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Holistically Fed BLOG

What I Eat Post-Workout

This is a question I get asked quite a bit. What do you eat after you workout? Or more than that, what protein powder do you use?

If you are asking the same question, most likely you consider yourself an athlete or work out at high intensity (Crossfit, HIIT, Tabatas, Sprinting, P90X etc.) If you don’t, and you do lower intesntiy workouts like walking, casual jogging, golf, or cycling, you still will need protein after your workout to help you recover faster and more effectively but you probably don’t need to load up on starches like those working out at high intesity. These types of exercise burn more fat than carbohydrate so it just wouldn’t be smart to overload when you most likely have plenty of glycogen stores already. Excess is just turned into fat.

Before I get into what types of protein and starches I recommend eating post-workout, let me clarify one more thing. If you fall into the high intensity workout group but are also overweight, have metabolic issues, and are simply trying to get your health back on track, eating carbohydrates may not be the best idea for you at this point. You definitely still need protein to start the recovery process, but consuming a large amount of carbs in one sitting is never a good idea if you are insulin resistant (aka. your body is not responding to insulin very well anymore, the hormone that pulls sugar out of the blood, due to too much sugar and starches in your diet). Your health takes priority over fueling your athletic performance in this case. Once you get your health back on track, you can think about fueling your athletic performance with more starches.

So what do I eat post-workout?

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Pretty consistenly I eat 2 hardboiled eggs, with some homemade sweet potato fries (approximately 1/2 a sweet potato), within 15-30 minutes right after I workout.

This is the perfect combination of an easy to digest whole foods protein and a carb-dense starchy vegetable.

This works out perfect for me since I workout in the morning. I typically hardboil my eggs on Sunday nights and bake up a big batch of sweet potato fries to take with me to the gym also.

Other great carb-dense veggies include: butternut sqash, acorn squash, beets, pumpkin, spaghetti squash or plantains

You can mix and match these with any protein source you choose. Some other good examples include salmon and butternut squash, or grass-fed meatballs over baked spaghetti squash, or boiled pumpkin with eggs.

What about Protein Powder?

I’m not going to say I never use this, but for the majority of time I try to eat whole foods post-workout and always for that matter. Protein powder is a supplement, not a whole food.

Unless you buy the super pricey, grass-fed, undenatured, processed at low temperature protein powders you are wasting your money. Even then, it is still a processed food. Most protein powders are processed at such high heat that it denatures the protein content to an extent that may increase its carcinogenic load. Many proteins are sold off of marketing tools that get you to believe that you NEED it  for muscle building, fat loss, recovery, energy, etc.!! My advice on that: don’t eat foods that need advertising to be sold. Most of the time they are in it to make money, not to better your health.

Protein powder has not been around forever either.  You never would have seen a caveman whip out his shaker and pour some protein powder into it after he did what he would consider high intense activity. No, he just ate real food, what we were designed to eat also! Protein powder is simply convenience and marketing.

Your body and your wallet will thank you for switching to just chewing your foods post-workout.  Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of protein and you can’t complain about inconvenience when you prep ahead of time like I do!

So what about Smoothies Post-Workout?

Two reasons I don’t suggest smoothies post-workout.

1. Fruit is made of of chains of fructose compared to starchy veggies which are made up of chains of glucose. Fructose is preferentially broken down and used by the liver, not the muscles. Glucose from starchy veggies is more efficient at replacing glycogen that your muscles have used up during exercise. Fruit is not bad, but post-workout it is not your best option.

2.  Liquified fruit will spike your blood sugar levels much quicker than it would in whole food form. This is the last thing you want to do if your trying to balance your hormones and especially if you currently have metabolic issues. If your goal is to be healthy, we want to maintain a steady blood sugar level and eating protein combined with a starchy veggie is a much better way to do this.  Use these more as a special treat if you want to enjoy them every now and then, not as your post-workout fuel or even as a meal replacement.

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So bottom line, eat whole foods. Not supplements. This is the what we were designed to eat. If you insist on buying protein powders or other workout supplements, ask yourself why you think you need it. Is it because of what they promise you will receive from their product? Is it because of convenience? Whole foods have everything we need and more to fuel our bodies, and if you plan ahead, convenience shouldn’t be an issue.

Even further than eating just whole foods it is important that we eat foods that keep our bodies chemically balanced. If you’d like to know more about this check out this great article posted by Slanker’s Grass-Fed Meats.

