Monthly Archives January 2016

Post Workout Snack Ideas

January 28, 2016
/ /
in Blog
Comments Closed


What you eat before and after a workout can be the missing link to getting the results you want!  It is important to have something before a workout.   This can be a mix of carbohydrates, protein and some fat which helps me sustain energy during hard sessions.   I typically shoot for 150-200 calories about 30-60 minutes before I train.   Each body is different so trial and error will help you quickly decide what sits best.  Often I mix a protein shake or green smoothie, drink 1/3 of it on the way to the gym and the rest on the way home.  For simplicity, I would like to focus this blog post on POST workout nutrition.  Enjoy a few direct links to the website for healthy recipe ideas!


My boys LOVE green smoothies. Ezra, my 1 year old, recently got his first taste and now each time he hears the vitamix start up, he starts clapping.  My 3 year old, Easton,  BEGS for a "moothie" daily, which gets mildly annoying when I've already made one but way better then fruit snacks. (Which he also begs for) Balance people!  And bribery at time.  😉


Here are 7 great post-workout snacks that fuel your body and should be consumed with 8-12 ounces of water:

1. Non–Fat Greek Yogurt with Fruit

Non–fat Greek yogurt is loaded with protein, which helps repair muscle tissue, and low in sugar and fat, which also makes it an ideal snack at any time of the day. Top some with fruit (1/2 cup of berries or banana) and you'll quickly rebuild your energy needs.

2. Banana with 1 Tablespoon of Almond or Nut Butter

Banana is high in fructose (fruit sugar) and a high–glycemic carbohydrate that the body can quickly convert to energy. When you enjoy it with with a small amount (1 tablespoon) of almond butter, you add protein and just a small amount of healthy fat. Almond butter is a great nut in terms of nutritional value, but is also high in calories, so you want to enjoy this treat in small servings.  Although there is no hard rule on this, I typically like to keep my post workout snack low fat to maximize absorption of nutrients to the muscles after strength training.  This would be a great, quick choice post run or HIIT.

3. Low–Fat Chocolate Milk

Did you know that low–fat chocolate milk is one of the best–kept secrets for recovery? It has just the right protein to carbohydrate ratio to restore lost glycogen and repair muscle tissue. Exercise scientists say this recovery drink is most useful for competing endurance athletes who need to sustain a level of performance—such as long–distance runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes. Another plus is that this drink can be easily transported.

4. Tuna on Whole Wheat

If you're a sandwich lover, this one is for you! Adding four ounces of water-packed tuna on one slice of whole wheat bread gives you an ideal protein/carb mini-meal at a mere 220 calories. It's an ideal low-calorie snack for people watching their body weight or trying to shed extra pounds.

5. Frozen Whole Grain Waffles Topped with Greek Yogurt and Almond Butter

If you're a waffle lover and want to enjoy this treat guilt-free, there is no better time to eat this heavenly food than after a solid workout. Top the waffle with low-fat Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of almond butter, and you'll get the ideal ratio of carbs, protein and healthy fat needed for recovery.

6. Whole Wheat English Muffin with Sliced Turkey Breast and Hummus

Like hummus? Eat up! Combined with a whole wheat English muffin or a whole wheat pita, this combo makes for a great protein/carb recovery food. Note: If you're watching your weight, whole wheat will release energy slower into your body than white bread. Wheat bread will also satisfy your hunger longer than the high-caloric fluffy white stuff. Once again, if you're watching calories, ¼ cup of hummus on one whole wheat pita adds up to about 300 calories.

7. Protein Shake with Banana

A protein shake made with 1-2 scoops of whey protein powder and ½ banana is ideal for recovery.  I pack a pre-made protein shake into my gym bag so I can have it on the way home after a workout.  This is ideal for busy people on the go. Remember that refueling within the 30–minute window after a hard workout is critical to reaping the full benefits of proper recovery.


Tricks to Avoid Overeating Post-Workout

Now that we've talked about some great recovery foods, it's time for a heart-to-heart.  Ask yourself if your workout really warrants a recovery snack or meal?

A 15–minute leisurely walk, a 30–minute light strength-training session or 30 minutes of stretching are not the moderate– to high–intensity workouts that burn up your muscles and deplete your blood sugar levels to a level where you need a snack to recover. That doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy a portioned healthy post work-out snack at all.

It's best to be mindful of calories burned during a workout vs. calories consumed during the day, and to find a healthy balance of calories in vs. calories out to maintain a healthy body weight.

Here are 3 clues to help you prevent overeating after a workout:

1 Did you break a sweat during your workout? If you had a short and light workout session and your skin remains fairly dry, it's good to rehydrate with water, but not necessary to recover with food or a sugary beverage.

2 Was your heart rate elevated? Exercising at a low–intensity rate for a short period of time certainly is better than no exercise at all, but you won't deplete your glycogen stores or tear up muscle tissue during a low–intensity workout.

