ClassPass Chronicles: Navigating Meal Prep and Morning Workouts in The Big Apple

Location (Neighborhood/City): Upper East Side, New York City
Occupation: Journalist
Industry: Media
Typical Hours: 9:30 – 5:30 pm
Age: 24
Time on ClassPass: 1 ½ years
Favorite Activities (fitness types): HIIT, dance cardio, rowing, strength training
Favorite Local Studios: exhale, Uplift Studios, Row House
Friends on ClassPass: 8 (but growing!)
Favorite Local Health Food Spot: Juice Generation, By Chloe, Matter of Health
Hobbies: Reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors

Monday

7:30 am: Ah Mondays, no matter what you do, they’re always a struggle. I always set a goal to work out first thing Monday morning to get my week started right, but I’m only successful about once a month. You win some, you lose some. After realizing it’s a beautiful sunny day in NYC, I decide to walk to work. It takes me about 35 minutes to walk to my office and I soak up every minute. It’s become one of my favorite ways to start the day. For my walk, I prepare a cold brew coffee with coconut milk at home (thank you Trader Joe’s for curbing my Starbucks addiction). I arrive at work, microwave my quick oats, and eat it with plenty of time to spare.

1:00 pm: TBH I work through my lunches — and most people do at my company. I typically meal prep my lunches on Sunday afternoons so that I’m ready to go for the week. Today I’m eating a grilled chicken tender, farro and roasted veggies. I also packed some carrots, gluten-free pretzels and hummus for a post-lunch snack (that I ate directly after I finished my lunch).

3:30 pm: I snack ALL DAY LONG. I don’t know how people go an entire work day without snacks — seriously, I can’t comprehend that. Anyways, I snack on some pineapple chunks and roasted edamame. Yum.

6:30 pm: No matter how much time I give myself, I’m always in a rush to get to my class on time. Today’s no exception. I head uptown to City Row on the UES for a top-notch rowing class. I love City Row because it blends rowing with strength training. I’ve only taken about five or six rowing classes this year but I’m slowly catching on.

8:00 pm: Thankfully, City Row isn’t too far from where I live. After walking home, I hop in the shower for a quick rinse. For dinner, I whip up an omelet with bell peppers and spinach, and serve it with a side of toasted Ezekiel bread. My fellow 20-somethings probably understand the beauty of eggs for dinner — they’re super cheap, versatile, and quick. What more could you want?!

9:00 pm: I’ve been trying to nix processed sugar from my diet during the week. It’s been a struggle because well, I have a major sweet tooth. Instead of munching on some cookies or chocolate, I cut up a Honeycrisp apple and dip it in unsalted, creamy peanut butter. It’s not a brownie but it’ll do.

11:30 pm: WHERE. DOES. THE. TIME. GO? Somehow I always end up going to bed way later than I should. I’ve spent the last two hours planning summer trips with friends and diving into a dark hole of Cole Sprouse videos (long live Riverdale!). I realistically fall asleep around midnight.

Tuesday

6:15 am: I’m up a little earlier so that I can make it to one of my favorite workout classes — HIIT at Exhale. This is by far my favorite class because 1. It’s challenging. 2. It repeats the HIIT exercises week after week so you get better with time. 3. The Exhale locker and shower situation is a dream. It’s literally a spa.

8:30 am: I walk out of Exhale feeling amazing. I instantly remind myself why I love working out first thing in the morning. When I work out before work, I treat myself to coffee. I adopted this new “policy” earlier this year when I realized just how much money I spent at Starbucks in the last year. It’s embarrassing — and quite frankly, I don’t have the money to blow. I grab an iced cold brew with coconut milk and sip on it while I eat my microwaved oats with banana (yet again).

12:30 pm: Another day, another grilled chicken lunch. Oh, and I ate the same veggies with hummus.

2:30 pm: Like clockwork, it’s snack time. Today, I opt for a peanut butter RX Bar because I feel like I need a boost after my morning workout.

