Post Workout: What to Eat?

Post Workout: What to Eat?

Before actually knowing anything credible about nutrition, I always conjured up in my head that the only proper thing to consume after working out is protein, protein and MORE protein! While various people demand various diets, the average person that exercises actually doesn’t need an extreme amount of protein after working out. Here are tips for what to eat after exercising.

A rule of thumb after exercising is try to consume a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio!

I like to push myself hard while working out, as most people do. Like I mentioned above, I always thought coming home and mixing up a protein shake was the perfect solution to losing weight and toning up. But, what I’ve learned is that it’s actually very important to refill your glycogen stores – aka, replenish the carbs you just burned working out.

I pulled these two quotes from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook about refueling after exercise:

  • “Carbohydrate stimulates the release of insulin, a hormone that helps build muscles as well as transports carbohydrate into the muscles to replenish depleted glycogen stores.”
  • “Carbohydrate combined with a little protein creates even better muscle refueling and building response, and it reduces cortisol, a hormone that breaks down muscle.”

Eating too much protein could often make your tummy feel a little distressed and bloated.

Examples of what to eat:

  • I’ve heard from multiple sources and people that chocolate milk is a fantastic post-exercise snack. I always thought the sugar in this drink was bad, but the carb to protein ratio is nearly perfect. According to, most chocolate milks contain about 26 g carbohydrates and 8 g protein per bottle. That’s nearly a perfect 3:1 ratio.
  • V8 Juice and a turkey sub
  • Yogurt with piece of fruit & honey – banana or blueberries is good
  • Cheerios with milk & banana
  • Steak with a potato

Essentially, you could eat a Snickers bar after working out and it can constitute as a pretty good post-workout snack. The best thing is to just get SOMETHING in your stomach right after you’re working out – like, 30 minutes or less after working out.

Hopefully this somewhat helps. Like I’ve said before, I’m no expert but I love learning about proper ways of eating and science of nutrition. Interesting things I learn about nutrition I love sharing with you all.

I love feedback – Please please Email me at with tips, feedback, anything! Or, tweet me @goalsforgals or @monicajkucera.


A Peek Inside the Life of Andrea Metcalf

A Peek Inside the Life of Andrea Metcalf

Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Chicago’s Fitness Expert, is someone I’ve come to know and admire more every day. I interned for her for about 5 months and now I work with her at She’s a role model and one of the hardest working women I know.

I did a profile piece about her for my journalism class. Take a peek at it, you might learn something new about her!

Sneaky guide to exercise

Sneaky guide to exercise

It’s almost three weeks into the quarter and when classes start picking up and homework becomes more important, working out becomes less. There are some days I’m out of the house at 8:30 a.m. and don’t come home until 10 at night. (I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But, if you’re finding your schedule is often like this you might ask, “When am I going to workout?!”

If you’re feeling motivated enough, by all means, get to the gym at 6 a.m. and your problems are solved. But if you’re like me, working out at 6 a.m. on such a busy day just isn’t going to happen. Here are some tips for sneaking in exercise when you have super long days:

  • Walk up stairs whenever possible! Now I don’t mean walking to the 35th floor of the building, but if your class is on the 4th floor of Arts & Letters Hall, then don’t be lazy and take the stairs.
  • 10 minutes of walking between three classes = 30 minutes a day. Some people think that in order to get good exercise you have to be running uphill sprints on the treadmill. 30 minutes of  walking a day is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and will still help you achieve your weight loss goal. It’s better than not walking at all — Think of it that way.
  • 5 minute wake-up drill. I find it hard to believe you wake up at 7:50 and are out the door at 8:00 – If you can do that (without looking like a hot mess) I applaud you. However, most normal people need time to physically wake up in the morning. After you wake up before getting in the shower do: 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute mountain climbers, 1 minute of burpees, 1 minute of squats and a 1 minute plank.
  • Check out and register for “Drop 5 in 30 days.” It’s comprised of multiple quick 10 minute workouts by Andrea Metcalf that are simple and you can do them with a small space.
  • “There are many paths to Oz – don’t let the monkey scare you.” – Andrea Metcalf

How are your fitness resolutions coming along? I’ve been working at holding this plank for at least 30 seconds and finally got it! Keep working at it! Would love to hear feedback. Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at

Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
3 ways to hold your fitness resolution accountable

3 ways to hold your fitness resolution accountable

Despite the 30 degree Chicago weather, I toughed it out for a nice run along the lake!  So worth it!
Despite the 30 degree Chicago weather, I toughed it out for a nice run along the lake! So worth it!

It’s easy to stay on top of your fitness new year resolution the first week when you’re super motivated about it – but as soon as the stress kicks in again and busy is taking over your life, your goals are put second. After listening to Andrea Metcalf talk about creating concrete goals, she offered some great advice for holding yourself accountable.

