Friday Fuel: Tasty, Healthy, & Quick?

Yup. It is possible.

You know the script: You’ve come home after a long day at school or at the office. You’re tired. You had a bunch of meetings, and stayed late to make that deadline. You even squeezed in the YoPro Bro Special for a quick midday burn. Last thing you want to do is cook a meal, let alone figure out how to make it healthy.

no-need-to-suffer-060620122

You’re in luck. With a little help (okay, maybe a lot of help) from RD LDN Lauren Sharifi (AKA the wife of “Xerxes”), we have for you 5 quick and easy meals to prepare in under 30 mins! Best part of all, this writer can attest to the fact that these are not only healthy but also rather delicious. I don’t know about you, but I often hate when I can “taste the healthy” in a meal, discerning that diet soda-esque flavor where I definitely don’t want it. Well, you’ll get none of that here!

See Lauren’s full post, “Meals in 30 Minutes or Less!“, for descriptions and recipes. In the meantime, just look at the mouthwatering meals:

1. Lemon Garlic Shrimp

LGS

2. Turkey Chili

turkey chili

3. Chicken Stir Fry

chicken stir fry

4. Fish Tacos

Baked-Tilapia-Fish-Tacos-2

5. Pesto Caprese Sandwich

caprese sandwich

Check out Lauren’s blog, “Bite of Health“, for more healthy and delicious recipes and alternatives!

Let us know which you’re ready to mack on…

Fuel Up Friday: Pre-Workout Nosh

Image

Admit it, you have probably have said to yourself: “I am going to be working out later, so I can burn this junk right off!” I have said it myself. And it was only 5 minutes into my work out before the thought occurred to me that the large Italian sub I ate 20 minutes before the gym was not helping me get to Shred City. Most people need at least 4 hours to digest a meal, especially one high in meat and fat. Much like how eating before swimming is a no-no, eating a big meal before a workout is something you should avoid. It can feel like this:

Image

(I will spare my gracious readers the pitfalls of eating the wrong thing before a long distance run. Trust me, it ain’t pretty.)

But exercising on an empty stomach can put a damper on sculpting that work of art you call a body. Hunger pangs can be a distraction, a drop in blood sugar can exhaust you, and dehydration can serious hinder your pursuit of achieving heroic levels of fitness, so there has to be some middle ground right? Well, today is your lucky day! There are a number of strategies to ensure that you are properly fueled while not negatively affecting your performance.

Image

First things first, hold on to your butts, because I am really going to blow your mind. You should avoid eating fatty foods. OK, once you get a hold of yourself, we can continue. Ready? Good. Fatty foods take longer for your stomach to digest, which is the key thing to avoid. Digestion can draw blood to your stomach instead of the rest of your body, where it is needed during exercise. You also don’t want food just sitting in your stomach. You should also avoid meat and foods high in fiber. Anything you eat within 2 hours of exercise should be easily digestible, like simple carbs or fruits. And liquids. When it comes to pre-workout snacks, glucose is good. (How often do you hear that these days?)

Image

 

Here are some snack ideas and when you should enjoy them:

1 hour-20 minutes before workout

Fruits, oats, whole grain bread

1-2 hours

Greek yogurt, smoothies, peanut butter

Here are some tasty options:

Greek yogurt with low-fat (no chocolate) trail mix

Wheat toast with jam

Apple slices with almond butter

Banana with yogurt

Shakes can be good, but try to stick to a 4:1 carb: protein ratio

Sports drinks should follow these guidelines: per ounces -> 14-15 g carbohydrates, 110 mg sodium, 30 mg potassium

The old tradition of carbo-loading the night before a workout has somewhat lost popularity. If you are eating enough carbs regularly, it shouldn’t be necessary. It can be helpful the night before exercise expected to last 90 minutes or more.

Image

Another important part of the digestion puzzle is familiarity with your own digestive system, which you should know a thing or two about by now. You need to consider what you react well to and can digest easily. You need to know your own stomach.

Image

Everybody is different and you need to figure out what you can and can’t do. Michael Phelps can eat a huge sub before a big swim, and I can’t. I also probably can’t win 22 Olympic swimming medals, but in all fairness, I’ve never tried.

Based on my past experience, I think I can make the right choices. Based on what you know about yourself, which do you think is the right thing to eat before a workout?

ImageImage

Five Dieting Don’ts For Busy Guys

It’s finally spring-time here in Boston, and as thoughts turn to summer, your thoughts may also turn to losing a couple extra pounds.  We really don’t think you need it, but if you insist, we’ll support you.  Just don’t fall for these “dieting don’ts”.

Fad diets.

FadDietsCartoon

Generally speaking, if a diet is getting a lot of coverage in the news, it’s probably a bad idea.  Certainly, avoid any diet that limits you to a certain food or food group, like the grapefruit diet, or the cabbage soup diet (yes, that’s a real thing).  We all know deep down that a balanced diet is the best way to stay healthy.

The “it sounds to good to be true” diet.

farces-of-nature--too-good-to-be-true-800x600

Guess what?  It is too good to be true.

Skipping meals.

bread

The research shows that if you skip meals, you’ll end up compensating by eating more later.  Take our word for it: not a good idea.

Forgetting about exercise.

Diet is only one half of the equation.  Exercise is just as important, and in fact, we’d suggest you try that first before limiting your calorie intake.  Maybe you’ll get where you need to be just by hitting the gym a couple more times a week.

Overdoing it.

Here at BGBL, we’re all about being healthy, and a healthy weight is just one part of that.  A lot of our readers are super-achievers, and try to bring their best to everything they do.  But when it comes to dieting, don’t overdo it.

Fuel Up Friday

Around 700 BC, Greek poet Hesiod wrote: “Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important fact.” This is the first documentation of a person saying what we all now know:

TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

But with so much wisdom being passed down through the ages, why don’t we apply it to how we eat? Some of Mom’s old classics like “a good breakfast is the most important way to start the day” are left by the wayside as we begin our daily conquests. Breakfast? “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!”

Image

Unfortunately for the morning movers, ignoring Mom’s advice can affect your eating habits for the rest of the day. According to research, skipping breakfast may make you hungrier later, leading to larger meals, and more fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Ever wonder where those post-lunch “sleepies” come from? You’re tired because you stuffed your face with crap at lunch.

ImageImage

The timing of your eating affect your blood sugar levels, thus potentially your energy and mood, and what you eat will affect how rapidly and the severity with which those levels will change.

You are familiar with the good ol’ (now defunct?) food pyramid. You should now use that model upside down for your daily meal sizes, with a big breakfast at the base, and a small dinner at the tip.

Image

Timing also applies to what things should be eaten at a given time. In the mornings, you should eat foods that take your body longer to convert into energy, like meat, nuts, dairy, and whole grains. Foods that your body converts to quickly, like most fruits, vegetables, white grains, and cereals, should be eaten later in the day.

Or more simply, as nutritionists have been saying for decades:

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Image