As food lovers, we know better than most people the importance of working out. While working out shouldn't just be done so we feel okay eating what we want, it is an important part of a balanced lifestyle. When you're eating for the insta in NYC, sometimes the only way to have a big enough appetite is to get a workout in early in the day. And just like there is a connection between food and mental health, there also is with working out. Having an hour to yourself every day to not be distracted by other problems and sweating out any stress can make a huge difference in how we feel mentally.

My personal favorite workout is modelFIT, a boutique fitness studio located in NY and LA that focusses on small, controlled movements that tone both your large and small muscles. The slow movements require so much focus that modelFIT is essentially a moving meditation. I wanted to share the amazing benefits with Spoon USC members, so we organized a group outing to modelFIT and made sure we had ample snacks to fuel up with after. Keep reading to find out about more our new favorite workout and snacks.

The Workout

Ariana Pergola

We arrived at modelFIT WeHo and met our British babe trainer Sarah. Throughout the whole class she was so upbeat, and provided amazing fitness inspiration (read: she has the best abs we've ever seen irl.) The class is hard work, but definitely doable for all fitness levels or people with different disabilities. Each move is typically only done for about 8-12 reps to fatigue the muscle to the point right before you start to compromise your form, as proper form is everything in a modelFIT workout. What this is also means is while you will feel a bit sore the next day, you won't be in so much pain that you can't workout for the next 2-3 days after. With modelFIT you're able to do the workout 7 days a week, if that is what you want

Now you might be thinking, "but what if I don't live in NY or LA?" Fortunately modelFIT has launched their online streaming platform so you can stream your workout anywhere you go, and many of the workouts don't require any equipment or are completely equipment-optional. I love being able to set aside space in my room and do my modelFIT workout in the comfort of my own space. Try their 7-day free trial to feel the amazing physical and mental benefits of modelFIT for yourself! 

The Snacks

Ariana Pergola

After the workout we fueled up with amazing healthy/protein-packed snacks. I'm going to describe them each below!

Ariana Pergola

Ample makes easy-to-pack meal replacement drinks. The mixture comes in powder form and then you just add water or nut milk. They have a vegan, Keto, and original formula each with ample proteins, fats and probiotics, and minimal sugar. Ample puts a lot of care into choosing high-quality ingredients including probiotics and superfoods like wheatgrass and chlorella. 

SANS makes nutrient dense, allergy-friendly, protein-packed meal replacement bars. SANS bars check all the marks for me- they have a simple and clean ingredients list, taste delicious, and most importantly, are socially responsible. Through their Buy Meals, Give Meals program, SANS donates a nutritious meal to those in need. Currently their program operates in Haiti where their founder, Nathan, has spent 20+ years learning how to make the biggest impact possible. His goal is to bring nutritious food to both those in developed and developing nations. Definitely check them out! 

Zuma Valley makes soft and chewy mango+coconut and pineapple+coconut balls. These are perfect pre-workout with the energy provided from the dried fruits, paired with healthy fats to prevent a sugar crash. They put care into sourcing their ingredients, with the coconut coming from wild trees and the mango from small family farms -- and you can definitely taste the quality. Every bag always is so fresh, Zuma Valley is a snack I always go back to.

Ariana Pergola

Quantum Energy Squares are coffee-infused protein bars that are absolutely the best pre-workout or powerful study snack. Usually coffee makes me shake (yes, even decaffeinated), however I've never had that problem with Quantum. The difference is that their bars are packed with protein and fats to stabilize the release. The bars are made with green coffee beans, which are unroasted, so they don't have a strong coffee flavor and are said to contain compounds that may help boost your metabolism. I also love Quantum because they donate a portion of their sales and time to a rotating list of charities! 

ONE Brands If you're looking for bars that taste like your favorite desserts without the guilt or sugar crash, ONE is for you. Their bars come in the most fun flavors like cookies & cream, birthday cake, and peanut butter pie. The best part? Each has 20g protein and only 1g sugar! Now you can have your cake and eat it too.

Tillamook Country Smoker makes protein-rich beef jerky. They stand by keeping it as simple and clean as possible. Their jerky contains no gluten and no sugar, which is SO hard to find. Their jerky is crafted just like it was 40 years ago when the company first started- with clean and simple ingredients, and a high-quality process. 

For the physical and mental benefits, here is your reminder to feed and work your body every day.