Best Pre & Post Workout Snacks

Best Pre and Post Workout Snacks: How to slay your workout!

A question that I get asked frequently is what you should eat before and after you workout! Knowing when and what to eat can make a big difference in your fitness performance. It is important to listen to your body and fuel it properly with the right foods. If you are properly nourished, you will feel good from the inside out and have a killer workout!

The key: Protein and Carbohydrates

It is important to eat both protein and carbohydrates pre and post workout. Glucose is the main source of fuel for out cells. When we eat carbohydrates, our body converts the energy into glucose and stores it in the form of glycogen. When we exercise, our bodies use glycogen and ATP to get our muscles moving!

Since our bodies only store a small supply, it is important to replenish with good food. Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercising can improve fitness performance and allows you to workout for a longer duration or at a higher intensity.

After a good sweat session, your body restocks glycogen and repair muscle proteins. Eating protein after a workout helps increase muscle synthesis, enhance recovery and restore glycogen in the body. Fueling yourself with the right nutrients is very important to ensure optimal fitness performance

Best Timing: Eat 45-60 Minutes Beforehand!

Eating too much or too little can make you feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. It can also give you stomach cramps in the middle of a workout. I recommend that you eat a small snack 45 minutes before and after working out. Try not to go longer than 2 hours without eating if you are planning on working out that day.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants – Michael Pollen

Here are some snacks that I recommend. They are easy, portable, budget friendly, and will help you get through a fantastic workout.

  • Apple & peanut butter
  • Banana & almond butter
  • Plain greek yogurt w/ granola
  • Smoothie (check out recipe on my blog)
  • Nuts or trail mix (dried nuts & fruit)
  • Hummus & carrots
  • Oatmeal w/ fruit
  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • Sweet potato
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Protein bar (make sure you read the ingredients! Look for good quality bar with no refined sugar snickers bar)
  • WATER!!! I know this is not necessarily a carb or protein, but water is often overlooked. Staying hydrated is key to ensuring a good workout. If you sweat, replenish with lots and lots of water.

Snack Examples: 

Greek yogurt, granola & fruit

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Avocado, Egg, Sweet potatoes, Raspberries

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Brown rice cake, avocado, egg, orange

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Ginger kombucha (fermented tea) & bar

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Overnight oats w/ fruit & granola

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Egg, veggies & hummus

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Peanut Butter Energy bites: Full Recipe Here

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Smoothie of the Day #8

Smoothie Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of Strawberries
  • Maca Powder
  • Chia seeds

I used 1 tsp. of maca powder & 1 tbsp. chia seeds
I put everything in a blender & added a frozen banana to make the smoothie creamy!

Amazing! This is truly my favorite color! 🙂

Health benefits of Maca Powder:

  • Increases energy
  • reduces oxidative stress
  • improves memory
  • helps balance hormones
  • Supports thyroid health
  • improves cognative function
  • High in iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium ❤

 

Health Benefits of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in the human body. It is also known as the “sunshine” vitamin because you can absorb it through 15-20 minutes of sun exposure. However, during this time of year (October-March), people living in the Midwest/Northern latitudes may be deficient due to insufficient sunlight in the winter.

Living in Minnesota, I know I don’t get a lot of sunlight, especially since I’m cooped up inside watching Gossip Girl. Hey, it’s winter break. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  This winter I decided to take a supplement to counter my inevitable deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to osteoporosis, higher blood pressure, diabetes, mood disorders and higher rates of certain cancers. It is so important to get enough, especially since it can impact up to 2000 genes in our bodies! Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immune functions and mental health.

Vitamin D works with vitamin K in our bodies to help absorb calcium into our bloodstream and help deposit calcium and phosphorus into our bones. This is why I chose to supplement with both Vitamin D3 & K2. Also, taking this vitamin in a liquid form is more beneficial than capsules because our bodies can more easily absorb it.

 

Vitamin D is also fat soluble, meaning that it is best absorbed when eaten with a good quality fat or a full meal.

Food sources of Vitamin D3:

  1. salmon
  2. tuna
  3. mackerel
  4. egg yolks
  5. cod liver oil

Health Benefits of Vitamin D3:

  1. boosts immune system
  2. improves bone & teeth health
  3. aids in calcium absorption
  4. destroys bad bacteria and viruses
  5. increases energy levels
  6. improves mood, combats seasonal affective disorder
  7. helps manage a healthy body weight
  8. improves DNA repair
  9. reduces risk of autoimmune disorders
  10. fights infections
  11. decreases blood pressure

Dosages may vary depending on your individual needs. A safe amount to start with is 1000 IU, but be sure to speak with a health care professional to get the appropriate amounts.

