I had a crazy busy week at work. I love being busy but holy moly, I’m exhausted. But all is well. I wasn’t all that sore from the race so I’ve been having a solid week of workouts: CrossFit-ing, running and resting – not a fan of the last one. I finallyyyyy met the lovely Liz for lunch – she’s even cooler in person and I love how much we can relate. Also, I have my first exam on Monday and my study skills have seriously been lacking. I even went to the library to try to focus better but who can focus with screaming children? And who allows screaming children in a library? Kids these days…

Chicken Bites6
I should tell you that I barely cooked this week. I ate Passover leftovers and ground beef with veggies like everyday. And chopped liver, aka liver pâté. Yes I eat liver. I loved it as a kid and I love it again. It’s delicious. And sooo good for you: iron, vitamin A, B vitamins and selenium. I’m still obsessed with salsa. I put that shit on everything – like these chicken bites. Salsa is the new ketchup.

Chicken Bites3
And something pretty exciting happened this week. My amazing sister with a “horseshoe up her ass” won a trip for two to London and guess who she’s taking?! ME! Cue hyper ventilation. I seriously cannot believe it. Lesley entered (possibly a thousand times) a contest though the Hudson’s Bay Company for a trip to to the Kate Moss for TopShop launch. Um, so, she won. Say what?! We are leaving on Thursday for five days – oh. em. gee.

So what do I wear? What snacks to pack? I love London. It’s such a great city with alwayssss more to see and do. Oh and I have a meet-up planned with Lauren! Anyone else in the London area who wants to say hi?! Better yet, anyone want to come to CrossFit London with me on Monday April 28 at 7am?! Pretty please? I’m nervous! But I’m already registered so I’m going.

Chicken Bites2

I’ll still keep up my blogging schedule while I am there because I have a few posts planned – yay! But if I disappear randomly, that is why.

Okay I have totally rambled and neglected talking about this recipe – the one you guys voted on for today! But here it is. Chicken bites. The word nuggets reminds me of poop (or Easter egg hunting, long story, so we can pretend these are festive) so that’s why I called them bites – bites are cute. And delicious.

Don’t worry, you salmon lovers… it’s coming your way next week. But until then, enjoy these simple and scrumptious bites. For dinner. Tonight.

Chicken Bites4

Chicken Bites

Ingredients (Makes approx. 20 bites – 1-2 servings or lots of appetizers)

  • 2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 14 ounces)
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (plus more to grease baking sheet)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. chilli powder

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and brush with olive oil (approx. a teaspoon) – set aside.

3. Cut chicken breasts into bites and place in a bowl.

4. Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil onto chicken pieces and mix to coat.

5. Combine almond flour and all the spices in a small bowl.

6. Dip in mixture and place on baking sheet.

7. Bake for 10 minutes and flip.

8. Continue baking for another 15 minutes.

 

Questions of the day…

Will you come to CrossFit London with me?! 

How was your week? What’s up for the weekend? 

 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

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Growing up, I hated Passover. No bread. No cereal. No crackers. No pasta. Just cardboard (aka matzah), inedible Passover-fied treats, gefilte fish and brisket. Ew. I’m still not a huge fan of this Jewish holiday (sitting at a table for hours reading an ancient story, singing songs and reciting prayers nibbling on bitter food isn’t my idea of fun) but the unleavened part isn’t an issue anymore.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies4

On Passover you cannot eat anything that is leavened. The Jews left Egypt in a haste. The bread couldn’t rise. Thus, matzah. So we eat it and nothing else. I’m kidding, we eat other stuff but let’s just go with it. I am not a particularly religious person but spending time with my family, watching Charlton Heston and baking treats is my idea of fun.

The past two nights, we have had the traditional Passover Seders (dinner + other stuff) at our house. It has been nice catching up with family, friends and spending time with my grandparents, who are in town from Montreal.

The most important part of Passover is watching The Ten Commandments. Rabbis would disagree with me but that’s why I’m not a Rabbi. Yes, I have it on DVD. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this incredible film. It’s a little scary considering it is like five hours long. When I was little, I used to dress-up like the Egyptian Queen, Nefertiti. I bought fabric from the fabric store and pretended they were gorgeous gowns. I am still obsessed with her (I think she is gorgeous and her clothes are incredible) but I have (mostly) stopped playing dress-up. Now, I bake.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies2

Baking kinda terrifies me and my success rate isn’t great. I feel like every baked good recipe I post I make a disclaimer how I am not good at baking, which may explain why I only have like four baked goods and like two of those are adaptations from another recipe. Okay enough of these disclaimers but it’s not my thing. Except these cookies. These are my thing. Sorry that I’m tooting my own horn.

