Not sure how to translate nutrition jargon into a day's worth of healthy meals? Check out how to fuel your gains with these 5 fit-friendly meals!

You know that nutrition is an essential component of hitting your health and fitness goals, whether you want to add mass or torch fat. But putting that knowledge into practice isn't always easy. Keeping track of your protein, carb, and fat intake alone can be tough, but when new and conflicting diet information seems to pop up daily, figuring out how to eat for your goals can seem nearly impossible!

What better way to sort through all of the information being thrown around—and separate scientific fact from bro fiction—than consulting with those who eat, sleep, and breathe a healthy lifestyle? Thankfully, fitness model Alicia "Ziggy" Ziegler and Chef Patrick Stark, otherwise known as the "Stark-Raving Chef," are here to help you fuel your day.

From a morning meal to a nighttime snack, they'll reveal what their day of muscle-building fuel looks like and share their tips, secrets, and favorite nutritious recipes. Whether you follow the meals to a T or tweak them to please your palette, their suggestions will help put you on the path to building a simple day of fitness-friendly fuel!

1. Breakfast

Ziggy's go-to breakfast is an egg-white omelet rich in colorful vegetables to boost her nutrient and antioxidant intake. She pairs this protein-packed plate with a side of energy from carbohydrates in the form of jasmine rice.

On the occasion that breakfast becomes her post-workout meal, Alicia chooses hearty, slow-burning oatmeal to keep her full and fueled for hours to come. Her favorite oat concoction includes a scoop of Dymatize protein powder, fresh fruit, a tablespoon of nuts, and a dash of ground flax seeds and cinnamon.

Stark is a big fan of pancakes for breakfast, and recommends you make his must-try Fluffy Aquafaba Protein Pancakes. What the heck is aquafaba? Put simply, it's the liquid leftover from canned chickpeas!

Once whipped and incorporated into a dish, aquafaba acts as an emulsifier—similar to the yolk of an egg—and can be used to help slash fat intake in your favorite recipes. That comes in handy if, like Stark, you want to enjoy the occasional piece of candied bacon alongside healthy cakes. Choose your fats carefully!

Fluffy Aquafaba Protein Pancakes

  • FLUFFY AQUAFABA PROTEIN PANCAKES
  • INGREDIENTS 
  • GLUTEN-FREE OATS: 1 CUP
  • LIQUID EGG WHITES: 1/2 CUP
  • LIQUID FROM CANNED CHICKPEAS: 1 CUP
  • NONFAT GREEK YOGURT: 1 CUP
  • DYMATIZE VANILLA PROTEIN POWDER: 1 SCOOP
  • NATURAL VANILLA EXTRACT: 1 TSP
  • CINNAMON: 1 TSP
  • SALT: 1 PINCH (OPTIONAL)
  • ORGANIC LIQUID STEVIA: 15 DROPS (OPTIONAL)

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Blend all ingredients (except for the aquafaba) in a blender for 3-5 minutes until completely combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. To make the aquafaba, whip the chickpea liquid with a hand or stand mixer on high until a thick "meringue" forms and can hold a peak without falling. Carefully fold the aquafaba into the pancake mix. Do not overmix!
  3. Cook on a greased griddle or skillet with nonstick spray for approximately 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown.

NUTRITION FACTS 

  • Serving size: two 4-inch pancakes 
  • Recipe yields: 2 servings
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 309
  • Fat 4 g
  • Carbs 33 g
  • Protein 36 g

Candied Turkey Bacon

  • ITURKEY BACON: 4 STRIPS
  • GRADE B MAPLE SYRUP: 1/8 CUP
  • FINELY GROUND BLACK PEPPER: 1/8 TSP

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pour the maple syrup over the turkey bacon, and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn the turkey bacon over and baste with the syrup. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until it has reached a desired level of crispiness.
  4. Remove the turkey bacon from the pan and sprinkle with some of the black pepper. Serve with the protein pancakes.

NUTRITION FACTS

  • Serving size: 2 strips 
  • Recipe yields: 2 servings
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 175
  • Fat 9 g
  • Carbs 15 g
  • Protein 10 g

2. Pre-Workout Meal

When looking for a boost in energy and focus, Alicia Ziegler often pairs a quick-digesting protein source with caffeine for her pre-workout meal. The caffeine helps her get energized for the workout ahead, while the protein sets her up for muscle growth and repair.

"You can actually put coffee right into your protein shake and drink it on the way to training," Ziggy explains. Be careful when adding coffee to a shaker cup though, as the heat of the coffee may tempt your lid to pop off!

Stark swears by using a pre-workout supplement before he trains. A quality pre-workout can help energize you for training, get a better pump while working out, and potentially help you workout out stronger and longer with ingredients like creatine and beta-alanine.

Stark enjoys using a pre-workout so much that he's actually found a delicious way to incorporate it into a blended vinaigrette. Yes, that's right, a pre-workout salad dressing! Stark enjoys drizzling this fruity burst of flavor and energy atop his superfood mixed-green salad prior to his workouts.

