When you are trying to get into better shape, exercise is only part of the equation. You also need a diet that will help you maximize your workout and turn fat into muscle. Contrary to what a lot of people think, your diet should include some good fat. “We are big proponents of no carbs 30 minutes before working out, so it’s a lot of protein and good fats. By having proteins and fats before your workout, it actually elevates dopamine to the brain, so you can train harder.” Training harder and more efficiently helps you reach your fitness goals more quickly. Brad Davidson of Stark Training discussed the best dietary guidelines to follow before and after your workout.
Braised Pork Butt
Eaten in the morning before your workout, this recipe provides you with the protein and good fat you need to boost your brain activity and enhance your workout. You will need a slow cooker for this recipe.
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1-2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground mustard
- 12 oz. chicken broth
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 5 lbs. pork butt
- Mix the dry ingredients and rub all over the pork butt.
- Place the dry-rubbed pork butt in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
- Right before you go to bed, place the pork butt, garlic and chicken broth in a slow cooker set to low.
- Let the pork butt cook overnight.
Rosemary Grilled Chicken
Paired with the spicy sweet potato fries and some grilled vegetables (see the Stark website for the recipe), this recipe provides the lean protein and good carbohydrates that your body needs to start recovering from your workout.
- 2 lbs. free-range chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp garlic
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a container large enough to accommodate the chicken.
- Marinate the chicken while you heat the grill. NOTE: Do not allow the chicken to marinate more than 20 minutes as the citrus will cook the chicken.
- Grill the chicken until done.
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries (paired with the rosemary grilled chicken)
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 to 1 tsp (to taste) of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse the sweet potatoes with cold water and pat dry.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into strips.
- Place the cut sweet potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place the cut sweet potatoes and spices in a plastic bag and shake to coat the potatoes.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, turning once.
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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.