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things I like to eat after a workout (for your health)


I’ve started to get back into a steady running, yoga + a workout routine lately. Spring/new warmth just brings that whole personal betterment strategy to the forefront for all of us I think. I found myself running on a path near my house recently when I encountered another runner, this lady of about 60-something with a dope ninja-style headband on. I see this woman running by our house all the time and dang if she isn’t IN SHAPE. Definitely one of those badass older ladies that sets the example for graceful aging. Anyway, we were running towards each other and as she passed me by, she looked up, smiled at me so genuinely and waved hello. It was such a simple point of contact, but I felt so great afterward, like she had given me a little fist bump and shot me an “eff yeah!” or something (just imagine the sweetest older lady doing that). I always feel a bit rocky when I get back into running, but that simple gesture made the shakiness just fine.

Other things that have been helping: snacks. You knew that was coming. When I was studying nutrition in culinary school, I learned that my tendency to eat everything in sight after some physical exertion wasn’t the most sound strategy (weird, right?!?). Needless to say, there are some things that need to be taken care of to help your body recover and thrive with a set workout routine. I’ll point out that I’m not like, a fitness expert or anything (I had to ask my man what “beast mode” meant the other day…). I can tell you that after I get sweaty, I want some wholesome carbs (sweet potatoes, fruit, whole/sprouted grains), clean + easily assimilated protein (hemp, legumes, plant-based protein powder, spirulina, soaked nuts + seeds) and mega hydration (fruit again, coconut water, chia seeds, herbal tea). These 4 snacks, generally paired with a non-caffeinated + unsweetened drink (like water or iced rooibos tea), hit all of those marks for me and keep me bright in that amazing exercise contact-high.

So there’s that! I have two sweet recipes and two on the savoury end. Most of these are super quick to rig up if you have the ingredients ready to go. There’s a blackberry smoothie filled out with coconut water, a little protein boost and a healthy squeeze of lime. The chocolate chia bowl needs an overnight rest, but leaves you set for 4ish solid servings of decadent recovery snacking bliss–easily my fave of the bunch. I wrote about some chia seed benefits here if you’re into that. Also, if you have weirdness about chia texture, the crunchy granola on top completely banishes any sort of tapioca vibe, I swear. The loaded sweet potato incorporates some smoky-crunchy roasted chickpeas and fresh chives. This is something you would catch me eating with frequency throughout the week-just a bunch of good things tossed together. Lastly, there’s my favourite variation on avocado toast, all protein and omega boosted with hulled hemp seeds and flavour-maxed with lemon and nutritional yeast. Let’s get pumped! :)

1. blackberry, vanilla + lime smoothie w/ coconut water
serves: 1
notes: If you don’t vibe on protein powder, you could always throw 1-2 tbsp of hemp seeds or a scoop of almond butter in here to boost it a little.

1 cup coconut water (C20 brand is my fave)
juice of 1 lime
splash of vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blackberries
couple pieces of frozen banana
knob of extra virgin coconut oil
1 scoop of protein powder (I like Vega One or Sunwarrior brands, both in vanilla flavour)

Combine everything in a blender pitcher and blend on high for a minute or so, or until you’ve achieved a texture that you like.


2. chocolate chia granola bowl

serves: 3-4
notes: If you aren’t into chocolate, you can always make raspberry + vanilla chia pudding, just a thought :)

chocolate chia pudding:
heaped 1/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened milk of your choice (almond, coconut, goat etc)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp – 1/4 cup maple syrup (depends on your sweetness preference)
pinch of sea salt

to serve:
sliced/whole berries
wholesome/non-junky granola (may I humbly suggest this recipe?)
cacao nibs

The night before, whisk together the chia seeds, milk, vanilla, cacao powder, maple syrup and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and set it in the fridge overnight to thicken up.

When ready to eat, stir the chia pudding up a bit and portion it into a bowl. Top with granola, berries and cacao nibs.


3. sweet potato w/ brown rice, chives, crispy smoky chickpeas + almonds

serves: 1
notes: I love to batch-cook brown basmati rice and sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week, just so that snacks/meals like this are always within reach. A nice dollop of plain yogurt (coconut, goat, cow, whatever-based) would be great on top of this too.

