Sweat Diaries

This Respiratory Therapist and Spin Instructor Starts Her Day With Shots of Turmeric

When she's not working 12-hour shifts at CHOP, Taylor Merget teaches spin classes at Cyclebar and drinks "wellness shots."


A registered respiratory therapist by day and a spin instructor by night (and early morning), Taylor Merget stays motivated with dog walks, turmeric-ginger-lemon shots, and home-cooked meals. / Photograph courtesy of Taylor Merget

Who I am: Taylor Merget (@taylormergettraining), 26

Where I live: Manayunk

What I do: I’m a full-time registered respiratory therapist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. On my days “off,” I’m a part-time indoor cycling instructor at Cyclebar in Plymouth Meeting and trainer at Prime Intensity Training in Conshohocken.

What role healthy living plays in my life: I feel my best when I am making mindful, healthy decisions for my body. Exercise is a huge outlet for daily stressors and anxiety that build up day-to-day, but more importantly, I feel empowered through exercise. Fitness is my passion, and it’s something I aim to motivate people to incorporate into their life. I often explain in my classes that by showing up for ourselves and pushing through these tough workouts, we’re demonstrating that we can do the same out in the world! It is so much more than physical. We can apply it to every aspect of life and I wish to help people realize their own strength through exercise. Nutrition has also become a huge passion of mine. I will be pursuing a nutrition certification this winter in hopes to help people realize what they put on their fork is one of the most important decisions they will make in a day. An added bonus of a healthy lifestyle is all the incredible people I’ve been able to connect with along the way.

Health memberships (and what they cost):

  • Sweat Fitness — $35 per month
  • Built Fitness — $20 (drop-in rate)
  • Cyclebar — free as an instructor

Note: I always try to complete my grocery hauls on Sundays. With planning a wedding, my budget is tight, so prepping my own meals saves me time and LOTS of money. This week’s grocery haul includes salmon fillets, scallops, chicken breasts and thighs, eggs, fresh fruits, a bunch of veggies, and snacks (total: $115).

Monday

Merget starts her week with a protein-packed breakfast and a “wellness shot” of turmeric, ginger, and lemon. / Photograph by Taylor Merget.

7 a.m. — It’s the day after I work a 12-hour shift, so I enjoy a light sleep in and wake up at 7 a.m. I take a turmeric-lemon-ginger shot before anything else goes in my stomach, then I make breakfast (which is usually the same almost every day): two eggs drizzled with hot sauce, mixed greens dressed in light olive oil, salt and pepper, and a small drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette with half an avocado on the side.

8:30 a.m. — I take my dog for a walk to the park while sipping Chameleon Coffee concentrate (I buy a one-quart serving and enjoy it every week ay as this saves me money instead of buying from a coffee shop).

10 a.m. — I get ready to leave for a class at Built Fitness and grab a Perfect Bar to snack on while I drive there.

11 a.m. — Today’s Built Fitness class is a one hour mixture of HIIT and resistance training with weights.

1:30 p.m. — Lunch time! I’ve got a hefty-portioned bean salad (kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas) with fresh chopped dill, olive oil, salt and pepper, rice vinegar, chopped celery, chopped red onion, and chopped red pepper, and I throw it over mixed greens. I also snack on dried organic Turkish figs for something sweet.

2 p.m. — I sit down to create playlists, prep for my Cyclebar classes, and complete chores.

4:15 p.m. — Two hours have gone by, and I have to head over to Cyclebar. I need a snack, so I grab a handful of mixed nuts and figs.

6 p.m. — Time to teach!

7:45 p.m. — I get home, and my fiancé and I cook fresh sea scallops, mixed rice, and bok choy in light soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Yum.

9 p.m. — I aim to be in bed by 9 p.m. *almost* every night. If I don’t get enough sleep, I almost always catch some sort of cold or feel out of it.

Daily total: $20

Tuesday

Merget poses with her pup, Mav, after teaching a spin class at Cyclebar. / Photograph courtesy of Taylor Merget.

4:20 a.m. — Time to wake up. Today is one of my earliest days, so let’s do this.

5:30 a.m. — I teach my class at Cyclebar, then immediately go home to squeeze in a nap.

7:45 a.m. — Second wake up, followed by my turmeric-lemon-ginger shot, a coffee, and a walk to the park with my dog.

9:30 a.m. — Typically, I train a personal client at this time, but he has off this week, so I savor my time and eat some breakfast: two eggs, mixed greens, and avocado toast.

