[Editor’s note: Tonight is my LAST DAY OF BIOCHEM! Once I take the final, I’m done (until graduate-level courses.) Biochem was by far the hardest prerequisite class I had to take (but I’m weird and actually liked/did well in Ochem). After tonight, I’ll have a 1.5 week break until my first summer class starts (Human Anatomy & Physiology II.) You can probably guess what I have planned every night for the next week and a half: wine + margaritas! 🙂 I’ll be back on Friday with a fun “Just a Pinch of…” post. Until then, have a great week!) ]
Twice a week, I am up at the crack of dawn to teach spinning at Biker Barre. Literally at the crack of dawn – my first alarm goes off at 4:45AM and my second goes off at 5:00AM. It took about a month to get used to my new schedule, especially when it came time to eating breakfast! As someone who can’t go a morning without breakfast, especially before I work out, I had to find the perfect balance between light, easy to grab, and nutritious.
Bowls of cereal and milk, or oatmeal and milk, are too heavy to eat right before I lead an intense workout and honestly, they take too long to prepare. When I’m a zombie, I just want something I can grab and go. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are my favorite quick and on-the-go, breakfast recommendations:
Oh, bananas. Probably my favorite food of all time (except for macaroni and cheese.) It’s the fruit I will always crave, and it tastes so good in frozen treats! Bananas are packed with potassium, which is essential for muscle recovery. By eating a banana before your workout, you will boost your potassium levels. The extra storage of potassium will help replenish the potassium that is lost when you sweat. Low potassium levels can lead to muscle cramping and fatigue – not fun!
2. nut butter
I love grabbing a 1.5 oz packet of Justin’s Almond Butter and eating it in the car. With 7g of protein in one packet, this keeps me satiated for just the right amount of time.
3. dry cereal in a baggie
A few years ago when I was marathon training, (← it’s been a hot second!) I learned that my body responded well to dry cereal on my long runs. Since then, when I’m in a pinch, I’ll prep a small baggie of Kashi’s GoLean Cereal to munch on in the car.
4. hard-boiled eggs
Eggs are easy to prep the night before. Simply boil the eggs (remembering to immediately place them in cold water after they’re done – you want to stop the cooking process so they don’t get super hard.) Once cool, peel and throw the eggs in a baggie with some salt/pepper and…violá! A typical medium-sized egg has about 6g of protein in it; again, the perfect amount of food to prepare me for my workout.
5. oatmeal bar
There are tons of recipes all over the internet for DIY oatmeal bars. I recommend trying to make your own and skipping the store-bought options for two reasons. First, it’s fun! You get to choose what you want to add to your bars. If you’re like me and don’t like raisins – skip ’em! Plus, you’re likely to add a lot less sugar if you make them yourself.
Second, when you choose what to add to your bars, you know exactly what you’re eating. Making our own food is the best strategy for getting a handle on what we’re putting in to our bodies.
I suggest looking for any recipes that have oats, nutbutters, chopped nuts, etc. The nuts/nutbutters are full of healthy fats/protein and the oats are a great source of fiber.
-Do you eat breakfast in the morning?
-Do you prefer working out in the morning or evening?
-What are your favorite pre-workout snacks?