How to Properly Fuel Your Workout

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Which is better fuel for spinning class — protein or carbohydrates? Should you consume a sports drink on a long run? Is it safe to eat before a workout? Listen to locker room talk at the gym and you’ll hear lots of conflicting tips about what you should eat and drink before and after you work out. These answers to five common questions about fueling your workout sort fact from fiction.

Will Protein Make My Muscles Grow?

Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but eating more protein will not magically make you stronger. The only way to grow muscles is to put them to work. “Carbohydrates are the best fuel for working muscles,” says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD.

Carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles to power your workout. “Fifty to 60 percent of energy used during one to four hours of continuous moderate to hard endurance activity is derived from carbohydrates,” says Mangieri.

Do Sports Drinks, Gels and Energy Bites Live Up to the Hype?

There’s nothing special about the many sports drinks, gels and energy bites on the market. But it is important to replace lost fluids as well as provide carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels while working out for longer than one hour. “Gels, energy bites or sports drinks can be an effective way to supply the body with energy, but they are not necessary. Real food will provide the same benefit as these pre-designed workout fuels,” says Mangieri.

For some athletes, eating solid food in the middle of a workout can cause digestive upset. In these cases, easily consumed sports gels, chews or drinks may help. “Food and fluid intake around workouts should be determined on an individual basis with consideration for an athlete’s gastrointestinal tract tolerance, as well as duration and intensity of the workout,” says Mangieri.

Is It Best to Work Out on an Empty Stomach?

Your body needs fuel to function, especially if you’re asking it to run, jump, swim or lift weights. Don’t skip breakfast before a morning workout. “Eating before exercise, as opposed to [exercising in] the fasted state, has been shown to improve exercise performance,” says Mangieri.

Eating in the morning helps replenish liver glycogen and steadies blood sugar levels. If it’s hard to stomach solid food first thing in the morning, try a fruit smoothie, or a liquid meal supplement, and don’t forget to hydrate before you exercise.

Regular Exercise Means I Can Eat What I Want and Not Gain Weight, Right?

Wrong. Working out isn’t license to abandon portion sizes and healthy eating guidelines. It’s easy to overestimate the amount of calories you burn while working out.

You should adjust your calorie intake if you’re engaging in serious training, such as for a triathlon, where you might be working out more than once a day. “Recovery nutrition is necessary if you are an athlete participating in strenuous activity, especially if you are participating in multiple events in the same day,” says Mangieri. “For the casual exerciser working out for an hour or less, a healthy balanced diet will work just fine.

Is Chocolate Milk Really an Athlete’s Best Friend?

Because of its favorable carbohydrate and protein content, chocolate milk is indeed an effective recovery aid, but it’s not your only choice. “Yogurt or half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat can be just as effective,” says Mangieri.

Source: Eleese Cunningham, RDN, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our chef prepared meals are perfect for fueling yourself before and after your workouts. And since they are calorie and portion controlled, you won’t have to worry about overeating or not getting a nutritionally balanced meal. Why rely on sports drinks or gels for energy when you get eat REAL FOOD prepared fresh for you each week by our chefs.

Try one of our 5 gourmet menus or our single meals or add some house made protein bars and healthy snack packs to your order today and get 10% off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG10 at checkout.

Epic Weekend? It’s Time To Undo The Damage

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What a weekend that was! You went out, you ate and drank and had a blast! And now the fun is over and the consequences are setting in…you feel terrible. You woke up with a headache, an overall feeling of bloating and a sluggishness that you can’t shake.

It’s time to undo the damage brought on from that epic weekend. Here’s how…

1. No More Junk!

It may sound obvious, but the first step to recovering from all that fun you had is to stop the damage. No more naughty foods. No more alcohol.

When you are vacationing or partying it’s easy to remove your mindful eating and drinking mechanism, and to replace it with the anything-goes mindset. This makes sense for party-mode, but once you come back home and get back to real life it’s important to firmly put an end to the junk food and calorie-laden beverages. If you don’t then your weekend diet may continue into your week, resulting in tons of extra calories that quickly add up in unwanted pounds.

