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20 Healthy Pre and Post Workout Snacks You Should Try

20 Healthy Pre and Post Workout Snacks You Should Try

After a peaceful night’s sleep, the first thing you want in the morning is a plate of warm toast with butter and a sunny side up. Many of us rummage the fridge for food, trying to think of what to eat! If you happen to hit the gym early in the morning, you have to plan your breakfast beforehand. It is not a good idea to have a filling breakfast before you start exercising, but you can always have an energy bar. It is important that you eat only healthy snacks and not just anything that fills your stomach.

Stock up your fridge with chicken or tuna sandwiches, soups, salads, kale chips (low calorie), dips and homemade tortillas, and a packet of walnuts and almonds. This will prevent the early morning rush and the lazy tendency to skip breakfast. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you shouldn’t skip it altogether. Divide your breakfast into pre-gym meal and post-gym meal.

Pre-Workout Snacks

These snacks shouldn’t be too heavy on the stomach. Opt for light and healthy options that will give you energy. If you like to try new foods every day, you will be surprised to find several options! Here are some examples.

1. Yogurt Parfait

This is a very delicious snack you can have anytime. Yogurt is rich in calcium, which is great for your bones. You can add seasonal fruits and granola. Fruits and granola will give you the necessary dietary fiber and vitamins.

2. Oats

It is the healthiest cereal to begin the day with! You can have it like porridge or just combine dry, steel-cut oats with dry fruits and have it before you start to work out.

3. A Berry Shake

Blend a cup of frozen berries and ice and make your own fruit shake! It is yummy and will give you instant energy.

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Blueberry Smoothie

    4. Eggs and Toast

    This classic combination is light on the stomach and a great way to begin the day.

    5. Waffles

    You can spread some maple or strawberry syrup on the waffles, before you munch on them. The waffles are light and yummy; the taste will simply linger in the mouth!

    6. Wheat Pasta

    Always select wheat pasta because it is low in gluten. You can have it with both red or white sauce and your favorite vegetables. Make sure that the white sauce is low fat; otherwise the pasta will become heavy on the stomach.

    7. Chocolate Muffin

    If you are a great fan of baked products, then muffins are a great choice for you. The chocolate muffin is an instant mood lifter. To make muffins a really healthy snack, you can make them with multigrain wheat instead of plain flour. This will make the muffin high on dietary fiber and low in gluten.

    8. Salad

    Combine shredded fresh lettuce with steamed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cucumber or some lightly pickled zucchini, feta cheese, and avocado. Season it with just salt, pepper, a dash of lemon juice and a light sprinkle of olive oil.You can add some dry fruits and nuts to add to the crunch.

    9. Apples

    Apples are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and are a great source of Vitamin C and E. You can have apple slices with peanut butter or just munch on a whole apple. You can go for these options if you love apples. Similarly you can try a cup of sliced bananas, cantaloupe and oranges.

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    Berry

      10. Corn Tortillas or Kale Chips with Mexican dip

      Opt for the baked kale chips and corn tortillas, which is less fattening. You can make the tortillas at home or purchase them. Make some homemade dip from low fat mayonnaise and chili flakes for a spicy kick! You can add some jalapeno also. You can also have the tortillas with spicy hummus dip. For a healthier option, cut vegetables like carrots and beans, steam them slightly and have it with hummus.

       

      Post-Workout Snacks

      The whole purpose of exercise is to build muscle strength. After an hour of grueling routine, you need to refuel yourself. To get maximum benefits from work out, you need to eat properly. Follow these simple eating tips to stay fit. The food needs to fill your stomach! Here are some yummy snacks that are easy to make.

      11. Avocado Filled With Cottage Cheese

      Remove the seed from the avocado and fill it with cottage cheese. Avocadoes are fortified with 19 essential amino acids, carotenoids, Vitamin C and E, Selenium, Zinc and phytoserols. You can experiment with many avocado-based snacks like chilled avocado soup, crab avocado quesadillas, tomato and avocado toasts, and eggs baked in avocado.

