Coronavirus

How TV Anchor Dana Perino Is Covering the News and Staying Fit from the Shore

FOX host Dana Perino takes to Peloton workouts, puzzles, and walking her adorable dog to maintain balance while working from home.


Here’s how Dana Perino, television anchor for FOX News Channel, has adapted to going live from home. / Photograph courtesy of Dana Perino.

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in the greater Philadelphia area. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one area resident 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 lbrzyski@phillymag.com.

Who I am: Dana Perino (@danaperino), 48

Where I live: Bay Head, NJ

What I do: I am the anchor of The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, co-host of The Five, and co-host of the I’ll Tell You What podcast for Fox News Channel. I am also a part of the election coverage team for the network. Before joining FOX News, I served in the Bush Administration from late 2001 until January 2009. I was the first woman to be named as White House Press Secretary in a Republican administration. I am also the author of And the Good News Is…Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Staying fit and healthy is essential to my life. I could not handle the workload or manage the stress of my job without daily exercise. I’ve also committed to doing something every day to maintain good posture. I’m a bit obsessed with the negative effects of being on my phone and laptop all day, so I try to counter that with yoga or stretching, as well as a 10-minute meditation in the evening before dinner, if I can fit it into my schedule.

Health memberships (and what they cost):

Grocery haul for the week: $250 — Burkes Market

Monday

Perino taking one of many Peloton cycling classes. / Photograph courtesy of Dana Perino.

6 a.m. — I wake up early and start reading all of the news that has come in overnight. I compare staying up-to-date on current events to being in shape physically: once you maintain a level of awareness, you have to keep working at it to make sure you don’t lose any ground. I send some ideas for both of my shows on FOX News to the producers, including angles for stories and possible guests for interviews.

6:30 a.m. — Every morning my husband, Peter, brings me an eight-ounce protein shake with almond milk, and a cup of English breakfast tea with honey. I love my tea and have found I have to have something else on my stomach or else the caffeine goes straight to my head and makes me nauseous.

8 a.m. — FaceTime appointment with instructor Gregory Grube from Equinox. We do a Wunda Chair Pilates class today.

9 a.m. — Let’s hit it! 30-minute Peloton country ride with Hannah Marie Corbin, plus a five-minute post-ride stretch. I got a Peloton for Christmas, and with social distancing and really crummy weather at the shore this spring, my rides have become so important to me.

9:30 a.m. — Time to drink a fresh juice made from carrot, celery, green apple and ginger, and eat two pieces of toast.

10 a.m. — I take a good amount of time to prepare for the news show I anchor called The Daily Briefing, on every weekday at 2 p.m. While reading the news and preparing questions for today’s interviews, I snack on a handful of almonds.

12:45 p.m. — Peter makes me lunch: ham and cheddar sandwich on seven grain bread with mustard.

1 p.m. — Quick break to do 10 minutes of arms toning with Peloton. This is part of my attempt to counteract the posture-destroying computer work and to get the blood flowing before I go on television.

1:40 p.m. — Hair and makeup (a lot more care has to go into this than my usual weekend look!). I currently do my own because of the stay-at-home orders.

2 p.m. — Time for The Daily Briefing on FOX News Channel, an hour often dominated by breaking news that covers the headlines of the day.

3:30 p.m. — I’ve been hosting a virtual storytime for children during the ongoing pandemic at 3:30 pm every weekday called Storytime with Dana. It’s important to keep a sense of normalcy with children and one way to do that is to adhere to storytime each day. Not only does this help enhance kids’ creativity and imagination, but it gives their parents and caregivers a break so they can check their emails or throw a load of laundry in while I read to their children. It’s also fun for me and sometimes Jasper (our eight-year-old Hungarian Vizsla) will join! Today we are reading Me and The Sky, an inspirational book about the life of airline pilot, Beverley Bass.

3:45 p.m. — At about this time, I begin studying for my next television show, The Five. This one is a bit different than the 2 p.m. program because I have four other co-hosts and we all have distinct personalities, which keeps the discussion interesting! I call a couple of sources to get the latest on the 2020 campaign. I also break for a quick snack: two mandarins and a Bulletproof bar, fudge flavored. These are the only bars I like!

