Feature Workout + Post Workout Nutrition Tips [Guest Post from Emily Miner]

Hey Bacon & Squats readers!

How are y’all? My name is Emily (most people call me ‘Em’) and I’m the founder and content creator over at emilyminer.com. I teach people how to feel good, look good and still have a life because living a life in which diet and exercise are a part is hugely different than one that is consumed by them. I am trying my best to create a life of the former, stay positive (and transparent) through the struggles and teach y’all a thing or two along the way. If this sounds good to you and we’re not yet connected on Instagram (@emilynminer), we should be!

Anyways, when Finley reached out to me regarding a combination fitness + nutrition guest post, I hadn’t heard of Bacon & Squats so headed to her site for a quickie check to make sure it was a mutually good fit. An hour later, having read her bio and bookmarked ALLTHERECIPES, I knew it was a perfect fit - bacon, hot sauce, short but still totally kicka** workouts, simple recipes and wine? I mean, what’s not to love? Like-minded friends, both virtual and IRL, are bomb. That is all.

Let me give you a little backstory on me. I’ll try to keep it brief, admittedly not my forte, but I’ll do my best. If you want to read more about me, my story and/or musings in my life as I navigate a new city or anything else, it’s all here. I’m a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, fat loss nutrition and lifestyle coach with an online biz, a 9-5 and a puppy (basically, my third full-time job, but love of my life and totally worth it). Originally from the Boston-area, I earned my BS in Health & Exercise Science from Wake Forest University #godeacs, stayed there for a bit post-grad and currently reside in the greater-Philadelphia area.

A cardio queen turned weightlifting junkie, endurance exercise is but a thing of my past. Ain’t nobody got time to spend hours a day in the gym! Or maybe you do, zero judgement, but personally I choose not to (because, priorities) and have found a way to get even better results in less time. Say wha?! That’s right. I’m stronger and in better cardiovascular shape than ever before working out for a fraction of the time- 20-30 minutes tops, 5-6x/week versus hours of cardio a day, every day. #nothanks #idienow

How is this possible? Because exercise intensity, not duration is what drives results; working smarter, not longer (e.g. HIIT, interval training, lifting heavy weights faster). I might only train for 20-30 minutes at a time, but I train intensely and with intent. I also practice #restbasedliving and prioritize restorative activities like leisure walking daily. Why? The lower intensity stuff actually helps the higher intensity stuff to work; it keeps the metabolism responsive.

So with that, I’ve got a sweet, er I mean super sweaty WOD for ya followed by a lil’ Nutrition 101. If you try it, snap a pic and post to my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram in a sweaty selfie, post-workout eats, mindset insight or anything else - I love hearing from you!


Directions: Perform 21-15-9-9-15-21 reps of the following, for time:

  • DB squat/press or BB thruster
  • Chest-to-floor burpees
  • i.e. 21 thrusters, 21 burpees, 15 of each, 9 of each then 9 of each again, working your way back up to 21 reps of each exercise

Finish with 5-minutes of the following, performing back-to-back to failure until time is up:

  • Russian Twists (1 Heavy DB)
  • In N’ Outs (demo here: http://bit.ly/2herXEY)
  • i.e. Do Russian Twists until you can’t, then move to In N’ Outs. When you can’t do any more In N’ Outs, back to Russian Twists.

PWO Nutrition

As for post-workout eats, well, it depends… on YOU. We all have a unique set of metabolic tendencies, personal preferences and psychological/dietary sensitivities. For example, I generally prefer to chew my food and tend not to reach for shakes post-workout. But that’s just me. #doyou. I will occasionally enjoy a shake for my first meal, or as a late afternoon snack, but, it’s not a daily thing for me.

