Maintaining Exercise with a High-Energy Menu Plan for Crohn’s
Maintaining an active lifestyle and incorporating daily exercise is a significant part of managing Crohn’s. Not only will it improve your mood by releasing endorphins, but it can also help to alleviate stress and increase the efficiency of your digestive tract. Furthermore, by including weight-bearing exercise in your weekly routine, you can protect yourself against osteoporosis, a possible complication of Crohn’s. If you have trouble absorbing nutrients due to Crohn’s, it is likely you feel lethargic and often unable to workout. You may even be experiencing unwanted weight loss. To combat fatigue and maintain a healthy weight, choose high-energy meals that are nutrient dense.
Here is a one-day menu plan that will offer high-energy meals and snacks that are sure to fuel you through your day.
½ cup well-cooked oatmeal with 1-2 tbsp. creamy almond butter, 1 cup lactose free milk or soy milk, and 1 banana for a touch of sweetness.
*This meal offers you a wonderful balance of whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and a serving of fruit.
Lactose-free yogurt topped with ½ cup frozen berries warmed into a compote. Simply warm your frozen berries in the microwave or over the stove, and serve over your yogurt. If you are not lactose intolerant, try Greek yogurt for a wonderful punch of protein. Hard-boiled eggs are also a great snack, and the yolk is a good source of iron.
1 cup of pureed butternut squash soup with 3 oz. baked chicken on a bed of well-cooked spinach and a small, toasted bread roll (preferably whole grain if it sits well with you). Remember, you do not need to fear veggies. If they are well cooked, they are easier for your body to digest and are an amazing source of necessary vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Need to fuel up for your afternoon workout? Try a nutrient-rich shake! Add banana and peanut butter to milk or a milk alternative. Or, try a lactase supplement just before drinking your milkshake if you really want to give milk a try but typically experience symptoms of lactose intolerance. The combination of protein and carbohydrates will keep you fueled and well satisfied throughout your workout. If you aren’t hungry before working out, this can also make a good post-workout recovery shake, especially if you did resistance training.
Time to refuel post workout! Try 3 oz. baked salmon on top of ½ cup rice (preferable brown rice if it doesn't cause you discomfort), with 1 cup of soft, cooked vegetables. This is a winning combination of healthy fats, lean protein and whole grains. Make sure to include fresh or dried herbs and spices (nothing too spicy) to your dishes, as they contain potent antioxidants packed into their small size!
Try this healthy chocolate pudding that will satisfy your sweet tooth and add fiber, folate, and vitamins C and K to your day!
Try this one-day menu plan to get through a full day with enough energy to keep up your exercise. Remember, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all, so tweak this menu to work best for you. For the remainder of the week, use this as a template for building high-energy meals and snacks. It is always best to include a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat source in each of your meals to feel the most satisfied.
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