When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, I encourage moving your body. Every day. Do what makes you happy rather than what you dread and you'll be more likely to stick with it. For me, sometimes that means a workout DVD. Sometimes that means paddle boarding. Sometimes that means hiking. Sometimes that means dancing in my kitchen... I just move. Every day.
So how do we fuel our fitness and keep our bodies nourished....without sacrificing quality....or taste?
A common question I get is what to eat before and after a workout. I think this is a great question but the thing is, it's not a one size fits all answer. You don't want to be too full....or be running on empty.
First I think it's important to consider what type of activity you'll be doing and for how long. If you are doing a low intensity workout or a walk, you may not need a pre-workout meal at all, especially if you're nourishing your body at regular meals. If you're doing a harder or longer workout, it's a good idea to have a small meal or snack beforehand and take something with you.
Before a workout, I don't encourage eating too much because your body will have trouble performing well if it's using all its energy to digest the food. So it's important not to overeat and to choose easily digestible food that sustains your energy. Most will do well with a small snack of protein and healthy fat. You can add a little nutrient dense, low glycemic carbs too. See what makes you feel your best. Fruit is not the best choice pre workout as it won't sustain you.
Some good pre-workout snacks:
- hard boiled eggs (I steam mine)
- celery with almond butter
- chia pudding
- high quality deli meat w/ avocado
- tuna with homemade mayo
- a handful of nuts (not peanuts)
- coffee blended with 1 tsp - 1 tbsp coconut oil and cinnamon
After a workout, I like to have something to eat 15-30 mins after and choose a protein and a carb. A great choice is a protein and a starchy carb. Don't think you need to load up on large amounts of these after an average workout. Only if you are training HARD at an athlete's level do you need to really replenish in that way. My tip is No, you don't have to eat your weight in protein after a workout!
Some good post-workout choices:
- hard boiled egg and banana (easy grab & go food)
- a great vegan option is my fave "Green Smoothie" (almond milk, plant based protein, frozen banana, handful of spinach or Greens, and cinnamon)
- egg scramble with veggies and sweet potato
- a slice of Ezekiel toast with avocado, himalayan sea salt and a soft boiled egg
- Plantain chips and tuna
So what if you are hiking, biking, skiing, at an event or race, etc and need to fuel your body?
If you look in my car, bag or purse at any given time you will always find a protein bar or two in there. That way if I get hungry...or my husband or friends get hungry.... I have something healthy to tide us over. Here's the thing....
When you look at the protein bar section in a store these days, it can make your head spin. Most of them are FULL of junky, processed, artificial ingredients that won't fuel your healthy lifestyle! Make sure to read the ingredients....that's what matters most.
So what's in my bag right now? RxBars are my go-to. I love their limited ingredients. I like to switch it up too and am always looking for new clean options. Another great choice are GoMacro Bars, especially for those with allergies, sensitivities, or dietary restrictions. The quality, clean ingredients have passed my inspection and there are a ton of flavors and textures to choose from. Not to worry, the natural sugars and infant-safe brown rice syrup found in GoMacro Bars are packed with sustained energy. The best thing about these bars? They taste kinda amazing. If you're in a hurry, grab a high quality protein bar for a pre or post workout snack from time to time, it's totally fine!
We can't forget HYDRATION....
Hydration is one of the most important parts of our healthy lifestyle, especially when we are out there getting our sweat on. I see too many people living their "healthy lifestyle" with a sugary sports drink in their hand! It makes me want to cringe!! Stop that! Water and pure coconut water are great ways to hydrate your workouts and healthy lifestyle. If you're looking for a super healthy alternative for that unhealthy "sports drink"? Try this Minerals and Antioxidant drink mix and you'll be right back on track. This is a FANTASTIC healthy switch for your kids sports drinks!!! Tastes great!
I hope these tips help you feel your best, NOURISH your body, and remember.... fuel your fitness + healthy lifestyle in the way that's best for you.
Other Blog Posts You Might Enjoy: