Miami’s top food bloggers dish it out on Instagram, using portrait-level lighting and adventuring to the far corners of South Florida to cross off their bucket list every cheese pull and must-try breakfast bowl. And despite all of the gastronomic outings and delicious indulgences that surround them, they still manage to stay in shape.
We chatted with these sought after social media icons to hear more on where we can find them punching a bag or lifting a weight, striking a balance between posting, eating, and drinking, and how they stay motivated, in real time, to incorporate fitness into their daily routine.
Dana, as the founder of Miami Food Porn, how do you manage to stay in shape while splurging?
DANA ROZANSKY, @MiamiFoodPorn: It's all about balance. I certainly do my fair share of indulging, which is the side that people see on the 'gram, but there's a whole different side of things—albeit a much less glamorous side—that people don't see. When I'm not out gallivanting from one meal to the next, I'm incredibly diligent and regimented about eating healthy and exercising. While I don't often post about the protein shakes I make at home or my daily morning workouts, that's just as much a part of my routine as going out to eat. I strategically select which meals I want to 'splurge' on and which nights I prefer to stay in and forego that decadent dinner for some homemade zucchini noodles, cauliflower crust pizza, or spaghetti squash. Figuring out that balance is what allows me to enjoy certain indulgences without the guilt.
When off Instagram, where can we find you working out?
DR: Over the past year, I've gotten really into kickboxing. My friend Jessica from @eatitmia introduced me to CKO Kickboxing in Brickell, and I instantly became hooked. I'm the type of person who has tried every type of exercise, from CrossFit to Pilates to spinning and everything in between. I tend to go through phases where I gravitate toward one type of workout or another, but I felt that nothing checked all of the boxes for me. But, when I started to do kickboxing at CKO, everything clicked. There's something about this gym that makes you feel right at home.
NICO NORENA, @succulentbite: My go-to is definitely weight lifting. The reason for it, is that it keeps the body toned and in shape, and the after burn of calories throughout the day is longer than if I do cardio. I try to exercise three to four times per week, for about one hour per session. Staying in shape and having a well-balanced lifestyle is key, and indulging with delicious foods and desserts is part of it. I do plan on sharing tips and behind the scenes on how to stay fit while managing Succulent Bite; you’ll be able to find some of these in my Instagram stories as well as my website!
ALEX MESA, @themiamimenu: I started Barry’s Bootcamp about three years ago, actually, around the same time The Miami Menu started to really take off. I took a beach Bootcamp class at the 1 Hotel and the instructor happened to be a Barry's instructor. She convinced me to take my first class and from there I was hooked! It’s my favorite workout because Barry’s focuses on a different muscle group every day so no workout is ever the same. They do this to ensure your body has the perfect balanced workout and proper time for recovery.
Do you have a favorite instructor?
AM: This one is hard! I love all instructors, but I have to say my favorite is Lindsey in Aventura. I take her class three or four times a week. She is so motivational and loves to challenge me! Derek, who teaches at all three studios, is also hilarious so it makes the class very fun.
Post workout, what’s your go-to meal to refuel?
DR: My go-to meal post CKO is either a protein shake or an açaí bowl from Raw Juice in Brickell. It's just a few blocks from the gym and is the perfect pick-me-up after a tough morning workout. My other favorite spots for a quick, casual and healthy meal are Dirt and Carrot Express. Miami desperately needs a salad place like Sweetgreen. Trying to start a petition.
And Gio, in addition to Chat Chow TV, you’re also the brand ambassador for Bacardi. With most cocktails being high in calories, how do you stay fit?
GIO GUTIERREZ, @ChatChowTV: One thing I do is constantly hydrate throughout the day. And I honestly try and workout every single day. No excuses.
With the low ABV cocktail movement rapidly growing, what pick-me-ups would you suggest to your followers who are looking for a light aperitif?
GG: Look for aperitifs on cocktail menus with amaros like the classic Americano made with Martini Bitters (or Campari), Cocchi Barolo Chinato, and club soda. Served with orange slices and preferably in a large wine glass.
Where can locals find a classic Americano?
GG: Beaker & Gray is my go-to for “mocktails” with an incredible selection that changes all the time. My current favorite is Manga Salvia with pineapple, sage, mint, pomegranate, and fresh citrus. Also newcomer via D.C., Fiola by Fabio Trabocchi makes a Lavender Beach with fresh lavender, peach, lemon, and club soda that’s perfect for Miami.
In real time, do you always post everything you eat and drink?
NN: I only feature what I consider the most delicious and worthy dishes to try! With that said, there’s definitely been a few times that I don’t share what I eat and drink. Keep it genuine!
How do you strike a balance between staying thin and posting?
NN: I have a very talented group of hungry friends and family! The key is in sharing. I share most of the food and drink I photograph with them to keep portions reasonable. I also exercise multiple times per week, as well as eating healthy and balanced meals! Carrot Express and My Ceviche are my favorites for flavorful and healthy eating during the week.
RACHEL SAMSON, @stickaforkinme: I make time each day to get active. It can be a fast paced walk on my treadmill where I can still be answering emails and editing photos or an all-out group fitness class where my phone is put away and I’m all in for the sweat. It’s not just about countering my calorie intake but about staying healthy and feeling good.
Enjoying every bite free of guilt, what are your must-have meals of choice?
RS: I never turn down a taco, French fry or slice of pizza. I like quick and easy—if I’ve got a craving, I want it and I want it ASAP!
Photography courtesy of Rachel Samson and Nico Norena