Run or Workout? Apples Core to Training Diet + Recipes

Why Apples are Core to a Runner's Diet - find out the health benefits and how they can improve your training.There’s truth to the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  This popular fruit has a bushel of benefits to keep the general population and athletes healthy and well. For example, apples are low in calories yet high in fiber, certain vitamins (like C), antioxidants and phytonutrients, making them a filling and snack that helps maintain weight and optimize health.

Avoid Apple Overload -- so just what IS considered a healthy serving of apple?

But, like everything else, you can over indulge. The suggested serving for an apple is about 1/3 pound, about 3″ in diameter (think of a tennis ball). However, most apples you see today at the market are not just large, the are super JUMBO! So, whether you run, swim, CrossFit or play team sports like basketball or lacrosse, there are even more reasons to add a healthy serving of apples to your training diet. Here are a few:

Healthy Carbs: Apples contain fructose, a natural fruit sugar that buts gas in the tank for your workouts. A medium apple has about 20 grams of carbohydrates.

Recovery: The healthy carbs in apples are also important for post-workout recovery, namely to replenish glycogen and fluids stores and help synthesis protein so that the body can repair taxed muscles. That’s why I always pair my apple with a Core Power High Protein Shake!

Hydration: Apples are about 84 percent water and another way to replace potassium and other electrolytes lost through sweat during exercise.

Gut Health: Pectin is found in apples, a prebiotic that promotes friendly gut bacteria. A healthy gut helps to “move things along” so that you won’t feel bloated and weighted down for your workout.

Endurance Booster:  Some studies suggest that quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples (especially the peel), may improve athletic endurance by affecting the oxidation process to muscles and increasing V02 Max.

Perfectly Portable: An apple comes packaged in its own wrapping will stay fresh for days (if not weeks) without any special treatment, making one an ideal snack to keep stowed in your purse or gym bag.

Versatile:  In addition to crunching an apple out of hand, there are plenty of easy and healthy ways to incorporate more apples into your diet including Apple “Nachos,” applesauce and baked apples.  It’s also easy to chop up apples and add them to protein pancake batter, stir frys and salads.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE APPLE RECIPES:

Cinnamon Super Oatmeal Stuffed ApplesBaked Cinnamon “Super Oats” Apples my just be the most comforting, homey breakfast ever made with a big apple and whole grain oats “superfied” with additional seeds and nuts.

caramel granola apple dessertCaramel Crunch Apple Nachos are are unique and healthy treat for parties, celebrations, fiestas and just plain ole everyday healthy snacking!

Apple Ring Protein PancakesApple Ring Protein Pancakes are a muscle-making spin off on my Grandma’s famous fritter recipe. Healthy carbs from the apples paired with a bit of protein powder are ideal for refueling after a hard run or workout.

Healthy raspberry apple snackRaspberry Chocolate Apple Rings simply require spreading a chocolate nut-butter over sliced apple and topping with raspberries.

So, are YOU an apple fan? Do you eat an apple a day . . . or an apple a week? What is your favorite way to eat an apple? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

Tart Cherry Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes & Ab Workout #TryAboutTime

I have no regrets about living a (mostly) clean, healthy lifestyle and saying “no thank you” to a lot of temptations like margaritas, donuts or never-ending breadstick baskets. However, one of the most difficult break-ups in transitioning to a higher protein diet was with pancakes – big, fluffy stacks of carbo-overload yumminess covered in sugary syrup.  About Time Protein Pancakes - TheFitFork.com

So, you can only imagine how thrilled I was to discover About Time Protein Pancake Mix – it’s a hearty, healthy breakfast that offers 21 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber for about 290 calories. And, it still tastes like delicious comfort food! For me, this pancake mix offers an optimal serving size of protein – I try to take in between 20 – 30 grams during each meal (and snacks). Actually, I learned last year from nutrition researcher, Dr. Heather Leidy, that eating adequate protein in the morning can help curb unhealthy snacking later, even much later, in the day.

The Chocolate Chip Protein Pancake Mix (Cinnamon Spice also available) is so easy to make – even on busy mornings (or make ahead and freeze)!  Of course, being a fit foodie, I always have to put my spin on things, so I came up with this “recipe” for Tart Cherry & Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes. Super simple — I just swapped out cherry juice for some of the water called for on the package and defrosted frozen tart cherries, mashed them with a fork and mixed in stevia and unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt. YUM!

Tart Cherry & Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes - TheFitFork.com

Tart Cherry & Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes Recipe 

  • 1 cup dry About Time Chocolate Chip Protein Pancake Mix
  • 1/4 cup tart cherry juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/3 cup frozen tart cherries, defrosted
  • 6 ounces unsweetened, plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid stevia (or, more or less to taste)
  • Garnish – mini chocolate chips
  1. Whisk together dry mix with cherry juice and water until just blended.
  2. Heat skillet to medium heat (about 325 F degrees).
  3. Cook pancakes until bubbles stop forming and edges are cooked, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, about another 1 minute. Repeat for remaining pancakes (will make 6 – 8 pancakes, depending on size)
  4. While pancakes are cooking, add cherries to a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat on defrost in the microwave until thawed and just a bit warm.
  5. Coarsely mash cherries with back of fork, allow juices to remain in the bowl.
  6. Add Greek yogurt and stevia to cherries, mix to combine.
  7. To serve, arrange pancakes into two stacks. Top with ½ of cherry topping. Enjoy!
  8. Serves 2

About Time AUX Pre-Workout and Fruit & Nut Bars - TheFitFork.com

About Time has so many other great products that fit in with my lifestyle – just a few I’d like to point out are the Paleo-friendly Fruit, Nut and Protein Bars that are great for post-workout or satiating snack and the AUX Pre-Workout Drink (stevia-sweetened) designed to increase metabolic performance and promote rapid recovery. The company believes in complete ingredient transparency, there are no preservatives or yucky chemicals. You’ll be finding both of these products in my gym bag from now on!

And, what would talking about food that keeps athletes fit and looking fierce be without a special workout?!  Try out my About Time Abs Workout – you may not thank me while you’re doing it, but you’ll thank me later!

About Time Abs Workout - TheFitFork.com

 

Have you ever had protein pancakes, what did you think?!

What is your go-to ab or core exercise?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of About Time.