Filling the protein window

I’ve always heard people say that, after a work out, you have a “protein window”, a period of time in which you really need to feed your body, or muscles, with protein.  This is part of the recovery process, giving your muscles the food they need to recover & grow.  

I never really abided by the “window”.  I ate, post-work out, when I could get to it.  Often times, I’d teach a conditioning class or lift weights, do a decent amount of cardio, then hit the grocery store or Wal-Mart.  There was no pressure – Preschool pick up wasn’t until 12:45.  

As of late, I’ve focused more on my body and found a better (healthier) time to run my errands.  I go directly home from the gym, each day, and get my next “fix” of protein.  I try to do this within 30 minutes of ending a work out, but reality sometimes brings me to 45 minutes or so, which I’m told is still fine.

So, what’s my favorite post-gym protein treat?  Definitely a smoothie!  How can YOU make one?  Easy.  Just like this:

Grate 1/2 cup of ice in your blender
Add one small container of Greek yogurt (plain for lower sugar)
Blend in 1 scoop of Whey protein (flavor of choice, I stick w/ vanilla)
Then, feel free to add a handful of fresh berries, some banana, or a little of both.  Often times, I skip the fruit, for sugar reasons (but they ARE a decent carb) and add a bit of Pure Vanilla, by McCormick, of course, and shake in some cinnamon – one of the “super spices” (featured in a future blog, I promise).  

This is a tasty way (Wait, is this Tasty Tuesday?) to help your body recover from a good work out.  Add two handfuls of veggies and a little bit of carbohydrates and you have a fantastic post-gym meal!  

Beware… Once your children see you drinking this yummy concoction, there will be regular requests for smoothies from the little ones.  I make hers, but not until mine’s in a cup and finding its way down the hatch.  After all, I have a “window”, my little one’s just along for the ride!

OK, OK, s how do I make one for my teeny-tiny?  Same with the ice.  Add regular yogurt, although greek isn’t bad.  Skip the protein powder, but add a few fruits and blend.  Yep, she’s in heaven, folks!  She has the same as mom and is thrilled to be doing the whole “big people thing”.

I hope this week has brought you something, or perhaps encouraged you to try, something new.  See ya next week and in the meantime… Cheers!

Carri Nelsen

Do you have a ‘Wellness Wedsneday’ question for Carri? 

Send it to and we’ll try to get your question answered in an upcoming post.


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