“Is pizza good before a workout?” Me, Circa 2011
Hi there! Hope your Tuesday is treating you well so far. I was thinking a little bit the other day about the reason they call the road to healthy a journey. Like many people I used to think that I had an idea of what “being healthy” included. Judging from the quote above I obviously I had a little bit to learn. When I first started working with Scott as my trainer I worked fairly late hours as a marketing manager. I remember one night I had to go home because I forgot my gym clothes. So we rescheduled to train later that evening. Scott cautioned me to have a small snack because I likely had not eaten in hours. I was living at home at the time because I was in between apartments. My family had just ordered a pizza. Naturally I asked Scott if a slice of pizza was good before a workout. Hmm…he did not really say, but suggested an alternative of an apple with peanut butter. Huh…that never would have occurred to me at the time. I guess I had a little to learn about that whole fueling up thing.
What to Eat Before a Workout
What to eat before a workout is a delicate balance, and involves a lot of trial and error. I have eaten too much or not made the best choice and I feel completely weighted down like I need a nap. For some reason, Greek yogurt is way too heavy for me. On the flip side, I have decided to push through, and told myself I can have a bigger meal after I get the workout done. Which is better? Well, I think it depends on your personality, the style and duration of your workout and time constraints.
These are a few snacks I love that work well for me. They are light and easy to digest. I can have them within a short timeframe before I work out, and never seem to suffer any ill effects.
Fruit and Nuts/Nutbutter
The options are endless here which is probably why it is one of my favorites. A recent combo I like is a handful of raw almonds and an orange. Of course an apple with almond butter is a classic.
Hard Boiled Eggs/Veggies
I kind of forget that I really do like hard boiled eggs. When I do have them it is a really refreshing break because they are a non-sweet snack. I had two yesterday with a few slices of red pepper.
Fried Egg on Toast
Another egg variation – one to two fried or over easy with a slice of toast. You can also have scrambled egg whites if you prefer.
Protein or Health Bar
A few of my favorite bars these days are Larabars, Kind Bars (nut & spice line) or Square Bars. They do not contain a ton of protein, and the Larabars are a little high I sugar, but these are my preferences from what is out there and relatively affordable. Always check these labels because the ingredients can be SCARY. I get adequate protein elsewhere in my diet so I do not worry too much about it.
I would like to play around and make more recipes that I see online for lots of delicious energy bites. That could be a great alternative and probably less expensive.
Half of a Sweet Potato with Nut Butter
I say half because the sweet potatoes are usually fairly large. If it is really small I would say you could have the whole thing. This is a really delicious combination.
Small Cup of Oats
I sometimes eat a small portion with an egg white or two added during the cooking process. The key is to know your own body so you do not eat too much.
Typically I will save a protein share for after my workout. However, just a scoop blended with ice and unsweetened almond milk is sometimes just the right amount of food if you want something fast. It is also more like a drink than a meal so that can go down a little easier on occasion.
Grain-Free Bread with Grass-Fed Butter
I am a huge fan of baking with almond flour, and it can be quite a dense snack. I will have a slice of bread or a muffin with a little bit of butter.
To reduce sugar, I will often skip jam or honey and add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice instead. Cinnamon has incredible health benefits, and adds a nice little accent of flavor to everything.
Your turn: What do snack on during the day? What do you eat before a workout??
I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.