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What do you indulge in after a good workout?

So the thread about the marathon training got me thinking. I run,hike,and kayak among other things. Helps offset the calories and I enjoy the activities. For the most part, I carry traditional hiking food with me...nuts..powerbars ...fruit as I am out in the mountains or out on a river. However, when I do a hike close in or an urban hike, nothing is better than a good challenging hike followed by a bowl of pho.

So I am curious. How do you treat yourself?

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  1. After a really good non-workout workout day (ie hike, kayak, etc for pleasure v. for pain), I'll usually sit down with a hot cup of coffee or wine and some hunk of carb/protein. Small, but satisfying: croissant, biscotti, crusty bread with olive oil, cheese & charcuterie, dark chocolate and bacon, croque monsieur. Makes a nice and civilized end to an otherwise rowdy day.

    1. Directly after the workout I have a handful of trail mix. It varies after that, but some of my favourites are:

      - shrimp pad thai
      - slice of cheese pizza
      - spaghetti with tomato sauce and salad

      This is assuming I didn't eat before the workout. Otherwise, the trail mix is it and I treat myself once later in the week (workout three times a week, one meal is the treat for me, rest of the wrrk are the sensible low calorie balanced meals).

      1. It seems to me that pho is not an indulgence in the typical sense of the word. It is a fairly healthy meal, and you could do worse. Say for example a large plate of fries followed by donut.

        Or: we bike a lot in the summer, and after a 2-4 hour bike, we were allowed to stop for poutine (fries gravy and cheese curds) on our way back. Makes the rest of the bike ride a bit more difficult, but the salt really hits the spot.

        Or: after a full day of ultimate (4 games) we are allowed to indulge in potato chips and brownies. Guilt free calories.

        1. My workouts are weights-based. The whole point is muscle maintenance/building, so "indulgence" is just out of the question. Why do all that work to blow it on the wrong food?

          So it's a pure protein shake with added simple carbs (dextrose). No fat (it would slow absorbsion).

          Yeah, hedonistic isn't it? ;-)


          2 Replies
          1. re: pomegranates

            ha, i'm boring like that too... an isopure based shake is my *indulgence* as well, often treating myself to cinnamony-vanilla goodness.

            i also love a large egg white omelette filled with mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes alongside steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and maybe carrots, and a little mashed butternut squash with cinnamon... yum.

            1. re: pomegranates

              My employment is fairly sedentary, but I really look forward to my exercise workouts before breakfast. The routine afterwards is a True Vitality vanilla protein-probiotic smoothie (apple juice or white grape,etc) with fruit blended in, and either a scoop of cottage cheese or a yogurt blended in. The True Vitality has 1% fat, with 17 grams carbs. My wife and I feel like fanatics when we order this stuff x 8 25.2oz containers at a time.

            2. I usually have a banana or a Cliff Z bar (the kids' version, smaller and less sugar.). I work out at 9 a.m. three times a week, so I have the carb portion of my breakfast first, either oatmeal or shredded wheat or granola or a bagel, and my snack after.

              1. cap'n crunch cereal (original flavor) with skim milk, and grapefruit juice to drink - especially if I'm working out after 6 pm -

                1 Reply
                1. re: jeanmarieok

                  I am now craving Cap 'n Crunch cereal. Though I may go crazy and have it with 2%. Comfort food!

                2. I'm a recreational runner - 3 to 4 miles a day, 5 days a week.

                  When I run in the morning, I just do the usual breakfast routine of cereal, fruit, milk and coffee and get my day going as usual.

                  Here's where it gets a little more intereting:

                  I crave BEER after running in the late-afternoon! In fact I'm having one as we speak as I've just gotten back from the gym after a good 4-mile run and a shower.

                  I wonder if this is a common thing for runners. I've heard that non-professional runners tend to enjoy drinking more than non-runners.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: baconstrip

                    I know quite a few runners that refer to themselves as "drinkers with a running problem."

                    I wish I could eat after I work out! It is a struggle for me to eat even a granola bar or a handful of pistachios. I just want water for at least an hour or two after a hard workout.

                    1. re: baconstrip

                      Funny... My husband ran a marathon about two weeks ago. After his long runs during training, beer was the only thing that didn't result in hours of stomach cramps. Juice, cereal, clif bars, gatorade all lead to cramps, but after a beer he would feel great!

                      1. re: baconstrip

                        Actually, I'm not surprised to hear about the beer craving. I used to get the same after long bike rides. Then, one day, in a cycling magazine I saw an article about beer as a sports drink. Beer contains B and chromium (I think, please correct me about the specifics of beer's elements), which are ingredients in most sports drinks-- but with fewer simpler sugars, beer may be a better choice. One beer is fine as a sports drink. Two is neutral (no benefits). With three or more, you're undoing the good work.

                        I should really dig up the info before posting. I wish it weren't off topic to ask how you maintain this running regime without damage to your feet and joints. Last year, I developed plantar fasciitis and that put an end to running, which is a shame, because I do enjoy it.

                        1. I'm with baconstrip. Beer is great after a nice, hard run / hike -- accompanied by great sushi.

                          1. I run 3x a week and lift at the gym 3x a week.

                            Lime juice and water (no sugar) after a run.

                            Luckily, there is a salpicon (mixed fruit cup) stand outside the gym entrance. Get one leaving every time. Great. About US $0.50

                            1. after my belly dancing classes, i always feel really tight and toned, and dont want to loose that, so i always try to use a juicer and make a nice fresh juice with some veggies and fruits... then if i'm super hungry, i make a nice crispy salad with shrimp.

