SLT instructor Amy Paulin shares her vegan pilates diet

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Have you ever wondered what a CrossFit champion eats for breakfast? Or how a spin instructor powers himself through several hours a day? Or how an Olympic gymnast snacks? Food Diaries takes you on an inner journey through the healthy eating habits of athletes at the top of their game, because admit it, you’re curious. See more

SLT instructor Amy Paulin herself has experienced the transformative potential of healthy eating. “All my life I have always struggled with anxiety and tried so many different things to help deal with it,” she says, adding that it always seemed to come back.

“About a year ago, I started researching how the mind and gut are so closely related and immersed myself in everything plant-based,” Paulin says. What she learned inspired her to move toward a more plant-based diet to see if it could help manage her symptoms. “One day I decided it was time,” she says. “I stopped all animal products cold turkey – ha! – and never looked back.” While different eating plans can affect different people in different ways, Paulin says this was the lifestyle change that most profoundly affected her mental health. “I also found other benefits, including increased energy and increased muscle mass,” she says.

It’s good she’s feeling energetic. Paulin is an instructor in what many say is one of the toughest workouts in the boutique fitness world. SLT – an acronym for Strength, Lengthen, Tone – was launched in 2011 in New York City and has since expanded to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The brand’s latest studio is in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Paulin moved from Chicago to be an instructor there.

Although the South does not exactly have a reputation as a wellness epicenter, Paulin has enjoyed finding his ways to stick to his whole food, plant-based diet. “Since I moved from Chicago to Raleigh, I have certainly been able to increase my product game,” she says. “North Carolina has so many local farms with amazing fresh ingredients. It has definitely added more flavor to the kitchen! For someone who loves to cook and bake as much as I do, it has been a game changer.”

Here, Paulin shows what a test day of dining looks like for her in her new city, including how her hectic workout plan is.

Keep reading to see what an average day of eating and exercising looks like for SLT instructor Amy Paulin.

Training plan: Not surprisingly, SLT is my primary way of training. I get my strength training and cardio in this all-inclusive workout. Lately, I have been at the studio a lot and taken other instructors, so we are ready for the new studio’s grand opening. Besides that, I typically go for a walk after dinner with my nine month old labradoodle, Harley, and my husband, Patrick. It’s great to have that time together as a family to not only be active, but to talk about our days.

slt instructor amy paulins oatmeal breakfast
Photo: Getty Images /
Mariha kitchen; Graphics: Good + Good creative


I pretty much always start my day with coffee with a splash of almond milk. For eating, my go-to breakfast oatmeal is topped with chia seeds and walnuts – for extra fiber and protein – and banana, raisins and cinnamon. The toppings really enhance it, both in terms of taste and nutrition.

slt instructor amy paulins lunch healthy burrito
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a_namenko; Graphics: Good + Good creative


One of my favorite lunches is a whole wheat wrap with refried beans, sautéed spinach and corn with cashew queso on top.

healthy smoothie that slt instructor amy paulin loves
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Edalin; Graphics: Good + Good creative


There’s a healthy grab-and-go place near the SLT Raleigh studio called Kale Me Crazy, and I’m a regular there. They have amazing smoothies! As soon as I walk in the door, they start making my order: the “Recovery” smoothie, made with half vanilla, half chocolate vegan protein powder, banana, cherries, cashews, coconut yogurt and almond milk.

thai curry
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Saibal; Graphics: Good + Good creative


On this day, I had a Thai coconut curry soup with bok choy, tofu and rice noodles for dinner. It was filled with vegetables, full of flavor and absolutely delicious.

healthy vegan cinnamon rolls
Photo: Getty Images / Cathy Scola; Graphics: Good + Good creative


I love to bake and you never come into my home without seeing a giant plate of something sweet I have whipped together. The Vegan 8 is my favorite blog for candy. On my kitchen table right now is a plate of homemade vegan cinnamon rolls.

If you love watching what different people in the fitness world eat, check out this Soulcycle Instructor’s food diary and this one from a Crossfit athlete.

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