So what to do in terms of post-workout nutrition? Following an intense training sesh (e.g. weight training, MADabolic, CrossFit, Metabolic Effect-type workouts), I generally reco a quality source of protein and starchy carbohydrate. Following shorter duration, higher intensity cardio (e.g. HIIT or sprints vs. longer duration steady state), I don’t worry so much about the carbs (actually, I never worry - it’s just food, it’s only eating and fortunately something that we *get to* practice every.single.day), but do prioritize protein in this window also. It’s not that I avoid carbs here, but I just don’t place as much emphasis on them. If I have ‘em, great. If not, nbd. But since low carb and low fat together is recipe for a hangry me, I will up my fats in this meal if it’s relatively lower carb. Regardless, I eat tons of non-starchy veggies always. Their fiber content adds bulk (and water!) and helps stabilize blood sugar, which helps keep us feeling fuller for longer and may lead you to eat less overall without even trying.

In general, I also don’t stress too much about nutrient timing and prefer to focus my finite energy on the quality of my post-workout meal vs. whether I eat immediately, within the 30-60 minute window following my training session or even beyond that. Are there slight advantages to each? Sure. But you’re certainly not going to lose muscle or gain fat by not eating right away or eating prior to the 30-minute mark post-workout. And, unless you’re an elite athlete, it’s really not something you should stress over either, IMHO. Practice relaxing around your eating process and I think you’d be pleasantly surprised by the results. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’d look exactly the same, or better, with even less stress.

Remember, no mess-ups; only learning. Monitor your biofeedback (e.g. hunger, energy, cravings, mood, stress, sleep, skin, digestion) in terms of how different foods make you feel while you are eating them *and* after, then adjust accordingly. *Don’t forget: YOU are the best expert in you.

So bearing in mind that I am me and you are you, here’s what my post-workout eats often look like for what are currently end-of-day workouts. Pretty never, yummy always and often in the form of a #plantbasedcarnivore #onebowlmeal:


1.    Organic red cabbage and onion sautéed in coconut oil with grass-fed beef, seasoned with pink salt and a side of homemade sweet potato “chips.”

2.    Bunless, oven-baked grass-fed beef, bison or lamb burger (I don’t grill lol) with a side of roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato or plantain “chips.” Or these.

3.    Roasted spaghetti squash with sautéed onion, sundried tomato and arugula with grass-fed beef or ground turkey OR meatballs, sausage and homemade sauce.

4.    Gluten-free old-fashioned oats or oat bran with plant-based protein powder or an egg scramble with veggies (if I train in the morning).


1.    Nix the chips from #1 above, add 1/2 an avocado or more coconut oil.

2.    Nix the chips from #2 above, add a spoonful of Paleo mayo or ‘cado

3.    Giant chopped salad with tons of chicken, veggies and homemade dressing with oil, vinegar and spices or Primal Kitchen Foods dressing, for convenience.

4.    Deconstructed Taco Salad with avocado and a few plantain “chips.”

Have a go-to post-workout meal? Let us know in the comments below - we’re all always looking for new ideas!

Saved by the [Kettle]Bell

Saved by the [Kettle]Bell

I'm one of those people that performs best in a structured workout setting...i.e. in a class. When in Charlotte, I pretty much strictly take the classes at MADabolic, the gym where I instruct - the classes are strength-biased and focus on every day athleticism, driven by intervals...pretty much hitting everything I enjoy about voluntarily sweating. Up until relatively recently, when I'm not taking teaching or taking classes at the gym (or taking the occasional yoga class...I've been like three times, bought a mat and now basically consider myself a pro - the fact that I can't touch my toes is neither here nor there), you could pretty much count on me being elsewhere (most likely on my sofa), convincing myself that I simply couldn't get a workout in on my own. No literally...if I couldn't make it to a MAD class, the thought of just doing something on my own was essentially inconceivable. Just wasn't happening. 

The Race for Six Pack Abs...Is Dumb As [Insert 4-Letter Word of Choice]

The Race for Six Pack Abs...Is Dumb As [Insert 4-Letter Word of Choice]

The allure of having a six pack is something that just seems to get women in the fitness world all hot and bothered. While this might not be the case for some, I find all too often that many female athletes seem to allow the presence of a six pack, or lack thereof, define their progress, success and/or overall performance in the healthy lifestyle they strive to lead. This is something that, in my opinion, is just f***ing dumb. Eating right and exercising efficiently doesn't always take the shape of a completely shredded warrior princess...AND THAT IS OK!

