My Favorite Workout Snacks + A Recipe

In case you haven’t discovered it yet, I care a lot about food and I exercise frequently. Because of this, I spend a good amount of time thinking about how to fuel my workouts. My meals and snacks must be filling, align as much as possible with my food principles, and not weigh me down physically when I’m working out.

My favorite workouts are the ones that involve flying and when I’m at an aerial silks class or training on my own, there’s nothing worse than feeling hungry and weak. Strength is vital for being up in the air, and low blood sugar will seriously mess with that!

I imagine most casual athletes who care about food sustainability have this problem, or something similar, so today I'm sharing some of my solutions.

 

My favorite snacks

When I’m about to hit the silks, I always have some piece of fruit easily accessible in my bag. Bananas are my top choice and apples are a close second. The benefits: no mess, easy to digest, and sugar plus fiber. I seek out organic apples because conventional apples retain a lot of the pesticides with which they are sprayed, but you should, of course, make your own choices.  

I had been eating Clif bars and KIND bars as snacks pre- and post-workout, but I went off of them during my no-added sugar challenge. Instead, I ate roasted almonds as a quick snack. They're filling, but not very exciting, so I'm always searching for more snack options.

 

An easy snack recipe

Today I am sharing a hummus recipe I made that really upped my snacking game. Yes, it’s not the most portable, but for the determined consumer, it can travel (those tiny Tupperwares can finally be used!). I wrote about this tasty recipe a million years ago in a prior blog (Letters from My Kitchen) and now I’m craving it again. Pair this hummus with veggies like carrots, celery, jicama, or pea pods for a good pre-workout boost.

 

Why make this?

I love cooking and I like recipes I can toy with in my kitchen. When I’m making something for myself or my husband, I prefer having more knowledge about what’s in my food and more control over it. The process of cooking connects me to food in a way I respect and appreciate, and I believe it is an important part of changing the way we interact with food in our culture.

Dill Hummus
from Oh She Glows
makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, liquid reserved and set aside NOTE: for a smoother hummus, remove and discard the skins of the chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup tahini (a sesame paste, available at places like Whole Foods, near the almond butter)
  • 7-8 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp reserved chickpea liquid
  • 4-8 drops of Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Paprika, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor (except the salt) and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed.

  2. Add in salt gradually, stopping to taste as you go. Adjust other seasonings as necessary

  3. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with a good quality olive oil and garnish with paprika.

  4. Enjoy with pita chips or vegetables!

 

Dill-icious! What are your favorite snacks to fuel your workouts?

What Aerial Silks Can Teach Us about Sustainable Food

This post honors my two year anniversary of discovering aerial silks!

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Ever since I first came across aerial silks almost exactly two years ago, I’ve been hooked. I love love love watching videos, going to class, practicing on my own, and daydreaming about finally being able to execute those tricky moves I still wrestle with (I’m talking about you, fickle wheel-down).

Separately, my interest in sustainable food has deepened in the past year. I found an appreciation for watching videos of lectures, practicing growing and cooking food, and reading about the food movement.

These seemingly disparate subjects constantly battle for space in my head. When I built this website, I couldn't select just one, so I picked both!

Are aerial silks and sustainable food really so mutually exclusive?

I’ve decided that no, they are not.

Join me today as I summarize for you 5 things aerial silks can teach us about sustainable food.

1) Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

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In aerial, it's critical to be extremely self-aware and responsible when it comes to your body. That means warming up really well, stretching, and never jumping straight into the most challenging moves. It also means honestly checking in with yourself when you’re up in the air. You should continuously ask yourself: does any part of my body feel wrong or seriously painful? If so, stop. Operating in this careful and patient way isn’t always the most fun, but it’s vital in taking care of future you.

It's the same situation with eating! Remember eating all kinds of unhealthy terrible foods back in the day? (I do!) Well, now you’re mature and responsible (at least most of the time) and you know that putting crappy food into your body doesn't feel good now and certainly won't feel good later. Instead, if you take the steps to eat better-sourced, healthy food, your body (and the environment) will thank you for it long into the future.

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2) The outcome you get is a direct result of the time you put in.

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Research on expertise states that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. That’s 1000 hours a year for 10 years. Regardless of whether I’ll ever reach that number for aerial (probably not!), the mental and physical time I put into it every week results in greater strength and skill than before. I'm constantly improving.

The time I put into thinking about and preparing foods that are more sustainable builds my knowledge base and skill set in the kitchen. I’ve learned so much in the past year through tweeting (follow me at @justfoodnews!), auditing online classes, and writing this website! I’m much closer today to being an expert in sustainable food than ever before and it's because of the time I've put into it.

3) Being uninformed is dangerous; learn from experts.

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I see this issue come up frequently in online aerial forums. A talented aerialist will post a video of an amazing move and aerial students will view the video and try to copy it on their own. Unfortunately, the viewer often doesn’t understand the mechanics of the move without instruction. This leads to, at best, an unsuccessful attempt and, at worst, a dangerous situation.

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In food, there’s a plethora of information and strong opinions on the internet. Obviously multiple people can't all be right when they take diametrically opposed views on issues like GMOs and veganism. So, get some instruction from credible sources, become an informed consumer, and seek out experts in your learning.

4) It’s alright to be uncomfortable when trying something new.

Ready to try a new drop? Yes! I mean, no. I mean, yes, but I’m scared!

Aerial involves expanding your comfort zone every time you try a new move. That's one of the things I love about it. Similarly, a lot of folks feel uneasy when trying new foods, incorporating new eating habits, or changing shopping patterns based on food values. The first time you say: “I’ve decided not to eat that,” at a friend’s party because of your newfound sustainable food principles, it can be uncomfortable. Accept that discomfort and don’t let it stop you.

5) It’s always better when you’re part of a community.

I train by myself, I cook by myself, and I often eat by myself. But all of these things are so much better when I do them with other people! Aerial with friends is awesome because you have someone there to remind you which way is left and help you out if you tie yourself in a knot (not that that's ever happened to me.…).

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And for eating? Meals with friends are so much better than alone! The experience is richer when food is created together and consumed together. Thinking about the origins of the food you’re eating and discussing issues in sustainability are best done communally.

 

 

So there you have it. See, we can learn so much about sustainable food from aerial!

Now I’m off to eat a grass-fed burger while hanging upside down in a split!*

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*Disclaimer: this should only be attempted by a professional; it will be very messy.

 

What do you think? Did I miss any other ways aerial and sustainable food are connected? Let me know in the comments below!