Eat & Greet: See how Joe Z powers through his day, plate by plate

For the next edition of our “Eat & Greet” series, we’re taking a peek at how Joe Z, Ascend’s #1 man behind the scenes (and #bossbabe’s husband), maintains a healthy diet while juggling work, family, and an active lifestyle. Joe’s strategy of preparing simple meals with wholesome ingredients ensures he gets nutritious food without the fuss. A good reminder to us all that healthy, well-balanced meals can be quick, easy, and still delicious! Choosing high-quality protein sources provides Joe with the fuel he needs to power through intense workouts—be it Ascend rides, weight lifting, or chasing after the kiddos.

Meet Joe:   When he’s not supporting all things Ascend, Joe is hittin’ the markets for some fresh produce and quality meats.

Meet Joe:

When he’s not supporting all things Ascend, Joe is hittin’ the markets for some fresh produce and quality meats.



Eggs!  Always eggs for breakfast – 4 farmers market eggs, usually scrambled, sometimes over easy or hard-boiled. Takes 5 minutes and you can’t get much better nutritionally. On the side I eat an avocado – sliced in half and sprinkled with a little sea salt. I eat a pretty good size breakfast, so I also throw on breakfast sausage links or sometimes bacon – all from the farmers market or another farm-direct source.


Protein and vegetables – We try to make extra dinner so I can bring leftovers for lunch the next day. But when that doesn’t work, a really easy go-to lunch is Bilinski’s chicken sausage and frozen vegetables. Slice up a couple chicken sausages, tear open your bag of frozen broccoli (or California blend if you want more variety) and toss it all in a skillet. It cooks in 10 or so minutes and doesn’t require any more fuss than that. Tailor the amount of chicken sausage and vegetables you use to fit your appetite. I usually go 2-3 chicken sausages per bag of vegetables and will eat that as one portion. (PS – This meal is so easy to prepare that I often do so in the mornings while making breakfast for me and the kids, getting ready for work, and helping get the kids dressed, etc.).


I keep snacking simple – an apple, a handful of almonds, or an avocado if I didn’t already have one for breakfast. Basically I’m going fruit or nuts here.


This is similar to lunch – protein and veggies. I choose either chicken, pork, beef, or fish with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc. Roasted salmon or trout is a really easy dish to prepare – in the oven for 10-12 minutes and virtually nothing to clean up. Add veggies and you’re good to go. When pressed for time the chicken sausage/frozen veggie dish is great for dinner too. I also make a side salad to go with dinner every night for a little extra veggie intake – lettuce, radishes, carrots, cucumber, a couple chopped dates, and olive oil.



Dark chocolate.


Dish It Up

*Food philosophy: define what a balance diet means to you: 

I’m all about protein and vegetables, and simple, identifiable ingredients. For meat, we buy direct from farms or the farmers market. Vegetables we buy what looks good – and frozen is totally fine. Kat and I prepare almost every meal we eat – not only does that allow us to control the quality of the ingredients, but psychologically I find it very satisfying!

*Favorite meal of the day (or fave dish):

Starting my day off right with eggs and avocado.

*Top tips and tricks for healthy eating on the go:

I try not to; snack-wise I stick with the fruit/nuts approach or the occasional Rx Bar if I need something more substantial.

*Local eateries where we can find you stopping in for a bite:

Since I’m insane about cooking my own food, you really won’t find me at a local eatery.  But you’ll certainly find me at Mom’s Organic Market on Mt. Vernon, the Del Ray farmers market on Saturdays, and Whole Foods and even Safeway have good vegetable selections.

*Best pre- and post-ride snacks:

Before I workout, be it an Ascend ride or lifting session, I’ll eat a Rise Bar (almond honey). I also love the chocolate sea salt Rx Bar. These give a nice energy boost (but are high calories, FYI).

*Favorite indulgences or must-haves:

Every night for dessert I’ll have some dark chocolate (current favorite is Theo 85%). I love donuts so look forward to Sugar Shack with the kids on weekends.

-Blogpost written by Ascend content expert, Ashley H