Sweat Diaries

This Philly Sports Event Manager is Powered By Yoga and Kitten Cuddles

When she's not managing live events for NBC Sports Philadelphia, Kelsey Lauder practices yoga and helps trap and foster stray cats.


NBC Sports Philadelphia live operations manager Kelsey Lauder is a yoga-doing, stray-cat-rescuing, chickpea-puff-loving lady. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder

Who I am: Kelsey Lauder (@kel__rose; @straycatrelief), 29

Where I live: Point Breeze

What I do: I am the live events operations manager at NBC Sports Philadelphia. As a huge Philly sports fan, I feel incredibly lucky to play a behind-the-scenes role in our game broadcasts and get paid for it! My other job pays in purrs. I volunteer with Stray Cat Relief, a nonprofit in Philadelphia, as a foster, trapper (TNR), and social media manager.

What role healthy living plays in my life: I live by the philosophy that you MUST take care of yourself first and foremost; therefore, healthy living is a nonnegotiable part of my existence. So many of my daily decisions are based on the food I eat, the workouts I do, the amount of sleep I need, and also the content I feed my brain. We often think of health as a purely physical experience, but it is also incredibly mental. I am constantly trying to stay aware of these things to maintain a healthy balance in all areas of my life.

Health memberships (and what they cost):

  • CorePower Yoga – Blacktag Membership: $119 per month (discounted rate for NBCUniversal Employees)
  • City Fitness – $50 per month
  • Binto Vitamins – $50 per month

Monday

Two plain rice cakes topped with almond butter, blueberries, and goji berries are staples in Lauder’s late-morning diet. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder.

3:30 a.m. — I, and presumably the rest of Philadelphia, am suddenly ripped from a deep sleep to the tune of a tornado warning. Totally unexpected and not appreciated!

6:30 a.m. — Trying to make up for Mother Nature’s early morning wrath, I force myself out of bed 30 minutes later than I normally would to start the most Monday of all Mondays. I chug some water (I drink 70-plus ounces per day and will not bore you with details every time I take a sip) and shove half of a plant-based protein bar in my face. I am grateful for my wonderful husband for getting up to drive me to yoga.

7:30 a.m. — C2 class at CorePower with Maggie. She’s an incredible instructor, and class was great!

8:45 a.m. — I get right on a bus after class ($2.50) and make it home early enough that I don’t have to power shower. I make myself a cup of coffee with a splash of oat milk (this is usually done in the first part of my day, but sleep took precedence this morning) and blend up a quick plant-based protein shake using Isagenix.

9 a.m. — My husband and I both execute a tag-team effort to check on all the cats before heading out. We have two cats of our own, as well as seven fosters for Stray Cat Relief. It sounds worse than it is — we are currently fostering a mom and her five babies! They occupy a spare bedroom.

9:30 a.m. — I have a short commute from Point Breeze down to the Wells Fargo Center where our offices are. Big day ahead: Game two of the Nets/Sixers playoff series and the Phillies are back home, so I start plugging away.

11 a.m. — SNACK TIME! I don’t care how weird people in the office think I am, but almost every day around this time, I do the following: Lather up two plain rice cakes with almond butter and top them with blueberries (or bananas) and goji berries. It makes me happy 😊 Sustainability shoutout: I always bring my own utensils from home and use reusable baggies (check out Stasher bags) to bring my snacks in!

Noon — This week’s SoulCycle classes are open for booking. Ryan Lewis, I’ll see you at 7 a.m. on Thursday.

1:30 p.m. — I hit up Ultimo Coffee in South Philly for an iced oat milk latte ($4.66). Sustainability tip: BYO straw! I have glass straws from Hummingbird that I absolutely love.

2 p.m. — I bust open a bag of Hippeas ($2.50 at Target) and tell myself, THIS will be the time you do not eat the entire bag. You can do this. But, just like every other time, I fail and eat the whole bag. Is there a support group out there for Hippeas enthusiasts?

6:30 p.m. — I haven’t had meat in almost two years, and I never miss it. Over time, I have been gradually decreasing my dairy intake and would say overall my diet is 90 percent vegan. So on the menu tonight is the quickest thing I can make because I am starving and have zero energy to really whip something up: a coconut bacon, avocado, and tomato sandwich and a salad kit from Trader Joe’s. Coconut bacon is SO good, easy to make, and stores well in the freezer.

Currently, Lauder and her husband foster seven cats, making for lots of kitten cuddles. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder

7 p.m. — My job does not always require me to stay for games, but I do make every effort to watch them. So we settle in for a night of Phillies baseball, Sixers playoff basketball, and kitten cuddles!

9:30 p.m. — Wash my face with a gentle cleanser and apply some Protini moisturizer from Drunk Elephant. It’s the best moisturizer I’ve ever used! Pop my Binto vitamins, a few allergy meds, and roll on some eucalyptus oil. Yes, I am a crazy cat lady who also happens to be asthmatic and allergic. I didn’t ask for this. We finish watching the Sixers from bed before calling it quits.

