It’s Tuesday and that means that Lani is dropping by to answer some of your questions! If you want to learn a little bit more about Lani, or check out her helpful advice in the comments check out this introduction post.
But first, we have a winner from last weeks giveaway! The winner (picked at random in the comments from last weeks post) is Carrie! Carrie – look for an e-mail from us!
Today’s questions are about go to snacks, good nutrition post work-out and fat in the diet. Remember, leave a comment or a question and you can enter the 2nd giveaway for one of Lani’s popular “Fit Quickies” !
Laura asks: When I come home for work, I’m STARVING and need to eat something right away. What are some things I can have on hand for healthy snacks, besides the usual fruit and carrot sticks?
Lani Muelrath: Laura, this is one of THE best questions because it points the way to the answers to so many other challenges. Fruit and carrot sticks are excellent and have their place but being limited to them can also be a carry-over from diet thinking. Where we are trying to ‘tide ourselves over’ to the next meal, save up calories, or not ‘spoil our appetites’. Meal time is when you are hungry. From that perspective, anything you would eat at any meal is game for ‘snacks’:
- Cold baked and seasoned potatoes: I like to cut rich red potatoes in half and steam them with Bragg’s herbs sprinkled on top. Great grab and travel food.
- Cold baked and seasons yams and sweet potatoes. A new favorite for all: Purple yams with creamy dreamy vanilla flesh!
- Brown rice with beans and salsa in a bowl, or simply rice with salsa. Cold is good!
- Leftover lentil with kale soup. Just threw this together: Smokey Butternut Lentil Soup
- Hummus on grainy bread. Hummus is the new mayo!
- Refried beans rolled in a corn tortilla
Somebody stop me!
Beth asks: What do we really need nutrition – wise after a work out to replenish the body? Do we really need a protein shake??? And yes I do workout hard.
Lani Muelrath: Beth, after a hard workout, the glycogen stores in your muscles and liver are depleted and what you need more than anything is to get them replenished. But you don’t need a protein shake to do it. Rather, I call it the carbohydrate window.
The muscle building – or anabolic - phase is a critical phase that occurs within about 45 a 45 minute window after your workout. This is when muscle cells are highly sensitive to insulin. Eating the proper nutrients in order to make gains in muscle endurance and strength is important during this time. Eating these same nutrient 2 – 4 hours post-exercise doesn’t have the same effect.
This is when you want to eat carbohydrate. Insulin sensitivity created upon the workload to the muscle causes the muscle cell membranes to be more permeable to glucose within this 45 minutes post-exercise window. I call it the carbohydrate window. Glycogen storage is ramped up and the muscle recovery process is enhanced. PLUS you get a lot more readily-available fuel in the muscle tank for your next workout (Burke et al., 2003).
Again, the storage of muscle glycogen is replenished the fastest within that first hour after exercise and consuming carbohydrate then is what does it. This also helps to increase protein synthesis. (Gibala, 2000). And remember most foods you eat have on a plant-strong diet have a mix of carbohydrate and protein anyway!
Lisa asks Just read an article that we need some degree of fat in our diet (added) to help absorb minerals and certain vitamins. truth or myth?
Lani Muelrath: Yes, fats in the diet are essential. Truth. Yet you easily get the 10% or so you need with a varied, whole-foods plant-strong diet. Where we get mixed up is thinking that “fats” means oil. Whole grains, vegetables (hey broccoli has omega 3s!), beans, seeds….there’s fats in them thar foods!
Thanks for the great advice Lani! Remember if you have any questions/comments please leave them in the comments (and you will be entered in the giveaway!)