One of the most common questions that I get asked as a personal trainer is what to eat pre- and post-workout. Fueling your workouts properly and eating a nutritious post-workout meal is just as important as exercising itself (especially if you want to reap the full benefits of your sweat session). Let me share with you what works best for me.
I keep my pre-workout fueling simple. Why? I’m usually not hungry when I wake up, and I tend to cramp up if I eat a big meal before I exercise. My go-to choices are a banana, half a bagel with peanut butter, or part of a granola bar.
Post-workout is when I can get creative! After I’ve finished a long run or bike ride, I love nothing more than to kick back and enjoy a delicious and refreshing smoothie bowl. I created this recipe in order to help my body recover after a hard workout. I like to call it the Strawberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl, and I think you’re going to love it, too! (more…)
Posted on August 12, 2022 by Dempsey Marks
By Team Best Life
Nothing says summer like a garden full of fresh vegetables or a farmers market bursting with juicy, in-season fruit. It’s hard to beat the taste of a just-picked sweet tomato or a fragrant strawberry. Whether you eat them plain or toss them into a favorite dish, they’re sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.
Ready to kick off the summer? Try one of our four favorite June produce picks:
Broccoli. If you grow your own in a garden, you’ll likely start to see small heads soon. For a more tender and mild taste, try to harvest the heads and leaves before they grow too large. Don’t have a green thumb? Look for small heads of broccoli at your local farmers’ market early in the season. Use them to whip up this Fresh Broccoli Salad, which makes for a healthy barbecue side dish.
Raspberries. You can get most berries year-round, but early season raspberries are especially delicious. Look for black raspberries, which are available in many parts of the country in June. In this Raspberry Pistachio Chicken, they make a tasty topping. (more…)
Posted on June 17, 2022 by Jessica Cassity
My favorite dessert started as something I didn’t even think I’d like. Friends presented a bowl with vanilla ice cream and strawberries and a dark, seemingly chocolate glaze poured over the top. But it didn’t smell like chocolate, and I knew the move was far too pedestrian for these foodies. They said it was a balsamic vinegar syrup. I loved balsamic — I mean, I could seriously drink the stuff! — but I wasn’t sure how that was going to go with dessert.
Well, I’m here to tell you it was like sky rockets in flight, after dinner delight all up in my mouth! It’s become my go-to dessert for dinner guests when I want something that appears super fancy but takes less than five minutes to prep and assemble.
Yes, fancy and five minutes in the same sentence!
This summer, I’ve decided to make my favorite dessert a bit more portable. You can’t really bob around in the pool with a big bowl of ice cream, but you can certainly float with a Strawberry Balsamic Drizzle Milkshake in your hand. Or at least I will. I won’t tell you how to spend your swim. (more…)
Posted on June 10, 2022 by Natalie K
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
My phytonutrient intake is pretty good year-round, but it skyrockets in the summer thanks to strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. That’s the time these antioxidant-packed berries are in season, and, finally, affordable!
Here’s why I love each of these berries.
Blueberries. One of nature’s most potent antioxidants—anthocyanins—give these berries their purple-blue color. They’ve been shown to help fight age-related declines in memory and cognition, plus they help keep arteries clear. They’re also delicious—plain, in a crisp, or in these ultra-healthy waffles. This recipe calls for frozen berries, but now that blueberries are in season, you can sub in fresh berries, which will be sweeter and more tender. (more…)
Posted on July 10, 2022 by BestLifeDiet
Summer and strawberries – it’s perfection really. Whether eating straight out of the pint, chopping in salads, adding to birthday cakes, or blending in smoothies, we really can’t get enough around my house. So any excuse to eat more strawberries is welcome.
And then when you pack them with cream cheese and chocolate? Well, you’ll likely cry uncle or mercy at some point.
These Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries were the first little glimmer of the budding foodie in me. I stood in the break room of my first ad agency job out of college and chatted with my boss about desserts; what specifically I can’t recall. But mashing up a piece of cheesecake, crust and all, and putting it inside strawberries was the result. That much I do remember. (more…)
Posted on June 24, 2022 by Natalie K
We really love Jenn and all the Fit Bottomed Girls, so when we learned last year that they’d be adding a third site to their sassy suite, we couldn’t help but ask if we could be a tiny part of it. FitBottomedEats.com is one of our favorite places to share our original recipes. Each month we craft a dessert, or breakfast, or entree that fits in to the lives of the easy-going, no-fuss ladies who visit there. We never make anything we wouldn’t, or don’t, eat ourselves and love that marriage of healthful and flavorful ingredients that always result in a winning recipe.