Daily total: $9.66

Tuesday

Lauder’s sustainability efforts include drinking out of reusable cups and glass straws. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder

6:15 a.m. — I’m up after a quick snooze. I relax with my coffee and oat milk (I use Oatly) and slowly start to come alive. I snack on half of a protein bar for some pre-workout energy.

7:15 a.m. — We make it to the gym, City Fitness in South Philly. Full disclaimer: This past January, I froze my gym membership to do yoga and SoulCycle exclusively and honestly, I will probably do that again soon. The only reason I am going to the gym is the fact that I am limited by studio schedules. I would be at yoga every single day if it didn’t make me so late for work. There is something about the gym that just no longer serves me. I do my best to power through and make the most out of the hour, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify the cost when it does not fulfill my fitness and wellness needs.

9 a.m. — Showered and checked on all the kittens. Chugged a plant-based protein shake before heading out the door.

11:30 a.m. — Rice cake and almond butter snack time! Cue the weird looks from my coworkers.

1 p.m. — At least once a week I take a midday trip to Target. The worst part about working in the sports complex area is that there is nothing in walking distance! So I run to Target for some cat supplies and snacks. There is a “snack to go” pack ($4.99) that I love, although the amount of plastic used to package it makes me die a little inside every time I purchase it. To make up for it, I grab an iced matcha latte with coconut milk ($5.45) from Starbucks on my way out in my reusable cup!

3 p.m. — Just a few Hippeas this time. I swear.

4:30 p.m. — I use a blender bottle to mix up a second shake. It’s simple and convenient and just the right amount of food to hold me over until I get home.

6 p.m. — Dinner tonight is a fave of ours: sweet potato nacho hash. It sounds weird, and I totally made it up. While I roast cubes of sweet potatoes in the oven, I sauté red onion, charred frozen corn, black beans, and soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s in a cast iron skillet. I add the roasted sweet potatoes and then throw on a few dollops of the cashew fiesta cheese from — you guessed it — Trader Joe’s. I throw it back in the oven to get the cheese all melted gooey and then add jalapeño and avocado on top. IT IS AMAZING.

7 p.m. — I watch the Phillies put a beating on the Mets and then go spend time with all the kittens before bed. Tomorrow is spay/neuter day!

9:30 p.m. — Skincare routine, vitamins and allergy meds, and off to bed.

Daily total: $10.44

Wednesday

Lauder volunteers for Stray Cat Relief as a trapper (trap, neuter, release) and foster. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder

7 a.m. — Rise and shine! Stumbled down the stairs to my coffee and oat milk. Today is not going to be a normal day, so bear with me!

8 a.m. — I’m out the door to for a doctor’s appointment, and my husband is out the door with the kittens. He is dropping them off at PAWS for their surgeries today. This is the final step before they are officially ready for adoption.

9 a.m. — I’m at Penn Med in Washington Square for an annual check-up during which we mostly discuss my asthma and allergy issues. I also opt to finally get the pneumonia vaccine.

10 a.m. — I’m back home since I’m working remotely today. I also need to pick up the kittens from surgery and keep an eye on them.

Noon — I Uber into Center City to take a C2 class at CorePower.

1:15 p.m. — I stop at Snap Kitchen before catching a bus. I love all of the quick fix options available there, and I know with my crazy schedule over the next few days having a pre-made meal readily available is going to save me big time.

1:30 p.m. — I mix up one of my protein shakes. This time I make it extra thick and decide to give it the works: blueberries, almond butter, goji berries, and granola. My very basic at home shake bowl.

3:30 p.m. — There is a colony of cats at 24th & Washington with several pregnant cat sightings. Did you know that female cats can get pregnant and give birth up to four times a year? And, of her kittens, those females can become pregnant as early as four months old? It adds up quick and next thing you know you have an out of control colony of cats. It’s the start of “kitten season,” so we have to act fast and get ahead of this. Unfortunately, the root of this problem is often caused by irresponsible pet owners who do not spay/neuter and also let their pets outside. A humane solution is TNR – trap, neuter, return. If you’ve ever seen a stray cat with an ear tip, it wasn’t injured. This signifies that the cat has already been TNR’d.

Many of the cats at this colony have been TNR’d but not this very pregnant mama-to-be. It only takes 30 minutes, and we trap her! It’s an incredible feeling to know you just saved so many lives.

4:30 p.m. — I go to pick up the kittens at PAWS, and they tell me only two of them had surgery because the others had upper respiratory infections (URIs). Ugh. We’re sent home with a bunch of meds and so much uncertainty as we really want to be able to get these babies into their forever homes.

5 p.m. — I AM STARVING. I slam some Hippeas and coconut strips (Trader Joe’s) before settling into the kitten room. I am being a helicopter parent wanting to make sure that the two who had surgery are recovering OK.

