When it comes to fitness vs. food, we’re the first people to admit that our love of decadent dishes doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with our desire to still fit into our favourite pair of jeans. We like to work out, and pig out. We want to eat cheese, but not look like one. So, in the interest of finding the perfect fit foodie combos to make sure we’re getting the best from both worlds, we spoke to the teams at P.E. Dept and Wholefoods Dept—the gym, yoga studio and healthy café situated in Potts Point, to get some essential tips.
In case you’re new to this fitness hub, let us fill you in on the set-up: P.E. Dept is a state-of-the-art gym, yoga and barre studio that offers personal training services, as well as special classes in HIIT, strength training, pilates, meditation and more. Owned by Evan and Vee, along with resident pooch Levi, the gym is all about results-based training that’s inviting, fun *and* educational. Basically, you’re guided through the what, how and why of achieving your fitness goals, by a trainer who’s as happy having a laugh with you as they are reminding you that you need to sort out your core.
Its sister venue, Wholefoods Dept, is the nutrition side of the business. This modern healthy café is all about food that looks amazing, tastes amazing, and does amazing things to your body, from the inside out. We’re talking house-made zucchini fritters, smashed avo with feta, dukkah and tomatoes, epic burgers (beef or veggie!), and wholesome elixers that are as mouth-watering as they are good for your gut. With an outdoor space, to-go options, and some of the most beautiful dishes this side of the state, it’s fast become one of our fave food hangouts, even when we’re not feeling like a health kick!
Keen to try our fit foodie challenge? Here are four combos that will benefit your body:
#1: Smash Your Goals…And Some Avo
If HIIT (that’s high intensity interval training to the uninitiated), cardio or explosive power training are your areas of focus, you’ll know that the name of the game is setting yourself new goals with the help of your trainer and building up to them, week by week.
After an intense session, you’ll need to replace the energy that you have lost, make sure your body has enough good fats to enable muscle repair, and fire up your metabolism so that your energy levels don’t crash.
At Wholefoods Dept, the Bees Knees—an avocado, feta and tomato smash served on sourdough with a poached egg—is the ideal post-HIIT feed. With protein, good fats and vitamin B that will boost your metabolism, you’ll be recovered in no time!
#2: Your Post-Strength Feed? Make It Protein!
So, you’re keen to have abs of steel and guns that’ll have people lining up for tickets to the show. The P.E. Dept strength team are all about helping you to set achievable personal goals, brushing up your technique, and generally making sure you’re lifting game is as good as it can be. With specialists on site to advise on posture and safe weight and rep targets, they recommend slow reps that work each and every muscle engaged in the exercise. Brace, stay focused, and concentrate on feeling the burn, rather than jerking your joints into place.
To refuel after a serious strength sesh, Wholefoods Dept’s Beef Burger and Sweet Potato Fries are the perfect healthy version of everyone’s favourite cheat day feast. With a lean patty, a wholemeal bun and chips made the healthy way, you’ll be refuelled with protein and carbs minus the usual grease.
#3: Bend & Stretch With Ricotta & Berry Pancakes
P.E. Dept’s yoga studio is home to a wide variety of yoga, pilates and barre classes that cater to a range of styles and needs. From toning ballet-driven barre to strengthening and relaxing yoga, adding one of these classes to your routine is a fantastic way to develop muscle without putting your body under excessive strain. Plus, everyone knows that an hour in the yoga studio is an incredible way to clear your mind, whether first thing in the morning or after a busy day.
After a yoga session, the warming protein ricotta, pear and mixed berry pancakes are what you’ll want to tuck into, either as a nutritious breakfast, or as a relaxing, wholesome supper. The warming aspect of the dish will help you hold onto that post-yoga glow, and the natural sugars and protein will make sure your body has the right ingredients for rejuvenation.
#4: To Unwind Your Mind, Sip The Perfect Elixer Tea
Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and destress the body and soul, especially if you’re a multi-tasker who needs to hit the reset button every so often. P.E. Dept's Yoga Dept Studio offers still meditation classes which focus on breathing and clearing your mind, so that you leave refreshed and relaxed.
Tucking into a heavy meal is the last thing we felt like after a meditation class, so the obvious choice was a signature Wholefoods Dept elixer—a blend of spices, tea and either almond or coconut milk that helps balance your digestive system, boost immunity, and generally leaves you feeling relaxed r energised, depending on the option you go for.
For a stimulating mix, the Life Elixer, which contains organic coffee and reishi mushroom extract does the trick. For a more mellow blend, the Golden Mylk’s turmeric, clove, almond and cinnamon flavours can’t be beaten.
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by P.E. Dept/Wholefoods Dept and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso for The Urban List