Each link will take you to the original recipe featured at FitBottomedEats.com. Be sure to tell Jenn we sent you!
Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Enchiladas
We took everything we love about the classic green chili enchilada and stuffed it in to a big ‘ole bell pepper. In ditching the carb-loaded tortillas and typical cheddar cheese, we can focus on the flavor and wholesomeness of this quick and satisfying dinner.
Better Breakfast Burrito
We stuffed a soft spinach tortilla full of everything you love at breakfast and still managed to make it healthy! We used Applegate’s breakfast sausage links, which cook in mere seconds in the microwave, scrambled an egg, chopped fresh bell peppers, and sprinkled a bit of cheese. It’ll fuel your morning without interrupting your flow. (more…)
Posted on May 30, 2022 by Natalie K
My daughter is turning three this week. As any mother can attest, I just can’t understand where the time has gone. She’s smart, sassy, full of song, and has been waiting for her birthday for months. With no prompting she has provided constant reminders of her wish for birthday hats, balloons (one of each color), and a cake (with fire on top) for months. I was happy to finally oblige with all three this weekend.
The cake, of course, is the centerpiece of any birthday party. But I’m also that mom and sugar is a rare treat in our house – birthdays being a reasonable exception. Still, I didn’t want to overload her, myself, or our guests with a sugar bomb topped with more fat and sugar in the frosting. So, I shared my vision for a fresh, homemade, but easier-on-the-sugar cake with our assistant editor and resident baker extradordinaire, Dana.
This Strawberry Lemonade Cake was a hit! It was rich and dense like a restaurant or bakery cake, but felt clean, light, and perfectly sweet. That’s because we didn’t use any butter and went light on the sugar, but made up for it with honey and fresh strawberries. (more…)
Posted on April 22, 2023 by Natalie K
If I told you that you could have big salads tossed with a creamy dressing and it would be fat free, would you believe me? Not only fat free, but extremely low calorie, fresh flavor, and maybe the best dressing you’ve ever had. Let me show you the way.
I prepare a big entree salad for dinner for my family once or twice a week. I swore off grocery store salad dressings years ago because they’re terrible, and frankly, I can whip up a vinaigrette on demand with a flavor that perfectly complements my meal. But I recently grew tired of the vinegar and oil and craved the creamier variety I used to douse my salads in. Inspiration struck.
Picking through the refrigerator, I found feta crumbles, Greek yogurt, and the strawberries and basil I usually add to vinaigrette. These were blended together, without the oil, and the sweetest pink dressing adorned our salads that night. And with that, my creamy feta dressing fixation began. (more…)
Posted on February 11, 2023 by Natalie K
My daughter and I make pancakes on Saturday or Sunday every weekend. We usually do this in our pajamas and we always make a disaster zone out of the kitchen. It’s delicious bonding time that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Except maybe chocolate. But with these pancakes, absolutely no sacrifices are made.
The two of us love chocolate, strawberries, and pancakes so it seemed that marrying these ingredients would be an exciting way to get out of our standard blueberry pancake rut. We were pleasantly surprised. She enjoyed dropping her favorite fruit in to the batter and I enjoyed indulging in something at breakfast that beat just about any dessert I’d had recently.
In this recipe, you get to have a rich, satisfying serving of chocolate without overdoing it, all the while filling up on a whole grain pancake loaded with fresh, juicy strawberries. (more…)
Posted on January 14, 2023 by Natalie K
If you’ve heard of chia seeds but are still unsure how to use them, this is the recipe for you. It’s a simple, 3-ingredient strawberry jam that’s so easy a kid could make it! Plus, it can be modified to suit your taste in just about every way, be it with different fruits or making it extra sweet, thick or thin.
I whipped this batch up one night last week and couldn’t wait to dig into it the next morning over some whole wheat toast. The result was perfect – thick, subtly sweet and not too tart. Plus, the chia seeds provided a subtle crunch and creamy thickness that I just adored. That’s the power of chia seeds – they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, lending themselves perfectly to this jam.
Posted on November 26, 2022 by Dana
The 2023 Olympic Games are fast approaching and we’ve dished out just about every ounce of inspiration we have for the upcoming event.
You’ve seen our top picks for the most enviable Olympic bodies, delicious smoothie recipes straight from the Olympic kitchen, and even insight into your favorite athletes’ diet and training regimens. But, we have one more trick up our sleeve before the games arrive in the form of a healthy and delicious recipe that will ‘wow’ your guests at all of your Olympic-themed parties.
Posted on July 25, 2022 by Dana