Fueling our Young Athletes for Performance

My family asked me to put together a list of healthy meals and snacks to pack for my 13 yo sister during her Volleyball tournaments. They thought it would be something helpful to also share with the other parents of the team.

I think this is an extremely important component in young athletes’ performances.  As parents, we have the most control over making the best decisions for these young athletes!

I thought it would be helpful to share what I put together. There are many views on nutrition, however, for her age bracket I feel this is most appropriate to meet their needs and taste buds.

Please feel free to pass around to other young athletes and their parents!

Fueling our athletes for performance

FOOD IS FUEL

 

 

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Summer Side Dishes

The summer months are filled with BBQ’s and gatherings with friends and family, which can make it  hard to stay on track with your nutrition.  One idea that we use when attending a gathering is to always bring at least one dish that you know is healthy so you have something to munch on and at the same time introduce that healthy food can still taste “good” to your friends and family.  Here are a few side dishes that my family has enjoyed this summer!

 

Sweet Potato & Egg Dill Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 Sweet potatoes
  • 1 dozen Eggs
  • 1/2C MCT Oil or Olive Oil
  • 1Tb Dill (Preferably fresh)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil your eggs (12 min) and sweet potatoes (15 min) until cooked.
  2. Once boiled, soak eggs and sweet potatoes in cold water to cool down enough to handle them.
  3. Dice up sweet potatoes into 1/2″ cubes and toss into large mixing bowl.
  4. Peel eggs and dice, add to mixing bowl.
  5. Add MCT Oil, Dill and Salt and Pepper to bowl and mix all ingredients.  Put in fridge to chill and serve cold. Enjoy!

Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cucumbers
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 4 Tb Olive Oil
  • 4 Tb White Vinegar
  • 4 Tb Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 C Fresh Dill
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice cucumbers & onion very thin and toss into mixing bowl.
  2. Combine Olive Oil, Lemon juice and Vinegar into bowl and mix with cucumbers & onions
  3. Finish by adding dill and S&P to taste.  Serve cold.
  4. This dish gets better as it marinades.  I recommend making it 24 hours in advance.  Enjoy!

 

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Chicken & Broccoli

Sometimes you make  meal that is labeled “a keeper!”  This was one of them in my house!  Super easy to make in a large batch to have plenty of leftovers to put away for lunches during the week or dinner on a night you get home late.

Chicken & Broccoli 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Chicken Thighs or Boneless Chicken Breast
  • 2 Heads Broccoli
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 2 TB Minced Garlic
  • 2 TB Chopped Basil (fresh would be best)
  • 2 TB Ghee or Olive Oil
  • 3 Sweet Potatoes (baked for 15 min in advance)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop your sweet potato into 1/2″ cubes and bake in advance for about 15 min @ 350.
  2. Dice your onion into small pieces and toss into sautee pan with ghee or olive oil
  3. Cut chicken into 1″ pieces and add to pan with along with garlic & basil.   Allow to cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Chop your broccoli and add to pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes
  5. Finish by mixing in your sweet potatoes and letting it simmer for a few minutes just enough for the potatoes to get warm.
  6. Add S&P to taste.

Makes 4-6 servings

chicken and broccoli

Enjoy!

 Nutrition Information: (1/6th serving) 285 Calories, 14g Fat, 22g Protein, 22g Carbs

 

Food Prep

Through experience of trial and error, I have learned that  in order to choose healthy meal and snack options throughout the week, food prep is KEY!  Choose one day a week such as Sunday and designate 1-2 hours towards preparing your food for the week ahead.  Here’s a snap shot of how I prepare breakfast and lunches for my husband and I for the week.

meal prep

STEP 1: Sit down and decide what you want to eat for the week and write it down.  Make a trip to the grocery store with your LIST.  The list is extremely important for multiple reasons:

  1. It keeps you away from items that are less healthy
  2. It keeps the budget tighter than browsing through the isles
  3. It makes shopping quick and painless

STEP 2: Unpack your grocery bags and keep everything on the counter.   This will force you to prep your meals immediately.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, this is an average temperature that is good to cook multiple dishes at.

