Being in the fitness industry I’m asked questions about exercise and nutrition all of the time. I’m dedicating this post to one of the most popular questions that I’m asked on a regular basis:
What should I eat after I workout?
Believe it or not, this answer is not so black and white. There are many elements that factor into this equation. For instance: What type of workout did you do and for how long? Did you eat immediately before your workout? Do you plan on having a meal soon after your workout? Some common sense will have to be factored in here. Don’t over consume for the sake of getting a post workout snack/meal in. Try to time your workouts to fall within the space between meals so that you aren’t adding an extra meal (unless you’re a competitive body builder). Don’t force food down if you don’t want to eat. Always drink plenty of water!
With those things considered, I’m going to go ahead a give you some great options that are generally universal and certainly fit within the Strong Calm Sexy guidelines. I like to do things in 3’s, so how about I’ll give you 3 post workout snack recommendations for EACH type of workout in the plan. That means 3 post yoga, 3 post barre and 3 post SwanFIt! Of course, if you’re following your Strong Calm Sexy meal plan, you can merge these with the snack options on the plan. BONUS MATERIAL :)!!
So you got your zen on and now you need to refuel. With yoga having that whole mind-body connection, you’ll want to put something soothing in your body post-practice. Have something that’s healing to your adrenal system.
Yoga Option 1: Dried apricots w/ pistachio (about 1/4 cup pistachio and 3-5 apricots)
Pistachios contain Vitamin K and potassium as well as vitamin B6. They have about 6 grams of protein per serving and because of the healthy fat and protein that they contain, they will digest slowly, keeping you fuller longer. The apricots are a great source of Vitamin A, which support eye health, skin tone, teeth, bones and soft tissue. Because Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, having the pistachios with the apricots will allow your body to absorb and utilize those nutrients.
Yoga Option 2: Matcha Latte. You can have this frozen and blended or hot. I prefer making mine with unsweetened soy milk, but if you don’t do soy, you can use an alternative milk.
(Pictured to my right, one of our very own Strong Calm Sexy members, Melissa!)
To make your own Matcha latte at home, just take about 8oz unsweetened soy milk, 1 cup crushed ice and 1 TBSP Matcha tea powder. Blend until smooth. For a warm latte, heat and froth the milk and whisk in the Matcha powder. If you must have a little sweetness, a teaspoon of honey goes a long way 🙂 To learn more about the amazing benefits of Matcha tea, click here for a previous post with all of the wonderful details!
Yoga Option 3: Apple w/ Almond butter:
1 apple and about 2 TBSP of almond butter will be right around 240 calories of delicious nutrition. I prefer green apples, but any apple will suffice. Click here to read about how apples can help you build lean muscle tissue! Almond butter is a great source of vitamin E, so while it’s making your skin look fabulous, it’s also protecting your cells from free radical damage. The healthy fat will help your body absorb all of the amazing nutrients in both the apple and the almond butter. The apple will offer you an instant burst of energy and the almond butter will keep you satisfied for hours.
With barre being a little more intense and fatiguing than yoga, you’ll want to have a post workout meal/snack that includes a faster absorbing protein and carb. Avoid too much fat (even the healthy fat) because you want your muscles to utilize the macronutrients more quickly. Here are 3 examples that will work well post barre:
Barre Option 1: Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie
This is one of my favorites! I don’t usually recommend the PB2 (which is just defatted, dehydrated peanut butter powder), because the fat in PB is part of the benefit, however, when you’re keeping calories in check and trying to keep your protein moving quickly to the muscles, this is a fabulous smoothie add-in. This smoothie is 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop strawberry Designer Whey (whey is the fasted absorbing protein), and 1 cup frozen spinach (which will act as your ice, but offers way more nutrition). You can toss this together for less than 200 calories and 25 grams of protein!! Woo!
(never mind my shadow in the image 8-I)
I’m not anti-egg yolk, but again, we are focusing on lean protein right now. Take about 4 egg whites and 1/4 cup oats, whisk them together with some cinnamon. Spray a pan and cook this mixture just like you would a pancake. Top with about 1 tsp of organic maple syrup and a handful of raspberries. That will give you a great balance of protein and carbs. This would also make an awesome breakfast. When making it for breakfast, leave a yolk in for some added choline and B vitamins.
Barre Option 3: Grilled Chicken & Pineapple
If you have the time or are pre-prepping your meals, keeping grilled chicken breast on hand will give you quick an easy access to some savory lean protein. Adding pineapple will give you a quick recovery carb that includes bromelain. Bromelain is great for reducing inflammation and aiding in digestion.
SwanFit is intense, but quick. Your recovery meal should be the same. You may find that a grab and go drink or a simple snack does the trick.
SwanFit Option 1: Iced espresso topped with your favorite milk
Music to my ears! I love a refreshing latte before or after an intense workout!
SwanFIt Option 2: Grapefruit and yogurt w/ honey
Peel and slice a grapefruit for tons of vitamin C (great for recovery), plenty of phytonutrients and quickly accessible carbs. Mix into a 6 oz container of plain greek yogurt with 1 tsp of honey. The greek yogurt will provide you with plenty of protein as well as calcium and probiotics, to keep your digestive system healthy and strong. This is a great “flat belly” snack (so long as you aren’t lactose intolerant).
SwanFit Option 3: DIY Power Balls!
I have a variety of power balls that I like to make, but this is one of my favorites. So simple, 1 cup of natural peanut butter, 1 cup whole oats, 8 pitted dates, 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I use the vegan protein that I get from Arbonne) and cinnamon (several dashes). Put it all in the food processor until well blended. You may want to give the dates a head start so they aren’t so chunky. Roll into one in balls. It’s make TONS, so you could cut the batch in half or make them and freeze them or share them with friends! Consider a serving size 2 1″ balls. If you make these on your food prep day, the rest of your week will be a breeze!