Unlimited Barre3 Classes and RXBars: How a Registered Dietitian Approaches Her Wedding Diet and Workout Plan

Penn RD Liz Smith shares a week in the life of her wedding diet and workouts.

wedding diet

After her bachelorette party, Liz Smith (middle, top row) shares how she’s getting back on her wedding diet. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

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 ccunningham@phillymag.com with details. 

Who I am: Liz Smith (@thephillynutritionts), 32, from Manayunk

What I do: I am a clinical dietitian for Penn Medicine where I work in outpatient GI/Weight Management clinics as well as the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN); co-owner of the account @thephillynutritionts

What role healthy living plays in my life: Healthy living has played a role in my life since I was a kid. I grew up playing basketball, volleyball, and softball and had home-cooked meals every night (thanks, Mom!). I decided to go to college for Nutrition & Dietetics and it’s been an interesting ride ever since! Working in a hospital with acutely ill patients has made my health (nutrition, fitness, and mental health) an even bigger priority. Luckily, I’m marrying a guy who shares the same ideals I do!

Health memberships: $179 a month for Barre3 (Rittenhouse); typically I pay $12 for one to two classes via ClassPass, but this month I bumped it up to $35 for more classes and purchased a new client special at Solidcore for $199 (I’m sweating for the wedding!).


wedding diet

A whole wheat wrap with avocado is Liz Smith’s first step in getting back into her wedding diet, post bachelorette. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

7:45 a.m. — Wake up, drink water.

8:45 a.m. — I’ve been in Cape May since Friday for my bachelorette weekend, now it’s time to pack up and leave.

9 a.m. — Obviously in desperate need of coffee and water, we stop at Avalon Coffee. I get a large coffee with unsweetened almond milk and water, and treat my amazing sisters-in-law to coffee and muffins ($18.64).

11:15 a.m. — Home, I warm up a whole wheat tortilla and add a small avocado and Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning. I also drink water with lime. I catch up on Sharp Objects and then take a much-needed nap. My goal for the next week is reset my body after a weekend full of frosé, cheese, and wine!

2 p.m. — Nap.

5:45 p.m. — I need to get a good sweat in and see there are still spots left in Susannah’s Flywheel class in Bryn Mawr (I drink 12 ounces of water before, 20 ounces during). I haven’t taken Susannah’s class in a while and it was just as awesome as I remember! I leave completely drenched.

wedding diet

Whole Foods take out for dinner. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

6:55 p.m. —  I stop at Whole Foods (drink another 20 ounces of water while I’m walking around). I pick up a few staples for the week: coffee (La Colombe Corsica blend is my life), spinach, sweet potatoes, almond milk, and swing by the salad bar. Jimmy (my fiancé) is working late, so I make us each of a bowl with spinach, roasted veggies, chickpea patties, and plantains ($82.84).

8 p.m. — Dinner and Bachelor in Paradise; I have a little chocolate for dessert (I have a major sweet tooth and have some type of chocolate or treat every day) and water. I spend some time with Jimmy and get ready for bed.

10:30 p.m. — Bed.

Daily total: $101.48


wedding diet

Red lentil pasta for dinner. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

6:25 a.m. — Alarm, hit multiple times. Get up, drink water.

7 a.m. — Leave for my drive to work, drink my coffee (made at home with unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon).

8 a.m. — Arrive at work and eat a peanut butter RXBar, drink coffee, and catch up with my work-wife Melissa. I start looking up my patients for the day. Tuesdays I am in outpatient GI clinic all day.

8:45 a.m. — My 8 a.m. appointment was a no-show and my 9 a.m. just cancelled, so I go up to the ICN to catch up with my co-worker Traci. I’m stillll drinking my coffee (I use a YETI and it keeps it hot!).

9:30 a.m. — This is definitely not a normal morning with so many cancelled appointments, so I take the time to catch up on emails and phone calls. I’m working on a 32-ounce water. My goal is to drink 96 ounces every day this week to help my body get reset from the past weekend. I don’t believe in detoxes or restricting myself, but I do believe that drinking a lot of water and eating lots of veggies and lean protein will help me “reset.” I get an email to customize my Hungry Harvest for the week! I get a mini veggie harvest which is usually enough for Jimmy and I. I add on eggs and Purely Elizabeth granola (the best!).