Running Tips from a Running Cynic

Running Tips from a Running Cynic

But seriously. Running is the bane of my existence. I drink the running hatorade big time. I actively despise it with every fiber of my being. I genuinely do not understand how people voluntarily run any farther than 3 miles and actually enjoy it. "Runners high" they say. Yeah - never experienced it.  In my pitiful excuse of a weekly run, which rarely exceeds 2.5-3 miles, my stream of consciousness usually entails a solid thirty minutes of various four letter words from the time I leave to the time I'm back in my driveway. 

New Face, Same Gorge-Worthy Antics

Welcome to Bacon & Squats, formerly known as Play Paleo. Now, if you've been with me from the very beginning, you'll remember I started as Let There Be Bacon. I know, I know, I'm pretty much bipolar with this blog and you're probably asking yourself "wtf is wrong with this chick?" Well...lots of things are wrong with me (including, but not limited to my unnatural obsession with every single show that airs on Bravo), but I hesitate to claim my tendency to adjust and adapt as a fault. Allow me to elaborate...

Getting Back on Track in 2015

I’m sorry but the whole “New Year, New You” bullshit is bullshit. Don’t let 2015 rob you of the badass superstar you were in 2014! Just because you indulged over the holidays doesn’t mean you need to “renew” yourself. That being said…there is a difference between the “new year, new you” concept and the “I ate a few too many pieces of cake and now need to eat better and get my ass to the gym” concept. I totally understand and support the concept of New Year’s resolutions and “resets”.

"Staying Paleo" When Traveling

Traveling can be tricky when trying to uphold your real food, clean, active habits. Fortunately, when airplane terminals and hotels are in your immediate future, there are some things you can do and food you can prepare to stay on track. I spent the past few days in Cleveland for a conference, and kicked some paleo ass all the way through (if I do say so myself). And it's not because I'm a rockstar paleo wizard - it just took a some incredibly easy preparation on the front end.

Toss the Scale

Getting rid of the scale may have been the most challenging yet liberating component of my transition to clean eating, training hard and living freely. Back in the good [terrible] ole' days of calorie imprisonment and weekly [daily] weigh-ins, the scale was my arch nemesis. A small metal block of shame to which I became addicted. Not exaggerating, I used to weigh myself up to 3 times per day - when I woke up, post workout and before I went to bed. That's just horrendous. I swear, when I'd step on it, I could hear it berating, insulting and bullying me. 

Gluten Free Challenge

The other morning, my froworker, (friend-coworker), April, was talking about how she thought she may have been experiencing a food sensitivity of some sort. Among the items she was considering cutting out temporarily (to see if it would make a difference in how she felt) was gluten. This, my friends, is not surprising. You don't have to be full blown celiac to be gluten sensitive.

Eat Fat to Lose Fat

One component of the paleo diet that never fails to trip people up is the high fat content. Today's misguided health "rules" have labeled fat as Satan's sidekick, leading almost every food producer to come out with a "low fat" or "fat free" option. I definitely used to get excited about low fat options of my favorite processed foods...but now, looking back on it, I laugh at myself. And then I start to pity myself for missing out on all the wonders of fat for so long.

My Favorite Practically Paleo Products

So, the rule of thumb with a paleo diet is that you shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. By nature, this indicates a high level of food preparation in the kitchen. No more easy microwavable frozen meals, no more easy mac, no more Snickers before your soccer game (the commercials that advertise snickers as a mid-game sideline snack always make me lol) - ok, I'll stop with the "no more", I'm not trying to be a buzz kill here and crush your soul by taking away your beloved Velveta.

What's in My Paleo Pantry

Something that was helpful for me when I started making the paleo/primal transition was to actually see what a pro paleo kitchen looked like - from the fridge and the freezer to the pantry and the spice rack. Knowing what a fully loaded paleo/primal kitchen might consist of can be really helpful in determining your grocery list - especially if you are new to the clean eating scene and don't really know where to start.