1 sweet potato
cooked chickpeas
oil of your choice
smoked paprika
salt + pepper
1/3-1/2 cup cooked brown basmati rice
6-7 almonds, chopped
3-4 blades of chives, ripped up

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pierce the sweet potato a couple times with a fork, wrap it extra good in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, toss the chickpeas in enough oil to coat, salt + pepper to taste and a little smoked paprika. Spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Set aside to cool.

To serve: Split open the sweet potato and season the flesh with salt + pepper. Place the cooked rice, some of the chickpeas and chopped almonds on top/inside. Garnish with the chives and an extra sprinkle of smoked paprika.

4. my fave avocado toast
serves: 1
notes: There’s a lot of toppings here, but it’s worth it. This is all stuff I seem to have on hand, but feel free to switch up acidic components, nuts/seeds etc. The bread is crucial though. It’s literally the crutch upon which the entire enjoyment of this snack stands. Choose wisely :)

1 fair-sized piece of whole grain/sprouted grain bread (about the span of my outstretched hand is an amount that feels right to me)
1/2 a ripe avocado, peeled + sliced
salt + pepper
1-2 tsp nutritional yeast
squeeze of lemon
1-2 tbsp hulled hemp seeds (as much as you can handle)
good balsamic vinegar/reduction

Toast the bread to your liking.

Spread the avocado slices across the bread. Season the avocado with salt, pepper + nutritional yeast. Mash it into the bread with a fork. Squeeze a bit of lemon on top and mash the avocado one more time with the fork.

Dribble some balsamic vinegar/reduction/glaze on top of the mashed avocado. Top with the hemp seeds and enjoy.

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Sarah01/05/2013 - 5:04 am

Gorgeous post and recipes! During my marathon training last year, I got into taking chia seeds (soaked in water and lemon juice) on long runs. It actually worked really well! I think I would still gobble cookies afterwards though….. So, I will have to try out these options.

Jenny @ BAKE01/05/2013 - 5:59 am

what a great group of recipes! I loved the story of the other runner I love the sense of community of runners where I live everyone always smiles and nods at each other as they pass!

hungryandfrozen01/05/2013 - 6:24 am

Ohh, this is all just what I feel like eating. I’ve started going to the gym for the first time this year and I love how strong I feel as a result. However, I definitely need some good food post-workout, and completely forgot how great chia seeds are.

Kathryn01/05/2013 - 8:43 am

Yes, I sadly came to the conclusion that ice cream is not the best post-run food (oh, and that apple pie is not the best thing to eat an hour before going out but that’s a different story). Love these ideas for healthy & happy foods I can snack on instead.

Ashley01/05/2013 - 9:13 am

Blended chia pudding is a favorite of mine, but I will trust you that the granola can help me choke it down without blending. ;) All of these recipes look fantastic and so simple. Major love. Also…hemp seeds are the best. Oh yah.

thelittleloaf01/05/2013 - 9:14 am

I go to the gym before work and cherish those precious moments in the cafe afterwards when I sit down with a little pot of breakfast and take a moment to collect my thoughts. Bircher muesli and chia-based oat bowls tend to be my food of choice but if I was working out in the evening I’d love that chickpea potato or a cheeky bowl of chocolate chia pudding.

Nina01/05/2013 - 9:14 am

Hello Laura, thanks so much for this post, I love everything about it from what you write about your workout routine to the gorgeous pics and the great recipes, it is one of my favorite posts and totally made my day :) All the best, Nina

michelle01/05/2013 - 9:24 am

LOVE it. All of it.

Question, since I`m a chia seed newb: is there a difference between black and white chia seeds?

la domestique01/05/2013 - 9:28 am

I will only run if a bear is chasing me, but I will happily enjoy all these snacks! Eff yeah!

Sarah Crowder01/05/2013 - 10:22 am

Of all activities, running makes me the hungriest. RAVENOUS. And I pretty much eat whatever is in the fridge – motivation to keep these kinds of snacks on hand. That sweet potato sounds particularly great.

Laura Wright01/05/2013 - 11:14 am

Hey Michelle, there’s no difference nutritionally or in terms of culinary performance between the black and white seeds. Just aesthetic!
-L

Asha@FSK01/05/2013 - 3:15 pm

I really like the idea of chia seed pudding!! They seem like basil seeds that swell and become gelatinous when soaked! I have only had them baked and actually really like their taste!

Btw have you ever made cream out of almond milk? I need to make a vegan frosting and I don’t like cashews that much and am racking my brains!

