Post-Workout Planning

This post is all about how to refuel and recover after a strenuous workout.  Following up a workout with the right balance of protein, sugars and carbohydrates is important to let your body soak in the nutrients while still letting your muscles relax.  No matter what time you like to exercise your body burns energy and what you chose to eat after should replenish equally or better energy into your system.

For best results, try to wait at least thirty to sixty minutes after exercise to east to give your body and muscles the most time to relax which allows them to be most receptive to nutrients when you do eat.  During the window of relaxation it is important to stretch your muscles and drink lots of water.  There will be an increase in enzyme activity which will make the body more efficient at storing glucose for energy and protein building when your muscles get fatigued in future workouts.

Banana and Yogurt Smoothie

This combination of banana, yogurt and milk makes for a fresh and delicious way to cool down and replenish your body.  Bananas are packed with potassium, magnesium and flavor.  They give your body the powerful electrolytes it needs for healthy muscle function.

1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 1 large)
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons whole wheat graham cracker crumbs (about 1/2 cookie sheet)
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ice cubes (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until firm (about 1 hour).
  2. Place frozen banana and remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately.

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Protein Packed Sandwhiches

If your looking for a more hearty mid day lunch after a hard workout try a protein packed sandwich!  This turkey and ham sandwich is perfect – even try grilling it like a panini.

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 (1-ounce) slices country white bread
4 (1-ounce) slices deli, lower-salt turkey breast
4 (1/2-ounce) slices deli, lower-salt ham
4 (1/2-ounce) slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
Cooking spray
  1.  Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Spread about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise mixture over 1 side of each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1 turkey slice, 1 ham slice, 1 cheese slice, and 2 tomato slices. Top with remaining bread slices.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn sandwiches over; cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

    turkey-sandwiches-ck-1867560-x

    Grab and Go Granola

    Granola that is prepared properly can be an excellent post workout snack as well as a healthy on the go snack to wherever!  Making your own granola snacks is better than buying it in the store because you can control exactly what you want in the mix as well as adding more than the recipe calls for! Nuts and dried fruit are healthy and taste great!

    This recipe for power granola is so tasty! when I made it I even put some dark chocolate chips in it for a little sweetness.

    1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup orange juice $
    1/3 cup honey
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    2 teaspoons canola oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Cooking spray
    1/3 cup dried cranberries
    1. Preheat oven to 300°.
    2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.
    3. Combine orange juice, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in oil and vanilla.
    4. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture in a thin layer onto a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 10 minutes; stir well. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon granola into a bowl; stir in dried cranberries. Cool completely.
    5. Note: Store completely cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

    power-granola-ck-1054879-x

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