Hope this helps! Comment on what your favorite post-workout whole foods combo’s are!


Crockpot Chuck Roast with “Restaurant-Worthy” Mashed Cauliflower

You guys. For real. This recipe is on point! Sometimes I forget how delicious a simple cropot roast can be until I make it again. Not only is it delicious, but it’s one of the easiest recipes you can make when you use your crockpot. Chop up your veggies when your doing your meal prep at the beginning of the week and when your ready to cook the roast, all you have to do is throw it all in and let the crockpot do its magic. An added bonus to using your crockpot is getting to walk home from a long day to your kitchen full of delicious smells waiting for you. What takes this meal over the edge though is the mashed cauliflower. Make this for your husband, uncle, or anyone who needs their mashed potatoes with their meat and I promise they won’t even be missing it. They won’t even know the difference and I can bet they might even like it better.

The ultimate convenience to this meal is if you make enough to last you a couple of days you don’t have to cook again the next few nights or you can eat it for lunches throughout the week. That’s a win in my book! I love cooking, when I have time and am not starving!! When I’m pressed for time or coming home from a long day and ready to eat anything in sight, it is a stressful thing to me. Thank you Crockpot inventor for helping me manage my stress and keeping me from eating everything in my fridge/pantry before dinner.

 

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For the Roast:

  • 1 cup organic or low sodium chicken broth
  • Grass-fed beef chuck roast ( I buy mine here )
  • sea salt/pepper
  • 5 large carrots chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  1. Sprinkle your roast with salt/pepper evenly on all sides
  2. Pour in all ingredients except for the mushrooms and then place your roast on top
  3. Roast on low for 6-8 hours
  4. Add in the mushrooms 30-45 minutes before serving

For the “Restaurant-Worthy” Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 head of white cauliflower (will serve about 2-3 people)
  • half of large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Ghee or clarified butter to make it dairy free: Follow this simple recipe to make your own
  • salt/pepper to taste
  1. Break up your cauliflower head into its individual florets and throw in a large pot
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil then let simmer for about 10-15 minutes
  3. While the cauliflower is cooking, chop up your onion and mince your garlic. Sautee your onion on medium-low heat in coconut oil until translucent.
  4. Once the cauliflower is nice and tender, transfer it to a blender and puree
  5. Transfer from the blender to your serving bowl and add in sauteed onion, garlic, 2 Tbsp ghee, and sprinkle the remaining herbs in to your liking.

Now go try this! I promise you won’t be disappointed.


This Week’s Meal Plan + What I Did for Meal Prep

Just this past week I started a Paleo Nutrition Challenge at our local Crossfit Gym here in Paris Texas.  I had 15 people sign-up to participate. I’m not so sure everyone knew what they were getting themselves into haha, but they are in it now and I am so proud to see everyone trying so hard and asking great questions and seeking advice along the way!

I talk a lot of about the importance of planning ahead when it comes to eating healthy. When we have not prepared ahead of time we often find ourselves in a situation where we are starving, low blood sugar levels and literally wanting to eat anything and everything in sight. In this situation typically we make poor decisions like going through the fast food drive through or we find ourselves eating jelly straight out of the jar with our finger  because gosh darn-it we need sugar or we’re about to go crazy!!

To avoid these situations I plan ahead almost every single week to make sure that I have food on hand and prepared ahead of time. The way that I do this typically goes like this:

  • Friday I create a list of meals I want to eat for the next week. This is something that gets easier the more you do it because you can collect your favorites and then just repeat them every other week or so.
  • Once I have created my list of meals I want to make I write down all of the ingredients I will need and the correct amount I will need to buy at the store to last us all week
  • Saturday Morning I will go shopping for all of the food
  • Sunday Evening I spend an hour or two prepping all the foods I can ahead of time. See bottom of this blog for exactly what I did this past week.

This doesn’t workout verbatim every single week as my husband and I travel pretty regularly. I have to adjust to make it work. For example, this week we are leaving Friday afternoon so I created my list today (Thursday) and bought all the groceries today (Thursday) as well. This saves me time Sunday when we get back to not have to do all of this in one day. I only have to do meal prep. I always look ahead to avoid being overwhelmed with too much to do! You also have to understand your schedule most likely is not the same as mine. Find a system of days and times that work for you and your family.

Here is a glimpse into this past week’s meal planning:

Each week I always try to make at least one new recipe. This keeps things from getting boring and unexciting to eat. This week I went crazy and tried 3 new recipes!