Courtney01/05/2013 - 3:50 pm

Everything looks so beautiful, fresh, and delicious! I always struggle with post-run snacks (I tend to go for salty things to replace the sodium I’ve lost), but I’ll definitely have to try some of these. I always love it when another runner smiles and waves, so I’ve tried to start doing it, too. Awesome post and hoping there might be more workout-centric ones in the future :)

Kayla01/05/2013 - 4:20 pm

Those all sound incredible! I’ve been looking for a good chia “pudding” recipe, and I would’ve never thought of pairing blackberries & coconut water, yum!!!!!!!

Laura Wright01/05/2013 - 4:40 pm

Hi Asha! I have made an almond cream before. It’s a touch grittier than cashew cream, but if you take the time to slip the little skins off the almonds, it can be fairly smooth. I’ve posted a recipe here: http://www.thefirstmess.com/2011/09/12/raw-breakfast-crumbles-almond-cream/
Best,
Laura

Eva | Adventures in Cooking01/05/2013 - 8:15 pm

I just discovered your blog and am completely in love with it. Your photos are so bright and crisp! And the food all looks mouthwatering. I really want to try the sweet potato with brown rice and chickpeas, sounds very healthy but also incredibly tasty :)

Jas01/05/2013 - 8:54 pm

I love a good healthy and nutritious dinner or snack after a workout. I’m a huge fan of baked sweet potatoes with various vego toppings, I make a nacho style one with salsa, beans, avo and greek yoghurt which is amazeballs! Love your avo on toast, I’m gonna try that recipe, it’s such a staple and there’s so many variations of those two things, avo+toast.

Kasey02/05/2013 - 12:14 am

Those are some badass shoes, lady! I haven’t been great about getting back to a regular workout schedule since Neko was born, but I’m trying! Taking a pilates class here, doing a little Jillian Michaels video there, and going on long walks in between. I love this breakdown of post workout food! Thanks for sharing. :) xo

Liren02/05/2013 - 12:37 am

Love this post – chia pudding is amazing, and I am addicted (just bought another bag today, in fact). I love it in the morning, too, with my oats. I’m always looks for good post work out snacks, so I can’t wait to try these!

Liren02/05/2013 - 12:39 am

p.s. I have the same shoes! But in a different color…I need another pair, I think ;)

kels02/05/2013 - 1:17 am

get it, girl ;)

Nicola Galloway02/05/2013 - 4:00 am

Love love love the chia seed pudding recipe. I think I would like to eat this after a workout. But for now it is biking the kids around for exercise and eating on the run for me!

kmswann02/05/2013 - 10:49 am

Heck yeah! My inspiration is the 4 people who invariably will pass me while running on trail every other day. You’re forced to look at their massive calves and their effortless gate.

I’ve started drinking a glass of carrot/beet/apple juice when I get back from a run, and somehow this (along with a poached egg for protein) satisfies all my food cravings until dinner. Unexplainable!

Always looking for new snacks after workouts. I usually drink boring old choc milk. Thanks

Lindsey02/05/2013 - 2:03 pm

seriously awesome array of recipes and photos! each photo is more beautiful than the next.

Julia02/05/2013 - 2:44 pm

running + yoga + amazing snacks= ALL OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS!!! thanks for another winner Laura :)

Kathryne03/05/2013 - 1:26 am

A brilliant post if I’ve ever seen one. I want to try all your variations on these post work-out treats. I’m not a runner (never will I ever be one) but Cookie and I have been going on some pretty epic long walks. I’ve been getting back into yoga, too. I say all that like I need to justify eating these healthy beautiful things! ha.

Veronica03/05/2013 - 11:58 am

I’m back to running after a post pregnancy x2 + baby hiatus. These snack ideas are great. Thanks!

I love running because other runners are usually so nice and supportive. Nice collection of recipes.

Asha@FSK06/05/2013 - 8:38 pm

Thanks a bunch Laura! I wonder if it holds up for frosting?

sara forte07/05/2013 - 6:47 pm

I am just coming out of the chia/tapioca-texture hater phase. Loved this post and can’t wait to try that granola.

Noelle Peacock08/05/2013 - 11:58 am

Love your blog, brilliant post but need to know about those trainers! I think they may be the answer to all of life’s deepest questions. Please tell me the make?