2. Flush Your System.

For the next 48 hours your main mission is to drink as much water as possible. All of those poor food and drink choices result in dehydration, which manifests in a pounding headache and a feeling of sluggishness. Plan to sip on water throughout the next two days, adding in fresh sliced fruit, cucumbers, mint or basil to add a refreshing and rewarding flavor.

3. Get Some Rest.

End the party or vacay Sunday afternoon so that you can get into bed early in preparation for the week ahead. It may not sound super exciting to plan an early-to-bed night at the end of your weekend but, come Monday morning, you will be functioning much better with a little rest under your belt. Plan to get to bed early the next couple of days as well, and fit in a nap if possible.

4. Eat Cleansing Foods.

You’ve stopped eating junk, now fill your diet with small light meals consisting of fiber and a serving of protein. Stick with only whole foods for the next 48 hours. Fruits and fresh veggies should make up the bulk of your calories as you recover. Asparagus, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and raw veggies are all wonderful items to enjoy in addition to high quality, low fat protein.

5. Avoid Going Extreme.

Yes, you ate and drank a LOT this weekend, but swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction isn’t actually going to help. Overcompensation is rarely a winning idea. Fight the urge to skip meals or to over-exercise in response to your indulgences. Going from one extreme to the other creates a bad cycle that leaves you feeling even more tired. In addition, taking your body from feast to famine will actually make you more prone for fat storage.

Getting and staying in great shape will not only help you bounce back from the weekend faster, it will also help you achieve healthy habits that will stick with you even as you party and vacation.

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


Another weekend has come and gone, but in addition to undo-ing the damage of the past few days, how about trying a 30 day food cleanse to undo the damage of the past couple of months. A majority of the meals on our Paleo meals are 30 day cleanse approved and exactly the sort of clean eating you need to take back your health. Our paleo menu is just one of the 5 menus we offer, so even if you’re not ready to give it a try, we’re sure you will enjoy one of our other offerings.

Visit FreshNFitCuisine.com today and get $20 off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout.

Eating To Boost Your Energy

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Let’s face it, we are in an energy crisis. We, as a society, are busy, stressed, need more physical activity and sometimes have poor eating habits — all contributing to low energy levels. One way to fix our energy deficit is to eat better. The right combinations of food can give you a boost. Follow these five strategies to maximize your energy.

Eat Often

Eating every three to four hours can help to fuel a healthy metabolism, maintain muscle mass and prevent between-meal hunger that can lead to unwise snacking. If you only are eating one to two meals a day, this will be an adjustment. As you learn how to eat more frequently throughout the day, remind yourself that you will feel better and be more focused when you have fuel in your system on a regular basis.

Honor Your Hunger and Fullness Cues

Eating just enough, but not too much, helps to curb cravings and reduces chances of overeating. Keep in mind that portions often are too large. If your meal carries you five to six hours without hunger pangs, it’s likely that you’re eating too much. On a scale of 0 to 10 (where 0 is starving and 10 is painfully full), try eating to about a 5 or 6 level, where you are comfortably full but not stuffed.

Balance Your Plate

A balanced meal includes whole grains, lean protein, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a small amount of healthy fats. Balance out your plate with all the food groups for sustained energy.

Snacks Are a Bridge

Don’t skip this important eating event. Snacks should have protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates to provide lasting energy. Grab an apple and a handful of nuts; carrots and string cheese; or Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Keep in mind that snacks are not intended to fill you up, but to bridge you from one meal to the next.

Remove Energy Zappers

Skip the soda, sugary coffee and energy drinks. These foods may leave you buzzing for an hour, but likely will cause an energy crash. Instead, quench your thirst with water, fat-free or low-fat milk, low-calorie flavored water or unsweetened tea.

Source: Tara Gidus, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our dietitian approved meals are all nutritionally balanced so your energy levels stay consistent throughout the day. If you’re still looking for something extra to graze on in between meals, then our Healthy Mix and Paleo Snack Packs are exactly what you need!

Give us a try today and get $20 off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout.