4:40 p.m. — Refresh hair and makeup.

5 p.m. — I gear up to co-host The Five, now in its ninth year. The show is a ton of fun and we really enjoy providing the latest commentary and analysis of current events. It can be a bit tricky, since instead of being at the studio in New York, we’re spread out among five different locations, but we are making do and the audience has been tuning in more than ever.

6 p.m. — After the show, I take a much-needed two-mile walk with Peter and Jasper.

7 p.m. — I make dinner. Tonight’s special is spicy tomato soup from the Moosewood cookbook, paired with one ear of Jersey corn on the cob, two oat crackers, and a glass of Cabernet.

Daily total: $0

Tuesday

Perino’s dog, Jasper, wanted in on her workout session. / Photograph courtesy of Dana Perino.

5:30 a.m. — I’m up bright and early this morning. Couldn’t sleep, so am up for the sunrise. I take time to read the news clips.

6:30 a.m. — Peter makes me my usual shake and tea when he gets up!

8 a.m. — Since I got a head start on my work day, I decide to dig in on the workout. I normally walk to work every day in Manhattan, so not getting outside is really getting to me. I do 20 minutes each of lower body, upper body, and core via the Peloton app. Then, I take a 30-minute intervals and arms ride, followed by a 10-minute low-impact ride, then round out the workout with 10 minutes of foam rolling.

10 a.m. — I eat a Bircher muesli with blueberries and banana, as well as six-ounce carrot, celery, apple, and ginger juice, and spend the rest of the morning prepping for the shows.

1 p.m. — When I break for lunch, I have a turkey and cheddar sandwich with British hand cooked chips inside, horseradish pickle slice paired with orange vanilla zero calorie seltzer (This is the best thing ever made — it’s like a grown-up creamsicle!).

2 p.m. — Anchor The Daily Briefing on FOX News Channel. Today my colleague, Bret Baier, joins me on the program.

3:30 p.m. — Now to host Storytime with Dana. Today, I read How to Walk a Dump Truck by Peter Pearson, provided by Harper Collins. I think the kids got a kick out of that one!

4 p.m. — I have a call with foreign policy expert to talk about coronavirus impact around the globe.

6 p.m. — Finally take a two-and-a-half mile walk outside. It’s cold and windy, but the walk clears the cobwebs in my head. After we get home, I squeeze in a 10-minute meditation on the Peloton app.

7:30 p.m. — For dinner, I have a bun-less hamburger with mustard, plus spinach, baked beans, and a slice of birthday cake for our “quarantine daughter” my assistant from FOX News, Hamdah Salhut. Plus, that glass of Cab!

8 p.m. — The three of us work on a 1,000 piece puzzle called American Roadtrip. I love getting in a car for a road trip. I think I’m an excellent person to take along because I pick out the best snacks, am an excellent deejay, and know when to be quiet and just look out the window. LOL! When the quarantine is over, I hope to take a drive to visit our friends in the Shenandoah Valley.

Daily total: $0

Wednesday

Perino’s at-home news anchor set-up. / Photograph courtesy of Dana Perino.

6 a.m. — Up at dawn to read, with my shake and tea, of course!

8 a.m. — For today’s workout, I select a 45-minute country ride with a five-minute cool down ride. After, I dedicate 10 minutes to foam rolling and stretching. I check emails and texts in between another 10 minutes of arms.

9:30 a.m. — Time for breakfast: granola with blueberries and almond milk, and a banana.

10:30 a.m. — Time to record the I’ll Tell You What podcast. This is one of my favorite things to do. I co-host with FOX News digital politics editor, Chris Stirewalt, and we dissect and debate the highlights of this ever-changing news cycle. This week, we check-in from our quarantine quarters and address updates on the economy and the “new normal” across the country.

1 p.m. — I break for lunch. Today I’m having a Mediterranean salad with romaine and feta cheese. I also have a Bulletproof chocolate chip bar for some extra energy.

2 p.m. — Today on the show, I have country music star Brad Paisley. He tells my viewers about his non-profit grocery store in Nashville, which gives those in need of financial assistance the opportunity to shop for necessities.