Laura Wright08/05/2013 - 1:07 pm

Hey Noelle! Thanks for your kind note. The trainers are by New Balance and they’re a “minimalist” style running shoe. Here’s the link: http://www.newbalance.com/Minimus-Zero-Trail/WT00,default,pd.html?dwvar_WT00_color=Aquarius_with_Black&start=16&cgid=267000
-L

Katie @ figgyandsprout09/05/2013 - 10:46 am

All of these recipes look so incredibly delicious! I’m just after a long run myself and the blackberry lime smoothie is screaming my name ;) I happen to have some coconut water in the fridge too. Thanks for the healthy snack ideas, Laura! You’re a peach.

[...] What is your favorite healthy food (recipe)? It’s really simple, but I love avocado smashed on sprouted grain toast with a bit of lemon, salt, pepper, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast. (I have this recipe along with some other snack-y things on my blog: http://www.thefirstmess.com/2013/05/01/four-vegan-post-workout-snack-recipes/) [...]

[...] OUT: 4 VEGAN POST-WORKOUT SNACK RECIPES While we might just want a giant burrito post-workout, we assume a chocolate chia granola bowl is [...]

Nicole15/05/2013 - 9:17 am

Made the chocolate pudding and loved it (although we needed 1/2 cup of chia seeds to thicken since the heaping 1/4 didn’t do the job on night 1). It tastes like a chocolate “snack pack” pudding, which to me is a good thing!

We plan on making the smoothie for breakfast tomorrow, except with frozen cherries as the main fruit since that’s what we have on hand.

Also, I LOVE getting the runner’s nod/smile/wave too. It makes me feel so legit and like we both have some awesome secret the rest of the world isn’t in on.

Megan15/05/2013 - 9:59 am

Just wanted to say how much I appreciated this post, and how I’ve been returning to it! My second batch of the chocolate chia pudding is in the fridge, and I loved the sweet potato. Thank you!

Stacy05/09/2013 - 3:32 pm

Oh gosh. I just made your version of avocado toast, and it is utterly fantastic! I’ve made many an avocado toast in my day – this is a special (and particularly healthful!) variation. Good work, lady! xo

summerraspberries11/11/2013 - 5:15 pm

Oh my god amazing pictures, so beautiful! Are they yours?

Laura Wright12/11/2013 - 3:01 pm

Yes, I take all of the photos for the blog :)

Melanie G25/12/2013 - 12:43 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say that you can make a great frosting with macademia nuts.. I add lime to give it a citrusy finish.. used it on a raw carrot cake which was supposed to have cashew frosting but I’d already got some soaked macademia nuts so used those.. it was delicious

linda22/02/2014 - 7:02 pm

Hello! I’m curious where you got the little maldon salt carrier? i’m always wondering how to find a way to store that salt…

thanks!

Laura Wright23/02/2014 - 9:03 am

Hi Linda, I purchased mine at a little spice shop, but they can be bought on amazon too: http://www.amazon.com/Maldon-Salt-Pinch-Tin-0-35/dp/B008X7EEPO
-L

Sarah K.26/03/2014 - 8:30 am

I made the chia pudding with soymilk and left it in the fridge overnight but it’s still liquid. Any idea what went wrong? Can I not use soymilk? Thanks!!

Laura Wright27/03/2014 - 12:20 pm

Hi Sarah!
I’m so sorry the pudding didn’t thicken up. I’ve never tried making this with soymilk, so I’m not sure if this is the root of the problem. I find chia seeds vary in their jelling ability in a general way, so perhaps this is it? I would try adding an extra handful of chia seeds next time, or possibly grinding up a small portion of the seeds before adding them to the liquid (this seems to really unlock their jelling power for me).
-L

Lorna15/05/2014 - 8:39 am

Hello! What a fantastic bunch of recipes, and, as always, really lovely writing, together with beautiful photographs. I’m desperately trying to lose some baby weight, and something’s out of kilter – I have terrible chocolate cravings as soon as I get up every morning, and sad to say I don’t always manage to resist. I’ll give the chocolate chia pudding a try; it’s got to be better for me than a chocolate bar! I’m also trying to talk myself into running… loved your story about meeting the runner; it’s connections like these that make the difference between a mediocre day and a great one. Thanks for a great blog.

xx

paula rothman13/08/2014 - 7:48 pm

trying to find the eggplant and chick pea lettuce wraps.
listed on the index but link brings me here..?

Laura Wright14/08/2014 - 9:23 am

Hi Paula! So sorry about that. I’ll fix the link, but in the meantime here it is: http://www.thefirstmess.com/2014/02/20/some-snacks-for-winter-brightness/
-L

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