Your Summer Exercise Playlist & Snacks List

Your Summer Exercise Playlist & Snacks List

The Songs

Have fun exercising during our four-month-long summer break with this playlist. These are a bunch of throwback songs, and are all perfect to run or silly-dance in front of the mirror to.

The Snacks

I just finished two quarters of an informative and practical "exercise nutrition & metabolism" sequence for Core Bio, and here are the snacks I recommend based on what I've learned. The takeaway from the course is, obviously, to look at the levels of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and sugar. The professor told us that if something is above 5% of the daily recommended value, that means it's a considerable contributor to your diet. In reality, so many common products exceed this value that it's hard to stick by this 5% rule, so just know it as a general reference and take it with a grain of salt.

1. Avocado Tortilla Wrap

I jumped on the avocado bandwagon a long time ago, and have already converted everyone in my family to an avocado fan. Because the avocado is creamy and rich in monounsaturated fat, it's literally a ball of cholesterol-lowering green butter. The more you think about that, the better the messy wrap tastes. Pret a Manger in Reynolds Club sells a variation of this wrap, with tomatoes, cucumbers, pine nuts, cheese, and spinach added.

2. Microwavable Frozen Man Tou & Steamed Buns

These are delicious, less-greasy alternatives to other microwavable carbohydrate goods, like frozen pizza. They're my cheat snacks, because manufacturers like to add too much sodium to preserve freshness and prolong shelf life. But the upside is they contain negligible added sugars, and the saturated fat and low cholesterol levels come from the meat filling. On the other hand, the Chinese steamed bun man tou has no filling, and is absolutely delicious eaten plain, spread with sesame paste, or even peanut butter.

Man tou: Lam Sheng Kee Frozen Whole Wheat Bread. (0g saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, sodium 1% of Daily Value, added sugars 2%) 

Steamed bun: Wei-Chuan Pork and Chinese Spinach Steamed Bun, sold at Chinatown Market.(Saturated fat 13% of DV, trans fat 0g, cholesterol 3%, sodium 11%, added sugars 4%) 

3. Oatmeal

I couldn't stand the slimy, chunky gruel texture of oatmeal the first time I tried it, but lately it's become a breakfast staple. I've come to like this simple meal, topped with raisins, banana chips, or brown sugar, with fruits on the side. 

If you're expecting early mornings and a slightly longer commute to your summer job, consider whipping up a batch of overnight oats for a healthy breakfast on the go. Try your hand at making overnight oats with this innovative recipe list.

Quakers Instant Oatmeal, Original (0g trans fat and sugars, saturated fat 2%, sodium 3%)

4. Sugar-Roasted Chestnuts

These snacks are so addictive. You crack open the shells with your fingernails, and pop out the warm brown chestnut that's mushy and leaves a light, sweet aftertaste. Best enjoyed hot from the microwave! 

JINBAO Organic Roasted Chestnut, freshly roasted and usually delivered within 2 days. 


5. Protein Bars

I saw someone who I know is very fit and health-conscious munching on a chocolaty protein bar once, and I was curious so I asked what brand it was. It turned out to be a Quest Bar, which has less sugar than other brands, like Luna Bars and Cliff Bars. While we were on the topic of healthy diets, she divulged her weight-making tips, which were too intense for me, but if you aren't looking to mess around, snack on egg whites and raw spinach. 

Quest Bar, Vanilla Almond Crunch (20g protein, 0g trans fat and cholesterol, saturated fat 3%, sodium 10%, 1g added sugars)

Before & After

Carbohydrate Loading: before exercise, eat lots of carbohydrates to stock up on muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen is your primary source of energy during exercise.

Post-exercise Protein Intake: consume protein within 30-60 minutes of exercise to grow muscle. Muscle synthesis slows after this window of time, despite protein intake. The Naked protein smoothie sold on campus marts are less healthy than assumed: 60% DV protein (soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate), 0g added sugars, 9% DV saturated fat, 18% cholesterol, 12% sodium. In comparison, egg albumin and tofu soy are excellent vegetarian sources of complete protein.




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