This is a guest blog post by Lin at @tumblinbumblincrumblincookie.
Hello yogis! I’m Lin, otherwise known as @tumblinbumblincrumblincookie, or the pestilential, highly dubious account with the ridiculous username that won’t quit splattering peanut butter and chocolate all over your instagram feed. I’m quite chuffed and more than honored to be able to join forces with the super-bendy, super lovely Angie in guest posting on each other’s websites—which was a long, arduous process made long and arduous on the sole basis that I am an incompetent doofus that couldn’t eke out a decent piece in the midst of my various commitments. So a very humble and sincere apology to Angie for making her wait with saintlike patience that must have summoned all the meditative calm of a thousand tree poses —but here it is and here we are, and I’ll be chatting to you today on the topic of post or pre yoga noms!
I used to take yoga lessons myself, which was a way of easing back into a regular exercise pattern; I did both Yin and Vinyasa alternately, and it was a very eye-opening experience (I had never before experienced such intense muscle-soreness from something that wasn’t cardio: sun salutations in particular made muscles I never knew existed ache in ways I never knew could exist). Whilst yoga is an exercise that invigorates spiritually and gives you a boost of mental clarity and energy, it is also very much a workout and it’s important to ensure you have enough energy to sustain that warrior pose, do a smooth chaturanga, and hold that headstand. It is also equally important to ensure you give your body some help to repair the tired and stretched-out muscles after, so finding sufficient sustenance for your yoga-ing is an indispensible step to being a happy, healthy yogi!
There are a lot of sites out there that go into the specific science of pre and post workout snacking—some tell you how your body will draw on the energy to repair or fuel muscle, how the energy will be metabolised, maybe that specific combination of carbohydrates and protein and fat to give you a super energy rise. I won’t be going into that purely because I am firstly not qualified, being neither a nutritionist or well educated in sports science; and secondly because I believe that it’s highly subjective to what works for your body, and what you feel gives you energy /makes you feel best! We are all different and made uniquely, and our bodies function very much on a different level; it’s up to you to experiment and gauge how well your body runs on different types of food. You might only want a banana or a small handful of almonds before and prefer to refuel after your exercise; you might prefer to have a meal and allow that to settle before exercising so you have enough energy; both are perfectly fine! As long as you are listening to your body, respecting its boundaries and giving it the fuel it needs to allow you to yoga to your heart’s contentment and desire.
Here are some snacks I find work for me and that can be taken either before or after yoga:
- A slice of toast (wholegrain/multigrain/seeded/wholewheat/rye) topped with nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, tahini, coconut butter) or greek yogurt and either a little berry jam, some sliced banana/berries/peach or a drizzle of maple syrup. I also like to garnish this with a little sprinkle of granola for a bit of crunch, and chopped almonds or cashews work equally well—or chia seeds if you want that extra omega-3 boost!
- A bowl of yogurt (greek yogurt, soy yogurt, coconut yogurt) that can be either made chocolate flavor by stirring in cocoa and cinnamon or served with a swirl of warmed berries, along with a sprinkle of granola or cereal, fruit, and either a square of chocolate or a spoon of peanut butter!
- Energy balls—I have a recipe for bliss balls and a recipe for raw citrus fig and walnut balls on my blog here and here They’re a great on-the-go snack if you have to be moving somewhere, and are both versatile, super easy to make and super easy to pop into your mouth!
- A smoothie—start off with a base of frozen or fresh banana and add a variety of frozen or fresh fruit, a splash of almond/coconut/soy milk and ingredients that are up to your taste such as nut butter, cacao, a dollop of yogurt, some oats to thicken it up, chia seeds, avocado, a handful of greens, a scoop of protein powder, superfoods like maca and acai powder! Just blend it up and you’re good to go—something that allows you to cool down whilst sipping slowly, and that you can top with coconut, goji berries or cacao nibs and other toppings.
- Half to one steamed or baked sweet potato drizzled with peanut butter, warmed raspberries and a dollop of yogurt with a sprinkle of granola. Again, easily customizable—add any toppings your heart desires!
- A protein bar—you can always make your own (there are plenty of recipes just a search away on Pinterest) or buy those easily available like Trek bars, Clif bars, Luna bars, and Nakd bars—the ones I’ve tried and prefer are Squarebars and Quest bars.
- Popcorn! I pop my own, which requires no time at all—and it can be topped with melted nut butter, tossed in maple syrup and cinnamon, drizzled with melted dark chocolate or just served plain with maybe a banana or some fruit.
- Bananas! These are the ultimate energy-booster, and are good either frozen and blended to form delicious banana ice cream, chopped into coins with peanut butter sandwiched in between before being dipped into chocolate and frozen to form banana peanut butter sandwiches, rolled up in a tortilla wrap slathered in nut butter and sliced to form banana sushi, or just eaten plain.
- Trail mix—if you’re on the go, trail mix is a good way to pack in loads of different ingredients to satisfy your peckish stomach without creating a mess! Add dried fruit like raisins or cranberries or apricot, yogurt dots (frozen yogurt circles), pretzel chunks, roasted nuts, seeds, toasted coconut chips, freeze-dried fruit, apple chips, banana chips, chocolate chips…the world is your oyster!
These are all snacks that give me energy to power up after a workout where all I want is a shower and a long nap, or before a workout to give me energy to press on, move my body and get a sweat going! It also helps that they are very delicious and make the whole sweating-and-aching process a little easier with the knowledge that you had/will have some yummy goodies that will fill you with energy to live, and move, and laugh.
Besides the list, I also reach for homemade goodies if I have the chance, like these peanut butter oatmeal dark chocolate chunk cookies. They take only one bowl to make, are vegan and gluten free, and can provide that sweet ending to a long and tiring day! The cookies are filled with soft and hearty oats, toasty ground flaxseed and gooey melted dark chocolate chunks, and provide a soft crumb that is buttery rich and full of roasty peanut butter flavor with a caramelized darkness and golden sweetness from coconut sugar. They’re a great source of healthy fat, fibre and general all-round deliciousness, and make next to no mess in no time at all!
I hope you enjoy making the recipe and any of the snack ideas above if you do try them out—it’s been an honor working with Angie on this! If you have any comments, do add them below or hop over to my blog to shoot me an email. Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead filled with happiness, joy, gratitude and smiles.
peanut butter oatmeal dark chocolate chunk cookies
You will need:
– Heaping 1/2 cup flour (buckwheat, oat, all purpose, wholewheat, spelt)
– 1 tbs ground flaxseed
– 1/2 cup rolled oats
– 6 tbs coconut sugar/raw sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste
– 2 tbs coconut oil
– 3 tbs maple syrup
– 6 tbs peanut butter
– 6 tbs to ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, peanut butter and vanilla until emulsified. Add in all of the other ingredients and fold to combine; you should get a thick, sticky dough. Line a cookie tray with parchment/baking paper and divide the dough into 9 portions of cookie dough, leaving at least a half inch between each cookie dough scoop. Press each one down gently into a round cookie shape and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown and just crisp around the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container if not serving immediately. Enjoy!