One of Lauder’s favorite dinners is rice and tempeh, collard greens, and veggie stew from Philly’s own Hardena. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder

6:30 p.m. — I feel a little overwhelmed from the day and ask my husband to pick up Hardena on his way home. I feel so blessed that this gem is only a few blocks from our house. It is the most comforting, delicious, filling meal, and it may be my favorite in all of Philly. I love it for its attention to flavor and making vegan taste so good. I get what I always do: rice, tempeh, collard greens, and veggie stew ($10.80). My belly is so happy.

9:30 p.m. — Skincare routine, vitamins and allergy meds, and then lights out.

Daily total: $17.60

Thursday

A lover of Trader Joe’s, Lauder frequently whips up this cauliflower pizza topped with kale vegan pesto, a bunch of veggies, and vegan mozzarella. / Photograph courtesy of Kelsey Lauder

6 a.m. — Almost didn’t need an alarm because my left arm is THROBBING in pain! It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten any kind of shot, so not having full mobility in my left arm is quite the shock.

7 a.m. — SoulCycle ($32 plus $3 shoes) with Ryan Lewis, which never ever ever disappoints. I especially love him because there is always a strong chance in every class we will get a Taylor Swift song. This morning, however, was dedicated to Bey-chella, and I honestly wasn’t mad about it. Thankfully the weight section was short and didn’t contain any shoulder activity, so my vaccinated arm survives.

8 a.m. — I stop at Sip-N-Glo before catching a bus. I go for my fave – Goji Glow ($9.67). Yes, I did carry my glass straw with me all morning for this exact moment. Planning ahead is my specialty.

10:30 a.m. — Mid-morning snack. I eat some Mush brand overnight oats that I picked up from Snap Kitchen.

1 p.m. — I take a quick trip back to my house to check on the kittens. They’re beyond adorable. I snack on some curry quinoa and cauliflower — a pre-made snack from Trader Joe’s. I stop at Rival Bros in East Passyunk for none other than an iced oat milk latte ($5). BYO straw!

4 p.m. — Quick blender bottle protein shake to hold me over the rest of the work day.

7 p.m. — Dinner is the house specialty. Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust pizza topped with kale vegan pesto, chopped tomato, olives, basil, avocado and Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella. It is for sure one of our favorites and never disappoints. Drool worthy.

8 p.m. — Another loaded night of Philly sports on deck. Also included: many tiny little kitten scratches after giving them their URI meds!

9 p.m. — We’re in bed super early, but I stay up to watch the rest of the Sixers game before going to sleep.

Daily total: $57.16

Friday

Lauder practices yoga anywhere and everywhere. Here, she’s working on inversions at City Fitness. / Photograph by Kelsey Lauder

6:15 a.m. — I snooze once — it’s a habit of mine that I hate. Coffee is waiting for me downstairs. I sip it with a few bites of a protein bar.

7 a.m. — I had every intention of going to yoga today, but… MY ARM! Starting to wonder if this is normal post-vaccination soreness or what. Instead, I join my husband at the gym and do a lower body workout. It’s the first morning of the year that we decide to run to the gym (about 0.8 miles). It’s great because it’s a nice warm up/cool down, and it gets our cardio out of the way! I’m still craving some yoga, so I get some inversion practice in, despite the shooting pain in my arm.

9 a.m. — Blend up a shake, pack all my snacks for the day, and I’m out the door!

11 a.m. — I snack on a bar from Nosh, a Philly-based company making amazing bars with only simple, real, and nutritious ingredients. It’s a great opportunity to support a small, local business and have a satisfying snack! My fave is the goji berry ($2.99).

1 p.m. — There is half a bag of BBQ Hippeas staring at me all day. I finally give in.

3 p.m. — Work is surprisingly slow today, which of course makes me hungrier. I dive into the rest of my curry cauliflower quinoa salad from Trader Joe’s.

4 p.m. — I leave work early and swing by a neighbor’s house to drop off traps, so she can TNR some cats on her block (yas girl!). My husband and I hit the road and head home to York, PA, for some Easter traditions with my family.

7 p.m. — This is where Snap Kitchen comes up huge! My family is eating pizza, but I have no shame in heating up my Snap in the microwave. I have my favorite: black bean sliders ($7.99) with turnip mash ($3.99). OK, I caved and cut off the tip of one pizza. I also find a bottle of Brut in the fridge that I must have left here on a previous trip home. Score!

8 p.— Annual egg painting competition with my family. Everyone paints. My mom judges. I didn’t place this year, so I just pour another glass of bubbles.

9 p.m. — We end the night watching the Phillies lose with a few more glasses of champagne. Hey… it’s the weekend 😊

Daily total: $14.97

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $109.83

Workouts completed: 5

Protein bars/shakes consumed: 11

Cats helped: 10

Local businesses supported: 8

Hippeas consumed: The limit does not exist.

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