Workout Nutrition

Molasses Raisin Bars

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We are training for a half Ironman and currently both feel like we are way hungrier than normal! I am trying to keep our snack supply stocked with fun and different options, and these have been a perfect addition! I rarely use molasses, so it has been a nice change in taste. These bars came out more looking like cake BUT that makes them even more fun to snack on!! Here is how to make them:

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup pecans

  • 3/4 cup raisins

  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/3 cup protein powder

  • 2 TBSP flax meal

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/8 cup molasses

  • 1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F

  2. Place oats, pecans, raisins and nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.

  3. Add flour, protein powder, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the oat mixture.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, molasses, applesauce, and oil. Add to oat mixture. Combine well.

  5. Cover an 8x8 with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly in pan.

  6. Cook for 25-28 minutes, or until edges are browned and a toothpick is clean when inserted.

  7. Once cooled, divide into 9 slices. Store in the refrigerator (if you’ll be eating them quickly) or the freezer if you’ll be eating them more slowly.

  8. Enjoy!

The Perfect Smoothie Formula

Warm weather is coming which means smoothie season is here!! All the fresh produce makes smoothies that much more appealing this time of year. I do, however, make smoothies all year round and generally use frozen fruit. If smoothies aren’t done right, they can cause your blood sugar to spike and your energy to crash- not what we want. This is a formula I use for making smoothies. You can add quite a bit of variation using this formula. As you think through various options, just remember, you want more than just carbs in your smoothie!! So add protein and/or fat to make those carbs last longer!!

Smoothie Formula (makes 2-3 smoothies)

  • 1 cup vegetable (beets, cucumber, zucchini, carrots)

  • 1 banana

  • 2 cups other fruit (citrus, berries, mango, etc)

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 cups spinach (or other green)

  • 1 cup almond milk or other liquid

  • 1/2 cup dry oats (you won’t even notice them)

  • 1 scoop protein powder (I like to use unflavored)

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Beet Orange Smoothie:

  • 1 cup beets (steamed)

  • 1 orange

  • 1 cup berries

  • 1 banana

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 scoop protein powder



Carrot Ginger Sunshine Smoothie

  • 3-4 large carrots

  • 1 orange

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1 cup berries

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 banana

  • 1 scoop protein powder

  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp turmeric



Cucumber Berry Spice Smoothie

  • 1 cup cucumber

  • 1 cup berries

  • 1 banana

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger

  • 2 TBSP unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 scoop protein powder

*Note- I generally serve my smoothies with granola on top, which adds some extra fat. If you will not be topping with fat of any source, consider throwing in nuts, seeds, nut butters, or avocado. Here is a link to an awesome granola recipe.



Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites

Okay guys, I’m obsessed with energy bites. I honestly had an idea in my mind that they weren’t the best snack because they had so much honey in them, but since I have learned to balance the honey with applesauce I am ALL ABOUT THEM ENERGY BITES!!! This recipe is a variation of my Chocolate Pistachio Energy Bites, but have a cherry flair :-) I have cherries on my radar right now because tart cherries are really great for recovery from endurance exercise. Some athletes drink tart cherry juice daily. I haven’t tried that yet, but have been thinking more about how to incorporate cherries into my diet. Check this fun recipe out!!

Tart Cherry Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/4 cup pistachios

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

  • 1/4 cup coconut or oat flour

  • 3/4 cup almond butter

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup unflavored protein powder

  • 1/3 cup chopped tart cherries

How to:

  1. You can pick any assortment of nuts and seeds, but aim for about 1 cup total. Stick nuts and seeds in a food processor and process until fairly well ground.

  2. Mix with all other ingredients. Combine well. You may have to use your hands.

  3. Make into 24 bite sized balls.

  4. I store mine in a large bag in the freezer. If you are wanting to eat them from the freezer, microwave them for 10 seconds first!

