Ask the Nutritionist

FoodFit Answers Your Toughest
Nutrition Questions

 

Frances Largeman, RD
Specialty: Sports Nutrition and Healthy Cooking

Q. I need an "on the run" breakfast. I don't like to eat before going to the gym, and after working out I am hungry and in a rush to get somewhere. Some days I end up at a fast food place. What is available for healthy eating in my car?

A. Many people don't enjoy eating early in the morning, but it's best to have something small before working out. Depending on the length and intensity of your workout, you may feel light-headed or nauseous by the end of your workout. To avoid running out of glycogen, it's best to eat something about 30 minutes before exercise. I suggest having something that's easy to digest and won't make you feel full, like a small glass of juice or a banana.

Post-workout it's really important to refuel and rehydrate. Though the ease of the drive-through can be tempting, it's a shame to end a great workout by filling up on high fat, empty-calorie foods. The good news is that there are plenty of on-the-go options for you. A whole-wheat bagel, tortilla or English muffin with one to two tablespoons of peanut butter and all-fruit spread is a great option. You'll get long-burning complex carbohydrates, as well as protein from the peanut butter. You could try soy nut butter as another option. Make this snack before you go to the gym—it will keep in your bag for up to two hours.

Yogurt is another quick snack. Just make sure to keep it chilled and always have some plastic spoons handy. Energy/protein bars can be a good option when you're short on time too. Choose one that's low in saturated fat (no more than 2 grams per 200-calorie bar), not too high in sugar and at least has a few grams of fiber. Bars like this are easy to stash in your gym bag. If you'd like to try your hand at making a tasty homemade version, try FoodFit's Apricot, Date and Nut Bars.


Q. My family loves grilled food, but using the Weber grill during the winter months is not fun. What are your suggestions on getting that grilled flavor?

A. Grilling is a wonderful, low fat cooking method that delivers delicious results. Whether you don't have a grill, or are looking for another option when the whether is less than stellar, a grill pan is the way to go.

Grill pans are just like regular frying pans, but they have ridges instead of a flat surface. All you need to do is spray the pan lightly with oil (an oil mister works great), heat it until hot and then add your meat or vegetables to the pan. You can sear meat and get those wonderful grill marks while keeping the meat away from any fat drippings. The trick is to not flip your chicken, fish, steak, etc. until the piece is entirely seared. If you flip it too soon, you'll tear the meat and lose a lot of it on the ridges of the pan. Just follow the same cooking instructions you would for all of your favorite grilled dishes and you can have a cookout in the middle of February!

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Frances Largeman, RD

Frances Largeman, RD earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at Columbia University in New York City. Frances is the managing editor of FoodFit. Prior to joining FoodFit, Frances was part of the editorial team at Discovery Health Channel's website. Frances gained her clinical experience at the Jon Kaiser Wellness Center in San Francisco, CA, which specialized in integrative medicine.

Frances is active in her professional community as a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). She is the Washington, DC area media representative for the ADA. Frances has appeared on local and national TV and has been quoted in the food and health sections of national magazines and newspapers across the country.

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