11:15 a.m. — I have half banana and scoop of peanut butter while waiting for my 11:30 a.m. patient.

12 p.m. — Another no show! Very bizarre day, but I take it as a blessing to ease back into the work week! I need to get something for Traci, so I walk back to my car (about a half mile) to get steps in.

12:30 p.m. — My stomach is not feeling so great, so I skip the Curry Chickpea Salad I made and get a cup of soup from Gia Pronto. I get tomato soup and skip the bread ($5.78). A coworker made some marinated carrots so try some of those (delish!). I finish my first 32-ounce water and then start on my second one of the day! I pour myself about four ounces of GT’s Trilogy kombucha. My body is craving some probiotics! I see patients until 5 p.m.

5:15 p.m. — I walk the half mile to my parking garage. I’m still only at 6,900 steps. Jimmy and I have a meeting in Havertown for our wedding, so I head straight there.

6:45 p.m. — Home. I finished my second 32o-ounce water on the way home. Jimmy made dinner and I get in a quick arm workout with free weights.

7:30 p.m. — Jimmy made red lentil pasta with pesto and turkey meatballs (all Trader Joe’s) with basil from our AeroGarden. I drink 16 more ounces of water, and I always take my probiotic for the day with my dinner.

8:15 p.m. — Half of a Trader Joe’s 72% dark chocolate bar and Bachelor in Paradise (I just can’t help myself)

10:30 p.m. — I finish another 16 ounces of water and head to bed.

Daily total: $5.78


wedding diet

A healthy smoothie makes the wedding diet. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

7:30 a.m. — I have today off, so I sleep in.

7:50 a.m. — Out of bed, Jimmy left coffee for me so I make that and grab some water. I eat a quarter RXBar (I can’t workout without a little something in my stomach).

8:50 a.m. — I leave for Solidcore.

9:25 a.m. — Arrive and park in Rittenhouse ($3.75).

9:30 a.m. — Sweat my ass off for 50 minutes. Alex’s class is AWESOME!

10:25 a.m. — I head home, finishing off my water.

10:45 a.m. — I get home, do some stretches (mainly back — I hurt my back a few years ago so I am very cognizant of stretching out my back after workouts) and make a post-workout smoothie (quarter cup of Greek yogurt, 12 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk, frozen banana, small handful frozen mango, some ice, two teaspoons chia, one large tablespoon peanut butter, one scoop vanilla whey protein, dash of cinnamon, two cups spinach). I grab another 16 ounces of water and watch some Gilmore Girls (obsessed). Shower.

1:30 p.m. — I head to Conshohocken to meet my mom for my wedding dress fitting!

2:20 p.m. — All finished! I make a stop at Feine for an iced honey lavender latte. It’s delicious and perfect for this hot day.

2:45 p.m. — Home. I throw in some laundry and start meal prepping until we have to leave for our cake tasting.

4 p.m. — I snack on leftover plantains and some tzatziki made with roasted shishito peppers and cucumber, plus a handful of roasted chickpeas.

4:30 p.m. — We leave for our cake tasting at The Master’s Baker in West Chester. I drink more water on the way.

wedding diet cake tasting

Wedding cake tasting — a necessary part of any wedding diet. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

5:30 p.m. — Our cake tasting!

6:45 p.m. — After our cake tasting, we stop for dinner at Iron Hill Brewery. We’re excited we have another item checked off of our list, so we celebrate with a cocktail. I stick to sauvignon blanc (my fave). I usually make all my meals for the week, but life gets hectic, and I truly believe you can make good choices eating out if you focus on portion sizes, protein, and veggies! I get the salmon burger banh mi with sweet potato fries (their “fries” are actually grilled wedges, which is why I got them!), and water. I treat Jimmy to dinner ($56.80).

8:45 p.m. — Home, drink more water, and relax before bed.

