In the midst of reading The Hormone Diet, by ND Natasha Turner, it dawned on me that I need to incorporate more protein into my pre-workout regime. In following Natasha's advice, last week I added 1.5 scoops of Vega chocolate smoothie protein with water and my workout was incredible! I was bursting with energy and my muscles were loving every moment of it. Needless to say, I woke up the next morning feeling sore in all the right places.
According to Natasha, you should never do weight training on an empty stomach. You need energy from your foods to perform optimally, especially if you're pumping iron. If you're doing cardio alone you can forgo eating, as long as your session doesn't exceed 30 minutes.
With weights on my mind, I wanted to create something substantial but not overwhelmingly sweet. I also wanted to ensure it had a good source of protein. After puttering around in my fridge it became clear...almond butter.
I turned to Dreena's blog, author of Eat, Drink & be Vegan, for some baked-vegan-goodness inspiration.
Pre-workout Strength Cookies
Adapted from Eat, Drink & be Vegan
- 1 cup quick oats
- 2/3 cup spelt flour
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 –1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
- 1 tbsp carob powder (can usually find in bulk at your local health foods store)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup flax meal (not flax seed)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- 2 tbsp caco nibs (optional, but totally worth it)
- 1 tsp hemp seeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used half maple syrup and half raw agave!)
- 3 tbsp raw almond butter
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp organic canola oil (I used olive, however I'm not sure if oil is even necessary)
Directions:Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, carob, caco nibs, chia and/or hemp seeds. Sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I use these, which I love!) With wet finger tips, spoon batter onto baking sheet and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out). Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.These rocked my world! Thanks, Dreena.
I cannot wait to eat one, or two, before my workout tomorrow. If I'm feeling extra selfless, maybe I'll remember to bring one for my trainer =)
It's official, I'm in love with a cookie.
What's your pre-workout fuel?