What I Eat in a Day…from a (OUR!) Personal Trainer

Guys!  This “What I Eat in a Day” post is provided by our bada$$ personal trainer and crazy hard (awesome) barre & pilates instructor Alaya Sexton.  She (with her husband) owns the best gym in town (Iron & Grace) with tons of offerings for all fitness levels.  She is also a great one to go to with questions on health and nutrition.  I love this post because as a super busy wife, mother, and business owner you’ll see that she still manages to make her family’s health a top priority as well as fitting in some personal time for self care. Take her cue and prep what you can, when you can.  Thank you so much Alaya for sharing with us, we are grateful to you (and so are our bodies!).

rachel signature

Being a busy mom and co-owner (with my husband and father of our children) of Iron & Grace makes me strive for efficiency and presence in our lifestyle, as it is bustling….. I tend to prep food  on my evenings off and anticipate leftovers for easy lunch creating. I’m grateful for a love of cooking and for being raised in a macrobiotic kitchen by a trained chef.  I was exposed to foods of all cultures and given cooking skills at a young age.  I love to work creatively so I often am at a loss when someone says, “can you give me that recipe?” as I mostly throw things together.  That is what happened this morning…  

I thrive on ritual but accept the reality of the demands on my time, so it is a brief ritual, 20-35 {minutes} that kicks every day off upon rising. I always lift heavy on Thursdays and Saturdays but mix in my 20 minute daily workouts here and there throughout the week.  My pre-children ritual was to start my days with my own workout but these days, my daily ritual is more of a work IN, than a work out, I find it is what I need these days.  I LOVE Thursday mornings as they are generally chill at the Sexton house.

5:25am morning ritual– wake before the kids drink 20 oz of warm lemon water, then hit the cushion begin my meditation practice and then spend 2-5 minutes setting my intentions for the day.

6:00am I begin making lunches and breakfast

Today, I take  D, multi B complex, fish oil and L-lysine.

I am a bad vitamin taker, but knowing I have a grueling workout today I’m motivated. I’m further motivated by my massage this afternoon.

My husband is already at the studio teaching and Thursdays are my favorite day as I don’t have my first class until 9:30am.  Thursdays are also my heavy lifting day so lately, I try to make red meat on Wednesday and bring some with me. I generally keep my last calories of the day veggie based, and the kids are my dinner meat eaters.   My day is long and both Chad and I are at the studio for lunch and dinner. 

celery tomatoes

I used this combo (above) as my base for today’s lunches: marinated artichoke hearts, fresh basil, tomatoes, celery and golden balsamic vinegar, (fresh pepper and salt too) and turned it into a pasta salad for the kids (below) by dressing it with a mixture of marinara and mayo and vinegar and toss with leftover high protein farafelle. 


For Chad and I, it becomes a greens topper by adding roasted beets and sweet onions. 


By 6:20am everyone’s lunches are assembled and ready to go, Stella is up and Brooks is stirring, so it is time to get started on breakfasts.  I wake up starving so I’ve already eaten a bunch of soaked almonds and picked at some grapes. Brooks and I eat eggs, turkey sausage and buttered ezekiel toast. Stella has peanut butter on her toast (she won’t eat eggs) and we all have some of our homemade kombucha.


Many mornings the kids eat separately from me so I love our breakfast conversations on Thursdays.  Today we talked about camouflage and mimicry in the natural world- those 2 WARM my heart….!! Brooks chose to wear camo to school today, so he “won’t get found in hide-and-seek.”

8:00am Stella is out the door and I make a green smoothie for myself, Brooks and Chad. Here is what today’s has:

makes about 48 oz in the Vitamix

lots of deveined kale

about 2 TBS fresh ginger

about 2 TBS of chia seeds and flax seeds (really just to emulsify)

an apple 

a couple of celery sticks (from yesterday’s lunchbag) 

few sprigs of fresh parsley

4 small lemons (whole and peeled)

1 TBS of raw honey

1/2 c frozen mangos

water to fill the space between the veggies

6 pieces of ice

Food packed to the studio:

3 hearts of romaine chopped


{Plus} about 5 oz leftover steak with my new fave condiment, BS Grillin pepper relish made locally and bought at True Value (for me)

bs grillin

1 1/2 c tuna salad (for Chad)

my beet concoction

3 carrots

2 avocados

a lemon and a lime

about 2-3 cups of grapes

remaining soaked almonds

At the studio: rice cakes, peanut butter, raw almonds and hemp protein powder

9:30 teach TRX Pilates followed by 2 appointments

12:15 eat some salad, steak, drink the rest of my tea and munch on some grapes

12:40 Olympic lifting

I drink a hemp protein drink (Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Pro 70 is my fave) with coconut water during (about 20 g protein)

2:00-3:00 and 5:30-6:30 Helping people move better and get strong!

3:30- 5:00 massage

5:15 I am disappointed with my over-ripe (and inedible) avocado, but luckily Chad did not eat his… a little lemon and sriracha salt, and my snack is restored- yum!

I finish up my salad by about 7:00pm and stay at the studio till 8:30pm working.  

I’m STARVING by 9:00pm.  I generally try not to eat that late and the few walnuts I grab to push away the hunger just were not cutting it, so I made a serving of quinoa flake cereal (I throw 3 cloves and a star anise in the water) I eat it with little cinnamon, some leftover apple slices from Stella’s lunch, (finely chopped) a heavy TBSP of kerry gold butter and about a tsp of honey when I serve it and that was JUST what I needed. 

My husband and I get a chance to reconnect after the kids are asleep and I’m asleep by 11:30pm

Did I say I love Thursdays? To be fair, there is only a 90 minute massage once/month ;)



Owners: Alaya & Chad Sexton
3831 Old Forest Road, Suite 13  
Lynchburg, VA 24501

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