Weekly Breakfast:

My breakfasts stay the same almost every morning. On mornings I have time to make a breakfast, I eat two scrambled eggs with a large handful of greens (kale and spinach), and 1 piece of bacon (beef bacon this week from Slanker’s Grass-Fed Meat)

On mornings that I am up at the gym early working out and don’t have time to come home before I train a client, I eat 2 hardboiled eggs with homemade sweet potato fries (about half a sweet potato) right after I workout.

Before I run out the door to the gym every morning I eat 1 large homemade deer meatball with a small handful of nuts to get my metabolism going and send my body a signal to prepare it for the activity that is coming. This has worked out for me very well so far.

Rest of the Week’s Meals:

Monday Lunch: Chili’s 6 oz. steak with steamed broccoli (no butter). Sometimes you have to make due with the situation you’re in. My husband’s job requires that we take lots of people out to eat in the community. Not the best quality meat obviously, but a much healthier option than the rest of the menu.

Monday Dinner: Mini-Mexi Meatloaves with fresh steamed green beans

Tuesday Lunch: Thai Mango Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing

Tuesday Dinner: Leftover Mini-Mexi Meatloaves with fresh steamed green beans

Wednesday Lunch: Thai Mango Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing

Wednesday Dinner: Erin’s Easy Week Night Stir Fry

Thursday Lunch: Avocado BLT Egg Salad

Thursday Dinner: Leftover Stir Fry from Wednesday

Friday Lunch: Avocado BLT Egg Salad

Friday Dinner and Weekend: Going home to be with family so will be letting mom feed me!

Snacks That I Typically Have on Hand:

  • homemade meatballs
  • nuts (cashews, almonds, macadamia)
  • Smoothie ingredients: almond milk, frozen fruit, ground flax seeds, lots of greens!!

So there it is. That is what my food intake consisted of this past week and it was delicious, but most importantly, most of it was prepped ahead of time to save me time throughout my busy week!

Here is what my meal prep looked like on Sunday:

  • Hard boiled enough eggs for the days that I had to take them to the gym and also for the BLT egg salad I would be making later in the week
  • Cut up and baked some homemade sweet potato fries to easily throw in a bag to take with me to the gym with my hard boiled eggs for after workouts
  • Baked about 1 lb of deer meat in balls for some homemade meatballs
  • Baked all the chicken to easily place on my Thai Mango Salad
  • Shredded my carrots to easily place on my salad as well as throw in the meatloaf recipe
  • Cut up my mango to easily place on my Thai Mango salad
  • Made the Coconut Curry Dressing for Thai Mango salad

As far as the rest of the prep goes, as you see on my menu I have lots of repeats. That is definitely intentional. I try to do 1 or two different recipes for lunches and dinners and just make double. This means I spend less time cooking and more time just eating.

This is just one week’s worth of meals for me. It varies. This week was pretty fancy on the recipes. Most week’s I keep it pretty simple. I think I was inspired by the Nutrition Challenge I am hosting to try new things. Hope this helps in some way along your journey of discovering true health and balance in all areas of your life!!

 

 

 

Erin’s Easy Week Night Stir-Fry

This recipe is my go-to almost every week when I want something easy and quick for dinner. I typically make enough of this to last the next few days to save me time the rest of the week.

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The beauty of this recipe is you can mix and match the ingredients to your liking and flavor preference.

Here is what you need:

  • Ground Meat (Beef, Buffalo, Deer, Turkey, all preferrably grass-fed) This is where I buy my grass-fed meats!
  • Unlimited Vegetables: ones I typically use include large handfuls of kale, mushrooms, chopped onions, bell peppers, broccoli, chopped squash/zucchini
  • Tomato Paste: size will depend on how much you are making. For four meals I typically use 16 oz.
  • Herbs for Flavor: I typically use a blend or oregano, thyme, and basil. Play around with your favorites!

Here is what you do:

  1. Brown your meat in a large or small frying pan, depending on how many servings you are making, over medium heat
  2. When meat is halfway cooked, throw in your chopped onions, and let them saute with the meat until translucent
  3. Throw in the rest of your veggies and let them cook for a few minutes
  4. Once all vegetables are nice and tender, pour your tomato paste into the frying pan and season with your herbs
  5. Let simmer another 3-5 minutes and serve immediately!
  6. BAM! Easiest dinner ever and you don’t have to cook the next few nights either if you made extra!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you do, make sure to like, and share this with your friends and family!

 


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