What should I eat Pre + Post Workout - May 2
Pre Workout Nutrition:
1. Depends on three major objectives:
- How much time do you have allotted before exercise
- How your body breaks down food for energy
- What the exercise or type of exercise being completed after this meal or snack
2. Timing: This is huge because everyone breaks down different types of food at different rates. However, everyone is typically the same when we suggest that you don't want to eat directly before because while your muscles are trying to do its thing as is your stomach, these are completing demands and can hinder the performance of the exercise. Morning people; you may not have enough time before your 5a class to have breakfast and that's okay, fasted exercise isn't recommended but it possible and sometimes beneficial. However, if you see yourself depleting during the workout or getting a bit nauseous we might need to try something like collagen in your coffee, half a banana, or a BCAA powder to add to your water- light but it has calories. Afternoon or night exercisers; you just want to watch the window before activity, 1-4 hours before exercise is ideal, the heavier the meal/snack the more time you'll need. Fatty and high density protein needs more time to break down in the GI system to use for energy rather than carbs, that's the best rule of thumb when choosing a snack pre- workout.
3. How your body breaks down food is detrimental when choosing what to eat before working out. Protein and Carbs are your friends, fat takes a while to digest and could disturb your GI during the workout causing cramping or put a halt to exercise, if you do have fats try to keep it to 10g or less. Protein "primes the pump", it's not just a post workout need. Protein also begins muscle gain during the workout as well as stabilizes blood sugar and prevents energy crashes. Carbs are the true hero's here; complex carbs like starchy veggies and whole grains provide long lasting energy opposed to simple carbs. Be aware of dried fruits and fiber as that will also disturb the GI system and may cause discomfort.
4. Type and length of exercise: If you're choosing to exercise fasted, the exercise should only last 45 minutes. If you are looking to exceed 60 minutes of exercise (strength and spin peeps) carbs are needed 50-100g is ideal. If we're looking into strength classes or a spin with a lot of hills I would definitely recommend protein and carbs; that could be something as simple as a protein shake with fruit and oats in it.
5. Caffeine! Always a hot topic! Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, two things that you cannot just spring on your body and hope it adapts. This one is truly trial and error (as most things with nutrition are) but I wouldn't suggest having a pre-workout supplement with 100g of caffeine for the first time before a spin class. Try it out by having half a scoop and a lot of water then gradually add when you feel as if your body has adjusted to both the increase in caffeine as well as the exercise program.
6. You know your body best. Listen to it, feel the difference between oatmeal and eggs before a workout, that's the only way you'll learn. Eating before a workout never made anyone fat and skipping a pre workout meal never created shredded bodies.
Post Workout Nutrition + Fad Diet Breakdown - May 9
Post workout nutrition follows the same objectives of pre workout nutrition; timing, type, and based upon exercise.
Timing: You have a window from 45 minutes-4 hours. Timing and preparedness goes hand in hand, the longer you wait without proper nutrition post workout the less control you have over what you'll eat- binge eating is common here. While timing is important to replenish blood sugar levels and begin to fulfill protein stores, true post workout nutrition is up to 24 hours because your body repairs the broken down muscle fibers an entire day after the activity. The most important nutrient post workout is water and replenishing the body- water enables nutrients to be delivered efficiently as well as partners with protein to repair broken down muscles. 32-40 oz of water within 2 hours of exercise for every 1 hour of exercise.
Type: What do I eat after a workout? Protein is obvious but did you know that carbs not only regulate blood sugar to prevent hunger and a mental crash but also delvers and aids the protein in rebuilding the muscle fibers. Every individual person is different when it comes to how much carbs and protein per gram however everyone should be at least 1:1 carb to protein ratio, cardio workouts will see 2:1. Example of post workout meals: PB&J and chocolate milk, protein shake with an appropriate supplement and fruit, lean meat with a veggie and whole grain, egg omelette with cheese and veg with a fruit, big ass salad with lean meat or high quality source of protein, etc.
