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Food Diaries: How Ingrid Nelson of Biker Barre and Nike Eats for a Day

The local personal trainer and cycle instructor is always burning calories. How does she refuel?

You’re likely to find Ingrid Nelson in front of large crowds of sweaty people, who are huffing and puffing along to her indoor cycling classes at Biker Barre or boot-camp sessions at Nike Georgetown. The personal trainer teaches more than ten cycling classes per week, on top of personal training and fitting in her own workouts six days a week. “My workouts consist of running, high-intensity interval training, and strength training,” she says, but adds, “It’s always important to take one day off a week.” Still, on those off days you’ll find her keeping active through yoga, barre, or hiking and walking around Washington. So how does the busy bee keep up her energy? Read on for her one-day food diary.

Breakfast: “My day begins at 5 AM, always with a fresh juice and a large water. This particular day I was enjoying a Sweetpress juice from Sweetgreen and a large Smartwater. Then off to train some ‘Ing Bodies.’”

Morning snack: “It is always snack time in my world. On this particular morning it was fresh cut pineapple and raw almonds. The almonds were gone before the picture was taken.”

Lunch: “Lunchtime is around 2 o’clock and is usually a huge salad filled with a lot of kale and other veggies. If I eat dairy in my day, this is when it goes down! I tend not to eat carbs after lunch, so last call for those, too! I was in a hurry today, so I grabbed the Sweetgreen kale Caesar salad with extra kale. Then, off to get my workout in.”

Afternoon snack: “Must snack before spin! I stay on the bike during my entire class and usually like a little something about 60 minutes before class. One of my favorite things is half of a grapefruit with ground flaxseed and sea salt. It’s super refreshing and delicious.”

Dinner: “My favorite home-cooked meal is wild salmon with fresh asparagus and red quinoa. I was craving my fresh greens from Eastern Market, so I went crazy and added a side salad.”

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Are you a local health, fitness, or nutrition expert with a love for food? E-mail to find out how you could be featured in our Food Diaries series.

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  • Been following this for a bit

    I've been troubled by the same thing as other commenters on a number of these profiles. It would be great to have calorie estimates for both food and how much these people exercise to answer many of these questions. Or even a picture of these people so you can tell if they're four or seven feet tall or waif thin?

  • Anonymous

    Sounds divine. I'd love to have lunch or dinner with this inspiring lady!

  • positivepolly

    What negative comments! There is plenty of protein in quinoa and kale. That diet is clearly over 1800-2000 calories and she says she often snacks throughout the day. I find it interesting that people are reading a well+being blog yet don't want to ask any questions. Rather, she must be a "rexi" if she eats clean and exercises.

  • ReasonableSnob

    I never said that SHE is anorexic; I stated that I once was. I should also say that I realize this makes me much more sensitive to articles like this, but that some of the food diaries read as much more reasonable goals for health and moderation than others. Given that the media's attention to obesity is so great these days, I think we often forget that there is a problem at the other extreme, as well. I simply wanted to shed light on how this reads from a different perspective.

  • Skeptic

    Eh, I wouldn't say she's "rexi" but that really doesn't seem like many calories for someone who works out as much as her. If you eat as much fruit and veg as she does, its actually pretty hard to get to 1200 calories, much less 1800, without either eating some bad-for-you things or eating a lot more. Breakfast of green juice - 110, Pineapple and almonds - I'd be generous saying 200, kale salad with bread - 600 half grapefruit with flaxseed - maybe 100-150 calories, salmon with quinoa and asparagus (guessing 4 oz salmon, 1/2 cup quinoa, 6 spears asparagus) - maybe 400 calories. So if I take the most generous estimates of everything you might get to 1500 calories, but considering that she works out almost every day and burns 500-600 calories minimum, that doesn't seem to be sufficient, at least based on what I've read about caloric needs

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