The Must-Have Foods Our ACAC Health Coaches Can't Live Without

Finding the balance between eating too little and too much when trying to achieve a fitness goal is hard. And figuring out exactly what to eat is even harder. So we asked some of our Health Coaches here at acac Short Pump, what are some “must-have foods” that you just couldn’t live without? Here’s what they said!


“I’ve been a heath coach with acac since January 2019.

I’m training for an upcoming 50k, so my food choices often focus on comfortably fueling for long runs and having a balanced variety for recovery.
In my fridge… Kale
In my freezer… Morningstar Farms veggie burgers in my freezer
In my pantry… Goya black beans
On my counter… FlatOut multigrain wraps on my counter
In my backpack… an orange (or apple or banana)”


“I am a personal trainer and health coach at acac. I’ve been training here for almost 2.5 years.
I’m currently preparing for a bodybuilding competition, so my must-have foods right now are a little different than normal.

My absolute must-have at all times foods are…
In my fridge… a box of baby spinach
In my freezer… chicken breast and ground beef in the freezer (I get my beef from John Montgomery, an acac member who runs Chestnut Ridge Farm in Highland County VA and who sells bulk grass-fed beef at terrific prices
In my pantry… FlatOut multigrain wraps
On my counter… bananas
In my backpack… rice cakes and coffee
Some other essentials include rolled oats, bananas, sweet potatoes, cinnamon (how I make 75% of my food taste delicious) and low-fat string cheese!”


“I’m a personal trainer, health coach, group exercise and yoga instructor at acac. I’ve been here since we opened the Short Pump club in December of 2012. I don’t usually train for specific goals but aim to be as well rounded as I can be in order to live my best life. That means finding a balance between cardio, strength, and flexibility training and USUALLY eating well. I think life is meant to be enjoyed and eating what you like is important to long term adherence.

Food I always have:
In my backpack… Lara Bars. I like the Peanut Butter or Cashew Cookie flavors. 5 all natural RAW ingredients and I can pronounce them all!
In my refrigerator… Lots of varieties of Kombucha (gotta keep the gut happy!)
On my counter… lots of fresh fruit. Whatever is in season.
In my freezer… homemade smoothie bags. My daughter and I meal prep and make these on the weekends for a quick weekday breakfast. Bags include. 1 sweet potatoes steamed then frozen, 1 frozen banana & lots of baby spinach. Remove bag from freezer and blend with almond milk and some protein (we like peanut butter flavor) add chia seeds on top.
In my pantry… some kind of salty snack! Gotta have your treats! “

Interested in talking with someone about how to improve your life-style? Talk to a health coach at your local club. Our certified health coaches empower YOU to build confidence, self-awareness, and the healthy habits that result in long-term lifestyle change.