6:30 pm: I meet my friend at a PR event at a rooftop bar. They serve an array of finger foods and wine. The perks of working in media!

9:00 pm: Finally home. I prep my lunch and snacks for tomorrow, answer some emails, and watch YouTube videos. I finally fall asleep around midnight.

Wednesday

7:15 am: I’m up and the sun is shining! Since I want to get to work a little earlier, I pack my breakfast (instant oatmeal and banana) and prep my cold brew. Sunny days call for walks through the park. I’m lucky! On my walk, I listen to one of my favorite podcasts, How I Built This. Like most millennials (ew, do you hate me?!) I’m obsessed with podcasts.

1:00 pm: Today has been a whirlwind. I eat the same thing for lunch … again.

3:00 pm: I LOVE SNACKS. Today, I eat a carrot cake Lara Bar (love!) and some more veggies with hummus.

6:00 pm: I’m taking today as a rest day so instead of working out, I walk home. I call my best friend who lives in Texas and we end up talking for two hours — funny how that always happens! While on the phone I whip up a quick dinner — a Quinoa Cowboy veggie burger from Trader Joe’s and roasted broccoli.

8:00 pm: After dinner I munch on Buddha Bowl popcorn. So good! I chip away at some freelance work, respond to more emails, and attempt to sort out my upcoming travel plans.

10:30 pm: Every night at 10:30 pm I get an alert from the Headspace app to remind me to meditate. Evidently, I ignore it most nights. Since tonight has been productive and I’m feeling like I could use a relaxer, I meditate for 3 minutes on Headspace. Here’s the thing: I want to mediate. I really do. But it’s hard to train yourself to do it. This app, however, has been super helpful. Plus, your first 10 sessions are totally free!

10:40 pm: After meditating, I put on a sheet mask (treat yo self), read a chapter in a book my friend recommended to me, The Power of Habit, and head to bed.

Thursday

6:15 am: Since I’ll be traveling at the end of the month, I decide to use up my final Exhale visit. Two in one week—I know, I know. I go to the same Exhale HIIT class as Tuesday. What can I say? I love it.

8:30 am: Yup, I also got a tall soy latte at Starbucks.

9:00 am: I make breakfast at work (you guessed it — oatmeal and a banana) and get the day started off right.

11:00 am: I’m already hungry so I decide to snack on some dried mango and almonds.

1:30 pm: Lunchtime a.k.a. grilled chicken and veggies.

3:00 pm: The snack table is my kryptonite. I try my best to avoid it but notice that someone was sent some new protein bars, Truwomen, so I give them a try.

5:30 pm: I got a last-minute invite to a yoga event at Bryant Park so I decided to go! PSA to all New Yorkers: Bryant Parks offers tons of free activities all year long but they offer free yoga classes in the summer! I invite a friend to tag along and we take a one-hour yoga class. Yoga is also on my list of “things I should do but don’t.” This class, however, was just what I needed. Fresh air, good stretching and nature!

7:00 pm: After the class, we mingle with some of the other yogis and then make our way to by Chloe. The quinoa taco bowl is SO SO GOOD.

8:30 pm: I talk to one of my friends on the phone for an hour, catch up with my roommate, finalize travel plans and then chip away at more freelance work.

11:00 pm: Yikes, it’s 11. I make a cup of chamomile tea, wash my face, watch an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and fall asleep around midnight.  

Friday

7:30 am: Up and at ‘em! For whatever reason, everything’s taking longer today so I decide to hop on the subway instead of walking. Same breakfast. Same coffee.

10:00 am: There’s a lot of people out of the office today so it’s going to be a lighter day. Woo! I snack on some almonds all morning and listen to the new GirlBoss Radio podcast.

12:30 pm: While a life-saver, meal prepping can get real old by day five. But today’s the last day of grilled chicken with veggies. Rejoice!

4:00 pm: It’s someone’s birthday in the office so we celebrate with cookies and rosé. My kind of party!

4:30 pm: Oh no. Someone catches wind of an ice cream happy hour … so I somehow end up there.

