Healthy trail mix
If you’re not hungry enough for a full meal after exercising, fill up with a few scoops of healthy trail mix. This post-workout snack is extremely easy to make—just mix unsalted nuts like almonds, pecans, and walnuts; dried fruits like cranberries, and coconut, instructs Jamie Hickey, a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. Containing healthy fat, carbohydrates, and protein, “this snack has all three macronutrients that your body will crave after an intense workout,” Hickey says. The best part? Healthy trail mix is a quick, mess-free, and portable option—the perfect post-workout snack for anyone on the go.
Calling all morning people, breakfast just got even better. We all know that healthy breakfast foods can get repetitive (how many different ways can you eat eggs, yogurt, and fruit?) and it can be extremely hard to resist whipping up a fluffy stack of pancakes every once in a while. However, with protein-rich hotcakes, you can enjoy the texture and sweetness of pancakes—without sparing the calories. It’s the perfect trade-off, just like these other healthy food swaps you never considered! According to Hickey, these hotcakes are best prepared using “egg whites and cottage cheese, whole grain flour or rolled oats, and a touch of vanilla extract or raw honey for sweetness.” If you’re vegan, you can opt for plant-protein powder in place of the dairy. If you’re gluten-free, use flour made from brown rice, chickpeas, or cassava. And instead of drizzling decadent syrup onto your hotcakes, top off your masterpiece with fresh fruit and yogurt, and voila—you’ve made a delicious post-workout breakfast that will energize your body and shake up your morning routine.
No-bake energy bars
Have you ever wondered why grocery stores often line their check-out lanes with protein bars? It can be extremely tempting to dump the premade, prewrapped, and energizing bars into your gym bag and solve your post-workout snack dilemmas in one fell swoop. However, according to Hickey, “most of the store-bought processed bars aren’t really that healthy for you (and contain plenty of hidden calories, sugar, and fats),” just like these 17 other “healthy” foods you actually need to avoid. Even though store-bought bars are simple and accessible options, it can be just as easy to make your own no-bake bars at home.
According to Hickey, all you need is whole grain oats, a touch of honey, dried fruit and nuts, and protein powder of your choice. Be sure to make enough no-bake bars to last the week, and “wrap them individually in cellophane so you can grab and go,” Hickey suggests. For the full grocery store experience, you can even store your post-workout snacks near the door to your home—and skip the payment!