Call me silly, but I want the food I eat to be beautiful! After all, we eat with our eyes first!
This post-workout shake is a lovely shade of pink, and when I shared this photo (above) on social media, I got comments about how pretty it was! (Ha! I'm not alone!) Again, when something looks appetizing, we are more likely to want it and choose it, and it contributes to our overall satisfaction with the way we eat.
I crave this post-workout shake for it's flavor and sweetness. As my main focus right now is building muscle, I've added Medjool dates here (aka nature's candy). Have you ever had a date? They are incredibly sweet and very high in glucose. If you're not training very hard, omit the dates.
"Consuming pure glucose—also called dextrose—after a workout means the body doesn't need to digest it. Because post-workout glucose can be absorbed into the bloodstream almost as quickly as it's ingested, it gets to your spent muscles as rapidly as possible, resulting in the quickest and most complete replenishment of muscle glycogen." [Source]
"The sugars in these foods will help raise insulin and lower cortisol and favor muscle building over fat storage." [Source]
Consuming a post-workout shake is a non-negotiable for Fat Loss Foodies. After an intense workout (lifting weights, teaching a class like Les Mills BODYPUMP®, BODYCOMBAT®, or RPM® etc.), think of your body like a sponge. It wants to soak up nutrients to replenish and repair the body post-workout!
We never miss a post-workout shake. We want to replenish our glycogen stores (the stored energy in your muscles) and give our bodies the protein and carbs they need to build lean muscle tissue and burn fat.
If you can't get home to your blender and shake ingredients, bring a single-serving of protein powder and your shaker bottle to the gym with you. Protein powder mixed with water is not my favorite thing, but this is where having a great tasting and quality protein powder saves you. I've only found two brands of protein powder I can drink like this: Tera's Whey and Les Mills Good Protein. If something doesn't taste good and I have to hold my nose to drink it, IT IS NOT HAPPENING!
Yes, after your shake, it's time to eat! Within 60-90 minutes of your training session, I recommend eating a meal. What this meal consists of depends partly on your goals and when you train. There is no right time or wrong time to train. Do what works for you!
If you want to build muscle, we recommend eating a balanced meal of protein, non-starchy vegetables, and some starchy carbs about an hour to 90 minutes later. For the complex carb, I love brown rice and sweet potatoes most, but experiment to find what works for you! If I did my training early in the day, I love protein pancakes made with oat flour (ground oats) for this meal.
If you're just focused on fat loss, keep the carbs lower here but still get 25-30 grams of lean protein and 2 big handfuls of veggies in.
No Carbs? Not An Option
There is absolutely no reason to fear carbs - even if you're trying to lose body fat. When we say "carbs," understand that this isn't just bread and other grains like rice and potatoes.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of carbohydrates. Even non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, peppers, spinach, and cauliflower still contain a small amount of carbs, and that's why Fat Loss Foodies eat so many of them! Their high fiber and low sugar content means we can eat several cups of them per day. They give us steady energy, reduce cravings, and stamp out hunger.
If you're trying to get leaner, try this strategy: go lower-carb at other meals and shift more of your daily carbs to the post-workout window: in your shake and the meal that follows. This ensures the carbs will go more to muscle repair and building than fat storage, especially if you're training with weights.
Post-workout, your body is repairing muscle tissue and using fat stores, so dumping loads of junky carbohydrates, fat, and/or alcohol into your body will stop the fat burning process dead in its tracks.
I hope you enjoy this pretty post-workout shake as much as I do!
8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
1 serving vanilla whey protein powder* (we recommend Tera's Whey Organic Bourbon Vanilla Protein Powder or Les Mills Good Protein in Vanilla - both all-natural and no chemical ingredients)
1 c. mixed red berries (any combination of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and cherries)
1-2 Mejdool dates, pitted
1-2 handfuls of crushed ice
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and DRINK!
Bottoms up! Cheers!
- Leslie Ann