You just sweated it out like a mad man. You just crunched, jumped, rowed and pushed your body harder and more intense than you have in weeks. Red as a tomato and sweating like it’s nobody’s business, it’s time to leave your ‘home away from home’ (aka: your neighborhood Fitness 19) and grab some nourishment. But what? Here’s your very own post-workout ‘eat this, not that.’ Consider it your guide to achieving bigger biceps, a stronger core and energy that lasts like the energizer bunny.

It’s All About the Protein

Whether you just finished a 90 minute Zumba class or an upper body workout with your trainer, you’ve just put your muscles through the ringer. That’s where protein comes in to save the day! Within 30 minutes of your workout ending, grab a snack such as salmon, shrimp, turkey or chicken. If you just finished a morning workout, grab some slices of turkey, or order a cobb salad to go—and eat it during your lunch hour.

An Easy Protein Packed Recipe You’ve Got to Try!

Your muscles require between 10-20 grams of protein so the source doesn’t matter so much as the quantity. Grab a few hard boiled eggs, or enjoy a salmon fillet. Fill up on yogurt, or oatmeal topped with sliced almonds and blueberries. If you are used to working out right after you leave the office, broaden your meal horizons! Who is your favorite celebrity chef? Here’s one you’ve got to try. It’ll become your favorite weekday dinner routine:

  • Start off with two good sized fish fillets (tilapia, orange roughy, etc.)
  • Place each fillet on a large piece of parchment paper, and set the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of salt, and pepper on each fillet.
  • Drizzle olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice on each, and then place good quality green olives on each filet, along with fresh thyme or rosemary.
  • Wrap each filet tightly, and bake for 20 minutes.

Ditch the Carbs and Dairy

Carbs and dairy are both fatty foods that doesn’t do ‘your body good’—especially after such an intense workout as you just pushed yourself through.  As a rule of thumb, skip the pancakes (I know, it’s tempting after a morning run) and opt for scrambled eggs loaded with your favorite meat and veggies, or grab a protein shake loaded with spinach, acai (the best new super food around!), coconut water, protein powder and your favorite berries.

Who knew your post-workout meal could be so delicious? When you leave the gym, it’s time to refuel and recharge. And, when you focus on the right food groups, you’ll land your dream body in no time at all.