I believe not only in the power of a nutritious diet, but of an active lifestyle.
I’m bot one of those mystical creatures who wakes up ready to smash their workout. I’m more like the lazy unicorn who drags herself out of bed before even realising what is actually happening. My bed is cosy and I resent parting ways with it, but I also know that I’ve never ever regretted a workout.
Good habits spur on good habits, and I find that when I drag myself out of bed in the morning and get active, it just sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. At times it doesn’t even matter the type of movement I do – whether I go for a invigorating yoga flow, a core-targeting pilates session, an intense HIIT, or even a calming deep stretch, it just gets me in the right mind-frame for the rest of my day.
After I finish my workout, I always try and be sure that my post-workout snacks are on point and supporting my body in its repair. There is no way I just spent the last 45 minutes to 1 hour sweating and panting for it to go to waste. No way in hell.
What I choose to eat depends largely on the type of workout I’ve had. If it’s been an intense workout and my muscles have been tried and tested, I’ll focus on protein + carbs, whereas if it’s been more of a cardio I’ll incorporate a bit more healthy fats into it as well.
Do remember that these are my personal favourites, and that you need to tailor things according to your body and personal preferences.
Probably one of the most known post-workout snacks, protein shakes and smoothies are my usually my go-to after an intense sweat session. It’s just so easy, and I’ll either just shake some protein powder with water or almond milk for a protein shake, or I’ll go full out and make an epic smoothie.
Do watch out for what protein you use though, as there are so many out there with ingredients that I just do not want going into my body. Look for brands that keep it as natural as possible, with no artificial sweeteners or unnecessary fillers. If you’re going with a whey, look for grass-fed and hormone free, or stick to a vegan pea protein.
For vegan protein my absolute favourite is MissFits Nutrition, as they really do have women in mind with great quality ingredients and essential nutrients, and their The Multitasker comes in 4 flavours – Chocolate and Coffee are my favourites! When it comes to whey, my two favourites are The Organic Protein Co, which does an unflavoured organic whey that is creamy and blends incredibly well, and Natural Nutrients, which does a Belgian chocolate and madagascan vanilla that just makes me think of milkshakes!
I eat bread. SHOCK HORROR! Gluten in this day and age? I’m not coeliac or gluten intolerant, but if you are then rice cakes are definitely an option instead – and I sometimes do go for it as well when I’m in a hurry and can’t be bothered to toast anything.
I favour wholegrain breads, be it buying a rye sourdough or a spelt loaf at my local bakery, a slice of my protein banana bread, or if I’m after something less carb-y I’ll have a toasted slice of my low-carb veggie flatbread. I’ve recently tried Profusion Organic’s Protein Bread and rather enjoyed it, especially toasted and topped with some scrambled eggs for protein or almond butter/avocado for healthy fats.
If you rather go gluten free, or just enjoy rice cakes like I do, you can use the same toppings you’d go for on bread. Smash some avocado and sprinkle some chilli flakes, top with some boiled eggs, or some almond butter. My favourite brands are Rude Health and Kallo, and both do more than just rice cakes and get creative using things like quinoa, buckwheat, and corn.
Pretty self explanatory really! There is no secret to this one.
An easy and tasty snack that has both protein and carbs, as well as some healthy fats from the egg yolk. If you’re an organised human you could boil some eggs on a Sunday night and package them in little jars with the cooked edamame, a sprinkling of pepper and chilli flakes, and have portioned-out snacks to grab n’ go throughout the week. Bonus points if you toss in some seaweed and spinach as well.
I have a thing for protein bliss balls – I just find them irresistible! I could easily eat a whole batch on my own, so I always need to practice serious portion control and restraint here. These balls are usually quite high in fats so I might favour them when I’ve had a more cardio workout over weights-based ones, or as a snack later on.
My courgette and chocolate chunk protein slices are definitely a winner, and with bliss balls you could always also make your own, which is super simple and just requires a food processor and means you can stock a batch in the fridge or freezer. One thing I like about this method is you can pick and choose exactly what goes into it, but rolling the damn things isn’t my favourite thing to do so I’d crank up the music or watch something while you do it.
Another option is to buy them, which comes in handy when you just want to have an easy snack to throw in your bag or find yourself peckish after a workout and just need to eat something asap! My favourite brands are Bounce as their Cacao & Orange and their Peanut Butter are just SO addictive, and also Nakd and Deliciously Ella’s as theirs are simple and with few ingredients.
For someone who didn’t grow up eating oats or porridge, I have a serious love for it now as an adult. I’ve always loved granola, but now that love extends to porridge as well. It’s an easy way to get in some fibre and carbs, and by adding some yogurt you also increase the protein – vegans can add coconut yogurt, though it will be higher in fat as well.
If you’re going for granola, you could either make your own as it really is very simple, or use a brand that doesn’t use refined sugar in their recipe and keeps it pretty close to basics.
You can make a yogurt parfait by layering granola, yogurt and berries, have some hot porridge topped with the yogurt, banana, and almond butter, or make some delicious overnight oats in advance to have on hand – or even quinoa bircher, which is one of my personal favourites!