This whole eating clean thing has been pretty easy all week. But now the weekend arrives and you’re about to partake in one of the best fall pastimes Oklahoma has to offer. You’re heading to a tailgate for your favorite Oklahoma football team. Here are a few simple tips so you can enjoy the tailgate and not derail all of the hard work you’ve put in the previous week.
Never Arrive Hungry – Showing up to a tailgate with an empty belly only spells disaster. I know it sounds counterintuitive but if you fill up with a healthy snack before you leave the house you’ll be far less likely to over indulge in the beautiful glorious junk at the tailgate that will ultimately make you FEEL junkie. So make sure you eat a snake that contains a protein and a complex carbohydrate before leaving the house. Something like turkey and a whole grain cracker or a protein shake like Shakeology with fruit blended in.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – You’re at a tailgate. You and I both know you’re likely to indulge in an adult beverage or two. Make sure to alternate water with your beer, wine, or cocktail. This will cut down on alcohol consumption and empty calorie intake as well as keep you hydrated. Besides no one like that sloppy fan.
Focus on Lean Protein – God bless a good tailgate that offers delicious protein packed foods such as lean beef, poultry, and beans. Try to avoid the refined carbs that go along with those proteins such as the white buns. And don’t be fooled by imposters like the processed meats such as hotdogs and cold cuts.
BYOV – Tailgates are not really known for their wide range of vegetable selections. So Bring Your Own Veggies.You can disguise your veggies as a delightful salad side dish like this Classic Cucumber & Tomato Salad from Skinny Ms. Since most people steer away from the veggies anyway, there’ll be plenty left for you to fill up on.
Pick Your Favorite – You’ve done so well with sticking to your plan and then… the desserts get rolled out. If you MUST have a sweet, there’s really no need to sample all of them. Zero in on your favorite of the options and allow yourself to indulge in one.
Good! You’ve navigated your way through the tailgate. Now go cheer on your team and burn some calories with all that jumping, screaming, and high-fiving.
If you’re anything like me, you graciously enjoy the 5AM drive to the gym each morning for a little “me time” while the rest of your family sleeps. But hectic schedules filled with work, family, and errands make meal planning difficult. So the hard work put in at the gym is thrown away with less than ideal food you choke down throughout the day out of convenience rather than nutritional value or even taste.
That’s how protein smoothies became my savior. They are easy and help to meet your nutritional needs in only 5 minutes. Better yet, getting the right mix of protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of a workout or race can help with and replenish glycogen stores to help shake that tired, zombie feeling.
My favorite smoothie right now is a chocolate, strawberry, banana concoction. I like to think the strawberries are helping with inflammation of my sore muscles, but really I just love chocolate and strawberries together. I find that drinking one of these after my intense workouts prevents me from becoming ravenous a few hours later and regretfully finishing off whatever snacks or junk food I can find.
In a blender, mix the following together until smooth:
1 scoop of protein powder
2 oz almond milk
2 oz chocolate milk (for an extra chocolate flavor, otherwise you can use just almond milk)
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup of ice
In addition to a smoothie like this, it’s important to drink plenty of water after your workout. I personally aim for drinking at least 8 to 16 oz right after my workout.
It’s Friday! Many runners are not only happy that it’s the end of the work week but excited that tomorrow is long run day. Yay! If you have a long run planned this weekend then you may already be planning your fuel. The general rule of thumb when running for longer than an hour is to intake 30 – 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. The options are endless for mid run fuel such as gels, goos, and gummies. However, the taste of energy snacks can be less than desirable or can just plain upset your stomach. Below are whole food options for your mid run snacks that pack plenty of carbs and a delicious flavor that you don’t have to be on a run to enjoy.
Dates – Dates can pack a lot of sugar into a small package. If you have trouble eating while running and need to pack as much whole food sugar into as small a package as possible, give these a try. 1/2 cup, 207 calories, 50 grams carbs
Fig Newtons — These cookies have just as much sugar as dried fruits but not as much fiber and may then be easier for your GI Track to handle. 2 cookies, 198 calories, 40 grams carbs
Raisins— A small box of raisins are easy to find at any local grocery store. They come in their own small, travel size box ready to go. No prep work needed so it’s a nice, no brainer option. One small box, 123 calories, 33 grams carbs
Squeezable Fruit – There is a recent craze of squeezable fruit pouches. They can be found in the baby food isle as well as the canned fruit isle of your local grocery store. The beauty is that there are so many options to choose from, they are portable, easy to consume. If you have extra time on your hands, another option is to create your own using fillable squeeze pouches. For example, using a mushed banana in the pouch then freezing prior to your run gives you a chilly snack for a hot day. 1 large banana,121 calories, 31 grams carbs
TrailMix – You have to be very careful about this one because you don’t want a mix that is heavily comprised of nuts that can weigh you down or wreck havoc on your GI track. A personal favorite happens to be the basic mix that has yummy salted peanuts to aid with hydrations and plenty of raisins and candy coated chocolate for a carbohydrate rich boost for your muscles. 1oz, 140 calories, 13 grams carbs