Sweat Diaries: The Grad Student Who Finds Time to be a HIIT Coach and a Food Instagrammer

Zoe Beausoleil crams her days with masters classes, F45 Training coaching sessions, and Instagram posts of gorgeous meals.


Zoe Beausoleil coaches at F45 Training during the day and goes to grad school at night. / Photograph courtesy Zoe Beausoleil

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: Zoe Beausoleil (@notastarvinggradstudent), 22, from East Falls

What I do: I am a full-time graduate student at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine pursuing my Masters in Biomedical Science while I apply to medical school. I am also a coach at F45 Training in Northern Liberties.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Having a job in the fitness industry reminds me to take breaks from school, so I don’t go crazy focusing on studying, grades, and my med school applications. Working out, doing yoga, or going for a run gives me a chance to clear my head and manage my stress in productive ways . I believe that “healthy living” is attainable for everyone, regardless of whether you’re someone who works a 9-5, someone who has never exercised, or a grad student like me. I recently started an Instagram account called @notastarvinggradstudent to show the world that real people, not just the picture-perfect Instagram models and influencers, can work or go to school (or both), exercise, eat healthy, and enjoy their lives all at the same time.

Health memberships (and what they cost): I am currently doing the new client special at Priya Hot Yoga, which is $40 for a month of unlimited yoga. Being a coach, I get to work out at F45 for free and I have “free” access to the gym at schoo.l (I pay tuition so it’s not really free, but I don’t pay anything out of pocket to use it day-to-day.)



Beausoleil’s dog, a mini Australian shepherd named Winnie. / Photograph courtesy Zoe Beausoleil

4:40 a.m. — My alarm goes off. It takes about 10 minutes for me to get out of bed and start getting ready for the day, including packing my bag with gym clothes, coaching clothes, a protein shake, and a chocolate protein snack ball. During the eight-week F45 nutrition and exercise challenge, I can’t have coffee, so I’m drinking warm water with lemon and pretending it’s a large hot latte.

5:10 a.m. — I’m out the door and off to work to coach full-body workouts that combine HIIT, interval, and functional training at F45.

8:30 a.m. — Done with coaching for the morning. After cleaning the studio, my coworker and I run ourselves through the cardio-based workout of the day [F45 pulls workouts from a huge database that can combine different types of exercises so every workout is different] because I won’t be able to make it back for a class tonight.

9:45 a.m. — I don’t have time to run home before coaching the noon class, so I shower and hang out in the office, reviewing my notes for (academic) class later today.

Noon Coaching again!

1:15 p.m. — I head home for lunch — chicken and veggie stir fry — and to play with my pup. A lot of people at school are surprised when I tell them I have a dog because it’s a big responsibility. I grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and have never not had at least one dog in my life, so when I moved out to the city alone, I knew I needed to have a companion. Having a living, breathing entity that needs to be cared for reminds me to be a person and keeps me from getting caught up and overwhelmed by everything I have on my plate. Taking her on walks not only forces me to go outside, but it gives me a chance to stretch my legs and be in the sunlight and fresh air after spending time cooped up in the library or cadaver lab.

3:30 p.m. — I’m off to school (with a quick stop at Starbucks for a $3.75 venti iced green tea because I am in serious need of some caffeine) for a little bit of group study in the library before class. I bring a protein shake with me to hold me over until I can eat dinner.

5 p.m. — Anatomy lecture and then up to the cadaver lab to try and visualize everything we just learned.

7 p.m. — And we’re off to the library. My friends and I try to go to the library most days after class/lab to review the material and make sure everyone is on the same page before the next lecture.

9 p.m. — Dinner is baked salmon with riced cauliflower and broccoli. I do some light cleaning in my apartment before heading to bed.

Daily Total: $3.75



Class/study time! / Photograph courtesy Zoe Beausoleil

4:40 a.m. — My alarm goes off way earlier than I want it to. I mix up a quick protein shake and grab a banana and my warm lemon water as I run out the door.

5:30 a.m. — Coach my two morning classes.

8:30 a.m. — Just like yesterday: After coaching, my coworker and I run ourselves through a workout (resistance-based this time), and then I’m headed home.

9:45 a.m. — Following the F45 Challenge meal plan, I make a mushroom, kale, and tomato scramble with garlic and red onions. I have never put garlic in eggs before this challenge, and wow, I’ve seriously been missing out.

