Simple Solutions for your Morning Workout Recovery

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I know, I know. Your workouts are crammed into your already hectic life. You have finally mastered the art of getting to bed early so that you can rise with the sun and squeeze in your daily workout. But once you finish, you don’t have time to prepare an elaborate breakfast; you have to shower, shave, dress, and look your best for the day ahead!

But listen to me, after a workout, your muscles are damaged and depleted. In order to build the strength that you are seeking, you need to feed those depleted muscles with glycogen. The best way to do this is to consume a breakfast that has a 2:1 carb to protein ratio. An ideal amount of protein is 10-18 grams. This will shuttle plenty of glycogen to your muscles and energize you for the day!

I hear ya! You don’t have time to calculate these numbers AND eat on top of it. That’s what you have me for! Here are my top-3, quick and easy breakfasts for workout recovery (and they’re a great way to start your day even if you don’t work out in the morning)

#1: Almond butter on whole grain toast with two types of fruit

A banana is one of my top choices and then for the second type of fruit, I usually choose something seasonal. In summer, berries are my favorite. Make sure your bread’s first ingredient is whole ground wheat or sprouted wheat; if it simply says wheat flour, it is not truly whole grain! And spread on that almond butter generously—think two tablespoons…that’s some yummy fiber, protein, and healthy fats for you!

#2: 3/4 cup Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup granola and a handful of fruit        

Nothing beats Greek yogurt with granola and blueberries! Watch out for sugar in both the yogurt and granola. I usually buy plain Greek yogurt to minimize the sugar and there are plenty of granola varieties with less than 10 grams of sugar. Muesli is a good option instead of granola as well.

#3: A Succulent smoothie

Mix 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of frozen berries and a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder.

If you’re like me, you may not like messing with a blender in the morning, so make your smoothie the night before and store it in a mason jar of smoothie shaker cup and you can even have it on the go the next morning.

What’s the best part about these three recovery breakfast options? You can use mix and match the fruits to come up with entirely different choices every day

By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN

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Sneaky Tricks to Eat More Fruits & Veggies

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We all know it can be hard to get in your fruits and veggies every day, especially when we are supposed to intake 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of veggies. Here are some fun tricks you might like to try in order to reach and maybe even surpass those serving recommendations

  • Add berries to your morning cereal.
  • Add sliced cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, parsley, tomatoes or cilantro to your sandwiches.
  • Keep a fruit bowl filled with seasonal fruit in your home and at your office.
  • Add shredded veggies (like zucchini or carrots) to your spaghetti sauce. Shredded veggies can also be easily disguised in meatballs.
  • Speaking of spaghetti, try spaghetti squash!
  • Make kale chips. Rinse and dry a bunch of kale. De-stem it and chop into small pieces. Put the kale in a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Arrange on a baking sheet (making sure they do not overlap). Bake for 20-25 minutes at 275.
  • Keep some dried fruit on hand (make sure they are sulfate-free); have them combined with some raw nuts to keep your blood sugar balanced.
  • Aim for originality when snacking. Try raw snap peas or raw green beans with hummus.
  • Have a salad challenge with your friends or kids! Get creative. See who can come up with the most colorful salad. Add beets, bell peppers, apples, mangoes, pineapples, or watermelon!
  •  Make a smoothie. Get the blender out. Blend frozen fruit with almond milk. Add a tad of honey if you need it sweeter. You can easily sneak in spinach or kale and it won’t even alter the flavor!

The most important thing to do in order to meet your veggie and fruit serving requirements is to make sure you have them in your home. Keep your freezer loaded with options for those nights when you have little motivation or energy to do major food prep.