Yo yo. Still on holiday, still sunning myself in Cornwall (hopefully). But the keen reader will have noticed I’ve been trying to drive a fitness slant to my blog for a while, and so I’ve put together a few ideas for post-workout snacks. A bit niche, yeah, but try it. You might like it.
(Actually, my Instagram page is my main vehicle for pushing the fitness thing, so please do have a look if you don’t already follow me).
Ok, so two of my four gym sessions each week take up an entire evening. Which means that by the time I’ve tripped in through the front door, I need to eat something light and quick before I get the hell to bed. I can’t come home from a workout and not eat anything, I think I’d pass out. Plus, I’m not so much about losing weight these days – I’m trying to build muscle mass and that means fuelling the engines.
With that in mind, my staple at the moment is whey protein powder. It might be a placebo thing, but I’m pretty sure it’s making a difference. I feel fuller for longer after I’ve taken some on, and I seem to have more energy when I’m training. I’m lifting heavier weights and increasing the intensity of my cardio, too, so I *think* the old whey is earning his keep. I don’t like milkshakes though (shudder), so I try to incorporate it into actual food.
The best snack I have for this is a variation of overnight oats, which I bloody love. Actually, it IS overnight oats, just with less oats and more yoghurt. I don’t think a fuck off great bowl of cold, raw porridge at 11pm is a great idea, but a small bowl of plain yoghurt, a handful of oats or homemade granola, some blueberries, a scoop of whey and a sprinkling of chia seeds seems to hit the spot.
I’ve also realised recently the the humble banana is a known sleepy food.
“Experts say that consuming the right food before going to bed that are high in minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, vitamin B, and tryptophan, have a natural sleep inducing effect, helping to relieve insomnia.”
Do they now? Interesting. Thanks experts. So, I’ve tried mashing up some nana with the trusted whey powder, and spreading it onto a few oatcakes. Not the most filling noshfest, admittedly, but a decent enough bucket of water to throw on the hunger fire. Avocado packs a tryptophan punch too, so if you were to spread some avo on seeded toast you’d be the sleepiest hipster in town.
I made some espresso brownies recently. I say made: they’re no bake, and if you have any form of food grinder (hell, a pestle and mortar will do) then you can make them pretty easily. I love the taste of coffee, but not the caffeine at 11pm. So, I’ve tried this recipe using decaf coffee, but I’ve also tried it with mint leaves and I reckon coconut could be pretty damned sexy too. I love raw cacao – if you haven’t tried it, you’ll be amazed at how rich it tastes. Like the best chocolate truffles ever, with a fraction of the shit.
Next – you know peanut butter? Well – think along those lines but with less added sugar. “Nut butter” was a foodie term I used to scoff at, but now I know that nuts are incredibly good for you. Spreadable nuts are even better. I’m a big fan of this cashew butter by Meridian, which is a bit pricey but you don’t need loads of it. It’s lovely spread onto rice cakes, or as a dip for toasted shards of wholemeal pitta bread or tortilla wrap. I like the almond and peanut versions too but I don’t find this cashew one quite as cloyingly sweet.
Sticking with the nut theme, Graze have a superb little range of snacks and I’ve got a major thing for their Veggie Protein Power bags. According to Graze:
“Our black pepper cashews are a great dose of essential mineral copper, much needed for a healthy immune system and to protect your cells from the damaging effects of stress.”
And I’m nothing if not stressed. These are the only beauts I tend to eat as a pre-workout snack rather than afterwards…they’re particularly good at about 4pm, to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner and have you desperate to get into your gym clothes. Or maybe that’s just me.
Lastly, and not one for 11pm unless you fancy a spot of late night baking, I’m loving these protein pancakes by my friend Fran at Back With A Bump. I’m notoriously shit at pancakes but these turned out absolutely belissimo, and I managed to shoehorn in the old faithful whey protein too.
Time for me to up my protein game, starting with these breakfast pancakes. 💪🏼🥞💪🏼 So, we’ve got an egg, a couple of spoons of oats, some chia seeds (I accidentally bought 2kg of the buggers so it’s chia seeds for everyone!), a ripe banana, a scoop of whey protein (I’m using PhD Diet Whey in Vanilla Creme flavour), and some skimmed milk. Whizz it together and drop little dollops onto a hot frying pan (I use coconut Fry Light cooking spray). Double / triple / quadruple the ingredients as needed. Serve with coffee. Always coffee. ☕️ Bon appetit! 🍽👊🏼🏋🏻♀️ #breakfast #proteinhit #phdwhey #pancakes #brunch #myhealthyplate #proteinpancakes #starttheweekright #mondaymotivation #bankholiday #5aday #eatwell #plateofgoodness #cleaneating #eatforfuel #musclefood #fuelyourbody #feedyoursoul #cleanandlean #wheyprotein #summerberries #recipe #fussfreecooking
So there we are – a few ideas for quick and easy post-workout snackage, designed to maximise protein and level out sugars. Have you got any tried and tested recipes for sensible refuelling?
-SJW July 2017