Everything This Ballerina-Turned-Attorney Does to Stay Fit in Philly

A week in the life of Ashley Catalano-Leckerman, a full-time attorney and part-time barre instructor.


Photographs courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckermanx

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected] with details.

Who I am: Ashley Noelle Catalano-Leckerman (@ashleynoelle123), 26, an attorney and barre instructor from Old City

What role health and fitness plays in my life: Health and wellness is a really integral part of my life. It keeps me centered and balanced and has really contributed to my overall happiness. As a long-time ballerina, I’ve always been drawn to movement, and it’s been really fun and challenging experiencing the many different types of movement that Philly has to offer.

Health memberships: Simply Good Jars ($26), Headspace (free), and a ten-class card at Aqua Vida ($350).

Monday

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckerman

7:30 a.m. — Wake up. I am not a morning person. I have made countless efforts to become one, but it’s just not in the cards for me, and this is about as early as I will ever wake up unless it’s for Daybreaker.

7:55 a.m. — I head to the kitchen to make myself a huge glass of lemon water. Usually in the mornings I try have a glass of warm water with lemon (and sometimes honey) but this heat wave is just too much, so I opt for some ice-cold water with lemon instead.

8:20 a.m. — I leave for work and stop at SoBol Philly on the way. I grab a kid’s size açaí bowl topped with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, coconut, honey, and almond butter ($6.79). SoBol is running a promo for 99 cents off of bowls since it’s a high of 99 degrees today!

1:15 p.m. — I’ve been tied up on calls all morning, so I’m pretty happy when my friends swing by to get me for our walk to lunch. We walk a few blocks to Moustaki Gyro and I grab a Greek salad with lamb ($14). We get our lunch to go and walk back to the office.

3:30 p.m. — Time for a coffee break. My friends and I walk a few blocks over to Dunkin’ and I grab a small black cold brew ($2.69).

6 p.m. — I head out of work and run over to the Sweat Fitness in Old City for a Zumba class with Jeni. I typically rotate my Monday night workout depending on what time I leave work. Because I’m a Sweat Fitness instructor, I get to take classes there for free.

7:30 p.m. — I walk on over to Independence Mall to meet up with some friends and my mom for the Broadway at Independence concert. I will always be, first and foremost, a theater kid. My mom brings me coconut water because she’s a gem.

8:30 p.m. — Head on over to my friends’ new house to watch The Bachelorette and have a blue ice pop. Ice pops during The Bachelor/Bachelorette are becoming our tradition.

10 p.m. — I’m starving at this point, and not many healthy options are open, so I swing by Sumo Sushi on my way home and grab six pieces of salmon nigiri, a salmon avocado roll and spicy mayo ($19.36).

10:30 p.m. — Home. I shower, hop in bed, turn on the TV, and eventually fall asleep.

Daily total: $43.11

Tuesday

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckerman

8 a.m. — Alarm goes off. There’s a huge water main break in the city and my apartment is out of water so I grab a water bottle, quickly get ready for work, and head out.

8:40 a.m. — Like any good Philadelphian, I live and die by La Colombe, so I run to La Colombe and grab an oat milk Black and Tan ($4.50).  I walk a few blocks over and grab a turkey bacon, egg white, and cheese breakfast sandwich from Starbucks ($3.75) and head on over to my office.

12:15 p.m. — It’s Taco Tuesday and the day before a holiday, so I walk over to Buena Onda with a few co-workers and grab two grilled fish tacos and an order of plantains ($12).

4 p.m. — I finally look up from my computer and decide to get some sunshine, so I walk on over to La Colombe (I’m addicted, I know) and grab another Black and Tan ($4.50).

5:30 p.m. — I leave work and walk on over to the Sweat Fitness at One South Broad to teach my Tuesday evening Sunset Barre class at 6:30. I’m very excited about my playlist for this week.

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckerman

7:45 p.m. — I leave Sweat and run over to Torc Yoga, the other studio where I teach, to catch an acro yoga class with Rob Li. I have totally caught the acro bug and love being lifted up as much as possible. Because I teach at Torc, this class is free for me.

9:30 p.m. — I’m mildly hangry at this point, so I run to Whole Foods and make a salad with kale, mushrooms, peas, shredded zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, lentils, potatoes, and tuna ($12)

10:30 p.m. — I get home and hop in an epsom salt and essential oil bath, which is one of my favorite forms of self-care.

11:15 p.m. — I grab a handful of strawberries and a few spoonful’s of Phish Food ice cream and hop in bed to watch TV and doze off.

Daily total: $36.75

Wednesday

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckerman

9 a.m. — It’s the 4th of July, and I don’t have to set an alarm, which is MAGICAL. My body clock wakes me up around 7 a.m., but I promptly roll over and fall back asleep.

