We know that your time is precious. That is why we want to help you get the most out of your time at the gym (or wherever you train!). You have made the decision that you’re going to do this, that this Is It, you are going to get healthy and have a body that you can be proud of.
Food is the fuel for your body; and the proper fuel is what will give your body the energy that it needs to get through a great workout and towards that dream body.
To be most effective, a great pre-workout meal or snack must have a balance of protein and carbohydrates. Eating this combination will stimulate a release of insulin therefore increasing muscle retention and growth (your muscles with get tighter and more shapely).
Carbohydrates (otherwise referred to as ‘carbs’) are your body’s preferred source of energy. Essentially, they are the “gas” that your body needs to run efficiently! However, not all carbs are created equal. You want quality fuel for the best performance (and the best results). When it comes to pre-workout, you want every gram of carbs you take in utilized for immediate energy or to restore glycogen levels.
Tips to keep in mind:
Choose quality carbs that are clean and unprocessed
Don’t eat more than you need!
Mix a “simple” carb with a “complex” carb – for that quick energy & glycogen replacement
Take in your meal or snack 1-2 hours before you hit the gym
Protein is the building block of life! It helps build muscle, supports enzyme function, hormone balance and neurotransmitters. You’ll want to choose a protein that is fast absorbing.
Don’t forget to throw in a little fat! Wait, did they say FAT?? Yes, good fats help slow digestion and helps maintain your glucose and insulin levels to stay on an even keel. They also will help you to feel more full longer. Yay!
Here are some suggestions for snacks that fit this criteria:
Ezekiel toast with peanut/almond butter and banana
Low fat yogurt and trail mix
Old fashioned oatmeal, fruit and cottage cheese
Protein smoothie (shoot for 10-20 grams of protein) with fruit
Apple and peanut/almond butter or low fat cheese stick
Play around with it! Eat a snack & track how you feel to find the right fit for Your body
This popular detox book notes that cells are simple. All they want is good food, conversation with other cells, and a clean house. “Most sick people become toxic because poisonous metabolic waste is being recycled back into their cells instead of being removed.”
Do some research before starting a detox and find out which method suits your needs best. And consult a physician before starting a detox if you have any health issues.
For some healthy foods to incorporate into your detox diet, check out these super cleansing snacks that are sure to leave you feeling your best.
Pop some asparagus on the grill this summer and feel the almost instant cleansing effects. This speared vegetable is full of amino acids and minerals that protect your liver and cells against toxins. Often considered a vital ingredient in miracle hangover cures, asparagus is also a natural diuretic and aids in liver drainage, which is essential to clearing toxins from the body.
This leafy vegetable is a detox staple. Artichokes up your liver’s production of cynarin, the key to bile creation, which helps to break down foods and makes them easier for your liver to filter through. Artichokes have also been know to support healthy gallbladder function and are a great source of fiber, which is essential to keeping your body healthy during a cleanse.
Slice up whole lemons and drop them into your water during your detox. This citrus stunner is not only a powerful antioxidant, it has a compound in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes, making them water-soluble and easier to flush out of your system. Plus, lemon’s sweet but sour taste makes water super drinkable, which helps you down that two quarts a day during your detox with ease.
Turmeric has long been used in India as a delicious spice and miracle medicine for almost any ailment. Think you’ve never heard of it before? Chances are you’d recognize this spice as the oranging agent in curry. But it’s not necessarily turmeric that’s going to cleanse your system, it’s what’s inside: curcumin. Curcumin is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that many consider better than medication, and without any negative side effects.
I’m pretty sure what Michael Jackson really meant was “just beet it.” This fiber-filled root is a blood purifier, liver cleanser, and can boost your cellular intake of oxygen. That last quality is what makes beets a true detox superstar. Many detox foods round toxins up, but don’t 100 percent get them out of your system. Beets support the total eradication of toxins, so you don’t end up trying to take one step forward and ending up two steps back.
There are multiple ways to get ginger in your system as you detox. Use it as a spice, chew on the root or add it to your water. Whatever method you prefer, don’t skimp on this disease-fighting food. Ginger can help spike your metabolism and flush waste.
Similar to beets, cabbage helps make sure that toxins fully leave your body during a detox, except this leafy food does it by motivating your bowels. Cabbage also helps cleanse your liver and boosts DNA cell repair, while being a great source of fiber. I’d probably leave out the corned beef and mashed potatoes for now, but try a crisp cabbage salad with walnuts and apples instead!
Besides keeping vampires away, garlic keeps the doctor away too! A great antioxidant, garlic is known to boost your immune system and help heal the body, making it ideal for nourishing your frame during and after your detox. The body also won’t develop a tolerance to garlic, so it’s just as effective healing your body whether you use it once a month, or every day. All the more reason to include this flavorful bulb in every dish.
The benefits from avocados are endless. Packed with antioxidants, this fatty fruit supports healthy cholesterol levels and can dilate blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxins, promoting healthy circulation. Avocados also contain glutathione, which has been found to block at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the liver detox synthetic chemicals. So whip up some guacamole and make avocados a daily food habit.
This delicious nutty snack is a huge source of vitamin E, a natural liver cleanser that helps to break down fatty deposits and remove impurities from the bowels. If that isn’t enough to convince you, almonds are also high in fiber, calcium, magnesium and useable protein, which can help stabilize your blood sugar, an essential tool when doing a detox diet.
Some honorable mentions that we couldn’t fit onto this list include:
white and green teas
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