Chocolate Muesli Energy Bars

Kevin and I are currently training for a Half Ironman. We have done one before and always have some sort of big training goal for the summer, but this summer in particular, we both seem to be SO hungry!! I have taken it on to make snacks that we can both easily grab and be fueling for us during this time. I had saved a recipe similar to this years ago on my computer and dug it up as a possible easy snack idea. It has been just that!! All you have to do is buy some pre-made muesli, and add some mix-ins to it and bake it!! SO simple and it has been such a fun change of pace for us. Whether you are training or just looking for a fun and different snack, I encourage you try these!!

Chocolate Muesli Energy Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 3 cups Muesli (I used Trader Joes Muesli)

  • 2 scoops protein powder (I generally choose unflavored)

  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (measure once cut)

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Combine almond milk, honey, applesauce and mashed bananas.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

  4. Once mixed, mix them together.

  5. Spray a 9x13 pan and pour mixture into pan. Flatten and spread evenly. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until middle looks cooked.

  6. Let cool. Then cut into 9 servings.

  7. *I wrap them individually in foil and stick them in the freezer. They will be thin and will thaw out quickly!


{Not Fried} Fried Rice

19.5 is finally here! I am feeling extra nerves around this workout because I know how badly it is going to hurt!! With that said, I know my fueling has to be on point! This workout requires a lot of minutes to be worked at a high intensity- which means carbohydrate stores will be a hug factor. Also, this workout requires a lot of mental fight, which means immediate carbohydrates will be crucial. We don’t often think about the fuel our brains need, but trust me, your brain can make you quit a lot sooner than your body quits if it senses it isn’t fueled well.

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Today I am fueling with fried rice for lunch. I will also consume an apple and RX Bar prior to the workout, and possibly a Fig Bar right before depending on my energy. All of these are carbohydrates that I know my body likes and utilizes well. As the workout gets closer, my carbohydrate intake switches to quicker carbs (fruit) vs slower carbs (brown rice).

This fried rice recipe is a fun way to get some carbohydrates in! And good luck to everyone competing this week!

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{Not Fried} Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 carrots, grated

  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 cup edamame, thawed

  • 4 scallions, sliced

  • 3 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 TBSP Sriracha

  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds

  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 1/2 tsp Ghee/avocado oil

  • 1 1/2 lb shrimp

How to

  1. Place rice in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and cook until water is absorbed.

  2. Add 1 tsp Ghee/avocado oil to a saute pan at medium high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute until browned (4-6 minutes). Turn heat to low. Add carrots, ginger, edamame, and scallions.

  3. Add vegetables to rice.

  4. Whisk eggs together. Heat another saute pan with 1/2 tsp Ghee/avocado oil. Cook eggs without scrambling (like an omelet). Once cooked, let cool and then cut into bite sized chunks. Mix in with rice and vegetables.

  5. Make sauce by combining soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Add sauce to rice and mix.

  6. Heat shrimp and serve with rice.

Sweet Potato Muffins

The 4th week of the CrossFit Open is upon us, and I wanted to find a carb heavy snack to eat before my workout! This one is a real winner!! Here are some highlights:

  • The sweet potatoes give this muffin carbs, but slower digesting carbs, so they are great to have at least an hour before your workout.

  • This is sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup- but mainly banana and applesauce- both of which have some fiber, so provide quick but lasting energy.

  • Oats and oat flour also are great sources of carbohydrates, but do have fiber and protein which make this muffin well balanced.

  • Seeds add fat and protein to this muffin, which again make it more balanced.

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This muffin is great for workout fuel, but in order to best utilize it, I suggest eating it at least an hour before your workout. The fiber, protein and fat in the muffin will ramp up your glycogen stores and provide long lasting energy BUT these components can also be difficult to digest if eaten right before you raise your heart rate which can lead to digestion issues… not what you want as your are burpeeing over the bar :-)

Here is how to make them:

Sweet Potato Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I baked them in the oven earlier this week, so I could scoop and mash them for this recipe)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 2 TBSP vanilla extract

  • 1 TBSP almond butter

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

  • 3 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 cup oat flour (take 1 1/4 cup oats and place them in the food processor until powdered)

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F

  2. Mix mashed sweet potato and mashed bananas together in a bowl. Add vanilla and almond butter and mix well.

  3. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well.

