How Shakira Eats and Trains in a Day-New Latin Inspired Recipes!

Let’s face it, for many people it’s hard to get motivated in January. Most people would rather stay cozy in their homes, wrapped up in blankets and sipping on hot chocolate than sprinting in the rain or doing planks in the snow. Not to mention the closing of gyms nationwide gives people yet another excuse to lay on the couch. After doing a holiday detox of clean eating, the comfort foods start beckoning, sometimes with a vengeance. Warm mashed potatoes, flaky apple pie, cheesy pasta, and juicy burgers sound more appealing than cold salads and lean proteins as the temperatures plummet. Part of all of this is biology, as humans throughout history needed calorie dense foods to survive harsh winters. The difference is that today those calorie dense foods are far more accessible. Just a few taps on the phone and a hot meal delivery can reach your doorstep, fulfilling any craving you desire.

Sometimes I look to extraordinary people for inspiration during these lackluster times, and immediately I thought of Shakira. This woman seems to age in reverse, and at age 44 juggles motherhood, a massively successful music career, international stardom, philanthropy, all while keeping a lean physique and youthful skin. While personal chefs and trainers can offer huge assistance to the stars that most of us can’t afford, at the end of the day there is just one trait a person needs to stay in shape and achieve success: discipline. Discipline isn’t sexy though, and it’s hard to sell something like discipline for it’s an intangible trait left up to each individual. However, discipline is free and universal–once you make up your mind the only one that can stop you is yourself.

No doubt about it, this Lebanese Columbian beauty is driven by discipline: perfecting her ability to play 4 instruments, singing beautifully without the need for autotune, mastering belly dance and hip hop dance, writing songs that appeal to fans worldwide, launching a charity to advance children’s education in Colombia, all while raising her children. With a catalog of 145 songs, Shakira has sold over 80 million records, which has made her the best-selling female Latin artist of all time. She remains one of the world’s best selling music artists in history.

So, in the hopes of inspiring all of you (as well as giving myself a kick in the pants) I decided to explore the diet and exercise habits of Shakira. Sometimes all we need are just a few new habits to change our lives for the better. What resulted from my experiment was an invigorating day of exercise, and some delicious and healthy Latin American recipes that I am about to share with you!

So, what are exercise rules that Shakira follows?

  • Shakira works out 6 days a week, making sure to exercise at least 75 minutes, with the goal of burning a minimum of 500 calories. She makes sure to accurately measure and burn those calories using a heart monitor.
  • Shakira is always mixing up her workouts to keep her body guessing and to avoid fitness plateaus. She does this by doing:

Choreographed dance sections and strength intervals. 

Dance with an upper body circuit

 Dance with a lower body circuit

Dance with a core circuit.

  •  She admitted that she is not always in the mood to dance, so also engages in tennis, boxing, swimming, and HIIT training instead of dance sessions whenever she gets the chance

As for diet:

  1. No sugar, with the exception of berries or dark chocolate, and no dairy
  2. A breakfast of black coffee with either eggs, avocado and tomatoes, or a protein shake with berries or sometimes a green powder
  3. Her plates are either 60% vegetables and 40% protein, or 80% vegetables and 20% protein, mostly fish, or steak
  4. She does not snack, and if she gets hungry between meals she will have a satiating vegetable soup. Artichoke soup or carrot ginger soup are her favorites.
  5. No alcohol or smoking
  6. Lunch is generally something cold like a salad, and dinner is something warm, like a steak

So to tie in Shakira’s diet requirements along with the flavors of her home country, Colombia, I included recipes below of a Columbian simple salad, ahi tuna to serve with the salad, and Shakira’s favorite steak combination plate. To see my full adventure as a day in the life Shakira, check out my new video below:

Colombian Simple Salad

  • 3 mini peppers, sliced
  • 1 Roma Tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (or sugar free substitute)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, from the peppers to the cabbage. In a glass jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour the dressing over the salad, and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Serve with the below fish recipe on top.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Cilantro Sauce

  • 6 ounces ahi tuna (for 1 serving) or 12 ounces for 2 servings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of cumin
  • 1 tsp avocado or olive oil

Season the tuna on both sides with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Heat the oil in a skillet, then cook the ahi tuna on both sides for only a minute if you like the center rare, or about 2 minutes if you want to cook the fish through. To plate, serve the tuna on the Simple Salad, along with 2 tbsp. Cilantro Sauce drizzled on top. Recipe for the Cilantro Sauce below:

Columbian Cilantro Sauce with Skirt Steak

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces of skirt or sirloin steak
  • 1 tsp avocado or olive oil

Put all of ingredients from the garlic to the salt and pepper in the food processor and blend. Reserve 2-4 tbsp of the sauce for topping the tuna salad. The rest will be used to marinate the skirt steaks. In a plastic sealed bag or container, add the skirt steaks, and massage the rest of the cilantro sauce into the meat. Seal and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours. The longer you can marinate the meat the better, overnight is ideal. To serve, heat 1 tsp avocado or olive oil in a skillet, and cook the steak over high heat for 3 minutes each side. Serve with the Hogao Sauce below.

Hogao Sauce

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, tomatoes sliced in half
  • 3 scallions (green onions) finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp avocado or olive oil
  • handful cilantro, finely chopped

In a skillet, heat up the olive oil, and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for only one minute, then add the green onions, scallions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, along with the cumin. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft. At the very end add the cilantro, then saute for about 1 minute more. Serve alongside the skirt steak.

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