STEP 3: Rate your meals in order by which item on your list takes the longest to cook and work backwards.

For me,  sweet potatoes are the first on the list.  I dice up about 5-6 sweet potatoes into small cubes and toss them in 3 TB coconut oil, onion & garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Spread onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

*TIP: lining baking sheets with parchment paper cuts down on the clean up time!

Next up is my Crust less Quiche.  I dice up my veggies of choice for the week (this week was red peppers, zucchini, scallions & chives) and place in a bowl.  Crack 1 dozen eggs in the bowl and mix.  Pour into a 13×9 greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

While your items are in the oven, use the remaining time to finish up stove top items or prepping fresh fruits and veggies.  This week, for lunches I chose grass-fed lean beef burgers and sautéed kale to for lunches.  I cooked the burgers stove stop and added some steak seasoning.  These took about 8 minutes total to cook.  I then diced up my kale into about 1″ cubes and sautéed in a pan with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and lemon juice.

I also prepped the remaining veggies I had such as peppers and asparagus by washing and cutting them up so they were ready to use for dinners.

By the time the stove top items and veggie prep were complete, my oven dishes were finished.  I portioned everything out into Tupperware containers for Nick and I and stacked them in the fridge so they are ready to grab and go.  He has the left side and I have the right side so we know who’s is who’s.

From start to finish, this doesn’t need to take more than 1-2 hours and it lines up the rest of your week to be successful!

Breakfast

Breakfast

Lunches

Lunches

 

Understand the WHYs…and keeping it simple

As I take on the 30 day challenge, it is important to understand the WHYs.  Many people will ask me WHY am I  removing Grains, Dairy or Legumes. Take a few minutes to read through the following links and post any questions below. Happy Reading!

http://whole9life.com/2013/02/grain-manifesto/

http://whole9life.com/2013/03/the-dairy-manifesto/

http://whole9life.com/2012/09/the-legume-manifesto/

why

It can feel overwhelming to always be finding creative ways to eat healthy.  Keep in mind, it doesn’t always have to be fancy!  Sometimes the best way to stay on track is to Keep It Simple Silly!

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Last night’s dinner was quick and easy!

  • Boneless chicken breast marinated in olive oil and Stonemill Steak Seasoning
  • Asparagus and Onions tossed in Balsamic Vinegar, salt & pepper

Grilled for 20 minutes on medium heat.  Mustard is a good “dipping sauce” for this dish since my husband always needs to dip his chicken in something!

This is a great opportunity to cook extra for leftovers to use for lunches or dinner on a night you work late. Enjoy!

asparaguschicken

Paleo Pad Thai

Whenever people tell me that they are getting bored with paleo or that they are looking for a new recipe, I always respond with the same answer.  “Don’t think about what you can’t eat or what you have to eliminate, but rather think of a meal that you enjoy. Then get creative and find a paleo friendly way to make it.”  For me, it was this recipe below.  I love pad thai and this is a healthy way to enjoy it!

Paleo Pad Thai
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken, shrimp, sirloin or duck
  • 1/4 c  coconut oil
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 4 summer squash
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbl fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 tbl almond butter
  • 1/3 c sliced almonds
  • 1 T chili garlic sauce
  • lime, juiced
  • sliced green onions

Directions:

Using a vegetable peeler mandolin or vegetable slicer; make thin slices out of the zucchini, squash and carrots.  Next, slice them all length wise to form long thin strips.  Set aside. 

zucchini noodles

To prepare the meat, melt the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add the meat, searing on both sides until cooked through.  Remove the meat and set aside.

In the same pan add the almond butter, ginger, onion, lime juice and chili garlic sauce and sauté until onions are golden.  If it starts to thicken add more coconut oil.

Add the zuke noodles and the sliced almonds to the sauté pan. Stir them around to get the sauce incorporated onto the “zoodles”. The point here is get the “zoodles” hot and very slightly cooked through (just like an al dente noodle!), about 10 minutes.  Add the meat back in and mix.

