Dance, fitness instructor and most importantly, mother: Those are all of the roles Boston-based Paula Fonseca balances each and every day.
And while teaching exercise classes is an incredibly rewarding job, it is crucial to fuel ourselves properly so we can maintain our energy levels to motivate our classes and clients.
So without further ado, let’s sneak a peek inside the fridge of this Equinox instructor who radiates positivity and high energy each and every day.
Caroline Earle: You’re a busy lady. From teaching classes to picking up your daughter from school – what healthy on-the-go snacks do you nosh on?
Paula Fonseca: Finding time to eat can be challenging, with little time to digest in between classes, I stick to small meals throughout the day. I have nuts stashed in my car, just found coconut covered cashews at TJs today!
Love the Fage Greek Yogurt, and I get the 2%, fills me up longer and I feel satisfied. I can mix it up by adding some agave & cinnamon to the plain flavors.
I’ll always throw a couple pieces of fruit in my gym bag, and although this isn’t considered a snack, I need my morning coffee every day to start it all off.
Keeping it real.
CE: Where do you grocery shop and why?
PF: There a few places I shop at and they all depend on where I am at when I have time to stop and shop, pun intended, this is one place I shop, very close to my house.
Love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for fruits and vegetables. I find fall to be the most fun season for vegetables. We just got purple cauliflower, rainbow chard, and stalks of brussels sprouts. The colors are so yum!
CE: Do you adhere to a strict diet – i.e Paleo, vegan, GF, etc.?
PF: I do not follow any specific diet. We don’t have any food allergies, so the possibilities are endless.
The one constant thing I do keep to is color in my food and try to use whats just right in season. The more color, the more nutrients and antioxidants, and with each meal I got to have protein and fiber. Make each calorie count!
I do enjoy GF pastas from time to time. The quinoa blends are good, sturdier, and nuttier in taste. The groceries end up being 99% organic, and for the rare times we eat red meat, I go to Meat House or Whole Foods to get the best grade.
CE: When both you and your daughter Lina are home, what’s your favorite meal to cook together?
PF: Lina is a good sous chef. She gets into the preparation, washes, drains, chops, all the veggies. She can toss a serious caesar salad [laughs]!
Lately, as the temps go down, we get a little more into comfy food. Kale soup with chick peas, grated carrot, onions, garlic until it comes out of your pores, in a low sodium chicken broth, is perfect and so easy after a long day. We prep it days in advance so it’s ready to go, and I cheat and use stock from a box.
CE: Keeping up energy levels throughout the day can be tough – what tips can you give to those who are feeling the afternoon slump?
PF: Ah, that afternoon slump can get tough, especially during winter months.
I catch myself in a slump when I don’t eat or sleep enough. Sleep is so important! I don’t always get the minimum 8 hours that our bodies need to recover, but napping is a good alternative. I’ll try to fit in a 20 minute nap whenever possible, and drink lots of water, especially if you like your coffee!
Be sure to catch Paula teaching at Equinox Dartmouth, Franklin Street and Chestnut Hill!