Here’s What Our Trainers Eat Before, During and After A Workout

I have always loved food and I’m a huge advocate for finding your own groove when it comes to shaping how you tackle the nutrition side of your health and fitness. I spent many years caught up in the plethora of conflicting theories and promises linked into certain methods of ‘diet’.

 I switched up my nutrition after having a kidney removed and needing to re-evaluate my protein intake, as in retrospect… I was definitely eating way more protein than what was needed and adjusted this accordingly.

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Through the process of switching things up and trying completely different food combinations and ratios, I realised that I never enjoyed a routine of large servings of meat for the most part and bland side veggies to complete my meal.

I gradually moved over to more vegetarian based meals, then a vegan approach and discovered that this is something that I feel great about! I got WAY more creative with my food preparation and delved into the abundance of ways that you can turn any ingredient into something delicious!

Here’s what my day on a plate looks like…


Drink 1 litre of water!

I prepare breakfasts in advance for busy days and simply take it out of the fridge! It makes my life a whole lot easier and it also spares me time in the mornings. 

 My favourite breakfasts tweaked to vegan:

Chocolate Brownie Overnight Oats

Chocolate Brownie Overnight Oats Image

  • 1/2 Cups Skim Milk (125g)
  • 1 Fresh Dates (20g), or soak 2 dried dates
  • 1/4 Cups Rolled Oats (22g)
  • 1 Tablespoons Cocoa (10g)
  • 2 Teaspoons Chia Seeds (10g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Maple Syrup (3g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Desiccated Coconut (3g)
  • 1/3 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon (1g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Walnuts (5g), chopped
  1. Place the milk, dates, cocoa powder, maple syrup and cinnamon into the blender. Blend for 2-5 minutes, until a nice creamy consistency is achieved.
  2. Add the oats and chia seeds to a bowl (or mason jar) and stir through the blended creamy milk mix until fully combined.
  3. Cover and set in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy in the morning with a garnish topping of walnuts and coconut.


  • 150g Dried Dates, pitted & chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence (10g)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats (225g)
  • 95g Quinoa Flakes
  • 50g Flaked Almonds
  • 1/4 Cups Pepitas (36g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon (2g)
  • 1g Olive Oil Spray
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place dates in a heatproof bowl, pour over 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Place dates and soaking liquid in a food processor with vanilla essence and process until smooth.
  3. Transfer date puree to a large bowl. Add oats, quinoa, almonds, pepitas and cinnamon. Use clean hands to mix until all ingredients are evenly coated with date puree. Spread granola out evenly on prepared trays and spray lightly with olive oil.
  4. Bake granola for 10 minutes, stir, then continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes, stirring every five minutes, until a deep golden brown. Set aside to cool completely. Keep granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks

Super Green Smoothie

  • 60g Avocado, flesh scooped
  • 120g Pineapple, chopped and frozen
  • 1/2 Banana (50g), chopped and frozen
  • 40g Baby Spinach
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Chia Seeds (7g)
  • 1 Tablespoons Mint Leaves (3g), chopped
  • 3/4 Cups Coconut Water (187g)
  1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and serve.

I usually train an hour or so after breakfast, but if I need to train earlier and I’m going to workout before my breakfast, I eat a couple of dates or a small banana to carry me through.

I am not good training in a fasted state, but this is 100% a personal thing and other people find training before food to work really well for them.

Post Workout

Lots of water during and right after my workout and I will have a small serving of nuts or a snack ball/bar to keep me going until lunch.


Simple and light, as having a large serving or eating something that is too hearty and dense can negatively affect my energy levels.

I like to eat lots of colours and prepare meals that are easy to eat regardless of where I am. I do believe that it’s important to sit down to eat and be mindful of your meal times, taking the time to chew! Many of us eat on the run, which can lead to a lack of awareness with good habits and just how many calories are being consumed.

I’ve worked hard at prioritising time out to be present as I eat and if possible, use real crockery and cutlery.

Here are some examples of lunches that I use frequently and that can all be whipped up in large batches ahead of time to be stored in the fridge or freezer:

Red Curry of Pumpkin and Green Beans


  • 600g Pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1g Olive Oil Spray
  • 40g Brown Rice
  • 1 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste (20g)
  • 1 X 400g cans Reduced Fat Coconut Cream (400g)
  • 200g Green Beans, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 200g Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves (1g), thinly shredded
  • 1 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (20g)
  • 1 Tablespoons Reduced Salt Soy Sauce (20g)
  • 1 Tablespoons Lime Juice (20g)
  • 1/2 Cup Basil Leaves (20g)
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange pumpkin onto tray and spray lightly with oil. Roast for 20 minutes, until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
  3. Place a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic (be careful as paste may spit).
  4. Add coconut cream and stir until well combined.
  5. Add pumpkin, beans, broccoli and kaffir lime leaves to pan. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in sugar, soy sauce and juice.
  6. Divide between bowls, top with basil leaves and serve with rice.


  • 1 Cups Dried Red Lentils (190g)
  • 1 Tomato (167g), roughly chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (6g), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin (1g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Garam Masala (2g)
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric (1g)
  • 3 Cups Salt Reduced Vegetable Stock Liquid (750g)
  • 5g Fresh Coriander
  1. Combine lentils, tomato, garlic, cumin, garam masala, turmeric and stock in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until lentils soften and mixture starts to thicken.
  3. Transfer dhal to a bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.