Based Per activity type: High cardio= high carbs, High strength= High protein with carbs; often we forget what the body is depleted of based on the activity. Have you ever said to yourself- I am so hungry on the days I do cardio? That is because you haven't brought in enough carbs post workout to fulfill your blood sugar levels and/or protein synthesis. Additionally, healthy fats slow processes slow which elongates muscle rebuild and blood sugar drops, therefore adding healthy fats will keep you less hungry and more effective with muscle repair.
Carb Cycling: Carb cycling is a dietary approach in which you alternate carb intake on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It is used for fat loss or performance, I haven't seen this approach work for mass increase or weight gain. Its also heavily used to overcome a long weight loss plateau. To accomplish this diet you must understand your body type (ecto, meso, endo) then you will need to know your calorie intake vs carb intake in grams. I see this to be most effective in endurance athletes. Protein and Fat are effected by the cycle; High fat on low carb days and low fat of high carb days.
KETO: Ketosis is a metabolic process when the body is high in ketone bodies which is a result of low glycogen stores (energy), this process is common in diabetics. Ketosis takes a few days to achieve by eating 20-50g of carbs per day and will remain for 2-4 days. You cannot sustain ketosis and you must have a prepared eating program for after those 2-4 days of ketosis. The biggest misconception of the keto diet is fat loss, I would categorize it as weight loss due to the muscle breakdown that occurs due to no protein synthesis happening because of lack of carbs (protein drivers). The Keto diet is an extreme version of carb cycling. You are manipulating your metabolic system by removing a macro nutrient which is detrimental to every day health.
Intermittent Fasting: Also known as intermittent energy restriction, is an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. Three methods of intermittent fasting are alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding. Intermittent Fasting works so well for weight loss because it keeps our insulin levels down. Elevated insulin levels have been linked with obesity for some time. When we fast, insulin levels decrease which allows body fat to be burned more efficiently for fuel.
Heart Rate Zones - May 23
Here is an article and the Heart Rate Calculator. If you would like to learn what your Heart Rate Zones are please let us know and we can set up a time to do this with you.
9/1 Nutrition Tip of the Week: Grocery Shopping
When it comes to the grocery store it’s often we come home with a lot of items that weren’t on our list...especially if we have tagalong shoppers. First things first, don’t go hungry, create a list, and stick to the perimeter - the center aisles can be tricky (especially with little hands grabbing at treats!) Here are some tips on the best way to tackle the grocery store:
- Stop in the produce section first! We want our plates to be full of vegetables and have fruits as snacks throughout the day, so load up your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables! Now that summer is in full bloom- try out some of the Jersey-fresh options or stop at the Farmer’s market on the weekends.
- Meats and Fish - also an important part of our meals, our protein sources. Fresh or frozen are both great options. Be sure to look for wild-caught and lean cuts of proteins to keep fat levels low. To my vegans and vegetarians, you’ll be getting your protein sources from tofu, seitan in the produce or frozen sections.
- Dairy - whether it be real milk or a milk substitute I believe any dairy can be included in a healthy meal plan! Stock up on some Greek yogurt to add in a protein boosting snack throughout the day. Just be sure to check the labels and note the added sugar.
- Frozen aisles- always a great option for stocking up fruit and vegetables. As we get to the fall and winter some fruit and vegetables aren’t in season, buying the frozen option is still a great option. Fruit and vegetables are picked and frozen in a way to keep their nutrients at their prime! If you’re ever in a pinch and need a quick frozen meal- check out my favorite brands - Evol, Amy’s organic, Alexia and Dr. Preager’s.
- Center aisles - save for last! Your cart should be pretty full by the time you’re getting here. There are still healthy options in the center of the store, like nuts and nut-butters. Look for the healthier options on the top or bottom shelves. Marketing can be tricky and we tend to choose what we first see at eyesight. Healthy options may be out of sight, remember to check and compare the labels before adding the items to your cart.
