Nuts About Snacks! My 3 Fave Post-Workout Eats

So you've just had a killer workout. What do you reach for when you get home? A candy bar? A bottle of water? The remote? I'm here today to give you some ideas for some great post-workout snacks to help keep your health in check.

It may seem counterintuitive; after all, you just worked out to get rid of calories! Why would you want to put more in your body? Well, because, science.

According to researchers and nutritionists, it's important to eat after a workout in order to help repair muscle tissues and restore glycogen, or energy levels (source). The calories you eat post-workout are used to restore energy and protein that were lost during your workout. In fact, the longer you wait to eat post-workout, the more your energy stores deplete. Waiting even 2 hours post-workout to refuel results in a 50% decrease in your body's ability to refill muscle energy stores, compared to grabbing a snack immediately (source)

My day is usually pretty jam-packed as it is, so I don't have time to make myself an icy-cold recovery shake, or flip myself a high-protein omelet. My go-to snacks are ones I can pack away in the morning and grab when I need them. I don't need to worry about refrigeration or prep of any kind; just grab and go! Without further ado, here are my 3 favorite post-workout snacks for the athlete on-the-go:

  1. Nuts! This quick, low-maintenance snack is an excellent source of protein. Almonds, for example, provide you with 7 grams of protein per 1 ounce serving! I use these little dressing containers to portion out my nuts at the beginning of the week, then I just grab one for the road! My favorite nuts are almonds, cashews, and walnuts.
  2. Banana and almond butter. Bananas sometimes get a bad rap, but don't be fooled by the high levels of fructose and carbs: that just means it can be converted into energy more quickly! Even more, when served with a tablespoon of almond butter, you are adding protein and some healthy fats. Plus, the potassium in bananas are crucial for muscle recovery!
  3. Jerky.  I love me some jerky. LOVE. And now, I can have it, guilt-free! Having a 1 ounce service of jerky, particularly my favorite turkey jerky, provides enough calcium to help refuel the proteins for muscle recovery. Additionally, the amino acids in the protein are essential for post-workout muscles tissue rebuilding. For more information on the benefits of jerky, check out this video!

Some Snacking Tips:

  • Always pair these snacks with at least 8oz of water, but chances are you'll crave more. Hydration is KEY to recovery. Check out my post on increasing your water intake for tips!
  • Don't go bonkers with the protein. While protein is beneficial post-workout, you really only need 10-20 grams of protein to help refuel your muscles.
  • Be mindful of the serving size. For example, if you have a bag of jerky for your post-workout snack, read the label to determine how much of that is actually one serving. Chances are, there are multiple servings in that bag. High-protein snacks don't equal low-calorie too. You want to refuel your body, but not derail your progress.
  • Take into account the time between your workout snack, and your next meal. I often workout between lunch and dinner, so my workout snack may be more substantial than say, a workout that ends 90 minutes before dinnertime. You may find recipes for smoothies that call for everything but the kitchen sink, and while it has mucho grams of protein, it also has mucho calories - more than you need to tie you over for dinner. Be mindful about your caloric intake and you'll continue smoothly on your journey to health!
  • If you are interested in how much of which nutrients your body needs to replenish after a workout,checkout this post on Spark People.
  • For more tremendous healthy snack ideas, head to Nuts.Com. Their Healthy Snacks page is broken down into different categories of healthy snacks (like Vegan Snacks, or Healthy Snacks for Kids) to help refine your search. The page also includes information on other health and nutrition related topics.

What are your favorite post-work out snacks? I'm always looking to add to my arsenal!

This post was inspired by Nuts.Com and I did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions are my own (in fact, I drafted this with my fave snacks BEFORE I even saw that offered these in their store! Go fig). Enjoy!


TBT: Beauty DIY

Hi All,

I wanted to spice things up a little bit for this week's Throwback Thursday's post. This week has been about B2S so I thought I'd remind you of an easy Lush Hack. Check out the original post from September 30, 2014:

Have you all heard of Lush? It's a handmade cosmetics chain that make their products with organic and fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality essential oils, and safe synthetics. They use very little to no preservatives and packaging and always telling you exactly what is in each product and where it was made (and who made it!). All of their products are cruelty free and most are vegan. I am a big fan and my all-time favorite product is their Big shampoo. Now, I have lots and lots of thick hair, however it is very fine and oily. So even though this miraculous product is a "volumizing" shampoo, it works wonders on my hair. It makes it feel light, bouncy and smells ah-mazing!

I've used this product for years and have always followed it up with a generic conditioner (as I mentioned, dryness is not my problem). However, on a recent visit to my local Lush location, I noticed they had a Big conditioner! (Apparently it has been around for a while, but I usually just purchase my shampoo on their website, so I hadn't seen it) Their conditioner came as a solid, which I honestly, wasn't sure about. I had tried a solid shampoo in the past and I never felt that I was getting enough product for my hair. I also hated the way it melted in the shower and stuck to the metal tin I bought. You are supposed to keep those things out of the shower in between uses to dry, but who remembers to grab their shampoo from the linen closet each day for a shower?

