Hi everyone! It is time for another “what I ate Wednesday”! Again, I am not going to share photos of everything I ate, because – you guessed it – I was on the road again all day today! The meals look very similar to past Wednesdays, because when I am on the road I always makes sure to prep simple meals ahead of time.
I started my day at 4:15 a.m. I had a busy day of travel, so I made sure to get up and get to the gym by 5:00 a.m. This is not something you have to do in order to be “healthy”, but I always feel better getting a workout in when most of my day involves sitting in my car. I had to leave my house by 7:00 a.m. sharp to get to my destination on time, so I only had a short time to workout – I share my workout with you below!
Breakfast (in my car) consisted of old fashioned oats with liquid egg whites mixed in (sounds gross, but I promise it’s good!), a tablespoon of peanut butter, and frozen blueberries.
Lunch (also in my car) was a meal I had prepared the night before – bite size chicken breast pieces with broccoli and avocado.
I did make it home for dinner, so I had more of the chicken I made the night before with broccoli, kale, and quinoa; topped with salsa verde – I LOVE salsa verde!
Finally, I had my protein ice cream (see last blog post for recipe), because I wanted something sweet and I wanted to get a little more protein in.
In case you are all interested, below is a picture of the cooler bag that I use while traveling. This bag is from Six Pack Fitness and I absolutely love it! It comes with 4 food containers, 2 side pockets for utensils and a water bottle, and 2 ice packs that keep food in the temperature safe zone all day long.
Now, let’s talk about my workout. Typically, my workouts last anywhere from 1-1 ½ hours; today I only had about 40 minutes. On the days that I am pressed for time I make sure to turn up the intensity – this is key! This morning I did a 40 minute HIIT or high intensity interval training workout.
HIIT workouts involve repeatedly exercising at a high intensity for 30 seconds to several minutes, separated by a recovery period of low or no activity. Research has shown that high intensity interval training and Tabata training have beneficial effects on performance and overall health. HIIT has also been shown to have more positive effects on cardiovascular health than steady state or moderate intensity training and completing an intense HIIT session can lead to a higher energy expenditure, or calorie burn, over 24 hours than other forms of moderate exercise. These types of workouts get your heart rate up very quickly, with a short period of rest time. They are supposed to be very high intensity, so you are typically burning a good amount of calories in a short period of time. Below is the workout that I did this morning.
I completed each exercise below for 40 seconds and took a 20 second recovery break between each exercise. I repeated this for 4 rounds, taking a 1 minute break between each round.
Astorino, T. A., Allen, R. P., Roberson, D. W., & Jurancich, M. (2012). Effect of high-intensity interval training on cardiovascular function, VO2max, and muscular force. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(1), 138-145.
Emberts, T., Porcari, J., Dobers-tein, S., Steffen, J., & Foster, C. (2013). Exercise intensity and energy expenditure of a Tabata workout. Journal of sports science & medicine, 12(3), 612.
Ramos, J. S., Dalleck, L. C., Tjonna, A. E., Beetham, K. S., & Coombes, J. S. (2015). The Impact of High-Intensity Interval Training Versus Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Vascular Function: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Skelly, L. E., Andrews, P. C., Gillen, J. B., Martin, B. J., Percival, M. E., & Gibala, M. J. (2014). High-intensity interval exercise induces 24-h energy expenditure similar to traditional endurance exercise despite reduced time commitment. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 39(7), 845-848.
I am not going to share an entire “what I ate Wednesday” update, because honestly, today was much like last Wednesday. I was on the road again, so I meal prepped breakfast (omelet with veggies) and lunch (chicken, rice, and veggie stir fry) the night before. My snacks included a handful of wheat thin crackers with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a piece of avocado toast. What I am going to share is my protein ice cream recipe!
Typically, if I want a piece of dessert, I just have it. Especially a really great dessert. No low-fat, protein-packed, avocado-mashed mock dessert can replace the ooey-gooey goodness of a dark chocolate brownie or the creaminess of tart raspberry cheesecake. However, there is one type of “lighter” dessert that I enjoy right after a workout…. My protein ice cream. This is a great replacement for a plain ole’ protein shake and it is super filling! Try it for yourself!
