Tag Archives: nutrition

Post workout snacks and why you should be enjoying one…

27 Feb

Today’s post comes at you from one of my real life bf’s, Jaimelee.  She blogs over at her little piece of the blogosphere, Diary of a Crossfit Mom.  Jaime is my constant fit companion, and we talk incessantly about all things fitness and nutrition.  She is a self proclaimed Crossfit/Nutrition geek, and I proclaim her youtube and podcast queen of the universe.  She loves to learn about nutrition and fitness, and how it all effects our bodies… more specifically hormone regulation.  She is a junkie for it, and I get the benefit of the Cliffs Notes version of her hours of research when we chat.

One of our recent conversations was about post-work noshing.  I was an apple and almond butter kind of chick when it came to my post-workout snack.  Read on to find out why I was not helping myself or my muscles with my snack of choice.  Also, be sure to visit her blog and show her some follow love!

Post Workout Nutrition is one of today’s biggest buzzwords in the world of health and fitness. You see people at your gym carrying around shaker bottles full of some magic liquid, catch people downing bars on their way out of the gym and you can get pages of results searching them on Pinterest. When I worked at GNC it was amazing how many recover supplements and bars we sold which made me think obviously there is something to this post workout nutrition thing. Post workout nosh is essential for maximum recovery.

First off I want to explain why a post workout snack is so important. So let’s start with the science-y stuff. When you workout, especially strength work, you pull from your glycogen stores in your muscle, post workout you have what is called a “Metabolic Window of Opportunity” for maximum restoration of these depleted stores. This window can be defined as the period up to 45 min after exercise at which time nutrition can shift the body from a catabolic state to an anabolic one essentially stimulating protein and glycogen synthesis.

In a nutshell during this time by eating protein & carbohydrates you increase the building of muscle. Now there is some debate on the time frame of this window which range from fueling during training up to the 45 minutes after, but I will get more into that later. Essentially the point is post workout you want to consume a protein and a carbohydrate. Remember however that all carbohydrates are not created equal. Your muscles use glycogen and glycogen is what you want to feed them when it comes to your carbohydrate.

As in the above definition the base of a good post workout snack is protein and carbohydrate, but most people aren’t selective about their carbohydrates. Some workout snack examples I have used and seen online are fruit and nut butters, chocolate milk, protein shakes, cheese stick and fruit, or chicken and sweet potato. I am surprised at how many times I see fruit suggested as post workout nosh as well as some sort of fat source and here is why.

When your Glycogen window is open you want to fill it with as much as possible in as little time as possible. You can optimize this restocking by eating a good solid protein, and glucose based carbohydrate, fruit is both glucose and fructose and while it won’t harm you post work out it won’t maximize that window as a higher glucose snack would. Also keep in mind that your body has to work a little harder to digest fructose and therefore may take glucose longer to get back into those muscles. So it is a good idea to look for an alternative to fruit, I will make the exception for bananas since they tend to be on the more starchy side. You also want a good protein so that you will have the fuel available to aid in recovery. What you want to avoid post workout is fats, fats are best for a pre-workout snack as they will delay absorption of glycogen into the bloodstream and therefore prolonging them as fuel. Post workout you want your nutrients to rocket back into your system and fat would just delay this. Remember that window which is a time frame, you want fast and easily absorb-able  you don’t want to add a fat to delay, thus pushing absorption past that window. So save your fat for later.

So now I am sure you are asking what you should eat. I would say, in my opinion, a protein shake is optimal because it is by far the easiest and most convenient post workout fuel, this is what I use most of the time. I blend a high quality protein powder with coconut water, but I have heard of people who blend protein and milk, protein and Gatorade  and protein with straight glucose and water.

face 077

If you take this route I highly recommend that you research your powders and go with high quality whey isolate. There are other proteins out there so experiment and find what works best for your body, as with anything the smaller the ingredient list the better. I use Progenex which has about 5 ingredients in it, it is pricey but worth the money.

Other great options are baked chicken (dry baked with no oil) with sweet potato, or egg whites with sweet potato, smoothies made with Greek yogurt and bananas, while not optimal, are acceptable. Chocolate milk is also a big post workout drink used by various athletes, if you try this just make sure to avoid any made with high fructose corn syrup, key word here being fructose. Whatever you choose you want to keep it anywhere from a 2:1 to a 4:1 protein to carbohydrate ratio, I use a 2:1 ratio but that is me you will have to experiment to find your optimal ratio.

