Sunday, December 14, 2014

Post Workout Rant (Plus my Protein Cereal Recipe)

Hey Fit Fam ..

I've never posted about "protein cereal" because I've been on prep since April and rarely strayed off my plan to where I would enjoy a bowl and post about it! Except for the occasional "clean cheat" or "emergency" situation .. I didn't include any "bars" (including quest) during that time and I only had unsweetened almond milk in small quantities in things like coffee. Not because it's not "okay to have" them .. it totally is for the average clean eater (specifically Quest) and even for those prepping for a show! But "bars" aren't whole foods and I personally prefer whole foods...especially on prep :) As for unsweetened almond milk ... it was just a little "extra" that I didn't "need" during that time. But I am in my improvement/off season right now and doing my own plan for the most part -- so I"m experimenting with all kinds of fun things! Tonight I made THIS amazing #PostWorkout bowl of heavenly goodness :) This was the video I posted on my Instagram ... you do follow me .. right?!

Move over "Cookie Crisp" cause this protein packed, clean version of the sugary cereal we all love, is not only way better tasting but way better for you!! Quest Nutrition bars are by far the best way to make a CLEAN protein cereal. You can re-create "Cookie Crisp" cereal just by using a Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie bar and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk. Maybe a little stevia in the "milk" since it's not very sweet otherwise. But you can use ANY of their bars and unsweetened almond milk and get creative!! Tonight I actually used the brand new S'Mores flavor and added a little bit of cinnamon as well! O M G :) :) Words can't describe how good it was!

I need to specify that I would only do this SPECIFIC creation as my post workout supplementation. Why?! Because of the Ignition I put in it. Take out the Ignition and you are good to go for a "clean cheat" whenever you want!! But the Ignition should only be used as a pre/post workout supplement -- that is what it is designed for! You can read about it HERE and if you look back at old blogs .. I've blogged about how and why I use it! But in short .. Ignition is a very unique fast acting specific carb/sugar. A fast acting carb/sugar is something many people don't include in their post workout (especially girls) but is VITAL to recovery and properly building and maintaining lean muscle -- if you are going hard in the gym! When working out your main fuel source is glycogen. So you need to replenish the muscle glycogen burned while working out! A fast acting high GI carb/sugar is how you do that.

Many people get in their fast acting carb/sugar in the form of specific fruits (which is what I did before I discovered Ignition). But did you know that MOST fruits don't have a high enough GI to do the job?! Most experts say 70+ as high. Here is a chart you may like that breaks down Glycemic Index of foods. Since I go so hard in the gym and have such specific goals, this is why I prefer to use Ignition right now, because of they TYPE of carb/sugar it is and how quickly and effectively it does the job! Other companies have similar products that do this .. I just choose to use 1st Phorm! Is Ignition right for everyone? Maybe not ..but if you are a serious bodybuilder/competitor, or want to maximize your results, I think it's something to look into for sure!

Many people see ANY post workout supplements and/or fast acting carbs as "extra" and don't consume them at all.  That is probably the biggest mistake I see people make when trying to build a more muscular physique.  I was guilty of it before I started competing. I had started drinking whey isolate shakes and sometimes (as stated above) would have some fruit as well. But I was always so scared of the "extra calories" that I was never consistent.  I remember when I first discovered Ignition at my nutrition store. After one glance of the label I was like NO WAY I am taking this!!! But then my coach suggested it when we started working together. So I eventually got over the "numbers" on the label and started taking it -- combined with a Whey Isolate Protein (Phormula 1) -- after every intense LIFTING session. I can honestly say it drastically changed the way my body responded to my workouts! As stated above .. I really suggest you research it and see if it is right for YOU and YOUR goals!

Back to protein cereal. I've made protein cereal before (using Quest chocolate chip bar and unsweetened almond milk) .. but there are many ways to go about making this delicious treat.
The most popular post workout protein cereal "recipe" I have seen is to just eat a serving (or two depending on your needs) of the high GI sugary stuff you buy in the store (fruity pebbles, fruit loops, frosted flakes) and just mix protein powder into your milk! I haven't this approach because of the bad ingredients in those high sugary cereals (i.e. - High Fructose Corn Syrup, etc). But MANY people eat stuff like this post workout (pop tarts, candy, cereal)... especially male bodybuilders! They do it and honestly have great success! Not to mention it's cheaper than supplements! The reason WHY goes back to my previous paragraphs... because in addition to protein you do need a fast acting carb/sugar immediately after a strenuous lifting session. This "protein cereal" recipe can also work with a crumbled up pop-tart apparently! Not something I would do (pop tarts aren't gluten free) .. again because I try to eat cleaner as far as what FOODS I eat (not just macros and calories counts) ..  but each their own!! My husband has a whey isolate protein shake and 2 pop tarts after every workout! So do MANY of his workout buddies! I saw our friend blend his post workout pop tarts with whey protein and (milk or water) and made it a SHAKE!! I'm sure it was amazing!!

Since we are on the topic of post workout carbs/sugars. Two other VERY popular post workout options (because of the type of sugar they are made up of... specifically dextrose is what you need to look for) are pixie sticks and gummy bears!! I could go deeper into this subject but will wait for another blog. But essentially even all CANDY isn't equal when it comes to your post workout sugars because high fructose corn syrup and fructose isn't absorbed into the bloodstream the same way dextrose is.  It's such a complicated science. Again .. this is why I stick to a product that takes the guess work out of it (i.e. Ignition).

Using these specific sugary sweets seems to work great if you are okay with those TYPES of foods and they match your personal goals! But just like anything .. watch portions! I think I'll primarily stick to my Whey and Ignition. But it is my improvement season (and I do love gummy bears) so I just may experiment -- especially on booty day :)

Speaking of post workout. Since this "quest protein cereal" isn't my normal choice and maybe you haven't read any of my old blogs talking about pre/post workout ..  you may be asking what my typical post workout looks like. Usually it's a Whey Isolate Protein (what brand depends on how I'm making it), mixed with a little baking powder and water, microwaved for 20-30 seconds .. boom .. you have cake!! Not all brands bake well. I've discovered 1st Phorm, Quest and Metabolic Nutrition to be the best for baking! Then I mix up ignition with either some greek yogurt, walden farms or water and cinnamon and boom -- you have ICING for your CAKE :) Of course you can just have the protein powder, ignition and water and shake it up in a shaker. But if at all possible I try to get creative :)  Cause ... why not!!!!

So there ya have it. Don't ignore your post workout and have it as quickly as possible! Hope you enjoy my big ole bowl of "healthy ignition quest bar cereal" .... your taste buds will thank me for this one :)

Eat Clean. Train Dirty.

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