9/1 Recipe of the Week: Sweet Potato Nachos
Did someone say fall sports?! With professional and our children’s sports coming back (in one way or another) we will need to find the new norm for tailgating. Professional sports have a packed schedule in September, so whether we’re watching football, golf or hockey on tv we can still have fun while doing so. Here is a recipe for sweet potato nachos for everyone to enjoy!
For the nachos:
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can corn
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend omit for paleo/whole30 version
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 1 avocado diced
- 15 cherry tomatoes seeded and diced
- Fresh cilantro, salsa and guacamole to serve
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Peel sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/4 inch rounds. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, keeping space between them so they don’t overlap to cook evenly. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add black beans, corn and cheese if using.
- Reduce heat to 350°F and place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and heated through.
- When the nachos are done, remove from oven and top with onion, jalapeno, avocado and tomatoes. Top with chopped cilantro. Serve with salsa and healthy guacamole.
Serving: 1g | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.5g | Protein: 10.8g | Fat: 16.2g
9/7 Nutrition Tip of the Week: Fiber
Fiber is a nutrient that we feel is overlooked. Most of the time we’re looking at labels and looking at the main points – Calories, Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates . However, when we dive deeper into the main points, we find pretty important information. Fiber provides little nutrition energy but plays a big role when it comes to heart health, weight management, diabetes and digestive issues. One analogy that I love to use when it comes to explaining the importance of fiber and how it helps our bodies is referring to vegetables as a toothbrush on our arteries. The broccoli is rough to digest in our gut but helps “scrub” along the arteries as it makes it way through our digestive system. This helps improve cholesterol levels and the slow rate of digestion helps us stay full for a longer period of time.
While working with clients, I often find I am providing ways to increase fiber so we’re meeting our recommended amount per day. So, how much fiber do I need in a day? Women require about 25 grams /day and men have a target of 38 grams per day. You might be thinking; “I am no where close to that” or “I have no idea what that even looks like.” One important note – as you’re increasing your fiber, also boost your fluid intakes. Fiber is a slow digestible carbohydrate so we want to keep our bellies happy and keep everything moving down there.
Here are some simple ways to help boost your fiber intakes:
- First things first – boost your fruit and veggie intake. This is the simplest way to increase your fiber intake. Think the more we have to chew the veg, the more fiber (Especially the skins!)
- Mix oats and grains into meals – add oats when cooking meatballs
- Boost your fiber in salads by adding beans or chickpeas
- Switch to fiber-rich grains and pastas (hint! There’s a new pasta for you to try below)
- Boost your protein smoothies by adding in flax or chia seeds - Both Flax and chia seeds are fiber powerhouses.
- If you still can’t get there- add in a fiber supplement like Metamucil. Try not to be dependent on this but for an added boost to your day when you need, it can be helpful.
Here’s a list of some high fiber foods:
Food |Serving | Grams of Fiber
Raspberries | 1 cup | 8 grams
Broccoli | 1 cup (chopped) | 5 grams
Potato (with skin) | 1 medium | 4 grams
Quinoa | 1 cup | 5 grams
Brown Rice | 1 cup | 3.5 grams
Black Beans | ½ cup | 7.5 grams
Chia Seeds | 1 ounce | 10 grams
Almonds | 1 ounce (23 almonds) | 3.5 grams
9/7 New Food to Try: Tolerant Foods
Found in: Whole Foods, Shoprite, Acme, Mom’s organic
We tend to avoid some foods because we think they’re “bad” for us or that they deter our process. The struggle then becomes: my family wants to have a pasta night, but I avoid pasta so I’ll just eat something different. That’s definitely no way to enjoy a family dinner, plus what would that look like to your children? Mom/dad aren’t eating pasta so maybe I should avoid it, too? The good thing is we have been trending towards a "whole food" approach as foods have evolved. There are plenty of options now to enjoy a healthy version of pasta night. Regular white or whole-wheat pasta leave us feeling still hungry after a plate (or two).
