Q1: What is one piece of advice you can give to young athletes about the importance of fueling their bodies?
Take your nutrition seriously. It is your source of energy, recovery, and fuel. And it promotes a strong immune system and long term health.
Q2: Do you have a favorite snack that helps to keep your energy up?
I like to make smoothies as an afternoon snack. It allows me to ingest several important nutrients and helps me keep my weight and energy up throughout the season. I’ve been trying to get more vegetable servings into my diet so I add spinach to my smoothies and I don't even taste it.
Q3: Staying hydrated is important, what are some strategies you use to keep up with your daily hydration?
I made it a routine to have a glass of water first thing every morning. I also carry a bottle of water with me throughout the day to sip on. Urine color is a great indicator of hydration levels. If my urine is clear or light yellow I’m hydrated. If it starts to get a darker yellow I know I need to drink more water.
Q4: Can you give players a sneak peak into your training day food routine?
Ideal meal day example:
Breakfast: Grass feed organic eggs with sauteed spinach, avocado with sea salt, fresh fruit, water and coffee with MCT oil
Post workout lunch: Organic chicken thighs, broccoli, quinoa, water
Dinner: Wild Alaska salmon, sweet potato, asparagus, kombucha tea
Snacks I like to mix in thought the day: nuts, kefir, smoothie, greek yogurt, fresh berries, avocado, sliced apple with almond butter
I try to always get organic/grass fed/wild/local foods to insure I get the omega three fatty acids from a grass fed diet and stay away from GMO’s and pesticides. I cook with coconut oil or olive oil to get healthy saturated fats. Healthy fats are a good energy source throughout a long season. I drink kefir and kombucha(probiotics) for gut health to keep my immune system strong. And fresh berries for a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. I try to stay away from processed foods.
Q5: What is one healthy food that you can't believe you like now?
Kale. I saw a recipe for sautéed kale with fresh garlic and coconut oil so I gave it a try. Its now one of my favorite veggies to mix in with dinner. I cook it so it has a little crunch to it and throw some sea salt on top at the end.
If the spring sports season has you short on time for dinner, check out these tips and easy dinner solutions to keep you out of the drive thru.
Roasted Chicken Wrap
Roast a chicken for dinner on a night where you have more time! Then the leftover chicken can be reinvented into chicken wraps, which are a great on the go meal! For the wrap: fill a whole grain wrap and fill it with chopped veggies, lettuce, cheese, and roasted chicken.
Tacos can be such a filling quick meal! To make taco night easier, chop up taco toppings ahead of time like olives, tomatoes, onion, and cucumbers. Then all you need to do to finish up dinner is cook up ground beef, chicken, turkey, or beans and season with your favorite taco seasoning!
Cook up a batch of your favorite grain like brown rice or quinoa. Then for dinner fill a bowl with the cooked grains and top with chopped veggies, grilled chicken, beans, avocado, olives, shredded cheese, salsa, etc. These can be taken with you on the go and the best part is that everyone can customize the bowl to their preference.
Parfaits can be more than just a snack! Have parfaits as part of an on the go meal. To make them portable, use to go containers for the parfaits. To assemble the parfaits: layer your favorite yogurt (opt for Greek yogurt for a higher protein boost), fruit, and whole grain granola.
Food Safety Reminder
Last but not least, remember to pack your on the go foods with ice packs to keep the foods cool and stash the cooler in a darker place in your car, out of direct sunlight. Plus pack along hand sanitizer for a quick hand clean up in case soap and water isn't available when you are eating on the go.
Curry is a rich in flavor that gets much of its flavor and color from turmeric that is a staple of curry dishes. Turmeric is a primary spice in curry powder; turmeric comes from the root of the plant Curcuma longa and is known for its bright yellow color that is provided by the polyphenol compound found in turmeric. Look for curry powder in the spice aisle of the grocery store.
The best part about this curry recipe is that it is a slow cooker recipe so when you are headed out for a busy day of sports, you can have a delicious meal ready when you return! Also switch up this recipe and add additional protein (e.g. cubes of chicken, tofu) or other veggies (e.g. sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes, broccoli instead of green beans)!
Serves 6 (1 1/3 cup servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed or cooked
1 1/2 cups red potato, cubed
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup (1-inch) frozen green beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (14-ounce) coconut milk
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add coconut milk.