11:30 a.m. — I teach a class at Prime Intensity Training. This is a super tough, high-intensity class that has resistance stations followed by bodyweight HIIT movements. The clients at PIT go really hard, and I’ve loved getting to meet such awesome people and trainers there.

2 p.m. — I eat another hefty bean salad on top of mixed greens and walk the dog right after.

4:50 p.m. — I pack my dog in the car and head to teach my final class for the night. Yes, my dog is coming to work with me.

6 p.m. — Cyclebar class number two!

7:45 p.m. — Home and ready to eat. Dinner is basically ready for me by the time I get home (thank you, fiancé!). Tonight’s menu is chicken thighs, air-fried sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli.

9:30 p.m. — Lights out.

Daily total: $0

Wednesday

Merget enjoys training at her home gym, Built Fitness. / Photograph courtesy of Taylor Merget.

6:45 a.m. — Wake up. Normally, this would be a day I worked at CHOP, but I had a vacation day this week — lucky me!

7:15 a.m. — Time for my turmeric-ginger-lemon shot and a fresh peach I had in the fridge (something light before Built).

9 a.m. — Built Fit class with one of my favorite trainers, CK. My butt gets kicked, and I’m drenched with sweat by the time it’s over.

11 a.m. — Late breakfast consists of two eggs, fresh green mix, and a piece of multigrain toast with a little bit of butter.

2 p.m. — Whole Foods stop for lunch. Their salmon teriyaki bowl is my guilty pleasure!

3 p.m. — The rest of the day I get to relax, snack on dried figs, cowboy caviar, and tortilla chips, while finishing more chores around the house and getting our dog tired at the park. I prep dinner and get my lunch ready for work at CHOP tomorrow. I like to do everything the day before a work day at CHOP because I’m out of the house for 16 hours straight on those days.

7 p.m. — Dinner time! We make salmon fillets, rice, and a spring mixed salad with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.

9 p.m. — Time for bed.

Daily total: $31

Thursday

Merget works as a respiratory therapist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. / Photograph by Taylor Merget.

5:15 a.m. — Wake up, turmeric-ginger-lemon shot, and dog walk. The usual.

6 a.m. — Before leaving for work, I eat a quick breakfast: mashed avocado on toast with salt and pepper and a Chameleon cold brew coffee.

6:45 a.m. — Clock in at the hospital for a 12-hour shift. I work in the ICU and am on my feet all day. One of the benefits of my job is that we don’t get a lot of down time and are constantly moving while caring for patients and going on transports. I like this about my job because I get to be active and am not just sitting behind a desk all day. That’s why my rest day is whenever I am at the hospital. I truly value sleep and find it so important to give my body rest. If I were behind a desk instead, I would probably make it a priority to get a workout in. But on the days I’m at CHOP, I can walk anywhere up to six miles based off my Apple watch and always close my “standing” rings. I’m drained when I get home.

1:15 p.m. — Lunch is a bean salad made of a veggie burger patty, spring mix greens, cherries, and blue corn tortilla chips.

3 p.m. — I graze on mixed nuts and more dried figs to hold me over until the end of my shift.

7:30 p.m. — Time to head home. I can’t wait to shower.

8:30 p.m. — Dinner is usually prepared by my wonderful fiancé on the days I’m at CHOP. We’ve got another round of chicken thighs, sweet potato, and broccoli. It never gets old.

9 p.m. — Bedtime!

Daily total: $0

Friday

 

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7 a.m. — Wake up, walk the dog to the park, and sip on cold brew coffee.

8 a.m. — Breakfast this morning consists of two eggs, mixed greens, and one avocado.

9:30 a.m. — I walk to Sweat Fitness in Manayunk, which takes about 20 minutes. Today’s workout is full-body lifting.

12:15 p.m. — Lunch today is a veggie patty, mixed greens with tomatoes, carrots, hummus, and cherries.

1 p.m. — I take the dog for another walk. I love getting in these mini workouts.

2 p.m. — Time to snack on a Perfect Bar while preparing for spin class.

6 p.m. — I teach Cyclebar’s “Happy Hour” class and enjoy a Corona immediately following class with our awesome riders!

7:45 p.m. — I get home and shower. My fiancé and I normally go out for a tacos and margs date night at our favorite Mexican spot in Manayunk. I’m a fitness trainer who preaches balance and enjoying meals out. I’d be lying if I left “date night” indulgences out of this diary because we do it every single week. You can consistently work hard and still enjoy time out without ruining progress and hard work.

Daily total: $20

Weekly totals

Money spent: $186

Workouts completed: 3

Classes taught: 5

Turmeric-ginger-lemon shots: 4