Katie Austin Talks Fueling Yourself for Movement and the Mental Health Benefits of Foods That ‘Spark Joy’

The SI Swimsuit model has a balanced philosophy when it comes to nutrition.
Katie Austin

Katie Austin.

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Before you even begin to ramp up your movement routine, there are a few things you need to get in order. Perhaps the most important is ensuring that you are properly fueled for increased activity.

As a former Division I lacrosse player and someone who has built a career in fitness, Katie Austin understands the importance of proper nutrition. According to her, it’s all about meal prepping, creating balanced meals and eating food that “sparks joy.” Here are her methods.

The benefits of meal prepping for a balanced diet

Meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure that you are eating a balanced and nutritional diet. “If you are a busy person and you want to eat healthy when you get home from a long day of work,” prepping food in advance is the way to go, according to Austin.

If you enjoy cooking but are in search of simple, hassle-free recipes to incorporate into your weekly routine, the 30-year-old has the perfect solution for you. On her Instagram page, she is currently sharing a “one pan series,” in which she makes delicious recipes in just one pan. “I think this is really easy for people who are beginner cooks or who don’t have a lot of time,” she explains. 

Meal prepping, she says, is a great time saver. For example, rather than cooking chicken yourself, opt for a rotisserie chicken from the store. When it comes time for lunch or dinner, cut some pieces off and pair it with your favorite vegetable and starch—such as pasta or rice—for a simple, yet well-balanced meal.

Whether you’re cooking or not, Austin believes eating “at least two vegetables per meal and good lean protein,” with a starch and spices is the (simple, but delicious) formula for proper fueling.

Finding foods that spark joy

Equally as important to finding balance in your diet is finding joy, which is a priority for the fitness instructor. “I’m a huge believer in enjoying yourself,” Austin says. “I eat truly everything.”

Her personal motto is “everything in moderation.” The SI Swimsuit model doesn’t restrict herself, but rather ensures that she’s getting in all of the elements of a balanced meal, in addition to enjoying foods that spark joy.

“Finding things in your morning [and throughout the day] that will spark joy” is of the utmost importance, according to Austin. “My daily morning sourdough sparks joy. It makes me happy [and] it’s something that I can look forward to, and for that reason, it’s great for my health,” and, particularly, her mental health, she explains.

It’s all about balance, she notes. Eat the foods that you know will fuel you for whatever your chosen fitness routine is, but remember to indulge and enjoy yourself, too.

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Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.