6:15 p.m. — After a long, but successful day of work, I take my first Peloton power walk: 30 minutes and two-and-a-half miles. It was pretty fun. It makes you walk a bit faster, and I liked the guy’s chit chat as we walked along.

7:45 p.m. — Tonight we order from Burkes Market in Bay Head, NJ ($25). I have a portobello mushroom and spinach appetizer, one jalapeño and cheddar hotdog (Thumann’s — you have to try these!!) with a side of sauerkraut, and a glass of Cabernet.

10 p.m. — I’ve always been an early to bed kind of person, and I love the quiet of the shore. I always read a bit before going to sleep. This week I’m reading Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver, which happens to take place in south Jersey.

Daily total: $25

Thursday

Perino’s TV prep sessions look a little bit different now that she’s at home. / Photograph courtesy of Dana Perino.

6:30 a.m. — Rise and shine! I have my eight-ounce protein shake with almond milk and English breakfast tea with honey to start the day.

8 a.m. — Ready for my 60-minute Pilates FaceTime appointment with Kate Helgerson of Equinox, followed by a 30-minute intervals and arms Peloton ride. Round out the workout with 10 minutes of foam rolling and stretching.

9:30 a.m. — Small breakfast of two pieces of whole wheat toast and some honey.

10 a.m. — Time to start preparing for both cable news programs. There’s so much news to read!

11 a.m. — I’m being interviewed on FOX News’ America’s Newsroom with co-anchors Ed Henry and Sandra Smith. We discuss the 2020 race and Joe Biden’s position of trying to campaign during a pandemic.

12 p.m. — Quick break for lunch. I opt for a chocolate chip Bulletproof bar (yes, that’s all I had time for. I know, I know).

2 p.m. — Today on The Daily Briefing my friend and country music star and FOX Nation host, John Rich, joins me to share a positive message to Americans struggling during the coronavirus crisis.

3:30 p.m. — It’s World Book Day today! In honor of the holiday, I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and a book by my dear friend and FOX News colleague, Ainsley Earhardt, Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me.

4 p.m. — Time for a snack. I have half a tomato with sea salt and two mandarin oranges. I also have some pink Himalayan salt bean chips. They are good!

6:15 p.m. — Tonight, I manage to squeeze in a 30-minute yoga session followed by 10 minutes of meditation.

7:30 p.m. — On the menu for dinner: Steak, sweet potatoes with butter, green salad, blueberries, and, of course, Cabernet.

Daily total: $0

Friday

Friday nights are for finished puzzles. / Photograph by Dana Perino.

6:30 a.m. — Up and at it! I have my usual protein shake and tea to start this Friday!

7 a.m. — Time for a long workout. I start with a 60-minute Pilates FaceTime appointment, followed by a 30-minute Peloton ’80s theme ride. Finish it off with 10 minutes of arms and 10 minutes of stretching and foam rolling.

9:30 a.m. — Breakfast time. I have Bircher muesli with blueberries, raspberries, and walnuts, and then start preparing for my shows.

11:15 a.m. — I have a handful of almonds to help keep me focused.

12:45 p.m. — Lunch today is a turkey and cheddar sandwich on whole grain bread with mustard. Afterward, I snack on a mandarin and a chocolate chip Bulletproof bar.

2 p.m. — On The Daily Briefing today, FOX News contributor, Dr. Nicole Saphier, joins me to discuss keeping up with your health during the quarantine.

3:30 p.m. — During today’s storytime session, I read a classic, Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. Jasper joins me for this one!

5 p.m. — I co-host The Five, my last show of the week!

6:15 p.m. — I fit in a 30-minute toning and stretch on Trifecta Pilates (free), followed by a 10-minute meditation.

8 p.m. — All week long I’ve been looking to a virtual wine tasting we’re doing tonight some friends. Beforehand, I eat half an avocado with some blue corn chips with fresh salsa, plus some pieces of pepperoni, just to have something in my stomach before sipping on all this wine! The tasting itself is fun (I prefer red over white), but eventually, I’m so tired, that Jasper takes my seat!

9 p.m. — We complete the puzzle!

10 p.m. — Bedtime.

Daily total: $0

Weekly totals

Money spent: $275
Workouts completed: 14
Shows hosted: 13

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