Serve hot and topped with a squeeze of lime juice and some chopped green onions.

Photo by Amr Adel Amin

photo courtesy of egypttoday.com

Crock Pot Meatballs

My crock pot is one of my FAVORITE kitchen tools!  I love “set it and forget it” recipes and this one is extremely easy and makes the house smell delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package ground meat (I use 93% lean organic turkey)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 clove garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 jar Trader Joe’s marinara sauce

seasoning

marinara

turkey

I made a double batch here

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients(only use 2 tbl sauce) and roll into 2″ balls.  Place in crock pot and top with can of tomato sauce.  Set crock pot to high and cook for 6 hours.

meatballs

I like to serve my meatballs over spaghetti squash.  To cook, cut in half and place on a cookie sheet face down.  Cook for 20 min at 350 degrees.

spaghetti-squash

More PROTEIN…for dessert!

I have been using frozen strawberries, water and a scoop of SFH protein for my shakes lately and it’s delicious, which got me thinking…..I could have this for dessert.

PROTEIN FRO-YO was then created in my kitchen!

3 Ingredients: 

  1. 1c Frozen Strawberries
  2. 1/2c Water
  3. 1 scoop SFH Pure Natural Protein

Mix in blender until smooth.  (I use the ninja which I LOVE!)

Nutrition Facts:

  • 174 Calories
  • 1g Fat
  • 24g Protein
  • 7g Sugar

strawberries

pure

ice cream

Chicken Drumsticks with Carrot and Cabbage Pancakes

During our Whole 30 challenge last month, I found that I appreciated staying in and cooking a great meal that we could enjoy knowing exactly how it was made and what the ingredients were was a much more pleasant experience than going out to eat and worrying what our food was going to be cooked in, etc.  I came up with this combination and it was a HUGE hit!  The pancakes were my husbands absolute favorite and reminded us of Chinese egg foo young.  The drumsticks paired nicely with the homemade BBQ sauce I had made earlier in the week.  Both were extremely easy and amazingly yummy!

Enjoy!

Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or clarified butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 free range, organic chicken drumsticks

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper as well as the coconut oil or clarified butter. Dump in the chicken and mix well to ensure all the meat is evenly coated with the seasonings.
  3. Place the chicken drumsticks on a large baking sheet with space in between each to prevent overlap. Cook for about 1 hour, until the chicken is well cooked, turning the pieces once during the cooking process.

courtesy of PaleoLeap.com

Carrot & Cabbage Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 sweet onion finely chopped
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut flour
  • Coconut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine carrots, cabbage, onions and eggs. Stir salt and coconut flour into carrot mixture.
  2. In a large skillet heat coconut oil. Scoop large tablespoonfuls of batter onto skillet.
  3. Fry patties on each side over medium heat until browned and crispy.
  4. Transfer pancakes to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Repeat process until all of the batter is used up.

Modified from TheDailyMeal.com

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Nothing like homemade soup

Growing up, there was nothing I enjoyed more in the fall and winter months than my grandmother and mother’s homemade soups! My mom always made soup as a way to use up holiday leftovers or extra veggies and chicken at the end of the week. I have followed in their footsteps to do the same. I enjoy scrounging through my veggie drawers at the end if the week to see what I can toss into a pot for a warm, hearty soup.

I have always opted to make broth based soups but wanted to try something new, so experimented with a tomato base. It was delicious and made great lunches for us throughout the week!

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes
1 bag organic peas
1 head of celery
3 yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
2 red peppers
1lb cooked chicken or turkey
Olive oil
Handful of fresh basil
1 28oz can tomato purée
28oz water
Seasonings to taste: salt & pepper, onion powder, Italian seasoning

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Directions:
-Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil. Dice up onions & celery and sauté for 10 minutes.

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– While onions & celery are cooking, chop up sweet potatoes and peppers.
– At the 10 min mark, add potatoes and peppers to pot and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

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– Add tomato purée, water, pressed garlic & seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil then lower to simmer for 30 minutes.

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– Finish by adding the peas, diced chicken & chopped basil to the pot.

Enjoy!

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