When I tell people that I am a Nutritionist, they usually ask me about my eating and workout habits. Truthfully, I eat like most healthy people (minus the meat), but there are a few nutrition and fitness items that I can’t live without. These simple and inexpensive things can easily enhance anyone’s life. Once you see how much you like one, you will want to try them all!
1) Fitness Blender. https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender Fitness Blender is a truly amazing compilation of over 500 workout videos that are completely FREE! Accessible by YouTube, Fitness Blender adds new full-length workouts on a weekly basis. The workouts vary in the amount of equipment and space required, as well as time, type, and intensity of the workout. The workouts don’t require much space (I do them in my tiny NYC apartment), and they are a major timesaver when I need to get in a workout quickly. For beginners, there are a bunch of 10 minute videos that are a great place to start in the comfort of your own home. 2) Salad Chopper. Chopped salads are very trendy right now, and I’ve figured out a way to make them at home. This bowl and chopper came together, and they are definitely my favorite kitchen item. It takes some extra time to cut up all the ingredients and chop everything together, but a salad tastes best when you can savor all the ingredients in every bite. This giant bowl also allows you to chop, dress, and toss the salad with minimal cleanup. And you will save money by replacing the $10+ chopped salad from your local lunch place with this inexpensive home version. Get creative by coming up with your own chopped variations at home.
3) KIND Bars. In general, most bars are very high in sugar and/or artificial ingredients and sometimes have excessive added protein. I say “most” because KIND bars are the exception. KIND’s ingredients are simple and straightforward, with no hidden artificial ingredients. The bars are lower in sugar than most others, and the protein amount is limited (read here to know more about how much protein you should have in a day). After running, biking, or a long bout of endurance activity, KIND bars are a good fuel replacement because they have adequate carbs and 6 or 7g of protein.
4) Milk/Chocolate Milk. I didn’t really drink much milk as a kid, but as an adult, I consume milk on a daily basis. I know you are probably skeptical of this item, but hear me out. Milk is like mother nature’s protein drink, with 8g of protein in 1 cup of milk. I put milk in my oatmeal every morning, as a way to consume vegetarian protein with my breakfast. Don’t like just plain milk? Well you’re in luck because chocolate milk has been proven to be a great recovery drink after an intense workout (Thomas et al, 2008). After a long bout of endurance activity, like running or biking, it is necessary to repair muscle damage with protein and also replace depleted carbohydrate stores. Chocolate milk has just the right combination of carbs (chocolate) and protein (milk) to ensure adequate recovery after a tough workout. It’s also a much cheaper and more natural alternative to expensive protein shakes.
References: Thomas, K., Morris, P., Stevenson, E. (2008). Improved endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption compared with 2 commercially available sport drinks. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 34 (1), 78-82. Doi: 10.1139/H08-137