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How Chef and Swimmer Marisa Churchill Stays Fit

Chef Marisa Churchill (Photo courtesy of TK)

Chef Marisa Churchill enjoys swimming and sweets! (Photo by Holly Stewart)

When making dessert is your job, staying fit can be a challenge. We recently sat down with swimmer and competitive chef (she was on season two of Top Chef and Food Network Challenge) Marisa Churchill to discuss the launch of her new cookbook, Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life’s Sweeter Side Without Tipping the Scales. Though she's around tempting desserts all day, Marisa is in amazing shape and even competes in swim meets. Here's how she makes that possible:

What's your workout routine like? I try to exercise at least five days a week. I swim three times, completing about 6,000-8,000 yards weekly, and strength train twice a week.

Aside from swimming laps in the pool, what's your favorite way to work out? Since the launch of Sweet & Skinny, I am on the road a lot traveling for my book tour. Therefore, I'm all about "exercises on the go." Here are a few of my favorite ones that you can do just about anywhere:

  • Squats and Lunges: These are perfect for when you're on the go because you don't need a lot of space or equipment. You just need your body! You can easily do either exercise in a hotel room or hallway. I do three sets of 15 squats and three sets of 20 lunges.
  • Sit-ups and Push-ups: Any style works. It doesnt matter what type of sit-up or push-up you perform, as long as you get it done!
  • Planks: Drop down and hold for 30 seconds! I aim for four sets.

What do you eat to fuel up for a tough workout or swimming competition? I cut back on sugar the week before a competition and make sure I eat well-balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. I also drink a lot of green tea to keep me energized. Stay tuned for healthy cooking and eat-right tips from Marisa in an upcoming issue of FITNESS!