11 a.m — Quick nap on the couch, and then I’m up and taking my pup on a run (really a run/walk). I am not a runner, but I really want to be thought of in that way, so I signed up for this May’s Broad Street Run. My pup is probably the laziest dog I have ever encountered, so I drag her through a 5K along Kelly Drive.

12:30 p.m. — Back home, and luckily it’s time for lunch! Being as busy as I am, meal prepping is important to ensure I not only eat healthy foods but also to make sure I eat enough calories every day. Today’s lunch is herbed chicken with a three-bean salad. I honestly didn’t think I was going to like this meal when I saw it on my meal plan, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

5 p.m. — Off to lecture and then to histology lab, where we use microscopes to look at slides of tissues and organs.

7 p.m. — I’m pretty hungry by this point, so before heading to review today’s lecture, I run to the cafeteria for tea and an apple ($1.80 total) to eat with some almond butter I brought from home.

10 p.m. — I’m finally home, quickly eating the same dinner as last night and crawling into bed with my pup.

Daily Total: $1.80



The most delectable-looking sweet potato protein pancakes. / Photograph courtesy Zoe Beausoleil

8:30 a.m. — It’s my morning off, so I let myself sleep in! I am currently in the “cutting phase” of the eight-week challenge, and the calorie deficit has me feeling really cold, so I decide to finally check out Priya Hot Yoga, a hot yoga studio that was recommended to me months ago. The studio has a new client special, $40 for one month of unlimited yoga, so I book myself into the 9:30 class, chug my lemon water, and head out the door.

10:45 a.m. — Quick stop at GNC for protein powder ($36.27) because I don’t like my current one.

11 a.m. — I’m home from yoga and so ready for brunch. Pulling inspiration from another challenge recipe, I whip up some sweet potato protein pancakes. They are so good (and so pretty) that I take the time to share the recipe on Instagram.

1 p.m. — Study study study.

3:15 p.m. — After a lazy morning, I’m heading to work early so I can do the workout of the day before coaching it tonight.

5 p.m. — Coaching two classes and then setting up the studio for tomorrow’s class.

8:15 p.m. — Home for dinner and heading to bed early because I have the earliest morning of the week tomorrow.

Daily total: $76.27



At the school gym. / Photograph courtesy Zoe Beausoleil

3:50 a.m. — We have a 5 a.m. class this morning, meaning I am up and ready to go wicked early.

4:30 a.m. — I’m coaching three classes in a row, so I brought two mugs of tea and my protein shake with me to work.

8:30 a.m. — Headed home for a warm breakfast and some Netflix before taking my pup on a walk.

11 a.m. — Time for a much-needed nap, especially if I plan on making it through lecture tonight without falling asleep.

1:30 p.m. — I slept longer than I wanted, so now I’m rushing to school to meet with my study group. Luckily, I have a meal in my fridge, of turmeric chicken with sautéed greens, ready to bring to school with me.

5 p.m. — Off to class!

7 p.m. — After class, my friend and I are headed to the school gym for a quick workout before 50 cent wing night at our favorite dive bar, the Bayou Bar & Grill, in Manayunk. I’ve been doing my best to follow the eight-week challenge, but I am a strong believer in “everything in moderation,” so I see nothing wrong with having some delicious wings ($6).

10 p.m. — Trying to go to bed, but my dog is antsy, and we end up playing for a little before she’s ready to cuddle.

Daily Total: $6



A berry and almond butter smoothie / Photograph courtesy Zoe Beausoleil

4:40 a.m. — Waking up is always a little easier for me on Friday, and this week I have a new Ariana Grande album to blast on my way to work. Good morning to me.

9:15 a.m. — I leave work and head straight to Priya Hot Yoga to decompress.

11 a.m. — I’m making a beautiful berry and almond butter smoothie bowl while I plan out my meals for next week. My mom always says presentation makes up 20 percent of the taste of your food, so when I can, I try to make my food as visually appealing as possible.

12:30 p.m. — Off to Trader Joe’s to get my grocery shopping ($62.76) done for next week. One of the best things about coaching in the morning and going to school at night is that I can go to the grocery store while the majority of people are still at work.

4 p.m. — Back to F45 to get in my last workout of the week.

6 p.m. — I am home for dinner and a bubble bath to relax my sore muscles before a quiet night of studying with my puppy.

Daily Total: $62.76

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $150.58

Classes coached: 12

Hours spent studying: 20.5

Workouts completed: 8

Meals prepped: 8

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