6:00 pm: It’s the weekend! I’m not doing anything special tonight so I decide to walk home and call my bestie. If we’re both free on Friday nights, we try to Facetime — and it’s honestly become one of my favorite things ever. I pick up a Sweetgreen salad on the way home (love the pesto chicken bowl) and then hop over to the grocery store to pick up a Synergy Gingerade kombucha.

10:00 pm: My best friend and I FaceTime for four hours. There’s so much life to catch up on when you live 1,500 miles apart! After we hang up, I hang out with my roommate for a bit and then head to bed.

Saturday

7:30 am: I try my best to stay consistent with my sleep on the weekends (some are better than others). I throw in some laundry, hop in the shower and whip up breakfast.

10:00 am: I already feel so accomplished. Laundry: Check. Clean apartment: Check. Now it’s time to work out. Today, I’m going to one of my all-time favorites, Uplift Studios, for their Strength class. It’s 55 minutes of straight-up strength — and it makes me feel incredible.

11:30 am: After class, I meet my roommate at the Union Square Farmers Market. We buy some succulents for our apartment.

1:00 pm: I eat a makeshift lunch — hummus, veggies and a veggie burger. Then I spend the rest of the afternoon out and about in my neighborhood with my roommate.

3:30 pm: A friend invites me to join her at Smorgasburg, a food festival that happens every Saturday, in Williamsburg so I make my way to Brooklyn. While there, we munch on some delicious chicken tacos and split a fancy watermelon drink. We walk around Brooklyn, pop into shops, and then go our separate ways so that she can go to work.

7:00 pm: On my way home, I take a detour and stop at Trader Joe’s. Since moving to NYC, I’ve been trying to figure out the best time to shop at Trader Joe’s (trust me, everyone should witness the madness of grocery shopping the city) and Saturday nights are generally pretty good. I pick up produce, boneless skinless chicken tenders, frozen veggies, and quinoa.

8:30 pm: I survived the grocery store! My roommate also comes home around the same time so we chat over a glass of white wine.

10:00 pm: I decide to watch some cheesy Netflix movie that my friend recommended and fall asleep around midnight.

Sunday

8:30 am: I hit snooze twice and then lay in bed for 30 minutes watching Instagram stories. I then remind myself to redownload the Moment app, which tracks how much time you spend on your phone. I feel like I need that in my life.

8:45 am: I’m struggling to wake up today so I push myself to move my body for at least 15 minutes. I do half of a Barre3 workout via the video tab in the ClassPass app. It’s just what I needed to wake my body up. Tip: Barre workouts are totally apartment-friendly.

9:15 am: Now that I’m showered, I head to Starbucks to pick up an iced cold brew with coconut milk and a cheese danish (my current weakness).

12:30 pm: I have a productive morning: I finish some freelance assignments, create a new monthly budget and update my planner. Ugh, I’m truly living my best life.

1:00 pm: I head to the local grocery store to pick up a few random items that I couldn’t find at Trader Joe’s. Actually, I just didn’t want to lug them home. Since I’m feeling peckish, I pick up sushi to eat for lunch.

1:30 pm: It’s time to meal prep! I listen to the Goal Digger podcast while I prep two different meals: unstuffed stuffed peppers and lemon garlic grilled chicken with roasted broccoli. I also cut up a fresh pineapple and munch on it while I cook.

4:30 pm: More phone calls! I talk with two of my friends so that we can finalize flights for our trip next month..

6:00 pm: My roommate and I have been attempting to try a bunch of restaurants in our neighborhood. We go for Thai food tonight. I get garlic chicken with veggies and brown rice. So delish!

8:00 pm: Once home from dinner, I get ready for the week by painting my nails, writing my To-Do list, and planning my workouts.

10:00 pm: I watch two episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and then fall asleep.

Amanda Garrity is a commerce editor and content producer living in New York City. She finds every excuse to go on an adventure, whether it's in her own backyard or across the country. She enjoys hiking, pretending she's a prima ballerina and drinking an abundant amount of coffee. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.