Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eat to Fuel: Rethinking Your Daily Snacks

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How many times have you seen the words "eat to fuel" hash tagged under your favorite fitness account's Instagrams or posted on fitspo twitter accounts? Probably quite a few - but have you ever thought about what the phrase means in your day-to-day life?

When you work out, you're draining your body's supply of energy - like you just drove your car a long way and now it's out of gas. You wouldn't fill up your car with a substance that wouldn't power it through another long trip, would you? No -- so why choose to fill up your body with substances that aren't providing you with the power necessary to make it through another day and another workout? Every time you decide to put something in your mouth, you're choosing what kind of fuel to put in your body.

In all of my posts that have to do with food, fitness, or health, I have to disclose that I am SO not perfect. I love pizza and ice cream and totally splurge on food that isn't the best for me, but I don't let one or two cheat meals change the way I think about food and the lifestyle that I try to live.

So I challenge you - whenever you find yourself snacking or preparing a meal for yourself, think about which ingredients are providing you with sustenance and fuel for the rest of your day.

On that note, I'll share one of my favorite post-workout snacks with you.

First of all, I highly suggest that you purchase a Magic Bullet or other small blender. Mine has been a lifesaver while I've been in college - so easy and so quick when I'm on the go!

I love to make smoothies after my workouts or for breakfast - I load them up with all kinds of nutritious ingredients and protein.

Here's one of my go-to smoothie recipes:

  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt (get whatever has the lowest fat percentage) 
  • Handful of frozen or fresh spinach - you won't taste it at all, and it's an easy way to get your greens in!
  • 1/4 C frozen berries 
  • 1/2 C almond milk 
  • 1 spoonful of peanut butter or PB2 for flavor. 
Optional...
  • 1 scoop of protein powder - this is totally optional, but I wanted to give it a shot since I work out often and am not always able to get enough protein in my diet without it. I use Optimum Nutrition Whey Isolate in the vanilla flavor. 
  • 1 TBS flax or chia seeds for an added punch of fiber 

Blend and enjoy - I usually sprinkle mine with Kashi or granola for a little crunch. Enjoy!

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