Serving suggestion: Serve over rice
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 275 calories, 7 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 620 milligrams sodium, 45 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber, 11 grams protein
A: In general, yes, if we are talking green from leafy greens like spinach or kale! Smoothies make a great snack or addition to meals to boost overall fruit and vegetable intake.
Including leafy greens in your smoothies is a great way to deliver important nutrients that most everyone can use more of including: iron, vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin A. Plus leafy greens deliver lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect the eyes.
Try adding 1 cup of leafy greens to your favorite smoothie for a greens boost or try the Green Pineapple Chia smoothie before, which also delivers proboitics from the kefir.
Green Pineapple Chia
½ cup unsweetened light almond milk
2 teaspoons chia seeds
½ cup plain kefir
1 cup cubed pineapple, fresh or frozen
1 cup baby spinach
1 - 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 170 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 170 milligrams sodium, 30 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 23 grams sugar, 8 grams protein, 60% vitamin A, 30% calcium, 110% vitamin C, 10% iron
For more smoothie ideas, check out Drink Your Way to Gut Health by Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, CSSD
Breakfast is such an important meal and opportunity to fuel the body. As the name suggests, this is the meal that literally breaks the fast. While there isn't one perfect breakfast option, there are definitely nutrients to look to include like whole grains, fruit, healthy fats, and protein. This mix of nutrients will help to fuel and refuel the body.
Overnight oats are such a great option because you make them ahead of time and then let the oats sit overnight. You can then warm them up before you eat them or just enjoy them right out of the refrigerator. Oats not only deliver fiber to help fill you up, they also deliver protein, one cup of oats has about 10 grams of protein. In comparison - one large egg has about 6 grams of protein.
The oats then serve as a perfect foundation for nutrient-rich toppings and additions like fruit, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and more! There are almost endless options for overnight oats so experiment and find the mixture that is best for you - even try savory options with toppings like avocado, egg, and chopped scallions. Below are three overnight oats recipes for you to try!
Chia Berry Overnight Oats
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) almond milk
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) chia seeds
1/3 cup (80 mL) frozen blueberries
1/3 cup (80 mL) frozen strawberries
1/3 cup (80 mL) frozen raspberries
1. Mix the oats, almond milk, and chia seeds together in a small mixing bowl.
2. In a pint-size jar, start with 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Then layer frozen raspberries. Top with 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Then layer with frozen blueberries. Top with 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Finish with a layer of frozen strawberries.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Optional: To serve finish with 1 - 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar.
Topping suggestion: Top with fresh bananas, fresh raspberries, and/or coconut chips.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 400 calories, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 80 milligrams sodium, 73 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 12 grams protein
Golden Overnight Oats
1 cup (240 mL) coconut, almond milk, or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) tumeric
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) vanilla
2 teaspoons (10 mL) agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) cinnamon
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1. Combine the spices and agave nectar to the milk, whisk together. Then add the spice-milk mixture to the oats. Shake or stir to combine.
2. Transfer to a pint size jar or container, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Serving suggestions: Top with raisins, sliced pear, coconut flakes, and/or hemp seeds.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 470 calories, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 80 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 15 grams protein
Maple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
1 cup (240 mL) coconut, almond milk, or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) cinnamon
2 teaspoons (10 mL) maple syrup
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1. Combine the cinnamon, maple syrup, and the milk, whisk together. Then add the spice-milk mixture to the oats. Shake or stir to combine.
2. Transfer to a pint size jar or container, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Serving suggestions: Top with chopped apple slices, walnuts, chocolate chips, sliced banana, and/or pecans.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 380 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 70 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 11 grams protein
Working with pro hockey players for many years, athletic therapist Glen Kinney has a lot of insight and practical tips for athletes! Check out the great tips shared below.
Q: In your experience in training athletes, what is one nutrition mistake you see commonly made? And one nutrition strength you see commonly among athletes?
A: I find that athletes don't consume enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. The benefits of the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant properties of fruits and vegetables is invaluable to athletic performance and personal health.
Athletes are doing a better job of hydrating than they use to. There are so many colorful, trendy, and stylish water bottles, travel mugs, tumblers, and shaker cups on the market these days it seems like everyone is carrying one. Take small sips often and refill your bottle throughout the day.
