It’s dinner time, and you’re hungry. We get it. We’re hungry, too. Hopefully, you managed to eat a good breakfast and lunch — maybe you even had a healthy snack or two. But now, it’s time for the evening meal, which, for most of us, will be our last chance to make healthy food decisions before heading to bed.
Of course, dinner is also the meal when people are most prone to overeating. For some guidance (in addition to that from dietitians), we asked six fitness professionals across a variety of disciplines (including yoga, spin, running and strength) what they eat for dinner.
See below for some inspiration, and be happy knowing that even fitness pros like to splurge once in awhile.
“Savory quinoa bowl with arugula, lentils (or black beans, depending on what’s in my pantry), sweet potato, avocado and tahini sauce. Dinner bowls are my version of comfort food — they are simple, warm, hearty and nutritious. I love the convenience and flexibility to simply throw whatever veggies I have in my fridge over a bowl of quinoa, which is a staple in my house. Quinoa is technically a seed with a light-and-fluffy texture when cooked. It scores major points in my book for being gluten-free and a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids.”
— Liz Arch, yoga instructor and founder of Primal Yoga
“I have to get more creative with dinners because my toddler and husband don’t have the same tastes as I do. I usually cook dinner 3–4 times a week, which helps me control what ingredients go into my meals. A big hit in my house is tacos (also one of the few foods I can’t mess up). I always use wheat or corn tortillas, and love a veggie on the side like paprika corn, greens or just fresh avocado. One of my favorite recipes is a teriyaki turkey taco with radishes and hoisin sauce.”
— Liz Terry, certified personal trainer and core instructor at Lync Cycling
“This dinner gives me protein, vegetables and a nutrient-rich starch. I’ll do salmon or another fish with a baked purple potato topped with cinnamon and almond butter. On the side, I’ll have a green complex of chard, lettuce, celery and carrots.”
— Cristian Plascencia, senior durability coach at Onnit Academy
“Most nights I will eat some version of meat, vegetables and a side like rice or potatoes, or I’ll make a stir-fry loaded with chicken and vegetables. But lately I’ve been really into quesadillas. I’ll cook some chicken breast with onions and peppers, and layer that plus a little shredded cheese between two medium-sized, whole-wheat tortillas. I’ll then top it all with chunky salsa and avocado. It’s filling and tastes good. If I want a little extra something on the side, I’ll throw together a salad of tomatoes, red onion, corn and lime juice.”
— Chris Coggins, high school track coach and private running coach
“My go-to here is wild-caught salmon to provide a great source of protein doused with some heart-healthy omega-3s. Plus, it’s just plain goodness when you pair it with veggies or quinoa.”
— Michael Piercy, certified strength and conditioning specialist, owner and founder of The Lab
“Usually at home I’ll eat grilled chicken or fish (I don’t like red meat), a green veggie like green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus or a side salad, and either pasta, couscous or rice and a big glass of red wine. We eat out 2–3 times a week, and when we do, all bets are off. I order whatever looks good to me on the menu.”
— Jasmine Zutter, owner and spin instructor at Class Studios