                              1. Weekly workouts in the am, a soft pretzel and jamba juice or one of them (I know) but not every day.
                                Lunch - salads or turkey with lots of salad/tomato on a bagel with mustar-messy yup.
                                Evening - I will eat pasta or stir frys of the lighter variety made with shrimp, chicken or veggie

                                And if we are hiking or bike riding (Usually at Mt. Diablo when weather permits) we pack a lunch. I like to bring soft french rolls, and make salad like sandwiches with turkey for me, and roast beef/cheese for the dh. Make a vinagrette, olives, onions no veggie is left out. It really hits the spot with a bottle of bubble water. Actually make it there on a picnic table so everything is so fresh

                                I should add, doing WW now, I don't have jamba juice!

                                1. i like pho after a tough workout too esp after swimming on a cold day in msp. unfortunately the pho house nearest my local y has cruddy pho (good other food that i don't feel like eating after working out). i also go for smoothies or huge green salads with a little protein (steak, chicken, tofu) & hot sauteed veggies on top. or a good slice of bread with butter. i gotta find a y with a pool in close proximity to both a decent pho house and where i live. . .

                                  1. For me it is not so much a specific food I indulge in post workout. I try to not blow my work by indulging in something really high in fat/cals. I have found though, that I can absolutely not tolerate anything other than cold foods after I workout. I know it's weird, but if it is even remotely warm, or even at room temp., whatever I eat will not sit well in my stomach. Generally i will have something like a banana and a bit of PB, both chilled, or maybe a chicken breast(I grill a few on Sunday and have them in the fridge for the week), or sometimes half a baked sweet potato which I also keep on hand. Nothing at all fancy, but i need something that will stick to my ribs. Oddly enough, whatever I DRINK during and post workout, has to be room temp. as cold beverages don't sit well. So weird.

                                    1. Outside my gym is a stall selling guo kui - made by rolling spicy seasoned ground pork in a dough, then flattening it into a disc about six inches in diameter and cooked in an inch or so of oil on both sides til the whole thing is shatteringly crisp. I really enjoy these pre or post workout. (live in Sichuan, China)

                                      1. Sushi definetely tastes great after exercising. You get carbs from the rice and protein from the fish. I would say that's a pretty good deal.

                                        1. Powerbar (or the like) or a hunk of good bread with good yogurt after a long run (anything over 7 miles). If I run less than that, no "treat".

                                          Lots of water, of course!

                                          1. After a long run, I always crave eggs - poached, scrambled, whatever - and some kind of toast. If it was really hard, I upgrade the toast to a small bagel and add cottage cheese.

                                            My daily run warrants a cold V8, yoga gets tofu stir-fry or summer rolls. In the winter, maybe some veggie hot 'n sour soup.

                                            1. I know this is an old thread, but I almost started one about indulgence/food after working-out. During a work-out I am usually going strong and thinking, "YES, I am getting a cinnamon roll (or something not nutritional) after this!!" then when I actually finish, all I want is protein protein protein protein. So I usually immediately have one of the following: an almond milk with fruit smoothie, marinated tofu, banana and almond butter, or scrambled eggs with Sriracha and kimchi.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                I am a protein fiend most of the day but especially after working out all I want is protein. After weekend workouts it's always steak and eggs.

                                                1. I run early in the morning, M-F.
                                                  Water, fruit juice, and cheese and crackers of whatever variety I happen to have and that holds me over until I do some light free weights, shower off and get breakfast around.

                                                  1. I exercise early too - hit the gym from 5-6A M-F. The first thing I have when I get home is coffee, then walk the dogs, wake the fam, and, finally, breakfast. Usually savory oatmeal or sautéed veggies with a friend egg.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                      Nothing more satisfying than waking and getting going! I start at 6, not 5, but kudos to you.
                                                      Proper breakfast for me will usually be eggs and fruit with iced tea, as I'm not a coffee person.

                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                        I am an early bird exerciser too, I like to be the first person at the gym at 530am. You reminded me that my post-workout meal nearly always includes coffee of some sort.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          My timing is a little bit born of necessity because of the heat where I live. In the cooler months, I will admit to waking at 6:30, and hitting the pavement 15-20 minutes later. But the food routine remains the same.

                                                      2. Sometimes Greek yogurt and pomegranate molasses.

                                                        1. After my regular gym workouts in the mornings i have an espresso macchiato , greek yogurt and and a handful of cereal for some protein and carbs post showering.
                                                          The days i take my a$$ kicking spin asses i'm not very hungry until that night or the next day, and i crave ice cream with almond butter!

                                                          1. That's the thing, after I work out and sweat out about 900 calories, I don't want to eat anything stupid to negate my effort. Now, on the week-end that's a whole different story, anything goes 'cus I earned it. Then, unfortunately, its' Monday - sigh.

                                                            1. After working out (I mainly focus on resistance training and cardio), I ALWAYS crave either a fruit smoothie or frozen yogurt. It always sounds so refreshing after a heated workout. Mm, a strawberry-pineapple smoothie with yogurt and agave. Or just some plain tart frozen yogurt with fresh fruit.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: breadwinner

                                                                I mountain bike 4-6 days/week and burn 500-1200 cal/ride. I do it because I love it, but also because I can eat whatever I want. Sure I could get skinnier, but I am content and I still manage to drop the winter weight without even trying. my indulgence is beer and wings (not every time....okay the beer almost everytime, but wings are occasionally) Ice cream pops up often too!!!

                                                                1. re: cleopatra999

                                                                  What would life be without beer. BTW - where's ipse, she's a health nut, I'd love to hear what she eats after her workout.

                                                              2. I am on the protein shake boat. But i get one from the place oh so conveniently located across the street and i swear it tastes like a real chocolate peanut butter shake indulgence. I generally feel like being "good" for awhile at least. I think i work out just so i can eat

                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                    This time of year in Jerusalem - an icy cold shower.