When Diet and Exercise Don’t Work

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I saw an infomercial the other day for a weight loss solution targeting the frustrated people who, “fail to see results from diet and exercise.” Had to scratch my head on that one.

When does diet and exercise fail? This, of course, is a trick question. Diet and exercise don’t fail. The only way for diet and exercise not to work is if you fail to stick with it long enough for the results to show. Plain and simple. End of story.

I’ve seen more clients than I can count transform their bodies through the power of diet and exercise. Without surgery. Without gadgets. Without pills. The real question to ask, when you’re not making progress towards your fat loss goal, is not why diet and exercise has failed you, but rather why have you not stuck with it?

How to stick with a diet and exercise plan…

I will not downplay the hard work that goes into sticking with a diet and exercise plan, day-after-day, week-after-week, in order to achieve a stunning body transformation. It takes dedication, focus, energy, determination and a stubborn refusal to quit. Make no mistake about it: losing fat is hard work! Which is precisely why so many give up before experiencing the body that they really want to have. So, you wonder, why are some people able to stick with the process long enough to transform their bodies while others jump ship after a few weeks?

Here are the four steps to sticking with diet and exercise for the long haul…

1. Mentally and emotionally lock on to the idea of the new, sexier, you.

You can’t casually date the idea of transforming your body. This isn’t a noncommittal, no-strings-attached relationship – you’ve got to go all in, both mentally and emotionally. Attach yourself to the idea of a brand new you; focus on how you will feel, what you will wear and how life will improve once you achieve your fat loss goal. The stronger your feelings and mental image become, the more likely you are to succeed.

2. Keep the game plan as simple as possible.

There is no need for fancy diet plans or complicated exercise movements when it comes to dropping pant sizes. Keep your game plan as simple and boring as possible, even eating the same meals everyday and exercising at the same time for the same length (with varying intensity), until your big fat loss goal has been met. Until your big fat loss leap has been made just stick with an uncomplicated game plan that works.

3. Plan for the resistance.

It’s naïve to think that your body transformation journey will be all smooth sailing. Realistically you will run into resistance time and time again. This resistance will come in the form of tempting cheat meals, tired muscles, lazy friends and waning motivation. But, most powerfully, the resistance will come from inside of you. It’s natural to resist change, and transforming the shape of your body is big change. Plan for the waves of resistance. See it coming before it crashes over you, and you’ll be able to stand strong long enough for it to recede without hampering your progress.

4. Build in accountability.

This is the most important step by far. It is essential to build accountability into your fail-proof fat loss plan. A friend, a coach, or a mentor who has a vested interest in seeing you succeed will save you from throwing in the towel when things get tough. The role that I fill for my clients is the accountability to keep them on their path to health and fitness with my support, instruction and encouragement. I celebrate every inch lost and every ounce of new confidence gained.

Author: Rene Serrate, Alpharetta Fit Body Boot Camp


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our calorie and portion controlled meals make it easy to take small steps so you’ll have no problem sticking to a healthy diet. Try our individual meal plans, single meals, snack packs, protein bars or low cal desserts today and get 10% off your first order of $50 or more with promo code JLYBLOG10 at checkout.

Another Weight Loss Success Story!

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At Fresh ‘N Fit, nothing makes us happier than hearing your success stories, especially when our calorie and portion controlled meals are incorporated into your health and nutrition goals. We’ve seen the positive results time and time and they always amaze us! Today, we’d like to introduce you to Rachel, who is celebrating her one year anniversary of being on Fresh ‘N Fit.
She explains, “Struggling through the end of college, I had abandoned all healthy habits.  I tried going to the LA Fitness with a personal trainer for a year, but that didn’t do much since my nutrition was inconsistent. Losing a good friend in a tragic car accident shocked me into realizing that life is fleeting. I realized that I needed to take a more dramatic action to honor her life by taking care of mine, even if that meant running obstacle course races.”

After accepting that I actually had an eating disorder and I knew that I needed outside help. My therapist recommended Fresh ‘N Fit meals with the encouragement that there is no one correct way to eat healthy.

