Sweat Diaries

How a Busy Doctor Finds Time to Focus on Her Own Health

Despite her long hours of hospital residencies, Casey Meizinger finds time to teach fitness classes at Balance Chestnut Hill, crush her own workouts, and eat wholesome meals.


Casey Meizinger, a resident physician at Abington Hospital, also instructs classes and personal training sessions at Balance Chestnut Hill. / Photograph by Casey Meizinger.

Who I am: Casey Meizinger (@caseymeizingerMD), 32

Where I live: Chestnut Hill

What I do: I am an Internal Medicine resident physician at Abington Hospital, as well as a personal trainer and instructor at Balance Gym in Chestnut Hill.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Healthy living is my life. As a physician, it is my job to address acute illness, as well as prevent and manage chronic disease. As a personal trainer, I have to optimize form and function. As a person, I have learned that being vigilant to daily, healthy habits makes me my best self.

Health memberships (and what they cost):

  • Tracy Anderson Method Online Studio — $90 per month
  • Balance Chestnut Hill — Free as a staff member

Monday

Meizinger stocks up on nutritious snacks to help keep her going during her long hours at the hospital. / Photograph by Casey Meizinger.

6 a.m. — I use this morning to “sleep in.” When I am not at the gym in the mornings, I do some yoga/stretching/body weight work at home.

7 a.m. — At work, I get sign-out on my patients and get going. Each day is non-stop and I am constantly juggling multiple things at one time. The key is to just keep going (all the residents out there know what I’m talking about). The morning consists of rounding on patients, examinations, morning blood work, x-rays, telemetry monitors, phone calls, phone calls, phone calls, writing notes, ordering medicines, checking in with attending and consultant specialists.

7:30 a.m. — I get a chance to eat breakfast, which for me is typically oatmeal with cinnamon, chia seeds, and almond butter. This meal sustains me for hours, and the chia seeds combined with almond butter provide  essential amino acids. I’m also mindful to drink as much water as I can in the morning and afternoon.

11 a.m. — I’ve got patient rounds with medical students, attending, nurses, and case managers.

1 p.m. — Finally time to eat lunch! Similar to breakfast, this is the same lunch pretty much every day. My first two meals are usually plant based. It just works for me. It fills me up without leaving me feeling satiated. It decreases the mental energy I need to put into eating well, and I know that my first two meals are nutritious. I’ve got a salad with plant protein, romaine lettuce, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans, chopped pecans, vinaigrette dressing by Cindy’s Kitchen. I like these dressings because they are low in sugar and canola oil.

1:30 p.m. — More in-patient hospital work.

4:30 p.m. — I snack on GoMacro‘s “Morning Harvest” bar, some dried mango, and water. My snacks are always evolving, but they tend to feature a bar that is low in sugar and higher in fat and protein.

5 p.m. — I wrap up for the day and sign out to the night-time residents.

6:30 p.m. — I go on a 3-mile run and do some upper body weight work. After, I finalize my Burn and Sculpt class for tomorrow morning at Balance Gym.

7:40 p.m. — Dinner tonight is a turkey sandwich made with Ezekiel sprouted bread, mayo made with avocado oil, turkey breast with no salt added (tastes like Thanksgiving!), romaine lettuce, and tomato. On the side is some fruit and Gingerade kombucha.

8 p.m. — Okay, I already need some dessert! A few pieces of dried mango and dark chocolate does the trick.

9:30 p.m. — Lights out.

Tuesday

Meizinger teaches the 5:45 a.m. Burn and Sculpt class at Balance Chestnut Hill. / Photograph courtesy of Casey Meizinger.

5 a.m. — Wake up and drink some Blonde Café Americano from Starbucks. Now the day begins.

5:45 a.m. — Burn and Sculpt class at Balance. This is a highlight of my week. The class is a combination of standing cardio-based moves, high-repetition upper body resistance, and then mat-work. We recently added ankle weights to the mat work. For me, the class is a smart way to start the day because it breaks a sweat, but is not a shock to the system.

6:35 a.m. — Very, very quickly change into scrubs, eat about half of my oatmeal breakfast (same recipe as Monday) with the plan to eat the second half once I get to work, and sip some Americano as I head in.

7 a.m. — Immediately after getting sign out, we have an emergency with one of our patients, so we quickly have to get a procedure set up and move the patient to the ICU. Fortunately, the patient does well.

9:30 a.m. — I eat my second half of breakfast and hydrate with water. Now, it’s back to hustling for the rest of the morning, including formal rounds with the team.

12 p.m. — While I’m at a cardiology lecture on Ventricular Arrhythmia, I eat the same exact salad as I did yesterday.

3 p.m. — I have time for a short snack break, so I eat a Kind bar and about 4 pieces of dark chocolate.

4:45 p.m.  — A few nights this week, my team of residents stays until 8 p.m. to take care of anybody who needs to be admitted to the hospital. So instead of going home, I stick around.

5:30 p.m. — Dinner at work consists of Amy’s Light and Lean macaroni and cheese topped with broccoli shavings. It’s a semi-healthy, easy-to-bring dinner, and I get to pile on the greens.

8:30 p.m. — Finally heading home.

9 p.m. — I snack on a bowl of Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls with almond milk and berries. I personally do better with having a snack kind of close to bed. Fortunately I have no issues with reflux, and I sleep better. Learning what works for my body has taken years, I’ve been able to figure out what works best with my lifestyle.

9:30 p.m. — Bed time.

Wednesday

When she’s not having her signature oatmeal for breakfast, Meizinger enjoys starting her morning with Ezekiel bread topped with almond butter and berries. / Photograph by Casey Meizinger.