Tolerant is a brand that takes pasta night to a new level. Tolerant pastas are made from red beans, chickpeas, or green lentils, which turns your pasta into a much more nutritious option. One serving of this pasta will leave walking away from the table feeling completely satisfied. You’ll be boosting your fiber intake to 11gm/serving and getting an additional 25 grams of protein in your meal. Have children who love buttered noodles? Now they’ll be getting a healthier option and feeling full from their meal instead of hitting the snack drawer after dinner.
9/7 Recipe of the Week: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Since it is September, it technically is Pumpkin Spice Season. I’ve got the unpopular opinion that it’s still summer in my eyes and won’t indulge in the pumpkin-flavored things until at least mid-September. Since the rest of the world brought out the pumpkin at the end of August we might as well make a healthy version of our favorite snack! This Pumpkin Spice latte is comparable to Starbucks but without all of the added sugar. Did you know a grande PSL from Starbucks packs 49 grams of sugar!!? That converts to 12 packets of sugar in one cup of coffee. Here’s how to make a pumpkin spice latte with all the flavor and without the guilt!
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- Add milk, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to small saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 3 minutes stirring often. Then pour into a blender.
- Place the rest of the ingredients into the blender.
- Blend on high for 2 minutes.
- Pour into coffee mug.
- Top with coconut cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. (OPTIONAL)
9/14 Recipe of the Week: Protein Energy Balls
Recipe of the Week: Protein Energy Balls
Energy balls are such a great snack to keep on hand. You can pop in one or two before your early morning workout, or have them as dessert after a meal when you’re looking for something sweet. This recipe can be adjusted in many ways to add in different flavors and to keep everyone’s cravings satisfied.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 scoops (about 50–60 grams) chocolate protein powder
2 Tablespoons chocolate chips
Cinnamon Raisin Cookie
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup honey
2 scoops (about 50–60 grams) vanilla protein powder
2 Tablespoons raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
2. Getting the mixture to combine takes a little arm muscle and it may seem too thick at first, but it will come together as you keep mixing. I used my hands to knead the dough near the end and that seems to help.
3. Once combined, use a small cookie scoop to scoop and form the dough into balls.
4. Store in a covered container in the fridge or freezer.
1 ball : 100 calories / 5gm protein / 10 gms carbohydrate / 6gm fat
9/14 Nutrition Tip of the Week: Mindful Eating
Nutrition Topic of the Week: Mindful Eating
Over the last few years, there have been so many different fad diets that come and go, and we never really know what is going to get us to our goals. Unfortunately these “quick fix” diets are just that – you’ll see success quickly but it won’t last. Here at Vicious we want to eliminate the diet culture and focus on mindful, healthy relationships with food.
Mindless snacking can be our culprit. If we go the cupboard or refrigerator multiple times a day or just grab a handful of a snack over and over – the calories creep up on us. We think “I am doing everything right! Why am I not seeing success?” Using a daily food log to track the foods we are putting in our body creates that awareness. I never really recommend looking at calories, but paying attention to how often we snack, or how often we do or do not eat. Bringing awareness to our intakes can go a very long way when it comes to seeing success on the scale or in the way our clothes are fitting.
Here are a few tips to become more mindful of your meals.
1. Slow Down at Meal Times – this can be hard because we are constantly racing against the clock. Taking the time to really chew your foods to start the digestion process and to give your body the chance to realize it’s being fed will help in many ways. You’ll feel satisfied walking away from a meal, “unbutton my pants stuffed”; and you will have less indigestion. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to tell your stomach that you’re full – so if we eat an entire plate in 5 minutes, we’ll be eating 3 plates before we realize how full we really are.
2. Eat without distraction – taking the time away from your work computer (especially now that a lot of us work from home) can be very therapeutic and create a mindful experience to your mealtime. Taking away the stress of reading and responding to emails will help you focus on your food. Ask yourself how does it taste; how much did I put on my plate; did I make a balanced meal; am I still hungry? Now you’ll have the mindful meal instead of looking down at your plate 30-minutes later and it either be empty and you’re looking for more or you’ve barely touched your meal and you are now starving.