“You don’t have to spend tons of money at expensive grocery stores only to later spend hours batch cooking and eating the same leftovers all week.”

Instead of stressing out over both shopping and cooking with healthier aspirations, I am able to rely almost entirely on Fresh ‘N Fit to reset my body and mind by eating clean.

“With the meal plan, I eat out less, focus on my fitness training more, and enjoy my life without the mental fatigue of cooking and preparing healthy meals.”

Within the first 4 months of Fresh ‘N Fit, I consistently lost about 10 pounds per month.

“I started Crossfit two months in, hoping for an engaging workout system that would continue to improve my life beyond nutrition. After the first 6 months of Fresh ‘N Fit, I have lost 60 pounds. During the second 6 months I’ve lost another 10 pounds and 8 inches from my waistline. I have bought 2 completely new wardrobes by this point, starting at a size 18 at 255 pounds and am now at a size 10/12 at 185. I compete in weightlifting, powerlifting, and Crossfit competitions for fun, and most importantly, I love waking up every day and living my life to the fullest! Each day I try to make the best choices for myself, living by the mantra to be my best self every day. I want to thank Fresh ‘N Fit, my Crossfit Vesuvio gym fam and coaches, my #strongLike lady squad, and the extended Crossfit community for supporting not just me but everyone on their daily journey to their best selves.”


Are you inspired yet? We definitely are so let Rachel’s journey be the motivation you need this summer to finally take the first steps towards a happy and healthier you!

Try one of our 5 chef prepared meals, healthy snack packs and house made protein bars today and get $20 off your first order when you use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout.

Finding a Healthy Balance With Fresh ‘N Fit

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By: Adam McCabe
I am halfway through the NPSL season with the Georgia Revolution and I could not be happier with how things are going. I am performing well and the team is right in the mix for making the playoffs this summer. Furthermore, I personally feel great and have really leaned out during the season.

With the season being a long 5 plus months long, and my schedule being pretty hectic with practices, matches, and community events, I really need a constant in my life when it comes to my food and diet.

Thankfully, I have Fresh ‘N Fit meals to provide me with that healthy balance throughout my life.

The toughest challenge I face while playing for the Georgia Revolution is the fact that three times a week I have to travel down to McDonough, Georgia for practice. While it is only a mere 40 minutes away (on a good day with little traffic), I still spend a  total of 4 hours on practice days committing to traveling to practice, practicing, and then traveling home. Practices begin at 7:30 and last till around 9 to 9:30. Then I have to make the 40 minute drive home.

The last thing I want to worry about or do after a long day and soccer practice is cooking a meal. By the time I get back into Atlanta, most restaurants or healthy eating establishments are closed.  However, with my paleo Fresh ‘N Fit meals, as soon as I return home I can pop one in the oven while I shower and within 20 minutes of getting home, I am eating a healthy meal.

For me, the most important asset of Fresh ‘N Fit meals is the ease of making the meals and how much time it saves me during my busy schedule.

I am not sure how I would be able to eat properly and with such ease without Fresh ‘N Fit. Thankfully these meals enable me to continue playing the game I love, while having a stress free life and helping me perform at an ultimate level.

In terms of performing consistently at a high level (within your sport), feeling active and healthy overall, or those who are looking to lose weight, the key is to have a consistent, healthy diet. As the saying goes, “it is 80% diet and 20% exercise.” Whatever your goal is,  Fresh ‘N Fit meals will provide the necessary platform to help you surpass and achieve these feats. I am able to perform on a consistently high basis while playing for the Georgia Revolution because I have a great foundation with my diet. My body and mind are in the correct space to perform, due to the healthy foods I eat and fuel my body with daily.

About the author: Adam McCabe currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia and plays soccer for the Georgia Revolution. You can find him on Facebook and Instagram.


Interested in trying Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s chef prepared, gourmet meals, healthy snacks or low cal desserts? Use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout for $20 off your first order of $50 or more.