Pre-Workout Vinaigrette With Mixed Green Salad And Rosemary Sprouted-Grain Chips

CHIP AND SALAD INGREDIENTS 

  • ORGANIC MIXED GREENS: 2 CUPS
  • SLICED ALMONDS: 1/8 CUP
  • GOJI BERRIES: 2 TBSP
  • SMALL AVOCADO: 1/4
  • SPROUTED-GRAIN TORTILLA: 1/2
  • ROSEMARY (DRIED OR FRESH): 1/2 TSP
  • SEA SALT: TO TASTE
  • COOKING SPRAY

VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS 

  • DYMATIZE M.P.ACT RASPBERRY: 1 SCOOP
  • STRAWBERRIES/BERRIES, THAWED OR FRESH: 1/2 CUP
  • EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: 1/4 CUP
  • FRESH LEMON JUICE: 2 TBSP
  • HONEY (OPTIONAL): 1 TBSP
  • SALT AND PEPPER: TO TASTE

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the tortilla into triangles and spray both sides of the "chips" with the cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary, and place in the oven on a perforated pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Be sure to watch the chips closely so they don't burn.
  4. Carefully remove the chips from oven and let cool.
  5. To make the vinaigrette, place berries, olive oil, lemon juice, pre-workout, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Toss the mixed greens with 2 tablespoons of pre-workout vinaigrette, and refrigerate the remainder of the dressing. Top with the remaining ingredients and dive in. Don't forget to add a lean protein!

NUTRITION FACTS 

  • Serving size: 1 salad with 2 tbsp vinaigrette 
  • Recipe yields: 1 salad (8 servings vinaigrette)
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 366
  • Fat 23.5 g
  • Carbs 29 g
  • Protein 11 g

3. Post-Workout Meal

Immediately following her last set, Ziggy likes to drink a blend of fast- and slow-digesting proteins to help promote and support a prolonged muscle-building environment. Stark is no different. If you're stuck in a recovery rut, consider making his favorite post-workout treat. Combined with plenty of fast-digesting protein for rapid delivery to your muscles, and loaded with antioxidants to support recovery, this shake is sure to hit the spot!

Iso-100 Recovery Shake

INGREDIENTS 

  • DYMATIZE ISO-100: 1 SCOOP
  • FILTERED WATER: 8-12 OZ.
  • ICE (OR FROZEN BERRIES): 1/4 CUP
  • DYMATIZE GLUTAMINE POWDER: 1 SCOOP
  • RAW MACA POWDER: 1 TSP
  • ORGANIC BLACKBERRIES: 1/2 CUP

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and mix on high until completely combined. Consume within 30 minutes post-workout.

NUTRITION FACTS 

  • Serving size: 1 shake 
  • Recipe yields: 1 serving
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 300
  • Fat 3 g
  • Carbs 17 g
  • Protein 26 g

4. Dinner

As her day is winding down, Ziggy likes to taper her calories and begin reducing carbohydrate intake, especially starchy carbs. "A lighter [lower-calorie] dinner packed with more vegetables is perfect for me," she explains. "In the evening, I don't necessarily want a traditional carbohydrate with my meal, since I usually eat starches throughout the day."

A perfect dinner in Ziggy's book consists of ample greens and 4-6 ounces of lean protein. One of her favorite combinations includes Brussels sprouts topped with shaved parmesan cheese, tahini dressing, kale, and slivered almonds—alongside a grilled chicken breast, of course.

The Stark-Raving Chef also opts for a lean source of protein along with some delicious mixed greens. He enjoys reaping the numerous health benefits of omega-rich salmon alongside a healthful portion of greens.

Pan-Seared Salmon With Pico And Mixed Greens

INGREDIENTS 

  • SALMON FILLET: 6-8 OZ.
  • EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: 1 TBSP
  • PICO DE GALLO: 1/4 CUP
  • ORGANIC MIXED GREENS: 2 CUPS
  • SALT AND PEPPER: OPTIONAL

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet and heat on medium high.
  2. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper and set it in the pan skin-side down and cook, without moving, until the sides are cooked just past halfway up the fillets.
  3. Flip the fillet skin-side down and cook until the sides are fully cooked.
  4. Remove from the heat for a medium-rare temperature. Let the salmon cool slightly.
  5. Serve the salmon over a bed of mixed greens and sprinkle the pico de gallo over top.

NUTRITION FACTS 

  • Serving size: 1 serving 
  • Recipe yields: 1 serving
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 403
  • Fat 36 g
  • Carbs 7 g
  • Protein 35 g

5. Before Bed

Before it's time to call it a day, Ziggy ensures her body is set for recovery success throughout the night. When you're not eating overnight, your body is still utilizing protein for various internal processes, which means it's important to consume protein shortly before you go to sleep.

"Casein dramatically slows the rate of protein breakdown, which is why it's beneficial as a pre-bed snack," she explains. Ziggy enjoys making a shake consisting of casein protein, unsweetened almond milk, and an occasional scoop of nut butter—all topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Sick of smoothies? Stark swears by his creamy tuna with cucumber recipe as a perfect bedtime snack. This protein-packed bedtime snack will provide your muscles with the overnight growing power they need and your taste buds with the flavors they desire.

 

Creamy Tuna, Cucumber Canapés, And Spicy Roasted Pepitas

INGREDIENTS 

  • ALBACORE TUNA IN WATER: 4-5 OZ.
  • CUCUMBER, PEELED: 1/2
  • RAW PEPITAS: 1/4 CUP
  • SRIRACHA OR HOT SAUCE: 1 TSP
  • EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: 1 TBSP

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Toss the pepitas with the olive oil and place in a pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Toast until they start to pop, turning occasionally with a spatula.
  3. When they are almost browned, add the hot sauce and coat each piece completely.
  4. Cook for another 3 minutes, and cool on a paper towel.
  5. Mix the drained tuna with the avocado until it all holds together easily.
  6. Cut the cucumber into four 2-inch-thick pieces.
  7. Scoop out the seeds to create a "bowl" for the tuna.
  8. Fill the cucumber pieces with the tuna, avocado mixture.
  9. Top with the pepitas and a dash of hot sauce. Devour.

NUTRITION FACTS 

  • Serving size: 1 meal 
  • Recipe yields: 1 serving
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories 406
  • Fat 18 g
  • Carbs 13.5 g
  • Protein 46 g

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