So now to revisit the time issue, the name itself indicates post workout but there are some camps out here who highly recommend drinking a recovery drink during your workout thus maximizing absorption. The theory behind this is that by the time you have digested the shake your at your window. Obviously this would only work with drinks or shakes because I am not sure how people would feel about you chomping on some chicken between sets or rounds.

However, for every guy that says “during  a workout is optimal” you have a guy rallying for every time in between, and leading up to 45 min. I will tell you that I personally have tried drinking a shake during a workout and have noticed faster recovery and less feeling tired post. This isn’t always possible depending on my workout, I am not going to try to sip a drink while running a 5k {that always ends bad} so this isn’t always what I do.   I do however try to hit that post fuel as close to after my workout as possible.  Most times I drink my shake while cooling down or stretching but I always try hard to hit within that window.  I suggest that you play around with what is convenient and what you notice your body responding to.  If you have your snack at 45 min and notice you are feeling fatigued after your workout and have prolonged muscle soreness try to get your snack in earlier.

So just remember post workout you want to avoid fat, consume protein and carbohydrate, and get that refuel in as soon after your workout as possible. Here’s to great recoveries!!

Us in our non-Fit Chick In Training days…

Footloose And Kid Free

6 Jan

Last night the Hubs and I had a double date night with our BFF’s.  We both have kiddos and to get a date night out with our spouse is difficult enough, to get a date night out together is borderline impossible.  Thanks to my girl, Sarah’s in-laws and her oldest daughter, B, we had sitters lined up for Tink and her two small cuties, Mimi and Baby Mac.

Sarah and I have a running little joke/reality that Tink and Baby Mac are going to get married one day.  They were born 8 days apart, were due on the exact same due date, we live 4 houses a part from one another, and we would be perfect in-laws to each other because well we love the crap out of each other.  They are as much our family as they are our friends, so the running marriage joke, takes a strange twist when I call them Auntie Sarah and Unkie Matt to Tink …their future daughter in law.

So arranged marriage between pseudo relatives aside, us grownups went out for dinner, drinks, and general goofy no kids around debauchery.  It was a much needed night of fun and laughs and reminded us of the people we are behind the calls for mama, dada, changing butts, and chasing kiddos.  We are fun, hilarious, cool as s#!+ 30 year olds who cruise around in a mini-van.  I think we promised, possibly took a blood oath…the night gets a little foggy near midnight, that we would make this at least an every other monthly ritual.  It definitely needs to be.

date night

We may or may not have acted like caged animals who had just been freed from the zoo…

So, all that crazy fun aside, I had my weigh in today.  Since I had left Tink last night after of course working most of the week, she was losing her crap every time I sat her down this morning.  I could not pee without her screaming for me like I was abandoning her for life.  She was so sweet and snuggly with me and I just could not pry myself away from her to go to weigh in.  So, I did like a normal person and weighed in at home.  The great new is that I was down 2.5 lbs.  That is the weight I gained over Christmas, so I am back to where I was.  Today would have been a picture and measurement day, but considering the fact that I have only lost 3 lbs this month, I am skipping it and will do an update at the end of January.

I am currently on the hunt for something cardio specific that I can do in my house to keep my chain going.  (5 days so far!) I am going to try a demo of the Zumba game on XBox to start.  I will let you all know what I think about it.  I have heard mixed reviews, and may end up just getting a Zumba DVD.  I like to Move It Move It, so I think it would be a fun workout on my off days from my kettlebell.

bday dinner5

Still managed my wall sit while we hung out!

I also finally started a Facebook page.  Be sure to like that business up and share it to all your Facebook friends and family.

How was your first week of January?  Are you working those buns out with your wall sits? Have you kept your chain going? What do you do for cardio indoors, at home, in the winter?

Chain Chain Chain…

3 Jan

Happy feels like its Tuesday but oh wait it is really Thursday!!!

Hope the week is treating all of you well, and that you are still rocking your own socks off with your goals for the new year.

I wanted to share a challenge my BF, Diary of a Crossfit Mom, is doing right now.  It is called “Don’t Break the Chain.”  This little gem is from the likes of the one and only Jerry Seinfeld.

I know this is not just a pic of Jerry, but I freaking love this cover!!!! Can I be Kristen Wiig when I grow up!