Q: Have you observed that well-fueled athletes meet their training goals or recover quicker? Can you share any examples?
Recently, our hockey team went through a 2 week period where several players and staff members were affected by illness. I find that athletes who are conscientious about being well fueled recover faster from illness. They miss fewer games and practices due to illness and they return to normal training loads faster. I feel that athletes who are well fueled are less likely to get sick and are affected less severely by symptoms when they are sick.
Q: If you could give athletes one tip related to nutrition, what would it be?
A: Here are tips for immune system boosting and illness prevention that our team follows:
Maintain regular and optimal meals containing 1/3 vegetables, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 grains or starch.
In between meals, maintain regular snacks rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats (ex. fruits, nuts, yogurt, whole grain granola/cereal, fruit/protein smoothies).
Antioxidant rich foods. Examples of fruits include: grapes,blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, guava, papaya, kiwifruit, oranges. Examples of vegetables include: bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, sweet potato.
Hydrate regularly with water.
2: What is a tip you can share with coaches or trainers in talking to their players about nutrition?
A: Consistency. I think consistency is something that people strive for in all facets of life...daily routine, work or school schedule, physical activity, sleep, socializing, etc. Your nutritional habits should be no different. I find that athletes are creatures of habit. Make a nutrition plan or find out what works for you and stick with it. Make subtle adjustments as required.
Q: Do you have a favorite refueling product, shake/snack, or meal?
A: In Canada, our team found and uses a product called Rekarb. Rekarb is a maple syrup product containing natural sugars, antioxidants, and sodium. It is a thin, easy to swallow texture which our athletes find easier to ingest than gels. Our athletes use Rekarb to maintain or boost carbohydrate/energy levels during games or long training days. It is an excellent product that can also be added to meals or snacks to enhance taste by providing sweetness (ex. Rekarb added to oatmeal, smoothie, granola, yogurt, sweet potato, ice cream).
A: In a perfect world, a swimmer should have something to eat before their morning practice - this goes for other early morning workouts too (running, practice, workout, etc.). If you were going to exercise for just a short amount of time (30 minutes or less), you could get by without having something but when practice will be 2 hours long, you definitely want to have something on your way to practice to boost your blood sugar levels.
What you should eat to help get the most out of your early morning workout is something that is easy to digest and that YOU can tolerate. From a nutrient perspective, opt for foods or combinations of foods that will deliver mostly carbohydrates, some protein, and that are lower fat; this mix of nutrients would be the best bet to give your blood sugar levels a boost and help you get the most out of your morning practice.
There isn't a one-size fits all approach to this but here are some quick and easy ideas that are easy to grab, even when you are really tired!
1 cup of overnight oats prepared with milk, honey, and banana (make the night before, see recipe example below)
1 cup of yogurt topped with 1/3 cup granola
1 - 2 mini bagels with a light spread of almond or peanut butter
1 slice of toast with 1 hard boiled egg
1 Honey Stinger Waffle (See an example on the product page!)
Banana Chia Overnight Oats
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk
1 banana, sliced
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1. Combine the ingredients in a small container and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The next morning top with extra milk if desired and warm up in the microwave or eat cold.
Nutrition Facts: 350 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans far, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 65 milligrams sodium, 70 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 29 grams sugar, 11 grams protein
Are you an athlete on the go? Check out this Q & A with great tips from avid runner and traveler Jonathan Levitt.
Q: What is one aspect of your nutrition routine that you have found to directly benefit your training/running?
A: I personalize my nutrition by blood analysis with InsideTracker, so I know exactly what my body needs based on how I’m training and eating. My energy level is way higher and I’m able to tolerate higher volume much better than in the past.
Q: What is your favorite snack and why?
A: A handful of nuts or piece of dark chocolate. Tasty and filling!
Q: Do you eat differently on training days versus rest days? If so, why?
A: Yes! I add some more carbohydrates and calories in general on hard days, and more iron rich foods on rest/easy days to help with iron absorption as a runner.
Q: When you are traveling, what is one tip you can share with on-the-go athletes to stick with their eating routine?
