Rocket Fuel, Tart cherry energy elixir + GIVEAWAY

This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute.

I’m always looking for ways to improve my workout fuel game. Back in the day, I’d head out for a long run the night after a few cocktails, skip breakfast, and wonder why I hit a wall at mile 6. I’d feel frustrated that I couldn’t lift heavier weights for my deadlifts. And, I couldn’t understand why my energy was hit or miss while teaching classes. Finally, I started to dig in and learn about sports nutrition, and was shocked to see how much proper fuel positively affected my workout experience.

I fell in love with the sports chews and gels, and found that many of my favorite store-bought workout fuel items could easily be made at home using healthy ingredients. Here’s something I made recently, using one of my favorite recovery tools: Montmorency tart cherry juice.

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Here are some of the benefits of this delicious little fruit:

Montmorency tart cherries have a high amount of anthocyanins, which are beautiful in color and have been demonstrated to protect the body against inflammation and various diseases. You can check out more of the benefits here. You can find tart cherries in frozen, dried fruit, capsule, and juice form.

To be effective, some sports nutritionists suggest using Montmorency tart cherry juice as a “precovery” drink.

All of the exercise-related studies have had athletes drink Montmorency tart cherry juice or consume tart cherries in other forms at least several days or a week prior to an event – as well as the day of and after. Soreness after a workout is caused by a combination of inflammation, muscle damage and oxidative stress – and researchers suggest the natural compounds in Montmorency tart cherries, including anthocyanins, may help with all three when consumed prior to working out, as well as after. 

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This little energy elixir is modeled after the energy gel you’ll find in the pouches at sporting good stores. The best part: it uses ingredients you may already have on hand and has the added benefits of tart cherry juice!

Other benefits:

Salt: electrolyte replenishment

Honey: carb replenishment (energy!). Increased energy can lead to increased performance! It’s also antibacterial and can boost the immune systems

Blackstrap molasses: vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, B6, and selenium

It’s a delicious mix of tart and sweet, with a slight kick of salt, following a sweaty workout.  You can store it in little sport gel bottles or even reusable baby food pouches.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!

Tart Cherry

My friends at Tart Cherries sent me a new cookbook with lots of healthy recipes you can make at home to support your active lifestyle: Rocket Fuel. The author, Matt Kadey, is a Registered Dietitian and has created a cookbook packed with amazing recipes and new cooking ideas. I can’t wait to implement many of these in my rotation! All whole ingredients and super easy to make.

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Here’s what you’ll find within the pages of Rocket Fuel:

126 recipe ideas for power-packed foods, snacks, and light meals including bowls, puddings, wraps, sandwiches, bites, balls, squares, bars, drinks, patties, cakes, stacks, drinks, smoothies, shakes, soups, muffins, sliders, pies, rolls, DIY energy shots, and all-natural sports drinks

33 Before, 43 During, and 50 After Exercise recipes

79 dairy free, 85 gluten free, 76 vegetarian, and 33 paleo-friendly recipes

Smart-yet-simple sports nutrition guidelines for before, during, and after exercise

Complete nutrition facts for every recipe

I also love that he really breaks down sports nutrition into a format that’s easy to understand and follow. I can’t wait to share it with a lucky reader friend!

Tart Cherries kindly offered a copy for a lucky winner, and I’d also like to share one of my latest fitness faves: a Fitbit Alta. I’ve been using it for about a month now to encourage activity throughout the day, track my sleep, and it’s my favorite Fitbit because of the smaller, sleek design.


Enter via the widget below! The lucky winner will be announced Tuesday morning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I’ll see ya later today with Friday Faves!



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  1. hillary on May 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Banana with pb pre- or post-workout is my jam.

  2. Hanna Gardella on May 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I love cherries, so maybe I’ll try tart cherry juice!

  3. Marissa on May 27, 2016 at 11:44 am

    What I eat definitely affects my workouts and my energy levels

  4. Cathy on May 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I typically have peanut butter and an apple before I work out in the morning.

  5. Heather T. on May 27, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Chocolate milk!

  6. Maggie on May 27, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I love chocolate milk after a hard workout or race!

