Fueling your body with nutrient-rich food is the most important step in full body wellness. Exercise is secondary, but your efforts in the gym mean little to nothing if you aren’t also dedicated to cooking healthy meals, consuming healthy snacks, and following other health-minded principles such as no eating after 9pm.
If meal planning is not your forte, RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle Glen Ellyn has you covered. Our RISE Challenge Support Team is sharing a few of their favorite post-workout snacks and mealtime recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and oh-so-good for your body!
Read on for some healthy and delicious cooking inspiration.
JANELLE SULLIVAN, OWNER, RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle
Favorite post-workout snack: Apple and Butter or Green Smoothie
Betsy's Best Almond Butter with Cinnamon and Chia Seeds on a honey crisp apple
Janelle’s Go-To Green Smoothie: Blend ingredients and enjoy!
1 medium banana, previously peeled, frozen and quartered
1/2 c mixed frozen berries
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 heaping Tbsp natural, salted peanut butter
1/2 - 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 c fresh spinach
Go-to recipe: Healthy Turkey Lettuce Wraps
1¼ lb. fat-free lean ground turkey
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
⅛ tsp ground ginger
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
3 T hoisin sauce
2 T lower-sodium soy sauce (green top)
1 T rice vinegar
2 tsp roasted red chili paste
⅛ tsp salt
12 Boston lettuce leaves
Prep: Heat 1 T oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey, garlic and ginger; cook for about 6 minutes or until turkey is browned. Stir to crumble. Combine turkey mixture, onions and chopped water chestnuts in a large bowl, stirring well, and set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and roasted red chili paste. Drizzle over turkey mixture. Toss to coat completely. Add about ¼ c turkey mixture to each lettuce leaf.
CARIN FANTER, RISE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR
Go-to recipe: Vegan Chili
1 T sunflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 c shredded carrots
1-2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c bulgur, rinsed
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
2 c diced fresh tomatoes (about 2 medium or 6 plum tomatoes)
1 1/2 c tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro
Prep: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and jalapeño and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bulgur, chili powder, and cumin and stir until well combined. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro, if desired.
ALICIA SKODOL, NUTRITIONIST/OWNER, REASONABLY RAW MAMA
Favorite post-workout snack: almonds, energy balls, or kale chips
Favorite health dessert: Banana "nice" cream
Simply mix 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and 1 T almond butter in blender and enjoy!
Go-to recipe: Portobello Mushroom Salad
4 big portobello mushroom tops sliced into long pieces
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 tsp olive oil
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
8 c of mixed salad greens
2 c sliced red onion
2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
Prep: Season mushrooms with salt and paper and set aside. Heat oil in large nonstick skilled over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook. Remove mushrooms Add balsamic vinegar to skilled; bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat. Gently boil for 3 minutes to 5 minutes, or until vinegar thickens into a glaze. Cut each mushroom into 1/4 inch thick slices. Set aside. Place 2 c of mixed greens; 1/2 c onions; and 1/2 c tomatoes on each serving plate. Top with mushrooms slices; drizzle evenly with balsamic glaze.
LISA KRISTOFEK, HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST/OWNER, FRESH SQUEEZE HOLISTIC NUTRITION
Favorite post-workout snack: Banana with 1 T cashew butter; or a handful of deliciously tart golden berries and raw almonds; or 1.5 c popcorn with sea salt mixed with 2 T dried blueberries; or 1 container plain grass milk yogurt topped with: 1 T raw honey, 1 T chopped walnuts, a dash of vanilla, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice, or Chunky Monkey Power Balls (recipe below)
Chunky Monkey Power Balls
Prep: Put ingredients into a food processor; process until mixed. Roll into balls. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Go-to recipe: Sausage and Cabbage over Potatoes
2 packages shredded cabbage
1 package pre-cooked chicken sausage links with apple
2 T ghee
4 medium-size golden potatoes
Shredded parmesan - optional
Arugula - optional
Prep: Wash and pierce potatoes; microwave until cooked, about 8 minutes. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Slice sausages into coin-sized discs. Add 1 T ghee to pan and brown sausage discs, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove sausage to plate leaving remaining oil in pan and replace over heat. Add the remaining ghee and 1/2 of the shredded cabbage to the skillet. Cook on medium, covered until softened, stirring occasionally about 5 to 7 minutes. Add sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Next, add second package of shredded cabbage and return sausage back to pan; stir to combine. Then, take potatoes and flatten one each on four separate plates. Top with sea salt and/or pepper, and then with sausage/cabbage mixture. Add shredded parmesan for the kids and arugula for the adults!
LISA BRENNAN, RISE CHALLENGE EXTRAORDINAIRE
Favorite post-workout snack: Coconut Cacoa Rx Bar or Spicy Green Smoothie
Lisa’s go-to Spicy Green Smoothie: Blend ingredients and enjoy!
Spinach or power greens
Juice of 1 lemon
½ apple of choice
1 red pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
Favorite Healthy Dessert: No-Bake Protein Balls
1 c dry oatmeal
1/4 c honey (you can use less)
1 c Trader Joe's Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax and Chia Seeds (or 1/2 c almond or peanut butter and 1/2 cup flax/chia seed combo)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c dried chopped cherries or raisins or dark chocolate chips
1/2 c coconut (optional)
Prep: Mix everything together, form 1-inch balls, put on parchment paper in freezer for 30 minutes, and then transfer to sealed container in refrigerator.
Go-to recipe: Soba Noodles with Nut Butter, Lime, and Chilies
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red jalapeno or fresno chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 T toasted sesame seeds
Prep: Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, add green onions, jalapeno, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Mix dressing ingredients and add to noodle mixture. Toss well and serve.
We hope you are inspired to try something new with your diet! If you’ve already committed to healthy eating, perhaps you now have a new recipe or two to try. And if wholesome and healthy foods are more of a foreign concept to you, don’t fret: take this journey one day at a time. Remember that perishable food, like fruits and veggies, are the healthiest, should consume half your plate, and can be complemented with a lean protein and grain (brown rice, farro, quinoa). Don’t be afraid to get creative—all in the name of fueling your body! Your mind and body will thank you now and for years to come.