1 scoop protein powder of choice (any flavor works)
1 cup water
½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
About 12-14 ice cubes
1 tsp of xanthium gum for creaminess/fluffiness
optional: dash of sugar or 1 Stevia packet
Place all the ingredients in a good size blender (I have the Ninja 1000) and blend on high! Remove from blender into large bowl and top with whatever you want!
Let’s talk about protein powder, since I brought it up. TONS of clients ask me about protein powder, whether they need it, and what the best kinds are to buy.
First of all: What is protein powder? Protein powder is a powdered form of highly concentrated protein, created by extracting the protein component of food, through a variety of processing methods. Some of the foods that are used to make protein powder include milk, soy, rice, egg, and hemp; with the most popular protein powders being whey, casein, and soy based.
Second: Do you need it? The answer is no. Protein powder is just like any other supplement – see my supplement blog post from February 7 – it is meant to supplement your diet if you are lacking. If you are struggling to get enough protein in during the day; maybe you’re on the go or you’re a vegetarian looking for other protein sources, protein powder can help you fill the gaps. Personally, I rarely use protein powder; as I would rather eat whole foods. However, I will sometimes utilize it after workouts, especially in my protein ice cream :)
Lastly: What are the best protein powders to buy? For my clients that are not vegan I advise them to stick to a whey protein isolate. Whey protein is fast acting, meaning it gets digested and fully metabolized more quickly than other proteins, like casein. This is why a whey protein powder is a great choice after workouts – it will get used quickly for recovery. Also I have clients stick with an isolate because these protein powders contain a higher percentage of protein and are virtually lactose-free and fat-free. Finally, I make sure my clients are sticking with a product that is NSF Certified for Sport, meaning we know the product is safe. Some of these include BiPro Whey Protein Isolate, EAS Myoplex Protein Blend, Thorne Research Whey Protein Isolate, and Klean Athlete Isolate. In addition, a couple options for vegan athletes include Twinlab Clean Series Veggie Sport Protein and Garden of Life Organic Plant Based Performance Protein.
Enjoy that protein ice cream with any of these yummy products!
It’s that time again – what I ate Wednesday!
I was literally in my car for 8 hours today – I had a meeting 4 hours away – which I left my house at 4:15 a.m. to get to, then turned around and drove home. Even with these traveling challenges, you will see from my meals today that you CAN eat healthy while on the road – see my post from April 7th.
The key to these meals is that I made them the night before and had them packaged and ready to go in the morning. For breakfast, I had an egg white scramble, which included 4 egg whites, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, sweet baby bell peppers, and avocado, with reduced sugar ketchup on the side (which I spilled on my shirt).
I swear I did not plan this, but I was at my meeting and for lunch they served… Panera! I promise I do not eat Panera daily, or even weekly! I had the turkey sandwich on whole grain bread again and a side Greek salad.
For dessert I had one of these perfect little guys! A dark chocolate Dove square - yummy!
On my way home, since it was 4 hours since I had eaten lunch, I ate leftovers from dinner the night before, which included 93% fat-free ground turkey, mushrooms, onions, carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes, on a bed of zucchini noodles and spaghetti sauce. And another Dove chocolate for dessert :)
When I finally arrived home, I HAD to move, so I went for a long run, then took our dog, Belle, for a walk. I am never really hungry after running, so I decided a snack was going to be it for the night. I enjoyed a large apple with a couple tablespoons of the Smuckers natural peanut butter.
As you can see, you can eat healthy while on the move! You just have to give it a little extra time the night before to plan, cook, and package your meals for the following day. Again, this was another day of well over the “impeccable” 1,200 calorie diet! What a bunch of BS!
Allison Tropf, MS, RD, CSSD
Allison is a Sports Dietitian in Michigan. She enjoys helping others reach their nutrition and fitness goals through reliable and trustworthy recommendations.
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