Round-Up: 12 Pre-Workout Snacks

A round-up of bars, bites, muffins, toast, and even cookies  to help power you through your next work-out.So you want to have healthy eating  and  exercise habits,  but  don’t know how  to integrate  both into your daily life?  A good place to start is focusing on proper fueling before a bout of exercise  and smart recovery afterwards.  Today’s post emphasizes the importance of pre-workout nutrition with a myriad of  snacks my colleagues helped me ’round-up’. (Stay tuned for more on post workout foods.)

While most attention regarding exercise pays close attention to strength, speed, flexibility and stamina,  we need to support all of these components with good nutrition. Studies are consistently proving, we perform best with some carbohydrates on board.  While I don’t recommend eating a meal just before  exercise, snacks  are a different story. A snack of about 100-200 calories (of primarily carbs can be consumed  just minutes prior to exercise) and will provide energy to focus on correct technique, push intensity, and help you persist through a vigorous energy expending workout.

There are an infinite number to foods to enjoy before physical activity. The key is to select food/foods based  on your preferences, and on the intensity and duration of your activity. Experiment with a variety of foods/fluids to determine what works best for you. Some simple ideas, include a banana, oranges slices, a couple of fig newtons, 1/2 jelly sandwich. You can even make your own energy snacks with a few ingredients. Find inspiration below with this  round-up of  bars, bites, muffins, toast,  and cookies all created to help power through your next work-out

No Bake Granola Bites via Lauren Sharifi of Bite of Health Nutrition



No Bake Protein Energy Bites via Tawnie Kroll  of Krolls Korner

Peanut Butter Yogurt Bars   via Hungry Hobby. These are super easy to make and especially nice in the summer, because you don’t have to turn on your oven.

Cashew Cookie Hemp Energy Bars via Kelly Jones of EatRealLiveWell 

Sweet Potato Toast via Family Food on the Table

Avocado and Hummus Bagel via No Excuses Health

No Bake Peanut Butter Cherry Trail Mix Bites via Bucket List Tummy 

Snack Bar Madeleines via Queen of My Kitchen. 

10 Minute Healthy Energy Bites via Nourish Nutrition .


PB & J Sweet Potato via Jessica Cording Nutrition Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Balls via And a Dash of Cinnamon

Soft Baked Zucchini Cookies via yours truely. I posted this back in April, but some of you may have zucchini to spare now, so I’m including it  in this round-up.

Please let me know what your fav pre-workout foods are in the comment section below. Have a terrific day!



Pistachios; Fit to a Tea!

Pistachios; Fit to a Tea!

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

To snack or not to snack, that is the question. Professionally, I find this one of  the most frequently asked questions. And my answer, honor your hunger.

Now to the second most frequently asked question, “What can I snack on?”

It’s hard to overlook the recent study from Harvard University and published in the New England Journal of Medicine that concludes, eat nuts, live longer1!  Yes, all nuts! Nuts provide protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I do love nuts and I’m partial to the taste of pistachios! That’s one reason I often include them in meal plans for health conscience individuals and in meal plans for athletes, including wrestlers. The other reason is because 30 pistachios have only 100 calories!

Here is a simple tip for anyone wanting to enjoy pistachios (aka the skinny nut), but remain mindful of portions. Follow the Pistachio Principle, a mindful concept developed by behaviorial eating expert Dr. James Painter, Ph. D., R.D., Chair of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinios University:

Crack ’em, Chew ’em, Love ’em, Leave ’em.

In other words, let the emtpy shells serve as  convenient ‘visual cues’ of how many you’ve consumed. Brilliant! For more information about pistachio health check out the Pistachio Health Institute.

Now pistachios are not just stand alone goodness; they pair remarkably well with oodles of other healthy, delicious foods. So it’s easy to include them as part of a healthy diet. Today I am showcasing what I consider a knock the ball out of the park pistachio pairing, all for  under 200 calories.  It will satisfy  your sweet, your salty and your savory craving, and provide protein and fiber necessary to (as the saying goes) fill you up, not out.

Skinny Nut Snack

In-shell Pistachios


Roasted Edamame with Chinese 5 spice


Mini Mandarin Oranges


Iced Gree Tea



Edamame: is a highly nutritious protein rich snack. Roasted they have a nutty, crunchy consistency and 1/4 cup provides approximately 50 calories, 2 grams fiber and 4.5 grams of protein. Chinese 5 spice takes this somewhat subtle tasting legume and adds sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty!

Mini Mandarin Oranges: Yes, these are very cute; only 1 1/2  – 2 inches in diameter and they provide 35 calories and  1 gram of fiber. They have a mild, yet incredibly sweet taste that pairs well with salty foods. Their thin rind is easy to peel, keeping snacking simple.

Green Tea: Over the past 20 years there have been numerous studies showing the health benefits of this beverage. But that’s not the only reason I have included it.  Green tea has  fresh tasting floral and vegetable like notes that provide astringent qualties and impart freshness to this snack. Unsweetened it provides zero calories.

To serve, fill your favorite bowls with in-shell pistachios and roasted edamame with Chinese 5 spice. Set out mini mandarin oranges and tall glasses of iced green tea.

I hope I’ve inspired YOU with my skinny nut snack pairing. This Pistachio Pairings Challenge runs for an entire week, so please be sure to visit the links at the bottom of the post today and come back as Recipe Reduxers unveil their culinary combinations with in-shell pistachios.  Warning: you will find everything from reduced calorie to uber indulgent!

Pistachios; Fit to a Tea!

Pistachios; Fit to a Tea!1 Bao et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J of Med. 2013;369: 2001-2011

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