Mom put me in charge of making the desserts for our Passover festivities, which I knew I could handle. Gluten free? Grain free? Done. Move over matzah meal (blech) and cake meal (ew) and hello almond flour, coconut and everything is better with chocolate chips.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies3

I experimented making these last week for Mom to taste-test. Mom verdict: “They actually taste like cookie brittle!” Cookie brittle = flour, butter, sugar, chocolate chips. (Remember from my dad’s WIAW?) Then dad tried them after eating store-bought-Passover-desserts (not sure why they were purchased) and claimed they were the best of the dessert bunch. Yeah, they’re good.

I brought leftovers to CrossFit and everyone loved them too – so clearly these cookies are not just for Passover. They are perfect for a grain/gluten-free lifestyle or if you just like eating good food. Substitute maple syrup for the honey and they are vegan to boot. Throw them on a pastel plate… boom… Easter!

Oh yes.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies5

 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients (Makes 15 cookies)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. honey (vegan option: maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silpat (or parchment paper) and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

4. Add the coconut oil mixture to the almond flour mixture and stir to combine.

5. Add chocolate chips and coconut flakes to the batter and combine.

6. Use a tablespoon to drop 15 cookies onto the baking sheet – use another spoon to ‘tap’ out batter from the tablespoon.

7. Bake for 10 minutes.

8. Transfer to wire rack to cool and enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies1

Questions of the day…

Are you celebrating Passover? 

What do you make for the holidays? 

Have you seen the Ten Commandments?! 

 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

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Some fun fitness stuff has been happening lately (and good food too, keep reading) so I’m gonna talk about it. Or just feel free to come back on Wednesday for cookies. Yes, cookies.

I had the best week at CrossFit. Well other than missing the FIRST RUNNING WOD of the spring it was the best, which was the one morning I “slept in”… sleep in = 5:30am hah. Ugh I love when running is part of the WOD. Anyways, we did a workout on Tuesday called the Metric Tonne. It was a 15 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 1 deadlift, 1 backsquat and 1 jerk (from the rack). So you do each of those exercises 5 times over the course of the 15 mins trying to add weight to accumulate as many “tonnes” as possible. 1 lb = 1 point. Your score = the total amount of weight you lift. I was really happy with my score and PRd my deadlift at 160lbs – 5 more than my previous lift.

On Thursday, we did Ollie again. I love doing WODs a second time and remembered this one right away. It’s friggin hard. 11 rounds of: 5 push press @ 65lbs, 4 pull-ups, 5 burpee box jumps and 4 toes-to-bar. Death. The first time/last time I did this WOD was at the end of January. I used 45 lbs for my push press, the baby box for the box jumps and did negatives for my pull-ups. It took me 25 mins and 58 secs. On Thursday I used the 65 lbs (!!!!), the real box (and didn’t fall), and did jumping pull-ups. 23 minutes and 48 seconds! Ugh I love progress. Sometimes CrossFit sucks but sometimes it’s awesome and that the beauty of being an athlete.

I love this article in Vogue about Annie Thorisdottir (a two-time CrossFit Games Champion). You probably won’t read the article so just read this:

“Of course I want to win the Games, but I want to do it to show people that if there’s something you want, no matter what happens, you can find a way to do it—if there’s an obstacle in your way, you have to figure out how to get over it.” She also wants to inspire women, especially young girls, to focus more on what their bodies can do than on how they look. “I’m not preaching that everyone should try to become a CrossFit champion,” she says. “But I want to show them that training can give them more confidence—and that being strong is beautiful.”

Love.

I ran 3.5 miles on Friday with some speed-work thrown in. I set out to run 5 but clearly that didn’t happen. I dunno, I just wasn’t feeling it. So I texted Morganne and (as always) she made me feel loads better.

Okay weekend. On Saturday, I headed to CrossFit Toronto to watch my Metric family compete at the Threshold Open - a local CrossFit competition. I was debating doing the competition but decided it might be a good idea to watch a comp before participating. The Open was a form of a competition but it’s not really the same.

