By Nikki Burnett, CC Yogi and nutritionist and owner of Taste Life Nutrition.
Food can be the safest, most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
I’ve been searching for years to find the perfect foods to eat before my workouts. As a nutritionist, one of the most important misconceptions about exercise is the thought that there is a necessity to “carb up” before a work out. In my professional opinion, this has created a lot of damage and blood sugar issues for the novice and pro alike when the best carbs actually come in the form of vegetables and fruits.
Another important fuel for the body before a workout, and in life is fat, that’s right,healthy, full fat. Not all fat is created equally, which is a whole separate blog post, but let’s hit the highlights.
1. Pastured eggs, cooked in coconut oil with veggies such as multi colored sweet bell peppers. This is a great option as it incorporates a healthy, complete protein, health fats and healthy carbohydrates. It may also be worth boiling eggs to keep in the fridge for days when you’re in a hurry. In the picture below, the peppers were smoked in our smoker which added amazing flavor to the dish! The softer the yolk, the more nutrition you receive. Most times, I cook the white and leave the yolk raw.
2. Protein shake – coconut water, coconut milk, 100% grass fed whey protein, spinach. This is a fun one to play with. You can add different spices – think pumpkin pie spice with organic pumpkin, macha, or raw cocoa nibs (very high in antioxidants!). You can also add different types of greens. If necessary, you may consider adding a little banana for sweetness but it you have blood sugar issues, keep it to a minimum.
3. Veggies and homemade hummus. You can purchase some good quality hummus at the grocery store but you want to be sure to check the ingredients. Canola oil is not a healthy oil and should be avoided at all costs. Many commercial products use canola oil as a cheap alternative to olive oil. It claims to be “heart healthy” but in fact, it is highly inflammatory…far from heart healthy. A little money saving tip – instead of tahini, I use broth. I was out of my homemade bone broth so I bought store bought bone broth. This increases healthy nutrients and saves on cost as tahini can be quite expensive.
4. Smoothie. This is one of the easiest and best ways to increase the amount of veggies in your diet. A small amount of fruit is ok to sweeten a bit but focus on berries. You may also add a scoop of 100% grass fed whey protein. All of the veggies left over from the veggies and hummus can be used in your smoothie!
5. I’ve come to love the beef and buffalo jerky that is now carried in most of the health food stores. Be sure to read the ingredients and of course, only purchase 100% grass fed jerkies. They are quick and easy and great for a pre-yoga snack!
And lastly for a little more info about proteins and protein powders – they are not created equally.
If possible, find a practitioner that has accounts with professional companies. Many of these companies have standards that far surpass those of mainstream companies found at retail stores.
If tolerated, 100% grass fed whey protein is far superior to any other protein. What’s important to remember is in order to get the most out of your protein, with no toxicity, a grass fed/grass finished whey protein is best. Always keep an eye on sugars, keep them low and stay far away from synthetic sweeteners. Acceptable sweeteners include stevia, xylitol, luo han guo fruit extract, and coconut sugar. Very small amounts of fructose can be acceptable but it can raise blood sugar significantly so keep it to a minimum.
Nikki Burnett, CC Yogi and nutritionist of Taste Life Nutrition. “I love food! I also love life! Without food, there is no life. For this reason, I named my company Taste Life Nutrition. A favorite quote of mine by Ann Wigmore is, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”. It is critical to be aware of your body’s needs and understand what you eat impacts every part of your life.
I am a nutritionist that earned a Master of Nutrition and Master of Science degrees and have worked in health, wellness and medical fields for almost 15 years. My passion is natural health and wellness. Through my professional and educational experiences, I gained a high level of understanding regarding the science behind nutrition and the intricacies related to biochemical individuality. I am also the nutritionist for www.lifestylesocial.com.
Health is a very individualized condition. No two people are alike; even in the same family. Factors that play a part in your health include lifestyle, environment, eating habits, exercise, stress, toxic burden and genetics. In order to understand your body’s needs, it is necessary to understand, as best as possible, all of these factors.
My #1 objective is to positively impact the lives of those I come in contact with. Food can be fun and healthy. Understanding this is the first step toward a healthy relationship with food and enjoying a healthy, food filled life.
If you would like to contact me directly my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone: 303-929-8926.