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5 Gluten-Free Post-Workout Snack Ideas

Why do we need to snack after our workout?

 

We know how important it is to get our pre-workout nutrition right so that we have energy to take us through our exercise routines and to build muscle and burn fat, right? Well, it’s really important to help our bodies recover quickly from our activity by having good snacks for after our workout too.

 

A really good rule is to learn to listen to our bodies which helps us to understand what we need, when to eat and how much to eat, but it’s not always easy, especially when you get started on a new healthy eating and exercise plan, and particularly when you have particular dietary needs such as gluten intolerance.

 

Gluten-free but not sugar or fat free!

 

What we are trying to avoid by having our post-workout snacks ready is a sugar crash. A sugar crash puts us at risk of eating too much of the wrong things in order to quickly raise our energy levels back up, but this quickly leads to a further crash and ultimately makes us feel worse and eat badly to achieve a quick fix. Often you can see that store bought gluten-free products have the wheat and the flour replaced by fat and sugar, which gives us an immediate energy high but doesn’t sustain us for very long.

 

One thing we do know though is that post-workout is the very best time to eat carbs as your body will quickly and easily convert them to energy rather than storing them as fat. But, of course, we don’t want to overdo it and wipe out all the effort we’ve put in by eating too many carbs, so again, balance is really important.

 

So, for our gluten-free recovery snacks, we want to achieve a good mix of protein and carbs, and these are my suggestions for some easy-to-prepare and easy-to-carry gluten free post-workout snacks:

 

Rice cakes with peanut butter

 

Go for smooth or crunchy (my favourite has to be smooth!). There are some great natural peanut butters on the market which don’t have so many additives, such as salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats. There are some really tasty alternatives to peanut too, such as cashew nut butter. Of course, this isn’t a good choice for anyone with a nut allergy, it goes without saying.

 

night-rice-rice-cakes

Chocolate milk

 

Regular chocolate milk made with dairy milk provides a great balance of protein and carbohydrate (soya milk doesn’t provide the carb and almond milk doesn’t provide the protein so don’t be tempted to swap!). An 8oz glass is perfect for a post-workout snack.

 

chocolate milk caroline byron

Fresh fruit

 

A bowl of fresh fruit with some unsweetened natural greek yogurt is an easy and so refreshing snack, with the fruit adding sweetness. Make sure you add some banana for a more slow-release snack. Your fruit can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator in a tupperware container or similar.

 

Carolyn Byron 2016

Cheese and apple

 

Fresh, crunchy apple slices with some cheese or cottage cheese is a heavenly match, and you can choose a lower fat option if you want to. If you prefer the full fat options, then don’t have quite as much cheese, especially if you’re weight-watching (an ounce of cheese is about right). You can add some celery sticks too.

 

Dried fruit

 

A handful of dried fruits such as dates, raisins and apricots is a quick and easy store cupboard post workout snack – pop some into a bag and you’re good to go! If you have a sweet tooth this is a great snack but don’t overdo it, the sugar of the fruit is more concentrated when it’s dried.

 

dried-fruits

Hydration is key

 

lemon-water-refreshment-fruit-juice-162783

 

It’s important to remember to drink plenty of water throughout your exercise program and throughout the day. Water is so good for glowing skin and sparkling eyes, as well as being critical in helping your body perform at its best. I try to carry a bottle of with me at all times.

 

Don’t forget to share your photos with me on Instagram, and let me know the workout snacks that work best for you too. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

5 Perfect New York Eateries Serving An Awesome Mother’s Day Brunch

Show how much you care.

It’s easy to think that Mother’s Day is all about buying a gift and a card and showing that you’ve given some thought to letting your mom know that you appreciate her, but taking her out for brunch means that you get to spend some time with her.

In many ways this makes the day really special – not only are you showing how much you care but you’re also treating her as a friend as well as a parent, which adds another dimension to your relationship.

New York has some wonderful places to eat on Mother’s Day, and I’m going to share some of my favorites with you, but there are, of course, great places the world over where you can spend some quality time with your mom.

