Eating well and exercising regularly are key components of a healthy lifestyle. Rather than thinking of these two efforts independently, it’s important to understand the connection between eating and exercise so you can maximize your workouts and feel your best.
Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dalina Soto shares tips on how to prioritize your wellness, with a focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet with plenty of water and wholesome foods that support your exercise routine:
Stay properly hydrated
Proper hydration fuels the body and mind while curbing hunger pangs. Hydration is especially important when you exercise because the more you move, the more water your body needs to replenish.
A smart first step is to keep a water container nearby all day as a reminder to sip regularly. When working out, bring a source of hydration with you. While sports drinks provide hydration, they also typically have a lot of sugar, so it is best to stick to plain H20.
Eat a wholesome breakfast
Many people like to work out in the morning, but before you move your body, it is important to eat breakfast first. Set your alarm so you can eat an hour or more before working out. This helps ensure you have energy for your workout and enough time to digest food to avoid an upset stomach.
Some ideas for a quick and healthy breakfast include whole-grain cereals, fruit, yogurt and eggs. When choosing eggs, consider Eggland’s Best eggs, as they contain double the Vitamin B12 compared to ordinary eggs to fuel your workout with a boost of energy. They also have six times more Vitamin D and more than double the Omega-3s, which aid in muscle recovery and help support strong bones.
Don’t overdo food or water
Food and water can help you feel your best during a workout, but if you eat or drink too much before working out, you may feel sluggish or experience indigestion. This can negatively impact your exercise.
Good guidelines for eating pre-workout include enjoying larger meals three or four hours before and smaller meals at least one hour before. Light snacks can be OK right before a workout but pay attention to how your body feels because everyone is unique.
Eating after your workout is essential to help your body recover and your muscles heal. Nutrient-dense snacks are a smart choice such as a protein smoothie, nut butter on wholegrain crackers or pretzels with hummus.
Another satisfying option that combines many nutritious foods is deviled egg boats that can be made ahead and enjoyed all week. The Crispy BLT Deviled Egg Boats below are packed with protein and vitamins, making them the ideal pre or post-workout snack to keep your body energized before and aid in recovery after.
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 5 minutes; Makes 12 servings
Crispy garlic crumbs:
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 clove garlic, mashed with fork
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
8 Eggland’s Best eggs, hard-cooked or Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs, divided
2 tablespoons very soft butter, divided use
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sundried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeños (regular or tamed, or minced dill pickles if preferred)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
12 inner romaine heart leaves
1/2 cup crumbled crisply-cooked bacon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil until simmering in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in garlic and salt; let stand 10 minutes. Return pan to medium heat and add breadcrumbs, folding until well-coated. Toast until golden brown, stirring and watching to prevent burning; this will take about 3 minutes. Scrape crumbs onto a large plate to cool; wipe out skillet, reserving for further use.
Slice 6 Eggland’s Best hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks to a large plate. Smash yolks with a fork until very smooth and scrape into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, tomatoes and jalapenos, blending thoroughly. Stuff into cavities of egg whites and smooth top with a butter knife to make an even covering of filling over entire flat surface (there will be extra filling; reserve it.) On the same plate that yolks were smashed, coarsely chop and finely smash the remaining 2 hard-cooked Eggland’s Best eggs. Fold into the reserved excess filling, add vinegar and remaining butter and set mixture aside.
Place flat sides of stuffed Eggland’s Best eggs on top of the crispy garlic crumbs, coating well and leaving on plate until all are coated (do not coat rounded sides.) Return large skillet to medium heat and brush remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil over pan bottom. When hot, place all eggs in skillet, crumb side down, and fry until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Cut ends from romaine leaves to make 5-inch long ‘boats.’ Spoon and spread remaining filling mixture over bottom lengths of romaine boats and arrange on serving platter. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over filling and top with a crisped Eggland’s Best egg; sprinkle with chives.