Anyway, I decided to try this conditioner, as it was a different texture (smoother and more "gelatinous" I guess) and, I mean, it's Big. I placed it on my shower caddy, unwrapped and ready to go. While I enjoyed the texture of the bar, it melted ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE. It dripped down the caddy grates all over my other products. I was wasting my new conditioner chunks at a time! Plus, I found it difficult (though not as much as my prior experience with solid hair products) to use enough product. I love the idea of the limited packaging, but it was too difficult for me to use regularly.

Then, I had an idea.


If you want to know how, check out the steps below (in pictures):

Boil some water. Not precise I know, but you will be adding the water to the conditioner, so there aren't exact measurements. How much water you need depends how much product you have, so err on the side of boiling more than you think you need.

Chop up your solid conditioner bar (see how floppy it is!)

Throw the pieces in a new pot or bowl (that can withstand boiling temperatures!).

Start pouring your boiling water and mixing. Don't dump it all in, just a little at a time while it starts to liquefy.

Mix and stir until smooth.

Once it's smooth, add to a container. Be careful because it's hot! I used an old Big shampoo pot.

This looks lumpy like tapioca pudding but it's not. The contents separate in the heating process, which results in this look. 

I labeled my new product using Washi tape reinforced with clear packing tape. This step is really only necessary if your pots look identical, but it's always fun to use fun printed tape :)


Are you a Lush fan? What is your favorite product?


Behavior Chart: Tips & Tricks

Greetings Friends!

Back to School is right around the corner for many (or has come and gone for others). As you settle back into your classroom routine, I wanted to write a post, prompted by a few questions from readers, for how I used my behavior clip chart in my classroom in the past. Read on for some suggestions on types of consequences, timeline for rewards and types of class-wide rewards!

How Do You Choose the Consequences?

Because the chart is used to identify and help change behaviors of varying degrees, your consequences should match. If a student calls out one time during a class (and conceivably doesn't "misbehave" again that period or day), you wouldn't immediately move their clip to Red and call mom to report this infraction. Likewise, you probably wouldn't reward a student with a one-on-one pizza party of the student did raise their hand (though you might!). You need to think about if the "punishment fits the crime" and if the "reward fits the success."

You may want to incorporate some of the worksheets I have provided in the Behavior Management Starter Kit for use with you consequences. For example, if a student had a particularly difficult day, but doesn't warrent a phone call home (I like to save phone calls home for MAJOR incidences, such as a school fight) you may require the students to fill out the My Behavior Reflections worksheet or the Behavior Think Sheet.

Also included in the Starter Kit are rewards, sticker charts, and positive notes home. I often used these to reinforce certain behaviors ("focus on yourself" was a big one in my class!) that didn't require any money and very little time. It was also very exciting for many of my students who felt proud bringing home a note from home.

You can also include things like class sticker charts or individual sticker charts. These would be for long term goals you want your kiddos to work on. The purpose of the sticker charts are to provide immediate reinforcement using secondary reinforcers (in this case, stickers) to build up to earning a larger, more substantial reinforcer. (read the section on classroom goals and rewards for more info)

Overall, I try to stick with the motto "make the punishment fit the crime" especially when it comes to consequences for negative behavior. While my school had a policy about missing recess (we were allowed to use that as a consequence), it oftentimes was not effective, and in fact usually detrimental. Take, for example, the student who cannot stay in her seat, no matter how many warnings. Do you think taking away recess, the only time she can actually let all this built up energy out, is a good, effective strategy? Likely not. Thankfully, as teachers, we are creative, passionate, and smarty-pants. You can think of applicable and effective consequences that will fit with any behavioral infraction you run into.

Is your behavior chart just for individuals?

While the chart itself may be centered around individual behavior, I make sure to incorporate classroom behavior goals as well. Students need to learn how to work together as a team and to build each other up. This is a real world skill! While it's important not to have a reward riding on one member of the group, allowing the group as a whole to earn a larger reward for each other is a great way to build a community and cooperation among your littles.

How do you choose the classroom goals and rewards?

The way we determine our goal is to discuss this together as a class. It will be much more effective if the students are involved in choosing their own goal to work on rather than me. I offer suggestions and reasons why I think one type of goal will be better than another (such as, oh I don't know...raising your hand vs. giving more hugs to your classmates) and we choose together as a group. You as the teacher decide how long you think your students should work toward earning this prize. I usually had a "Goal of the Month" and while our BIG reward was earned at the end of the month (provided we made it, which we always did), I would have little mile markers for smaller rewards.

Do I have to use EVERYTHING in the Starter Kit?

Absolutely not! I didn't even! I made sure to add lots of different resources for you to pick and choose what works best for you. You may even have your own rewards system that you use separately from your clip chart, and that's okay! The point of this type of resource is to provide you with supports and strategies you need to run a successful classroom.

And while we're on the subject, check out this post on Behavior Charts: Why We Need Them and How to Use Them.


Staying Refreshed for B2S!

Morning friends,

This week, I've linked up with Mrs. D's Corner (again!) to bring you more tips for Back to School. This week (the last week) is all about how to stay refreshed and energized during this hectic time! Keep reading for my top 5 tips for staying refreshed during Back to School!