Gotham Bar and Grill

 

With awards in abundance and fabulous reviews, this downtown New York restaurant is a lively and beautiful place to eat wonderful food.

slider-photo-gotham-selects

It’s situated in a tree-lined stretch of Greenwich Village area and has a set price Mother’s Day Brunch for $75, including such delights as House Made Granola Parfait, Maine Lobster Tagliatelle, and Gotham Chocolate Cake.

The menu is plenty and varied and has a good number of options for those with special dietary requirements. (www.gothambarandgrill.com)

 

Lupulo

 

This Portuguese inspired restaurant, based on the traditional recipes of the chef George Mendes’ own mother, Lupulo gives you the choice of a fixed price Mother’s Day Brunch menu or you can go a la carte.

Lupus nyc

The prix-fixe is $42 for 3 courses, and includes choice of tea, coffee or juice as well as Bacalhau Croquettes, skirt steak and eggs plus traditional Portuguese egg custard tarts. This is a really relaxed and inviting place to eat which pays homage to traditional Portuguese Taverns with its striking blue and white tile and rustic wood tones. (www.lupulonyc.com)

 

ABC Kitchen

 

For wonderfully fresh and seasonal ingredients with a local producer focus, this restaurant not only serves award winning cuisine but has a farm-to-table ethos and is environmentally conscious.

ABC Kitchen nyc

Their brunch menu makes great reading, with amazing choices such as scrambled eggs, crispy oysters and hot sauce butter, or the delightfully named eggs benedict with flying pigs farm ham, and has a great choice of wonderful salads, entrees and appetizers. This is a place to eat that makes your soul feel good!

The wine and cocktails list are imaginative and broad and there are house made juices too. (www.abckitchennyc.com)

 

Cookshop

 

Whether your mom is a foodie or not particularly into the cuisine side of things, Cookshop on Tenth Avenue is perfect for a Mother’s Day Brunch with a chef’s selection pastry board, the Cookshop breakfast bowl (kale, spinach, farro wheatberries, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, feta cheese, walnut oil, nigella seed, falafel, sunny side up egg), egg white frittata and so much more to enjoy.

cookshop nyc

As they say about themselves; “At the heart and soul of this restaurant lies the owners’ commitment to bringing an honest, seasonal dining option to New York City.”

This restaurant has charm and atmosphere and also has a great selection of wines, which are completely suitable as a gift/momento for your mom at the end of your meal. (www.cookshopny.com)

 

Chalk Point Kitchen

 

This Soho restaurant is my slightly guilty pleasure, included because its menu is really helpful to anyone who has a gluten free, vegan, or carb free diet, and their food is ultra organic but has a by no means limited offering.

chalk point kitchen

Another eatery with a market to table ethos, the Mother’s Day Brunch menu includes a complimentary strawberry Bellini, and the regular menu has delights which include homemade chorizo hash, warm ancient grain porridge and Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert with house-made apricot jam. Food is so fresh and lovely, this is a super-friendly place to eat. (www.chalkpointkitchen.com)

 

Wherever you choose to spend time with your mom on Mother’s Day, do share your experience with me and send photos. Have a wonderful weekend!

My Health Focused Morning Routine

The morning can often be rushed and forgotten about, but it’s vital to get those first hours right. Follow my morning steps to gently wake up mind and body, ready for a successful day.

 

Following a morning routine is essential for creating a productive and happy day. So often, people go about their business without even waking up properly. Rising that little bit earlier to ensure you get through your routine is 100% worth it due to the benefits you’ll feel throughout the day.
Give yourself a week of taking the time to fit these activities into your morning and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

 

Wake up

I used to be the girl who set five alarms every morning and snoozed them all! It was virtually impossible for me to wake up without feeling lethargic. But this snoozing and going back to sleep in the morning was actually hindering me. All these false alarms were confusing my body and making me feel like I hadn’t rested at all. I now set one alarm and get up. This simple change, as hard as it was at first, has revolutionized my mornings!  

