(In repsonse to Elisa's most recent post.)
In a great effort to create some sort of routine for my days, I have been wrestling with the "evening ritual question" for a long time. My intentions: go to the gym before work so my evening will be wide open and I can slow-cook a casserole, thoughtfully chopping herbs while listening to "dance around the kitchen" music. My reality: when that alarm goes off in the morning, this seems like an absurd idea. The result: I go straight to the gym after work. My saving grace in this pattern is one essential, brilliant solution: THE SNACK.
THE SNACK, a favorite among the young and old alike, has evolved somewhat into a new staple for my energy, sanity, and in many ways, better nutrition and health. Eating a nourishing, high-protein snack (the protein component is essential) every few hours is key for me and my schedule- especially late in the afternoon (pre-workout) when you hit that slump and before you become so famished for dinner that you'd eat the rubber off the bottom of your crosstrainers.
Some current favorites of THE SNACK include:
An apple with peanut butter
String cheese and some blueberries
KASHI snack bars (especially the Chocolate Peanut)
Almonds and a banana
A whole wheat english muffin w/ turkey
As I look at those options, I am fully aware they don't sound as tempting as ice cream and Snickers, but I keep them around and have found that I have more sustained energy, and don't get those hunger pangs late in the day. I am on Week 5 of this method, and have noticed such a difference. Highly recommend it!! Who doesn't like snack time?