

All my meats, dairy, fruits and veggies are organic. I don’t know that this is strictly necessary, but I don’t mind making the investment. 🙂

On the weekends, I keep a similar structure, but most weekends I’ll go out for brunch and have a Bloody Mary or two. Depending on the week, sometimes I go out for dinner on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Since I don’t tend to pull my punches when I go out (Mexican = Guac and Chips AND Margaritas), I just limit the number of times I eat out. This way when I do, I live my life!

If I don’t go out on Sundays and Shina is in town, we’ll often cook at home. Scallops and veggies and salad and a glass of wine is our go to!

Harold Gibbons

“I’ve watched my manufactured carbs for a while, but now that it’s biking season, I’ve been eating more carbs on riding days.  You need fuel for 3-6 hour days! I’ll adjust and eat less on days that I strength train or take class.  Potatoes are now my best friend!

Dinner is almost always from our kitchen because we love cooking at home.  As for lunch… the guys at the deli around the corner from MFF usually ask me, “Chicken salad?”  It’s been a slow and steady process of eating more veggies, healthier proteins, and fueling my body and mind for #BESTLIFE.“

Tayte Hanson

I sway towards a very high protein diet while still getting my minimums for carbs and fat.

For the first 3 years of living in NYC I was neurotic and cooked everything, but now eat out also. When I’m low on funds or in a leaning phase I just cook everything! Bulking season requires my daily trips to a dollar menu of sorts.

I’ve never had a diet, but I’ve always been specific about goals and know what foods will get me there! Half of the year I’ll eat brown rice, chicken, salmon, eggs, and tons of greens, and the other half I live off of Chipotle and McDonald’s!

Staci Jackson

I love to make protein spinach pancakes in the morning. I know it sounds totally weird and disgusting but it’s so freaking yummy and easy to make ahead of time and eat on the go. Sometimes I’ll even put some Siggi’s Vanilla yogurt on top. #BestLife

I also love Applegate Farms and keep Chicken Apple Sausages and Honey Maple Turkey slices on hand because they are yummy, pack in some protein and are versatile. Make a wrap, put them on salad, or eat them alone, it’s a protein win!

And when I need a sweet treat, I have been turning to coconut flakes. A little bit goes a long way.

Kyle Langworthy

For the past 18 months, I’ve eaten pretty much anything I wanted to as long as I’ve stayed within my caloric goals. I generally try to eat higher carbs on lifting days to reach my higher calorie goal for the day and I eat lower fats on my days off (carb/calorie cycling). I almost always eat high protein and my diet is always high in animal proteins with leaner cuts on my lifting days and higher fat cuts on my off days. I cycle so that I’m able to restore my energy sources efficiently and effectively while also influencing the production of certain hormones for optimal physical performance and psychological well being. I’ve also been intermittently fasting almost every day for over 2+ years now. It’s simply easier and more convenient for my busy lifestyle. I generally utilize a 16-18 hour fasting window in which I will only drink waters and teas. When I do eat post-fast, I’m able to eat BIG, which I thoroughly enjoy.

I tend to cook more, but my awesome girlfriend Staci Jackson does a lot of it too…and she’s an excellent cook (thank the Universe for her). When I do eat out though, I try to go balls to the walls with my strength training workouts prior. Because my muscles need sugar and fat to be awesome, I try and deplete them of these things with specific training parameters such as higher rep schemes and big bang exercises that will kick my ass. Then whilst eating out in the world, I can do so with the solace that I’m able to be a bit more loose in my dietary approach as I will need to restock my muscular system with the appropriate energy reserves (thus hopefully minimizing much fat gain).

For the past 18 months I’d really been focused on putting on some extra muscle gainz, so I was a little more relaxed in my approach in regards to how many calories and specific macros I had been consuming. This allowed me to get stronger while also put on some appreciable slabs of slowly formed muscle. However, I have now transitioned to more performance based goals with the secondary goal of re-comping prior to the late summer (when I will undoubtedly be running around in the desert with little to no clothes…yay Burning Man)! For the next 3 months, I plan to be pretty strict in my approach and loosely “count” my calories and macros by holding myself accountable to ranges in both (I use calorie and macro ranges in lieu of definitive numbers as this approach allows for a bit more freedom, both strategically and mentally).

Liz Messina

As many people have seen I pretty much eat whatever I want, and it may seem like I eat like a complete asshole all the time; however, this is not the case. The majority of my diet is raw leafy veggies (i don’t really like cooked veggies that much), starchy root carbohydrates and high quality protein like grass fed beef or free range chicken. The only foods I avoid at any cost are wheat bread (but i eat white bread!), beans and hydrogenated oils. The reason I avoid these food is because I know how awful they make me feel and how I respond to them. I also try to eat to support my training which consists of intense weightlifting for about 3 hours 4-5x per week, which means a lot of carbs, a lot of protein and high quality fat.

