Fueling fitness. Aka: Protein… that I can pronounce

Let’s talk about fueling fitness.

Nutrition and fitness

I have a close friend who is a competitive triathlete. We went to the gym together once (and only once) when we were in college. She was giving me some weight lifting tips, and in the process of bicep curls with weights in the sub-5 pound category, I may or may not have shed a few tears. I left her truly speechless. Years later, I had another friend attempt to convince me to compete in a half IronMan with them, and to squash their hopes I said “Look, let’s call my triathlete friend, and she will confirm I’m not up to the task.” Instead, when I asked her what she though of me attempting to swim, bike, and run myself to the finish line, her response was “Well, you’ll need to get a good nutrition plan in place.”

While her response didn’t quite compel me to sign up for a half IronMan, it has left a lasting impression on me regarding the importance of nutrition and its relationship to fitness. If a solid nutrition plan was enough to make someone (with experience enough to know better) believe I might have a shot at completing a half iron man, then it was a topic I needed to give some consideration.

OK, but what should I eat?

Flash forward to present day, when most of my models for fitness nutrition look something like my husband—they’ve already got this fitness thing dialed in, and they often exit the gym with a protein drink in hand. I, on the other hand, am still learning how to pack my gym bag without forgetting running shoes. I also would love to establish “clean” food habits for myself… and while I’m still figuring out what that means, relying on powder as a nutritional source doesn’t exactly seem like my jam. And so, I’m going to view this as an opportunity—a chance to build a snacking habit that’s a bit better, focusing on ensuring I have the energy to work out and my body has good resources available (design criteria: 1. protein 2. From ingredients I can pronounce) to rebuild muscle. It’s a great opportunity to practice a less perfect approach to change, focusing on growth in one area rather than boiling the ocean.

So what did that look like this week?

Lära bars

Lara bars are made with just a handful of ingredients, all of which I can pronounce. Yes, I could just carry fruit and nuts in my bag, but it helps that these are shelf stable, and if I forget them in my bag (“forgetful-friendly” is probably another design requirement for success here, lets be real) I won’t discover a science project later.

Avocado and crackers

Trader Joes everything crackers are actually pretty friendly in terms of artificial ingredients, which make them perfect for shoveling avocado in my face. Together I get lots of healthy fats, and a snack that is filling enough to hold me over between workout and dinner.

Trader joes crackers
Trader joes crackers package detail
140 calories per serving, and for a processed food, I can still mostly pronounce all the ingredients

Carrots and nut butter

I carried these in my bag in this amazing reusable container. Be jealous. And yes, after snacking on these, I did end up forgetting the mostly empty container (still smeared with peanut butter) in my bag for a day or two… but no harm no foul.

Wonder woman snack container

Three delicious options for giving my body what it needs to repair itself after a workout, all with ingredients I can pronounce. I’ll take it!

Stay sweaty and feed your face!

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