 

Breathe

I use the Breath Pacer app from Larva Labs every morning and evening to set my breathing pace. For me, this is a form of meditation, but relates more to how your breath pattern affects your physiology. It’s even used in biofeedback to further physiological research. I can’t put into words how much this keeps me balanced throughout the day.

 

Stretch

I love yoga. I do a full workout in the evenings or just before lunchtime, but I find a good, light morning stretch is perfect for awakening my mind and body.

I use Yoga with Adriene videos – something so simple like her 5-minute morning yoga video can really transform your outlook on a sleepy morning.

 

Nourishment

I try to always eat my breakfast within half an hour of waking up. This is to make sure I’m fueled and ready for a busy day.

Breakfast doesn’t just help me function, food excites me – a wholesome breakfast fills me with joy and vitality for the day! Listening, reading or watching the headlines whilst enjoying breakfast is a good way to ease your brain into work. It engages your senses and tunes you into what’s going on in the world around you.

 

Get active

I understand this one can be quite hard to fit into your morning. But getting active doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym.

How about walking or cycling to work? Or getting off the bus or metro a stop earlier than usual? That small dose of exercise gives you an endorphin hit that will trigger all the right energy levels.

Don’t have a morning commute? How about venturing out to grab a coffee? Something as little as twenty minute walk could really help your focus and mood.

 

Make a plan

By this point in the morning I’m fueled, informed and my body’s ready to go. The only thing left to do is to organise my brain.

Before I start working every day I make a list of the targets I want to fulfill, giving timings to these lists really help me be my most productive self. That way if I do start losing focus, I can revert back to my list and know exactly what to do next.

 

Have you got your own routine, or thinking of following mine? Keep me posted on your progress over on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

My Perfect Self-Care Rituals

Sometimes we take on too much and need to relax, but it can feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Here’s how I fit some of my most perfect self-care rituals into my busy schedule.

Why it’s so important to de-stress

Most of us are always doing something. Whether that’s working, looking after children,  exercising or simply flicking through our instagram feed.

Our brains are always active and being challenged. Even when we’re not physically busying ourselves we’re often mentally planning the next day or worrying about personal goals. We need to make sure we’re taking time to switch off, relax and enjoy just ‘being’.


I eat to feed my body, I cook to feed my soul.

Cooking is fantastic for relaxing. It allows you to be creative and productive whilst giving you time to switch off, relax and reflect on your day. I love cooking stews and casseroles to give me optimum relaxing time. Chopping vegetables, preparing meat, slowly cooking and choosing sides… to me, there’s nothing more enjoyable.

Stress can often dull your senses, but as cooking is such a sensory experience it’s the perfect task to unwind. It keeps you active and your brain engaged on the task in hand, giving you time to distract yourself from the worries and troubles of everyday life.

Sharing a meal with your family and loved ones is a wonderful way to end your day. Unwinding over cooking means you can enjoy a relaxing meal, without feeling rushed and stressed.  

Carolyn Byron Cookbook 2016 perfect self-care rituals

An early night

Sometimes you’ve got nothing left to give the day. On these occasions you need to shut out the world and take an early night.

Whenever I do this I make sure I’ve got fresh linen on the bed, a good book and some lavendar under my pillow. This magical mix creates the most refreshing sleep.

 

Get Active

Being active is awesome for those times when our mind is racing but we’re physically tired. A good workout to get your heart pumping works wonders!

Whether I’m dancing to music in the house, meeting up with friends for a jog or going to a class, taking this time to focus on moving and having fun is amazing for clearing my head and keeping healthy.

At the moment I’m loving pilates classes at Equinox gym, NYC. Such a productive way to wind down.

 

Candles

This may seem over-simplistic, but never underestimate the power of a good scented candle. I’m addicted! A fantastic addition to a relaxing bath, a good read or even whilst making lists and organising my thoughts.

 perfect self-care rituals candle

Lighting my candles is a little self-care ritual that just puts my mind at ease. Having them in the background creates a relaxing vibe and really helps me switch off.

 

How do you unwind after a stressful day? Get in touch on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I love hearing from you guys!