Nicole Schultz VP of training at boxing gym EverybodyFights recently completed her Ph.D. in biochemical and molecular nutrition at Tufts University, with a specialization in exercise physiology, all while creating workout plans for the gym from its Boston headquarters and coaching clients in nutrition on the weekends.
“I grew up practicing martial arts, and I loved it so much that I continued to pursue it throughout college and beyond,” she says. “I began teaching cardio kickboxing in college, which was my first step into the fitness world, and then I took up Muay Thai in graduate school.”
Fast forward to now, and “a typical day includes a mix of being behind my computer, attending meetings, and visiting our EverybodyFights facilities,” she says. “And I try to spend an hour a day reading scientific literature.”
So how does a nutrition Ph.D. slash fighter fuel her intense workouts and live an overall nutritious life? Read on.
How Does Nicole Schultz Live a Nutritious Life?
If you had to name your healthy diet, what would you call it? I’m not that creative, but I do my best to eat whole foods and stay away from anything processed / in a wrapper, so perhaps I’d call it the Real Food Diet.
What’s your go-to breakfast? Typically, I’ll have either avocado toast with an egg or plain Greek yogurt with berries, flaxseed, and a little granola. If I’m not very hungry when I wake up, I’ll opt for a banana with nut butter and typically have a mid-morning snack.
Your go-to workday lunch? Sweet potato hash: sweet potatoes, apple, black beans, ground turkey, kale, and extra cinnamon.
Your go-to workday dinner? I like to make easy crockpot recipes on the weekend and just heat them up for dinner. Recently, I’ve been having a chicken veggie stew, but I also love Whole Foods’ frozen whole-wheat pizza dough. Some nights, I load up the dough with as many veggies as possible and pop it in the oven.
What’s the one food you always have in your fridge? Peanut butter.
The snack you always have with you when traveling? Trail mix and an apple.
What do you eat before and after a workout? My pre-workout go-to is half a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter. Typically, I work out before breakfast, so I’ll have my usual breakfast after I work out.
Your favorite food indulgence? Anything dark chocolate.
Other than water, what do you sip regularly? Seltzer water. Some may argue I have a problem…
How often do you exercise, and what’s your workout of choice? I exercise five days a week. My favorite workout is one that involves punching and/or kicking things, but that could be a heavy bag class, a more technical boxing class, or sparring.
What’s your go-to tool for managing stress? Exercise, making lists, and yoga.
How do you express and spread love? I do my best to always be positive and present, and I tend to give a lot of hugs. For those I don’t know, I believe that a smile or “hello” can go a long way, so I try to make eye contact and smile and say hi to strangers wherever I go.
Meditation or massage? Massage.
A hot shower or a soothing bath? Hot shower.
Almond butter or peanut butter? Peanut butter.
Coffee or tea? All the coffee.
A long run outside or a dark spin class? Dark spin class.
(Photos: Courtesy of Nicole Schultz and EverybodyFights)