Nothing is more rewarding than a colorful meal following an intense workout. And to me, both the workout and the healthy meal essential. I believe that there is nothing more important than feeling light on your feet, clear minded, and motivated to tackle your to-do-list and succeed at your goals. I achieve this through my diet and fitness regime, but my blog, Food By Maria, is about much more than feeling good and eating well. It is a lifestyle that I practice, work to improve on everyday, and something that I want to share with the world. I believe that we can all lead well nourished lives while staying active and conscious in the kitchen!
One of the ways I practice creating this kind of balance is in making time for invigorating group exercise with friends, and then re-fueling with plant foods that are colorful, nourishing, and delicious. I feel blessed to have so many friends in my life that take fitness and healthy living so seriously.
We start at the gym, though most of my day-to-day exercise I do alone, I love working out in a group when I can because it’s so energizing. We all motivate and guide each other. Having company makes an intense core workout and weight training session that much more rewarding. Sweaty and high on post-workout adrenaline, we go back to my house for brunch.
One dish to provide immediate gratification is cashew cream oats with grapefruit and coconut. A powerful post-workout meal, this dish has a rich texture from the oats and soaked cashews, balanced with notes of citrus from fresh grapefruit. I like it because it’s extremely high in protein and only the best fats to help your body recover after a high intensity workout.
We snack on oats and sip on a refreshing charcoal lavender lemonade, a sweet, tangy refresher, to reenergize. Activated charcoal gives the drink an alarming hue, but it is thought to help relieve bloating and generally help detoxify the body. Once we’ve taken the edge off we do a little cooking. Everyone loves pizza and this one is basically avocado toast in pizza format. It is full of fresh flavor from pesto, cherry tomatoes, and avocado — in place of cheese. The balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats makes this pizza a great post-workout option.
To finish out the meal? Gorgeous, generous papaya smoothie boats. The addition of nut butter and cacao powder yields a chocolatey smoothie all wrapped up in a fresh and detoxifying papaya. It will keep you guessing whether or not it is actually healthy because it just tastes that good. The combination of tropical fruit and rich cacao has never been more perfect.
One of the things I love about these dishes is their simplicity. Not only are dishes like these easy to recreate, but they are also delicious, and most importantly they are packed with energy! Any one of them would make a perfect post-workout breakfast whether with friends or on your own. Even if you are not working out, these dishes, packed with vitamins, fiber, and plant-based goodness, offer a great way to keep your body healthy, well-balanced, and regular!
Working out is just part of achieving your fitness goals; but the most important part to being healthy will be what you eat. Work hard at the gym, eat well, and have fun in the kitchen!