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Peloton instructor Olivia Amato never thought she would be inspiring thousands around the world by doing what she loves most. However, as someone who grew up as an athlete—the New York native excelled in field hockey, lacrosse, track, and cheerleading in high school and college—transitioning into fitness after working on Wall Street for a few years just made sense.
“I actually used to take my clients to different workout classes, and then we would discuss the market over a green juice after class,” the 31-year-old former equity sales trader tells Women’s Health. “I became obsessed and my week would get so much better when I had a class to look forward to. That’s kind of when I just went for it.”
Shortly after making the full transition into fitness, Olivia joined the Peloton team, then an up-and-coming streaming-based exercise platform, and would help kick off the startup’s running program. The bike, tread, and strength instructor has now been with the company for over four years and can’t see herself anywhere else.
“The most rewarding part about the job is the fact that I get to reach so many people around the world and help them step into their power, recognize their strength, and realize that they are an athlete,” she says.
As an athlete, a large commitment of hers is staying energized, which is something that also seeps into her diet. And while Olivia is conscious of what she eats, she’s against restricting herself when she has a craving. In fact, she self-proclaims to have a major sweet tooth. (TBH, same.)
Olivia grew up being really strict about what she eats. “Any time I would eat something that was ‘bad,’ I’d be like, ‘oh no!’” So building a healthier relationship with food has been an ongoing journey for her. She’s especially hesitant of fad diets and telling people what they “should” or “should not” eat, because she knows how much diet trends negatively impacted her growing up.
“I’m not a nutritionist so I definitely don’t want people thinking, ‘Oh, this is what Olivia eats in a day, so I should eat this,’ she says. “Everyone’s body is so different, and is based on how active you are, and so I want to reiterate that.”
Olivia believes that what you eat can have a great impact on your mental health. And mental wellness is something she advocates for, which is why she partnered with floral delivery company UrbanStems for World Mental Health Day to work towards providing mental health resources and support for all.
Olivia’s motto is “everything in moderation.” So, “if your body is craving something, have it," she says.
“We work hard, yet we’re way too hard on ourselves,” she says. “The fact that our bodies can do such incredible things is amazing, so I’m trying to focus less on every little thing I eat.”
If you’re curious to know what the fan-favorite Peloton instructor eats to stay energized and healthy (and also satisfy her sweet tooth), Olivia chatted with Women’s Health to share everything she eats in a day. Read on for all the juicy deets.
Before even thinking about breakfast, Olivia is usually out the door walking her dog Tobi and her new puppy, Rue. "I’ll put my feet on the ground, think about something I’m grateful for, brush my teeth, wash my face, and then take them out immediately,” she says.
After getting back from walking the dogs, the first thing Olivia has is a glass of water with caffeinated electrolytes before hopping on her Peloton bike or treadmill to coach her first class. Since she usually teaches early in the morning, Olivia usually eats breakfast afterwards. “I don’t feel good running or riding on a full stomach,” she says.
As for her go-to post-workout meal, Olivia opts for a green smoothie with lots of protein. “I’ll put the Athletic Greens Powder in there because I feel like you’re getting a little of everything in one scoop,” she says. If she’s teaching a long run, Olivia will pair a bowl of oatmeal with her smoothie have oatmeal with fruit. Another favorite of Olivia’s: egg whites with avocado. “Those are my three go-tos.”
“For lunch, I’ll usually do a big salad with some protein in it, like tofu or chicken,” Olivia tells WH. Lately, she’s really been loving a bean salad, marinated with peppers and tomatoes, with crackers.
As for her greens of choice: “I do like the crunchiness of a romaine, but I’ll also put in some more nutrient-rich greens like spinach and kale.” Oh, and don’t forget about the broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. “That goes in there, too.”
Depending on her schedule, Olivia loves to munch on some healthy snacks throughout her day. “If I’m running more, I’m definitely hungrier and crave more snacks,” she says.
Recently, she’s been loving carrots or celery with hummus as a savory option. For something sweeter, Olivia is a big fan of Justin’s Almond Butter, which she’ll often pair with some apple slices. “Then smoothies I’ll do, if I didn’t have one for breakfast,” she says.
Olivia’s favorite snack, however, is popcorn (girl, same). “If I really just want a salty snack, I’ll grab some plain popcorn.” Simple, yet delicious.
As a booked and busy boss babe, when it comes to dinner, Olivia usually orders in or lets husband, Daniel Waldron, take the reins in the kitchen. “My husband likes to cook, so he will cook sometimes, which is amazing because he’s such a good cook,” she says.
Sometimes Olivia will play sous chef and they cook together. “Right now it’s getting colder in New York, so we’ll make a bean or chicken noodle soup with gluten-free noodles.” Another one of their favorite meals: tacos. “I love tacos and quesadillas, but it’s even better when you’re making it because you can choose exactly what’s going in it,” she says.
If you’re wondering if Olivia is a hard or soft shell type of girl, the answer is...both! As for what’s going in the tacos themselves: peppers, tomatoes, cheese, and guac, of course. “We’ll mash up avocados and make a homemade guac. And lately we’ve been opting for ground turkey.” When it comes to animal protein, Olivia likes to stick to lean meats such as turkey, chicken, and fish.
As for their go-to takeout order, Olivia and her husband will usually get sushi or take out from New York City restaurant chain Westville. “They have a vegetable marketplace, so I’ll usually get a protein plate with two veggies on the side, which I really like,” she shares.
Olivia also loves breakfast for dinner. “Sometimes I’ll have eggs with avocado and turkey bacon.” (Yum!)
“I have a sweet tooth that a lot of people know about,” Olivia tells WH. Out of all the different types of candy options out there, she’s personally a big fan of the tart, punchy variety. “If I want a sour candy, I will allow myself to have it, obviously not every day,” she says.
Olivia is also a lover of frozen treats, specifically ice cream pops from plant-based pop brand GoodPop. “The ones I really like are their strawberry shortcake pop and then their cookies n’ cream one.”
Olivia drinks as much water as she can. If she’s feeling adventurous, maybe some hot water with lemon. “I don’t love any kind of flavored drinks or sodas,” she says. “I don’t know why. I have my vices, and that’s not one of them.”
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, however, she loves a nice glass of red wine. “I would say that’s my favorite,” she says. As for cocktails, that’s a different story. Olivia shares that she’s been trying to find her go-to mixed drink, but “there’s nothing that I’m obsessed with yet.”
I suggested she try out a caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça, brown sugar, and lime, but for now she’s sticking to a dirty martini with vodka if she does need to order a mixed drink, “but so dirty you can’t even see the vodka.” Noted.
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