Personal trainers often emphasize the importance of supporting your fitness routine with a nutrient-dense, healthy diet. In this Q&A, Vincent Ripol shares what's in his fridge and the tips he uses to make the best food choices.

What's in your fridge, how do you like to eat it, and why?

I always have hard-boiled eggs in my refrigerator because I can eat them plain or in a wrap or salad, and they're portable if I need a snack on the go.

What's in your pantry, how do you like to eat it, and why?

I always have oatmeal in my pantry because I eat it for breakfast every day (usually with hard-boiled eggs). Adding different fruits, nuts, and spices adds variety and extra nutrients.

What are your essential kitchen tips, shortcuts, and tools?

I don't really cook, and I don't like to microwave processed foods, but it's difficult to keep a lot of fresh produce and proteins on hand. My habitual shortcut is to visit the fresh food bars at places like Lazy Acres and Whole Foods, where I can make all kinds of different types of salad, prepare poke bowls, or choose among lean proteins prepared by people far more skilled than I am. I can purchase as much or as little as I need each visit.

What are some of the things you think about when you shop for food?

My biggest rule for anything with a nutritional label is to aim for more protein than sugar. Unfortunately, sugar is everywhere, and even when protein is more abundant, some processed foods contain other elements of concern such as high sodium. I try to buy as many items as possible that don't have a nutritional label and I read carefully when selecting labeled options.

Do you have any tips for healthy eating when dining out, at parties, or traveling?

Try to avoid the free, all-you-can-eat appetizers like chips, bread, and fries. If you want to indulge a little, put a small portion on your plate and eat it very slowly so you can enjoy the flavor without too many calories. Also try to save half of your main meal for the next day's lunch, since the portion control can help you stay fit and the leftovers are a nice surprise away from the restaurant. If you drink alcohol, make an attempt to drink a full glass of water slowly between each cocktail, so you slow down your drinking and stay hydrated to avoid hangover symptoms.

Is there anything else you'd like to add—memories about food from your family or when you were little? How your perspective on healthy eating has changed over time? Rewarding experiences to share.

It's never too late to start eating more healthy. It should be a gradual change that doesn't shock your system, but it can be as simple as following the 80/20 rule of 80% healthy food and only 20% of what you know you shouldn't be eating or drinking. I used to eat nothing but fast food as a child and teenager, and now I am disgusted by my adolescent diet, but I also take pride in eating as healthy as possible as often as possible, while still allowing myself occasional treats.

Looking for a personal trainer to support your health goals? Email Vincent at

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