3 Was your breathing labored? A 60–minute moderate–intensity spin class, dance class or power yoga class can elevate your heart rate and leave you breathing hard at times, which means you're burning calories and earning the health benefits. Enjoy your post–workout healthy snack, but count it toward your total daily caloric intake, not as a way to justify a recovery meal.

If you're truthful on how hard you work during exercise, you'll get to know your body and learn how to refuel for energy vs. eat out of habit, convenience or due to stress, boredom or other reasons.

Your workout can never make up for a bad diet!!!

Eating a healthy diet, paying attention to portion sizes and engaging in regular exercise are all critical elements to maintaining a healthy body weight, achieving a well balanced lifestyle and preventing serious diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

If you're exercising hard for 90 minutes or longer, it makes sense to prepare your recovery snack in advance.  When on the go, I almost always have a protein shake in a cool storage place, so I can enjoy it right after a workout.

So the only question remaining is, what's your favorite post–workout snack?  Leave me a comment, I want to know! 🙂

Much love-




References: ACE fitness FitBits

Read More

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

January 22, 2016
/ / /
Comments Closed


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle 

After boot camp class tonight, a conversation with a few clients sparked a completely different blog post then what I had originally planned.  Having the right MINDSET.   I think it is even more important then pre/post workout nutrition, which says a lot!  Food and proper nutrition, plays a huge part in the success of any program.  But what you eat is only part of the battle.  How many times have you lost and then gained back weight?  Because typically 80% of people do just that.  I want my clients to be in the minority.  I want EVERYONE to experience lasting results that inspire others to do the same.

Do you ever hear that inner voice that says things like this:IMG_0058

  • The gym is to far.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I’m to tired.
  • It’s not going to matter if I skip today. 
  • You know what, screw it! 

This is the quitter inside. Everyone has a quitter inside. It’s a self-critical doubter, and when you listen to it, it gets louder until it drags you down like an anchor and keeps you pinned in place for years, as it does with most people. Have you decided that you are not going to listen to that voice anymore?

Good, here’s how this works: First, you over-rule the quitter in your head. You shout it down and win the battle day by day, until eventually that voice goes so silent that you can’t even hear its echo anymore.  Because now, instead of being stuck (or worse, in a downward spiral), you’re in an upward cycle: You feel, look and perform better, and excuses don’t even cross your mind anymore, because you’re completely committed to the daily habits that are changing your life for the better. 

How do you get there? It’s no secret.  Developing the mindset to change your life starts with creating your own compelling vision of the future. Is it easy? No. It takes guts to imagine life as you really want it. Because let’s face it, there’s comfort in having excuses.

Embracing the quitter within is easy and comfortable. You just park yourself in your familiar spot on the couch and keep eating and flipping channels.

Change, on the other hand, is uncertain. And uncertainty is scary. Getting up and doing something is hard; you don’t know if you’re going to reach your goal. For most people, doing nothing is easier than risking failure, so they don’t even try to change.

That’s not you, or you wouldn’t even be reading this. Congrats on making it this far. You’ve decided to make positive changes, and you’re sick of doing nothing. Your vision of the future is what is going to get you off the couch- so that vision has to be good. Make it sharp and focused on the specific outcomes you want, and see yourself taking the daily actions that will get you to those outcomes. Presumably it’s a future in which you:

  • Have more energy Enjoy better relationships 
  • Feel, look and perform better 
  • Get more of what you really want

What are the sounds, smells, sights and tastes of your life when all of these are lined up? Can you picture it? This is your vision of the future. It’s the raw material of motivation, and while that gets you started, it’s not enough.  You must make new habits. This is where I can help.   By holding your hand until you can reach out to hold someone else in support!  I offer accountiblity, share expertise, and show you how to take the right steps, in the right order.  In addition to that support and reinforcement, you must also bring your own unshakeable belief that you were born for this, that you are the kind of person who can silence the quitter inside, take action and beat the odds. Your natural state is the opposite of fragile; nothing knocks you sideways, you overcome obstacles and achieve things that used to be impossible.

IMG_0294This is who you really are; you just had to be reminded, right? Listen to me when I tell you, YES you CAN do this!  Change your daily habits around food, exercise and your thought processes. Stop listening to the quitter inside and identify with the champion you really are. This is how you turn your vision into reality.  I cannot WAIT to see how far you go.

At the end of boot camp class tonight, my heart swelled with joy as I realized that 3 individual who are ALWAYS there have transformed completely, right before my eyes.  A combined 55 lbs were lost between them…and that is just the beginning of what is to come.  They were right where you are NOW.  Believe you CAN, and you WILL.

The photo above is of a dear friend, Allie and her dad.  This was a 2.5 mile trail run we trained and completed together last fall (I was pregnant here) and again this past October!  She crossed the finish line twice, along with 12 other individuals with Down syndrome.  They have the right mindset! They believe in themselves and trust the process to an unbelievable extent.  So much can be learned here.  I do not know what challenges you currently face, but I do know that with the right mind set, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals.  Keep pressing on!

Much Love-


References: Evolution Nutrition 12 Week Challenge; Tom Stacey

Read More

Eating Healthy When Going Out

January 13, 2016
/ /
in Blog
Comments Closed
  • As a beverage choice, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.

  • Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.

  • In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner.

  • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want.

  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.

  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.

  • Choose a small" or "medium" portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.

  • Order an item from the menu instead heading for the "all-you-can-eat" buffet.

  • If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try one of these strategies to keep from overeating:

    • Order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée.

    • Share a main dish with a friend.

    • If you can chill the extra food right away, take leftovers home in a "doggy bag."

    • When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.

    • Resign from the "clean your plate club" - when you've eaten enough, leave the rest.

  • To keep your meal moderate in calories, fat, and sugars:

    • Ask for salad dressing to be served "on the side" 
    • Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies

    • Add little or no butter to your food.

    • Choose fruits for dessert most often.

  • On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.

Read More

Clean Eating 101

January 13, 2016
/ /
in Blog

Clean Eating 101

The problem you encounter with Clean Eating is trying to create a one-size-fits-all definition, when the truth is that everyone has a different genetic makeup, not to mention nutritional science is constantly making new discoveries. This makes it hard for even the experts to agree on constitutes an ideal diet. Another problem is that everyone seems to have a different definition of what "CLEAN" actually constitutes, as a bodybuilders definition is different from the paleo definition, or the vegan definition, and the celebrity doctor definition, etc. But here I will try my best to clear this up for you.

"Eating Clean" means revamping your diet, and stripping it of nutritionally devoid foods, meaning no processed, artificially flavored, artificially sweetened, artificially colored, fatty, fried, sugary refined unnatural items, and buying WHOLE FOODS.

If you have participated in any of my online programs, you know that I believe there is room for treats/splurges in any healthy "clean" diet.  MODERATION is KEY. 

Clean Eating Is NOT a Diet

A diet is something you do for a short period of time like month or two, so you can lose weight quickly, and then return to your normal eating habits, and gain all the weight back. This up and down weight loss, is why we have coined the term, YO-YO Dieting.  This is short-term thinking, and ultimately not what will keep you happy or healthy.  Clean Eating isn’t a short-term fix, this is meant to be a lifestyle change.  If you want to be successful with eating clean, you MUST redefine your relationship with food, and continuing to improve your eating habits over time.  We are all a work in progress.

Remember progress NOT perfection.

Clean Eating is NOT Deprivation

Also, diets instruct you to eat less, but with clean eating, you can EAT MORE!  Yep, you read that right. When eating things like lean protein like chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, tofu, egg whites, Greek yogurt or Kefir etc., veggies like broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce, green beans etc., whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal, bulgur, brown rice, etc., and good fats like coconut milk & oil, almonds, avocado will keep you fuller, longer.  I LOVE FOOD and this method allows me to EAT, ENJOY and feel SATISFIED.

Clean Eating is NOT Perfection

When practicing clean eating, yes you eat healthy most of the time, but that doesn't mean 100% strict adherence.  If you really want a sweet treat that isn't part of the clean eating idea, then go for it! That doesn’t mean you fell off the wagon.  Change your mindset.  There’s this strange phenomenon, especially in the bodybuilding world, where people get obsessed with eating clean, which becomes unhealthy, and is truly unnecessary.  The key to clean eating is aiming to eat healthy most of the time, while still being flexible.

Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods, although "convenient", are usually high in chemical additives, trans-fats, too much salt and tons of refined sugars.  So the short term reward brings long term consequences of poor health and a larger waist line.  These foods are pretty much already “broken down” before you eat them, so it takes much less time to digest a french fry, then it takes to digest a baked sweet potato.  This will cause you to be hungry sooner, and leads to unhealthy cravings.  Processed foods usually have loads of sugar, but you should also stay away from item using artificial sweeteners, sodium, and preservatives that makes them quite addicting.  Try to ween yourself off of the regular chips, candy, and all other “junk food”.   As you do this, your cravings will lessen!  This takes 2-3 weeks to see the full effects.   There are healthier alternates to your favorites.  Chips, sweets and other snack foods that are made from whole, nutrient dense ingredients are ok occasionally (but are still considered treats).   Many are easy to find at your local grocery store, Whole Foods Market, or other health food store.  Tasting WHOLE, real food is so much more satisfying in comparison to eating food hiding behind a blanket of nutritionally invaluable crap. Keep in mind not all processed foods are equal. They span a spectrum ranging from minimally processed items like the bag of spinach you get at the grocery store, to heavily processed foods like the frozen fish sticks or chicken nuggets in the back of the freezer.  The closer your foods are to the minimally-processed side, the closer you are to eating clean.  This means removing refined white flour, sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, trans-fats, etc.  An increase in refined sugars equals an increase in body fat.  This is due to their affects on insulin levels and fat sensitive hormones.

This is truly just scratching the surface of "clean eating".  Start with the basics and begin eliminating the JUNK.  You will not regret it!

Read More
Copyright © 2016 Fit with Tab | Health Coach in Grand Rapids MI. Crafted by Grand Rapids Marketing and Design Studio.