If you’re anything like me, when your alarm goes off, you think do I really have to get up now? Then my next thought is, how long can I lay here before I absolutely have to get out of bed and get moving? This happens at least few times a week usually on days that I know are going to be extra busy. This is why I take the time to prep my weekday breakfasts a few days in advance usually on a Sunday night and another night during the week.
It has helped me stay organized knowing that there is one less thing to do in my morning routine, especially on days I work out.
Food is fuel for our bodies the same way gas is fuel for a car engine. Using this analogy is helpful for understanding the importance of eating before and after exercise. Adequate food and fluid intake helps to maintain blood glucose levels, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time.
PRE-WORKOUT: Not fueling up before you work out is like driving a car on empty because you won’t have enough energy to maximize your workout and you limit your ability to burn calories. However eating too much prior results in blood going to digestion and not working muscles.
For any type of workout, eat a meal 2-3 hours prior high in complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals (with low-fat or skim milk), whole-grain toast (without the fatty cream cheese), low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole grain pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
Try to avoid things high in fat and protein — because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
If you only have 5-10 minutes before you exercise, eat a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana.
Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats ©
½ Cup Rolled Oats or (¼ cup cooked quinoa, ¼ cup rolled oats)
½ Cup Milk of your choice, almond, coconut, rice (I use almond milk)
2 tbs. pureed pumpkin (rounded tbs.)
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Almonds, chopped or any other nut you like
In a refrigerator safe container mix together the oats, pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Once fully combined pour over the milk and seal container. In the morning you can eat the oats cold or heat them up in the microwave. When you are ready to eat your oats drizzle with maple syrup to taste and top with chopped almonds.
Note: I make these in mason jars two or three at a time for a quick weekday breakfast.
POST WORKOUT: Eating post workout ensures optimal recovery, less soreness, improved ability to build muscle and to utilize body fat. The type of exercise determines the timing but regardless the meal should be high in protein and complex carbs, to replenish glucose and build lean muscle.
If you engaged in resistance training or high intensity cardio, eat at your earliest opportunity, the sooner the better.
If your workout was a more of a steady state cardio, you generally have a 1 hour window to refuel.
Muffin Cup Frittatas©
½ Cup Milk, (Don’t use Skim Milk, it has to high a water content)
¼ tsp. Ground Pepper
Big Pinch Salt
Heat oven to 350ᵒ. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 greased muffin tins.
Note: You can add different veggies and cheeses into the mixture before putting it into the muffin tins.
Different Types of Frittatas
Spinach and Goat Cheese – 4 oz. Thawed and drained spinach and sprinkle as much goat cheese as you like, over the top of each cup before you put it into the oven.
Tomato and Mozzarella – Halve 6 oz. of cherry tomatoes and 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese. Garnish with torn basil.
Remember what you put in your body (nutrition) is as important as you what you do with your body (exercise). Both are crucial to keeping your engine at peak performance!
Written with: Michelle Crean, Empowerment for Women