      Avacados and eggs

        Image credit: Steven Guzzardi

        12. Pita Bread and Hummus

        Hummus is made of chickpeas and it goes really well with pita bread. It adds variety to your normal post-gym meal

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        13. Chicken Hash

        Combine diced chicken, butternut squash and apples and roast it in olive. Season with salt and pepper. Make a big bowl of chicken hash and store it in the fridge.

        14. Scrambled Eggs

        Use 2–3 eggs to make your scrambled eggs and spice them up with onion and bell peppers. You can have it a sandwich as well—just use multigrain or brown bread.

        15. Spinach Smoothie

        Spinach is the biggest source of veg proteins. Combine spinach with vanilla flavored yogurt, almond milk and banana to make a thick green smoothie. It is a great way to relax post workout.

        16. Pancakes with Maple Syrup

        Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries

          Image credit: Whitney

          Make a batter with rice flour or plain flour, eggs, milk, low fat butter, baking powder, vanilla essence, powdered sugar and pinch of salt. Grease a non-stick frying pan with a pat of butter and sprinkle some water on it. If the water starts jumping from the pan with a sizzle, then give the batter. Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter on the greased pan. Cook for two minutes until the pancake is golden in colour. You can add variety by adding dry fruits and candies to the batter. Have it with maple syrup or chocolate sauce. The pancakes will give you the necessary energy post workout.

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          17. Quinoa and Chicken Mix

          Take some boneless chicken pieces and smear them in salt and pepper. Now heat some olive oil in the pan and sear it. When the chicken cools down to room temperature dice it. Cook the quinoa and vegetables separately. Now blend quinoa, vegetables and diced chicken. Your high-protein snack is ready!

          18. Soy Nuggets

          Soybean is the richest source of plant protein. Take some soy granules and soak them in water for say, two hours. When the granules become soft, squeeze out the water from the granules and place the soaked nuggets in a separate bowl. Now add salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom powder, chopped green chilies and red chili powder (if you like it really spicy), and chopped garlic, cilantro and onions. Cover the bowl with a foil or cling wrap and let it sit for half an hour. Beat one egg and spread some breadcrumbs on a newspaper or a flat plate. Take some soy mixture on your palm and make a ball, then flatten the top using slight pressure. Dip it in egg and then roll it in the breadcrumbs and shallow fry it till golden brown. After frying place it on tissue paper to soak the extra oil. Serve it piping hot with ketchup.

          19. Minty Pea Dip with Pretzel Chips

          Good pretzel chips are readily available. All you need to make is the pea dip. Mash the frozen peas after steaming them slightly into a butter smooth consistency. Now add some chopped mint leaves for a more refreshing taste. You can store the dip in the fridge and use it later.

          20. Tuna Salad on Bagel

          Add some low-fat mayonnaise on tuna. Then add chopped garlic, onions, green chilies, and cilantro and blend it well. Spread some goat cheese on the bagel and then the tuna spread and simply enjoy!

           

          Mentioned above are some options you can try, or you can create your own innovative breakfast and snack menus. If you are leaving for work just after a gym session, then you need to stock your office drawers with tidbits like choco tropical trail mix, crackers, protein or granola bars, muffins and cakes. Always carry a bottle of protein shake with you. Nowadays, you can find many health bars offering different types of energy drinks, so you can try those too!

          You need carbohydrates before you start a work out. The trick is to have a blend of complex and simple carbs, so that the release of energy is slow and steady. Always keep yourself hydrated; try to drink 16–20 ounces of water 1–2 hours before you start workout. You can also sip sports drinks during your workout. Whatever you eat before exercise gets stored in the body as glycogen and it fuels your intense two-hour workouts. Here’s to wishing all my readers that you always stay healthy and strong!

          Featured photo credit: Healthy Snacks via shutterstock.com

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          Last Updated on January 15, 2019

          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

          Listen carefully:

          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

          1. Pray Daily

          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

          3. Smile Often

          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

          4. Organize Your Working Desk

          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

          How do you do that? This is my formula:

          First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

          8. Go Exercise

          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

          The Bottom Line

          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

          More Resources About Mindfulness

          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

          Reference

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