Top 5 Tips on How to Stay Refreshed for B2S

Sweat it out!
One of the best ways to maintain your energy and sanity is to get your sweat on! Not only is sweating  a natural detox to help revitalize you, but exercise release endorphins to help you remain happy, healthy, and calm. And do I really need to outline all the health benefits of exercise (like increased heart health, lower BMI, lower cholesterol, etc. etc. etc.)

My favorite ways to incorporate exercise is to make it part of my routine. If you want to look and feel your best, you need to prioritize your health, both physical and mental health! It took A LOT for me to force (yes, force) myself to the gym after a long day at work. I was running around all day, saving the world one student at a time, and felt that spending time at the gym was a luxury I couldn't afford to take. I had other things to do, like MORE world saving! However, over time, I felt more and more sluggish, my skin felt oily and sallow, and my work production was suffering (think, taking 3 times as long to plan one math lesson!). I realized that this was a direct result of putting my health on the back burner. Once I started making my health a priority, my attitude, energy levels, and stamina increased! More on this below

If you are interested in ways to fit in exercise, check out this post. :)

Gulp It Down! 
Water that is. You are running around all day, you barely have time to use the bathroom! Why would you want to increase the chances you'll have to go by drinking more water?! I get it. I really do. However, your body loves you and needs you. You wouldn't compromise a students' health in favor of convenience would you? Of course not! So why do you do it to yourself? Do yourself and your health a favor, and pick up the damn water bottle.

If you are interested in tricks to increase your water consumption, check out this post!

 Eat It Good!

You know this. I know you know this. But even if it's hard to do this all the time, do it as much as you can. It's 3 pm and the Teacher's Lounge vending machine is calling you. Don't beat yourself up over this, but don't submit that you're a lost cause either and allow the rest of the day to be crap. Love yourself and provide yourself with good, health foods. Nutritious, whole foods will not only make you feel better emotionally (who doesn't feel good when they bite into an apple?), but when paired with an overall healthy lifestyle (so, follow the tips above too!), your energy levels will soar, your anxiety and depressive symptoms will decrease, and your satisfaction and patience (we ALL need more of that) will shoot through the roof.
 Breath, Stretch, Shake (Let It Go)!

And while you are at it, listen to that song if you need a little pick me up.

Deep breathing, stretching sequences, and yoga have all shown to increase energy levels and decrease anxiety and depression. This doesn't have to be some elaborate formal practice. Simple morning stretches before you get out of bed help to revitalize you and get you ready for the day ahead. Likewise, simple stretches and breathing exercises can help you when you're feeling stressed, or even just tired and need a little more energy. Check out my Pinterest Board of the same name, to incorporate different stretches into your day.

No Shame in ME Time!
Even if you listen to NOTHING I've said thus far, take this one to heart. As a badass, super hero teacher like yourself, you NEED to take sometime to just be you. Even Clark Kent needs some Me Time every once in a while. Whether it's knitting on the couch in silence, reading a book on your porch, or rocking out to some awesome tunes, you gotta do you (I hate that phrase, but for real though...). There's no shame in self-love!

Hope these tips are helpful as you start off the new year! Good luck and go save the world!

Make sure to check out Mrs. D's Corner to give her a shoutout for setting up this terrific month-long link-up!


One More Day! (TPT Sale)

Hey all!

Just a quick post to remind you that there is a BONUS day to save on your favorite TPT sellers' products! Head over the my store now to save 28% on ALL of my products (even my bundles!). Make sure to use the code MORE15 to ensure you get the most savings! And HURRY - it ends tonight!


The Building Blocks of BTS: Week 1!

It's that time of year again...Back to School! You can tell by my blog feed - it's all about Back-to-School shopping and first week lesson plans. So as not to be left out, even though I am no longer in the classroom, I'm linking up with Mrs. D's Corner all month long to share some things I've learned from my years in the classroom for all of you heading back to school!

This week's theme? 

When I was a classroom teacher, we never had a "meet and greet" prior to the start of school. Sometimes, our teaching assignments were not finalized until the week before! So, during that first week (and beyond) it was especially important to build rapport, as this is the first time many of the students were meeting you.


This one may seem simple, but a thoughtful greeting can really go a long way. Meet each of your newbies at the door, shake their hand and give them your attention. This can be especially important for the younger grades - it may be their first time in school!

Building Rapport

We all want to get started on academic work as soon as possible. Most likely, you've spent most of the summer planning out your literature centers and math curriculum. However, before any of that can get started successfully, you need to build rapport. If your students are not invested in you, they will not be invested in school. Use the first couple days of school to get to know each other by playing classroom games, having show and tell, and sharing interesting stories. I tend to have extended morning meetings during the first week of school to fit these objectives into the day.

Meet the Teacher Book

So this one takes some prep, but it's so worth it! I bought this product a couple of years ago, and I absolutely LOVE it! It's such a simple idea, but Kelly's beautiful presentations and lively colors makes it so engaging and fun.

Here's a peek at the rest of the month. Make sure to check back each week for more ideas from more terrific bloggers!

Head on over to check out Mrs. D's blog for even more awesome teaching ideas!

Link up below to join the fun!

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