I put one drop in my smoothie: kale & spinach (yay more vitamin K), frozen banana, frozen strawberries, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tbsp. cacao powder, water. Blend & enjoy good health. 🙂

Vegan Falafel Recipe 

I’ve been craving falafel recently so I decided it was finally time to make some! I grew up eating Mediterranean food but if you are unfamiliar with falafels, I would describe it as a crispy, chickpea fritter. They are so delicious and unbelievably easy to make! This was my first attempt, and I am happy to announce it was very successful. Healthy, protein-packed, vegan, gluten free deliciousness. Please give these a try!

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 cup of chickpeas (canned or dried & soaked for 24 hours)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. of millet flour (or spelt flour for non-gluten free option)
  • squeeze of lemon

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you get a crumbly – wet sand consistency

You can use any kind of flour, but I chose organic millet flour. Millet is nutrient dense; it has B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium – all essential for good health.

Taste for salt. Seriously, these will be sub-par if they are under seasoned!

If you squeeze the mixture, it should hold its shape. If not, add more flour as needed.

Form into balls or patties and pan fry in olive oil until crispy. It should take about 3 minutes per side. Don’t be afraid of frying! People have done studies measuring the amount of oil before and after frying.When done properly, it’s remarkable how little oil is actually absorbed. Having said that, you can also bake these at 350 for 20 minutes.

Mmmm…. I put them on some salad and drizzled with tahini! Sooo amazing!

The inside should be nice and fluffy, with a crispy outside. Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits 

Every morning I drink either lemon water or apple cider vinegar water. It’s so important to hydrate your body first thing in the morning, and adding 1 tbsp. of ACV has so many amazing benefits. Check out my post about lemon water too if you’re interested!

  1. Promotes good bacteria due to probiotics
  2. Regulates pH
  3. Detoxifies the body
  4. Balances blood sugar levels
  5. Aids in weight loss
  6. Boost energy
  7. Clears sinuses + helps fight allergies
  8. Good facial toner (put on cotton pad and gently wipe on skin)
  9. Good hair conditioner (put in spray bottle and use as leave in conditioner)

Tomato Appreciation 

This year we planted and incredible variety of tomatoes in our garden! Over the summer I have gotten to enjoy the most amazing tomatoes of my life! So sweet, juicy and addictive.

Health benefits of tomatoes:

  • High in Vitamin C
  • Good for skin, high in beta carotene
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Improves bone health
  • Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease due to the antioxidant lycopene
  • Boost immunity

I made caprese salad with them! Check out my Instagram for more pictures!

Health Benefits of Raw Honey 

I love using raw honey as a sweetener instead of processed white sugar! I use it in my oatmeal, pancakes, tea, baking desserts and even using it as a nightly face cleanser. It is a versatile ingredients that has so many amazing health benefits. Raw honey is better than  processed honey because all the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes are all intact.

Health benefits of raw honey: 

  • Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
  • Relieves cold and flu
  • Heals sore throats
  • Fights allergies
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves digestion
  • Supports good bacteria
  • Promotes healthy skin

Detox tea: 

– 1/4 lemon, squeezed

– 1/2 inch ginger

– 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

– 1 tbsp. Raw honey

I love making this tea when I wake up in the morning or before bed. It is very soothing and creates a warming sensation. The honey gives it the perfect amount of sweetness.

Health Benefits of Tumeric, Onion and Garlic

Health benefits of tumeric:

  1. Anti inflammatory
  2. Protects against UVA damage
  3. Detoxifies the liver
  4. Lowers cholesterol
  5. Improves digestion
  6. Helps alleviate seasonal allergies

Health benefits of onions:

  1. Lowers blood pressure
  2. Relieves stomachaches
  3. Boosts immune system
  4. Antibacterial
  5. Lowers heart attack risks
  6. Helps treat asthma

Health benefits of garlic:

  1. Cold and flu treatment
  2. Improves digestion
  3. Antibacterial and anti-fungal
  4. Boost immune system
  5. Antioxidants
  6. Cancer prevention

You can use these amazing ingredients in so many ways! Add them to soups, sauces, tea, stir frys, meat dishes and stews! I made lentils the other day with all 3! 🙂

Health Benefits of Avocado 

I have had an obsession with avocados lately. I put them in everything: salad, quinoa, pasta, and even in smoothies for extra healthy fats! I love the usual guacamole, but there are so many more things you can do with them.

Not only are avocados delicious, they have so many amazing health benefits!

  • Lowers inflammation
  • High in potassium
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • High fiber, aids in digestion
  • Reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Rich in folate and vitamin K
  • Loaded with heart healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Promotes healthy bones
  • Balances hormones
  • Moisurizes skin

I made some delicious sushi and toast the other day featuring this glorious fruit.

Check out my Instagram for more ways to use them! 🙂