A: BRING SNACKS! I was recently stopped by TSA and had my bags searched ahead of a two week trip to the west coast. “Do they not have food where you’re going?” they asked, because I was carrying so much with me. While the question was definitely a sarcastic one, I always plan as if there won’t be food where I’m going, and bring enough so that if I’m out and about for a few days, I won’t get hangry.
Q: If you could share on thing related to sports nutrition that all athletes should start focusing on today, what would that be?
A: Eat more. While not true for everyone, most of us are under-fueling for the amount of training we’re putting in. Every body is unique. Personalize your nutrition just like you personalize your training. Dietitians (and InsideTracker) are great resources!
These energy bites are quick and easy to make and only require a mixing bowl! They are made with a base of whole grains, plus they have added healthy fats from peanut butter, ground flax meal, and chia seeds.
Make up a batch of these to take with you during your travels to keep your body fueled - each bite delivers 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein.
PB Chip Energy Bites
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) dried coconut flakes
1/2 cup (120 mL) natural peanut butter
1/2 cup (120 mL) flax seed meal
1/3 cup (80 mL) chocolate chips
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (30 mL) chia seeds
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
2. Form into 1” blocks or balls and transfer to parchment paper.
3. Place in a freezer bag or container and store in freezer or refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts (per bite) : 160 calories, 9 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 15 milligrams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
A: There isn’t any one ‘superfood’ that athletes should have, although there a wide variety of foods that deliver important nutrients that athletes should routinely work to include! Also keep in mind, there isn't a technical definition of 'superfood', I consider superfoods to be those foods that deliver important nutrients and/or properties like: vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, etc.
Rather than thinking of any one food as THE food to have, focus on getting a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread), nuts and seeds, beans and lentils throughout the week. Each superfood food will deliver different benefits, for example, here are a couple of foods and the benefits that they deliver for athletes:
Lentils provide plant-based protein, soluble fiber, insoluble fiber folate, potassium, iron, and manganese. Each aspect of nutrition that lentils deliver is essential for athletes! Adequate protein is a must for rebuilding muscles, repairing muscles, maintaining strength, and overall muscle mass. While most people get plenty of protein from meats/animal sources, it is important to incorporate plant-based protein sources as well that deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals, and lentils deliver all-that! Each cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of protein, which is equivalent to the protein content of about 3 large eggs.
Try this Chia Cherry Lentil Muffin recipe (pictured above)! Click here for the recipe.
Quiona delivers fiber, protein, and important vitamins and minerals including: magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, thiamine and folate. For athletes, magnesium is especially important because it is a key player in energy production and metabolism.
Make a stir-fry and serve it with quinoa instead of brown rice.
Almonds delivers unsaturated fat and vitamin E, in fact one ounce (a small handful) of almonds delivers 34% of the daily value for this important vitamin. For athletes, vitamin E is important as it is an antioxidant that can help to keep cells healthy.
Add-in almonds to trail mix, enjoy a handful of almonds, or add sliced almonds to cereal!
Walnuts deliver unsaturated fat and omega-3 fats (a type of polyunsaturated fat); one once (a small handful of walnuts delivers 0.76 grams of omega-3 fats. This is important for athletes because omega-3 fats are linked to decreased inflammation in the body.
Add-in walnuts to trail mix or to quick breads (e.g. banana bread)!
Broccoli delivers vitamin C, an important vitamin for the immune system! Each serving of broccoli delivers 220% of the daily value for vitamin C, plus about 4 grams of fiber. Vitamin C can help to keep athletes immune system healthy throughout the year!
Try chopped broccoli with your favorite dip for a snack or add roasted broccoli as a side dish at dinner!
1. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnesium Research. 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17172008
2. NIH Vitamin E - Health Professional Fact Sheet: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
3. Omega-3 fatty acids and athletics. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2007 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17617998
These garlic quinoa poppers are a great quick snack or addition to a meal. What is awesome about them from a nutrition perspective for athletes is that they are made with a base of nutrient-rich quinoa (pictured below).
Quinoa cooks up just like rice but delivers twice the protein compared to rice. Plus quinoa is gluten-free, as it is technically a seed, although is often considered a whole grain. Each serving of this recipe (2 poppers) has 6 grams of protein!