Anyways, I am so glad I went to support the crew and see what a competition is like.

Metric Team

The atmosphere made me feel like I was at my basketball tournaments back in the day. I could only stay for the morning but I saw the first two events that seeded the athletes.

Sean flew through the first workout. I thought the bar was going to come crashing down as he was banging out pull-ups…

Sean Chin Up2

He also snatched the most weight (265 x 3) during the second workout. He totally could have done 285!

Sean Snatch

I checked the results online during the rest of the day and saw that the Metric crew killed it. So proud of everyone and… Sean won! So, so, so happy for him. He is so deserving and I feel lucky to call him my coach.

It’s so exciting to see how hard these athletes work – it motivates me to work even harder. The sense of community and camaraderie during the competition was incredible. Athletes finished their workout but didn’t sit down or stop cheering until everyone else finished – the people they are competing against! CrossFit gets such a bad wrap so I am clearly making it my mission to place an emphasis on the supportive atmosphere.

I brought Deryn’s chocolate coconut cream bites for everyone because I knew they would be hungry. I also made them for my office this past week and they were a huge hit too! But I think I ended up eating most of them… of course.

Coconut Cream Bites

Yesterday, I ran the Yonge Street 10K - aka 10km down Yonge Street. I signed up for this race awhile ago because I wanted to revive my running now that the Canadian climate is cooperating and I like races. So I woke up, stretched a bit and then had a nourishing pre-race meal: a scrambled egg, a banana and some almonds and cashews.

Pre-race eats

Then I agonized over what to wear. I hate being cold when I am running but I didn’t want to be too hot either. Should I layer? No. Should I wear a rain jacket? They were calling for rain but it was clear outside.

Anyways, I finally picked out an outfit and decided to wear my running jacket because it was a little nippy in the morning. Mom dropped me off at the starting line and I ran around a bit and stretched some more. Then we were off.

Yonge Street 10K Starting Line

I was in the 2nd wave and weaved around people to get to a part of the road where I was relatively alone. I hate running near people – two dudes almost ran into me! They both tripped and I almost went down with them. I hope they were okay but honestly it just made me run faster to get away from them. Sorry…

My thoughts:

0km: Ugh, why am I doing this again? (Looking around) Maybe there is a cute guy. Nope. What am I going to eat when I get home? Mmm.

0.5km: Oh I like running. Yes I do.

1km: That was fast, I’m doing well! Glad I wore my jacket, it’s kinda cold.

2-4km: Wooo I’m feeling great. I think I am going to set my personal best! Just stick with headband-man ahead of you.

5km: I’m hot and I have a stitch in my side. Keep running.

6km: Nope probably not going to set my personal best. I’m annoyed. But my stitch is gone. Lost headband-man.

7km: Second wind! Maybe I can set it! Keep up with frizzy-haired-woman ahead of you.

8km: Nope, not gonna set it. Accepting it and running.

9km: Almost there. Passed frizzy-haired woman.

9.5km: I see the finish line – turn on the jets.

10km: Done. That was fun. I’m thirsty. And I want a banana. Where’s Mom?

Yonge Street 10K - Amy Finish Line

I felt really good about the race. It’s the farthest I’ve ran since my half (yes, true story) and I really have not been running that much (maybe 1-2x per week). I think this race showed me that being strong and in shape will allow me to run if I continue to train smart. But I’m an athlete and I’m competitive with myself so naturally I wanted to set a personal best – as evident from my race thoughts. I set my personal best in my first 10K race this past August – 46:40. I thought I could crack 46:30 and if I pushed each kilometre a little more I probably could have. But I also didn’t think that was the smart thing to do. I didn’t want to push my body and possibly risk injury for a number. It’s so easy to get too obsessed or caught up with the numbers that surround our life. Now I am so much better able to recognize this and listen to my body. I like running with my Garmin and for time. It motivates me to be the best athlete I can be but I have learned (the hard way) how important it is to run smart. My official time was 47:50 and I am really proud of it.    

Oh and I found Mom! Thank you for being there for me and I’m sorry again about the parking ticket it cost you :)

Yonge Street 10K - Amy and Mom1

She’s a hottie, I know. Sidenote: we all need one distance system. Flip-flopping from kilometres to miles and back again is annoying and confusing. Feel me?

