If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that I post photos of my “car lunches” often. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I drop my daughter off at preschool at noon, then head to the gym, put my son in the daycare they offer, workout, pick him up, drive back to preschool for pickup and quickly eat my post workout lunch in the car while we wait for my daughter. Not ideal. Not even close. I firmly believe in sitting down to eat and enjoying it slowly. But I’d rather eat food in the car then not at all, right? And from what I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo, that post workout meal needs to be eaten pretty quickly after exercise. (To be clear, I eat a bit before I leave to drop my daughter off as well. This post workout meal is in addition to a light lunch beforehand.)
Based on the simplest version of the formula I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo and Whole9, my post workout lunches consist of protein + carbs. Make sure you read the whole post on post workout fuel here.
Pictured above is a sample meal that I mix up depending on what produce is on sale each week. In the photo is a grass fed steak from our 1/4 cow share, butternut squash (kept cubed and frozen in the freezer for quick frying), yellow pepper, kiwi, pear and pumpkin seeds on organic mixed greens. Protein (steak) + carbs (butternut squash). The rest (fruit and greens) just fills out my meal and adds extra nutrients.
Other combinations that I enjoy post workout:
Chicken breast, sweet potato, strawberries, bell peppers, mixed greens.
Steak, grape tomatoes, butternut squash, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, mixed greens.
Chicken breast, red cabbage, sweet potato, spinach, peppers.
Salmon, cauliflower rice, peppers, jalapeño, red peppers, mango, spinach, micro greens, coconut milk.
Chorizo sausage, sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion, apple.
Soft boiled eggs, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.
Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, veggies and Italian sausage.
- I defrost the meat I am planning on using the night before in a ziplock bag in the fridge. For the steak, I usually marinade it in the bag with lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. For the chicken, I do combos of balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, or just plain salt and pepper. For the salmon, lemon juice and chili powder.
- When prepping your meat, always double or triple the amount for lunches that week. No one has time to prep and cook one single steak or chicken breast at a time, ha!
- I keep it simple. IF I use dressing (rarely because I’m lazy!), it’s a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If I’m feeling adventurous or have extra time to spare, I’ll mix up some Sunshine Sauce from Mel Joulwan’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.
- Invest in a thermos or some sort of container to keep your food hot. I LOVE coming out of the gym and getting to enjoy hot food like spaghetti squash. I’ve found it even works well for soft boiled eggs, which really surprised me.
- Use frozen, cubed butternut squash and sweet potato/yams. I promise that in this case it is worth the money and your time. I save so much time not having to peel and chop them!
I know what you’re probably thinking…why don’t I just drink a protein shake instead? It’s so much quicker and easier. There’s a lot of reasons, and I’m not judging those who do use shakes (but seriously, lets talk about it over coffee another day), but at this point in my life, the extra few minutes it takes for me to throw together these lunches is so worth it to me. I make sure that my schedule leaves time for this because it is important to me. I DO realize that someday my life may change, and I may feel like I don’t have the extra minutes to do this, but for now, I’m making it work. Also, this food tastes amazing after the gym. They’re full of flavour. I get to actually CHEW them, which is exciting to me. My children look at what I’m eating and ask all sorts of questions about it. This is a lifestyle of preparing and cooking healthy food that is sustainable for the rest of my life. There are zero sweeteners in these meals. (All Whole30 approved, in case you were wondering!) Basically, I feel great when I fuel my body this way.
Chicken and strawberry salad with Sunshine Sauce
Leave a comment with some of your favourite combos – I’d love to try them out!
Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!