Make a batch of these poppers up to have on hand for snacking, a great way to keep your energy up between meals! Click here to download the snacking handout for more ideas.
Garlic Quinoa Poppers
Serves 12 (2 poppers each)
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1½ cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
Non-stick cooking spray
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a small pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then mix in cooked quinoa and chopped onion.
4. Add cheese, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
5. Transfer mixture to the prepared mini muffin tin (about 1 tablespoon of mixture per muffin).
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 90 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 6 grams protein
Energy bites are quick and easy to make plus a perfect nutrient-packed snack to addition to a meal. Plus there are endless combinations you can make, stay tuned for more energy bite recipes!
Serves 16 (1 bite each)
1 cup (~220 g) dates, pitted
¼ cup all natural peanut or almond butter*
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds (or flax or hemp seeds)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup rolled oats
Dash of sea salt
*For a nut-free option try: Sunflower seed butter, if needed increase the rolled oats to firm up the mixture.
1. Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they are in small pieces or the mixture forms a ball.
2. Add oats, chocolate, chia seeds, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Then pulse or mix until combined.
3. Refrigerate mixture for 20 – 30 minutes (to help it firm up).
4. Roll into 1-inch bite-size cubes (about 28 grams per bite).
5. To set, place in a storage container and cover. Refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes or eat as is!
Nutrition Facts (per bite): 100 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
These cranberry oatmeal bars are a perfect treat for hungry athletes that will deliver whole grains and 3 grams of fiber per bar. Plus the creaminess of this bar comes from plain Greek yogurt, which delivers protein.
The grains in the bar are a mix of oats and white whole wheat flour - what is great about white whole wheat flour is that it has a lighter wheat flavor, yet you still have all the nutrition benefits (fiber, vitamins, minerals) of whole wheat. Look for white wheat flour in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
Ingredients - CRUST:
1 cup (240 mL) white wheat flour
1 cup (240 mL) rolled oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) packed brown sugar
1/4 (1.25 mL) teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) baking soda
6 tablespoons (90 mL) butter, melted
3 tablespoons (120 mL) orange juice
Ingredients - FILLING:
1 1/3 cups (320 mL) dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup (180 mL) plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt
1/3 cup (80 mL) agave nectar
2 tablespoons (60 mL) white wheat flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. To prepare the crust - in a medium bowl combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stir well. Then add the melted butter and orange juice over the flour mixture, stir until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. To prepare filling - in a medium bowl combine cranberries, yogurt, agave nectar, flour, vanilla extract, and egg, stir well. Spread the cranberry mixture over prepared crust and top with the reserved oat mixture.
4. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Option: Cherry-Oatmeal Bars: Substitute dried cherries for the dried cranberries.
Nutrition Facts (per bar): 210 calories, 5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 125 milligrams sodium, 35 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 20 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
A: Tournament days can present some challenges, planning ahead can help! If you and your team arrive at a tournament stocked with the right mix of food and beverages, it will help to maintain focus and energy levels throughout a demanding day.
The biggest mistake I see young athletes make at a tournament is snacking on high fat (e.g. chips, fries) and sugary foods (e.g. cupcakes, cookies, soda) between games. While these foods maybe fun to have after the tournament is over, they are not the best choices to maintain energy levels between demanding games.
Depending on the length of time until your next game will impact what foods and beverages are best to have! Consider working with your team to create a snack sign-up list with foods that will maximize energy. See the Tournament Day handout that provides guidelines, tips and strategies for your next hockey tournament. Keep in mind, it is always best to try a new food or beverage on a non-game day first to make sure it will agree with your stomach.
Is your team preparing for a tournament? Contact Fuel2Win to request a sport or event-specific handout to help you and your team!
When I work with athletes on basically any aspect of sports nutrition, one thing I find that constantly need to remind them of is: if some is good... MORE is not better. This relates to supplements, water, omega-3 fats, probiotics, protein, etc.
I had an athlete once that started experiencing nose bleeds and bruising easily for no explained reason. After talking with them, I realized they were taking an omega-3 supplement daily, having fatty fish like salmon most everyday (rich in omega-3 fats), have omega-3 eggs, and routinely adding fish oil to smoothies. So while omega-3 fats have potential benefits in decreasing inflammation, they also can result in disturbances in blood clotting. Once this athlete backed down on the omega-3 intake, the nose bleeds and bruising easily issues cleared up.