3. Be aware of your portions and food choices. Since our goal is a healthy relationship with foods; we want to eat the foods that make us feel good. Am I saying you can never have a piece of pizza again? Definitely not- pizza makes us feel good but we need to balance that meal so we’re not eating the whole pie. All foods are allowed with our mindful approach, we just have to be aware of the portions of the foods that will benefit our bodies more. Do I have half my plate full of vegetables? Do I have at least a palm size portion of protein? What carbohydrates am I including? How will I use fat to flavor my meal? Asking yourself these questions before you sit down to eat will help bring awareness to balanced plates, and will help you walk away feeling more satisfied.
9/21 Recipe of the Week: Sideline Snacks
Now that fall sports are in full bloom we will be running around like crazy! Here are some quick grab and go snacks to have on hand so you (or your kids) aren’t going too long between meals:
1. Find a protein shake that you like to have on hand – some fan favorites include:
a. Premier Protein (30 gm protein/ 160 calories)
b. OWN (plant-based, 20 grams of protein/ 180 calories)
c. Core Power (26 or 46 gm protein //170 calories)
2. Make a heart- healthy trail mix!
a. Combine your favorite nuts and dried fruit into a big bowl
i. Almonds/ Peanuts / Cashews/ Walnuts
b. Portion out ¼ cup servings into mini zip-lock baggies to have on hand when you’re running out the door to games or practices
3. Precut Fruits / Vegetables with Dip
a. Use your Saturday or Sunday mornings to prep some pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
b. Pair Veggies with cheese, guacamole or hummus to combine them into a complete snack
c. Pair fruits with a nut, cheese or a yogurt-peanut butter dip to help you feel satisfied
4. Don’t have time to prepare and we’re stopping at wawa?
a. Balanced Breaks (by Sargento) – they’re a portion-sized combination of sweet and salty that can be thrown in a bag for any time!
b. Grab a greek yogurt – quick fix for a high protein snack
c. Beef Jerky – Krave or Epic have portioned out pouches
5. Tuna Packets with Crackers – Starkiss and Bumblebee have 90-calorie, 14 grams of protein pouches that you can have as a quick snack while watching a game
Looking for something a little more substantial? Try these quinoa pizza bites!
1 ½ cups quinoa, cooked
1 tsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1 cup mozzarella
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ cup sliced black olives
½ cup diced canned tomatoes rinsed and chopped again to make smaller pieces
½ cup marinara
Cook quinoa according to package directions.
Saute onions and garlic in 1 teaspoon oil until translucent and tender, about 3 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
Mix together all ingredients except pizza sauce.
Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray or your preferred oil. Then spoon one heaping tablespoon of mixture into each cup. Push down with the back of a spoon so that the top of each muffin is flat.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then use a butter knife to run the knife around the edges and pop out the bites.
Heat the marinara sauce for dipping and enjoy!
9/21 Nutrition Tip of the Week: Portion Sizes
We live in a world now where portions have grown over time. Have you ever talked to parents or grandparents about the size of their bagels? Our bagels, apples, plates and bellies have grown over the years causing our portions to definitely become distorted. Use these tips to help you use your hand as a simple guide to measuring portions appropriately. When we're creating a meal, ideally we will have one protein, one/two vegetables, 1 carbohydrate and 1 fat. This will help you leave the meal feeling satisfied and without craving something extra. When it comes to snacks, aim for a protein or fat paired with a carbohydrate or a fruit.
Food Group | Eyeball Portion | Measured Portion
Protein | 1 palm women / 2 palms men | 4oz women (cooked) / 6oz men (cooked)
Carbohydrates| 1 cupped handful / about the size of tennis ball | 1/2 cup (cooked)
Fats| 1 thumb | 1 tbsp nuts/seeds / 2 tbsp dressings
Fruit |1 tennis ball /fit in the palm of your hand | 1 cup
Vegetables | 2 cupped handfuls | 6oz (raw) / 4oz (cooked)