One of the bloggers whose posts I love to follow closely is Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers. Her blog is simple, open and honest, and full of some great workout ideas! I completed one of her upper body workouts today, and I’ve had jelly arms all day. It’s posted below so you can feel as exhausted as I do! It was awesome =)
My workout today was also supposed to involve a run, but last night while playing frisbee with Ryan, I felt an old ankle injury flare up. About two years ago, I started feeling this weird twinge on the outside of my right ankle. It felt funny early on during my runs, but I didn’t feel it so much after a few minutes. Well, I ignored this twinge from September all the way through a half-marathon in March. The pain was sharper by then (duh, Clare), so I went to an Orthopedist to get it checked out. After viewing a couple of x-rays, he told me I had a stress fracture and needed to take it easy for a while. My initial doctor’s orders of six weeks rest turned into three months. Even after waiting three months, I couldn’t run pain-free for nearly six months. The silver lining was that it forced me to look into other ways to stay active. I joined a gym so I could take group strength classes, which I quickly fell in love with. Being strong is important!
So now to my actual point: my workout today consisted of a hill-interval bike ride (which kept pressure off of the spot of the fracture) and the upper body workout from pbfingers.com. I warmed up on the bike for a couple of minutes, and then I alternated the resistance every minute between levels 12 and 17. I had to literally wipe my sweat up off the floor when I was done.
So how do you fuel a workout when wheat bread, granola bars, and lowfat dairy are off the table?On this lazy Saturday morning, Ryan and I ate breakfast (and watched NatGeo) before working out. I knew we were going to sit around for a while before heading to the gym, so I ate more than I usually would before a weekday morning workout.
I had some leftover honey cinnamon sweet potatoes from last night’s dinner, so I mashed those up, mixed in an egg, and made somewhat of a sweet potato fritter. Add a small handful of almonds, and you have a fuel-packed Paleo breakfast. (Yes, potatoes are paleo!) Before you get confused about my inclusion of carby sweet potatoes after shaming my own bowl of cheerios yesterday, just remember to look at your day as a whole. And if you’re about to go sweat your butt off in the gym for 45 minutes, it’s okay to include some Paleo friendly carbs! You also need to test the waters and see how you feel. My stomach did not like working out after cheerios and milk. I have yet to experience problems after paleo breakfasts.
Because I had a small meal before I worked out, I did not eat immediately after leaving the gym. I don’t think it’s necessary. Unless you’re looking to really bulk up, there’s no need to pound a protein shake mixed with peanut butter after a workout. I don’t eat again until I’m hungry. Hunger struck a few hours later and I made lunch. I loved my lunch today. Eating delicious food makes me happy. I had to finish up some leftovers, so I sort of threw a bunch of things together. I had spaghetti squash with paleo meatloaf covered in tomato sauce and carrot sticks dipped into a homemade ranch dressing.
So I didn’t exactly need special workout fuel for my schedule today. In general, I think it’s a good idea to plan workouts around meals. Plan to eat an hour before or eat shortly after you’ve finished your workout, if you’re hungry. However, I know life gets in the way and that’s not always possible, so here are a few ideas I’ve tried and had success with:
Some of the choices (like sausage for a pre-workout snack???) may seem strange, but I prefer them to specially marketed workout foods that are only a waste of money and calories. I won’t eat granola bars (please don’t waste your money on Special K bars in any shape or form), Cliff Bars, protein powders, Gatorade, Belvita, Fiber One, lowfat waffles, or anything else that appears gimmicky and isn’t made of real food. This morning, I simply grabbed something leftover from the fridge and decided it would be breakfast. Our olive oil roasted broccoli would have been a good choice, too, and it would have required no more work than popping it in the microwave.
Gosh that paragraph sounds too preachy. I’ve just found what works for me, and if it works for someone else too, then that’s great! I’m also a real person who drinks beer and eats ice cream with my husband on occasion. (Has anyone tried the new Magic Cookie Bar by Blue Bell? So good.)
So tomorrow, I will have to get creative with my workout because I need to avoid irritating my ankle for now. I’m not a big fan of doing most of my cardio inside of a gym, so we’ll see what I can come up with.
Question: What is your favorite pre/post workout snack?