Right before I started this Whole30 I was using up some chocolate-flavored whey protein powder and got into the habit of having a post-workout protein shake. I knew this was a treat that had to go away, but I loved them. I do not like to chew after exercise and it was so easy to suck down protein shakes while engaged in another non-eating task.
I had to come up with something else to eat after hitting the gym, so I went back to It Starts With Food for ideas. According to the Hartwigs, “have a meal-size serving of an easily-digestible protein and add carbohydrate in the form on starchy vegetables based on your activity level and health status…A good post-workout meal might be: chicken breast and sweet potato, salmon and butternut squash, or egg whites mixed into mashed pumpkin.” The Hartwigs also mention that fruit is not the best choice. (243)
The idea of eating chicken or salmon while I’m still sweat-soaked just did not do it for me. Egg whites mixed into mashed pumpkin? Ewwwww. Slimy and bitter. Blech.
But I really wanted to do this Whole30 the right way and had to come up with something I could stomach 4-5 times a week. So after a few experiments I came up with my Post-Workout Sweet Potato Pudding. Adapt this according to where you fall on the “post workout carb curve” on page 244 of It Starts With Food. I fall in the high range but I also have the diabeetus. Sometimes high-intensity exercise raises my blood sugar, so I take it easy on the carbs after working out. What you’ll see in the pictures is using one sweet potato.
Post-Workout Sweet Potato Pudding
Makes 2-3 servings
- 6 egg whites
- 1-2 sweet potatoes depending on your carb needs
- 1 banana (yeah, yeah, yeah, fruit is not the best option, but it’s not taking center stage)
- juice of 1/2 orange or 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt to taste
The night before your workout roast a sweet potato or two. Chop off the ends and poke a few holes in the potato so steam can escape. Wrap in foil and bake for 70 minutes at 400 degrees. I tend to use my toaster oven for this, but bonus points for throwing it in the oven with dinner. I have also used a slow cooker to cook a week’s worth of sweet potatoes. When they’re cool enough to handle, put them on a plate and pop ’em in the fridge. If you remember, put your stand mixer bowl in the fridge.
In the morning before your workout, peel the potato(es) and the banana and throw them in the blender. Add the orange juice or just enough coconut milk to make it blendable. Be very, very careful to not go past that max fill line. If you forgot to put your stand mixer bowl in the fridge, do it now. It will still work. Juice your orange half and blend away.
You may be tempted to skip this and just mash it with a fork, but trust me. Sweet potatoes have stringy fibers and your result will not feel like pudding. Break up those fibers in the blender or food processor.
Separate 6 eggs. Save the yolks to make mayo or add ’em to scrambled eggs. I won’t tell. Put the whites in your stand mixer bowl. Sprinkle in cinnamon, allspice, salt and cloves.
Start at a low speed and slowly increase to the highest speed setting. If you do not have a stand mixer, a hand mixer will work but will require a lot more patience and not the same result. Now that the whites can handle being beaten at top speed, you can even walk away for a minute. Really. If you cook like I do, take a minute to vacuum up egg shells.
It will look like this:
Keep going until it looks like this: You want it to look like shaving cream.
Now scoop out half of the sweet potato mixture, lick the spatula and fold it into the egg whites. Fold no more than three times. Add the rest of the sweet potato mixture and fold two more times. Lick the spatula.
Stick the bowl in the fridge and go exercise. I mean it. Go be a beast. Come right home when you’re done. Even if this step is not where you stop to exercise, put the bowl back and the fridge and let it rest and get cold again. Some of the foam will fall. That’s okay.
You’re back and all sweaty? Perfect.
I know we’re supposed to eat right after exercising. If you want to eat it as is, go ahead. But take a few more seconds and you’ll like the result better. Or just do it all ahead of time.
After your workout put your bowl back under the stand mixer and mix on a low speed until it all comes together and looks like this.
If no one’s looking, slurp what clings to the whipping attachment thingy.
You want to go from fluff to pudding. It only takes a few seconds. Mix too long and it will turn into a smoothie. If, like me, you’re learning to sit down and eat instead of slupring down liquid meals while browsing on the computer, this is important.
Put some in a bowl, grab a spoon, sit down and eat.
Now go take a shower.