Food To Help Power Your Workout

Understanding your body’s needs and how the food you eat affects the energy you have can make all the difference in feeling motivated, full and ready for a workout. Making sure your meal is comprised of these 3 macronutrients is a great step to creating the perfect pre-workout breakfast:

  • Carbs: The fuel of the body! Glucose from carbs gives the muscles energy allowing them to support you through your fitness journey.
  • Protein: You are what you eat, and eating the right amount of protein can increase muscle and improve athletic performance. Finding creative ways to add protein to your meals can help keep your breakfast interesting and sustainable.
  • Fat: Fat has long been a misunderstood macronutrient that is key to helping the body maintain long-lasting energy. While carbs feed the high-intensity exercises, fat feeds the body for the long haul. Filling your breakfast with healthy fats like avocado or nuts can help you stay energized for your workout from beginning to end.

Learning the basics of your breakfast needs gives you the tools to create healthy, filling and delicious meals. Here’s a list of a few great sources of Carbs, Protein and Fat (many of them a great source of all 3!):

Carbs: Oats, Chickpeas, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Sweet Potato, Whole Grain Bread, Berries
Protein: Eggs, Salmon, Tofu, Protein Powder, Turkey, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese
Fat: Avocado, Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Nut & Seed Butters, Olives, Chia Seeds

Here are 3 great recipes below to get you started:

Savory Oats (Courtesy of Love & Lemons)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot, about 1 small
  • ¾ cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2¼ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toppings
  • Sautéed spinach and/or mushrooms
  • Soft boiled eggs or poached eggs
  • Chopped scallions
  • Avocado slices
  • Microgreens
  • Hot sauce
  • Lemon wedge

Instructions:
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the oats and garlic and stir to coat in the oil, then add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the oats are thick and creamy but still have a slight bite. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and portion into bowls. Top with the sautéed vegetables, eggs, scallions, avocado, and microgreens. Serve with drizzles of hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes (Courtesy of SELF)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup plain 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for topping
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 20 pecan halves, chopped

Instructions:
In a bowl, beat eggs. Stir in yogurt, pumpkin, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and vanilla.

In another bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-low heat, drop a heaping ⅓ cup batter for each pancake. Cook until underside is brown and bubbles form on top, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook about 3 minutes more. Repeat with remaining batter.

Top with pecan halves and the remaining maple syrup.

Southwest Tofu Scramble (Courtesy of Minimalist Baker)

Southwest Tofu Scramble (Courtesy of Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients:

SCRAMBLE

  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups kale (loosely chopped)

SAUCE

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (reduce amount for less salty sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Water (to thin)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)

FOR SERVING (optional)

  • Salsa
  • Cilantro
  • Hot Sauce
  • Breakfast potatoes, toast, and/or fruit

Instructions:
Pat tofu dry and roll in a clean, absorbent towel with something heavy on top, such as a cast-iron skillet, for 15 minutes.

While tofu is draining, prepare sauce by adding dry spices to a small bowl and adding enough water to make a pourable sauce. Set aside.

Prep veggies and warm a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and the onion and red pepper. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir. Cook until softened – about 5 minutes.

Add kale, season with a bit more salt and pepper, and cover to steam for 2 minutes.

In the meantime, unwrap tofu and use a fork to crumble into bite-sized pieces.

Use a spatula to move the veggies to one side of the pan and add tofu. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add sauce, pouring it mostly over the tofu and a little over the veggies. Stir immediately, evenly distributing the sauce. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until tofu is slightly browned.

Serve immediately with the breakfast potatoes, toast, or fruit. I like to add more flavor with salsa, hot sauce, and/or fresh cilantro. Alternatively, freeze for up to 1 month and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.


Balanced Body thoroughly believes that movement can change people’s lives. We are the leading resource for Pilates and mindful movement equipment, information and education for fitness centers, studios, rehabilitation facilities and home enthusiasts.

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