  1. Create Measurable Goals: Don’t just say things like, “I’m going to eat better this year,” or “I want to work out more.” Instead say, “I’m going to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday,” or “I’m going to work out three times a week.” Adding numbers to the equation forces you to hold yourselves more accountable and allow a support system to help you along the way.
  2. Create Direction: Know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. If you’re going to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables, how will you go about doing that in a way where you won’t get bored of the same foods? If you want to work out three times a week, how will you manage doing so with work and all of the other things you have going on? Create a schedule and stick to it. If you have to wake up at 6am to get to the gym then do it. If you don’t, the only person you’re letting down is yourself.
  3. Track Your Goals: Write down your goals for each week – and I seriously mean only week by week otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed. Setting goals and following them isn’t supposed to be a stressor in your life, it’s supposed to be fun. Make it exciting. Find fun recipes for reaching your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and have them planned for the week. If you want to work out three times a week, know on Sunday which days you’re going to do it. Therefore, you can cross things off the list after you accomplish them.

As for me, I’d like to work out at least three times a week as well as cut my calorie intake to 1250 a day. I plan on doing that by creating a list for each week as well as keeping a food journal. I know that if I don’t write out what I eat, I won’t care as much. If you can blatantly see the calories you’re eating, you’ll think twice.

What are you new year fitness resolutions? I’d love to know what your goals are and how you plan on reaching them! Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at Good luck!

Got a BOSU ball and free weights for Christmas! Feels great to keep fit in my own home! PS, did I mention I'm getting my personal training certificate? ;)
Got a BOSU ball and free weights for Christmas! Feels great to keep fit in my own home! PS, did I mention I’m getting my personal training certificate? 😉


13 Goals for 2013

13 Goals for 2013

With the new year approaching it makes for a perfect time to set goals for 2013. You have 365 days to construct your year how you want it — What will your goals be?? Here’s mine:

1.) Visit Los Angeles & Walk Hollywood Blvd.


2.) Complete a Triathalon

3.) Reach my goal weight of 140 


4.) Remain on the Dean’s List the rest of the school year


5.) Successfully pass my personal training certification test

Study Book From NASM
Study Book From NASM

6.) Graduate & get a job NOT doing admin work!

at SPJ convention in Florida
at SPJ convention in Florida


7.) Blog 2-3 times a week on this site

8.) Visit my Nation’s Capital


9.) Volunteer for Global Brigades – Public Health group

10.) Learn & go skiing


11.) Continue living with an open mind and big heart 🙂 

12.) Perfect THIS (Feathered Peacock Pose, I believe)


13.) Teach group fitness classes — WHEREVER this year takes me in WHATEVER town I end up in

It’s about time for you to think about what your goals will be! I’d love for you to share your thoughts and enter the new year encouraging one another.

Have a fantastic holiday!

Babysitter’s Workout

Babysitter’s Workout

I don’t know what it is about babysitting and eating, but somewhere between the mac & cheese dinners, cookies, Goldfish snacks or leftover Halloween candy — I can never manage to just go for the apple when I have all these other (obviously tastier) options.


Cookies at babysitting (Photo  by me)
Cookies at babysitting (Photo by me)

So you splurged and had a bowl of mac & cheese, now what?  You put the kids to bed and start watching tv or doing homework, right? Instead of sitting around feeling lowsy about cheating your diet, you can do a few workouts that are quiet which won’t disturb the kids sleeping.

  • Squats (hold a 2-liter of pop or gallon of milk for extra weight)
  • Lunges (hold a 2-liter of pop or gallon of milk for extra weight)
  • Tricep Dips
  • Push-ups
  • Abdominal hold (Fitness Magazine)
  • Various leg exercises (Fitness Magazine) – sissy squat, split squat, goblet squat, three-way lunge & more

Hopefully these simple exercises will give you some ideas to keep you off the couch at babysitting! They definitely make the time go a little faster when I’m there, not to mention, make you feel better about eating that junk food.



Can’t hold yourself accountable? This might help..

Can’t hold yourself accountable? This might help..

Sometimes I find myself struggling to maintain excitement in the whole process of weight loss. It’s not that fun, we all know that. But, there are ways to kick it up a notch. If you have a hard time holding yourself accountable, you need to be reminded as to why you’re doing this in the first place.

I found this awesome idea on Pinterest – Create a motivation board. Pin to it pictures that make you feel empowered, motivated or confident. If it’s the first thing you see every morning when you get up, you’ll be reminded of your goals.

There’s also this website, Slimkicker, that lets you log your food, exercise, goals and challenges. You can join motivational groups and invite friends to get in on it too! Oh, and i forgot to mention.. It’s FREE!

Once you sign up the website will calculate how many calories you should be consuming based on your body type and the amount of exercise you do. This gives you a basis as to how much you should be eating depending on how many calories you lose. For example, if I eat around 1,500 calories or less, I should be able to reach 140 in a month or so. But, I try to eat around 1,300 to speed up the process!

Remember, in order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to reach your next goal!

Let me know if you liked the website! Follow me on Pinterest to get some more motivational tips. I love feedback! Let me know how my site is doing! Email at or tweet me @goalsforgals.