9:30 a.m. — I hack open a coconut for some fresh coconut water and begin making my second favorite breakfast (second only to a bagel with cream cheese and lox), avocado toast. I like my avo toast pretty simple, just avocado, EVOO, salt, pepper, and a fried egg. The key is definitely having some really good seeded bread.

11 a.m. — I typically teach a barre class at Torc Yoga on Wednesday night, but since it’s a holiday I’m off! I head over to my favorite ab workout of all — belly-dancing class with with Jeni. I seriously recommend everyone try this workout. Since Jeni and I love to shimmy so much she doesn’t charge me for class today.

12:20 p.m. — We’re now ready for lunch. We walk on over to Dolce & Caffe in Northern Liberties, which is a really authentic Italian café. I have the Italian tuna sandwich on a croissant, a mini cannoli, and a frozen double espresso. It was as good as it sounds. My mom treats us to lunch.

1:30 p.m. — I head on over to hang out with some friends for the fourth, and obviously eat a classic blue ice pop while I’m there.

6 p.m. — My building has a pool, so we head on over to the pool. Despite only swimming one lap, we did enough handstands and played enough games that I think this counts as another workout.

8 p.m. — Dinnertime. We make some steak kebobs, shrimp cocktail, corn on the cob, salad, and baked potatoes ($65).

10 p.m. — The fireworks are over, so we head inside to hang out, which turns into an epic dance party to round out the holiday.

1 a.m. — Bedtime.

Daily total: $65

Thursday

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckerman

8 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and I try my best not to hit snooze.

8:45 a.m. — After a long holiday, I swing by Talula’s Garden to grab an iced matcha latte to get my morning started. I also pick up a mini chocolate pudding cake for a snack later ($7.56). I throw a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides into my latte, which I got for free at the Be Well Philly Boot Camp.

9:30 a.m. — I grab one of my Simply Good Jars for breakfast; today it’s a blueberry chia pudding.

12 p.m. — My friends are ready for lunch, so we walk on over to the Comcast Center. I know have a Simply Good Jars lunch in the fridge, but I decide to take the walk to get some fresh air and grab a jasmine green iced tea ($3.23). We head on back to the office and I grab the Kohlrabi Baba jar, which has grilled eggplant, kohlrabi, cauliflower, tahini, lemon juice, roasted-pepped corn relish and feta cheese.

3:30 p.m. — I desperately need coffee. I run to Dunkin’ and grab a small black cold brew ($2.69).

6 p.m. — Stand-up paddle board yoga with Aqua Vida. I’ve always loved the water and I’m an avid yogi, so when I found these classes with Aqua Vida a few years ago, I never looked back. Owners Jana and Joe are the sweetest people, the classes are incredible, and they have a ton of really cool events throughout the summer.

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckermanx

8 p.m. — I decide to make my favorite summer salad: romaine, grilled fresh peaches, white corn, prosciutto, burrata, and homemade pesto vinaigrette ($35 total for multiple servings).

9:30 p.m. — I hop on my couch with some Ben and Jerry’s and watch TV for a bit.

10:30 p.m. — I relocate to watching TV in bed and eventually doze off a few hours later.

Daily total: $48.48

Friday

Photograph courtesy Ashley Catalano-Leckermanx

8:15 a.m. — I jump out of bed and quickly get ready for work.

9 a.m. — I swing by La Colombe and grab a cascara iced tea ($5) and head on over to the office to eat my remaining breakfast jar. This one is the nutty cocoa, which has peanut butter, granola, chia seeds, cocoa, and yogurt. It basically takes like having a Reese’s for breakfast.

12:30 p.m. — I head on out to a work lunch at Gran Caffe L’Aquila, where I order the appetizer portion of eggplant parm. Their version is not breaded and baked, so it’s a bit lighter. I also grab a scoop of pistachio gelato, because “when in Rome.” Lunch is on the firm.

7:30 p.m. — I meet up with my best friend from law school to take Jeni’s first Friday dance party fitness class ($20). After a whole lot of shimmying, salsa-ing, and twerking, Jeni brings out a pitcher of homemade sangria. Perfect way to get the weekend started.

1 a.m. — I made my way down to Atlantic City and won $1,000. It’s at this point that I realize I’m starving and never had dinner. We head over to the late-night café at the new Ocean Resort Casino and I have an egg white omelette with kale, asparagus, mushrooms and feta cheese and a whole lot of breakfast potatoes ($15).

2:30 a.m. — Lights out.

Daily total: $40

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $233.34

Classes taught: 1

Workouts done: 6

Cups of coffee: 4

Simply Good Jars: 3

Frozen treats: 5

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