early morning workouts: why eating before + after is a MUST

morning workout
morning workout

For those of you that workout in the early morning hours, well before you would normally have breakfast, it is important to remember that you MUST put something in your body before that workout! Not hungry? Consider this: When you wake up, your body is in fasting mode - often having gone without food for 6 hours or more. Even if it's only a liquid, adding some form of nutrients or electrolytes to your body, will maximize your efforts and keep you from feeling like you're running empty. If you do not do this, your body will assume that it is starving and consequentially force itself to retain fat. Exercise all you want, it will not let any of that fat go! Now there is no need to go overboard. A continental style meal is not what we have in mind. Instead jump start your metabolism with a small snack pre workout and complete your morning routine with a healthy breakfast at the end of your a.m. session!

Before your workout, choose ONE:

toast almond butter
toast almond butter

1/2 cup of yogurt

1 cup of coconut water

1 cup water mixed with a scoop of greens

1/2 of a Kind Bar

2 whole wheat crackers with almond butter

1/2 slice of whole wheat toast with jam or almond butter

After your workout, choose ONE:

steel cut oats
steel cut oats

1 cup of oat bran or oatmeal with some raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon. Add maple syrup for a little sweet.

A veggie scramble: 2 eggs, some avocado, tomato, basil or what you like on top!

Shakeology!

Open-face egg sandwich: Spread avocado on 1 slice of Ezekiel toast, add a touch of goat cheese, add a fried egg on top)

Banana pancakes: 1 banana, two eggs, flax seed, cinnamon (mixed together, this will make the batter.)

1 cup of yogurt with fresh berries and walnuts, add a slice of Ezekiel toast with almond butter on the side

Steel cut oats with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tbsp of maple syrup

Grated sweet potatoes (grate sweet potato or yam, sauté in skillet with some olive oil), 1 hard boiled or fried egg, with a few berries on the side!

2 hard boiled eggs, take out yoke and add hummus to the middle, add a side of 1 slice of Ezekiel toast with almond butter.

healthy holiday shopping: 5 tips to take with you to your local market

grocery shopping
grocery shopping

-Before you head to the grocery store, make sure to plan your food list for your meals for the week. Stick to the list you create. You are less likely to deviate from the list and buy unhealthy, unneeded food. As well, making a list beforehand saves you time because you will not need to run back to the store for missed ingredients.

-Do Not shop when you are hungry!  Impulse purchases that satisfy unhealthy cravings are more likely to happen when you shop hungry. 

-Focus on filling your cart with foods from the periphery of the grocery store. Fill your cart with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts. These are foods usually found on the store perimeter.          

-Swap out an unhealthy food  for a healthy one!For example, try fresh salsa for toppings or dipping vegetables, instead of salad dressings.  Switch cow's milk for unsweetened almond milk! Trade your toast in for some oatmeal!  

-Be ADVENTUROUS! Do not be afraid to try new fruits or vegetables every week. This will keep you from getting bored with eating clean! 

curb your cravings with a nut

peanuts
peanuts

Really! It's not as crazy as it sounds.  Women's Health Magazine recently published an article which suggests that peanuts might just be the new miracle food. In "The Food That Fights Cravings", Julia Fawal references a study conducted at Purdue University and the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil in which15 obese women were subject to three separate experiments. "In the first," Julie writes,  "they ate 1.5 ounces of peanuts with orange juice and Cream of Wheat cereal. In the second, the same women swapped the peanuts out for 3 tablespoons of peanut butter. Finally, in the last experiment, they had only the juice and cereal (researchers adjusted the portion sizes so that calorie counts remained the same throughout all three phases)." At the end of each experiment, researches took blood samples from each participant and "asked them to rate their appetite levels."  The women who ate peanuts with their breakfast reported being considerably less hungry for up to 12 hours after their meal than those who did not.  These same results were intensified in the subjects who consumed peanut butter.

While the exact reason behind the peanuts' appetite-suppressing effects is unclear, Richard Mattes, PhD, professor of food and nutrition at Purdue University said this: "For one thing, participants who ate peanuts had higher levels of peptide YY (in their blood), a hormone that makes you feel full after eating (levels of the hormone were even higher in participants who ate peanut butter). When the women had eaten peanuts or peanut butter with breakfast, their blood sugar levels also spiked less after they had a carb-heavy lunch."

Start Your Morning With These Easy, Appetite Suppressing Recipes:

chocPBbanana
chocPBbanana

Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie:

What You'll Need - 

1 medium sized banana

2 tbs creamy organic peanut butter

2 tablespoons Ovaltine Malt Beverage Mix

1 cup unsweetended vanila almond milk (or milk of your choice

2 cups ice

How To Make It Happen - 

Place all ingredients in and electric blender and mix until smooth.

Nutritional Info -

360 calories per serving

ezekiel bread mixed fruit
ezekiel bread mixed fruit

Peanut Butter Power Toast:

What You'll Need -

2 slices ezekiel raisin bread

2 tbs crunchy organic peanut butter

1/2 cup mixed berries (blueberries and raspberries)

How To Make It Happen -

Toast Ezekiel bread then apply 1 tbs peanut butter to each slice. Sprinkle berries over top and enjoy.

Nutritional Info -

380 calories per serving

pbwafflesammie
pbwafflesammie

Frozen Waffle Sammie:

What You'll Need -

2 frozen whole grain waffles

2 tbs organic peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

1/2 banana, sliced

1 tsp honey

How To Make It Happen -

Toast waffles and then spread 1 tbs peanut butter on either side. Cover with sliced banana, drizzle with honey, and then sandwich together.

Nutritional Info -

430 calories per serving

eating for exercise: how to nourish your body BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a workout

Believe it or not, food is your friend and when it comes to working out, it may very well be the best friend you have.  Your body requires energy to perform at its peak. Energy comes in the form of calories and calories come in the form of food.  Therefore, you should think of food as fuel - a necessary source of energy which will allow you to maximize your efforts and power through your exercise routine. However, there is a small catch.

While a big slice of chocolate cake may ring in high on the caloric scale, providing an immediate surge of energy in the form of a massive "sugar rush" or a rise in glucose levels, the inevitable result will be fatigue.  When glucose levels increase too quickly, insulin begins to rapidly secrete throughout the body. The glucose, in turn, is consumed by the body's tissues and depleted from the blood - a process more commonly referred to as a "sugar crash".  Calorie consumption, while important, is not the answer.  The key to eating for exercise is consuming the right foods at the right time.

What to Eat Before A Workout:

A pre-workout meal is required to provide your body with - you guessed it - energy!  It should consist of both simple and complex carbs.  This will allow for an even, sustainable release of energy for the duration of your routine.  Avoid foods that are high in fat (heart healthy fats like nuts and avocados are acceptable) and fiber.

Try: Oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, trail mix, or nut butter

What to Eat During A Workout:

Unless you are mid marathon, triathlon or something else requiring a great deal of stamina over an extended period of time, eating during a workout is unnecessary. Hydration however, is of upmost importance.  Water is the ultimate source of hydration and the perfect beverage choice for the average, 60 minute workout.  If you are planning to exercise for more than an hour or are doing so in exceedingly hot or humid conditions, you will need to replenish your body's energy source.  A low sugar sports drink will provide you with carbohydrates and sodium in addition to hydration.

What to Eat After A Workout:

Post workout your muscles require protein for recovery and growth.  No need to go overboard - a meal containing 10 to 20 grams of protein will provide your muscles with all the amino acids they need!

Try: 8 Ounces of Low-Fat Chocolate Milk