  7. Lori on May 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I love protein smoothies after intense workouts!

  8. Lori on May 27, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I follow you on Instagram! 🙂

  9. Kelsey on May 27, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I’m totally on the energy bite bandwagon. Almond butter with chia, flax, oats, honey, and chocolate chips (duh).

  10. claire on May 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Yogurt after a workout

  11. claire on May 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I follow on IG

  12. LeeAnn on May 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I typically do tart cherry juice + water pre workout. I never thought to make it into something more exciting!

  13. Verhanika on May 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    My favorite pre-workout fuel is a banana with almond butter. Post-workout I tend to have a meal, which usually includes an egg scramble with veggies and cheese.

  14. Missy on May 27, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Banana and peanut butter pre-workout. Protein shake after.

  15. Missy on May 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I follow you on Instagram.

  16. Megan on May 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Either a protein shake (vega chocolate smoothie powder, coconut milk and banana) or an apple and peanut butter!

  17. Alicia on May 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Good ol’ pb on banana

  18. Katie C on May 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I usually eat an apple with peanut butter post-workout.

  19. Katie C on May 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I follow on instagram!

  20. Liz on May 27, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    If I need a little something before a workout, I’ll usually have part of a Lenny & Lenny cookie or a mini Larabar. Something quick and simple that I won’t be burping up! After workouts, I always want something cold and refreshing like a smoothie or acai bowl with added protein.

  21. Erin M. on May 27, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Banana works best for me pre-workout!

  22. Vicky N. on May 27, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I like just a little toast!

  23. Bianca on May 27, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    good old half banana + nut butter! or sometimes a few prunes 🙂

  24. Bianca on May 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    i follow you on insta!

  25. Sunny on May 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    A half a serving of steel cut oats with a half banana and a little coconut oil. Perfect!

  26. Theresa on May 27, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I love banana and pb before a workout.

  27. Michelle on May 27, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    An English muffin with almond butter post workout!

  28. Sarah Daniels on May 27, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve been wanting a fitness tracker! I like a protein smoothie after a workout 🙂

  29. Janna on May 27, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I don’t have a favorite post workout snack, but I recently started trying to find one. I’ve noticed being more fatigued during the day, so I need to take a closer look at my nutrition and see what works best pre and post workout

  30. Janna on May 27, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I follow you on Instagram!

  31. Robyn on May 27, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I’ve heard before about cherries being good for athletes but I didn’t know why. Thanks for the giveaway!

  32. Julia on May 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Post workout I love a protein smoothie with lots of fresh spinach added!

  33. Giana on May 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I follow you on IG! Would love to try tart cherry anything post-workout to help with muscle recovery!

  34. Amanda on May 27, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Banana and peanut butter! So good 🙂

  35. Amanda on May 27, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I follow you on Instagram

  36. Lexie on May 27, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    This drinks sounds tasty! I’ll try anything to help with muscle soreness and recovery.

  37. Alex on May 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I love a smoothie after a workout!

  38. Alex on May 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I follow you in Instagram! (azornizer)

  39. Ruby on May 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    A peanut butter chocolate protein shake or greek yogurt!

  40. Caitlin St. James on May 27, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    As a personal trainer, I’d love to study this book for pre- and post-workout options to recommend to clients!

  41. Laura W on May 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I’m loving a weird-sounding but delicious smoothie combo right now: frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, frozen spinach, cherry juice, protein powder, almond milk!

  42. Lindsey giles on May 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    To recover after a hard workout I do milk with whole foods brand chocolate protein powder. Stretch, foam roll, ice or Epsom salt bath.

  43. Lindsey giles on May 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Follow you on Instagram

  44. Emily S on May 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    My favorites are banana and pb or a protein shake after!

  45. Samantha Burr on May 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I love dates with a tiny bit of almond butter (the Justin’s Vanilla is my favorite! Like candy!)

  46. Jess on May 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    apple with peanut butter- pre!
    smoothie (1/2 banana, vega, spinach)- post

  47. Jess on May 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I follow on IG!

  48. Heather on May 27, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    before i like pb and dates or banana…after a smoothie with lots of good stuff!

  49. Vicki L. on May 27, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I loooove my post-workout protein smoothies!

  50. ashley d on May 27, 2016 at 6:51 pm


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