At the risk of sounding cringe-worthy, like many millennials, I prefer workout classes like yoga and barre over the gym. There’s something about being in a class with peers that holds me more accountable, makes me feel more motivated, and less likely to skimp on my workout. Also, let’s be honest, I usually don’t know what I’m doing at the gym.
But I am, admittedly, pretty lazy when it comes to going to class consistently. And when it comes to eating right before and after class, I’m also lost. It’s hard enough for me to eat right when I’m not working out and I don’t have Gwenth Paltrow time and money to indulge in trendy self-care habits – yet. I’m the kind of girl who eats Chipotle before or after a workout.
So, I did the next best thing. I reached out to nutritionist, Julie Starr, for tips on what to eat before and after working out that are also busy/lazy girl friendly (hi!). Julie is the owner of STARR Yoga, a cute boutique yoga and barre studio (see photo above) located in Roslindale, MA and West Hartford, CT. Earlier this summer, Julie hosted a private barre class for a bunch of CT bloggers that simultaneously kicked my ass and gave me energy. Read on to learn what she recommends for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on workout days and leave your questions in the comments.
1. Breakfast, as everyone says, is the most important meal of the day, yet I sometimes skip it. What do you recommend for a healthy breakfast especially if you’re planning to workout later in the day?
Julie: I don’t have too many rules working with clients- but one of them is YOU MUST EAT BREAKFAST. Here’s the thing, we use food for energy, right? So, when you wake up and your blood sugar is super low, don’t you want to set yourself up to feel your best? There is only so much coffee can do- so eat something anytime between wake-up and 11am, that’s what I consider “breakfast”. Is it the most important meal of the day? In a way, because it sets the foundation for the rest of your day and your hunger levels. In regards to working out, it totally depends on the time of day and what your workout is. In general if you eat three balanced meals with a couple of snacks in between you should have enough energy for your workouts. My mornings are crazy busy too, so my go-to are Daily Harvest smoothies at the moment.
2. What about lunch? What’s your go-to lunch recipe on a workout day?
Julie: I work out in the mornings in between 8 and 11, so I make sure that I have a good breakfast and lunch. Post workout I grab a piece of fruit, handful of nuts, or a hard-boiled egg with tomato on a rice cake (I am strangely obsessed with rice cakes right now and make sure I drink a ton of (room temp) water. Lunch is almost always leftovers, as I work a lot from home- some type of protein, roasted veggies mixed with fresh greens, and a scoop of rice. I don’t restrict carbohydrates- especially on days that I work out.
3. True story, I went to the gym right after eating Chipotle once (lol I said I was terrible at this!) and felt so nauseous afterwards. I tend to workout right after work and that also happens to be when I get super hungry. What do you recommend eating before working out especially if it’s around dinner time?
Julie: Some people are really sensitive about eating prior to working out, but here are some easy to make and typically easy on the belly foods to eat pre- workout:
apples and almond butter
yogurt and a sprinkle of granola
a slice of peanut butter toast (to be honest this always gives me acid reflux- but my clients love it)
smoothie (fruit and veggies- you don’t need to add protein power)
4. What do you recommend eating post-workout? And do you have any favorite recipes?
Julie: Again, this totally depends on your workout- if you are going to a Starr barre class you don’t need to eat something before and after- then you would have to come back and take another class! But your post workout snacks should be more protein based and nutrient dense then your pre-workout snack, as your body is in recovery mode. For you Diane, you could just have your dinner since you workout after work.
5. What’s your go-to dinner recipe on a workout day that’s also quick and easy to prepare – i.e.: lazy girl friendly :)?
Julie: Big tuna salad bowl. I used a little mayo in my tuna and add relish. think tons of arugula, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds (those are my jam too), peppers, avocado, and tahini dressing.
6. Share your favorite smoothie recipe please!
Green Smoothie (makes 12 oz)
1/4 ripe avocado
1/2 granny smith apple
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup spinach (or other leafy green)
1/4 cup parsley
1 celery stalk
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 inch piece of ginger