Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Start your winter fueling with performance-enhancing soups!

Now that you know all the nutritional benefits of soup for athletes (see last week's blog if you missed it), here are some recipes to try for winter fueling!

Vegetarian Chili

2 Tbsp olive oil
½ onion diced
½ green pepper diced
4 cloves
5 Tbsp Chili powder
3 Tbsp cumin
Diced tomatoes (24 oz can) not drained
3 cans of various beans drained (black, Kidney, garbanzo, etc)
2 cups of broth (any kind) *may add more or less depending on thickness preference
2 small zucchini or ½ medium butternut squash diced

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Why you should eat soup as a post-workout snack or meal

As the temperature outside continues to drop, our typical post exercise snacks and meals of smoothies, cold shakes, and salads tend to become less appetizing. Soups can be a great way for athletes of all types to meet many of their nutritional needs while also satisfying the craving for warmer foods. 

Benefits of soup for Athletes:
-Vegetables: Soups are a great way to load up on veggies and work to meet your daily recommendations. Whether you make your own soup or buy it pre-made, “beefing” it up with vegetables is always an option. Aside from the obvious benefits of vitamins and minerals necessary for great health and physical performance, most vegetables tend to be a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which are essential for keeping your digestive system in top shape. As many athletes know, this is of the utmost importance. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Surviving the Holidays When You Are an Athlete

Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to see family and friends that you might not otherwise see during the year. But what is a holiday without rich and tantalizing foods? While it is important to enjoy the holiday season and its delicacies, it is essential that you make smart food choices as an athlete. It is very easy to lose focus and suddenly find your weight up and your performance compromised. To arrive into the New Year with only positive memories of the holiday season, here are a few nutrition tips and tricks to guide you:
1.      Remember - calories in vs. calories out: Unwanted weight gain is the result of eating beyond your body’s needs.  Keep this in mind over the holidays. A great practice is to be sure to exercise on days you know will be full of eating (like Christmas). Begin the day with a great workout to kick-start your metabolism and set the pace for continued healthy choices into the evening.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Should I detox after Thanksgiving dinner?

With the constant bombardment of products and testimonials, it is easy to believe that detoxing will make up for the "mistakes" of holiday eating. But is it really a good idea to detox after a holiday feast? Will it help you shed pounds? Decrease "a toxin build-up"?

Search for "detox products" online and you'll get over 35,000 hits. Detox diet books number in the hundreds. Surprising? Unfortunately, no. Ridiculous? Absolutely. It's continually shocking to me the amount that some people will pay for products that have absolutely no scientific evidence that they do...anything. The theory behind detoxing is that our body becomes overloaded with "toxins" from the food we eat, mainly coming from additives, caffeine, preservatives, and alcohol. Supposedly these toxins stay in the body, wreaking all kinds of havoc, from weight gain to belly bloat to fatigue. The truth is that this entire premise is faulty.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keep Performance & Body Comp Goals in Mind this Holiday Season!

Well, it's the holiday season again...a time for family, friends, and...FOOD! Unfortunately the holiday season falls - for many athletes - in the midst of the off-season and cold outdoor temperatures. So what's an athlete to do during the holidays to emerge still on track for his/her next race when January 2nd rolls around? Here are my performance-protecting holiday tips. Note: these are in order of importance!

1. Re-assess your goals.
While I understand you may have a March or April competition planned, the holidays may not be the best time to "kick your butt into gear" or "take your training to the next level". December can be a very stressful month - and remember that stress can wreak havoc on your metabolism, digestion and sleeping patterns. If trying to continue a hard-core training plan in the midst of everything is only adding undue stress, perhaps cut back a bit, take a deep breath, and try to enjoy time spent with family and friends.