All of this activity called for lots of food so I spent a bit of time in the kitchen too. I made my apple chicken burgers to have in the freezer, which obviously called for a photo re-shoot. I also created some delicious new recipes and ate them. But no, not everything was successful. I had two baking failures, which always make me so upset. Baking is hard and it’s crazy what a difference a tablespoon can make.

This chocolate cake is amaze-balls but clearly there are some technical issues. Namely my patience… I did not let it cool. Oops. Photo-shoot fail.

Cake fail

Don’t worry the good ones are coming your way Wednesday and Friday! You’re getting a sweet treat on Wednesday but I haven’t decided which recipe to post on Friday so I am leaving it up to you…

Chicken Bites Option

OR

Salmon Option

So…. which one do ya want? #1 or #2?

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you! My garden is actually growing… so excited! Check out that little cucumber leaf… at least I think it’s a leaf.

Cucumber growing

Okay that was a long post. I guess that’s what happens when I cut back to blogging 3x per week – lots to say!

Over and out.

 

Questions of the day…

Which recipe do you want to see on Friday?

What did you do this weekend?

 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

Facebook –> The Little Honey Bee

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Remember when I wrote a post on my food photography tips for newbies? Remember how I said props (pretty plates, napkins, placemats) didn’t work for me? Well I was wrong. But, thankfully, I didn’t claim to be an expert.

I’ve been obsessing over my food photos lately. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (obvs) and Pinterest recipe board (of course) and thought everything looked soooo boring. Yes I love my white background (or as of late my wood floor) and I still like to keep things simple but my photos need a little more life. So I’ve been working on it and trying to ignite a passion for food photography – I loveeeee looking at gorgeous food photos but now I’m learning to love creating, styling and figuring out how to take them.

Thankfully Les has been guiding me through it because I am clueless. She taught me that adding a few things here and there actually helps to make a photo much more interesting. Um duh. She rummaged through our basement and found things for me to use that I would have never thought of! A piece of wood, a blanket, a box. She suggested a different angle to snap the pics at and helped me think about what looks good and where. I’m still using my iPhone (I want a camera now) but I am loving the improvement. Another reason why my sister is awesome.

Veggie Noodles and Sauce2

Food photography is an art – one that I have not really taken the time to learn. Sure I have done a few things differently, figured out the whole natural light thing and gotten a bit better, but I haven’t studied it. I wasn’t into it.

But now, after nearly a year of taking pics of my food, I actually like it and think I can be okay at it – many thanks to my awesome teacher. Better late then never right? So now I naturally want to re-take photos for all.of.my.recipes. Am I insane? Possibly and I don’t have time for that but when I make a previous recipe I will re-shoot it (okay I might have spent too much time on my day off doing this and buying food props rather than studying). Oops. And as my dad so eloquently put it: “Your photos show progression and it’s a journey right?” Yes, dad, yes it is :)

Anyways, onto these amazingly simple recipes – yes, plural because there are three! Get excited.

So, newsflash: I actually like beef. Woah. I do feel badly eating it (I’m sorry cows) but I feel better knowing that they are properly raised and not injected with crap. Grass-fed ground beef is super budget-friendly, easy to make, nutritious, and wait for it… delicious. I have been loving it with a simple tomato sauce, which turns into a pretty yummy meat sauce (1st recipe).

Meat Sauce and Veggie Noodles

But wait. I know meat isn’t everyone’s thing (remember: it wasn’t my thing) so you can totally omit the meat here and still have a delicious sauce (2nd recipe).

Tomato Sauce and Veggie Noodles2

And you can serve all of this goodness with wonderful veggie noodles (3rd recipe). You know I love my spiralizer. Have you bought one yet?! Come on guys! Okay fine, if you don’t want to shell out the cash (totally understand) bake up a spaghetti squash. Thanks to the amazingness of spiralized veggies and the wonderfulness of spaghetti squash, I don’t ever need to eat pasta again – not that I even want to.

Veggie Noodles

So this is a 3-in-1 recipe post that really caters to anyone - unless you hate tomato sauce. Just because I put {paleo} in pretty brackets or {vegetarian} in those same pretty brackets doesn’t mean anything. It’s just for silly SEO stuff so people can find me :) So let’s all be friends k?

Tomato and Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce {paleo}

Ingredients (Makes 2-4 servings)

  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef (or whatever ground meat you like)
  • 1 handful of organic baby spinach (optional)
  • 1 jar (700 ml) organic pureed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

 

Instructions

1. In a medium sauce-pan over medium-high heat, combine tomato puree, garlic, basil, oregano, chilli powder salt and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While the sauce is simmering, heat a large skillet over medium heat.

