By: DJ Blatner, RDN, CSSD
Many people are NOT training for a marathon or playing competitive sports. But, they are dedicated to fitness and living an active lifestyle. There’s a huge population of people who workout for 45-60 minutes most days, enjoy exercising, run 5K’s for fun on the weekend, read fitness articles in their spare time, and socialize with friends by trying new fitness classes. This group of people does not need intense sports nutrition advice, but they do need: Active lifestyle nutrition.
Active lifestyle nutrition can help everyday fitness-minded people:
- stay energized during workouts
- enhance recovery to feel less sore and prevent injury
- achieve results such as build muscle and endurance
Here’s an Active Lifestyle Nutrition CHECKLIST:
Three Balanced Meals Per Day
A balanced fitness meal has carbohydrates to fuel cells, protein to build and repair cells, and produce fat to protect cells.
Examples of balanced fitness meals:
- Oatmeal: oatmeal + peanut butter + mashed berries
- Smoothie: peanut butter + banana + spinach + kefir
-Sandwich: peanut butter + sliced apple + whole grain bread
-Wrap: chicken + cabbage slaw + sesame ginger dressing + chopped peanuts + whole grain wrap
- Fried Rice: fried brown rice + shrimp + stir-fried veggies + chopped peanuts
- Noodle Bowl: chicken + broccoli + quinoa noodles + peanut sauce
One To Two Nourishing Snacks Per Day
The best snacks are a combination of produce + protein. Produce has vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates to fuel cells and protein can work to build and repair cells.
Examples of produce + protein snacks:
- carrots + peanut butter (my favorite combo!)
- apple + peanut butter
- grapes + peanuts
- freeze dried strawberries + peanuts
- raisins + peanuts
- berries + yogurt
- peapods + lemon hummus
- baby bell peppers + spicy hummus
- cherry tomatoes + cheese stick
- orange slices + natural jerky
Meals & Snacks Timed Around Fitness
Have a snack before workouts so your stomach doesn’t feel heavy during sweat sessions and a balanced meal after workouts to flood key nutrients to tired, overworked cells.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Plain water is a great hydrator, but on extra sweaty days adding in coconut water with a pinch of sea salt can help replace the electrolytes lost in sweat. The rule of thumb is at least 9 glasses (72 ounces) fluid for women and 12.5 glasses (100 ounces) for men per day. However, being active increases those needs.
I add peanuts & peanut butter to my meals & snacks because they are a fitness superfood.
- Peanuts have 7 grams of protein per ounce - more than any other nut – for lasting energy, muscle growth, maintenance, and recovery.
- Eating a variety of protein sources, including plant-based sources such as peanuts, can help provide needed nutrients and reduce the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet.
- Peanuts have more than 30 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary for active people.
- Peanuts are a good source of fiber and contain good fats which is important for heart health. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Check out additional peanut recipes here.
Check out DJ Blatner's delicious Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookie Dough Recipe