I had another athlete that was cramping up so bad during games that they couldn't finish a game. After reviewing their game day routine, it was determined that they were over hydrating to the point where important electrolytes (e.g. sodium) were being flushed from the body and resulting in cramping. Once their fluid intake was adjusted, the cramping issue subsided. See the Hydration 101 handout and Game Day 3-page handout for more tips and recommendations.
IF SOME IS GOOD... MORE IS NOT BETTER
When it comes to any aspect of sports nutrition - products, supplements, water, etc. stick with the recommendations and work with your doctor and a sports dietitian on a custom plan that is right for you. Never assume that if some of something like omega-3's or water is good, then more will be better.
If you have a specific question, contact Fuel2Win to have your question answered by sports dietitian, Molly Morgan.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you found around food & nutrition when you were playing hockey?
Taking the time for food preparation when you're exhausted and craving poor snack choices late at night (nachos, pizza).
Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up?
Greek yogurt, berries and granola or apple, cheese & crackers.
Q: When you are traveling are there any foods you take with you or strategies you use to try and make healthier choices?
I try to bring a bag of healthy snacks to have with me so I can grab a healthier option - apple, protein bar (Lara, Kind) homemade muffins, mixed nuts. When I know I will be at the rink all day, I bring my own lunch from home. It's usually a homemade soup with a lots of veggies, chicken or turkey and a type of bean.
Q: From a coach perspective, what is a nutrition tip you think every athlete should focus on?
A lot of young athletes tend to miss the most important meal of the day: Breakfast! Always start with a healthy breakfast it will fuel you properly from the beginning. There are lots of choices and that's why it's my favorite meal of the day.
Also, plan ahead and have healthy meal choices ready at home. My wife always makes extra and Freezes portions for a quick easy dinner.
Q: Do you have a favorite food that you like to make (if you want to share a quick recipe that would be great!)?
I love salmon and so does my wife and my boys. We usually make it as a family:
-Spray aluminium foil with olive oil
-Place 5-6 servings of wild Atlantic salmon on foil
-Drizzle each piece with 2 Tbsp Real Maple syrup
-sprinkle with roasted red pepper and garlic seasoning and/or chilli flakes
-squirt each piece with fresh lemon
-place on grill or in oven at 350 for approx 15 minutes.
Add whatever grilled veggies you like as well as a wild grain rice and you will have a great meal!
Often times athletes or parents want to focus on what to eat or drink on game days, when what is arguably even more important to focus on is the day-to-day.
The reason focusing on your day-to-day eating routine is key is because it is what provides the foundation of fuel to build and rebuild your body. Without emphasis on what you are and aren't eating routinely, you could be missing out on important nutrients that your body needs to keep you healthy.
There is a great phrase that I like to remind athletes of: you can't out train a bad diet. This is so true! If you are routinely making lousy choices and not providing your body with enough calories, carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water - your body is missing out.
Notice the emphasis on the word routine. This doesn't mean that you can't ever have a sweet treat or crunchy salty snack, but what it does mean is that routinely you need to be having more of the foods that are rich in nutrients that your body needs to perform at its peak. Foods like: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, nuts, and seeds. Plus making most of what you take in to hydrate your body, water.
Quick steps to boost your eating routine:
1. Carry water with you! Either in a reusable water bottle or bring along bottles of water. This will help to ensure you meet your daily hydration goals.
2. When you are on the go - bring healthier choices with you... or look for healthier choices like KIND Snacks bars (pictured here). What is great about KIND bars is they have only 5 - 6 grams of sugar per bar, which is much less than many other similar products. Plus they have healthy fats from the base of nuts that they are made with!
3. Add-in plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These are three key groups of foods that many athletes are missing out on, which provide vitamins, minerals, and quality carbs to help fuel the body.
- Add sliced fruit to cereal and yogurt
- Snack on veggies and hummus
- Have fruit and vegetables at every meal
- Add sauteed veggies (e.g. peppers, onions, spinach) to eggs
- Top toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas
- Have guacamole and salsa with whole grain tortilla chips
- Swap out white rice for brown rice
- Add a salad with your meal
- Have fruit, like fresh berries, for dessert