4. When hot, add your ground beef to the skillet and cook until completely browned (about 8-10 minutes).

5. When the sauce has simmered for 10 minutes, turn off heat and carefully stir in spinach until wilted.

6. When the meat is cooked, use a slotted spoon (to drain the excess fat) and add the meat to the sauce; stir to combine.

7. Serve with veggie noodles (see instructions below).

Meat Sauce and Veggie Noodles

Tomato Sauce {vegetarian}

Ingredients (Makes 2 cups of sauce)

  • 1 jar (700 ml) organic pureed tomatoes
  • 1 handful of organic baby spinach (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

 

Instructions

1. In a medium sauce-pan over medium-high heat, combine tomato puree, garlic, basil, oregano, chilli powder salt and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Turn off heat and carefully stir in spinach until wilted.

4. Serve with veggie noodles (see instructions below).

Tomato Sauce and Veggie Noodles3

Veggie Noodles

Sweet potato: Use a spiralizer to spiralize your sweet potato (see directions here). Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and melt 1/2 tbsp. of coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted, add the spiralized sweet potato and cook for 5-6 minutes or until noodles have softened. The noodles will turn bright orange when they are cooked. Serve with meat sauce or tomato sauce and enjoy!

Zucchini: Use a spiralizer to spiralize your zucchini (see directions here). Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and melt 1/2 tbsp. of coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted, add the spiralized zucchini and cook for 3-4 minutes or until noodles have softened. Serve with meat sauce or tomato sauce and enjoy!

Spaghetti squash: Cut spaghetti squash in half and take out the goop and seeds. Put about 2-inches of water in a pyrex and place the spaghetti squash cut side down. Bake in the oven at 400F for about 45 minutes (until the outer skin is soft to the touch). Allow to cool and use a fork to scrape out the “noodles.” Serve with meat sauce or tomato sauce and enjoy!

Notes: I use approximately one medium sweet potato, one zucchini and a few cups of spaghetti squash per serving – or I mix them all together! 

Veggie Noodles and Sauce

 

Questions of the day… 

When did you realize your sibling was awesome? 

What’s up for the weekend? 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

Facebook –> The Little Honey Bee

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Bloglovin –> The Little Honey Bee

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Guys. You’re the best. Thank you for being so incredibly understanding and supportive about my new blogging schedule. I definitely missed you yesterday but hello and happy Wednesday!

I want to chat about post-workout nutrition because it’s super important :) What we eat after a workout is essential to recovery and achieving our goals. I remember that some of my friends in college did not want to eat after a workout because they thought they were “un-doing” everything they did. This was so not me – no, I usually rushed to the pasta bar which was still doing my body a disservice but at least I was not starving myself.

I usually have a hard boiled egg and a banana right after I finish a workout. (Then I have my “breakfast” or my first meal of the day). IMPORTANT NOTE: Your post-workout does not replace a meal – it is a necessary source of additional nutrients. 

I am really excited to dive into this in more detail in my studies in my Sports Nutrition course as right now my coursework has only scratched the surface. So what do I think we need to eat post-workout?

Protein + Carbohydrates + Water  

Protein, carbs and water are the necessary components in order to replenish our body, glycogen storage (the storage of carbohydrates in our muscles and liver, aka our energy) and re-build our muscles. Am I getting too science-y? I promise it will make sense.

So what do you eat? Well, that’s not an easy answer. Your post-workout nutrition really depends on you, your body, your activity and your goals. (Stay tuned for a post-swap with Christina with more sport-specific details on this).

But I want to give you a few quick tips in thinking about your post-workout nutrition.

Timing: Various research shows the importance of eating/drinking within 10-45 minutes of activity. After exercise, our bodies have tiny tears in our muscles. Our body is likely dehydrated and possibly even glycogen deficient. The enzymes that help our bodies re-synthesize our muscle glycogen (energy) are most active following exercise – the longer we wait to eat, the longer it takes to recover. Your body is best at storing this recovery nutrition right after exercise so be prepared and eat something when you are still sweating! It’s super easy for me to throw a hard boiled egg and banana into my gym bag before leaving the house.