Daily total: $60.55


wedding diet

An easy salad for lunch makes the wedding diet. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

6:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off, but I don’t wake up.

7:30 a.m. — I wake up and make breakfast and lunch for the day. I fill up half my water. I grab some coffee Jimmy made (marry a man who makes you your coffee every morning!). My lower abs are hurting from Solidcore yesterday!

8:05 a.m. — I drive to work, drink coffee, and listen to Preston and Steve.

8:40 a.m. — I arrive at work and eat a Siggi’s plain yogurt with strawberries and look up my patients for the day while finishing off my coffee.

9 a.m. — Round in NICU with interdisciplinary team. I don’t normally round on Thursdays, but again, this isn’t a normal week for me!

11 a.m. — Rounds finish early, so I help residents order their TPN (i.e nutrition fed through a patient’s veins).

11:40 a.m. — I get back to my office, put in NICU notes, and prepare for my afternoon patients in GI clinic.

12 p.m. — Lunch! I use my meal-prepped items from yesterday to make a salad (spinach, roasted cauliflower, purple potatoes, chickpeas, shishito peppers, and tzatziki sauce). Finish off some more water.

1 p.m. — I head to clinic to see patients until 5 p.m.

5:15 p.m. — I head out of work, so thirsty from talking and our work water dispenser is broken! Ten minute walk to car.

5:45 p.m. — I get home, chug allllll the water (probably about 16 ounces). Then I head out to Manayunk Brewing to meet our wedding deejay. No time to work out today so we walk to get our steps in!

7:45 p.m. — We decide to stay for dinner. I order sushi and get a glass of wine. We share tuna avocado and spicy tuna (just one, the spicy sauce is actually mayo). I drink at least more water while I’m there as well. Jimmy pays!

9 p.m. — We walk to C&C Creamery for ice cream. It’s the BEST. We each get a small chocolate peanut butter. (Jimmy pays again, what a guy!)

9:15 p.m. — Home, and more water (about 84 ounces for the day, just shy of my goal!).

10:15 p.m. — Bed.

Daily total: $0


wedding diet

A Barre3 class to close out the week. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

6:45 a.m. — Alarm, I hit snooze a million times.

7:45 a.m. — I leave for work with coffee made by Jimmy and chug a cup of water.

8:25 a.m. — I get to work, catch up on notes, emails, and eat my breakfast (Siggi’s vanilla yogurt with strawberries). I try to chug some water, finish my coffee, and eat half an RXBar before heading to clinic. Today is a medical Weight Management Clinic.

10:30 a.m. — I finish 20 ounces of water and the rest of my RXBar in between patients.

1:30 p.m. — I walk back to our office and then make a quick run to the cafeteria with my work wife (Melissa) to buy water since our dispenser is still broken ($2.37). I eat the same lunch as yesterday plus two pieces of Dove dark chocolate.

3:45 p.m. — My last patient cancelled, so I run out early to get to barre.

4:08 p.m. — Park ($5.25) and drink more water.

4:20 p.m. — I get to class early and refill my water. Danielle is a fellow dietitian and one of my favorite instructors! Her classes are always uber challenging, but what I love most if that she focuses so much on FORM (as someone with back problems, this is super important to me!).

4:45 p.m. — I sweat uncontrollably for the next 60 minutes. When people tell me they don’t sweat during barre, I tell them to take Danielle’s class.

6:15 p.m. — I get home, drink more water, shower.

wedding diet

Appetizers, made healthy, for the wedding diet. Photograph courtesy Liz Smith.

7 p.m. — I start making dinner. Although it’s been a short week (I only worked three days!) I’m so happy it’s Friday night. I make some apps for Jimmy and I to share (tzatziki, carrots, cucumbers, and shishito peppers). I make salmon cakes (my favorite go-to recipe!) and Trader Joe’s Tahini, Pepita and Apricot slaw.

9 p.m. — I have some Wheat Thins while we watch TV. I turn in early, as I have another Solidcore class in the AM!

Daily total: $7.62

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $175.43

Workouts: 4

RXBars: 2.25

Cups of coffee: 5

Dinners out: 2

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