I had such a great time Wednesday night at The Bar Method Montclair where I had a nutrition workshop discussing how to keep a clean diet for the summer and what to eat before and after a workout.
When I have workshops at The Bar Method we are totally casual. We sit on the floor and talk just like we are a bunch of girlfriends hanging out at my house. I love the conversations we have and always love the interaction with the clients.
We started off talking about what to eat before we workout, which is a common question that people ask me. First off, you must make sure to hydrate before you work out. Drinking at least 20 ounces of water at least 30 minutes before hand is great. I always recommend that people eat 1-2 hours before a workout. Basically you need a meal that consists of: carbohydrates to help stabilize blood sugar levels and energy levels, protein which helps prevent the breakdown of muscle and healthy fats (monounsaturated fats) which take longer to digest and help keep your energy up.
So I bet you are wondering what examples of this would be. Here you go:
- Greek yogurt with sliced fruit (plain Greek yogurt NOT sweetened)
- handful of raw, unsalted nuts and a piece of fruit
- oatmeal (unsweetened) with fruit with some chia seeds, add your own 100% maple syrup
- overnight oats
- hard boiled eggs
- reduced fat cottage cheese and fruit
- apple or pear with 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
- crackers with 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter (count out one serving of crackers)
- protein smoothie
- 1 slice of toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and sliced apple or banana
- 1 serving of trail mix
Ok, I totally understand not everyone can eat breakfast in the morning. I mean, I couldn’t possibly NOT eat breakfast, but I do hear this a lot. And while I’d never tell someone to force themselves to eat, try to have a small snack (around 100-200 calories) about 30 minutes before you start your workout. Make a small piece of cheese, 1/2 an apple with peanut butter, handful of almonds…just please eat SOMETHING! 🙂
You are working out hard (which is fantastic) but don’t forget to drink WHILE you are working out too. If any of you take a bar method class with me you will frequently see me refilling my water bottle (and possibly going to the bathroom 😉 ) I try to drink at least 32 ounces during my workout.
So what happens once you are done, you worked out hard and you are a sweat mess? You need to drink at least 20-32 ounces of water immediately. And you should eat a well balanced meal or snack about 30-60 minutes after. You will need some protein to help your muscles recover and grow, some healthy fats (monounsaturated) to help your body absorb nutrients and some complex carbohydrates to help restore glycogen levels that become depleted during our workout. An ideal, balanced meal would consist of a lean protein, starch and some vegetables.
Here are some examples of what to eat after a workout:
- protein smoothie
- eggs with veggies and avocado (the whole egg NOT egg whites)
- apple with 1-2 ounces of cheese or 1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter
- 1 piece of grilled chicken and vegetables
- salmon with vegetables
- Greek yogurt with fruit
- banana with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- overnight oats
- 1 slice crustless quiche
- 1/4 cup of quinoa with vegetables
So now you know what to eat before and after your workouts, how will you stay on track with clean eating this summer? We definitely have more social functions, barbecues and cookouts. We just might want a few more cocktails that normal with the beautiful, warm weather (no judgement here) so it’s even more important to keep on track with your healthy eating. The key to beginning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be done with one small step. PREPARATION. Preparation is the key to clean eating. And yes, it is that simple.
Pick one day a week to prepare your foods, cut vegetables and organize your meals. I always pick Sundays because my hubby is home to help with the kids and it’s easier to get stuff done. On this day, grill a bunch of chicken, make a big bowl of quinoa to store in your refrigerator, roast a bunch of vegetables,hard boil a dozen eggs, make a crustless quiche and make a bunch of overnight oats and chia puddings to keep in your refrigerator. this way, when you are starving for dinner, you have a healthy option instead of eating the rest of your kid’s grilled cheese sandwich. (not that I would know anything about that)
Most importantly, don’t forget to drink your water! You sweat more in the summer so you need to drink more. For this who get bored with plain water, feel free to flavor them naturally using all types of fruits and herbs.
Look how pretty this is…
Here is my latest favorite… lime and mint…
What’s your favorite before or after snack or meal?