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Eat Carbs Appropriate to Activity Level

Carbs often get a bad rap, but a Paleo lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding them. The right carbs can keep your active day running smoothly, particularly before and after workouts. In fact, the best possible fuel after a workout is denser carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, plantains, jicama, kohlrabi, and beets.

Keeping your goals in mind, experimenting with daily carb levels will help you to work out the amount of carbs you want to include in your post workout meals; fueling needs can vary from athlete to athlete. Meals focused on both protein and nutrient-dense carbohydrates are often the key to healthy recovery from training. You can add any leftover protein, eggs, or Paleo-approved lunchmeats to these carbohydrate sources for a great post-workout snack or meal:

  • Cold leftover cooked spaghetti squash tossed with oil and vinegar for a pasta salad

  • A serving of ripe seasonal fruit — most varieties of berries are lowest in carbs, while tropical fruits like pineapple and mango tend to be highest in carbs

  • Sweet potatoes and other starchy tubers (baked the night before is best)

  • Butternut squash or pumpkin soup, ideally made with homemade bone broth for an added nutritional boost

  • Sweeter veggies like carrots, parsnips, and jicama

If you are fueling before exercise, you’ll want to experiment as well. Fat and protein are often what makes your body train it’s hardest, but if you’re doing endurance training that lasts for an hour or more, you probably need to support your training with some nutrient-dense carbohydrates as well.

The size of your pre-and post-workout meal is about half the size of a full meal, though again, that measure may vary from athlete to athlete.

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