5:30 a.m. — Wake up, stretch and foam roll. Foam-rolling the morning after teaching helps relieve my muscles, especially when I have a full day of work ahead of me.

6:30 a.m. — Switching up breakfast today with some Ezekiel sprouted grain toast, almond butter, fruit, and coffee.

7 a.m. — The work day begins.

10:30 a.m. — Snack time before formal patient rounds. I’m eating a little scoop of almond butter, plus a few pieces of dark chocolate. This morning was way more chill than yesterday, meaning less adrenaline. Therefore, my appetite is less suppressed, and I’m a little hungrier this morning.

1 p.m. — For lunch, I’ve got—yup—the same salad. After lunch, I get a large green tea and sip on that all afternoon.

4 p.m. — I feel like my snacks always include dark chocolate! I simply can’t get enough of it. This time, I pair it with some strawberries.

5:30 p.m. — Sign out to the night residents, finish up work, and head home.

6:15 p.m. — Dinner tonight is a treat. Once a week, my boyfriend and I usually pick up food based on whatever we are craving. Usually CinCin wins. It is incredibly tasty and light. And we buy a little extra to help food prep meals for the next few days.

6:45 a.m. — My boyfriend and I enjoy a 1.5-mile walk with our dog, Bryn.

8:45 p.m. — Tonight’s before-bed snack is some rice chips and dried mango.

9 p.m. — I unwind for the night by reading Tribe by Sebastian Junger.

Thursday

Meizinger incorporates some of Tracy Anderson’s online workouts into her weekly fitness routine. / Photograph courtesy Casey Meizinger.

5 a.m. — The morning officially begins with my Americano.

5:30 a.m. — I start my 60-minute Tracy Anderson online workout. I set up some space at Balance and crank this out while my boyfriend does strength training. I started Tracy Anderson Method last year, and it has been transformative for my body. She has a killer studio in Tribeca, and I always hit up a class when I visit New York City. Over the past years, I have transitioned away from distance running and racing, and I have found this type of exercise to be just as powerful and beneficial without the strain and drain of endurance running.

6:40 a.m. — Another quick wardrobe change before heading into work.

7 a.m. — Sign in and start the day. I’m able to eat my signature oatmeal while I finish my coffee and check notes on patients. Then off to the morning resident routine. One of the things I like about my schedule is that pretty much every single day starts at 7 a.m., so it guarantees that my early morning routine can be exercising and/or training.

12: 30 a.m. — Same salad per usual! Then, it’s back to work.

4 p.m. — Snack today is dark chocolate and almond butter cups from Theo.

5:30 p.m. — Time to sign out for the day and head home.

6 p.m. — Dinner tonight is a turkey sandwich, made with all the same ingredients as the other night, plus some berries and a big glass of water.

6:15 p.m. — I walk the pooch while listening to an Internal Medicine podcast called “The Curbsiders.” Tonight my boyfriend is on call so it’s just me and the pup.

7:30 p.m. — I prep tomorrow’s meals and finalize the workout for my private client training session.

8 p.m. — I decided to start implementing some studying and research at home. Today, a good friend and amazing colleague told me that she started doing one hour of independent work each day and was amazed at how much she got done over time. Tonight I give it a try and I make it about 25 minutes. It’s a start.

9 p.m. — I start reading Cheryl Strayed’s Brave Enough before falling asleep.

Friday

Meizinger’s days at the hospital tend to involve a lot of running around. Stair climbing totally counts as cardio. / Photograph courtesy Casey Meizinger.

5 a.m. — After waking up, I do some yoga and core work at home.

5:45 a.m. — I’m teaching a one-on-one personal training session. My client is a gem. She is a tennis player and mom of two, and I love how she makes time for herself. We focus on rotator cuff strengthening and stability, Bosu ball work for knee stability, adductor and abductor work, and quick cardio bursts.

7 a.m. — Time for work at the hospital and breakfast of — you guessed it — my go-to oatmeal.

8:30 a.m. — I get to observe a left-heart catheterization, performed by one of my cardiology attendings (who also was my great-grandmother’s cardiologist).

9 a.m. — More morning work, followed by formal rounds at 11 a.m.

1 p.m. — I’ve got lunch with our attending, medical students, and a new resident, since it is our last day as a team before we all switch to new areas of the hospital the following week. We order Panera delivery, and I order one of my favorite dishes: the Fuji apple chicken salad. I hold on the gorgonzola and onions since they don’t tend to agree with me.

3:30 p.m. — I’ve been running around like crazy. A few of our patients had procedures, a few changed floors, a few had some unexpected test results. The key is to just keep going, and I’m able to do that with a GoMacro bar and some water.

5 p.m. — I observe a right-heart catheterization for one of my patients, performed by another one of my cardiology attendings.

5:20 p.m. — I re-live CinCin for dinner tonight, but with an additional dish I bought the night before: spicy rice vermicelli, Singapore style. It comes with snow peas, wild mushrooms, carrots and a touch of spicy curry. I hold the chicken and add almonds.

5:30 p.m. — I’m at the hospital until 8 p.m. again, so I hustle around the Emergency Department, seeing patients, talking to families, checking CT scans, and charting, charting, charting.

8:30 p.m. — Wrap up, catch up with some of the residents, and then drive home. Leaving the hospital means transitioning out of stimulation overload, and driving home in silence has been a helpful technique for me to literally shift gears before getting home.

9 p.m. — I’m greeted by an ecstatic puppy and have a bowl of cereal.

9:30 p.m. — I’m in bed, and tonight, I turn off my phone. No alarm!

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $160.64
Workouts completed (including dog walks): 7
Hours at the hospital: approximately 58
Dark chocolate consumed: Who’s counting?