I take my fats pretty seriously and try to aim for foods high in omega 3 and low in omega 6/9, things like fish and almonds and grass fed meat options which will help me recover from training.  I also take where I get my saturated fats and cholesterol seriously because they are important for me as a weightlifter to maintain strength. Most of my saturated fats and cholesterol come from coconut oil, avocado and free-range eggs from the farmers market.

I do eat A LOT of carbohydrates, mostly coming from root veggies like sweet potato and squash, with occasional grains like oatmeal or bag of oreos. 😉  If I don’t, I will not have any fuel to support my training or recover from it.

Fun facts:

  • I take no supplements aside from fish oil or protein shakes.
  • My favorite salad dressing is Braggs ginger sesame.

Here is an example of what I eat on a regular day


6 egg whites, with avocado or 1 farm egg
½ cup steel cut oats (cooked 1 cup)

  • handful of different berries (black-, rasp-, blue-), figs or kiwi
  • a few almonds or cashews and chia seeds
  • a drop of raw honey or maple syrup

Black coffee, ( black like my soul )

Meal 2

Shake from the deli:

  •   spinach
  •   banana
  •   blueberries
  •   flax
  •   chocolate protein
  •   almond milk
  •   ice


Bowl of coco-rice Krispies

Lunch/post lift

Sweet potato, 1 large.
6-8 oz Sautéed ground bison, turkey or beef Or pulled chicken.
Baby kale/ spinach salad blend with veggies.


Rice cakes with sardines, my favorite!!!!!


Sweet potato, 1 large
6-8 oz sauteed ground bison, turkey or beef. Or pulled chicken.
Baby kale spinach salad blend with veggies.

Brian Patrick Murphy

My big points of focus are thus:

  • eat basically as much protein as possible
  • drink shit loads of water
  • eat salad and fruit

I don’t track calories. I feel best when I eat as much steak as possible.

Also, I prefer not to eat my first meal til later in the day (this is NOT for everyone).

I forgive myself for indulgences. Nutrition for sustainability must always have the long-term goal in focus.

If I want pizza for dinner, I eat as much protein as possible that day.
If I have cake, I enjoy the fuck out of it!
You can’t lose weight too slowly if weight loss is the goal!
If muscle gain is the goal—same thing.

As long as there is progress, stick to the process. (I think I stole that quote from Dan John’s new book Can You Go?)

Elizabeth Stacey

For me, nutrition is all about consistency and choice.

Being Type A that I am, I prefer keeping track of calories just to have a general idea of what I’m putting into my body, and what percentages of macros I am hitting for those good #leanz goalz.  Some weeks I’m pretty strict, and others I’m more lenient, but consistency is key.  When I’m not using MFP, being familiar with tracking calories allows me to eyeball portion sizes more accurately on the fly.

When my body is craving something indulgent, I first ask myself: why am I actually having this craving?  Am I actually thirsty?  Hungry?  Nutrient-deprived?  Sleep deprived?  If I can accurately identify that it’s none of those things and it actually is just a hankering for ice cream or a glass of wine, then (within reason) I allow myself to indulge as long as I’m maintaining a pretty consistently healthy diet.  A couple M&M’s here and there should not derail your nutrition plan if you are consistent with your healthy choices and actively choosing to indulge.

Steph Wilberding

I like to do my best to keep my meals full of whole foods that I prepare. I make a green smoothie daily to ensure I am getting those good greens that help keep things moving – if you know what I mean!!!!

I am super curious about food and love to cook. I set aside about two 1- hour blocks of time each weeks to whip things up that I can easily pack so I am always prepared – the crockpot is my bestie when it comes to preparing protein in bulk.

I  would say I pack meals almost every day I am at MFF so I save funds AND have high energy meals that keep my squats low and jazz hands fully extended!!

Matt Wilson

What do I eat? How do I eat? When do I eat?

Those are great questions.

It depends.  #heardthatbefore
My dietary habits ebb, and flow.  I’ll dial it in for a few weeks (when the team is snatching, or when I’m training towards a particular goal), and then I’ll loosen up a little bit (when life is cray-cray, and my focus is on changing other areas of my life).

I like to aim for 1-2 lbs of meat per day, preferably red and rare.  I like raw vegetables (something green), and something starchy (potatoes).  I keep things simple, because if it gets too complicated, I’m less likely to do it.

I also try not to make the perfect the enemy of the good #soundfamiliar.  Some days or weeks I’m more neurotic than others.  I usually eat everything within an 8 hour window.

I also really enjoy sugar.  And salty snacks. And booze.   If it’s not in the house, I usually won’t eat it.  But my liquor store delivers, so…#firstnamebasis


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