The concept was born out of advice that Seinfeld had given this guy about being a better comic.  He said the way to be a better comic was to write better jokes.  The way to write better jokes, was to write everyday.  He revealed this calendar system that he developed where he would put an X on each day that he wrote.  Before long the x’s made a chain.  Your goal then is to not break the chain by skipping days.

This philosophy can be applied to anything, and Crossfit Mom is applying it to working out.  You can read about the guidelines she has set for herself here.  Her minimum daily requirements for that X is more than I am currently setting for myself.  Right now my minimum is wall sits and planks.  So far, I am building a chain that started January 1st.

This is a great motivator and mental trick of sorts to help you to get some sort of physical activity daily.  I am joining in on this challenge and invite  you all to the same!  You can follow Crossfit Mom on Instagram (@supermomsteurer) and be sure to tag your photos #dontbreakthechain.

Stay Strong and Keep Moving,

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Two Days Late and 2,000 Dollars Short

26 Nov

Howdy y’all!

Okay, yes I spent a week in Arkansas, but we are not that hick…well not all of us Arkansans are anyway.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving that was filled with lots of family and fun!   I also hope no one flew miles off the old fit wagon   I definitely indulged by eating what I wanted to, but maintained strict portion control.  I enjoyed all the homemade fare, but did not lose my mind eating until I barfed.  Although, the small portions that included carbs still made me feel so overly full, that I felt ill a couple of times.  It was enough for me to want my healthy eats back once I was home.

My Thanksgiving plate…my one and only Thanksgiving plate.

The trip did not make me jump off the edge of healthy eating.  It did not trigger me overeating, and it did not make me only want junk foods.  This was a major win for me as I am always fearful of losing my way.  It proved to me that I do have control over my eating.  That even though I sometimes crave crap foods, I long for the good ones when I stray for a momentary indulgence.  On top of that I lost 1 pound this week.  Hells yeah I lost 1 pound during Thanksgiving week.  That was thrilling to me and proof that nothing not even the biggest day of gluttony all year could stand in my way.

This is my “holy balls I actually lost weight the week of Thankgiving” face.

There were a couple of rough spots on my trip.

  1. Our bank account got hacked to the tune of $2,000.  1 single transaction to Lukie Games.  So um yeah that took 5 days to straighten out and get the transaction credited back to my account.  Hope the tool bag that hacked me has a Merry Sucky Christmas.
  2. My face broke out with zits like I was a 13 year old girl who lives off pizza and chocolate.  One of the fun lame as crap side effects of your hormones regulating is apparently pizza face.  I am glad that my increased fitness and health is leveling out the hormonal issues I was having, but I could really do without the forehead zits.

So, we got home Saturday and I managed a shower and my weigh-in and…that was about it.  Sunday was filled with laundry, Tink, TV and a workout.  So, my apologies for being 2 days late with my Saturday post.  This chick was beat!

3 am traveling…no coffee yet…evidence of said pizza face…sexy right?

Did you notice I said I got my workout in on Sunday?  I was really tired and not at all feeling it, but I knew a big part of the dread was from being “off” for so many days.  That first day back at it is rough!  Yet, once you get that one single day over with, it is typically as if you never took time off.

My pile of loot that I pushed around the dang store until my mom scored us two shopping carts…yes we are nuts.

I did not manage any real exercise while I was gone, unless you count shoving a play kitchen and all my other treasures along the floor (ran out of carts) and dodging people with horrendous body odor during some Black Friday shopping…is it still called Black Friday when it is on Thursday?  So, I went 10 whole days with no dedicated workout time.  I was beat before my first kettlebell tabata was up and told myself to just manage two rounds and I could stop.  Well, as I neared the end of round 2, I had some new found energy and pushed through to finish my workout…disheveled, completely exhausted, winded and proud!

Tonight I rocked out my tabata numero dos and………my first ever plank.  Time on said plank…31 seconds!  Bam!  This had me pumped and wanting to punch something out of sheer excitement and adrenaline   I was unable to hold a plank for even a second about 5 months ago when I first tried one.  Now I did one on my hands not my forearms.  From what I can tell on the web, both are equally challenging.  The plank on your hands works your shoulders and triceps more and the plank on your forearms works your core more.  I still cannot do the forearm plank, but you bet your sweet tush I will one day very soon.

I am back at it and feel rather renewed.  Stay tuned because this week marks the last week of my 5th month.  Saturday we get a 6 month progress report and pictures!

