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Fueling up

January 24, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
On the days I hit the gym, I have to get up earlier than usual and don’t leave myself much time before I leave the house. Because of this, I didn’t usually eat or drink anything, except the water I sipped during my workout, until I got to my office as much as three hours later. I was concerned that having something in my stomach might make me sick or nauseous while I was on the treadmill or doing ab crunches. It didn’t dawn on me that my body needed some type of fuel after the night’s fast, just to get me through the workout. I've learned differently since then, and now try to have something before I leave the house.

My morning snack choices are based on how well they will stay with me through the workout. Simple sugars, such as juice or pastries, could soar through my bloodstream like a rocket, giving me an initial boost but then just as quickly, my energy level would plummet. What I needed was a complex carbohydrate that would take a while to run through my bloodstream. In addition, a small snack would likely keep my energy on an even keel, at least through my workout and until I could get to my breakfast. It would be easy to incorporate just about anything I chose into my daily allowances on the my.pyramid program. Some choices could be a small mixed fruit smoothie with extra protein power tossed in and a small handful of nuts, or a banana or a bunch of grapes with walnuts or raw almonds. I realized I might have to get up 10 minutes or so earlier to prepare my pre-workout fuel, but it has made a huge difference in how I feel during my time at the gym.

Today I began the day with toast and peanut butter. It was at least 40 minutes from the time I had the snack until I began my workout, including my drive to the gym.

After my workout, I was ready for breakfast, so once at my office, I prepared my usual breakfast of oatmeal and fruit with tea.

Even with the extra fuel in the early morning, I was hungry by lunch. Today’s menu included egg salad on whole wheat bread with a slice of provolone cheese and several romaine lettuce leaves, as well as a bowl of low sodium canned garden vegetable soup. I found that after eating half the sandwich I was satisfied, so I saved the other half for my afternoon snack.

By mid afternoon, I knew I hadn't yet had any dairy and wanted to supplement my half-sandwich with milk. Since Subway is within walking distance from the Niles office, I was able to get a small bottle of 1- percent milk from their cooler.

Chicken was on the menu for dinner. I made mozzerella chicken with whole wheat penne pasta and fat free cheese. My chicken recipe includes dredging boneless, skinless chicken breasts in flour, then dipping them in egg whites and finally coating them with commercially packaged potato buds. I use a digital thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature while the chicken slowly browns in 2 teaspoons olive oil. Keep the stove at medium heat and if the chicken starts to brown too quickly, turn down the heat. When the chicken reaches 150 degrees internally, I top each piece with shredded mozzerella cheese and pour my favorite spaghetti sauce into the pan. In this case, I used a commercially jarred sauce. I let it summer until the sauce is heated through and the chicken’s temperature reaches 165 degrees. My side dish was a tossed salad with olive oil Italian dressing. I may not have gotten enough dairy today, but after that carton of milk with my snack, I wasn’t in the mood for milk, so I just had water.


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Pre-workout snack: 1 grain, 1ounce meat or beans (peanut butter)