7 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight

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Weight loss is often a frustrating pursuit, eluding even those who eat healthy and exercise. So what gives? Why won’t the scale budge even as you put out tremendous effort? Read on for the 7 reasons that most fitness and health food lovers don’t lose the pounds that they want to…

1. You Don’t Sleep Enough

Let’s start with the most rampant problem standing in the way of your fat loss. Most adults simply do not get adequate sleep to support weight loss. There is a scientific reason for this, and it has everything to do with hormone levels. While you sleep your cortisol levels decline while your growth hormone levels increase. This balance is essential for fat loss to occur. So skipping on Zzzz’s will throw your hormones into fat storing mode, while simultaneously causing you to feel hungrier and encouraging you to eat more calories.

2. You Eat TOO MUCH Healthy Food

Yes, my friend, there is such thing as TOO MUCH healthy food. When it comes to weight gain, extra calories can come from just about anywhere before landing on your waistline – even from healthy foods. Sure, it will take you longer to gain weight by overeating roasted chicken and sweet potato than it would ice cream and chips, but the extra pounds will still add up. Control your portions, even of healthy foods, in order to make strides in your body transformation journey.

3. You Don’t Drink Enough Water

Most of us are walking around in a state of partial dehydration everyday. In addition to being dangerous for all of your major body organs, dehydration is perilous for fat loss. Not only does water serve as an appetite suppressant to fill your stomach and prevent you from overeating, thirst is often mistaken for hunger pains, leading to extra calories consumed and stored as fat. By sipping on water throughout the day you’ll avoid dehydration and will find it easier to move the number on your scale in a favorable direction.

4. You Eat Out Too Much

Restaurant meals are higher in calories than meals prepared and eaten at home – across the board. There is simply no way around it, and even if you consciously attempted to eat small portions while eating out it would be quite difficult to do. Restaurant food is created with consumer satisfaction in mind, and this means adding fats and sugars and salt to many of the menu items in order to produce the tastiest food possible! Unfortunately the tastiest is also quite often the most fattening. Want more fat loss? Make simple, wholesome meals at home and eat with portion control.

5. You Don’t Get Enough Protein or Fiber

Protein and fiber are the golden tickets to fat loss, but sadly your diet doesn’t contain nearly enough of it. It’s natural to enjoy the flavors of sugar, fat and carbs more than protein and fiber, and that’s why your diet is filled with more of these than it should be. While sugar, fat and carbs taste better than protein and fiber, these lead to dreaded weight gain. Consciously plan your meals around a base of protein and fiber, and then add in just enough complex carbs and healthy fats to keep it well rounded. Save the bulk of your sugar, fat and simple carb consumption for planned cheat meals in order to prevent ongoing weight gain.

6. Your Diet is Filled with Packaged Foods

I’m not talking about cookies and candies, because you know better than that. I’m talking about packaged granola bars, crackers, rice cakes, protein cookies, and the plethora of packaged health foods that you have stashes of. Sure, these packaged foods may be healthier than snacks from a vending machine, but in the grand scheme of your fat loss, the fewer packaged items the better when it comes to shedding pounds. Even the healthiest of packaged foods contain ingredients that are modified or processed, in order to preserve the shelf life, and these ingredients have a negative impact on your waistline.

Real, natural and whole always beats packaged. Take inventory of your daily diet and eliminate the packaged foods so that it’s no longer an everyday occurrence.

7. Your Workouts are Too Easy

Going through the motions at the gym simply doesn’t cut it when you want to transform your body. Most people want to stay as comfortable as possible at all times, and this usually means treading lightly through their workout, rather than going all in. And while putting your body through the motions of exercise is better than sitting on the couch, it certainly won’t result in a sculpted body.

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


If your diet is filled with packaged “healthy” foods, then you need to look no further than Fresh ‘N Fit’s dietitian-approved, gourmet meals as the solution. Our chefs prepare our delicious 400 and 600 calorie meals using fresh ingredients from local markets and sustainable farms – no frozen foods, added preservatives, artificial sweeteners or trans fats – you can enjoy clean, delicious meals every day, without planning, meal prep or cooking. Available in 2 convenient options: individual meal plans and single meals.

Give us a try today and get 10% off your first order when you use promo code BLOG0610 at checkout.

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