I leave you with a video of my gorgeous awesome nephew, Boog, singing a song for his dear Aunt Jennifer. (yes he says poop at the very end…boys)

How was your Thanksgiving break?  Any wild and crazy shopping stories?  Did you fall off the wagon…get off the horse and get back on it…still waiting for the horse to mosey up?

Stay Strong and Keep Moving,

Self-Control Is Essential

12 Nov

Hello beautiful people!

I hope that everyone had a great weekend.  I also hope that most of you were able to enjoy some gorgeous unseasonably warm fall weather.  We certainly did, but I will get to that in a minute.

Friday, I had my annual appointment with my endocrinologist on Friday, and she said my blood work was perfect.  She was very impressed with my 70 lb weight loss since she had seen me earlier this year.  I was excited for that appointment because I knew my weight loss would surprise her.  This week has been amazing for my self-esteem.  I have received endless compliments from co-workers, friends, family and my doc.  I am not doing this for the compliments, but I am not going to lie…they are an awesome bonus.  It always humbles me to have so many people care about me and my progress, and people who care enough to share a kind word to encourage me.

70 lb Weight Loss Face Comparison

My Saturday day started with a very productive weigh-in.  I was down 3 lbs for a total of 73 lbs lost.  I also FINALLY managed 4 workouts in one week!  This included a workout on Thursday aka Vampire Diaries day.  So, that fact alone gets me some major props from myself.  I love am obsessed with that show, and I am usually worthless after Tink is in bed because of it.

This weeks weight loss has my current weight at 260 lbs.  That has me only 10 lbs away from my next goal.  I will be shocked if I manage this by the end of November.  Although, I am going to try my darndest.  We will be traveling to the great state of Arkansas for Thanksgiving, and I will have to pull out all the self-control stops to make it through this holiday unscathed.  I will in no way be able to turn down my mom’s corn bread dressing, but I will limit myself to only a small serving.  I want to enjoy the day, but I am refusing (in advance)  to go wild eating until I could puke.  You all will get a play by-play after the fact!

Speaking of self-control, I indulged in a craving I have been having for a while now.  I have been wanting a sandwich and chips so freaking much.  Sounds pretty tame considering what I could be craving, but you know chips are one my big vices.  Chips with a delicious deli sandwich are like PB and J.  They just belong together.  Even though Subway and other sandwich places can help you with lighter options compared to burger joints, you still have to be smart about what you are piling on that sandwich.  Since I was indulging, I wanted real chips…not baked ones.  I wanted jalapeno kettle chips to be exact.  At 210 calories for that small bag of chips, I needed to plot and plan so I did not just blow the day.  I decided on the lightest possible 6 inch I could make, and decided to only eat half of the 6 inch and half of the chips for lunch.  I effectively did this and then finished it all off for dinner.  That is self-control folks!  Cutting a 6 inch in half… dividing a single serve bag of chips in half and setting the rest aside.  That takes determination.  I enjoyed it and felt satisfied afterward.

This is what self-control looks like-ish

However today, I have felt like a bottomless pit.  I did not really eat that much less quantity wise yesterday, so I think it could be the carb rush from the sandwich and chips.  Starches spike you blood sugar and therefore cause it to crash.  This causes us to then feel really hungry and leads us to overeat.  This is the most starchy/high glycemic foods I have had in nearly 6 months.  I managed to eat per my (new) normal standard today despite the increased hunger, and by dinner, my appetite was under control again.

Something else that encourages me?  Feeling good getting outdoors with my family, especially Tink!  We took advantage of 70 degree sunny weather yesterday and went on a nature walk.  Tink is a funny little creature.  She does not want to swing or slide.  She much prefers to walk around and explore.  That was a much more enjoyable option for the hubs and I, so we were happy to oblige.  We went for a walk to let Tink explore and experience some fall nature at its finest.  It was the perfect temperature and she was elated to be outdoors.  I was thrilled to see her so happy, but I was also happy that I wanted to go outdoors and be active with her.  This is a change from my previously heavier and lazier self.  Luckily, I am getting my groove going around the time Tink is ready to be active and enjoy the great outdoors!  There are so many adventures for me to look forward to having with my little family.

Enjoy some pictures from our little outing!

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Did you have any fun adventures or activities this weekend?  What are your favorite things to do when the weather is nice?

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