I LOVE to cook and as I’m often preparing meals for just one person, I can increase the quantities to make enough for a few servings that I will either use as leftovers the next day, or divide the batch up properly into individual portions for my needs and store in the freezer.

I often bump up my vegetables at dinner time, by adding in more than the amount called for in the recipe and I enjoy recipes such as:

Chickpea, Pear and Vegetable Tagine

  • 1g Olive Oil Spray
  • 1/4 Onion (36g), chopped
  • 1 Cloves Garlic (3g), crushed
  • 1/2 X 400g cans Diced Tomato (200g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Moroccan Seasoning (5g)
  • 1/2 Zucchini (50g), chopped
  • 1/2 Carrot (30g), chopped
  • 1/4 Green Pear (41g), peeled, cored & sliced
  • 1 Pinches Ground Cinnamon (1g)
  • 2 Tablespoons Wholemeal Couscous (40g)
  • 1/4 X 400g cans Canned Chickpeas (56g), rinsed & drained
  1. Spray a saucepan with oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add tomatoes, seasoning, zucchini, carrot, pear, cinnamon and 1/4 cup (60ml) water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pear is tender. Add a little more water if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, place couscous in a heatproof bowl. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water and stir to combine. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes until water has been absorbed. Fluff up grains with a fork.
  4. Add chickpeas to tagine and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve tagine with couscous.

Spinach Falafel Balls With Tomato Sauce

  • 125g Frozen Spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 X 400g cans Canned Lentils (120g), rinsed & drained
  • 10g Raw Cashew Nuts
  • 1 Tablespoons Fresh Coriander (6g), chopped
  • 1 Cloves Garlic (3g), crushed
  • 1 Teaspoons Ground Cumin (2g)
  • 2 Teaspoons Tahini (10g)
  • 1g Olive Oil Spray
  • 1/2 X 400g cans Diced Tomato (200g)
  • 1/4 Pieces Wholemeal Pita Bread (10g)
  1. Squeeze excess moisture from spinach using paper towels. Place lentils and cashews in a food processer bowl. Process until coarsely chopped. Add spinach, half the coriander, half the garlic, cumin and tahini. Process until just combined. Roll into walnut sized balls.
  2. Spray a non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook falafel for 2-3 minutes until the outside is just golden. Remove from pan.
  3. Add tomato and remaining garlic to pan with 1/4 cup (60ml) water. Bring mixture to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add falafel and heat through. Place falafel and sauce in serving bowl. Serve scattered with remaining coriander. Serve with bread.

I have a lot of snacks prepared in advance and for the majority of these, the snacks need to be easy to carry around, with no need for refrigeration or reheating.

I will usually have 1 snack mid-afternoon if this is a training day, as I would have already snacked on something small pre/post workout, then I might sneak in a tiny bite of something later in the evening if I’m still peckish. This tends to happen the day following a big lower body workout, as my appetite will usually be increased as I’m recovering. 

Typical Snacks

Snack Ball

  • 1 Cups Raw Cashew Nuts (140g)
  • 1 Cups Almonds (165g)
  • 1 Cups Sunflower Seeds (150g)
  • 2 Cups Dried Dates (300g)
  • 1 Cups Dried Currants (170g)
  • 1 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence (5g)
  • 1/2 Cups Desiccated Coconut (38g)
  1. Process the nuts and seeds in a large food processor bowl until finely chopped.
  2. Add the dates, currants and vanilla essence and process until almost smooth and sticky.
  3. Roll into 30 walnut sized balls or 60 smaller balls.
  4. Coat with coconut.

Wholefoods Energy Bar

  • 8 Fresh Dates (94g)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Prunes (270g)
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats (190g)
  • 1 Cups Almonds (132g), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cups Sunflower Seeds (38g)
  • 1/3 Cups Pepitas (48g)
  • 2 Tablespoons Linseed (30g)
  • 1/2 Cups Peanut Butter, No Added Sugar Or Salt (156g)
  • 1 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (21g)
  1. In a food processor or high powered blender, blitz the prunes, dates and coconut oil.
  2. Stir through the peanut butter. This is the ‘sticky’ paste to bind it all together.
  3. Put oats, roughly chopped almonds and seeds into a bowl. Place the ‘sticky paste’ into the bowl and get your hands in to mix it up!
  4. Line a baking tray and spray with a little oil so the bars don’t stick.
  5. Press the mix into the tray and pop into the fridge to set.
  6. Once set, slice into 24 bars.

 Raw nuts & seeds

So there you have it, my day on a plate!

If you want to check out more 12WBT blogs, visit our website –

Louise McDonald, Cert III & Cert IV Fitness
Louise has been a Trainer and Wellness Coach for almost 20 years and is one of our experienced Support Crew members in Fitness, as our Lean and Strong Captain! Louise has worked passionately with all levels of fitness over the years across both Australia and the UK, where she has specialised in competition training with athletes for the last decade. She has worked closely with top level competitors and even our own 12WBT peeps to bring home a National Trophy! She lives, breathes, eats and sleeps weight training and is super passionate about teaching others how to reach their full potential.

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