food for fuel

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James & I signed up for a gym membership the weekend before Thanksgiving. The holiday notwithstanding, we’ve been in pretty much every day since. Over the past week and a half, I’ve taken to revamping a little bit of our diet. We’re working out pretty consistently, which means food isn’t just about eating, it’s also about refueling.

I’ve found that it’s surprisingly hard to find convenient, doesn’t-take-too-much effort food that tastes good & is good for you, too. The hardest part of eating well for me is having the supplies on hand and the time to prepare them. I used to think that I would wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning, get in a good workout, shower, make and eat a well-balanced breakfast, and make and pack a well-balanced lunch, all before 8 a.m. when I had to be at work. When I was on, I could get all of those things done, but if I took a minute too long in the shower, or if I forgot to take the skinless, boneless chicken breast out the night before to thaw in the fridge, everything would be shot, and I’d have to order in for lunch, which more often than not, wasn’t too healthy. I decided that system wasn’t working, so I looked to find foods that I would want to eat but were also healthy and didn’t take too much time or planning to prepare. Here’s what we’re loving so far:

cereal | I’m not really a cereal girl. I’m Filipino, and in our culture, breakfast is never cold. Nevertheless, cereal + milk = quick, nutritious breakfast, if you pick a good cereal. Of the “healthier” cereals, I’m partial to Kashi Strawberry Fields and Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch (when I’m hankering for the delicious, sugar overload that is Cinnamon Toast Crunch).

yogurt | Now yogurt, I love. Especially the Greek kind. I find that the thicker consistency makes it feel more substantial, and the extra protein is great, too, now that I’m doing strength training as well. My absolute favorite is Fage 2% with strawberry. I love that I can decide how much strawberry I want in every bite, and the yogurt itself is not too sour or too thick, as other Greek yogurts can be. Finding the 2% version is sometimes hard at my local grocery store (the 0% just doesn’t cut it…I need a little fat!), so when there’s none to be had, my second go-to is Chobani with pineapple. Love. Chobani’s consistency is less thick than Fage’s but it’s still definitely thicker than regular yogurt. I find that the amount of pineapple mixed in is just right.

kind bars | These are so good, especially my favorite, peanut butter + dark chocolate. These also have lots of protein, and I find that this keeps me tided over between meals if dinner’s a little later. Bonus: there’s chocolate, which is never a bad thing.

eggs | When I know I’ll be eating more carboyhdrates later in the day than usual, I opt for a more protein-centric breakfast and go for a pair of soft-boiled eggs. James has the cooking time down pat. I like the yolk still soft, but not runny.

couscous | I love rice. I love rice a little too much. To avoid the temptation to devour a giant bowl of it, I’ve taken to just making it rarely. Our grain substitute of choice is couscous since James doesn’t like quinoa very much. It’s so fast and easy to make, and it keeps well in the fridge for leftovers and lunches for the rest of the week. I like to make a big batch and parse out the portions over a couple of days. It’s also really easy to jazz up to create a different couscous salad every other day if you want to.

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