Eat Like An Athlete
As an athlete, you may be well-versed in the specific power foods that boost your training, performance and recovery, but do you have a handle on how to prepare those foods so you look forward to sitting down to your meals? We turned to marathoner Meg Galvin, world master chef and healthy cooking expert at SparkPeople.com, to share a few of her all-time favorite athlete recipes. Here are three healthy recipes featured in her new book The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight.
Go for whole grains
Whole grains are an unparalleled source of complex carbohydrates that can fuel and refuel your muscles.
Blueberry flaxseed muffins
You can breakfast on these "berry good" muffins, or try them any time of day. "These are great for a snack, before or after a workout," says Galvin. "Smear them with a bit of peanut or almond butter as pre-run fuel, eat as a healthy sweet treat after a meal or pack in your purse for healthy eating on the go."
Per serving: 139.2 calories, 1.5 g total fat, 18.5 mg cholesterol, 320.5 mg sodium, 38.1 total carbs, 3.3 g dietary fiber, 3.7 g protein
Reach for lean protein
Protein is essential for building muscle as well as for muscle repair after hard workouts or sports events. Skinless poultry, lean beef and fish are excellent choices to put on the athlete's plate. If you're on board with chicken and beef but blanch at the thought of cooking fish, Galvin has a few easy tips and a delish fish dish.
"If there is one protein that people are afraid to cook, it's fish," says the athlete chef. "Fish is lean, quick-cooking and versatile; there's no need to fear it." Most important, Galvin promotes fish because it is packed with protein, which is what an athlete's body needs to repair itself after tough workouts.
The salsa is a flavorful, fat-free topping, and the high water content of the fruits and vegetables are what your body craves after exercising.
Grilled fish with mango salsa
Galvin recommends pairing this fish dish with a baked sweet potato for a quick and easy post-workout meal. "It's ready in 20 minutes -- perfect for growling post-workout bellies," she adds.
Ingredients for the salsa:
For the fish:
Note: Most of the heat in a jalapeño pepper is in the seeds and white ribs. Remove them and you'll eliminate most of the pepper's punch. Leave them in for a spicier salsa.
Per Serving: 122.4 calories, 1.7 g total fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 91.2 mg sodium, 8.9 g total carbs, 1.3 g dietary fiber, 21.4 g protein
Eat with moderation in mind
As an athlete, you're shredding calories at every practice and event. Does that mean you can eat with abandon? Not unless you want to feel sick after every large meal and put yourself at risk for gaining weight and impairing your performance. However, Galvin recommends indulging -- in moderation. She suggests a savory meal like her peppercorn steak with herbed blue cheese.
Peppercorn steak with herbed blue cheese
"This recipe is right at home here, and it illustrates our philosophy of satisfaction and eating what you love," explains Galvin. "This recipe calls for one 12-ounce fillet, but it serves four. You might be served that 12-ounce fillet as a single portion at a restaurant, and you'd be eating almost 80 grams of fat -- more than what most of us eat in a day! You can eat steak while losing or maintaining your weight. It's all about moderation and balance."
Per Serving: 245.8 calories, 18.2 g total fat, 65.3 mg cholesterol, 159.1 mg sodium, 1.2 g total carbs, 159.1 mg sodium, 1.2 g total carbs, 0.4 g dietary fiber, 18.5 g protein
All recipes reprinted from The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose The Weight © 2011 by SparkPeople, Inc. Permission granted by Hay House, Inc., New York, New York 10003. Available wherever books are sold.
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