Training takes time and energy. And sometimes I have to wedge my training between the responsibilities of life, meaning I don't always have time to come home after a workout and prepare a perfect recovery meal. I, and likely others, find myself turning to quick convenience foods from time to time. Convenience foods do not have to be the enemy. There are some great quick snacks and refueling options for those busy folks who want to put real food in their bodies. Here are a few of my new favorite things...
KIND Bars: Oh my goodness, I have become addicted to these! My favorite flavors are the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew and Almond and Apricot. But there are a few new flavors that I am dying to try, including Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan. If you read the ingredient label on a KIND bar, you can pronounce and identify each and every ingredient, which is like, DUH, in my opinion. They taste wonderful, not too sweet, and not artificial at all, meaning no weird aftertaste like you sometimes find with over-sweetened granola bars. I will grab one of these for a pre-swim snack, or I will throw one in my bag for a post-workout pick-me-up.
Coco Cafe: This is my new guilty pleasure, only I don't have to feel guilty at all when I drink one! What is contained within one wonderful little box of tastiness is coconut water, a shot of espresso, and some low-fat milk. It's just the right amount of yumminess post-workout, and has become part of my after-swim routine. And while I don't know if I truly buy all the hype about coconut water being more hydrating than anything else on the planet at the given time, I know that drinking one of these little babies feels a bit decadent and naughty. But it's not at all. It has protein, it hydrates, and it caffeinates! If you love coffee like I do, this is the jackpot.
Chocolate Almond Milk: This stuff tastes like liquid chocolate ice cream, plain and simple. A small glass after a hard run or a bike ride gives me an instant boost and tides me over while I prepare a proper post-workout meal. It's got calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, it is gluten free, cholesterol free, and dairy free. And it is also excellent poured on a bowl of homemade granola - talk about decadent!
Greek yogurt: People either love it or hate it. I am in the "love it" club when it comes to Greek yogurt. I love its consistency and texture, I love its taste, and I love that it has a good ton of protein. It is good mixed with fresh fruit of all varieties, it is good on top of my homemade granola, and it is good as a substitute for sour cream and for using in baking. When I eat regular yogurt anymore, I am almost disappointed in its wimpiness.
These are a few of my favorite easy foods that I turn to in a pinch. They hydrate, fuel, energize, and don't make me feel too guilty about having a sweet treat.
What are your favorite good for you "fast" foods?
****I am not a nutritionist, a dietician, or a food expert of any type, kind, or sort. These are the things that I have found for pre- and post-workout fuel and recovery that work for me on the go and in a pinch. I always advocate eating your fruits and veggies, and taking the time to cook well-balanced meals for yourself and your family.