The Organic Devotee
Manuela Testolini Nelson, founder of Gamillah Inc., early 30s
"I never have big meals and I snack often, so I don't overindulge. I try to stick to an organic diet and never eat red meat or poultry. For me, it's harder to keep weight on than take it off, so I focus on weight training, and because of travel I just work out when I can."
Daily Diet and Exercise
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Two or three whole eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic; a slice of flax bread; and a cup of maté tea with a bit of honey.
1:00 P.M. I snack all day: yogurt with granola and berries, fruit, raw almonds, dark chocolate, and two protein shakes with flax sprouts, rice milk, and fruit.
2:00 - 4:00 P.M. If I'm eating out, I'll have salad with grilled wild salmon or soup with a vegetarian sandwich on multigrain bread. Anything with hummus is great because of the added protein. I take a lot of vitamins, drink Pellegrino or tea, and never have soda or artificial sweeteners.
8:00 - 10:00 P.M. If I've had fish for lunch, I'll have pasta with vegetables for dinner. If I didn't have fish for lunch, I'll have tilapia with sautéed Swiss chard, salad with beets and feta, and rice. I have a glass of red wine with dinner and fruit or a citrus sorbet for dessert.
12:00 A.M. I'm a night owl, so I can have dinner at 10:00 P.M., work out at midnight, and get to bed at 2:00 A.M. I work out after dinner twice a week and in the late morning one day a week. I have a Smith machine on which I do squats, dead lifts, calf raises, and shoulder and chest presses and an elliptical machine that I use on the highest resistance. I also do tai chi once a week.
What the Experts Say
Lisa R. Young, R.D., nutrition consultant in NYC, adjunct professor at New York University; portionteller.com "Overall, Manuela's diet is high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Particularly for someone on a vegetarian-based diet, she gets plenty of protein from eggs, fish, hummus, and cheese. In fact, she would be better off swapping one of her protein shakes for an extra yogurt, which has calcium that protein powder lacks. The feta in her salad is high in sodium and fat, so she should try low-fat/low-salt instead. At breakfast, she should mix one whole egg with a few egg whites to reduce fat and cholesterol."
Tate Maloy, trainer at the Sports Club/LA, Beverly Hills; tatemaloyfintess.com. "It sounds like Manuela's challenge is weight gain, not loss. She should look to a nutritionist to determine her resting metabolic rate, which will tell how many calories she needs to maintain her ideal weight. If the goal is to put on a few pounds, she should continue focusing on strength training by scheduling it four or five times a week. Finally, sleep allows the body to recuperate and regenerate tissues; if she isn't getting enough, it could prevent Manuela from achieving her fitness goals."