Egg and banana

Protein: Protein provides the necessary amino acids for muscle proteins to repair. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and we need to obtain the essential amino acids because our body cannot produce them. Our muscles are made up of three branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) and the most abundant of these BCAAs is called leucine (it is believed to best stimulate muscle protein synthesis). Therefore we need to replenish our body by eating (or drinking) sources of protein – especially leucine.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are needed to replace the glycogen loss and increase their storage. Carbs are the most effective way to reduce post-workout soreness as well.

Hydration: Water is necessary to replace the loss of water we experienced through exercise. Our body is made up of 70% water – our blood is 90% water. We need water in order for our systems to function properly and effectively.

Post-Workout Nutrition Part 1

So what exactly and how much do you need to eat?

Well, as I said, this depends on you: your body, your activity and your goals.

Your body: How tall are you? How old are you? What is your body composition?

Your activity: How intense is your activity? Are you going for a walk, a 3 mile run, a 10 mile run, lifting weights, or yoga? How hard did you work? (Be honest…)

Your goals: Are you looking to lose weight? Are you striving to maintain weight? Are you aiming to gain weight?

I wish I could write a customized plan for each and every one of you (I can one day if you want to be my client!) but right now I can offer this:

An excessive amount of protein is not necessary. Most studies show that our bodies do not absorb more than 20g of protein at one time. Half of a “meal size”* portion of protein is a good place to start for your post-workout nutrition. The best foods containing the amino acid leucine are found in animal protein sources: chicken, beef, eggs, whey protein and other high quality dairy sources.

Your post-workout carbohydrate is very important too. Half to a full “meal size”* portion of carbs is also a good place to start. Your protein to carbohydrate ratio will (of course) depend on your goals. If you are looking to gain muscle, look to eat higher glycemic carbohydrates with lower fructose content (like bananas, apricots, prunes, kiwis and cherries) and starchy veggies (like sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin and beets).

And of course – drink lots of water. What’s lots? I’m not going to tell you “8 glasses a day!” or “# of ounces”. I really think that’s silly because we are all grown-ups. Drink water. Pee often. It shouldn’t be too yellow.

*What the heck is a “meal-size”?! Good question: my meal-size is different from yours and yours is different from mine. How much would you eat at a meal to feel full? Eat about half of that after a workout. REMEMBER: your post-workout is not replacing a meal*

Post-Workout Nutrition Part 2

I want to touch on protein powder and protein shakes really quickly. I haven’t used protein powder in awhile as I don’t really consider it to be “food” (and you know how I feel about eating real food) but I do think it could be a beneficial option (for some).

The idea behind protein shakes is that it skips a digestive step because the nutrition is already in liquid form. Without giving you even more nerdy-science-confusing-speak… because our bodies do not have to work as hard to break the shake down some believe we absorb the nutrients better. Better absorption, better performance? Maybe.

Now there are plenty of junk protein powders out there – heavily processed, filled with sugar and other chemicals. I have tried quite a few protein powders (like these and these). I really like North Coast Naturals’ brown rice protein powder because it is virtually tasteless and plant-based. However, it is also not a complete source of protein and therefore not as high in leucine. In order to obtain all of the amino acids, taking a BCAA supplement (like in capsule form) is an option. If you are looking for a complete protein source for your shakes, 100% New Zealand whey is ideal.

Protein Shake

There is no “one size fits all approach” to anything. The moral of the story is this: your body needs to recover from the losses you undertook during the exercise. You need to repair your muscles, refuel your tank, and rehydrate. Depending on you, your body, your activity and your goals this varies from person to person.

I have tried a variety of post-workout snacks and meals over the years. From stuffing my face with pasta, to a few different protein oatmeal creations (like this one and this one), to protein pancakes (like these and these), to experimenting with a bunch of protein powders (like these and these), to a hard boiled egg and banana. I am getting stronger but could I perform even better? (Now, I’m not trying to get greedy or anything…) Maybe. There’s always room to improve and try new things.

Do you feel like you are getting the best results and making the most out of your workouts? If not, then maybe it is time to change things up.

 

Disclaimer:  I am studying to become a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner but I am not a doctor or personal trainer. My blog posts are based upon my coursework, additional research, personal views and experiences. For specific questions regarding your diet and exercise plan, please consult a professional.

 

Questions of the day…

What do you eat after a workout?

What are your thoughts about protein shakes?

Are the above “infographics” helpful?! 

 

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