  4. Then add almond milk, maple syrup and applesauce and mix to combine.

  5. Add oats, oat flour, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds.

  6. Mix until well combined.

  7. Place muffin cups in your muffin tin and fill each about 2/3 full. This should make 24 muffins.

  8. Place in oven for 30 minutes total, spinning if necessary.

  9. Let cool and then wrap in plastic wrap or tin foil and store in refrigerator for 2 weeks for freezer for longer.

*I only had 1 muffin tin so made the rest into bars by placing them in an 8x8 greased pan and cooking them for a total of 35 minutes.

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Peanut Soba Noodles

Well… the Crossfit Open season has begun! This will be my fifth year competing in it and I am very excited about it this year. In past years, I haven’t had specific goals for it and have ended it feeling extremely discouraged in my performance. This year, I have been working on some of the movements that have limited me in the past and my goal is to be able to do every movement in every workout. Seems simple, but it would be a huge deal for me!!

Part of success in these workouts is proper nutrition, so I will be posting some good recipes that will support good performance. This workout, 19.1, is 15 minutes long which can feel like a long time when you are pushing hard. Good carbohydrates are always beneficial in fueling exercise, but because of the length, they are even more crucial in this specific workout. However, you don’t need to “carbo-load” because after all, we are not doing a marathon here!

This recipe includes soba noodles which are SO easy! And full of whole grains. These complex carbs will serve you well in providing good energy for this workout. This is also a fun and easy option if you are just looking for a healthy meal, as these whole grain noodles are a great source of starch that will keep you feeling energized and full without a carb crash. Either way, try this meal because it is so quick and delicious!

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Peanut Sesame Soba Noodles

Ingredients

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  • Soba noodles

  • Shrimp, eggs, ground meat (any protein)

  • Shredded cabbage

  • Shredded carrots

  • Bell pepper, sliced

  • 1/2-1 bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 1 1/2 TBSP rice vinegar

  • 1 TBSP sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

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How to:

  1. Make sauce by combining peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Whisk until combined.

  2. Chop cilantro and peppers.

  3. Bring water to a boil. Cook soba noodles according to package (usually 8ish minutes). Then drain noodles.

  4. Heat shrimp

  5. Combine sauce with warm noodles. Then, mix in vegetables and shrimp.

Bloomsday Fuel

Are you doing Bloomsday this year?! Good for you! I love Bloomsday because running or walking- 7.5 miles is a long distance, yet over 60,000+ people rise to the challenge and complete it. I also love it cause it means summer is coming :) 

This Bloomsday, make sure you are fueled right! No matter what pace you are going at, having the right fuel will help you feel better during the race. Here are my suggestions:

Saturday Night: make sure your dinner includes some sort of carbohydrate, and limit fiber if you tend to get GI distress while exercising. Some good carbohydrate choices to choose are:

  • Sweet potatoes (avoid the skin)

  • Brown rice

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Pasta, orzo

  • Other grains: quinoa, millet, bulgur, etc.

Some easy meal ideas:

  • Stir fry: brown rice, chicken, vegetables (don't overdue the vegetables)

  • Sweet potatoes, eggs or ground turkey, guacamole, tomatoes, bell peppers

  • Turkey sandwich with fruits and vegetables on side

Sunday Morning: Carbohydrates should be a main focus, but do include a protein too. Limit fiber and avoid dairy. Good and easy ideas include:

  • Oatmeal + fruit + eggs, nut butter, or nuts (to add protein)

  • Whole wheat English muffin or toast with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon

  • Sweet potato with eggs

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

During race: Make sure you are drinking water!!

After: refuel with a carbohydrate and protein soon after finish. I like chocolate milk :) Then, get a balanced meal as soon as possible. Drink water too!

Good luck this Bloomsday! Hopefully I will see you out there!!